Sunday, March 28, 2010

Another Piece of Deke History

It wasn't all that long ago that I trekked down the I-5 to attend the 100th Anniversary Banquet for the University of Washington's chapter of my fraternity, Delta Kappa Epsilon. Tonight, I had the opportunity to attend a bit of history on the opposite end of the spectrum.

The Dekes at UBC can feel a little hard done by at times when it comes to road trips. The UW chapter hasn't always been active during the last so many decades and that has meant that our closest chapters to visit have been the University of Alberta in Edmonton or UCal - Berkeley. Not exactly weekend drives.

That's hopefully changing as of tonight. I had the pleasure of attending the installation of a new chapter for the fraternity at the University of Victoria. Twenty-four young men have taken the huge step of starting up the first fraternity on the campus. The Dekes have had a strong presence at UBC for as long as I've been around, so it's exciting to imagine that there will now be an opportunity to interact with another chapter with such close proximity.

397. 2007 Barossa Valley Estate - E Minor Shiraz (Barossa Valley - Australia)

It wasn't that long ago that we enjoyed the other end of the spectrum with Barossa Valley Estate as well. Back at wine #344, Lady Di opened up a bottle of BVE's flagship E&E Black Pepper Shiraz. Besides thoroughly loving that wine, I have a bit of soft spot for BVE after having enjoyed a small group tasting - and after hours drinks later on - with their winemaker, Stuart Bourne. He's as lively and interesting a character as you'll meet. Now, he'd be a fun guy to have along on a fraternity road trip.

E Minor is more an entry level wine for BVE but it still has a richness and abundance of fruit that's worthy of attention.

Taking another look at the winery's website, I thought that its introductory paragraph was rather apropos to the evening's affair as well. "Barossa Valley Estate was formed in 1984 by 80 third and fourth generation grape growers who took control of their destiny by forming a co-operative and produce their own wine. Combining their skills and blending their grapes from across the Barossa Valley, they rode out the hard times and built for the the future."

Taking control of their future. Cooperation. Building for the future. Sound concepts when embarking on the adventure of starting a new fraternity chapter.

It was a pleasure to meet some of the young men who are taking on this great challenge. Here's hoping that their new chapter goes from strength to strength to even greater strength. I sincerely hope that these new members get as much enjoyment out of the fraternity as I have over the years.

I toast my glass to you and to the Dekes. Here's to many more shared bottles over the years.

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