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11th year for Appellation St. Helena’s Wine Tasting & Food Pairing Competition

St. Helena, Napa Valley, March 2022 – Appellation St. Helena (ASH) invites guests to its 11th annual BASH on Saturday, April 2 from 6:00 to 8:30 pm. at The Culinary Institute of America Greystone (2555 Saint Helena Highway, St. Helena). BASH is an annual wine and food pairing competition where the wines from 19 ASH member wineries will be paired with savory bites prepared by teams of ‘rising star’ students at the CIA and professional chefs. Tickets are $175/person and must be purchased in advance here.

Attendees will enjoy tasting each wine with specially created food bites and vote (with tokens) for those pairings they liked the best. The top three teams will be awarded “People’s Choice Best Pairing.”  Participating wineries are Anomaly Vineyards, Calafia Wines, Charles Krug Winery, Chase Cellars, Ehlers Estate, Hall Wines, Mending Wall Winery, Monticello/Corley Family, Pellet Estate, Raymond Vineyard, Rombauer Vineyards, Saint Helena Winery, Salvestrin Winery, Spottswoode Winery, Taplin, The Crane Assembly, Unwritten Wines, Varozza Vineyards and Young Inglewood Vineyards.

“Each year BASH is a sell-out event. It’s a ton of fun and many attendees promise to come back the following year,” explained ASH Board President Katie Simpson.

The event also includes the ASH Wine Raffle. When guests purchase an event ticket they are entered to win a six-pack case of wine from participating ASH wineries at the event. At the end of the evening there will be a drawing to choose three raffle winners.

ASH is partnering with The Culinary Institute of America and the St. Helena Chamber of Commerce. Sunshine Foods, Le Creuset and Salute Santé are also partners for the event.

Proceeds from the evening go to Appellation St. Helena and the scholarship fund of the Culinary Institute of America.

Attendance is limited to 300 people and all guests must be 21 or older. This event will comply with local mandates re Covid 19 safety.

St. Helena has the distinction of being the birthplace of Napa Valley’s commercial wine industry with Dr. Crane’s cellar founded in 1859, David Fulton’s in 1860 and Charles Krug’s in 1861. The St. Helena American Viticultural Area, or appellation, was officially approved in 1995 and in 2004, the vintners who had worked together to get the AVA approved established a group to promote the growing region, today called Appellation St. Helena. The group focuses on promoting the quality of grapes grown and wines produced in the St. Helena AVA.

Appellation St. Helena is comprised of roughly 12,000 acres, of which approximately 6,800 are planted to grapes, more than any other AVA in the Napa Valley. More than 400 different vineyards are located within the appellation and the Association has 64 members.

The boundaries form an hourglass shape, and the middle section represents the narrowest width in the Napa Valley, where the Mayacamas and Vaca Mountain ranges nearly meet. The AVA is a mosaic of alluvial fans and 21 different soil types. The soils here are created from centuries of erosion of run-off from mountain hillsides and the Napa River and its ancient tributaries. 

Grape growing in the St. Helena appellation dates back to the Mexican land grants in the 1840s when General Vallejo gave Edward Bale a wedding gift of property. Bale and his bride promptly planted vineyard on their property. By 1880, over 100 people were making wine in St. Helena. While many types of grapes excel in St. Helena, the most frequently cultivated are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Board members are Katie Simpson, Lesley Keffer Russell, Seth Goldfarb, Claire Hobday, Myriah Mutrux, Jack Pagendarm, Eric Risch, George Watson, Paige Cole, Torey Battuello, Julia Jinks, Sylvia Taplin and Dave Yewell.