Report from Fortune Women’s Conference

September 22, 2009

I recently returned from pouring at Fortune magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women Conference. It was, of course, an honor to be asked to pour our wine for these very accomplished women.  As you can imagine, my day started with lots of excitement to see and meet such a prestigious crowd. That part was great!  But then came the trepidation. That’s me on the left with Susan Ungaro, executive director of The James Beard Foundation.

I have never seen such HUGE cameras and lights and so many waves of reporters! After about 10 minutes of that, I was severely intimidated. Not so intimidated that I didn’t consider asking Warren Buffet for some support, but you get my point. Anyway, after some adjustment on my part, dinner began and the night got off to a great start.

I was pouring our 2006 Syrah, and it was being paired with a marvelous barbecued beef prepared by Jar Restaurant. At first, most folks were interested to see the new, unheard-of label, and were curious to try. But as the night went on, the curiosity turned to a buzz and finally to a roar of applause for Cowhorn.

Instead of returning to me asking for another glass, women were asking for an entire bottle or two for their table! Once the wine was gone, I was invited to sit with a table of execs from IBM. Their appreciation of the wine was sincere, but more importantly, their jokes were RIOTIOUS!  It has been some time since I sat with a table of business people and laughed liked that. It was a wonderful hour of laughs, crème caramel and Cowhorn Syrah.

– Barbara Steele

Fortune pairs Cowhorn 2006 Syrah

September 14, 2009

The Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit features the most prominent women leaders in business, philanthropy, government, education, and the arts. The premiere gathering of its kind, the Summit is by invitation only and features a unique format: no speeches, all lively panel discussions, on-stage interviews, and interactive breakout sessions.

Their theme for 2009 is Betting on the Future. Speakers ranging from Arianna Huffington to Condeleeza Rice will share ideas about the key challenges—technological, geopolitical, and social—that are reshaping our organizations and our world. The program is built around five pillars: Leadership, Innovation, Finance and the Economy, Global Connections, and The Common Good.

On September 15, the Summit is hosting a special dinner in partnership with the James Beard Foundation featuring six female chefs. Each chef will be paired with a biodynamic winery with a woman owner or prinicipal. We are thrilled that Cowhorn’s 2006 Syrah will be paired with a course prepared by Jar’s Chef Suzanne Tracht and share the table with so many other great wines.

Here’s the menu…

Alexandra Guarnaschelli, Butter Restaurant
Grilled, Marinated Shrimp with Heirloom Tomatoes, Herb Pesto, and Crisp Basmati Rice
Cooper Mountain Vineyards, 2007 Pinot Gris Reserve, Willamette Valley

Anne Burrell, Food Network
Grilled Corn and Roasted Cherry Tomato Farrotto
Montinore Estate, 2007 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

Holly Smith, Cafe Juanita
Pork Cicoli Fritto with Fried Organic Egg, Frisée, Green Beans, and Fried Pickled Nectarine
Maysara Winery, 2008 Roseena Oregon Rosa, Yamhill Valley

Cindy Pawlcyn, Go Fish
Pan Roasted Alaskan Halibut, Sweet and Crispy Garlic Chips
Robert Sinsky Vineyards, 2008 Abraxas, Sonoma Scintilla Vineyard, Vin de Terroir

Suzanne Tracht, Jar Restaurant
Grilled Rib–Eye with Creamy Horseradish and Long-Cooked Green Beans
Cowhorn Vineyard, 2006 Syrah, Applegate Valley

Emily Luchetti, Waterbar Restaurant
Raspberry Brown Butter Crepes with Vanilla Ice Cream
Ceago Vinegarden, 2007 Late Harvest Semillion, Lake County
Petit  Warm Bittersweet Chocolate Gooey Cakes
Ceago Vinegarden, 2005 Soul of Syrah Dessert Wine, Lake County

Report from James Beard House

September 7, 2009

Yup – it was fun to go to New York City to pour wine at the Beard House on August 27th! Nothing could have prepared me for the charm of the building. The James Beard House is, or actually was, James Beard’s house. Each floor of the old brownstone in the West Village has been converted into a dining room. The rooms comfortably accommodate several tables of four and six, and the walls are lined with memorabilia. The windows look out onto the wisteria-lined courtyard. Charming!

Members come to the house to experience the cuisine of fabulous restaurants from around the country. No doubt – Oregon shined brightly! Chef John Newman and his crew from Newman’s at 988 in Cannon Beach, plus Jeff Trenary, the farmer from Kingfisher Farm, who grew the spectacular produce, served a feast that was at once enticing and enchanting, but also satisfying and enriching. It was an honor to pour Cowhorn’s 2006 Syrah and 2008 Spiral 36 with the food which had been so beautifully grown, prepared and presented. When I have food like that (food that is alive and that dances in your mouth), I feel so happy!

– Barbara Steele