The 2009 Vintners Hall of Fame inductees have been announced. The hall of fame at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, California honors those who have contributed to the California wine industry. This year's group includes wine journalist Gerald Asher, Gourmet magazine; Jack and Jamie Davies, founders of Schramsberg Vineyards; Jess Jackson, founder of Kendall-Jackson Estates; U.C. Davis Professor and co-founder of Lagier-Meredith Winery, Carole Meredith; Justin Meyer, co-founder of Silver Oak Cellars; and Warren Winiarski, founder of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. Also Frederick and Jacob Beringer, who founded Beringer Vineyards, will be inducted as "Pioneers," a category for those those who made a significant contribution to the California wine industry and passed away prior to March, 1989.
You can take part in the day-long Celebration of California Wine and Food that ends with the Vintners Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Celebrity Chef Walk-Around Reception on March 14 at CIA Greystone. The morning includes a pair of food and wine salons followed by luncheons and tastings held at local wineries including Beringer Vineyards, Cardinale, Hundred Acre, Quixote Winery, Rudd Oakville Estate, Schramsberg and Viader Vineyards. The main event includes the chance to meet guest chefs Michael Chiarello, Todd Humphries, Christopher Kostow and Charlie Palmer at the reception in the CIA Greystone's Teaching Kitchens followed by the Vintners Hall of Fame Induction Dinner. A ticket costs $300 for reception and dinner ($150 is tax-deductible) or the full day package can be purchased for $500.