Per Vitem! Ad Vitam! Through the Vine, Toward Life!

By Rose Betty Williams      Photography by Charles Quinn Photography

Kent and Connie Sullivan

THE SETTING: The Austin Chapter of the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine of America recently hosted the 21st annual Grand Assemblage and Enthronement Dinner at the Hotel Granduca Austin. Upon arrival, the members, happy to see each other after months of separation due to Covid, enjoyed lively conversation and a champagne reception in the veranda and outdoor patio with passed hors d’oeuvres. A plated dinner prepared by Executive Chef Collin Kaskel followed in the Salone Ducale ballroom with wines especially chosen to complement each of the five courses. The wines served, all rated 92 and above, included  a 2010 Diebolt-Vallois Blanc de Blancs Brut, a 2016 Simonnet Febvre Chablis Les Presuses Grand Cru, a 2019 Chene Bleu Rose, a 2016 Occidental Pinot Noir Freestone Occidental, a 2016 Argiano Solengo Super Tuscan and Graham’s 20-year-old Tawny.

Ron Mullen and Lynnda Colby Carter Mullen

THE STYLE: Toasts to KOV camaraderie echoed throughout the ballroom as the members watched a slide show of past KOV events that was produced by Austin Chapter Master Commander Jerry Gatlin. The Austin Chapter Cadre is comprised of Gatlin, Master Vice Commander Randy Groves, Master Commander Emeritus Ed Auler, Master Commander Emeritus J. Buckner Hightower, Master Gastronome Susan Auler, Master Roving Ambassador Jan Burrow, Master of Amity Jim Green, Lady Oenophile Jo Green, Cellar Master Chris Hightower, Master Councilor Bill Krumpack, Master Scribe Forrest Preece, and Master des Partis Rose Betty Williams.

Rose Betty Williams, Jerry Gatlin and Susan Auhler

Kelly and Travis Lightfoot & Dana and Dennis Jakubowicz

THE PURPOSE: The KOV Austin Chapter Cadre along with Robert C. “Buddy” Hagner, Jr, Grand Commander of the Knights of the Vine of America, walked in procession to the front of the ballroom for the enthronement ceremony.

Gatlin welcomed everyone and called on Susan Auler to introduce the new members: Daniel and Maria Bleier, Lynnda Carter Mullen and Ron Mullen, William Deaton and Cecilia Neuhaus Deaton, William Denigris and Penny Jamrack, Austin Dula and Amanda Massey, Don and Christa Heath, Ann Kugler, John and Nancy Mullen, Skip and Biddie Porter, John Robinson, William Stassen and Deborah O’Connell, Jim and Terry Whorton, and Tom Wilkinson and Lynn Nolen.

Buddy Hagner

Jim Whorten and Linda Ball and Forrest Preece

Founded in 1964 and in the tradition of wine brotherhoods around the world, KOV seeks to promote the US wine industry and educate members to the benefits and enjoyment of wine. KOV strives to promote American wines and wine producing regions; to introduce and recognize quality wines from around the world; and rekindle the respect of wine and wine culture for mankind and country. Currently, there are 16 chapters in the U.S.