Friday, September 30, 2005

Wine, music and chocolate--Suisun Waterfront hosts annual event

From Daily Republic // Sept. 30, 2005

By Andrea Garcia

VACAVILLE - Vito Accardi, a Sicilian-born winemaker with a strong sense of family tradition, wants folks to taste a sip of his culture.

His 5-acre estate, named Accardi Vineyards, was once a vast field of weeds nestled within the Vacaville landscape. Eight years after planting imported grapes, the acreage is now a wine-producing terrain.

More importantly, it is a place where the tradition of familia remains strong, a place where the four Accardi members grow and harvest their own product and share a glass of wine after a long day's work.

But Accardi's experience in wine is also an ancestry tradition.

As a child, Accardi roamed the Sicilian vineyards belonging to his grandfather, uncles and cousins. He learned their methods, bottled and sealed it, then brought it to the States, only to be shared with the public after the winery's inception in 1998.

Years later, and with a variety of seven reds and one white from which to choose, Accardi Vineyards has become the only winery in Vacaville to sell wine as well as one that provides naturally fermented selections.

"All of our wines taste different because they have no additives," Accardi explains with an enthralling Sicilian accent. He smiles. "These don't give you headaches like others."

Keep in mind, however, sulfite-free wines have a limited shelf life.

"Because our wines have no preservatives, it can hold for about three to four years," says Cinzia Accardi, Vito Accardi's daughter. "But we still have wine from 1999 that has maintained its taste."

Undoubtedly, Accardi wines do evince a unique quality. The smell of his 2000 Barbera, for example, flaunts a smokey-like aroma with a hint of clove, nutmeg, raisin and prune. The 1999 Sangiovese wine, offering grapes imported from the Tuscan region of Italy, also emit a strong oak barrel smell filled with a plethora of dark fruit.

"When you break the skin of the grape they mostly smell the same, but when it gets ripe and sweet, that's another story. You have to know when to pick them," the winemaker says of his full-bodied wine.

If the unparalleled taste from his vineyard isn't enough for the palette, perhaps the wine-filled chocolates could please the sugar-loving soul.

Apart from a selection of wines and a facility that offers "wine dinners" - meals prepared from scratch from Accardi's Sicilian-born wife, Adela - the winery offers bite-size dark Sonoma chocolates filled with their own 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Wine lovers and beyond will have the opportunity to sample Accardi wines and chocolates, as well as a plethora of other local wineries and confectioners during the "Suisun City Waterfront Festival" Saturday at the Suisun's Historic Waterfront from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"It will be an exquisite art, wine and chocolate festival with family entertainment," says Shelly Kontogiannis of Suisun's Athenian Grill, coordinator of the event and president of the Business Improvement District.

Kontogiannis, along with Debbie Kiikvee of " Do Me a Favor Wedding and Special Events," collaborated with the BID and the City of Suisun City to bring this annual event as a way for the public to enjoy local food, wine and entertainment.

"We'll have more than 50 booths in total all around the waterfront," Kiikvee says. "We have several artisans, crafters, food vendors, free boat rides by Adam's Marine, a bake-off, bongos playing all day and a wine store."

Also featured at the event will be Eagle Eye Winery, a local vineyard owned by Bill and Roxanne Wolf. The wine, grown in the fertile land of Napa, is labeled with the artwork of Roxanne Wolf, which will also be sold at the event.

Other wineries include Ledgewood Creek, Kenwood Winery, Purple Pearl Vineyards, Inc., St. Supery, PRP Wine International, Sunset Cellars and Wooden Valley. Chocolate will be supplied by Thompson Candy, Guittard Chocolate, Granny Jan's Homemade Fudge and Vintage Sweet Shop. There will also be children's activities at the North Basin by Soroptomist International.

Reach Andrea Garcia at 427-6935 or


  • 'Suisun City Waterfront Festival'
    10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, 2005
    Suisun's historic waterfront at Harbor Plaza and the Promenade
    Free for event; $20 a glass with nine tastings
  • On Stage
    10 a.m. Stephen Dreyfuss
    11:30 a.m. Solano Youth Theater
    Noon Just Gotta Dance
    1 p.m. Time Bandits
    2:30 p.m. Bake-Off awards
    3 p.m. Time Bandits

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