State of Mind Wines
State of Mind Wines is a new winery project from award winning Sommelier and Vintner Michael Kennedy (Forbes 30 Under 30 for his work in the wine industry).
State of Mind is a traveling winemaking company that journeys the country in search of the finest vineyards, most established and exciting winemakers and creates a partnership with them to collaborate on incredible wines of Place.
In Oregon, they produce stunningly balanced Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the LS Vineyard in Eola-Amity Hills. This is quickly becoming a site that stands on its own in quality and prestige among the best of the best in Oregon.
In Napa, they have accessed two of the most storied vineyards in the valley from Oakville and Atlas Peak, to be the base of our Cabernet Blend, capturing the essence of Napa Valley.
In Washington, they have found an incredible vineyard partner in Columbia Valley that has been producing from the same Riesling site for over 30 years in the valley, from old vines.
Their wines show elegance, finesse, balance and place, with a common thread of excellence in farming.
In the coming years, they will be introducing wines of excellence from Texas, Virginia, Missouri and New York, all states that have a storied history in our shared American winemaking past.
State of Mind is a journey through this countryís best vineyards & most exciting wines.
Michael Kennedy is an award-winning sommelier and vintner. He got his start in the wine industry at an early age, working for our Missouri estate winery when he was just 21, then moved on to become the sommelier for Ritz-Carlton Hotels in Washington DC, before moving on to the Cayman Islands to assume the role of Head Sommelier, along with directing the wine program for celebrity chef Eric Ripert. In 2016, Michael and his wife Rachel, yearning to get back into the winemaking side of the business, moved back to the US to start their winery in Napa Valley, Component Wine Company, a boutique negociant, producing 100% varietal wines. Since founding the winery, he has been named Forbes 30 Under 30 and his winery has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, Business Insider, Food & Wine Magazine and Barronís. In addition to this new project, A State of Mind Wines, he has a project with Chateau Lynch Bagesís winemaker, to produce single varietal Bordeaux wines.
As Thomas Jefferson once said, ìNo occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth.î It seems only fitting that our founding father and fellow Virginian could sum up so eloquently the essence of the RdV Vineyards philosophy. Rutger de Vink (RdV) created this vineyard out of a fervent desire to reconnect with nature. They intervene as little as possible in the natural process, letting the earth and the elements come together to create something sublime. All of the fruit that goes into their wine is grown right here on their estate and shepherded with care from vine to bottle. For their entire team, this undertaking is a labor of love.
In 2000, Rutger de Vink and the winemaking team at RdV Vineyards set out to produce a world-class wine in a region where it had not been done before. The believed that if they found the right vineyard site and assembled a world-class team to help bring out its full potential, they could create a world-class wine with soul. Their dream became a reality on a magical granite hillside in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Northern Virginia. By pushing the boundaries they have created a wine that marries the elegance of Bordeaux and the bold spirit of California but is uniquely its own.
Jarad Slipp, MS, will represent RdV Vineyards at TWE this year. Jarad is one of only a small handful of people in the world to enter into the elite Court of Master Sommeliers. He passed the rigorous exam in 2014, earning a title that denotes a proven mastery of the art, science and history of wine. Though he could have gone in many directions, he chose RdV for the opportunity to be a part of historyóthe making of a great American wine. Prior to RdV, Jarad was the Restaurant Director at several notable Washington DC and NYC restaurants, including CityZen, Fiamma, Nectar, and Tahoga. On top of his impressive wine credentials, he is also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and the ICIF in Italy. Needless to say, he is the chef behind many RdV meals, whether informal team lunches or large dinners for our friends and family.
Tucked away in Raleigh’s Lassiter District in North Hills, Midtown Grille is an upscale, comfortable neighborhood restaurant featuring Contemporary American cuisine. Locally owned since 2006, Midtown offers sophisticated, yet approachable dishes, emphasizing locally sourced ingredients.
A favorite local spot, Midtown is open for brunch, lunch and dinner both indoors and on its large patio. A separate, enclosed dining room may be reserved for private events. The restaurant’s active late-night scene hints at Midtown’s exceptional bar; General Manager and Sommelier, Max Trujillo, oversees the extensive wine and beer lists and the outstanding handcrafted cocktails. Recently, Midtown has won a number of awards including Best Bar by Raleigh Magazine and Best Business Lunch Spot, Wait Staff and Chef by Midtown Magazine.
Executive Chef Marshall Smith†began his culinary career with Rocky Top Hospitality in 1999, after which he attended school at the New England Culinary Institute in Essex Junction, Vermont. Upon graduating, Marshall interned at Bistro 607 and EVOO in Raleigh and the Michelin Star restaurant, L’Essentiel à Chambéry, under chef Jean-Michel Bouvier in France. When he returned to the Triangle, he opened Savoy in North Raleigh with his brother and worked as executive chef of Glass Half Full in Carrboro for the last five years. Ready to return to Raleigh and share his culinary experiences, Marshall has joined the team here at Midtown Grille.