The Culture of Wine - An Exhibit, is a unique and innovative approach to exploring and understanding the growing and production of wine. By combining traditional wine related artifacts and real winemaking tools & equipment with visually stunning mural sized photography and multimedia panels, the exhibit takes the participant through each facet of wine production from vineyards to cellar.
The primary focus and vision for the exhibit is to educate people in the real world production of fine wine. From the moment you step into the vineyard area of the exhibit you begin learning about differences in soil types, vineyard management practices and harvest techniques. Throughout the exhibit every section is a learning experience emphasizing how a good winemaker combines techniques and processes he can control, with what Mother Earth provides in a growing season, to produce distinctive wines.
What sets the exhibit apart, and immerses each participant in the 'winegrowing' process is its accurate attention to details and realism achieved by blending actual vineyard & winery equipment with stunning photo murals. The vineyard, crush pad and cellar areas are modeled after a typical small California winery during the period of the historic Paris Tasting in 1976. In this historic event a selection of California wines were judged in a blind tasting to be better than their French counterparts. In the world of wine this was a tremendous accomplishment for California vintners, and moreover the United States role as a wine producing nation. In the vineyard area of the exhibit actual vineyard trellising will seemingly extend from the photo mural covered walls. Moving into the crush pad area, a real tractor and gondola will be transporting grapes to a real winery bladder press. From there participants will enter the cellar area where genuine French oak barrels, wine pumps, filters & hoses will help to educate participants to the important aspects of fermentation, aging, racking and blending of wine. Incorporated within the cellar is a winery lab mock-up. The final phase of the core exhibit is a small Champagne or sparkling wine cave outlining the process of Method Champenois or Method Traditional production.
In addition to the core exhibit, a special edition to the exhibit will be featured in the entry passage into the Ansary Gallery dedicated to America's third President Thomas Jefferson and the historical role he lived in promoting wine as an important cultural ingredient in the early days of the United States of America. This area will feature a partial reproduction of Jefferson's dining room and wine cellar that will showcase his famous fireplace at Monticello that had special hidden dumbwaiters built into the sides to bring wines up from the cellar directly below. In this area you will find artifacts, reproductions and historical documents that explore Jefferson's role as the father of American wine and the personal wine advisor to Presidents Washington, Monroe and Adams as well as his keen knowledge of European wines.