The Clever Root

Spring 2018

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A view of Hundred Acre in Napa. s p r i n g 2 0 1 8 | 5 7 attending what ranks among the most remarkable events of my 17-year career as a food and beverage writer: a two-part celebration of Napa estate Hundred Acre. Held at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, it began with a tasting of 16 library wines—aptly named Never Before, Never Again—in the grand din- ing room of Sage restaurant followed by a five-course dinner at Jean-Georges Steakhouse. The venue's namesake star chef prepared luxurious dishes like carpaccio- draped truffle fritters, smoked squab with herb-glazed mushrooms, and grilled venison atop red cabbage and chestnut puree to pair with one-of-a-kind re- leases, as well as multiple vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon from Hundred Acre's three prized Napa vineyards: Kayli Morgan, Ark, and Few and Far Between. To call the experience "extravagant" would be an understatement, but what made it truly unforgettable was the presence of Hundred Acre's charismatic founder Jayson Woodbridge. His commentary during the tasting—by turns rol- licking, fiery, and introspective—reflected the boldly-complex character of his wines while hinting at a biography that practically doubles as an adventure novel. A descendant of French explorer Jacques Cartier, Woodbridge was born in Toronto in 1963 and, at age 18, was diagnosed with what he describes as "a very rare type" of cancer: "The doctors said to my mom, 'Take him on a nice vaca- tion, he'll be dead in six months.'" Instead, Woodbridge received an experimen- tal treatment that proved unsuccessful in almost all cases but his own. Guests tasted multiple vintages representing Hundred Acre's three prized Napa Vineyards during an event celebrating the winery at Jean-Georges Steakhouse in Las Vegas. PHOTO: MONA SHIELD PAYNE by Ruth Tobias JAYSON WOODBRIDGE RUMINATES ON THE GOOD LIFE, GREAT WINE, AND A FINE CIGAR AT HIS NAPA ESTATE HUNDRED ACRE s p r i n g 2 0 1 8 | 5 7 PHOTO: COURTESY OF HUNDRED ACRE Last December, I had the privilege of

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