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by Fred McMillin
for May 21, 1998
Profile of a Wine Class
The demographics of my Ft. Mason, San Francisco wine class...
So what kind of wines do these hard-working, well-educated wine students prefer? We tasted a number of affordable whites. Also, I had some veterans rate them and the two groups agreed. The winner was America's most popular white varietal, Chardonnay, produced by David Lett, the first vintner in Oregon's most popular wine district, the Willamette Valley. He and wife Diana planted a variety of Chardonnay clones back in 1966, and these mature vines provided the grapes for this full-flavored, yet gentle wine, fermented in 1993!
1993 Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, Oregon
I mentioned that all members of my Ft. Mason class had attended college. So did David Lett. In fact, it was a vacation from the academic grind that changed his career plans. After earning his philosophy degree, he toured the Napa Valley before starting dental school in San Francisco. Pow! Goodbye molars, hello Merlots. Note—For more about the Eyrie Vineyards, see the Dec. 1,1997 WineDay titled. "The Lett Legend."
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