Avon restaurant celebrates pinot noir this week with pair of events

Master Somelier Damon Ornowski.
Katie Anderson photo. |

AVON — Vin48 in Avon celebrates pinot noir this week with two wine events.

First up, taking place tonight, Vail Valley local and Master Sommelier Damon Ornowski will pour four of his favorite pinot noirs from France, Oregon and California as part of vin48’s Summer Tasting Series. The tasting will highlight the regional characteristics and styles of pinot noir grown throughout the world. As one of only 13 master sommeliers in Colorado, Damon brings an undeniable passion and wit to the world of wine. Ornowski has more than 20 years of experience as a sommelier. He began his career in wine at Pinons Restaurant is Aspen, where he worked as the sommelier. In 1997, Ornowski became the 28th master sommelier in the United States. Since becoming a master sommelier, he studied vineyard management at Napa Valley and has lent his expertise to a number of well-known wineries.

The event is part of vin48’s summer tasting series, which takes place every Wednesday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on vin48’s patio. Vin48 serves wines from visiting winemakers, importers, breweries and industry insiders and pairs them with Hayes’ cuisine. All of the wines served are available for purchase at discounted prices from Beaver Liquors in Avon.

Thursday winemaker dinner

Winery owner Dan Kosta, of Kosta Browne, will showcase his highly sought after wines during a four-course winemaker dinner. The dinner will be held in the restaurants wine room and be limited to 20 guests to ensure an intimate evening.

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Kosta Browne began as a dream shared by Kosta and Michael Browne. In the summer of 1997, while working at John Ash & Co. restaurant in Santa Rosa, California, the two men decided to venture into winemaking. They saved tip money for about eight months and eventually had enough to buy a half ton of pinot noir, a used barrel and an old hand-crank stemmer-crusher, a purchase that marks the beginning of Kosta Browne. Since that vintage, they have nurtured relationships with the best growers and honed their winemaking skills, making sure to focus on the vision and values with which they began.

Kosta is a native of Sonoma County where wine became an integral part of his life at the age of 5, learning about the enjoyment of wine from his father. At home, wine was served at nearly every dinner and discussion of wine always accompanied the pour. At his dad’s wine shop in Santa Rosa, Kosta learned about labels, varietals and style. Later, he followed his passion for food and worked for more than 15 years in fine dining, with the majority of his experience gained at John Ash & Co. in Santa Rosa, California. He worked every position imaginable at the restaurant, finally landing as the operations manager and wine director.

Kosta has consulted for restaurants in the Sonoma County area and sits on the board of directors for the Sonoma County Vintners Association, and along with his wife, Allison, the Make-A-Wish foundation. He continues to participate in numerous judgings such as the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, West Coast Wine Competition, Grand Harvest Awards and the San Francisco International Wine Competition.

Visit or call 970-748-9463 to learn more.

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