The Event
The Delusional Fantasy of Folie a Deux
© by Sheral Schowe
It is officially summer and time to start planning a trip to the wine country of Northern California. My first stop for 1999 was to Folie a Deux in Napa Valley. The second week in June still greeted us with beautiful roadside wildflowers, planted by the wineries for a spectacular display. Particularly inviting was the entrance to Folie a Deux, with their new paved and landscaped entrance.

In French, Folie a Deux is a psychiatric term used to describe two closely associated individuals who share the same delusional ideas or fantasies about the real world. Some people refer to love as a type of Folie a Deux. When the original owners, both psychiatric professionals, told their friends of their plans of opening a winery, they were affectionately accused of having "Folie a Deux." They enthusiastically chose this name for their winery and used a Rorschach inkblot type of design representing two dancers for their logo.

In 1981 the winery began producing estate grown Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Their Chardonnay won the "Best of Show" award over 1,400 other entries at the 1985 California State Fair. In 1995, the winery was sold to a small group of wine enthusiasts/investors including Dr. Richard Peterson, who serves as chairman. The addition of Scott Harvey, now president and winemaker, further enhanced Folie a Deux’s reputation for excellent wines. Scott brings with him over 22 years of experience in developing and producing wines from the terroir of Amador County. In 1990, Dan Berger, wine writer for the L.A. Times, named Scott Harvey as one of the ten best winemakers in America. He has successfully expanded the winery’s portfolio to include Merlot, Chenin Blanc, Sangiovese, Syrah, and Zinfandel (which is the wine that drew me to this winery in the first place.) Some of their Zinfandel is created from the 130-year-old Grandpere Vineyard.

If you are interested in purchasing Folie a Deux from Utah’s wine stores, there are just a few bottles left of the Sangiovese 1996 ($15.95) at the Park City store. Other than that you can special order the current release of Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1996 ($21.40), Merlot ($15.00), or Old Vines Zinfandel 1997 ($23.50).

Here is how the special orders work: Go to a designated Wine Store, i.e. Cottonwood, Downtown, Park City. Fill out a form indicating the specific varietal and winery. You must order a case of 12 bottles. This is where your fellow wine enthusiast friends come in handy. You need not pay up front, but if you refuse to pick it up once it has been ordered, you can forget ever placing a special order with the state again.

Special orders are worth looking into, particularly for special wines such as Folie a Deux, which are currently delisted.

June 24, 1999

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