Deering Estate’s 11th Wine on Harvest Moon

Manning the first wine tasting station were (l-r) Lois and Paul Neidhard with Pamela Mullins and Walter Flores.

Each October harvest moon, the Deering Estate Foundation utilizes its 444-acre Palmetto Bay site to celebrate the season with good food, wine and people.

“We cap the attendance at 450 to create an intimate event where the community’s most involved people can really get to know each other,” said former foundation president Dan Yglesias.

Bathed in crisp moonlight, this year’s event was themed “The Magic of Paris – C’est Magnifique” and featured 12 restaurants and eight wine tasting stations, each serving French-themed items. While most wines were served and sponsored by Vintage Liquor and Wine Bar, one couldn’t help but be attracted to the Deering Wine booth, the only California wine offering.

Pictured (l-r) are Lynn Cambest, Becky Matkov and Finlay B. Matheson.

Blair and Todd Maus were pouring their 2009 Sonoma Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Sauvignon blends.

“We named the vineyard Deering to honor the agricultural heritage of the family,” Blair Maus, the great great granddaughter of Charles Deering.

She went on to say that although they don’t get back to the Deering Estate as often as they would like, they make it a point to present their wines at “Wine on Harvest Moon” every year. By my taste, it was hard to beat their 2009 Nelligan Road Cabernet Sauvignon.

Deering Wines’ Blair Maus, the great-great granddaughter of Charles Deering, was on hand for the event from Sonoma, CA.

Both inside and out, the event was elegant and lively. After entering, the first tasting station was graciously manned by Paul Neidhart (executive director of the Economic Development Council of South Miami Dade and a Deering Foundation director), his wife Lois, Walter Flores (owner of Golden Rule Seafood and also a Deering Foundation director) and his wife Pamela Mullins. Once greeted like that, the rest of the cheery event followed suit.

The Parisian theme was punctuated with a cooking demonstration by Oceania Cruise Line’s French master chef Franck Garanger and playfully carried out with the décor and strolling Mademoiselles.

Lynn Cambest, executive vice president of Coconut Grove Bank, was on hand as a sponsor. “We are the oldest bank in Miami-Dade County and we are interested in the rich history of our county,” said Cambest. “The Deering Estate and Matheson Hammock are of vital importance to Miami’s historic fabric and we like to actively celebrate and promote our history where we can.” One of Coconut Grove Bank’s shareholders, Finlay B. Matheson, enjoyed his first “Wine on Harvest Moon” event. Matheson was instrumental in the preservation of the Deering Estate in 1985 when the state purchased the property for $22.5 million.

“The food is fabulous, the wine is superb, the people are wonderful and of course the estate is super, especially when you are here at sunset looking at Biscayne Bay. That’s why we live in South Florida and what makes it so special.”

Besides the food, wine and conversation, the evening featured a live auction. South BMW was the presenting sponsor and several of their cars were positioned on the grounds. Creative Tastes Catering, Paella Party, George’s in South Miami, La Gloutonnerie, Oceanaire, Smith and Wollensky, Truluck’s, Morton’s The Steakhouse in Coral Gables, Fabien’s Bistro, Red Fish Grill, Crepe Maker and the Creative Tastes Catering Company served food. Publix Bakery supplied French desserts. If you’re interested in attending next year’s event and supporting this wonderful venue, make sure to get your tickets early. The event regularly sells out.


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Hal Feldman is a Realtor with RE/MAX Advance Realty. On Sundays from 10 a.m.- Noon he is outside Wagons West in the Suniland Shopping Center to talk real estate and answer questions. Stop by, say hello and ask him about the value of your home.

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