A couple weeks ago, when the world’s most powerful heads of state were meeting at Soldier Field in Chicago as part of the NATO G8 Summit, Santa Barbara also had a seat at the table. Well, make that on the table, as Vogelzang Vineyard’s 2009 Sauvignon Blanc — grown in Happy Canyon on 108 acres of the eastern Santa Ynez Valley — was poured during the working dinner on May 20, enjoyed by President Barack Obama as well as visiting dignitaries from Russia, Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Great Britain.
Mary Beth Vogelzang, who is the president of Vogelzang Vineyards, said she was “proud and privileged” to be part of the event and answered a few of my questions last week via email.
How did the President and company get his hands on your wine?
I wish we could tell you that he requested it, but he has more important things to do. Our wine was selected by the sommelier at Michael Jordan’s Steak House in Chicago where the dinner was originally scheduled. It was moved to Soldier Field due to security concerns and the hassle it created for other businesses in the area. Our rep in Chicago tasted the somm with our wine against others, and it was selected.
How did you decide to send that particular vintage?
The 2009 Vogelzang Vineyard Reserve Sauvignon Blanc was the only wine presented from our vineyard. Our 2010 has yet to be released. We do not release our vintages early.
What’s it feel like to have the leaders of the world sipping on your Happy Canyon juice while making big decisions?
We are obviously very pleased to be a small part of such a big event. However, we are quite aware that these leaders drink great wine on a regular basis, so we are happy but don’t expect an endorsement anytime soon.
Did you get any feedback?
The dinner was closed to the press so no feedback yet — although dinner at the White House would fit right in. …
Learn more about Vogelzang Vineyards by visiting vogelzangvineyard.com.