MICHELIN-STARRED CHEFS MEET INNOVATIVE WINEMAKER
by Andrew Chalk
Sonoma County saw record setting 109+ degree temperatures this last September, which created a unique set of challenges for winemaking teams across the region. The heatwave came late in the growing season but prior to harvest, which resulted in many of the almost perfectly ripe grapes overripening and eventually turning into raisins.
Once Founder and Winemaker of Aperture Cellars Jesse Katz took inventory of the extra raisined fruit, he offered to partner with Healdsburg restaurateurs like Chef Dustin Valette, owner of Valette and The Matheson, and Chef Kyle Connaughton, owner of Single Thread, to incorporate the fruit into their menus through sauces, garnishes, “Sparkling Cabernet Juice,” and more. By partnering with local Healdsburg chefs, Aperture Cellars is able to reduce waste while creating delicious and unique culinary experiences by repurposing the winery’s excess raisined fruit into unexpected dishes.
Some exciting uses of the fruit include using it to braise Venison, as a tart glacage for ice cream, as well as using it in Valette and The Matheson’s house made mustard! This partnership is a prime example of how there is so much room for innovation, sustainability, and community in the wine industry.