45th Annual l’Eté du Vin Guests of Honor

In celebration of our 45th year of funding the fight against cancer, this year’s l’Eté du Vin will feature wines emblematic of the 45th Parallel North.

The 45th Parallel North is a magic band that surrounds our planet between the 40th and 50th parallels of the northern hemisphere, essentially bisecting the great winemaking regions on this side of the equator. Five of the world’s most renowned wine regions lie along the latitudinal range of 45 degrees: the Willamette Valley, Bordeaux, Lombardy, Piedmont, and Northern Rhône.

We have invited these Guests of Honor who hail from this esteemed latitude to help celebrate 45 years; Beaux Fréres, Ca’ del Bosco, Domaine de Chevalier, M. Chapoutier Prunotto and Zena Crown Vineyard. Learn more about our Guests of Honor below!

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Beaux Frères

Michael G. Etzel, Founder

The Beaux Frères story began in 1986 when Michael G. Etzel, then a wine salesman in Colorado Springs, embarked on a road trip to Oregon with his young family after reading an enticing review of an ‘83 Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley. They took a whimsical detour to check out a foreclosed 88-acre pig farm about 20 minutes from their destination and — upon seeing the idyllic hillside, cute little bungalow, and lush pasture at the top of the dirt road — began to wonder: Could a quiet, wholesome farm life growing grapes for the blossoming local wine scene be possible?

With an investment from Michael’s sister Pat and her husband, wine critic Robert Parker Jr., the dream began to take shape. (The name Beaux Frères refers to the French idiom for “brother in law.”)

After three decades at the helm of viticulture and winemaking activities, Michael G. Etzel has relinquished the stewardship role to his middle son, Michael D. Etzel (aka “Mikey”), who lives once more on the property where he grew up and now serves as CEO. With the torch having been passed to a second generation, the vision that his parents received on that fateful day thirty-seven years ago remains the same: to listen to the land and adhere to its rhythms, producing a wine of singular pedigree that is uniquely capable of capturing the uncompromised essence of Mother Nature.

The Beaux Frères property encompasses three contiguous hillsides in the heart of the Ribbon Ridge AVA, one of the most distinguished winegrowing regions in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Defined by a powerful marine-sedimentary soil series known as Willakenzie that is consistent across the ridge, at an elevation of 450 feet at its apex, the three estate vineyards exemplify the elements of terroir that make this region distinct. All three sites benefit from a dense and vibrantly forested perimeter, with nearly one hundred acres of stately Douglas fir trees and Oregon white oaks that support a diverse ecosystem and protect the vines from adverse winds.

The original 88-acre property was previously a foreclosed pig farm that was discovered under serendipitous circumstances. Whilst traveling on a family road trip in the summer of 1986, a young wine salesman named Michael G. Etzel, alongside his wife Jackie and two small children (with a third child in the womb), encountered a classified advertisement in the local newspaper that spelled out the details of the property. Purely out of intrigue and an adventurous spirit, the young couple visited the farm and set their sights on the pasture at the peak of the property. After sharing the vision for the site with his sister Patricia and his brother-in-law (“beau-frère”), the esteemed and highly consequential wine critic, Robert M. Parker, Jr., the two families ventured to purchase the property and transform its pasture into a world-class vineyard site.

At the crest of the property, planting began in 1988 with five acres of vines tightly spaced at a density of about 2,200 plants to the acre. While planting his own vineyard, Michael worked four harvests at Ponzi Winery. In 1990, he harvested his first crop and sold the grapes, except enough to make one barrel, to winemakers Ken Wright and Dick Ponzi. In 1991, renovation of the main barn made way for Beaux Frères winery and the first vintages of The Beaux Frères Vineyard Pinot Noir followed soon after. Nestled in the Willamette Valley’s Ribbon Ridge viticultural area (est. 2005) near Newberg, Oregon, the property remains a perfect fit as a new generation, led by winemaker Mike D. Etzel (Michael’s middle son), takes responsibility for stewarding the land and crafting the wines.

Today, the original vineyard has grown to 26 acres of steep, contiguous southeast, south, and southwest-facing hillside on Willakenzie marine sediment from around 400 ft elevation.  The oldest vines (own-rooted Pommard and Wӓdenswil clones) are now a seasoned 35 years of age, and newer blocks added along the way are even more densely planted Dijon clones on phylloxera-resistant rootstocks. The Upper Terrace Vineyard, planted in 2000 atop the next hillside on Ribbon Ridge, added another 10 acres of Pinot Noir to the winery estate, and a third site situated between the two estate vineyards was planted in 2021 with its first harvest expected in 2023.

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Ca’ del Bosco

Jacob Gragg, Portfolio Fine Wine Specialist

Jacob’s quest for quality, desire to educate, and passion for the finer things in life led him to join the group at Ca’ del Bosco in 2019, and he’s been sharing his love for Franciacorta ever since. His journey in wine, however, began in Georgia many years ago. In 2009, he set the goal of passing the Master Sommelier exam and garnered experience, most notably as the Sommelier at Aria Restaurant in Atlanta and as Sommelier of The Georgian Room at the Cloister in Sea Island.

After the intense restaurant experience, Jacob spent five years as an ambassador for a renowned Italian producer. He earned his Advanced Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers at the age of 24, making him one of the youngest to have achieved this certification. In addition, Jacob is a Certified Specialist of Wine and a Certified Specialist of Spirits. Wine & Spirits magazine named him one of the Best New Sommeliers of 2012. He is also the Founding President of the Southeastern Sommelier Society.

Located in the province of Brescia in the Italy’s Lombardy area, Ca’ del Bosco, founded in 1969, is an icon of Italy’s Franciacorta region. The winery’s state-of-the-art cellar, unique in Franciacorta, allows the winemaking team to produce the best wines possible and of the highest quality. Ca’ del Bosco’s wines have collectively earned 41 “Tre Bicchieri” awards by Italy’s Gambero Rosso, since 1998, the second-highest awarded winery in history by the publication, and are well known as some of the finest sparkling wines in the world.

Ca ’del Bosco stands for listening to Nature, for giving it a chance to express itself in every form with the help of man, who acts as the custodian of an extraordinary legacy – using the land without using it up.  The Ca’ del Bosco Method results in products that find their identity only through an investment in the land that yields them, leading naturally to the adoption of organic viticulture. And so it is Nature that decides. Ca’ del Bosco only helps it along because their wine is already in the vineyards, just like Michelangelo’s David was already in the block of Carrara marble. Nature is power, and wine is its expression: Maurizio Zanella and his family are the custodians of the transition from power to expression.

Ca’ del Bosco stands for innovation, in the sense of finding the best way to turn the forms of Nature (the vineyards) into a form of Culture (wine). To listen to the reality and complexity of Nature, Ca’ del Bosco invests in innovation, research, and technology so that man’s knowledge will exalt the soil’s potential. Washing grapes and eliminating contact with oxygen through new, patented methods is the exact opposite of an intrusion of technology in rural customs: it means eliminating all that which is superfluous or artificial, which interferes with our understanding of the esthetic potential of our lands.

Ca’ del Bosco stands for investing in art, in the integration between concrete matter and spiritual consciousness. An impressive coterie of artists, photographers and writers have collaborated with us on cultural and educational projects, and it is our hope that this will not only continue but expand. We aspire to animate the idea and the passion for detail and the defense of beauty, the story and the narration of the spiritual composition of our wines through alternative communication channels that promote biodiversity and the local environment.

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Domaine de Chevalier

Olivier Bernard, Owner

In 1983, Olivier Bernard, then 23 years old, took the helm of Domaine de Chevalier (Grand Cru Classé) acquired by his family, one of the global leaders in the brandy market. He then began a significant investment program that elevated the estate to a very high level of excellence and worldwide renown. His passion for viticulture and challenging projects led him to take on new vineyards.

In 2011, a new challenge arose with the purchase of Clos des Lunes in the Sauternes region, which he dedicated to the production of a very fine dry white wine, now renowned and sold worldwide. He is the Vice-Chancellor of the Bordeaux Wine Academy, Vice-President of the Wine Academy of France, and former President of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux. He was recently elected new President of the Crus Classés de Graves. In 2022, he completed his fortieth harvest at Domaine de Chevalier! He is a lover of vintage cars, and passionate about traditional sailing boats.

Domaine de Chevalier, Grand Cru Classé of Graves (Pessac-Léognan appellation), is located about fifteen kilometers south of Bordeaux. Known since the early 16th century as ‘Chivaley,’ meaning Knight in Gascon, the estate is surrounded by a vast forest, offering a unique natural setting and benefiting from a precious microclimate and biodiversity. The vineyard, comprising a contiguous stretch, spans 67 hectares today, with 7 hectares dedicated to white wine and 60 hectares to red wines.

In 1983, succeeding the Ricard Family, the estate began a new and decisive chapter with its acquisition by the Bernard family, one of the global leaders in the brandy market and a major trader in fine Bordeaux wines. Under the leadership of Olivier Bernard, Domaine de Chevalier underwent significant evolution. He initiated major transformations, expanding, replanting, and modernizing the property. Buildings were renovated and modernized; others were erected. A large barrel cellar was built, along with several new vat rooms. Everything was rethought and executed in harmony with the functional beauty of the original architecture.

Domaine de Chevalier has resolutely committed to a demanding environmental and ecological approach, adopting practices of organic and biodynamic agriculture. This philosophy, focused on deep respect for the terroir and ecosystem, translates into meticulous attention at every stage of vine cultivation. It results in exceptional fruit quality, the cornerstone of creating a great wine. It is from the intrinsic quality of the grape that the elegance of Domaine de Chevalier’s wines emanates.

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M. Chapoutier

Alex Romec, U.S. Brand Ambassador

Alix Romec joined the M. Chapoutier at the end of 2022 as the US Brand Embassador.  As the the leading producer of wines from the Rhône Valley, M. Chapoutier is recognized for the quality of its cuvées, its pioneering approach to biodynamics, and its parcel selections to reveal the terroirs. Alix is from the South-West of France; he started his wine passion in the vineyard in small appellations like Gaillac, Fronton & Cahors … aways looking for new “pépites.” He is a wine geek, blood type: Marsanne.

Alix brings with him academic experience in Business and Viticulture, with a stint in the US through a Masters of Agribusiness exchange program at the University of Florida. All his experiences abroad, including Australia have broadened his horizons. He is now based in New York, but loves  traveling & discovering the whole country. Always looking to share a glass of wine, Alix is looking forward to meeting new wine enthusiasts.

The story of M. Chapoutier began in 1808, from the creation of ‘Calvet et Compagnie’ in the Rue de l’Hermitage in Tain. in 1897, a change of ownership was bought in a new name. Marius Chapoutier joined forces with Rodolphe Delépine to rename the company ‘Delépine et Chapoutier’, and began exporting wines to Holland, Switzerland and Germany.  Rodolphe Delépine, who had been responsible for the accounts, retired and the company was renamed ‘Chapoutier et Compagnie’.  In 1929, Marius created a new winery at the foot of the Hermitage hill. 8 years later his son Marc succeeded him and took over the business.  Seeking to personalize the business, Marc Chapoutier gave it his name – ‘M. Chapoutier’.

Michel Chapoutier became head of the company and began to apply his belief in biodynamic cultivation. The company grew and wine estates were purchased throughout the world.

Michel Chapoutier is a unique man with a thirst for knowledge, definitely one of a kind. Michel is open-minded and always willing to learn. He seeks to discover and reflect the full potential of his terroirs and let the soils express their true character. That which gives the wines their signature style. This now forms the basis of the M. CHAPOUTIER ethos and their team strives to reveal the very best of what the soils have to offer.

During the 19th century an Austrian scientist, Rudolf Steiner, laid the groundwork for biodynamics. His idea was simple: a plant never lives alone, it belongs to an ecosystem. It finds nutrition in the ground and it grows with the energy provided by light. It sounds simple but it was a revelation at its time. In 1991 Michel Chapoutier made the decisive choice to apply these biodynamical methods to the vine. His choice was questioned by many at that time, but Michel remained confident about one thing: he would reveal the truth of the terroirs. A battle of natural elements that work together. Chemical pesticides and herbicides are banned.

Unique, unconventional, curious about everything, Michel Chapoutier’s mind has never been static. Michel is always on the move, so are his ideas, his tastes and his wishes. “If I stay still, I fall.” Michel is a “wine-lover” and “life-lover”, he is enthusiastic and selfless. Michel’s wine-journey began when he was 26 years old. He became head of M. Chapoutier and was not an inheritor. His choices and his vision were disruptive. He stood up against principles of the past and preconceived ideas. A wine grower? We would rather say a farmer. A man close to the earth, in a thorough quest for revealing terroirs and finding the expression of soils through the Taste of wines.

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Prunotto

Niccolo Maltinti, U.S. Brand Ambassador

Niccolo Maltinti joined Marchesi Antinori in July of 2011. In addition to representing Antinori with the trade, he oversees the strategic planning and sales execution for the family’s wines in the U.S.

Niccolo was born and raised in Florence, where he lived until he graduated from the University of Florence with a degree in Business Economics. While conducting research for his college thesis, “Marketing Strategies in the Wine Business: The Case of Super Tuscans,” Niccolo had the chance to meet a number of inspiring wine personalities, including Marchese Piero Antinori, sparking his interest to further explore the fascinating world of wine.

After graduation, he traveled to New York City and fell in love with the energy, diversity and the infinite opportunities of the city and decided to move there in 2004. Since that time, Niccolo has worked in sales and marketing positions in the wine industry in the areas of importing , distribution, and on the winery side – managing the U.S. market for a luxury Tuscan brand. These roles aptly prepared him for his leadership role with Marchesi Antinori.

Outside of the office, his main interests are cooking , traveling , skiing and playing soccer. He’s very passionate about art and is a member of the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) and PS1 in New York. He lives in Manhattan.

Prunotto is a historic Piedmont producer owned by Marchesi Antinori since 1994. Prunotto’s deep roots in the region complement its modern winemaking expertise, enabling it to retain the traditional characteristics of Piedmont’s iconic wines while improving their accessibility and quality. The Prunotto winery is located equidistant from the iconic zones of Barolo and Barbaresco in Piedmont. Its five privately held vineyards in the Langhe and Monferrato regions give it access to a variety of microclimates and soils.

The winery name comes from Alfredo and Luigina Prunotto. In 1922 they married and decided to take over the “Ai Vini delle Langhe” co-op and gave it their name. Their dedication and passion soon made the winery famous and it began exporting Barolo and Barbaresco all over the globe: first to South America and then to The United States, two markets that had recently opened to foreign trade. Prunotto was one of the few companies that believed in this commercial strategy.

In 1956, Alfredo Prunotto decided to retire and he sold the company to wine technician and friend Beppe Colla who was assisted by Carlo Filiberti and later by his brother Tino Colla. As early as 1961, the owners of Prunotto began to identify specific production areas, well-know vineyards of excellence, and began single vineyard vinification to produce the very best crus such as Barolo Bussia and Barbera d’Alba Pian Romualdo. In 1972, a new winery was designed by architect Ugo della Piana, a native of this northern area of Piedmont. The winery was built near the city of Alba where Prunotto’s main offices are still located today.

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Zena Crown Vineyard

Shane Moore, Winemaker

Born and raised on a third-generation farm in the open plains of Idaho, Shane Moore left Weippe in 2004 to build an academic foundation for his favorite agricultural pursuit, wine. He graduated from Washington State University with a BS in Horticulture and a focus on Enology and Viticulture in 2008. A cellar rat throughout his college years, Shane learned the rhythms of the winery from the seat of a forklift while deepening his natural affinity for the land and the vine. He left the Pacific Northwest, succumbing to his wanderlust, to explore and hone his craft around the world.

For three years, Shane gained valuable experience working in wineries in Canada, in Western Australia, and in Israel’s Golan Heights. Shane met his future wife, Claire, while working harvest in Margaret River in 2010, and the pair soon returned to her native Sonoma County in California. Shane joined the Jackson Family Wines team in 2011 as an enologist specializing in Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, and in 2013 he returned to the Pacific Northwest to assume the role of Winemaker for Zena Crown Vineyard.

Beyond winemaking, Shane is deeply passionate about music and nature. All three pursuits allow him to explore artistic and emotive multi-sensory expression.

Zena Crown Vineyard is located in the Willamette Valley’s Eola-Amity Hills AVA. Since its third leaf, Zena Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir has been an acclaimed single-vineyard designate for top producers throughout the Willamette Valley.

Since the 2013 vintage, Zena Crown Vineyard has crafted site specific Pinot Noirs under its namesake – capturing the vineyard’s changing moods and expressions just as if it were a living, breathing thing. As Winemaker Shane Moore adapts to its rhythms and natural oscillations, he seeks to explore and manifest the singular voice of this special piece of land, in accordance with the remote and rugged beauty of the Eola-Amity Hills.