Chouinard Vineyard & Winery, Big Supporter of a Local Community
By Eileen Rogers
Pssst! I’ll let you in on a little secret I’ve kept for over a decade now… Did you know that Castro Valley boasts a quaint little family-owned winery who has been crafting award winning wines since 1983? Yep, they are called Chouinard Vineyard & Winery, nestled in Palomares Canyon between Castro Valley and the Livermore wine country on the historic Cook Ranch. Situated 45 minutes east of San Francisco, Castro Valley is a quiet valley surrounded by tree covered rolling hills and has many offerings: top-notched schools, a relaxed and tight-knit community, its close proximity to San Francisco, as well as it being a great place for outdoor enthusiasts!
Owners George and Caroline Chouinard, along with their sons Damian and Rick, once again welcomed Vannoy Elementary Parent Club as it celebrated its 10th annual fundraiser event on Friday, October 11, 2013. This event was a milestone for both Chouinard and Vannoy as it marked a decade of a strong and profit-yielding partnership. The evening festivities included great wine, food, raffle prizes, a silent auction, music and dancing, sans the kids. The vineyard provides a perfect backdrop for such events as it offers a picturesque setting amidst its lush shade of hundred year old oak trees. Chouinard produces a variety of wines from reds, whites and roses, dessert and ice wines, fruit wines, sparkling and ports. The tasting room offers a very welcoming, relaxed, and casual atmosphere, reminiscent of grandma’s house. Its furnishings include an antique credenza showcasing all their awards.
The entrance fee for this event is $40 per carload. Parents have packed their mini vans to full capacity and carpool up to Chouinard along with a picnic dinner, ready to dance the night away. The wine pairing for the evening varies from table to table as each table’s food spread varies from your simple salads and sandwiches, to fried chicken and lasagna, to a totally vegetarian feast. At our table, we feasted on a selection of cheeses with French baguette, homemade hummus with caramelized onions and roasted pine nuts, pork barbeque and Asian summer noodles. We had a couple of bottles of their Viognier 2010 which had a crisp finish, and its aromatic flavor of tropical fruits was just the perfect pairing for the food we had. For dessert, we had planned on bidding on the Dessert Auction which featured baked goods donated by our fabulous parents who painstakingly baked desserts that are both mouthwatering and delicious, but the bidding got pretty intense and we ended up with no dessert at all, which was too bad as I really wanted to pair my dessert with their Granny Smith Apple Wine, a recipient of two Gold Awards. That is my favorite among all their wines and I was also excited to try their Orange Muscat, but they had sold out.
The evening fog didn’t keep any of us out of the dance floor and our wine glasses certainly kept overflowing with great wine! After all, this was a fundraiser for our children’s school and Vannoy parents rock in that area!
Visit their winery and experience the warm familial charm of Chouinard Vineyard & Winery
33853 Palomares Rd Castro Valley, CA 94552