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by Fred McMillin
for November 27, 2000

 

Thank You, Mitsuko


Prologue

Mitsuko's Vineyard Chardonnay by the glass is being poured at all Ritz Carlton Hotels in the U.S.A.

...Letter from Clos Pegase Proprietor Jan Shrem


The Rest of the Story

Who is Mitsuko? Let's go back to 1955.

  • President Eisenhower suffers a heart attack.
  • Gilbert and Charles Swanson have introduced the frozen "TV Dinner" (98 cents).
  • The first McDonald's and the first Colonel Sanders' Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets appear.
  • Jan Shrem interrupts his master's degree studies (U.C.L.A.) to visit Japan.

    Mitsuko Shrem

    Mitsuko Shrem.

     
    Mitsuko's Vineyard

    Mitsuko's Vineyard.

    In Japan, Jan meets Mitsuko, and she introduces him to wine. They elope to Switzerland. His successful publishing businesses in Japan, Italy and Paris give way to Bacchus, and Jan is studying wine science at the University of Bordeaux.

    From there, the couple is off to the Napa Valley. By 1987 they open their Clos Pegase Winery with its 50 acres of Napa vineyards. Two years later they purchase 365 acres in cool Carneros, and start planting "Mitsuko's Vineyard," including 70 acres of Chardonnay. (photo)

    It didn't take long for the critics to tell Mitsuko and Jan they had something special.

      1994 Vintage—Lemony flair with ripe pear; toasty oak shows on an elegant finish. Rating = 90.

      ...Author James Laube

      1995 Vintage—"Outstanding." Rating = 90.

      ...by The Insiders' Wine Line)

      1996 Vintage—"One of California's top twelve Charonnays.

      ...Quarterly Review of Wines

    So, Mitsuko's Vineyard Clos Pegase Chardonnay is our Wine of the Day. You should be able to find the '98 at under $20. If there's a problem, phone the winery at (707) 942-4981, FAX (707) 942-4993.


    Postscript

    Mitsuko also contributes a deft culinary touch to the winery. A winery newsletter recipe we saved is Mitsuko's Grilled Marinated Quail with Herb Sauce. Don't leave for the grocery store without it.

     

    About the Writer

    Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.

     
     


     
     

    This page created November 2000

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