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National Archives

The Culture of Wine

September 28, 2009 to August 22, 2010

On September 28, a much anticipated exhibit was unveiled at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum. The Culture of Wine unravels the mystery, magic, and making of wine.

From the moment our visitors step into the exhibit's vineyard, they begin to learn about viticulture, including differences in soil types, vineyard management practices, and harvest techniques. The exhibit's accurate attention to detail and the realism achieved by blending vineyard and winery equipment with stunning photo murals set the exhibit apart and immerse each visitor in the winegrowing process. Throughout the exhibit, every section is a learning experience emphasizing how a good winemaker combines techniques and processes he can control with what Mother Nature provides in a growing season to produce distinctive wines.

Visitors begin their vinicultural tour with a historical overview of the importance and influence wine has had in western civilization. Any research into the early days of American winegrowing would not be complete without a look into the wine knowledge and passion of America's third president, Thomas Jefferson. Apart from his personal love of wine, Jefferson viewed it as an important cultural element in his young nation's success.

The exhibit includes a partial reproduction of President Jefferson's Monticello dining room, including his famous fireplace with special hidden dumbwaiters leading directly to his wine cellar. Visitors will enjoy artifacts, reproductions, and historical documents that explore his role as the father of American wine. Jefferson's keen knowledge of European wines also made him the perfect personal wine advisor to Presidents Washington, Madison, and Monroe.

Transitioning from 19th century Monticello to 20th century Napa Valley, visitors move into a typical small California winery setting during the period of the Paris Tasting of 1976. At this historic event, a selection of California wines were judged in a blind tasting to be better than their French counterparts. In the words of Robert Mondavi, ". . . the dramatic tasting sent shock waves all around the world." This judgment catapulted American wines onto the world stage, strengthened the confidence of winemakers the world over, and caused the science of viniculture to flourish.

The Culture of Wine explores the historical timeline of viniculture. Virtual becomes vineyard as visitors follow trellised vines and move into the crush pad area. A vintage tractor and valley bin transport grapes to the winery bladder press, and Museum visitors enter the cellar where genuine French and American oak barrels, wine pumps, and other tools of the trade add to the important aspects of fermentation, aging, racking, and blending of wine. From there, visitors pass into a small Champagne/sparkling wine cave where they learn about the méthode champenoise/méthode traditionelle production process.

Come join us. The exhibit opened on September 28 and will run through August 22, 2010, in the Ansary Gallery of American History at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas. To learn more about the exhibit, visit http://www.thecultureofwine.com/.

In conjunction with The Culture of Wine exhibit, the George Bush Presidential Library Center will host an extraordinary array of special programs and events, both in College Station and Houston, Texas.

Dinner & Wine Auction

On Saturday, November 14, 2009 the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation will host a dinner and wine auction at the Houstonian Hotel in Houston, Texas. The evening will include a silent auction followed by dinner and a brief live auction featuring our most special wines and wine-related packages. Proceeds from the dinner and auction will go to support the educational programs at the George Bush Presidential Library Center. For more information, please contact the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation at 979-862-2251, email bushfoundation@tamu.edu or visit http://www.georgebushfoundation.org/.

The Bush Foundation wishes to extend its appreciation to the major sponsors of this event: Shala and Hushang Ansary, AT&T Foundation, Rania and Jamal Daniel and Helen and Roy Ryu. The Foundation would also like to thank the Rydman family and Spec's Wines, Spirits and Finer Foods for their continued support of all upcoming wine events.

Winemaker Event Weekends

These four special event weekends-including an educational day of seminars and tastings and evening winemaker dinner-are being held at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum and will feature noted winemakers and guest speakers from wine regions around the world. For reservations or information, please contact Tracy Paine at 979-691-4014 or tracy.paine@nara.gov.

Check out a downloadable version of our dinner brochure.

Spanish Winemaker Weekend - Saturday, December 5, 2009

Spanish wines are hot! Come find out why they are taking their place on the wine lists of some of the finest restaurants and cellars in the world. The day begins with Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and America's eighth Master of Wine conducting a seminar on Wines from Spain. Midday, Maximilian Riedel of Riedel Crystal explains the art of the perfect wine glass. Vincent Friend of Colección Internacional del Vino and Jesús Martínez Bujanda of Bodegas Valdemar conduct the afternoon seminars and tastings. The evening culminates with a private showing of The Culture of Wine exhibit and the exclusive Winemaker's Dinner.

Napa Valley Winemaker Weekend - Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Napa Valley has been setting the gold standard for American wines for decades. Join us for fun and entertaining seminars to learn about the rich history of the Napa Valley and its wines. The Corley Family of Monticello Vineyards, celebrating 40 years of winegrowing in Napa Valley, will give you an insider's perspective on American winemaking. Take a walk through the world of Riedel Crystal to learn how the shape of the wine glass has a profound influence on the taste and enjoyment of any wine. Stroll through The Culture of Wine with a glass of wine, and then join us for a glorious Winemaker's Dinner.

Chilean Winemaker Weekend - Saturday, April 24, 2010

Chile is known for a rich variety in everything — from geography and climate to culture and history. Its wines are no exception! At our Chilean Winemaker Weekend, you will discover why Chilean wines are surprising wine aficionados far and wide. A morning seminar by a representative from Wines of Chile and an afternoon presentation by Pablo Morandé of Viña Morandé will cover the unique bouquets and flavors of Chilean wines. Experience the beauty of Riedel Crystal and pair the perfect glass to the perfect wine. Following a private tour of The Culture of Wine exhibit, guests will sit down to a Winemaker's Dinner.

Texas Winemaker Weekend - Saturday, June 12, 2010

Everything is bigger in Texas, and in Texas, wine is BIG. Texas wines are winning gold medals in international competitions by the barrel full. Join us for an unforgettable day of wine and food. Pull up a chair in our seminars on Texas wine and learn how to select the perfect Riedel Crystal glass. As the sun goes down, sip your wine and enjoy a private tour of The Culture of Wine exhibit. You are invited to an exclusive winemaker's dinner in the Museum's Rotunda.

Don't wait too long to make your reservations! These events will sell out. Visit our websites for the most up-to-date information.

Dinner & Wine Auction


Winemaker Weekends

For more information, contact Tracy Paine at tracy.paine@nara.gov or call 1-877-297-4512.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
1000 George Bush Drive West, College Station, Texas 77845
Telephone: (979) 691-4000 | Facsimile: (979) 691-4050 | TTY: (979) 691-4091