Each October harvest moon, the Deering Estate Foundation utilizes its 444-acre Palmetto Bay site to celebrate the season with good food, wine and people. Prior Foundation president, Dan Yglesias, explained, “We cap the attendance at 450 to create an intimate event where the community’s most involved people can really get to know each other.”
Bathed in crisp moonlight, this year’s event was themed ‘The Magic of Paris – C’est Magnifique’ and featured 12 restaurants and 8 wine tasting stations, each serving French-themed items. While most wines were served and sponsored by Vintage Liquor and Wine Bar, one couldn’t help but be attracted to the Deering Wine booth, the only California wine offering.
Blair and Todd Maus were pouring their 2009 Sonoma Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Sauvignon blends. Blair, who is the great great granddaughter of Charles Deering explains, “We named the vineyard Deering to honor the agricultural heritage of the family.”
She went on to say that although they don’t get back to the Deering Estate as often as they’d like, they make it a point to present their wines at ‘Wine on Harvest Moon’ every year. By my taste, it was hard to beat their 2009 Nelligan Road Cabernet Sauvignon.
Both inside and out, the event was elegant and lively. After entering, the first tasting station was graciously manned by Paul Neidhart (Executive Director at Economic Development Council of South Miami Dade and Deering Foundation Director), his wife Lois, Walter Flores (owner of Golden Rule Seafood and Deering Foundation Director) and his wife Pamela Mullins. Once greeted like that, the rest of the cheery event followed suit.
The Parisian theme was punctuated with a cooking demonstration by Oceania Cruise Line's French Master Chef Franck Garanger and playfully carried out with the décor and strolling mademoiselles.
Lynn Cambest, Executive VP of Coconut Grove Bank, was on hand as a sponsor. “We are the oldest bank in Miami-Dade County and we are interested in the rich history of our County. The Deering Estate and Matheson Hammock are of vital importance to Miami’s historic fabric and we like to actively celebrate and promote our history where we can.”
One Coconut Grove Bank’s shareholders, Finlay B. Matheson enjoyed his first ‘Wine on Harvest Moon’ event. Matheson was instrumental in the preservation of the Deering Estate in 1985 when the State purchased the property for $22.5M. “The food is fabulous, the wine is superb, the people are wonderful and of course the Estate is super, especially when you are here at sunset looking at Biscayne Bay. That’s why we live in South Florida and what makes it so special.”
Besides the food, wine and conversation, the evening featured a live auction. South BMW was the presenting sponsor and several of their cars were features on the grounds. Creative Tastes Catering, Paella Party, George’s in South Miami, La Gloutonnerie, Oceanaire, Smith and Wollensky, Truluck’s, Morton’s The Steakhouse in Coral Gables, Fabien’s Bistro, Red Fish Grill, Crepe Maker and the Creative Tastes Catering Company served food. Publix Bakery supplied French desserts.
If you’re interested in attending next year’s event and supporting this wonderful venue, make sure to get your tickets early. The event regularly sells out.