published Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Wine tasting, dinner with Ringgold's Napa winemaker

Date Night Sauvignon Blanc from Phifer Pavitt Wines.
Date Night Sauvignon Blanc from Phifer Pavitt Wines.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
  • photo
    Suzanne Phifer-Pavitt is co-owner with husband, Shane Pavitt, of the Phifer Pavitt Wines in California’s Napa Valley.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Reservations are being accepted for a wine tasting featuring the latest releases by Napa winemaker Suzanne Phifer-Pavitt, a Ringgold, Ga., native.

The tasting will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 30, at River Gallery in the Bluff View Art District, 411 E. Second St.

During the free program, "Defining Roots Through Art and Wine," Phifer-Pavitt will answer questions about her wines, the grape selections and the wine-making process. The tasting will feature the Phifer Pavitt winery's Date Night 2011 Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon varietals.

A vertical tasting of previous vintages will be served at an exclusive vintner's dinner with Phifer-Pavitt at Back Inn Café later that evening. Limited seating is available; tickets for the vintner's dinner can be purchased for $70 by calling 423-265-5033, Ext. 1.

According to event organizers, Phifer-Pavitt was raised on her family's farm in North Georgia. She received her MBA from the University of Southern California and began a successful career in sales. Then, the self-declared country girl met city boy Shane Pavitt, and the two fell in love. After living his whole life in the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, he wanted to raise a family in the serenity of the country. Over their weekly date nights as a young couple, they planned a way to make it happen.

The dream began with a purchase of land in California's northern Napa County. They built a home on a ridge overlooking what today is their working winery.

The winery building is a testament to their commitment to sustainability. They spent several years restoring and retrofitting an abandoned barn, creating chandeliers with barbed wire from the property, using Wyoming snow fencing on the walls and even insulating the building with recycled blue jeans.

Today, Phifer Pavitt Date Night wines are touted as some of the best in the world and have received numerous accolades from Wine Spectator and other notable industry publications as well as wine critics. The smaller size of the Date Night winery means that their Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc are produced in very limited quantities though demand is growing.

"As a boutique winery, it's our goal to produce the very best wine," Phifer-Pavitt says in a news release. "With every new vintage and each decision we make, the focus is clear: Let's give this wine the best chance to be the best wine it can be."

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