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on the table

Clockwise from top left: Saracina’s vineyards; “punching down the cap” at Selby; aging wines in Saracina’s cave; learning to plant a grapevine; Francis Fecteau (left) and John Fetzer

group caravans through Napa and Mendocino counties, working in different ways at different wineries. The first day, after meeting for breakfast at Dean & Deluca in Napa, we hightail it to Joseph Phelps, divide into groups and, under the supervision of an expert, try blending varietals and vintages to make our own red wine: cabernet sauvignon for the backbone, cabernet franc for a base, merlot for lush fruit and petit verdot for rich color. At Selby, we take turns wielding a tool that looks like the first-cousin to a coat rack to punch down the thick cap of grape skins and stems that forms on top of a bubbling vat of fermenting wine. Carole Shelton, co-developer of the Aroma Wheel, a device that helps newbies correlate wine tastes and vocabulary, and world-famous as the

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I THINK WINE CAMP IS THE MOST VALUABLE WINE EXPERIENCE UTAHNS CAN GET. –TY RICHCHOUYROD “yeast whisperer,” lectures us about how different yeast strains produce subtle flavors in the wine. A rare conversation with vine geneticist Carole Meredith informs us about varietal origins. Everywhere, we taste wine, comparing vintages, vineyards and blends—learning about the wine in the glass from the person who made it. “In a lot of states, I can go into wine stores, serve tastings and talk about

my wines directly with customers,” winemaker Shelton points out. “I can’t do that in Utah and I’ve found, too, that for the most part, state-run stores don’t have personable or even knowledgeable sales people.” So Fecteau brings the people to Shelton. “Francis has been amazing,” says Shelton. “Utah is our second- or third-largest market in the country because of his personal approach and his enthusiasm. We sell lots of wines in the Utah market simply because Francis got excited about them.” Fetzer agrees. “We have nearly saturated the Utah market with our Atrea [brand]. So many servers and somms have visited here with Francis, Utah is now our number two or three market.” Wine Camp is a true working trip, not the wine-drinking vacation

Salt Lake Magazine Sept Oct 2016  
Salt Lake Magazine Sept Oct 2016