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Many years after a Loyola scholarship, a 'Wolf Pack wine' from Napa flows in gratitude

Oct 31, 2016

Coverage of the launch of Wolf Pack Cuvee in The New Orleans Advocate

 

Many years after a Loyola scholarship, a 'Wolf Pack wine' from Napa flows in gratitude

 

  • OCT 31, 2016 - 7:00 AM

 

 

 

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Contributed photo - Bob and Debb Almeida of Lagniappe Peak wines created their Wolf Pack Cuvée to support Loyola University's scholarship fund.

 

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Contributed photo - Bob and Debb Almeida of Lagniappe Peak wines created their Wolf Pack Cuvée to support Loyola University's scholarship fund.

 

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Contributed photo - Bob and Debb Almeida of Lagniappe Peak wines created their Wolf Pack Cuvée to support Loyola University's scholarship fund.

Bob Almeida calls his Napa Valley winery Lagniappe Peak as a nod to his time in Louisiana, to his wife Debb's family roots in New Orleans and the unexpected good luck of being able to produce wine on his steep sloped California property.14MB_wolf

The name of Lagniappe Peak’s latest wine has a more literal connection to New Orleans, and it's one that shows how generosity received can age into generosity returned many years later.

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Contributed photo - Bob and Debb Almeida met in New Orleans while Bob was attending Loyola University on a scholarship. Their Lagniappe Peak winery now supports Loyola University's scholarship fund.

Wolf Pack Cuvée is a wine created to give back to Loyola University, where before a successful career in finance and long before his wine making adventures, Almeida got his start. In gratitude, Debb and Bob Almeida have pledged the proceeds from sales of Wolf Pack Cuvée to the Loyola scholarship fund.

A New York native and the son of immigrant parents, Almeida came to New Orleans in 1968 because he received an academic scholarship from Loyola. He met his future wife there and he has ever since credited Loyola with a lot of good fortune.

“It changed my life,” said Almeida. “It was just a whole lot of values from that Jesuit education that saw me through.”

Almeida’s career took him far from New Orleans, including some time in Australia in the early 1980s. It was the country’s then-budding wine industry that sparked his own interest in the field.

“It was like being in Napa in the 1960s,” he recalls. “At every winery, the owner and wine maker were there on site and so accessible. It really opened our eyes to this.”

His own vineyard venture would have to wait until he retired and started Lagniappe Peak in 2007.

 

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Contributed photo - Lagniappe Peak wines is based on a steeply sloped property in Napa Valley. The unexpected ability to produce wines on the property helped inspire the winery's name.

Wolf Pack Cuvée isn’t the only wine with a New Orleans angle. The winery’s cabernet sauvignon is called Pere, after Debb Almeida’s grandfather, Charles J. Jung, who was the comptroller of the Roosevelt Hotel for many years and later became financial officer for the New Orleans Country Club.

Lagniappe Peak is a boutique winery, producing about 1,500 cases annually, which are mostly sold through restaurants, at a tasting room in Napa and through the company’s web site, lagniappepeakwines.com. The Wolf Pack Cuvée, a red blend of malbec and syrah, accounts for about 300 bottles. It’s also intended as the start of something bigger. Almeida hopes to continue bottling future Wolf Pack wines to keep the Napa-to-Loyola connections growing.

Almeida is in town this week for a launch party for Wolf Pack Cuvée, held for Loyola alumni and friends on Thursday, Nov. 3, from 6-8 p.m., at Loyola in Greenville Hall (7214 St. Charles Ave.). Tickets are $15.

FOLLOW IAN MCNULTY ON TWITTER, @IANMCNULTYNOLA.

http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/entertainment_life/food_restaurants/article_37ac6462-9bc2-11e6-a598-5fa7ccd612a6.html?sr_source=lift_amplify

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Lagniappe Peak, Napa Valley