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Thomas

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Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Thomas » Fri Apr 14, 2006 9:16 pm

Today I toured the coming Culinary and Wine Center in Canandaigua, NY. Impressive.

It is scheduled to open for business in June. I am scheduled to teach a wine class beginning in July.

I'll let you know when their Web site is up and running.
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Ed Draves

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Re: Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Ed Draves » Fri Apr 14, 2006 9:23 pm

Congrats, Thomas.
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Re: Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Niki (Dayton OH) » Fri Apr 14, 2006 10:09 pm

Congratulations, Thomas. Let us know if you'll be teaching any classes in August, when we'll swing through on our way home from NH.
Cheers,

Niki
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Re: Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Bob Ross » Fri Apr 14, 2006 10:20 pm

Congratulations, Thomas. Very well done indeed.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Cynthia Wenslow » Fri Apr 14, 2006 10:23 pm

Thomas, I guess I am a bit behind on this... can you give a little more info? I'm from roughly that area, go home several times a year (just got back to NM from my latest trip home yesterday!), and, in fact, am considering a permanent move back to the area in 2007.

Thanks.
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Re: Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Thomas » Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:03 am

Thanks all.

John, I have a special deal awaiting you for this season.

Cynthia,

The Culinary and Wine Center is established as a joint venture among Wegmans, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Constellation Brands. Others have donated (Viking Kitchen Equipment is a major one) some wine and food distributors have contributed too.

There is a restaurant, a master kitchen and two training kitchens, an exhibit hall, tasting bar, retail shop, conference rooms, and a lecture hall with kitchen facilities--plus video and computer hook-ups for programs and presentations.

Guest chefs and wine producers will be brought in--tv programs are scheduled to be produced too.

My first class runs six weeks--every Thursday evening 7 to 9--beginning July 13.

I hope later to add more classes. We plan to operate staff training programs for servers and winery personnel as well.

The center is dedicated to all wines produced in all regions of New York, and all foods produced in NY too.

The center will have a Grand Opening in mid June. It is located where Route 5 and 20 skirt the northern shore of Canandaigua Lake, right next door to the hotel.
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Wow!

by Cynthia Wenslow » Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:51 am

Thanks for the info, Thomas. It sounds fantastic! What a cool venture for the region. And what a beautiful location. I'll have to be sure to check it out next time I'm home.

May your classes be all you envision!
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Re: Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Randy Buckner » Sat Apr 15, 2006 12:05 pm

Thomas, at your age you have to toot your own horn.... :twisted:

I look forward to more stories of the venture.
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Re: Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Thomas » Sat Apr 15, 2006 12:30 pm

Randy Buckner wrote:Thomas, at your age you have to toot your own horn.... :twisted:


Provided one still has wind...like some people I know, hot as it may be ;)
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Robin Garr

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Re: Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Robin Garr » Sat Apr 15, 2006 1:49 pm

Thomas wrote:I am scheduled to teach a wine class beginning in July.


Congrats, Thomas. That's serious stuff!
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Re: Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Randy Buckner » Sat Apr 15, 2006 1:53 pm

Provided one still has wind...


They don't call me Le Mistral for nothing....
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Thomas

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Re: Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Thomas » Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:38 pm

Randy Buckner wrote:
Provided one still has wind...


They don't call me Le Mistral for nothing....


Oh, I thought that had to do with the sand that blows out your ears...

Hey Randy, I might need a contact in Washington State and Oregon for a potential book deal--to feed information or to lead me to where I can get it. Interested?

Robin,

If they can pull it off, the facility has great potential. They've already lined up a couple of celebrity chefs and winemakers to make presentations, but I am not at liberty to give out names. One of them is not my "cuppa t" as a chef, but I'm not making the decisions.
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Dan Smothergill

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Re: Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Dan Smothergill » Mon Apr 17, 2006 2:06 am

Today I toured the coming Culinary and Wine Center in Canandaigua, NY.


Is this related to the wine activity at Sonnenberg Gardens? We stopped there a few years ago to see the estate and discovered a tasting/retail operation, if I'm not mistaken, devoted to New York State wines. It seemed an odd place for an odd place.
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Re: Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Thomas » Mon Apr 17, 2006 8:40 am

Dan,

It is not the same place. The Culinary and Wine Center is being built expressly as a place for learning and conferencing and it is non-profit.

The place you are referring to in Sonnenberg Gardens is owned by Constellation Brands (formerly the Canandaigua Wine Company). Considering that Canandaigua Wine Company began in Canandaigua and its headquarters used to be near the Sonnenberg Gardens, it is not at all an unusual spot for the tasting facility.
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Re: Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Dan Smothergill » Mon Apr 17, 2006 11:08 am

Thomas,

I didn't think it was the same place but that the connection might be more than coincidence. Perhaps, the Sonnenberg shop was a step in this direction. The similarities seem so obvious. Both are in Canandaigua, both will feature NY State wines, and both will have retail shops. And Constellation has a hand in both. I guess it's just hard for me to imagine that the facility at Sonnenberg will continue once this get rolling.

Dan
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Re: Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Thomas » Mon Apr 17, 2006 11:42 am

Dan,

Perhaps the facility at Sonnenberg will be shut down later, but I have no information about that. I assume it is for-profit, while I know the new one is not.

From an overall perspective, the new facility has a far more reaching scope.
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Steve Guattery

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Re: Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Steve Guattery » Mon Apr 17, 2006 7:16 pm

Thomas wrote:Today I toured the coming Culinary and Wine Center in Canandaigua, NY. Impressive.

It is scheduled to open for business in June. I am scheduled to teach a wine class beginning in July.

I'll let you know when their Web site is up and running.


Thomas, you've mentioned that the grand opening will be in mid-June. Do you know if they'll have any events that will be open to the public, or is it all invitation-only? (I'm likely to be up that way for NiagaraCOOL, and will be staying less than a mile from the Center; if there are public events, I might stick around for the opening.)

By the way, they've had a website up for a while, though there's not a lot there yet.

As for the wine center at Sonnenberg, is it really owned by Constellation? I thought it was part of Sonnenberg, which was acquired by the state a few years back. I couldn't find anything specific on the web indicating who owns the center, though the Sonnenberg website (accessible through both http://www.sonnenberg.org and http://www.fingerlakeswinecenter.com) indicates that one can be a volunteer worker in the wine center, which suggests it's not completely commercial.
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Re: Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Dan Smothergill » Mon Apr 17, 2006 9:01 pm

As for the wine center at Sonnenberg, is it really owned by Constellation? I thought it was part of Sonnenberg, which was acquired by the state a few years back.

If I can butt in... the curious thing is that Sonnenberg, which traditionally had little connection with wine, now has a shop dedicated to NY wines. True, some wineries do offer a variety of NY State wines, but is there anything else quite like this? Add in the fact that not long ago Constellation Brands was Canandaigua Brands and it makes you wonder what is going on.
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Re: Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Steve Guattery » Mon Apr 17, 2006 10:51 pm

Dan Smothergill wrote:
As for the wine center at Sonnenberg, is it really owned by Constellation? I thought it was part of Sonnenberg, which was acquired by the state a few years back.

If I can butt in... the curious thing is that Sonnenberg, which traditionally had little connection with wine, now has a shop dedicated to NY wines. True, some wineries do offer a variety of NY State wines, but is there anything else quite like this? Add in the fact that not long ago Constellation Brands was Canandaigua Brands and it makes you wonder what is going on.


I don't know who came up with the idea of the Sonnenberg wine center, but I've always understood that it was mainly to promote Finger Lakes wines and foods. It seems pretty unlikely that Constellation, whose main focus has been outside of New York State for a while, would be interested in such a small operation with a bunch of participating wineries that are not owned by Constellation. There's not much in it for them other than local good will.

I'm not sure I understand what you are saying about Constellation's name change. It was made to indicate the diversification of the company (they are also a huge beer and spirits importer and distributor); at least that's the company line. But (from the perspective of someone who grew up in Canandaigua) I suspect that the name "Canandaigua" was a stumbling block in terms of name recognition. It ain't the easiest name in the world to spell or remember. For a while the wine division was Canandaigua, then they split the wine business into a couple of separate divisions, and now, at least according to their web site, they've renamed the Canandaigua division Centerra. Easier to remember, and without any regional associations.
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Re: Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Dan Smothergill » Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:06 am

I've made far too much of this already. Congratulations Tom!
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Re: Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Thomas » Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:52 am

Steve,

I don't know much more about the Grand Opening, but when I do I'll post it. I believe there will be an opening for the press and perhaps another for the public.

You will be flabbergasted by the place--truly quite an achievement.

Dan,

You do seem to be on a conspiracy course ;).
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Re: Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Dan Smothergill » Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:15 am

I did try to end this,

I've made far too much of this already


but

You do seem to be on a conspiracy course


so,

Conspiracy is pretty strong. This seems like just regualr garden variety wheeling and dealing. On the other hand, W. did give a speech in Canandaigua recently. Hmmm.
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Ed Draves

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Re: Toot, toot--my own horn...

by Ed Draves » Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:34 am

Thomas,
Is your class on, FL wines, NY wines or on wines in general?
Ed
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