A Winemaker’s Thanksgiving

Cooler days and chillier nights are upon us. Ahhh, the holiday season. With Halloween down, bring on Turkey Day!! Thanksgiving, as you know, is a time for turkey and family and…  jalapeños?? Well, it is for V. Sattui’s Winemaker Laura Orozco!

Laura in her various incarnations as Winemaker

Laura and her family are from the state of Michoacán in Mexico, and while they have nearly fully embraced the turkey, stuffing and cranberry staples so common on our Thanksgiving tables (up until a few years ago, they had to have beans and tortillas at her dad, Francisco’s, insistence); jalapeños will always be a requirement. Chicken is another important must-have at the table – not everyone is a fan of turkey, including Laura’s dad and her husband, Felipe.

Laura and Felipe at our 30th Annual Harvest Ball
September, 2014

Of all of the holidays throughout the year, Thanksgiving is Laura’s favorite because it is the one time a year when her whole family gathers around one table and eats together. She and her husband bring their two girls, Nadia, 2, and Paola, 6, to her uncle David’s (her dad’s brother) house in the Mayacamas – the designated “Thanksgiving house.” David has been the vineyard foreman at Pride Mountain Vineyards for over two decades and lives in the old ranch house on the property there.

Twenty-five of Laura’s aunts, uncles, cousins, and other family come together and bring their children for a Thanksgiving family feast. Everyone is in charge of bringing a dish and Laura brings the chicken for the non-turkey-lovers.

Check out her delicious recipe below! 

After serving themselves buffet-style, everyone sits down to dinner and Laura’s mom, Arcelia, leads them in grace. Then, they take the time to go all the way around the table and have each person say a few words on what they are thankful for. Turkey (or chicken!) follows with much happiness and laughter interspersed and industry talk, since most of her family works in the wine industry in some capacity or another.

When dinner is done and bellies are full, everyone gathers around for a game of Lotería, a sort of Mexican-style bingo with pictures.

As crazy as Thanksgiving can get, with family coming in and out and kids to corral and food to prepare, it is wonderful to see such a pure example of the spirit of Thanksgiving: love, family and the true enjoyment of one another’s company. Because truly, that is what it’s all about.

So from our table – and Laura’s table – to yours, have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving and remember to give thanks, as Laura does, for family, health and togetherness.

Laura's dad (Francisco), Laura, her sister (Jessica), her mom (Arecelia), and her brother (Jaime) holding her daughter (Paola)

 


 

Here is Laura’s recipe for juicy roasted chicken that she makes for the non-turkey-lovers in her family. Do you have something special or different that is a must-have on your Thanksgiving table? Leave us a comment and let us know what it is!

Orange and Garlic Roasted Chicken

Marinate the chicken overnight in apple cider vinegar and season with garlic salt.

Put the chicken on a roasting rack and stuff with onion and sliced oranges. Surround with cubed potatoes, yams and onions and roast it like you would a turkey.

Enjoy!

 

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