Home Industry News Releases Patron Foundation Announces a Weekend Celebrating Chardonnay in Napa, California from May...

Patron Foundation Announces a Weekend Celebrating Chardonnay in Napa, California from May 20-22nd


Chardonnay Classic Features Master Sommeliers, Iconic Wines, Winemakers and Curated Food & Beverage experiences all in one weekend benefitting SommFoundation

LOS ANGELES (April 22, 2021): Patron Foundation, a newly formed not for profit organization with a mission to support the hospitality industry, announces the inaugural Chardonnay Classic at the premier Meritage Resort and Spa and Vista Collina Resort in Napa, California. The event will take place from Thursday, May 20 through Saturday, May 22nd and will bring together master sommeliers, wine aficionados, industry experts, and word class wineries in a weekend-long event in celebration of the ‘winemakers grape.’

The Chardonnay Classic is a three-day event that is the pinnacle Chardonnay focused activation in the country with a commitment to donate $25,000 to the SommFoundation. Ticket holders will be treated to a weekend that includes 22 tasting experiences, expert lead seminars, gourmet lunches, and luxurious dinners, all for the price of $2,000. Guests can take advantage of early bird pricing to save $300 dollars by registering with code CHARD15 by May 8th. For those interested in making a day in Napa, day passes are also available for each of the 3 days. Rooms can be booked directly on The Meritage Resort & Spa and Vista Collina Resort websites. Rates are from $249.

The tasting seminars at the Chardonnay Classic will provide participants an unparalleled opportunity to explore this beloved varietal including a pinnacle marquee event, Around the World with Chardonnay Tasting. Master Sommeliers Jay Fletcher and Thomas Price will transport participants to renown vineyards sites across the globe as guests taste and learn about some of the worlds iconic Chardonnay that include: 2005 Louis Latour Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru, 2012 Pol Roger Blanc De Blanc Champagne, and 2018 Gaja Rossj-Bass. Another key tasting, the State of the Vintage, will be led by expert renowned winemakers and provide guests one of the first consumer opportunities to taste Northern California barrel samples of the 2020 vintage, alongside the same wines of the 2018 and 2019 vintage. This vintage comparison will feature acclaimed wines from Hartford Court, Martiana, and Joseph Phelps Vineyards. 

While the focus of the weekend is Chardonnay, guests will also have plenty of opportunities to delve into other varietals. The Old World, New World tasting features the classic grapes of France and their new world counterparts and includes a wide range of varieties. Additionally, participants can attend the Behind the Bottle with Master Sommeliers to learn about and taste rare gems from producers such as Château Montrose, Château Leoville Barton, Domaine Méo-Camuzet, Domaine Michel Niellon, Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Luciano Sandrone, and M. Chapoutier. Furthermore, guests will be able to enjoy select red wines at the Grand Tasting.

In partnership with SommFoundation, a portion of proceeds from the Chardonnay Classic will help support and enable scholarships for the country’s next generation of winemakers, Master Sommeliers, and wine experts. Donations will ensure access to career enhancing experiences, continued education, and appreciation of the vast world of wine. Kaiser Permanente is also proud to be the Event Sponsor for this inaugural charitable gathering. “We are thrilled to be part of the inaugural Chardonnay Classic,” said Jay Fletcher, Master Sommelier. “After a challenging year for wine service professionals, it is very rewarding to help develop a new cornerstone event for the Napa community that will not only reunite enthusiasts and professionals alike, but also provide educational opportunities for students globally. From the engaging seminars to the exceptional wines, to the philanthropic spirit, it’s going to be a fantastic weekend.” 

“We are delighted to be hosting this event at Meritage Resort & Spa,” said Joe Leinacker, the Managing Director of the Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa, California. “Our wine country hotel, as well as our industry as a whole has been devastated by this past year. Kicking off a new chapter celebrating one of the grapes that birthed Napa as a premier wine destination is very fitting.”

The entire Chardonnay Classic event will be set at Napa Valley sister properties, Meritage Resort and Spa and Vista Collina Resort, offering guests nine on-site tasting rooms, vineyard experiences, and more. Events will take place across both property’s multitude of outdoor and indoor event spaces including the Food & Wine Center, Wine Cave, Spa Terra, Vista Collina’s expansive lawn, among others. Those participating in the event can enjoy nightly accommodations in the guestroom of their choice, complimentary parking, Wi-Fi and a bottle of Napa Valley wine upon check in when booking directly with the hotel.

All local and state guidelines regarding COVID-19 protocols will be observed. Capacity for the event is limited and social distancing will be enforced. The Meritage Collection’s Hospitality & Health Promise, which details the properties approach to COVID-19 safety, can be found at: meritagecollection.com/our-hospitality-health-promise. Ticket purchasers to the Chardonnay Classic are eligible to receive a full refund up until the day of the event should the event be cancelled for any reason

About The Patron Foundation:

Patron Foundation is an organization focused on hospitality for hospitality – spanning wine, culinary and wellness education – with the goal to foster growth of the people who power our industry. The foundation will do this through experiential activations that directly benefit those within the community – from the base of those in labor intensive roles to emerging leaders within the industry. Patron Foundation partners locally with organizations to support this mission and advance the members of our hospitality community.

About The SommFoundation:

SommFoundation (The Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation) is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, their mission is to assist wine and spirits professionals to achieve the highest level of proficiency and accreditation in the food and beverage industry. They provide enrichment opportunities and scholarships to sommeliers, restaurant professionals, wine journalists, and winemakers to further their knowledge about the world of wine and spirits.

About The Meritage Resort and Spa and Vista Collina Resort:

Offering acres of sun-soaked hillside vineyards and beautiful accommodations paired with luxurious amenities and award-winning cuisine, The Meritage Resort and Spa and Vista Collina Resort celebrate the best of Napa Valley. These sister resorts blend world-class luxury with exceptional hospitality for a resort experience in the heart of California’s wine country. Amenities include indulgent spa treatments in the serenity of an underground Estate Cave, a Food & Wine Village with a locally-sourced artisanal market, nine on-site tasting rooms, a spacious community lawn for picnics and outdoor gatherings and more. Find more information at MeritageResort.com, VistaCollinaResort.com.

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