Tapas and a toast with Schweiger Vineyards winemaker | VailDaily.com

Tapas and a toast with Schweiger Vineyards winemaker

Special to the DailyAward-winning winemaker Andy Schweiger of Schweiger Vineyards in St. Helena, Calif. visits Vail on Thursday.

Make time for turns and an “Afternoon Quickie.”

That’s right, the popular “Afternoon Quickie Series” is back, with another opportunity to meet and learn with like-minded wine and food enthusiasts at Leonora restaurant in Vail. Award-winning winemaker Andy Schweiger of Schweiger Vineyards in St. Helena, Calif., will share several small-batch varietals and his extensive knowledge on sustainable grape cultivation and winemaking during an event from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday.

The Schweiger family planted the first grapevines in 1981 and picked their first grapes in 1984. For the first 10 years, the Schweiger family sold their fruit to Cafaro Cellars, ZD, Newton and Stags Leap Winery. In 1994, Schweiger Vineyards became a bonded winery and the family began bottling wine under their own label, though they continued to sell most of their grapes to contracted wineries. Andy Schweiger, who was working full time down the street at Cain, began working a second job as the winemaker at Schweiger. He came to work full time in 1999 and production gradually increased.

Today Schweiger Vineyards includes 25 acres of Cabernet, four acres of Chardonnay, two acres of Merlot and micro blocks of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petite Sirah, Schweiger also produces a Sauvignon Blanc with fruit sourced from Sonoma County.

Leonora chef Sergio Howland will pair tapas selections with Schweiger’s craft wines. You’ll taste why Schweiger Vineyards is a regular favorite of Wine Enthusiast Magazine, routinely ranking in the high 90s on its point scale.

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The Afternoon Quickie at Leonora is limited to 30 people and is $45 per guest. It will take place today from 3-5 p.m. Reserve a spot by calling 970-331-0646 or emailing concierge@The SebastianVail.com with the subject line “Afternoon with Andy Schweiger.”

Leonora serves tapas, wine and alpine-inspired bistro fare. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Leonora is located in the heart of Vail Village at 16 Vail Road.

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