kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits & lifestyle writer / wine educator

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Trading Tang for Bubbles...

I adore Schramsberg, and I LOVE this story:

St. Helena, CA (May 30, 2008) - What does Navy Commander Kenneth Ham drink after a space mission? Schramsberg. A fan of the Napa Valley winery, Ham will be the first astronaut to take Schramsberg into space—or at least part of it. Ham will fly with labels and corks from the venerable sparkling wine producer on the Space Shuttle Discovery’s STS-124 mission scheduled to launch May 31, 2008.

With over 3,700 flight hours in more than 40 different aircraft, Ham will pilot the Discovery on a mission described by NASA as, “the second of three flights that will launch components to complete the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo [Japanese for hope] laboratory”. The 14-day flight will carry the largest payload to-date to the station and will include three spacewalks.

According to the facts and figures provided by NASA, the STS-124 is the 123rd space shuttle flight, the 26th flight to the station, the 35th flight for Discovery and the third flight in 2008.

This will be the first space shuttle flight for Schramsberg, and has been in the works for several months since Ham and his wife, Michelle, visited the winery last year. Each astronaut is allowed a small stash of personal items to accompany them into space, and while Ham’s fellow astronauts predominantly chose sports memorabilia, Ham chose Schramsberg labels and corks.

“We are thrilled to have our labels and corks go on the space shuttle with Ken,” vintner Hugh Davies says, “We love that our American sparkling wine will become a part of American history and we are all ready looking forward to Ken’s next visit to the winery after his return to earth.”

For more information about Schramsberg Vineyards visit www.schramsberg.com. For more information about Ken Ham or the Space Shuttle Discovery’s STS-124 mission visit www.nasa.gov.