by Fred McMillin
It's Mother-in-Law's Day!
Wedding in Santa Clara Valley, 1881—Dashing, debonnair, French vintner Pierre Huste Mirassou marries Henrietta Pellier. He is soon making wine from French vines saved by his in-laws, Pierre and Henriette Pellier. So, Henritte Pellier is our Mother-In Law of the Year. Here's how she and her husband saved some of the first cuttings shipped to California from Bordeaux.
The Rest of the Story
Robert Balzer describes the couple's scary, 1856 adventure this way...
The voyage with those precious cuttings seemed doomed. The sailing ship was becalmed. For days, the ship lay motionless on the glassy, flat Atlantic. The sails hung limp from the riggings. Some of the passengers prayed. The Pelliers were denied any further water to keep their withering saplings moist. Suddenly, an inspiration. There were great sacks of potatoes in the hold. They negotiated the purchase of the potatoes with the captain, split the ends, inserted a cutting in each, and saved the whole venture!
Our Toast to Henriette
Tonight's toast MUST be from a grape of French origin. One of modern Mirasson's best is Pinot Blanc...you'll find it's a real mouthful with pleasing French-oak flavors, as well.
1997 Reserve Pinot Blanc, Monterey County
Quick! What winery produces the most Pinot Blanc in the world? Answer...Mirassou.
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