Featured Participants

Capital Club 16 and Spire Boutique Collection


Capensis celebrates the character of the extreme vineyard sites of South Africa’s Western Cape through the noble white variety, Chardonnay.  South Africa’s Western Cape can be called both the oldest wine region of the New World and the newest wine region of the Old World. Capensis skillfully combines these two facets — the oldest and the newest — of Western Cape winemaking. It embodies the unparalleled quality that comes from old, gnarled vines planted in some of the oldest soils in the world, and it represents the young energy of a new generation of winemakers determined to make world-class wines with state-of-the-art techniques.

Capensis, meaning “from the Cape,” is a leader in bringing South Africa to the forefront as a world-class Chardonnay producer. The commitment to Chardonnay comes from the belief that the truly great vineyard sites around the world are revealed by only a few noble grape varieties.




The Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard covers a steep cut of country from the ridgetops above the village of Clarendon to the Onkaparinga River in the gorge below. Since its establishment in 1971, the Hickinbotham vineyard has become a part of Australia’s wine heritage, supplying fruit to produce many of Australia’s greatest wines.

The Hickinbothams were very highly regarded for the sublime quality of the fruit they grew at Clarendon, selling select parcels to Penfolds for Grange and to Hardy's for their equivalent white flagship, the Eileen Hardy Chardonnay. By 2000, Alan’s son David Hickinbotham had established a partnership with winemaker Roman Bratasiuk, who with great success launched his Clarendon Hills Hickinbotham Vineyard. After Alan’s passing in 2010, David took over the stewardship of the property, in January 2012 sold Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard to the Jackson Family in January 2012. 

Since then, Chris Carpenter, the winemaker for some of Napa Valley’s most prestigious wineries, including Cardinale, Lokoya, La Jota and Mt. Brave, is now in charge of vinifying the wines for Hickingbotham. He is highly regarded for his mastery of Cabernet Sauvignon grown on the mountain vineyards throughout the Napa Valley.  Since 2012 he has travelled to Australia numerous times per year to oversee the winemaking for the Bordeaux varieties at Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard.


Maggy Hawk

Adversity often brings greatness to Pinot Noir, the most difficult of grapes to master. Greatness also arises in champion racehorses, something Proprietor Barbara Banke recognized and celebrates in the gifted Maggy Hawk, a winning thoroughbred honored with this Pinot Noir effort from the deep end of Mendocino’s Anderson Valley, mere moments from the Pacific Ocean.

Each wine in the series is named for a horse born to Maggy Hawk: Jolie, Afleet, Stormin’ and Unforgettable, and to her sire, Hawkster. The unique expression borne of training, bloodlines, site and alchemy applies equally to wine and horses – Pinot Noir and thoroughbreds in particular.



Gran Moraine

Gran Moraine takes its name from cataclysmic floods that occurred in the northern Willamette Valley of Oregon during the last ice age. As the glaciers receded they released a torrent of water from the once giant Lake Missoula. These famous Missoula Floods traveled across the Columbia basin helping to carve out the Columbia Gorge.
The Willamette Valley became an extremely large temporary lake and was left with huge deposits of silt as well as giant boulders with origins in current British Columbia and Idaho. These are known by geologists as erratic rocks. These erratic rock outcroppings boldly manifest themselves throughout our vineyard. They were once part of the giant glacial dam’s moraine – what we refer to as the "Gran Moraine."




John Blazon, MS

The esteemed John Blazon, Master Sommelier will be representing the Spire Collection at the TWE this year.  John is the Vice President of Sales for the Spire Collection, which is part of Jackson Family Wines. 

He is the former wine director for Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL. During his tenure, John was responsible for the development of wine concepts and standards, including product selection, service and training for 55 restaurants, 20 lounges, 18 resorts, 3 theme parks which also included Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival.

In 2003, Blazon’s efforts were applauded by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), which awarded its “America’s Best Wine Lists Special Innovation” honor to Walt Disney World Resort at the Monterey Wine Festival. In addition, Santé magazine named Blazon its 2003 “Wine Professional of the Year. In 2006, Blazon was recognized by The STARWINE International Wine Competition as their “Sommelier of the Year.” In 2008 and 2013, John was elected to serve on the board for the Court of Master Sommeliers and was appointed as an inaugural board member to the American Guild of Sommeliers.


Capital Club 16

http://www.learningtogether.org/sites/default/files/capital%20club%2016.jpgAs part of the electricity of downtown Raleigh, in the historic Capital Club Building, Capital Club 16 is attributed to paying homage to the old and new of the capital city. Capital Club 16 is a traditional American restaurant with European influences. They offer straight forward, scratch made meals inspired by classic dishes and time tested family recipes. The menu includes seasonal and locally grown ingredients plus specialty artisanal items such as Schaller and Weber Gold Medal Sausages and Meats, a 6th generation NYC Germantown butcher, NC seafood and regionally raised meats.  The cocktails are our takes on the classics as well as house made specialties. They offer local craft and imported European beers and specialty wines from boutique vineyards.

http://www.indyweek.com/imager/chef-jake-wolf-of-capital-club-16/b/original/1610419/6f19/100805_cap_club_16_101.jpgThe restaurant is locally owned and operated by husband and wife duo, Jake and Shannon Wolf. Jake is from a family of cooks. His early experience includes working in the family restaurant Lobos (Wolf’s in Spanish) in Connecticut and the Pinehurst Member’s Club in North Carolina. Jake attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and then has worked in restaurants in Atlanta, Telluride, Germany, Boston and, most recently, New York City. Shannon has worked in television for the last 15years, producing and writing shows for networks including Oxygen, Discovery, VH1 and CBS. She’s excited to be part of making Capital Club 16 a place for others to enjoy delicious meals and a fun place to hang out.



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