May 6, 2011
On the 6th of May, 2011, the annual Untied States Foreign Affairs Day was conducted at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. VWGA/ASWA president Emeritus, retired Foreign Service Officer Gordon Murchie and Carl Brandhorst, president of the ASWA, attended the day’s event. For the past several years, the VWGA and now the ASWA have provided the wines for the event’s luncheon which is traditionally held in the elegant and historic Ben Franklin Diplomatic Reception Room atop the State Department. Only 250 of the day’s attendees are lucky enough to secure tickets. On each of the 25 tables of ten, three ASWA-logoed tent cards displaying the wines being offered and the producing wineries are placed. Also, the Director-General of the Foreign Service includes in the luncheon’s opening remarks mention of the provided wines which is followed by a toast to all members, past and present of the American Foreign Affairs Community.
This year, the wines selected included Horton Vineyards’ 2010 Viognier and Barboursville’s 2009 Dry Rosé. This annual event provides a unique marketing exposure for quality wines and of the offered wines of the Old Dominion. We are told that there is never any of the offered wines left over! The day’s program opens with a presentation by the Secretary of State or Deputy Secretary of State providing an overview of the major international challenges confronting the U.S., followed by a series of individual geographic briefings from south and Central Asian, Near Eastern, African, East Asian and Pacific, to European and Eurasian Affairs and Western Hemisphere Affairs, along with a review of international public diplomacy.