May 2, 2014
For the ninth straight year, the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Associations (formerly the VWGA) has sponsored the selection and presentation of Virginia wines served at the event’s official luncheon held in the historic Ben Franklin diplomatic reception room atop the State Department.
This year, the 250 invited guests representing all sectors of the U.S. Foreign Affairs Community including White House, NSC, Defense Department, AID, CIA, etc., as well as retired Foreign Service Officers, were offered two top quality Virginia wines to accompany their luncheon, the 2012 vintage rosé from Barboursville Vineyards, an Italian-styled dry rosé crafted from 22% Barbera, 38% Cabernet Franc, 27% Sangiovese, and 13% Merlot, and the 2013 Chardonnay, 100%, from Sunset Hills Vineyards, both featured and printed on special table cards with tasting and content information.
Acting Director-General of the Foreign Service, Hans Klemm, in his luncheon opening remarks expressed the following: I am reminded today that wine has been a tool of American foreign affairs and diplomacy from the earliest days of our nation’s independence, as exampled by our most inveterate practitioner of diplomacy and connoisseur of wine, Benjamin Franklin, who is quoted as viewing wine as making “daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.”
He then introduced the wines being served from Barboursville and Sunset Hills Vineyards, after which he invited ASWA past and present presidents, Gordon W. Murchie and Carl Brandhorst, to join him in “toasting all members of the U.S. Foreign Affairs Community present here today and all those who have preceded us for their continued safety and success in upholding and communicating the principles of American democracy internationally.”
The Acting Director General of the Foreign Service gave the opening remarks at the luncheon mentioning both the wines and wineries, as well as the association. In toasting all members of the Foreign Affairs Community present and past, the Director-General asked the ASWA’s past president, Gordon W. Murchie, and present president, Carl Brandhorst, to stand and join him in making the toast.
Joining the Acting Director-General of the Foreign Service in toasting all members of the U.S. Foreign Affairs Community and the 250 other individuals representing all facets of the American Foreign Affairs Community attending the annual Foreign Affairs luncheon in the Department of State’s elegant Ben Franklin Diplomatic Reception Room are VWGA and ASWA’s past and present presidents, Gordon W. Murchie and Carl Brandhorst.
The conference actually began in the morning with a welcoming and brief update of world affairs by the Deputy Secretary of State, followed by several breakout sessions given by the Assistant Secretaries for African, East Asian and Pacific, Near Eastern and Western Hemisphere Affairs, with special sessions covering the main functions of the Department of State.
* - The ASWA also facilitated the Virginia wine, a Riesling from Prince Michel Winery, served at the special banquet commemorating the 90th establishment of the U.S. Foreign Service given at the Department of State on May 22nd, 2014.