MPCC bringing Nebraska vinegar artisan for tasting classes
Mid Plains Community College campuses are bringing a small town, big business to center stage by offering the George Paul Vinegar Tasting classes this fall.
Owner, George Paul Johnson, began his vinegar MPCC presentations in the spring at Valentine and with the popularity of that session, added four more this fall including one in September in North Platte, a return to Valentine Nov. 8, Broken Bow Nov. 11, and at McCook Community College on Nov. 14.
Cost for this session is $15 and those interested can can register online at BCEregister.mpcc.edu or call 800-658-4308, extension 3678.
Class participants are getting a first-hand look at these artisan vinegars, which are created locally in the sandhills region and shipped across the nation and worldwide. With Johnson's appearances, his fellow Nebraskans are finding him an energetic and passionate speaker.
During this presentation, he recalls how his hobby became a passion and his passion became a thriving national business. It all began in 1999 when he planted a few grapevines to produce his own wine.
The unusual and difficult growing conditions of the sandhills produce some truly distinctive fruit which, in turn, create terrifically unique wine. That first batch of wine was so fruity and flavorful that it was perfect to be condensed into gourmet vinegar. Johnson took a chance and experimented with vinegar making, and the product was an instant success. The Johnson family has been making small batch vinegars since 2008 in their straw bale vinegary in the remote town of Cody, Neb.
Everything at George Paul Vinegar is done in a way similar to the old master vinegar makers of Italy. From the initial fermentation to the slow vinegarization to the careful hand-bottling and labeling, each step of the process is deliberate and unhurried. These vinegars are so treasured that some of Nebraska's finest restaurants insist on having them in the kitchen. They're shipped to every state in the country and even overseas.
Along with this opportunity to hear the story of George Paul Vinegar, participants also get the chance to enjoy a tasting of some of their world-famous vinegars (with bread, of course).