May 1, 2015
Celebration of Ten Years of Enjoying Virginia Wines
The Director General of the Foreign Service, Arnold Chacon, at podium, requests that Gordon Murchie (left) and Carl Brandhorst (right), President Emeritus and President of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association (ASWA), respectively, join him in giving a toast “honoring all past, present and future members of the U.S. Foreign Service and Foreign Affairs communities and their families who have served abroad promoting and defending America’s policies and its images, particularly during times of intense crises and in remote places.”
The Vinifera Wine Growers Association, VWGA, now the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association, has, as of this year, selected and provided award-winning Virginia wines to accompany the annual Foreign Affairs Day luncheon, which is held in the elegant and historic Benjamin Franklin diplomatic reception room atop the Department of State building. The featured wine this year was Horton Vineyards’ sparkling Viognier selected to celebrate this special luncheon. Previous years’ selections have come from Horton, Barboursville and Sunset Hills Vineyards.
The luncheon is limited to 250 lucky ticket holders, including invited senior government officials, out of more than 1,000 individuals mostly retired and active duty personnel who attend the all-day program that included a morning status report on major worldwide issues challenging the U.S. by the Secretary of State, followed by mid-morning regional area briefings.
Many distinguished members of the U.S. foreign affairs community filled the elegant Benjamin Franklin Diplomatic Reception Room during this year’s celebration of Foreign Affairs Day at the Department of State. The guests prepare to join the Director General of the Foreign Service in toasting Gordon Murchie, retired Foreign Service Officer, and Carl Brandhorst, retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency, both past and present presidents of the ASWA, as well as to all members of the American foreign affairs Community. Seated between Murchie and Brandhorst is Ambassador Sally Cowal, who is the co-owner of Muse Winery, which was the winner of the 2015 Governor’s Cup Wine Competition. The person in the upper left hand corner is Chryss Hernandez who coordinates the annual FAD program.