Wednesday, May 1st at 6:30pm – Vision Cellars Wine Dinner at Benne on Eagle with special guest Mac McDonald.
$65/person plus tax and tip – reservations required and just 24 seats available. To make reservations, call Benne on Eagle at 828.552.8833.
Benne on Eagle and Table Wine are excited to welcome Mac McDonald to Asheville for a dining experience featuring chef Ashleigh Shanti’s innovative cuisine paired with Vision Cellars’ wines. The dinner will feature 4 courses paired perfectly with Mac’s outstanding wines, and Table Wine is the retail partner for the event. Seating is limited for this incredible wine and dine experience.
The menu is still in the works, but we promise you won’t be disappointed. Please call the restaurant at 828.552.8833 to make reservations. A credit card must be provided to reserve your spot. It will not be charged except in case of cancellations less than 24 hours before the event or no show. If you should have any dietary restrictions, please let Benne know when you make your reservation.
Biography of Mac McDonald – Winemaker/Owner of Vision Cellars
Born Edward Lee McDonald, Mac was the son of an East Texas moonshine maker. His mother, Elbessie, uncles and various other relatives made wine from plums, cherries and peaches. But it wasn’t until age 12, he had his first taste of wine. . .a burgundy brought to town by rattlesnake hunters from Houston. . .and vowed from that moment on he would make his own wine someday.
From Texas, Mac eventually made his way to California, settling in the Oakland area where he had a short stint in college. He then enjoyed a 32-year career with Pacific Gas and Electric Company in various capacities ranging from electricity buyer to power-line troubleshooter and manager at the time of his retirement seven years ago.
Throughout the years, he indulged his passion for wine—drinking, making and collecting. After a trip to Burgundy, France in 1991, McDonald started moving toward becoming a commercial winemaker. While working for P G & E, he had been making wine in his garage and along the way, he had met some of the big names in the wine industry who he could call on for advice. Chuck Wagner, owner of Caymus Vineyard, was the most influential of his advisers and became Mac’s mentor.
McDonald established Vision Cellars, a passionate boutique award winning winery, in 1995 and is only one of a handful of African-American owned wineries in the country. His specialty is Pinot Noir with the first release being the 1997 vintage. He continues to perfect his craft year after year. Proudly, his wines have been served at The White House during both the Clinton and Bush administrations. Vision Cellars label features African-inspired art and the wines have won numerous awards:
- Critics’ Choice Award from the New York Wine Experience- 2005/7/9 and 11
- Rating of 90 plus points by noted wine critic Robert Parker
- Member of the Magnificent 30 by The Wine Spectator
- Best Pinot Noir in California – California State Fair 2006
- Gold and Double Gold Medal winner at many Wine Competitions throughout the U. S.
The story of Vision Cellars and Mac McDonald have been written about in numerous newspapers and magazines: Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Black Enterprise, San Diego Union Tribute, Napa Valley Register, Arizona Gourmet Living, California Wine and Pinot Report.
Ratings for Vision Cellar Wines can be found in Vintrust, Wine Review Online.com, Wine Spectator, and Wine Spectator Insider.
Mr. McDonald is on the board of directors for the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau and is a founding member and event coordinator for the Association of African-American Vintners (AAAV).
His wife Lil is his partner in the business along with one of their sons, Jeff and daughter-in-law Dawnn. Another son Jim and daughter-in-law Holly are involved with Vision Cellars on a part-time basis.