Our annual Recipe for Empowerment gala is a festive evening that presents delectable dishes by top D.C.-area chefs and an exciting auction, all to directly support life-changing work in rural India. Coming up October 6 at The Event Space in D.C., this year’s event will be even tastier thanks to a generous donation by Spanish wine importer Grapes of Spain. We sat down with president and founder Aurelio Cabestrero to discuss his passion for promoting Spanish wines, why he supports VFF USA, and his reason for donating some very special Isaac Fernandez Seleccion wines.
Tell us about your journey to the United States.
I served as sommelier at 14 different restaurants across Spain before deciding to come to the U.S. in 1999 to join La Taberna del Albardero in D.C. I found it really exciting to introduce staff to unique Spanish wines, and it inspired me to launch Grapes of Spain. Our mission is to help the United States experience a broader range of the very interesting wines coming from Spanish vineyards. We promote a diverse set of Spanish wines, from young, emerging winemakers to more established vineyards. I love how wines can reflect the true personality, quality, and character of each vineyard, grape, and people who make it. Today we distribute wine through more than 100 stores in 31 states.
Why do you support VFF USA?
Working with wine producers gives me an appreciation of farming that inspires me to collaborate with organizations like VFF USA. I feel lucky to give something to organizations in need that are making a difference in communities around the world. I believe we always have to give back to others. There are so many people who need help, and often what seems like a small thing to us can make a big difference to others.
What inspired you to support our gala?
I am deeply impressed with this organization’s impact on rural India communities. I feel proud to support VFF USA and its programs that are changing lives and communities. I particularly admire the work to empower victims of domestic violence with job skills. Also, programs that expand kids’ access to education mean they have a brighter future. Sponsoring the gala is a great way to support a critical cause, and I get to do the work I am so passionate about—exposing Americans to exquisite Spanish wines!
Tell us about your donation to our event.
We are delighted to provide cases of Isaac Fernandez Seleccion wines, which exclusively use indigenous Spanish grapes. In the U.S. they are exclusively sold by Grapes of Spain. We’ll be sampling a very special trio of sparkling, white, and red: Biutiful Cava Brut Nature; Egeo Verdejo 2016, and Rios de Tinta 2015. Americans are very open to trying new things, and I’m excited to share this unique selection at the gala!
Oenophiles will appreciate the high praise Aurelio received when named one of Robert Parker’s Wine Personalities of the Year: “There is no question he has a brilliant palate as well as a knack for finding tiny, unheralded estates that are producing high quality wine.” Don’t miss a chance to experience this marvelous selection! Join us October 6 at The Event Space in D.C. Get tickets today.