May 7, 2010
For the fifth straight year, Virginia wine was featured as the wines to complement the annual U.S. Foreign Affairs Day special diplomatic luncheon in the elegant Benjamin Franklin reception room atop the Department of State building in Washington, D.C.
The wines selected for this year’s luncheon enjoyed by the 250 invited guests, representing all sectors of the U.S. foreign affairs community, were the 2008 Viognier from Horton Cellars, Gordonsville, Virginia, and the 2008 Reserve Viognier from Barboursville Vineyards, Barboursville, Virginia.
The highly sought after official luncheon tickets noted the wine donation given by the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association. Also adorning each of the ten-person luncheon tables were table cards listing each of the two wineries and their wines, as well as the ASWA as donor.
The morning program started at 9:00 a.m. with a current review of major international concerns and challenges facing the United States given by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, which was followed by a number of separate regional geographic and policy issue briefings.
Over a thousand retired Foreign Service personnel, current members of the State Department and other related foreign affairs agencies and organizations attended this annual meeting.
During the luncheon’s welcoming remarks given by the Director-General of the Foreign Service, Nancy J. Powell, the following comments on the luncheon wines were included: “Accompanying today’s luncheon for the fifth straight year, our palates will have the pleasure of tasting award-winning Viogniers from two Virginia wineries, Horton Cellars and Barboursville Vineyards, being donated by the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association. The President Emeritus of this wine trade association, one of the oldest on the east coast, is retired Foreign Service officer, Gordon W. Murchie, who, with colleagues, is here with us again today. Gordon, join me in toasting the continued good health and success of all of us here who represent our nation’s Foreign Affairs community.”