The kabocha, or Japanese pumpkin, is our squash of choice for soups and roasting. Sweeter than pumpkin and more complex than butternut, the squat, deep-green kabocha is worth searching for. Acorn or butternut squash can be substituted, or a combination of all three work perfectly well. Our intensely flavorful Estate Gravenstein apples and apple cider vinegar lend structure and texture to the dish, while rich millet miso acts as a liaison between sweet and tart, creating a perfect pairing for Jordan Chardonnay.



Preheat oven to 400°.

Coat the squash with two tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in a heavy pan and roast until soft (35-45 minutes). Remove from oven and allow to cool. When the squash is cool enough to handle, peel and preserve the flesh. Discard the skins.

Heat the remaining olive oil on medium high in a non-reactive pot; add the leek and carrot and sauté until the vegetables have begun to caramelize. Add the squash, apples and sherry, then constantly stir until the sherry has evaporated. Add the dashi, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Carefully purée the soup in small batches in a blender, and then pass through a medium strainer into a clean pot. Gently warm the soup, then whisk in the miso, honey and crème fraiche. Adjust the acidity with the vinegar and season again with salt and pepper. Reserve warm.

To plate, arrange a small seasonal salad of garniture in six warm shallow bowls. At the winery, ours features small slivers of local apples, roasted acorn squash and, on occasion, duck confit. This dish is completed table side by pouring the kabocha and golden millet miso soup over the salad.