Summer Solstice Feast pairs local foods with Berryessa Gap wines

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Left to right: Phoebe Girimonte, Emarie VanGalio of Winters Farm to School, Lynda Hines with Berryessa Gap and Melanie Bajakian of Winters Farm to School.

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Winters Farm to School will host its Summer Solstice Feast on Saturday, June 23, at the historic Wolfskill Ranch in Winters. This local non-profit raises funds for the Winters Joint Unified School District to purchase fresh fruits, nuts and produce for children’s meals, sustain a school garden program, and support Kids’ Farmers Markets for elementary-age students. “We have been raising $50,000 to $60,000 per year at our feast,” said Emarie VanGalio, a Winters Farm to School board member.  “The feast is our primary fundraiser, and its success is critical to providing local kids with fresh, healthy, local food,” added VanGalio.

At this year’s event, 250 guests will gather at one long table under the sweeping canopy of 156 year-old olive trees and tuck in for a multi-course, locally-sourced feast. Wines served are being donated by Berryessa Gap, and have been specifically selected to complement each part of the feast.

“When our guests first arrive, they gather under a stately old pecan tree for appetizers and conversation,” said VanGalio. “Three delicious hors d’oeuvre will be passed, including grilled octopus skewers, seasonal crostini and tomato pies.”

Nicole Salengo, winemaker for Berryessa Gap, said, “Our 2017 Sauvignon Blanc will pair nicely with the appetizers. The crisp acidity and clean finish make this light, refreshing wine perfect for a hot summer day.”

Of the main course, VanGalio said “Our featured meat for this year’s feast will be a roasted porchetta with stone fruit, herbs, and jus. Roasted carrots and fennel, a mixed heirloom bean salad with cherry tomatoes and mushrooms and grilled new potatoes will round out the entrée.”

“Wines poured during the main course include Berryessa Gap’s 2015 Tempranillo which pairs well with many meat dishes, but it will be exceptional with roasted porchetta,” said Salengo.  “We are proud of this vintage winning Double Gold in the San Francisco International Wine Competition and Gold in the Sommelier Challenge. And for those who enjoy a fine white wine, we will serve those as well throughout the meal.”

“Because we are an all-volunteer Board, all of the monies raised at our annual feasts are used for programs which boost our school children’s health and well-being,” added VanGalio. “We are so grateful to all of the local farms, wineries, businesses and families who have so generously supported our work over the years. We simply could not do this without the continued generosity of this wonderful town.”

While this year’s feast is currently sold out, please contact Cathy Olsen at 530-795-6109 if you wish to be added to a waiting list. Every effort will be made to seat those who wish to attend.

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