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Foyt Family Wines launches special vintage for 102nd Indianapolis 500

May 10, 2018


Mario Andretti started making wines in the latter days of the last century. Several other Verizon IndyCar Series entities have joined Andretti, including his perennial competitor, A.J. Foyt, a four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, 1996 CART champion Jimmy Vasser and 2017 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato.

Foyt Family Wines, which produces red and white wines from Sonoma and Napa Valley grapes in California’s revered wine districts, has produced a couple of vintages honoring the Greatest Spectacle in Racing; this year it has produced its third such vintage, the 102nd Indy 500 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

“This year we wanted to produce a higher quality, small-lot offering,” said Chris Perry, the winery’s managing partner. “We used two barrels and produced a big Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. We hope this wine will mirror the intensity felt when the green flag drops [May 27] on the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 and 33 cars roar into Turn 1.”

The bottle features the race’s logo over a printed shot of the Speedway’s famed Pagoda and the Yard of Bricks finish line, the latter recalling the track’s initial surface. The bottle features a strong chrome color on its design and each bottle has been hand-dipped in metallic silver wax to help protect this age-worthy wine.

This year, 2018, marks the 60th anniversary of A.J. Foyt’s first time qualifying for this most special race, one that Super Tex calls the “crown jewel” of the Verizon IndyCar Series. As the 500’s first four-time winner, Foyt, 83, has become an icon of the event. “People know me from one race, the Indy 500. It’s what made me,” he said. Of course Foyt has also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Rolex 24 at Daytona and NASCAR’s Daytona 500 during his estimable career.

Despite having a truly busy month of May with A.J. Foyt Racing’s on-track program, fielding three cars in this year’s 500-mile race, Larry Foyt, president of the race team said, “This year’s event is very special to us (because of the anniversary) and I want the best results for my dad.” Larry Foyt co-founded Foyt Family Wines along with A.J. Foyt IV.

“I’m really pleased with the outcome of this wine and its unique packaging,” Larry Foyt continued. “Our winemakers Tom Meadowcroft and Peter Kirilov hit the mark in my book, and continue to impress with their wine-making skills.”

While the team has its base in Waller, Texas, it has an outpost in Speedway, Ind., home to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Next door to the team’s midwest headquarters is the Foyt Wine Vault, a tasting room whose name is derived from an actual bank vault in the building.

Race fans, collectors, wine lovers and penologists who visit Speedway can take in the Indy 500 history while tasting over 10 Foyt Family Wines varietals. The Foyt Wine Vault features appetizers, sandwiches, plus charcuterie and cheese boards to accompany wine choices.

Foyt IV, a former racer in both the INDYCAR and NASCAR Cup series, and now an Indianapolis-area resident, manages the daily operation of Foyt Wine Vault. “We hope everyone comes out to see us and tastes this new wine over the next few weeks. We only produced two barrels this time so it’s going to go quick,” he said.

This Cabernet Sauvignon is produced in a standard, 750ml bottle and in 1.5L magnums. The wine is available exclusively at the Foyt Wine Vault tasting room or directly from the winery at The 102nd Indy 500 Napa Valley Cabernet’s 750ml bottle has a list price of $85; the magnum retails for $175. Tasting notes advise to drink it now or cellar for 10-15 years.

By Anne Proffit

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