If you are a fan of Chardonnay, then you will want to mark your calendars! The Patron Foundation is hosting a weekend celebration of this favorite grape in Napa, California, from May 20-22.

Napa Valley is famous for its Chardonnay, and Chardonnay is famous for its high butterfat content, which many wine lovers believe makes it the perfect wine for pairing with rich foods. So, what better way to celebrate this than with a weekend-long festival of Chardonnay in one of the most magical wine regions in the world? Located in the town of Yountville, California, the Patron Foundation’s Chardonnay Celebration Weekend will feature both the regions most talented chefs and winemakers, including Thomas Keller and Ana Sortun.


The Chardonnay Classic brings together master sommeliers, legendary wines, selected winemakers, food and drink, all to benefit the SommFoundation.

LOS ANGELES (April 22, 2021): The Patron Foundation, a new nonprofit whose mission is to support the hospitality industry, announces the first Chardonnay Classic at the Meritage Resort and Spa and Vista Collina Resort in Napa, California. Taking place from Thursday 20 to Saturday 22 May, the event brings together master sommeliers, wine connoisseurs, industry experts and viticulture courses for a weekend of celebration about winemaking.

The Chardonnay Classic is a three-day event that is the first Chardonnay event in the country with a fundraising commitment of $25,000 to the SommFoundation. Ticket holders can enjoy a weekend of 22 tastings, expert-led seminars, gourmet lunches and sumptuous dinners, all for the price of $2,000. Guests can take advantage of the discounted rate and save $300 by registering before day 8 using the code CHARD15. Can sign up. For those who only want to spend one day in Napa, day passes for all three days are also available. Rooms can be booked directly at Meritage Resort & Spa and Vista Collina Resort. Prices start at $249.

The Chardonnay Classic tasting seminars offer attendees an unprecedented opportunity to learn about this beloved grape variety, including the main event, the Around the World with Chardonnay tasting. Master Sommeliers Jay Fletcher and Thomas Price will take attendees to famous wineries around the world, where they can taste and learn about some of the iconic varieties of Chardonnay, including: 2005 Louis Latour Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru, 2012 Pol Roger Blanc De Blanc Champagne and 2018 Gaja Rossj-Bass. Another large tasting, State of the Vintage, will be led by renowned expert winemakers and offer guests one of the first opportunities to taste barrel-aged samples from the 2020 Northern California vintage alongside the same wines from the 2018 and 2019 vintages. This vineyard comparison features renowned wines from Hartford Court, Martiana and Joseph Phelps Vineyards.

Although the main theme of the weekend is Chardonnay, there will be plenty of opportunities for guests to explore other varietals. The Old World, New World tasting includes classic French grape varieties and their New World counterparts, as well as a wide range of varieties. In addition, attendees will be able to visit Beyond the Bottle with master sommeliers to discover and taste rare gems from producers such as Château Montrose, Château Leoville Barton, Domaine Méo-Camuzet, Domaine Michel Niellon, Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Luciano Sandrone and M. Chapoutier. Guests can also taste selected red wines at the Grand Tasting.

In partnership with the SommFoundation, a portion of the proceeds from the Chardonnay Classic will be used to support and provide scholarships for the next generation of winemakers, master sommeliers and wine experts across the country. Donations provide access to experiences that promote professional development, continuing education and discovery of the wine world. Kaiser Permanente is also proud to be a sponsor of this inaugural charity event. We are very excited to be a part of the opening of the Chardonnay Classic, said Jay Fletcher, Master Sommelier. After a difficult year for wine professionals, it’s great to help build a new flagship event for the Napa community that not only brings together wine lovers and professionals, but also provides educational opportunities for students from around the world. From engaging seminars to exceptional wines and philanthropic spirit, it promises to be a fantastic weekend.

We are very excited to host this event at the Meritage Resort & Spa, said Joe Leinaker, General Manager of the Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa, California. Our hotel in wine country, like our entire industry, has been shaken up by the past year. It is fitting that we begin a new chapter on one of the grape varieties that have made Napa a leading wine center.

The entire Chardonnay Classic event takes place at its sister properties Napa Valley, Meritage Resort and Spa and Vista Collina Resort, where guests can visit nine tasting rooms, vineyard tours and more. Events take place in the hotel’s many outdoor and indoor spaces, including the Food & Wine Center, Wine Cave, Terra Spa, Vista Collina’s expansive lawn and more. By booking directly with the hotel, event attendees can get a room of their choice, free parking, WiFi and a bottle of Napa Valley wine upon arrival.

All local and state policies regarding COVID-19 protocols are followed. The capacity of the event is limited and attention is paid to social distance. The Meritage Collection’s Hospitality and Health Promise, which details the company’s approach to COVID-19 safety, can be found at meritagecollection.com/our-hospitality-health-promise. Chardonnay Classic ticket buyers are entitled to a full refund until the day of the event if it is cancelled for any reason.

About the Patronage Foundation :

The Patron Foundation is an organization dedicated to the hospitality industry – including wine, culinary and wellness education – in support of the people who drive our industry forward. To that end, the Foundation will test activities that directly benefit community members, from those in labor-intensive occupations to emerging industry leaders. The Patronal Foundation partners with local organizations to support this mission and promote the development of members of our welcoming community.

About the SommFoundation:

The SommFoundation (The Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation) is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to help wine and spirits professionals achieve the highest level of proficiency and accreditation in the food and beverage industry. They offer sommeliers, restaurant professionals, wine journalists and winemakers the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the world of wine and spirits and receive scholarship.

About Meritage Resort and Spa and Vista Collina Resort:

With acres of vineyards on sunny slopes and beautiful accommodations with luxurious amenities and award-winning cuisine, Meritage Resort and Spa and Vista Collina Resort are the best of Napa Valley. These sister resorts combine world-class luxury with exceptional hospitality to provide a resort experience in the heart of California wine country. Facilities include spa treatments in the tranquil surroundings of the estate’s underground cave, a Food & Wine Village with a local artisan market, nine tasting rooms, a large lawn for picnics and outdoor gatherings, and much more. For more information, visit MeritageResort.com, VistaCollinaResort.com.


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