An Afternoon with Vintner and Disney Legend Kurt Russell
While it's not often that someone gets to fulfill more than one dream in a lifetime, Kurt Russell has been privileged to live out two of his -- movie star and vintner -- and Disney has been a part of both. So when he came to Golden Oak as a part of the Food & Wine Summerhouse Series on October 7 to introduce his GoGi Wines and share his stories, our residents were in for a treat!
Tyler's lounge was the setting for a delectable lead-in to the main event. Two Hudson Bellamy Wines -- 'A Little Time' Sauvignon Blanc and 'Que Syrah Syrah' Rosé, produced by Russell's daughter Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy -- were paired with tuna poke (tartare), heirloom tomato Caprese, charcuterie selections and artisanal cheeses.
After hors d'oeuvres, residents settled in to the adjacent Markham's restaurant for lunch and Kurt's presentation. Samples of GoGi "Goldie" Chardonnay and GoGi "Angelbaby" Pinot Noir were offered with a choice of either roasted pork loin or butternut squash ravioli. During lunch, Kurt regaled our residents with stories of his legendary movie career with Disney. He debuted in the 1966 feature film, Follow Me Boys! and continued with recurring roles as Dexter Riley in The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, Now You See Him, Now You Don't and The Strongest Man in the World. As an adult, his appeal and roles continued in such notable Disney films as Miracle and Sky High.
His career with Disney resulted in such memorable moments as "Mr. Disney" showing him early plans for Epcot® and his mother arranging a helicopter to take him early from the set to make a baseball game. After the game, Walt found him and said, "I heard you had the game-winning hit! Atta boy!"
With such a strong connection to Disney, it is fitting that Kurt came to our magical community to share his second dream of producing fine wines. He related during his visit that his love of creating wine was spurred by his travel to wine-making regions in France, Italy and California. He ventured into making his own wines in 2008 and remains actively involved in the process, choosing exactly the right combinations of grapes for his blends. One of his wines is named for this mother, Lulu, and is only available to her.
Following Kurt's presentation, enthusiastic residents were able to ask him questions as he walked around the room, taking the time to speak to each table. At the end, each resident received a signed photo of Kurt taken at the Golden Oak Ranch in Placerita Canyon, CA, while filming Follow Me Boys!.
"I was so excited I could hardly sleep last night," one resident said. "Miracle is one of my favorite inspirational movies."
GoGi Wines are served at Citricos, Le Cellier Steakhouse, The Brown Derby and Victoria & Albert's, all located at Walt Disney World® Resort, as well as at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort. They are also available at select restaurants around the country.