With spring looming in the air as temperatures finally begin to warm up in Auburn, the 2015 Uncorked series will launch this Thursday, March 12 at 6 p.m. for an evening of wine sampling on the Ariccia patio at The Hotel at Auburn University. The Ariccia Uncorked series features different wineries throughout the year and the first one this year will showcase wines from Miura, which are wines produced in some of the finest vineyards California has to offer.

The founder of Miura Vineyards, Emmanuel Kemiji, will be at Ariccia Thursday night representing the winery he founded in 1994.

“Emmanuel was the first sommelier to start a commercial winery in this country and leaned on his unique experience and knowledge as one of America’s first Master Sommeliers to make Miura highly successful for the last 20 years,” said Adam Keeshan, executive assistant manager of food & beverage at The Hotel at Auburn University.

According to Keeshan, guests at Ariccia Uncorked will have the opportunity to get to know Kemiji on a one-on-one basis and learn about how he built the dynamic winery.

Four wines will be available to be sampled, including Miura’s signature 2012 Pinot Noir from Monterey, California, as well as a Chardonnay from Arroyo Grande Valley and a Syrah from Santa Lucia Highlands.

“Miura Vineyards’ primary purpose is to produce wines from only the finest vineyards in California,” Keeshan said. “The care, dedication and lack of compromise in every step of what they do is what separates them from their competitors.”

To go along with the wines, Ariccia created a menu specifically for this event, as guests will have the option of choosing between dishes featuring Gulf Bay scallops, roasted squab rillette and vine-smoked pork shoulder.

Keeshan said that this evening will be a great start to the spring “patio” season as guests will get to enjoy a relaxing non-traditional wine dinner while getting to know one of the leading winemakers in the country.

“The best part of these events are the ability to really get to know a winemaker and his or her wines in a relaxing atmosphere,” Keeshan said. “Our ‘uncorked’ events really takes the stiffness away from the traditional wine dinner and allows our guests to truly enjoy the wine and the guests surrounding them.”

Tickets are $45 per person and reservations can be made by contacting Keeshan at (334) 321-3165 or by email at adam.keeshan@auhcc.com

(Photos: Contributed by Adam Keeshan)