Sheldrake Point Winery’s Luckystone Red Makes its Stage Debut!

Sheldrake Point Winery is 20 miles north of Ithaca, New York, a Finger Lakes hub for food, wine, and the arts. Our wine is well-represented on menus throughout the city and surrounding area, but I was taken by surprise to see Sheldrake Point Winery’s Luckystone Red on stage at the Hangar Theatre early this summer.

Food, Wine, and Theatre in the Finger Lakes

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Hangar Theatre, housed in what was once a municipal airport hangar, is part of the rich arts scene of the Finger Lakes region and is located just north of the City of Ithaca, a hotbed of live music and theatre.

Ithaca is also known as a place where you can immerse yourself in the food and wine of the region. Imagine my delight back in June when I attended a play at Hanger Theatre where a meal was made on stage and served with Sheldrake Point wine.

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I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti is a one-woman show that explores Giulia’s relationships with herself, her romantic partners, and with food. Hangar Theatre created a working kitchen set on stage so that actress Larisa Oleynik, as Giulia, could prepare a three-course Italian meal from scratch during the show.

That’s right, she cooked a meal from scratch on stage – while delivering her narrative. Watching her hand-mix the flour and egg for the fresh pasta dough, and then roll it out and cut it using a pasta machine, is actually what inspired the fresh pasta recipe in the fall issue of our Points of Interest newsletter.

Larisa, as Giulia, practiced making the pasta dough so that she would be able do it as second nature in front of an audience. She then served it to eight audience members who were lucky enough to be seated bistro-style on the stage floor adjacent to Giulia’s kitchen! And she did it for twelve performances!

Sheldrake Point Wine on Stage

Photos provided by Hangar Theatre courtesy of Rachel Philipson Photography & Design.

Photos provided by Hangar Theatre courtesy of Rachel Philipson Photography & Design.

While Giulia prepared dinner and told her story, I spied bottles of Luckystone Red in the kitchen wine rack. As the play progressed, Giulia poured the wine for her “dinner guests” down front. And that is how Sheldrake Point wine made its stage debut!

Karen and Jules S., Sheldrake Point Wine Club members, were two of those lucky audience members. Karen and Jules met as Cornell students and spent their careers moving around for their work in the hospitality industry. Two of their children also attended Cornell, so they always kept a strong connection to Ithaca and the Finger Lakes.

They have recently settled in Ithaca for good—their first choice even after looking at all the “sunny” spots around the country—and attending I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti at Hangar Theatre brought together their two loves: theatre and dining!

Karen says:

Photos provided by Hangar Theatre courtesy of Rachel Philipson Photography & Design.

Photos provided by Hangar Theatre courtesy of Rachel Philipson Photography & Design.

I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti was absolutely a unique, intimate theatre experience. We felt that we were at someone’s home who loves to cook, laughing with her and hearing all of her stories about choices and love. Larisa did such a good job of juggling her performance as Giulia with the cooking and with her spontaneous interaction with the audience. Sometimes it felt like she wasn’t performing!

 

Seeing the Sheldrake Point Luckystone Red was a pleasant surprise and we certainly enjoyed it! Hangar Theatre paid a lot of attention to the dining experience for the four couples on stage. Luckystone Red was a right-on pairing with everything: the antipasto (olives, cured meats, cheeses, pickled vegetables), the fresh-made spaghetti with Bolognese Sauce, and a very fresh salad. When we returned from intermission, our wine glasses were waiting for us refilled.

 

In retrospect, we were actually not at all surprised to see Sheldrake Point wine on stage, knowing that Chuck and Fran are such big supporters of local arts. It really speaks to the synergy in this community. Making our home here has exceeded all expectations, and this experience underscores that feeling.”

Sheldrake Point Wine in the Community

It is not uncommon to find Sheldrake Point wine served at theatre concessions in the Ithaca area. Sheldrake Point wines can be found at the Kitchen Theatre, Gallery Night Ithaca, and the State Theatre, where we are the “official” winery.

And while Hangar Theatre has for many years served Sheldrake Point wine on opening nights, at donor events, and whenever they invite people into their space, it was a particularly unique opportunity for Luckystone Red to appear on stage this summer in every production of Hangar Theatre’s I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti.

Recreate the experience for yourself. Invite friends over, make fresh pasta, and open a bottle of Sheldrake Point wine. On stage or off, make it an experience to exceed all expectations.

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Sheldrake Point Winery’s Luckystone Red on stage, in the wine rack to the left of the refrigerator! (Photos provided by Hangar Theatre courtesy of Rachel Philipson Photography & Design.)

Born and raised in the Finger Lakes, Whitney has always been passionate about the region.  She attended Hobart and William Smith Colleges, where she earned her degree in English and Education.  After a tasting room position at a local winery, she traveled to California, New Zealand, and Washington State to work harvest and gain production experience, returning in early 2015 to join the Sheldrake Point team.