Chautauqua Suites

Collaborating with America’s Grape Country Week (August 15th-23rd 2009), the Chautauqua Bon Vivant celebrated America's Grape Country and honored the oldest, largest Concord grape-growing region in the world. The Bon Vivant accentuated the community pride with the week’s most extravagant Grand Finale!  

The two-day event, took place at the Chautauqua Suites Hotel and Expo Center, delighted in the rich agricultural and cultural bounty of Chautauqua County during a luxurious experience of Culinary, Wine & Spirits including a Saturday Wine Pairing Lunch, VIP Cocktail Reception, Grand Tasting, and Sunday's Champagne Infused Brunch.  

The premium event showcased both national and local wineries (included Quincy Cellars, Johnson Estate and Merryvale Winery); featured premium spirits and top mixologists using only Kold Draft Ice ( included Absolut, Cointreau, The Macallan, Mount Gay Rum, Scorpion Mezcal); platformed local and national vendors ( included Cholives Chocolates, Welch’s, Wild Hibiscus Flowers, Les Verges Boiron Purees) and highlighted the areas superior quality cuisine (included Food is Good, The White Inn, Greenstone Coffee & Bakery), during a weekend of lavish tastings, demonstrations, and special events.  Southern Tier Brewery was also present providing guests with their immaculate brews!

Guests were especially pleased to taste-test the County’s glorious yield, made available primarily by local orchards, gardens, farms and food production businesses. Local harvested produce from Hamlet’s, Yericcho Farms, Privatera’s, Harrington Farms & Hathaway Farms included: apples, corn, concord grapes, peaches, tomatoes, blackberries, blueberries, pears, basil, mint and more.  (Maple syrup too!)

All proceeds benefitted Centaur Stride Therapeutic Riding Facility, a not-for-profit organization located in rural Westfield NY, in Chautauqua County. On Sunday afternoon, Centaur Stride hosted an open house and facility tour –offering guests an opportunity to observe the facility that provides access to the benefits of horseback riding to a broad spectrum of individuals with disabilities.  

Wine Pairing Lunch at Olive’s - Saturday August 22, 2009 1 pm -3 pm

Olive'sThe festivities kicked off on Saturday afternoon with a lavish lunch featuring wines paired exquisitely with each course. Guests explored the flavors of fall as they tasted food made from local, seasonal produce paired with elegant wines. (Johnson Estate, Merryvale Winery, Noble Winery)

Hush Cocktails created a magnificent and perfectly balanced white sangria (using home made ginger syrup!)  to greet the guests. (Quincy cellars provided a superb white wine and local farms provided the luscious fruit.)

Perfect for the wine novice, guests enjoyed a complete three -course lunch (including seared day boat scallops and braised short ribs), paired with wines specifically chosen to complement the menu. Vintners of the wines were available to elaborate on the winemaking process and special qualities making this an interactive and educational event. This was truly a unique experience for those interested in the intricacies of wine and food.

Olive’s is a four season destination, AAA 3 Diamond Rated Dining, with an eclectic Italian fare created by a five-star chef. 

Click here to download the Wine Pairing Lunch Menu

Wine Pairing Lunch Highlights

VIP Cocktail Reception at Bellini Lounge-Saturday August 22, 2009 4pm -6pm

Bellini LoungeMaster Mixologists put as much thought into signature specialty libations as the Chef puts into the menu. These days, mixologists draw a lot of inspiration from the kitchen, particularly when chefs are creating signature food combinations or using unique ingredients. They are experimenting with fresh herbs, flowers and savory vegetables, and luscious fruits- fusing cultures and incorporating the finest spirits from around the world. 

The current appetite for all things fresh has given rise to potent thirst quenchers with ingredients said to have health benefits, such as acai, goji berries and green tea. The Concord grape, a distinctly different type of grape, falls in to this category as it is loaded with natural antioxidants! 

During the VIP cocktail reception- guest joined Junior Merino’s Liquid Team and the talent of Hush Cocktails among others, as they prepared luscious cocktails in front of the guests, using all fresh ingredients, (featuring primarily local harvest items), homemade salts from Junior Merino’s new line, Cholives truffles ( garnishing a pomegranate martini!) and only the best premium spirits.

Guests also enjoyed culinary delights at the cocktail reception- made with premium spirits including; Cointreau crab toasts, Mount Gay Rum cakes, Leblon Cachaça ranch dip & local vegetable crudités –yet more tantalizing taste sensations! 

VIP Cocktail Reception Highlights

Click here to download the VIP Cocktail Reception Menu

Grand Tasting at the Expo Center – Saturday August 22, 2009 7pm- midnight

Immediately following the VIP cocktail reception was the Grand Tasting, the Festival’s monumental event taking place in the venues 20,000 square feet convention space. Guests enjoyed an array of enticing signature samplings at the festive walk around tasting including delightful cuisine, fine wines, beer and innovative cocktails created from the finest spirits- many tables featuring the region’s best restaurants and wineries. A live band completed the ambience of this luxury experience while everyone mixed and mingled.  

A complimentary gift bag filled with an assortment of useful and exciting items provided by our sponsors was given to each guest. 

To further support Centaur Stride, guests had the opportunity to bid on items during the silent auction.


Grand Tasting Highlights

Click here to download the Grand Tasting Menu

Live music by The Party Squad

The Party Squad

Champagne Brunch at La Fleur - Sunday August 23, 2009 11am- 2pm

La FleurThe Grand Finale featured one more day of culinary and cocktail delights. A short trolley ride from the Suites to the Red Brick Marketplace, guests enjoyed a savory brunch at La Fleur, prepared by one of Chautauqua’s finest Chefs, Jonathan Haloua. Mixologists from Hush cocktails paired the gourmet brunch with Champagne, Champagne cocktails, and also featured the innovative Champagne and Cointreau Pearls. Guests had a chance to experience molecular mixology first hand with the US Cointreau Brand Ambassador and Master Mixologist Erin Williams.

Molecular mixology refers to the technique of applying scientific analysis and techniques to mixing. Stemming from its culinary counterpart – molecular gastronomy – molecular mixology works with the physical properties of drink to create foam, gels and mists that form within the confines of a cocktail glass, resulting in unique textures and new flavors.

Within the world of cocktail, the technique has never resulted in the creation of a solid matter – until now. The result is a unique gustative and aesthetic experience that places Cointreau at the forefront of spirits innovation. The debut of the pearls transforms the complex world of mixology and science into a reality that sets a new benchmark in the cocktail world.    

The unique atmosphere of La Fleur, set in a historic Victorian home adorned with French countryside décor and surrounded by lavish gardens was a relaxing and beautiful location for this luxury experience!

La Fleur has been awarded the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award for the second consecutive year and joins a select group of only 48 AAA Four Diamond winners in New York State.  

La Fleur utilizes the best seasonal ingredients sourced through a variety of local farms and suppliers or grown in their own garden! The menu included a gourmet experience of  Ham and Cheese pudding, Citrus flavored crepes filled with mascarpone, Lobster “Corn dogs” and Beef Wellington- to name a few dishes!

Champagne Brunch Highlights

Click here to download the Champagne Brunch Menu

Recent La Fleur Dining Review

Tour Centaur Stride (Free) - Sunday August 23, 2009 3pm- 5pm

Following the Champagne Brunch- guests took a short 15 minute trolley ride to Centaur Stride Therapeutic Riding Stables. Opened in 1993, Centaur Stride is a 501(C) 3 not-for-profit therapeutic and recreational horseback riding facility. Located in the back country- Centaur Stride rests on 63 acres of quiet wooded areas filled with pristine nature.

The facility provides access to the benefits of horseback riding to a broad spectrum of individuals with disabilities. Programs are designed to improve many facets of the lives of riders, their families and the individuals working with them. Integrating lessons to allow riders without disabilities to participate creates awareness of the basic human needs of friendship, understanding and inclusion for all.

Some make significant improvements in their physical abilities, but all riders, whether their challenges are physical, mental or emotional, or a combination of all of the above, make great "strides". Today, more than 150 individuals benefit annually.

Centaur Stride Tour Highlights

About Chautauqua County

With a history dating back to the 1860's, New York is one of America's oldest commercial wine regions. It is home to native, French-American, and vinifera varietals and is perhaps the most diverse wine-growing region in the world- with a wine industry that is growing and expanding every day and everywhere. Approximately 90% of the grapes grown in the region are Concord and primarily used for grape juice, however, the region also includes French-American and European winegrape varieties vinified by many wineries.   

The Lake Erie Viticultural Area is also known as Chautauqua - the largest grape growing county outside of California, with over 20,000 acres of vineyards and produces over 65% of New York’s annual grape harvest. Chautauqua County, the western gateway to New York State, occupies the extreme southwest corner of New York State. It covers 1065 square miles and includes 6 beautiful lakes and approximately fifty miles of Lake Erie Shoreline.  

The “Lake Erie Wine Trail” is about 40 miles long and runs amidst the thousands of acres of vineyards along Lake Erie in western New York and Pennsylvania in “America’s Grape Country”. Twenty-one wineries produce award winning wines including vinifera, ice wines, fruit wines, and specialty wines such as brandies and ports. The county has more farms and produces more grapes than any other county in New York State.  



The Chautauqua Suites are located in the Southwest corner of New York State. They are easily accessible via Interstate 90 ( the New York State Thruway), New York 394, and the Southern Tier Expressway ( I-86).

Chautauqua is served by the Chautauqua County Airport at Jamestown, N.Y., (approx 15 miles south of the suites) via United Airlines commuter from Washington, D.C. Other nearby airports are the Buffalo Niagara International Airport ( 70 miles northeast of Chautauqua) and the Erie, PA airport ( 40 miles southwest of Chautauqua). 


Chautauqua SuitesVisitors made the most of the Bon Vivant by spending the entire weekend in Chautauqua to experience a combination of the Bon Vivant Festival, beautiful décor and an amazing view of Chautauqua Lake, all in Upstate NY.  

The Suites, located at 215 West Lake Road, Mayville, New York, 2 miles from the gates of the esteemed Chautauqua Institution, provided a special discounted rate for the weekend! 

Individual Events

  • Wine Pairing Lunch at Olive’s 1 pm – 3 pm: $35
  • VIP Cocktail Reception at Bellini Lounge 4 pm – 6 pm: $25
  • Grand Tasting at the Expo Center 7 pm – midnight: $55
  • Champagne Brunch at La Fleur 11 am – 2 pm: $75
  • Tour Centaur Stride 3 pm – 5 pm: Free!
  • All-Access pass was $175 (pre purchase) or $160 with a weekend stay

Supporting the Bon Vivant 2009

The Cocktail Guru
Falconer Printing & Design Inc
Erie Life Magazine
Mount Gay Rum
The Macallan
Junior - The Liquid Chef
Johnson Estate Winery
The White Inn
The Cholive Company
Quincy Cellars
Southern Tier
Les Vergers Boiron
Absolut Vodka
Yancey's Fancy