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Cliff Lede Vineyards, Napa Valley

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Owner Cliff Lede, Vineyard Architect David Abreu and Winemaker Chris Tynan have come together to form an unrivalled team, making the most of this remarkable property.

Completed in 2005, the gravity-flow winery boasts a berry-by-berry sorting system and conical tanks commissioned using a design inspired by the tanks of Château Latour. One tank per vineyard block ensures each lot evolves at its own pace and acres of caves with single-layer barrel storage ensure access to each barrel at all times. No corner has been cut.

The winery produces Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The flagship, Poetry Cabernet Sauvignon, is crafted from the steep hillside portion of the estate. The land, the talent, the tools and the passion: Cliff Lede Vineyards, a notable addition to the Stags Leap District.

ESTATE VINEYARDS

STAGS LEAP DISTRICT

Our sixty acres of vineyards stretch from our valley floor Twin Peaks Ranch to the steep hillside terraces of the Poetry Vineyard.

The valley floor vineyard that encircles our winery is known as the Twin Peaks Ranch. More varied in soil type than our hillside property, we farm small bespoke blocks comprised of a selection of root stocks, clonal selections and varietals. This property forms the backbone of the Cliff Lede Cabernet program.

The steep, southwest-facing hillside portion of the property is known as the Poetry Vineyard. Reaching from the highest elevation of the Stags Leap Appellation down to the valley floor, this is a high exposure site. These blocks boast a gritty combination of shallow soils atop fractured shales with low-yielding old vines of Cabernet Sauvignon.

The History of Spanish Food

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History of Spanish Food

The succession of cultures that one-by-one set foot on the Iberian peninsula have each left a lasting mark on every facet of Spain’s culture: language, music, art, architecture and, of course, food. In fact, many people are surprised to learn just how much of a delicious melting pot Spain really is.

Geography of Spanish Food

The basis of the history of Spanish food of course has to do with its geographical situation. First of all, the country is located on the Iberian peninsula and is therefore almost entirely surrounded by the waters. Naturally, due to this fortunate location, seafood forms one of the pillars of Spain’s gastronomy and categorizes the country as having a Mediterranean diet. The rest of Spain is a diverse terrain made up of mountain ranges, lush pastures, fertile farmgrounds, extensive coastlines and more, which together provide quite the variety of fresh products. For example, Spain’s famous hams are cured high in the mountains, vineyards and olive groves sprawl across expanses of land, and fresh fruits and vegetables hail from throughout the country.

Cultures Throughout the History of Spanish Food

Endless cultures, as they passed through or settled in Spain, have influenced the history of Spanish food. The Phoenicians left their sauces, the Greeks introduced Spain to the wonders of olive oil, and Romans, Carthaginians, and Jews integrated elements of their own cooking into that of Spain. However it was the Moors who, during their centuries of reign, most impacted Spanish gastronomy. They introduced fruits and light seasonings into the Iberian diet, as well as combinations of fruits and nuts with meats and fish. Rice- a genuine staple of Spanish gastronomy- and therefore Spain’s vast array of rice dishes, come straight from the Moors, as does the use of saffron, cinnamon, and nutmeg. As you eat gazpacho on a hot summer day, thank this clearly gastronomically talented Moorish culture, as it too comes straight from them. Conclusion? Ironically enough, the foods we consider to be “typically Spanish” would either not exist or would be extremely different without the intervention of so many cultures into the history of Spanish food.

The Americas’ Impact on the History of Spanish Food

Along with its obvious historical impact, the discovery of the Americas with Christopher Columbus’ famous 1492 voyage resulted in the addition of more important elements to the history of Spanish food. As of 1520, foods from the new lands arrived in Spain and immediately began to integrate themselves into the Spanish diet. Amongst the many products that crossed the Atlantic and arrived on Spanish turf, tomatoes, vanilla, chocolate, various beans, and potatoes – which surprisingly arrived in Spain before arriving in Ireland- are all staples of today’s Spanish kitchen.

Beer Pairing Menu!

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We have two special ‘Casual Friday’s’ Beer Pairing events this summer. On Friday June 26th & August 7th we will have a special menu with some of our delicious beers matched up and paired perfectly with our featured dishes!

Friday’s are for relaxing, so sit back and enjoy a spectacular meal with your favourite beverage, an ice cold beer! Our patio is now open! See you soon.

Dining etiquette in Canada

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Table manners are relatively relaxed and informal in Canada, in Quebec it’s a bit more formal but for the rest of us Canadians…

Dining etiquette for utensils. Use Continental table manners. When cutting food, hold your fork in your left hand and your knife in your right hand. Apply pressure to the knife with your index finger at the point where the knife blade meets the handle. Spear and keep steady your food with the fork, tines facing downward. Apply pressure to the neck of the fork using your index finger. Proper dining etiquette dictates that you keep your elbows down. After cutting your food, your knife remains in your right hand. Continue holding the fork in your left hand with the tines facing downward, applying pressure to the neck of the fork with your index finger as you lift it to your mouth. When finished eating, leave cutlery facing upward in the middle of your plate.

Dining etiquette for using your hands. You are seldom expected to eat with your hands. If the type of food is easier to eat in that way, be guided by what your host does. Do not rest your elbows on the table.

Dining etiquette for napkins. Keep your napkin in your lap while eating.

Dining etiquette for seating. Wait to be shown to your seat.

Dining etiquette for beginning to eat. Do not begin eating until the hostess starts.

Meals are typically served in courses. Except at a formal dinner, it is common to have two courses, either an appetizer or salad and main dish or a main dish and a dessert. Occasionally meals are served buffet style for medium to large gatherings. It is appropriate to eat everything served to you at a meal, and your host will be pleased if you enjoy it. If you don’t like the taste of something, deal with it discreetly, and usually no one will comment about it.

Dining etiquette for discussing business. Business entertainment is common, but the focus usually remains on business. The person who invites is normally expected to pay

Experience dishes from Around The World starting June 19th at Characters

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On Friday June 19th we kick off our monthly “Around The World” event at Characters! Once a month we will feature a different country where you will be able to enjoy a dish from that particular culture. On Friday June 19th we start this monthly event with Switzerland where Chef Shonn had the opportunity to hone some of skills as a young adult.

We will also be pairing a beverage with the dish and we have some special surprises lined up. Please make your reservations ASAP for this event because the room is already filling up, bring your friends & family to experience a special evening of dining.