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Wine Century Club’s Williamsburg Chapter-“Wine Cellar 100” enjoys first wine tasting dinner


Three years ago, 3 Williamsburg area wine enthusiasts decided to organize the Williamsburg area chapter –Wine Cellar 100 of the Wine Century Club (W.C.C.) This Club’s mission is to encourage members to go well beyond the popular grape varietals such as Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, etc to Catarratto, Malvasia, Cseizegi Fuszeres, Rodinella and beyond. In fact Italy, which boasts  3000 years of winemaking and some 2000 grape varieties, provides a fertile country to expand one wine varietals “count”.

The Wine Century Club was founded in New York City by Steve De Long  in early 2005 to encourage all wine drinkers to expand their wine drinking horizon by seeking out unusual grape varieties—“ The W.C.C. is for all adventurous wine lovers. If you have tasted at least 100 grape varieties, you are qualified to become a member by completing a checklist available at

In early 2006, the 3 Williamsburg area wine enthusiasts – Heather Dunn, Bill Bean and Paul Luchsinger formed the Wine Cellar 100 chapter at the WINE SELLER in Monticello Marketplace with each new member completing the W.C.C. checklist with 100 or more grape varieties. Since that beginning, the local chapter has gained more than 20 members in the Historic Triangle area while worldwide the W.C.C. has grown to over 500 members. The state of Virginia has 45 members and leads the U.S. in membership by state (yes—even more members than New York or California!). It should be noted that only 3% all applicants who seek an application form submit a completed form with a minimum of 100 grape varieties.

Hence, it was only natural that the Wine Cellar 100 club should choose an Italian restaurant in Williamsburg that could supply a special requested list of wines for the wine tasting dinner. The scene was the new Italian restaurant “Francesco’s” on Richmond Road where 18 members and spouses gathered to taste 9 different wines representing unusual grape varieties from 6 Italian wine regions. Wine Century Club member Dusty Kennedy of Williamsburg discussed the special white wine features of  Vernaccia from Tuscany, a blend of Ansonia/ catarratto from Sicily, and Fiano from Sicily. Among the red wine grapes were Aglianico from Campania, Dolcetto from Piedmont, Nero d’Avola from Sicily, Primitivo from Puglia and finally a special blend of Cannonau and Cabernet Sauvignon from Sardinia. It was a great evening of “wine touring “ and most members added 2-3 new grape varieties to their list.


After the special tiramisu dessert was served by Chef Francesco, it was time for a group photo and a special presentation for wine tasting accomplishment. W.C.C. member Andy Engel of Grafton, Va. was presented with the “DOPPEL MEMBER” recognition for reaching the level of 200 grape varieties tasted (Doppel meaning double in German or 2 times the minimum requirement for becoming a member of the Wine Century Club)

Genevelyn Steele Hosts!

Genevelyn Steele – Wine Centurian and author of the pithily named wine blog GenevelynSteeleSwallows – is hosting a Wine Century Club tasting along with the folks at The European Market the first Friday in September.

According to Genevelyn:

The concept of the tasting is simple. We will drink unusual grape varietals in hopes of attaining centurion status. As far as status symbols go,the spoils are minimal, mostly bragging rights, and if you didn’t participate in science fair in high school, then here’s another shot at a certificate to hang on your wall. Mostly, it’s an excuse to try something new. Being a Taurus, I need prodding. And, there will be thoughtfully prepared, good food.

Our 4th Local Chapter: Milton, Delaware!


If you ever wondered how a tiny state like Delaware can have so many members, it’s all thanks to Bernie Knollinger, the owner of Coastal Wines in Milton Delaware.  He was the first state’s first member and has been motivating grape nuts there for over a year.  Their chapter is called the First State Coastal Cru have 35 members 19 of whom have qualified as Members of the Century Wine Club.

They held a Red, White and Blueberry tasting on July the 4th open to the general public for free at Coastal Wines in Milton Delaware. The wines we tasted included Gruet Demi-sec from New Mexico, the Horton Vidal Blanc from Virginia, the Biltmore Chardonnay sur lees from North Carolina, Ballet of Angels from Connecticut, a Sweet Spiced Mountain Wine from West Whitehill in west Virginia and finally from our local winery Nassau Vineyards here in Delaware True Blue Blueberry Wine.  Over 100 visitors attended and all had a good time.

Cheers to the First State Coastal Cru!


Our 3rd Local Chapter: Hendersonville, NC!


I am happy to announce the formation of The French Broad Chapter of the Wine Century CLub organized on January 12 at Blue Water Seafood and Wine Cellar. Twenty wine enthusiast met to elect officers and sample ten wines. Two members are already recipients of the Wine Century Award. Keith Dalbec was elected President, Jere Dabbs Vice-President and Nan Jennings Secretary. The group will meet every other month to expand their appreciation and joy of wine.

Varietals tasted included Palamini, Louriero, Trexadura, Godello, Albarino,Torrontes, Bourbelanc, Grenache Blanc, Roussane, Viognier, Encruzado Assyrtico, Xynomavro, and Chambourcin.

White Wines:

NV Valckenburg Madonna Sparkling Riesling, Germany

2005 Vina Reboreda White Blend, Ribiero, (Spain)
Varietals: Palamino, Loureira, Treixadura, Godella

2003 Seniorio de Cruces Albarino, Rias Biaxas, (Spain)

2005 Santa Julia Torrontes, Mendoza, (Argentina)

* Perrin Reservé White Blend, Côtes du Rhône, (France)
Varietals: Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Roussanne, Viognier
Vintage not shown on bottle, on website, vintage is shown on separate sticker. Blend differs by vintage.

2003 Quinta des Roques Encruzado, Dão, (Portugal)

2006 Sigalas Assyrtiko, Santorini, (Greece)


2006 Crios de Susana Balbo Rosé of Malbec, Mendoza, (Argentina)


2004 Boutari Naoussa Xynomavro, Greece

2005 Westbend Vineyards Chambourcin, Yadkin Valley, (North Carolina)

The Blue Water Seafood and Wine Cellar is located in Hendersonville, NC in the French Broad River Valley, 20 miles south of Asheville. If you would like pictures forwarded we would be pleased to send them,

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The French Broad Chapter of the Wine Century Club will meet March 8 at La Riserva Ristorante on Main Street in Hendersonville.  The Wine Century Club is dedicated to helping others to expand their experience with wine by eventually tasting at least one-hundred different types of wine grape varietals.  At the initial meeting held at Blue Water Seafood and Wine Cellar officers were elected and members tasted 16 different varietals.  Many of these were new to many members. Those who achieve the goal receive a Wine Century Club Certificate free of cost.

Call La Riserva to make a reservation.  Mention the Century Club.  The meeting is from 5-7PM.  Bring an interesting bottle to share, preferable two bottles of the same, in case attendance is large.  You will be charged a fee to cover the cost of the antepasti and setup.  La Riserva is at 342 N. Main.  The phone number is 692.6636.

Our 2nd Local Chapter: Aiken, SC!

I am happy to announce the formation of The Wrath of Grapes chapter of the Wine Century Club in Aiken, South Carolina with 10 members. They completed their journey mostly as a group (3 more are still working on it). Listed in the front from left to right are: Marianne Scogin, Greg Teese, Caroline Teese, Jeff Brault and Fatina Ann Washburn Clark. Those in the back from left to right are: John Scogin, Mark Clark, Steven Delgenio, Ernest Hammond and Bruce McMurray.

Marianne Scogin is the Chapter President.

Congratulations to all the Chapter Members!

First Local Chapter: Williamsburg, Virginia

The Wine Century Club of New York City is pleased to announce the formation of its first local chapter. The new chapter – WINE CELLAR 100 – is located in Williamsburg, VA and is sponsored by The Wine Seller in Monticello Marketplace.

Shown in the photograph are the first three members of the Williamsburg Chapter (from left, Bill Bean, VP, Heather Hatcher, President and Paul Luchsinger, Secretary). Luchsinger is shown holding a
large corkscrew made from an elk antler. “It takes a big corkscrew to open all those bottles,” joked Luchsinger, who boasts a large collection of unique and antique corkscrews. Currently there are eight members in this chapter, with meetings held at The Wine Seller.

For further information regarding the Williamsburg Chapter of the Wine Century Club, contact chapter president Heather Hatcher at the Wine Seller in the Monticello Marketplace at 757.564.4400.