Category Archives: Lifestyle

Flavor! Napa Valley Mar 17-18, 2016 Recap

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Showcasing the finest in farm-to-table cuisine, world-class wines silverado resort golf1and culinary star talent, Flavor! Napa Valley is a festival not-to-be-missed next year. Guests will delight in events ranging from local and celebrity chef demonstrations to intimate winemaker workshops along with Grand Tastings and exclusive experiences that bring out the best flavors of Napa Valley.

Dep Lifestyle Magazine got to spend this spring for two days of culinary indulgence, and wine and dine with Napa Valley’s legendary talent, once again.

Marcch 17, 2016 – Chef and Winemaker Golf Tournament at Silverado Resort and Spa

silverado resortWe got to join some of the local chefs and winemakers for a day on Silverado Resort and Spa‘s championship golf course. We enjoyed a continental breakfast and 18 holes featuring specialty beverages and the famed burger dog lunch that was featured in Golf Magazine. A beautifully simple specialty of grilled ground beef on a silverado resort burgerdog2hot dog bun and all the toppings if you would like.  Then celebrate victory at the post-tournament reception where you can mingle with the chefs, winemakers, and fellow golfers over some of Napa Valley’s finest wines from Hewitt Vineyards, Sterling Vineyards, Beaulieu Vineyard BV, Acacia Vineyard, and Provenance Vineyards, and appetizers from Silverado Resort and Spa.

silverado resort - clay and clintOur team won 3rd place, along with winemaker Clint Holdsworth of David Clinton Wine Cellars, and Cindy of Staglin Family Vineyard, and Dan W. on our team. When we done, we were greeted nicely by VisitNapaValley.com president Clay Gregory and AF & CO president Andrew Freeman at the reception on a beautiful sunny day at Silverado Resort.

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March 18, 2016 – Wine Class: Pinot Paradise

Fuel your passion for Pinot Noir with this unique tasting of sophisticated wines made with fruit grown in Carneros and Wild Horse Valley in Napa Valley.

Participants include:
Jon Priest, Winemaker, Etude Wines, Carneros, Napa Valley – the etude wines john priestPinot Noir, Heirloom, from 600 ft high, clay soil, got the San Francisco Bay view, afternoon wind, his wine is transparent, disctinvive, and expressive, 600 cases produced for this 2013 vintage.  2013 Etude Heirloom Grace Benoist Ranch Pinot Noir Carneros $95.00, rich and deeply flavored, the 2013 Heirloom Pinot Noir intrigues with its spicy entry of cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise and Orange Pekoe tea, and extraordinarily concentrated dark fruit flavors. Despite the wine’s density and generous palate of red and black cherry, blackberry and plum, it shows elegance and balance. With silky tannins and delicate oak notes of clove and toasted almond that support but never override, this Pinot Noir will develop further complexities and age gracefully for years to come. Drink now through 2024.

Steve Rogstad, Winemaker, Cuvaison Estate Wines, Carneros, Napa cuvaison eastate wine steve rogstadValley – he loves making Pinot Noir wine because it’s firm but with clarity. This particular wine is from the Milliken Peak, the hillside, the heart of the hill. This was an experimental of twenty plus blocks, more than twelve different clones. 2013 Spire Pinot Noir, Carneros, Napa Valley $52.00, 600 cases produced, on a single block, Dijon clone,  an enticing array of black and red fruits come to the fore of this wine: black cherry, strawberry, raspberry and boysenberry all vie for attention. This luscious core of fruit is enveloped in a mix of exotic spice and intriguing but delicate smokiness. Aged for 16 months in French oak puncheons, the wine has mellowed and matured yet retains an unmistakable essence of lovely floral, think rose petals and bright fruit tones.

David Mahaffey, Winemaker, Miss Olivia Brion Wines, Wild Horse Valley – He’s co-inventor and developer of an “ozone for sanitation” olivia brion david mahaffeysystem that’s now used by over 700 wineries to save water and avoid harsh chemicals. Heron Lake Vineyard is in the south end of Wild Horse Valley, 1,200 feet higher than the Napa Valley floor and five miles east of Napa town.  Olivia Brion 2012 Pinot Noir, Wild Horse Valley $35.00, 650 cases produced –  With a lovely garnet red hue, the wine opens up with lofty aromas of ripe red fruits, spices, clove, and more.

When asked how he thinks about cellar aging New World Pinot Noir, he responded: “I would rather kissing Sophie Lauren at 25 years old than at 75 years old.” The audiences applauded.

Alex Beloz, Winemaker, Poseidon Vineyard, Carneros, Napa Valley – poseidon vineyard alex belozHe said:  “Pinot Noir is a very versatile grape with softness of a white wine and a structure that can get bigger with food.” His Pinot Noir is from the seaside by the bay. 2013 Poseidon Vineyard Estate Grown Pinot Noir, Carneros, Napa Valley $32.00 – Hungary oak, 1,600 cases produced, harvested the three blocks of the hillside (top, skirt, bottom) separately, picking across the three Dijon clones: 115, 667, and 777. This Pinot Noir exhibits aromas of cherry and cola with hints of fruit, leather and undertones of plum. The wine is silky in texture. Focused black cherry flavors dance on the palate, and an elegant dash of vanilla sweetens the wine for a long, inviting finish.

Amelia Ceja, Ceja Vineyards, Carneros, Napa Valley –  Long before the California legislature recognized Amelia as “Woman of the Year” cejain 2005 for “breaking the glass ceiling in a very competitive business,” the first Mexican-American woman ever to be elected president of a winery was on the frontier of wine. We have the chance to meet her many times before, and each time, she makes us feel special with her vibrant and exude personality. She’s always full of life. 2012 Ceja Vineyards, Carneros Pinot Noir $54.00. Las Amigas Road, Carneros, aging 24 months in French barrel, 1,000 cased produced. The aromas are fresh and floral with red plum, black cherry blossoms and hibiscus scents. The palate showcases a savory medley of
Jamaica tea, dried berry, herb and spice flavors. This is a bright, crisp and balanced Pinot Noir with soft tannins and layers of textures.

We learn that Pinot Noir is such a delicate grape. It chooses where to grow and it can’t be mix with any other varietal.  Adored by many critics, prized by many collectors, Pinot Noir is one of most tantalizing yet temperamental varietals in the world. For many wine enthusiasts, this is part of the appeal of Pinot — it doesn’t reveal its charms easily.

Pinot Noir’s virtue also stems from the unique characteristics of the grape. The skins are especially delicate, which accounts for the lighter color and body of the finished wine. But, despite the delicacy, the best wines have excellent backbone and length, providing aromatic intensity unlike any other grape.

Pinot Noir wines are pale in color, translucent and their flavors are very subtle. The grape itself is weak, suffering from a variety of diseases and its genetics make it highly susceptible to mutation. Despite the difficulty in growing the grape, prices for a bottle of Pinot Noir are generally more than a similar quality red wine.

Average prices for Pinot Noir are on the rise. The Hong Kong market has a growing thirst for Pinot Noir. In March 2013, six magnums of 1995 DRC sold for $27,300.00 USD a piece. Source: Bloomberg

So you wonder why a bottle of Napa Valley Pinot Noir is so christie dufaultexpensive, only if you know how costly to grow Pinot Noir and making this wine.

Moderator: Christie Dufault, Associate Professor, Wine and Beverage Studies, The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

Marcch 18, 2016 – Wine Class: Preservation Society

Before Cabernet Sauvignon became the most popular grape in the Napa Valley, most of the full-bodied red wines were made with Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Charbono and other legendary grape varietals referred to as “mixed blacks.” Come find out what the proprietors of Biale Vineyard, Hendry Vineyards, Turley Cellars and other boutique producers are doing to preserve these special old vineyard sites.

Participants include:

Tres Goetting, winemaker, Robert Biale, Proprietor, Robert Biale Winery: Aldo’s Vineyard – Aldo’s Vineyard. Oak Knoll District Robert Biale VIneyards Tres GoettingEstate. The old vines planted in 1937 on the Biale ranch in Napa that produce their signature wine. They offer fourteen  different zinfandel.

Biale 2013 Zinfandel, Estate Grown, Aldo’s Vineyard, Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley $78.00, red fruits such as raspberry, plum, pepper aromas,  the palate is loaded with black robert bialeraspberry and kirsch liqueur elements. Minerals, chicory, and hints of sour red plum emerge on the long and tireless finish.

 

Tegan Passalacqua, Winemaker, Turley Wine Cellars: Hayne’s turley tegan passalaquaVineyard – Tegan was hired as a harvest intern in 2003 but was quickly offered a full time job when his talent in the vineyard became apparent.  Tegan has since further honed his skills working harvests with Alain Graillot in the northern Rhône Valley as well as Eben Sadie in Swartland, South Africa.

Between his travels & rigorous vineyard duties, Tegan began gradually taking on more of the Turley winemaking responsibilities as well, eventually becoming head Winemaker & Vineyard Manager in 2013.  A founding member of the non-profit Historic Vineyard Society, he now oversees the winemaking and vineyard duties for all 35 vineyards and 28 wines.

turleyTurley 2013 Petite Syrah, Hayne Vineyard, St. Helena – available on mailing list or at the tasting room only,  voluptous, richness as well as opaque black/blue colors, concentrated bold blackberry and blueberry fruit, exotic spice, leather,chewey tannin, drink now though 2026, age worthy wine, only 1,200 cases produced.

Mike Hendry, Proprietor, Hendry Winery: R.W. Moore Vineyard – The R.W. Moore Vineyard is located near the southern Hendry wines mike hendryend of the Napa Valley, in the Coombsville AVA. It was planted in 1905 and is maintained in the traditional, dry farmed, head trained, and field blended style. Mike and Molly Hendry have been producing wines from this iconic Napa vineyard since 2009. The earliest vines here date from 1905. Based on the age of this vineyard, many of the vines have been replaced due to disease and other factors. As they are replaced, Mike preserves the heritage of the vineyard and replants with varietals that historically have grown here. These are varietals such as Carigne, Napa Gamay and Petite Sirah.

A normal year sees anywhere between 300 to 500 cases. A typical vintage spends approximately 18 months in both French and Hungarian Oak and then a year in bottle before being released. There is less of the 2013 vintage because of the Napa Valley the 6.1 earthquake in August of 2014. Mike and Molly,  lost several barrels of their 2013 vintage.  Mike & Molly Zinfandel 2013, RW Moore Vineyard, Napa Valley $ 38,  savory, structure, continues to open up as we drink, pleasant at the beginning, got some muscle, berry notes, distinctively polish, structure, and will get better with age. 

Russell Bevan, Winemaker, Chase Cellars: Hayne’s Vineyard -” High energy and passionate are some of the words people often use to chase cellars russel bevandescribe Russell, but we’re not sure those adjectives do him justice.” wrote on their website. Wait until you meet him, full of energy, polished, and warm.  His passion for winemaking shined through during the wine class. He could have been a moderator.   2012 Chase Hayne Vineyard Zinfandel, St. Helena,  afternoon site, more oak, sweet, blue fruit, black fruit, cigar, essence and complexity of their ancient vines, ample tannins, smooth, velvelty.

Genevieve Janssens, Winemaker, Robert Mondavi Winery: To Kalon Vineyard – Geneviève’s connection to Robert Mondavi returned in 1989, when she became Director of Production at Opus One Winery. Then, in 1997, she came full circle as the Director of preservation societyWinemaking at the Robert Mondavi Winery. In 2000, she helped implement the To Kalon Project, the winery’s first major renovation since it was founded in 1966. The new To Kalon Fermentation Cellar allows Robert Mondavi Winery to make Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and Oakville District Cabernet Sauvignon in a winemaking facility equal to its surrounding historic To Kalon Vineyard. “I wanted to be there for the construction, creativity and challenge,” says Geneviève. “We have created a new winery for our To Kalon estate, one of the most extraordinary vineyards on earth.”

Robert Mondavi 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, To Kalon Vineyard, Oakville $155.00, 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% robert mondavi to kalomCabernet Franc, 3% Petite Verdot – A powerful wine,  rich, spicy blackberry and blueberry fruit, cinnamon, sage, coriander and tobacco flavors. While muscular, the wine is elegantly structured with fresh acidity, fine tannins and a richly dense mouthfeel. This is their second vintage of our To Kalon Vineyard-designated Reserve. When Robert Mondavi chose the To Kalon Vineyard, in west Oakville, as the home for his new winery in 1966 he remarked that, “It was a vineyard with a distinguished history and a magical nature. Ideal soils, sunlight, and rain—to my eye, the vineyard was a treasure.” Those sentiments were re-preservation society2confirmed when the To Kalon Vineyard was named the Vineyard of the Year by the California State Farm Bureau in 2011. This Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is blended from the finest blocks within To Kalon.

This Preservation Society class was amazing by wine educator Christopher Sawyer of SawyerSomm.com. We learn that old vines don’t need much water. We’re lucky to have these vines that as old as hundreds of year. Europe doesn’t have these vines. And to be consider historic, these vines need to be fifty years old ore more.

These winemakers are doing what they can to preserve these old vines and continue to make good wines for us to consume. So next time before you raise a glass of old vines of Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, or Cab, think of these winemakers, how hard they work to preserve the good juice that we are lucky to drink.

Moderator: Christopher Sawyer, Sommelier, Wine Educator, Journalist

We didn’t get to attend the cooking demo, lunch, dinner, nor the Grand Tasting this year. However, for the three events we attended. rick moonen katie shafferWe have learned so much from the wine classes, tasted some of the iconic wines, and golfed with some celebrity chefs and winemakers. Along with making some new friends, we got to sit next to Master Top Chef Rick Moonen of RM Seafood Restaurant in Las Vegas and Katie Shaffer of Feast It Forward in the Presevation Society class at the Culinarily Institute of America Greystone, this only happened at Flavor! Napa Valley.

Flavor! Napa Valley continues to be one of the best food and wine festivals that not to be missed. Until Flavor! Napa Valley 2017, Happy wining and dining.

Nineth annual pebble beach food & wine, MAR 31 – APR 3, 2016, Pebble Beach, CA

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Enjoy 4 days of the decadent in food and wine with an epic epicurean
event, Pebble Beach Food and Wine. One of the country’s premier destinations, bringing together the world’s Founders -217most revered culinary
talent for 3 nights and 4 days of epicurean excellence.  Attendees are invited to explore the three world-class resorts including The Inn at Spanish Bay, Lodge at Pebble Beach, and Casa Palmero, where more than 100 renowned chefs and 250 distinguished wineries come together to showcase a dynamic weekend of exceptional lunches, dinners, cooking demos, chef collaborations, and experience the amazing Grand Tastings, featuring the industry’s leading experts and most coveted restaurants in the world. Participants include
1nationally and internationally acclaimed chefs such as Daniel Boulud, Gavin Kaysen, Stephanie Prida, Bryce Shuman, Philip Tessier, Dave Beran, Jérôme Bocuse, Mathew Peters and Joshua Skenes, will showcase the skills that place them among the world’s very best.

 

Highlights from the ninth annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine:

Lunches & Dinners:

  • Christopher Kostow & Nathaniel Dorn – The New Napa Experience: Chef Christopher Kostow‘s three Michelin stars at the Restaurant at Meadowood require a discipline of technique and talent. This year at Pebble Beach, Kostow and business PBFW_chefs_toasting_fadepartner Nathaniel Dorn will relax a bit as they début the family-style cuisine that epitomizes the “New Napa Experience.” Kostow and Dorn’s event will offer guests a sneak peek taste of their upcoming new restaurant in St. Helena, offering guests another “only at Pebble Beach” dining experience

Date: Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 6:30p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

  • South Australia – The Epicurean Way: Welcome to South Australia: our sunburnt land of wide blue skies and ochre desert sands, of vineyard-laden hills and clear ocean waters. Take a culinary adventure where the produce is real and the wines are robust and unique. Join Tasting Australia Creative Director Chef Simon Bryant and Barossa Chef Lachlan Colwill on an epicurean journey through some of Australia’s most iconic food and wine regions. Travel through South Australia via Kangaroo Island’s pristine beauty, stunning coastline, and world-renowned vineyards. U.S. chefs Michel Nischan and Bruce Kalman will join Simon and Lachlan to guide you through the flavors of South Australia.

Date: Friday, April 1, 2016 from 6:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

  • Booze & Bites Lunch at Restaurant 1833: Pebble Beach Food & Wine is very proud to host San Francisco’s most amazing culinary Friday Dinner (25)couple for the annual lunch at Restaurant 1833. Chefs Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinsky of State Bird Provisions and The Progress have re-invigorated the Bay Area dining scene with what many consider to be the two of San Francisco’s best restaurant additions in decades. They’ll join Restaurant 1833 Executive Chef Jason Franey to create an extraordinary lunch, available “only at Pebble Beach.”

Date: Friday, April 1, 2016 from 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Wine Seminars:

  • Women and Wine: Master Class: In the words of acclaimed singer James Brown, “This is a man’s world, but it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl.” Historically Remix-74speaking, the wine industry has been heavily dominated by males, but at the end of the day, are women intuitively and biologically better tasters of wine? This unique seminar allows guests to explore the world of wine through a female’s perspective with moderator Christie Dufault, Culinary Institute of America’s Associate Professor and all female Master Sommeliers Gillian Balance, June Rodil and Emily Wines. Taste through a flight of wines together while discussing the intersection of physiology, psychology and gender.

Date: Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

  • Big Bottles Bubbles Seminar: Ever wonder why certain wines are bottled in larger formats than the traditional 750 mL? Did you Founders-313-103know that the average glassblower’s lung capacity was between 700 – 800 mL of air, such that the volume gradually standardized? Many winemakers and sommeliers nevertheless feel that the 1.5 L size bottle is preferable for ageing. Can you tell the difference in the glass? Join the fun exploration of comparative tasting while addressing the the age old question, “Does size matter?”

Date: Sunday, April 3, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

  • Champagne Bollinger: A Living Heritage: Drunk by James Bond and beloved by connoisseurs the world around, Champagne bollingerBollinger is synonymous with luxury.  It is also the only Champagne house to receive the prestigious “Enterprise du Patrimoine Vivant” award, the French government’s highest award given to businesses. Bollinger is France, a living heritage, and Pebble Beach Food & Wine is thrilled to host an unparalleled retrospective tasting of their top cuvée, “Grande Année.”

Date: Sunday, April 3, 2016 from 10:00 a.m – 11:15 a.m.

Cooking Demonstrations:

  • Cat Cora’s “World Tour”: It’s no surprise that Cat Cora has become a world renowned chef. In 2005, she made television 3history on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” as the first and only female Iron Chef, and in November 2006 Bon Appétit Magazine bestowed her with their “Teacher of the Year Award,” an honor she calls, “the greatest recognition she could achieve as a chef.” That same month, she was also bestowed with another great culinary distinction when she was named Executive Chef of Bon Appétit. Since then, Cora has continued to evolve her craft, becoming an accomplished author, restaurateur, contributing editor, philanthropist, and television host.

Date: Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

 

Opening Night Reception

opening-night
The 9th Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine kicks off on Thursday MAR 31 at 6 PM at the famous Inn at Spanish Bay for a night of unbridled indulgence. The Opening Night Reception features delicious bites from from 23 top chefs and tasting of over 200 domestic and international wines
Get your ticket now!

Wine Seminars

With 22 dedicated wine seminars over the course of the weekend, wine2Pebble Beach Food and Wine is the perfect place for the true wine connoisseur. Whether you prefer to compare a broad spectrum of wines within a certain varietal, discover the diverse range of wines that one winery can produce, or taste how different the same wine from the same vineyard can be depending on the vintage, Pebble Beach Food and Wine offers the experience you’re looking for. Whatever tasting you visit, you’re assured to be trying the finest wines the world has to offer. A few events with tickets are still available: Get your ticket here!

After Hours v.1-01At Pebble Beach Food & Wine, the partying continues for our select group of celebrity chefs, winemakers, sommeliers and industry influencers who dance quite literally until dawn.

Tickets

Three total weekend packages are available. Tickets can be purchased at: Pebble Beach Food and Wine website.

I’m so looking forward to support this great cause epicurean event, as well as meeting these chefs, and industry influencers. There’s so much to learn, to explore, and to be inspired.

Don’t forget to harshtag us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook #PBFW @PBFW @DiningOutVegas @DepLifestyleMag and @1MandaBear.

Pebble Beach Food & Wine Hotels

Golf-41Many of the motels and hotels at Pebble Beach are within walking distance or just 10, 15 minutes drive to the Pebble Beach Food & Wine events. Nearby options, search in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Pacific Grove and Monterey also provide easy access to the event with shuttles daily by half an hour or an hour, please check www.PBFW.com website for details. To check for hotels availability here Travelocity.com/Hotels

Pebble Beach Food & Wine: 

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Cab Fest Napa Valley, March 4-6, 2016, to benefit the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center

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CabFestCabFest Napa Valley, the premier luxury lifestyle event that celebrates Cabernet Sauvignon and benefits the arts, is set to return to the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater in Yountville, California, March 4 – 6, 2016.

CabFest Napa Valley, a world-class, three-day arts benefit event, will again feature hundreds of wineries showcasing tastes of Napa’s flagship wine varietal Cabernet Sauvignon, an exclusive selection of wines curated by The Wine Bible author Karen MacNeil, vibrant grand wine tastings, intimate boutique wine tastings, innovative cuisine, interactive and informative breakout sessions and live entertainment including a performance by recording artist Mat Kearney, as well as VIP and limited-access experiences and after parties.

wine“While CabFest Napa Valley is definitely a celebration of this region’s signature wine varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon, it is also a reflection of the finest combined elements of wine country including the food, live entertainment, people and trendsetters that personify the Napa Valley lifestyle,” said CabFest Napa Valley Producer, Michael Madden. “We are proud to also announce that we will again stage this event with our beneficiary non-profit partner, the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater.”

A preview of just some of the 2016 CabFest Napa Valley Event Mat KearneySchedule includes:

• CabFest Napa Valley Kickoff Concert with headliner, recording artist Mat Kearney, followed by the highly-popular and exclusive “Cigars and Guitars” after party for VIP pass holders.

• Daily Grand Karen MacNeilTastings and Boutique Tastings featuring hundreds of wines, as well as the CabFest Symposium with wine world stars such as wine author Karen MacNeil, winemakers, sommeliers and chefs.

• The release of the new hardcover book the CabFest Napa Valley – Premium Guide to Cabernet Sauvignon, First Edition.
About CabFest Napa Valley 2016

CabFest Napa Valley is a luxury lifestyle celebration of wine, food and entertainment, created to attract a wide audience to the Napa Valley during the shoulder season and simultaneously benefit local arts education. The inaugural CabFest Napa Valley attracted more than 2,000 patrons, with 70% of the attendees traveling from outside the area (17 states and more than three countries). For tickets, or to participate or sponsor, visit CabFestNapaValley.com or call 707.944.9900.

Tickets are also available at the Lincoln Theater Box Office at 100 California Drive in Yountville, California from 11 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

For more information visit CabFestNapaValley.com.
Like CabFest on Facebook and Follow on Twitter, and Instagram.

About the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater

The Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater is a non-profit performing arts organization dedicated to the cultural and artistic education and well-being of the Napa Valley. The Performing Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that nurtures the next generation of artists and audiences through extensive arts education programs, while sustaining a more vibrant and engaged community, through initiatives ranging from presenting world-renowned artists and producing Symphony Napa Valley, to creating and sustaining arts education and access programs in schools, to producing arts and culture education and outreach on site at Lincoln Theater.

Wine Events at Flavor! Napa Valley with Christopher Sawyer of SawyerSomm.com – WINE MANAGEMENT AND PROGRAMMING

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ChristopherSawyerWine Events at Flavor! Napa Valley with Christopher Sawyer of SawyerSomm.com – WINE MANAGEMENT AND PROGRAMMING – Christopher Sawyer is an internationally-renowned sommelier,  wine educator, journalist, consultant, critic and public speaker: He travels the world following trends in wine and participating as a VIP judge in the world’s top wine competitions, and has been featured in a wide range of national media, including USAToday, MSN, NBC, ABC, CBS, Redbook, The Hollywood Reporter, Maxim, National Geographic Traveler, CNN and Esquire.

WINE PARTNER
NVV_CenteredLogo_150wThe Napa Valley Vintners nonprofit trade association has been cultivating excellence since 1944 by inspiring its more than 525 members to consistently produce wines of the highest quality, to provide environmental leadership and to care for the extraordinary place they call home.

Check out these amazing wine events:

Terroir to Table: Exploration of Pinot Noirs with Etude Wines
Location: Etude Wines – 1250 Cuttings Wharf Road Napa, CA 94559 
Thursday, March 17, 2016 -Time: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Join winemaker Jon Priest for a unique tasting that showcases Etude’s continual study of this captivating varietal and its varying expressions from Carneros, Sonoma Coast, Santa Barbara County and Willamette Valley. Jon will lead a side-by-side tasting of these limited regional Pinot Noirs to help you understand how terroir influences the aromas and flavors of this popular grape and explore how Pinot Noir is highly sensitive to climate and changes in soil composition. With Etude’s minimal intervention approach, even when each Pinot Noir is treated the exact same way in the winery, the resulting wines will ultimately be different. After the intimate seated tasting, Jon will lead Flavor guests into Etude’s cellar for a behind-the-scenes barrel tasting of an unreleased vintage of all the Pinots just tasted. Guests will also come away with a bottle of Pinot and other surprises. Space is very limited.

Purchase tickets to this event


The Taste of Time: A Retrospective Tasting with Chateau Montelena and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars
Location: Silverado Resort and Spa – 1600 Atlas Peak Road Napa, CA 94558
Thursday, March 17, 2016 –  
Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm

In celebration of the 40-year anniversary of the Judgment of Paris Tasting, join winemakers Matt Crafton of Chateau Montelena and Marcus Nataro of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars for this exclusive tasting of rare and unique wines that represent the flavor of Napa Valley and each winery’s commitment to quality over the past four decades.

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Wine Class: Spring Awakening & the Rosé Revolution
Location: The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone 2555 Main Street St. Helena, CA 94574
Friday, March 18, 2016 –  Time: 10:00am – 11:30am

rose-grabAn in-depth tasting experience focused on the wide range of dry, elegant, and refreshing styles of pink wines made with premium grapes from Napa Valley, and how these tasty delights pair with fine cuisine in the Spring and Summer months.

Participants include:
Tim Collar, Saintsbury: Vin Gris of Pinot Noir, Carneros
Kevin Morrisey, Ehlers Estate: “Sylviane” Cabernet Franc Rose, Estate, St. Helena
Julia Johnson, Tres Sabores: “Ingrid & Julia” Rose, Napa Valley
Robin Akhurst, Swanson Vineyards, Rosato, Antica Vineyard, Atlas Peak

Moderator: Traci Dutton, Manager, Public Wine and Beverage Studies,The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

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Wine Class: Pinot Paradise
Location: The Culinary Institute of America at Copia – 500 1st Street Napa, CA 94559
Friday, March 18, 2016 – Time: 10:00am – 11:30am

Fuel your passion for Pinot Noir with this unique tasting of sophisticated wines made with fruit grown in Carneros and other special sites in Napa Valley. Food pairing suggestions from chefs, sommeliers, and much more!

Jon Priest, Winemaker, Etude Wines, Carneros
Steve Rogstad, Winemaker, Cuvaison Estate Wines, Carneros
David Mahaffey, Winemaker, Miss Olivia Brion Wines, Wild Horse Valley
Alez Beloz, Winemaker, Poseidon Vineyard, Carneros
Amelia Ceja, Ceja Vineyards, Carneros
Moderator: Christie Default, Professor, Wine and Beverage Studies, The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

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Terroir to Table: Appellation Exploration at HALL Wines
Location: HALL Wines St. Helena – 401 Saint Helena Highway Saint Helena, CA 94574 
Friday, March 18, 2016 – Time: 12:00pm – 3:00pm

Led by acclaimed winemaker, Steve Leveque, Flavor guests are invited to join HALL Wines for an unparalleled opportunity experiencing the quality and diversity of Napa Valley’s distinct appellations. This is a one-of-a-kind wine tasting of HALL’s most limited-production wines showcasing the impact of terroir, climate and elevation. Everything other than appellation is constant – the vintage, winemaking team, winemaking approach, technology in the vineyard and cellar all remain the same. This tasting proves just that. All wines served are carefully paired with seasonal bites with one of HALL’s Chefs providing insight into why the wines pair well with the dish. With a portfolio of outstanding wines from thirteen of the sixteen Napa Valley appellations, HALL is uniquely positioned to offer this experience to guests ranging from novice wine drinkers to experts and critics. All guests will come away with a special giveaway. Guests will experience luxury at its finest with HALL’s unique Appellation Exploration event.

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Wine Class: Preservation Society
Location: The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone 2555 Main Street St. Helena, CA 94574
Friday, March 18, 2016 –  Time: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Food-WineBefore Cabernet Sauvignon became the most popular grape in the Napa Valley, most of the full-bodied red wines were made with Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Charbono and other legendary grape varietals referred to as “mixed blacks.” Come find out what the proprietors of Biale Vineyard, Hendry Vineyards, Turley Cellars and other boutique producers are doing to preserve these special old vineyard sites.

Participants include:
Robert Biale, Proprietor, Robert Biale Winery: Aldo’s Vineyard
Tegan Passalacqua, Winemaker, Turley Wine Cellars, Hayne’s Vineyard, Mike Hendry, Proprietor, Hendry Winery: R.W. Moore Vineyard, Russell Bevan, Winemaker, Chase Cellars: Hayne’s Vineyard, Genevieve Janssens, Robert Mondavi Winery: To Kalon Vineyard

Moderator: Christopher Sawyer, Sommelier, Wine Educator, Journalist

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Wine Class: Aromatic White Wines for Spring

Location: The Culinary Institute of America at Copia – 500 1st Street Napa, CA 94559
Friday, March 18, 2016 –
Time: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Love refreshing wines with aromatic aromas? Or simply looking for a crisp alternative to Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc? Then check out the new delicate styles of white wine from Napa Valley that are becoming very fashionable to pair with so many styles of fine cuisine.

Participants include:
Mike Chelini, Winemaker, Stony Hill Vineyard, Spring Mountain
Jeff Virnig, Winemaker, Robert Sinskey Vineyards, Carneros
Francis Mahoney, Mahoney Vineyards, Carneros
Ry Richards, Chappellet Winery, Pritchard Hill
Craig Becker, Priest Ranch/Somerston Estate, Napa Valley
Moderator: Robert Bath, Master Sommelier & Professor, Wine and Beverage Studies, The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

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Wine Class: Forward Thinking, The Young Stars of Napa Valley
Location: The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone 2555 Main Street St. Helena, CA 94574 
Saturday, March 19, 2016 –  Time: 10:00am – 11:30am

Meet the next generation of talented winemakers in Napa Valley. Find out the new wine trends they are applying to their family vineyards, discover the intriguing grape varietals they are working with, and taste the signature styles of wines which set them apart from the rest!

Participants include:
Alan Viader, Viader Vineyards & Winery
Judd Finkelstein, Judd’s Hill
Alex Llamas, Winemaker, Llamos Winery
Joe Harden, Robert Mondavi Winery
Patrick Foley, Foley Johnson Winery

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Terroir to Table: St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery Aromatherapy with a Corkscrew
Location: St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery – 8440 Saint Helena Highway Rutherford, CA 94573 
Saturday, March 19, 2016 – Time: 10:00am – 11:30am

Explore wine aromas suggestive of fruit character, barrel aging and terroir while tasting four estate grown St. Supéry wines. Exercise your sense of smell through a series of aroma identifications designed for you to discover how your personal sensory memory impacts how you recognize aromas. This interactive sommelier-led experience includes a mystery wine game and ultimately guides guests to develop a savvy for identifying more aromas in their glass which heightens the enjoyment of wine. This is a fantastic way to begin your visit to Napa Valley.

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Wine Class: High Elevation Wines, Part 1 – Eastside
Location: The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone – 2555 Main Street Saint Helena, CA 94574
Saturday, March 19, 2016 – Time: 10:00am – 11:30am

Join us for this detailed exploration of complex wines made with grapes grown on high elevation sites in the rugged eastern hills of the Napa Valley.

Participants Include:
Remi Cohen, President, Poetry Wines/Cliff Lede Vineyards: Stags Leap District
Glenn Salva, Antica Napa Valley, Atlas Peak
Gillian Balance, Beringer/Treasury Wine Estates
Tina Mitchell, Palmaz Vineyards, Combsville
Mia Klein, Cimarosso, Howell Mountain

Moderator: Christopher Sawyer, Sommelier and Founder of SawyerSomm.com

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Wine Class: High Elevation Wines, Part 2 – Westside

Location: The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone 2555 Main Street St. Helena, CA 94574
Saturday, March 19, 2016 –  Time: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

wineExplore flavorful selections of wines made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and other special varietals used to create limited release wines and proprietary blends from hidden sites on the Mayacamas Range overlooking Napa Valley.

Participants include:
Hugh Davies, Proprietor, J Davies/Schramsberg, Diamond Mountain
Christopher Howell, Winegrower/GM, Cain Winery & Vineyard, Spring Mountain
Stuart Smith, Winemaker, Smith Madrone Vineyards & Winery, Spring Mountain
Mariano Navarro, Viticulturalist, Mt. Brave/Lokoya Wines, Mt Veeder
Jay Turnipseed, Mount Veeder Winery, Mt. Veeder
Moderator: Christopher Sawyer, Sommelier and Founder of SawyerSomm.com

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Wine Class: Exploring the Rhone Zone
Location: The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone – 2555 Main Street Saint Helena, CA 94574
Saturday, March 19, 2016 – Time: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

From aromatic white wines and elegant red blends, to bold and spicy vineyard designates, taste and discover why many talented winemakers in Napa Valley are working with grape varietals that were originally made famous in the Rhone Valley of France and other special regions around the globe.

Participants include:
David Miner, Proprietor, Miner Family Winery
Joanne Wings, Stags’ Leap Winery
Carolyn Meridith, Proprietor, Lagier Meredith Vineyard
Ashley Hepworth, Winemaker, Joseph Phelps Vineyards
Jeff Cohn, Jeff Cohn Cellars

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Bubbly Sensations: Exploring the Top Sparkling Wines of Napa Valley

Location: The Meritage Resort and Spa – 875 Bordeaux Way Napa, CA 94558
Saturday, March 19, 2016 –  Time: 9:30am – 11am

wine2Start your Sunday off in style by tasting through the top sparkling wines of Napa Valley! Find out where the grapes are grown and how the winemakers create levels of flavor and complexity that make their sparkling gems so special. Bubbles and knowledge in every sip!

Participating Wineries:
Domaine Carneros, Domaine Chandon, Mumm Napa, Schramsberg

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Countdown to Flavor! Napa Valley March 16 – 20, 2016 Five Days, 40 Events and One Legendary Festival


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The countdown to Flavor! Napa Valley, March 16 – 20, 2016, has begun! The five-day food and wine festival

foodsupports programs and scholarships at The Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone Campus in St. Helena, CA. Flavor! Napa Valley showcases the finest in farm-to-table cuisine and world class wines with a series of local and celebrity chef demonstrations, intimate winemaker workshops, as well as grand tastings and exclusive experiences to bring out the best flavors of Napa Valley.

A highlight of Flavor! Napa Valley 2016 events include and a whole lot more events at Flavor! Napa Valley :

  • rose-grabWednesday, March 16First Taste, Napa Valley, presented by Downtown Napa at the Culinary Institute of America’s new downtown campus at Copia in Napa, 6 – 9 p.m., *$95 per person. *Those who book overnight accommodations in downtown Napa will receive two tickets to the event.
  • Silverado-500wThursday, March 17The Celebrity Chef and Winemaker Golf Tournament, new for 2016, at Silverado Resort & Spa in Napa, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. $200 per person.
  • Thursday, March 17 – A Celebration of the Judgment of Paris Dinner at Silverado Resort & Spa in Napa, 6 – 10 p.m., $295 per person. Participating chefs include Matthew Accarrino, Bradley Ogden, Justin Yu and Larry Forgione.
  • ChristopherKostow-150wFriday, March 18 – “Chef Demonstration: Cooking with Chef Christopher Kostow – Join Chef Christopher Kostow of The Restaurant at Meadowood Napa Valley, 12 – 1:30 p.m., $101.22 for a behind-the-scenes look at his cooking style and techniques. A Michelin-starred chef before the age of 30, Kostow attributes his culinary philosophy in part to Napa Valley’s vibrant terroir.
  • Saturday, March 19- “Legendary Napa Valley, The Grand Tasting –  all presented in The Culinary Institute of America’s
    ToddEnglishhistoric Greystone building, St. Helena, Napa Valley, VIP 6 p.m, general admission 7 – 9:30 p.m., $185.62-$238.37. This epicurean adventure showcases a collection of the Napa Valley’s most celebrated and innovative vintners and chefs. The Legendary Grand Tasting will feature nearly 80 wineries and fare from over 25 of the Valley’s best restaurants.
  • Sunday, March 20 — The Meet Your Maker; The Butcher, The First-TasteBaker, and The Sparkling Wine MakerBrunch Party at The Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., $125 per person.Saturday, March 19 — Legendary Napa Valley, The Grand Tasting at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, 7 – 9:30 p.m., $175 per person.

Terroir to Table
In addition to the Flavor! Napa Valley events listed above, the five-
Flavor_Hero_1280x618v3day food and wine event also includes a series of “Terroir to Table” workshops Thursday, March 17 through Saturday, March 19. These include “Behind the Scenes with Nickel & Nickel;” “Detox to Retox” at Indian Springs Resort; “Appellation Exploration” at HALL Wines; and “Winery Aromatherapy with a Corkscrew” at St. Supery Estate Vineyards.

Chef Demos
A highlight of Flavor! Napa Valley “Chef Demos” include an “OpenTable Industry Trends Panel” at the Culinary Institute of America at Copia; “Cooking with Christopher Kostow,”chef at Michelin three star The Restaurant at Meadowood; “Pizza Making with Tony Gemignani,” of Tony’s Pizza Napoletana; and “From Vegas to the Valley with Chef Rick Moonen.”

Wine Classes
Additional highlights of Flavor! Napa Valley include Wine Classes, offered Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19, include “Spring First-TasteAwakening & the Rose Revolution;” “Aromatic White Wines for Spring;” “Exploring the Rhone Zone;” and “The Young Turks of Napa Valley.”

Other exciting events, including “After Parties,” and “Tours,” as well as full descriptions of all events, including dates, times, pricing and ticket information, may be found at Flavor! Napa Valley.

Overnight Packages
For those wishing to enjoy a “full” Flavor! Napa Valley experience by attending multiple events over the course of four days, Visit Napa Valley offers an array of overnight packages, many of which include tickets to select Flavor! Napa Valley events.

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Buy your tickets here: Flavor! Napa Valley
Website: FlavorNapaValley.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlavorNapa
Instagram: https://instagram.com/FlavorNapa
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FlavorNapaValley

First Day at NAPA VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL NOV 11, 2015

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The Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) is the ultimate celebration of Uptown Theaterfilm, food and wine, in the picturesque towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga at the most colorful time of year, November 11-15, 2015. In addition to amazing films, attendees enjoy industry panels, culinary demonstrations, wine tasting pavilions, special events and parties, winemaker dinners and more.

jason wise dlynn proctor marc lhormerThe opening day and night of the Napa Valley Film Festival on Wednesday, November 11, 2015. The Opening Night World Premiere Screening of SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE and Somm: Into the Bottle Opening Night Party with Director Jason Wise and documentary subjects Steve Mathiasson, Festival Co-Founders Marc Lhormer & Brenda Lhormer and many more.

Uptown TheaterThere’s about 120 films will be screening this year, just as last year. There’s more seats added this year with three more theaters showing. The opening night much anticipated with medias, movie lovers, and Festival pass holders at the Uptown Theater got turned away.

This is our first year cover Napa Vally Film Festival and we were disappointed with the process from the BWR PR company. We didn’t get to see the Somm: Into The Bottle, and we didn’t get to meet any of the documented Master Sommelier nor director Jason Wise. We can’t share with you how good to movie was.

YOUNTVILLE, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Members of the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, from the film 'Landfill Harmonic' at the Lincoln Theatre during a screening of the film at the 2015 Napa Valley Film Festival on November 11, 2015 in Yountville, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup)
YOUNTVILLE, CA – NOVEMBER 11: Members of the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, from the film ‘Landfill Harmonic’ at the Lincoln Theatre during a screening of the film at the 2015 Napa Valley Film Festival on November 11, 2015 in Yountville, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup)

The Carol screening with Producer Christine Vachon and Composer Carter Burwell was  on the Opening Night Red Carpet. The screening, Q&A and concert for Landfillharmonic, featuring 24 children from the Paraguayan musical group, the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, performing with their musical instruments made entirely out of garbage at the 2015 Napa Valley Film Festival.

NAPA, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Q&A for the film 'Somm: Into the Bottle' at the Napa Uptown Theatre at the 2015 Napa Valley Film Festival on November 11, 2015 in Napa, California. (Photo by Bob McClenahan/PictureGroup)
NAPA, CA – NOVEMBER 11: Q&A for the film ‘Somm: Into the Bottle’ at the Napa Uptown Theatre at the 2015 Napa Valley Film Festival on November 11, 2015 in Napa, California. (Photo by Bob McClenahan/PictureGroup)

We are looking forward for screenings of the award-winning dark comedy MOMENTS OF CLARITY, part of the Narrative Feature Competition. The film stars Lyndsy Fonseca (How I Met Your Mother, KICK-ASS), Xander Berkeley (24, Nikita), Eric Roberts (LAZARUS RISING, RUNAWAY TRAIN), Mackenzie Astin (The Facts of Life, IN LOVE AND WAR, IRON WILL), breakout star lead actress/producer/co-writer Kristin Wallace(LETHA ACIDENTS, TREE LINE), and Saxon Trainor (SAND CASTLES), also featuring Marguerite Moreau (WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER), Jonathan Lajoie (The League), Bitty Schram (Monk, A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN) andA.J. Trauth (WELCOME TO HAPPINESS, Even Stevens).  It was directed by Stev Elem, written by Christian Lloyd (and Kristin Wallace), and produced byDavid J. Phillips (and Kristin Wallace).

MOMENTS OF CLARITY is a dark-comedy adventure in which a repressed agoraphobic’s daughter (Kristin Wallace) meets a hardened pastor’s daughter (Lyndsy Fonseca). While escaping their homes to fix a broken camera they end up en route to attend an annual church youth group jamboree and on the way they encounter a host of characters that slowly reveal that their worlds aren’t what they thought they were.  Here is the trailer :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7CURsvzOGI

One of the honest and vibrant film, Crafted, directed by Morgan Spurlock, at the Napa Valley Film Festival. Crafted: inspired by the Häagen-Dazs brand’s own artisanal roots and unwavering commitment to master its craft. The brand commissioned Spurlock to direct this unbranded documentary short that explores what the artisan mindset means in today’s world. Like the Häagen-Dazs brand, the documentary film craftsmen demonstrate a keen dedication to perfecting their craft and holding themselves to the highest standards to deliver products of the finest quality. Check them out.

Buy your passes here: Napa Film Fest Passes

Website: NapaValleyFilmFest.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NapaFilmFest
Instagram: https://instagram.com/napafilmfest/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NapaFilmFest

SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE TO WORLD PREMIERE AS OPENING NIGHT FILM AT THE 2015 NAPA VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL

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somm-into-the-bottleDirector Jason Wise’s Widely Anticipated Follow-Up to His 2013 Hit Film SOMM Will Kick-Off the – 
Festival’s 5th Edition on November 11

The Napa Valley Film Festival 2015 announced that Samuel Goldwyn FilmsSOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE will have its world premiere as the Opening Night Film on November 11, 2015. SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE is writer/director Jason Wise’s highly anticipated follow-up to his 2013 acclaimed film SOMM, which provided viewers with an illuminating look into the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers and the massively intimidating Master Sommelier Exam. SOMM also world premiered as the Opening Night Film at the Napa Valley Film Festival, at the festival’s second edition in 2012.

DLynn Proctor in SOMM_INTO THE BOTTLE (1)Through the eyes of the world’s greatest somms and winemakers, SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE raises the curtain on the seldom-seen world that surrounds the wine we drink by allowing viewers intimate access to the most accomplished sommeliers in the world, as well as to some of the most prestigious winemakers working today. By opening some of the world’s most rare bottles of wine, the viewer will understand how a wine ages, what happens in a cellar and exactly what oak in wine means. The film takes a look at how history has impacted wine, from the Romans, to Prohibition, to the World Wars and even current events such as the Napa Earthquake.

jason wise“We were honored in 2012 to host the world premiere of SOMM, so it makes it doubly sweet to be hosting the world premiere of the sequel, SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE,” said NVFF Executive & Artistic Director Marc Lhormer. “If you know and love wine, you know that when you plant a new vineyard, it takes five years until the grapes are good enough to go ‘into the bottle,’ so we’re thrilled to open our fifth annual Napa Valley Film Festival with such a prestigious film.”

Filmmaker Jason Wise, a 2015 Wine Enthusiast 40 Under 40 Tastemaker, added: “The Napa Valley Film Festival provided an excellent launching pad for SOMM, and I’m very excited to be returning to where it all started with SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE. I could not imagine premiering the film anywhere else, and I am proud to share it with the Napa community.”

somm MSThe Napa Valley Film Festival’s Opening Night, Wednesday, November 11, will feature a pair of screenings of SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE. The premiere itself will screen at 5:00 p.m. at the Uptown Theater (1350 3rd St.) in downtown Napa, a historic art deco movie palace serving as the headquarter theater for the festival. Filmmaker Jason Wise will be in attendance, as will renowned sommeliers: Brian McClintic, Ian Cauble, Fred Dame, DLynn Proctor and Geoff Kruth, who are featured in the film and were also featured in SOMM.

15630479190_08fe91d7b3_zAdmission will be granted to members of NVFF’s Patron Circle (memberships available) and other invited VIP guests. A limited number of individual tickets may also be available in advance. An encore screening at 8:30 p.m. at the Uptown Theater will be open to all festival passholders.

NVFF’s Opening Night Party will be held following the premiere screening at Napa’s Riverfront Promenade at the Napa River Inn.
A Forgotten Man Films production, SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE is directed by Jason Wise, written by Jason Wise and Christina Wise and produced by Jason Wise, Christina Wise and Jackson Myers. Executive produced by Diane Carpenter and William Fowler. Co-produced by Geoff Kruth.

Napa Film Fest 2015Goldwyn plans an early 2016 release for the film. For more information, please visit:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sommdocfilm
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SOMM_FILM
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The Concerts and The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards, Livermore, California

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Wines & Winery Reviews

I’ve seen the concerts line-up at Wente Vineyards that last few wente concert singerstimes I visited here for special events, the restaurant, and wines tasting. I finally got to attend the Colbie Caillat, Christina Perri, and Rachel Platten ‘Girls Night Out, Boys Can Come Too’ tour in August 2015.

Christina Perri is best known for hits: Jar of Hearts, Arms, 1000 Years, and Bubbly. Colbie Caillat is a two times Grammy winner. Special guest Rachel Platten, whose Fight Song has been played on the radio all day long! They surely put on an incredible show. Each sang at least seven-eight songs. They were engaged with the guests, and it was so much fun.

wente summer concert 6  The Concerts at Wente Vineyards has showcased some of the top entertainers in this beautiful winery’s picturesque natural amphitheater. The stage was nicely set. Artists can be easily seen if you don’t sit too far out, good speakers, and sound systems. I love how the amphitheater is not big so that the concert feels very intimate and romantic. The Concert at The Wente Vineyards is a perfect spot for celebrate special occasions.

They transported us from the parking lot to the gate with their golf wente summer concertcarts, just perfect for 5-inch heels.The staff was super attentive. The event was well organized. The buffet dinner was good. There was chicken, halibut, pork, salad, pasta, side dishes, tea, coffee, and 2 desserts; more food that you can imagine. The line can be long after 6:30 PM. So arrive early to avoid that. The Buffet serves from 6-8 PM.

The Buffet food was catered by Wente’s new executive chef Mike chef and gardenerWard of Restaurant at Wente Vineyards. Chef Ward believes in embracing the history and tradition of food by using fresh ingredients from local sources. Aside from The Restaurant’s own on-site organic herb and vegetable garden, Ward continues to support regional purveyors.

The restaurant at Wente Vineyards features ingredient-driven California wine country cuisine using sustainably and organically grown local ingredients. While the menu holds its foundation in American dishes, it is influenced by French and Italian provincial cuisine. The seasonal menu changes daily, utilizing produce from The Restaurant’s organic garden. The award-winning wine list offers more than 1,000 selections, providing numerous options for wine pairings.

wente summer concert 4   It was a beautiful evening summer weather in the Livermore wine country. Good time had by all and a few new friends along the way.

We also got lucky to meet the outgoing  and super tall 5th generation
Karl Wente 1winemaker Karl Wente. He’s such a charming character. I have met other winemakers before Brad Buehler and Claude Bubba as well as vineyards manager Julio  Covarrubias. Everyone was kind, shared their stories, and truly love what they do here and have been working for Wente for decades.

Did you know Wente Vineyards was the first family brought the Chardonnay grape to the U.S.? Their clone is now widely planted in California by other wineries

The staff was knowledgeable and excellent. Wente Vineyards is a must stop if you plan to visit Livermore Wine Country. The wines are good, reasonable price point, and plenty of choices for you to choose.

The  Summer Concerts at Wente Vineyards has been around for almost thirty years. I’m so glad I made it here this Summer and looking forward to Summer 2016 concerts.

The Concerts at Wente Vineyards
Wente Vineyards Tasting Room

5050 Arroyo Road
Livermore, CA 94550
1.925.456.2424

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by Manda Bear 

Iron Horse Vineyards with CEO Joy Anne Sterling, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County Wine Country

Iron Horse Vineyards is one of Sonoma County’s most beautiful,
Sonoma Co June 2015 025small, independent, estate, family-owned wineries. It is located in cool and foggy Green Valley. You can get lost if you don’t pay attention to the sign, and don’t trust your GPS, it might get you to the back road which we did!

The founding partners, Audrey and Barry Sterling first saw it in the iron horse 4pouring rain in February, 1976, they were thepioneer of their time to buy this 300 acres of gentle rolling hills, looking like Camelot. Incurable romantics with extraordinary vision, they bought the property in just two weeks.

The estate was named after a railroad stop, which crossed the property in the 1890s. Rodney Strong rediscovered it as a vineyard iron horse 3site in 1970, planting the original 55 acres of Chardonnay and 55 acres of Pinot Noir. 13 miles from the Pacific as the crow flies. There are approximately 160 acres in vine, planted exclusively to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The predominant soil-type is called “Goldridge”, a sandy loam that has excellent drainage and is perfectly balanced, making it the most coveted for growing Pinot Noir. The estate is divided into 39 blocks, farmed individually, harvested separately and then each vinified as a ‘single vineyard’. Each has been planted with site specific root-stock and clone selections. From 2005 to 2012, we replanted 82 acres originally planted in the early 70s, enhancing all our wines.

Iron Horse is renowned for its Sparkling Wines, which have been Sonoma Co June 2015 049served at the White House for five consecutive Presidential Administrations, beginning with the historic Reagan-Gorbachev Summit Meetings ending the Cold War.

Their delicious wines have served many world leaders, presidents, and celebrities around the world. Including the  White House Millennium celebrations, the White House dinner honoring the Pope on his 80th birthday, the 2011 State Dinner honoring the Queen of England at the Ambassador’s Residence, Winfield House, in London, the dinner President Obama hosted for the President of China in Southern California in June 2013 just to name a few.

Sonoma Co June 2015 034The winery produces a limited production, vintage Sparkling, called Ocean Reserve, in partnership with National Geographic. The winery contributes $4 for each bottle sold to establish Marine Protected Areas and reduce over fishing around the globe.

It’s a beautiful place, on the drive in, you will see all these palm trees that have been planted almost 40 years ago. Breathtaking view of the rolling hills of the vineyards, you can see Mount St. Helena in Napa Valley from there, on a clear day. And their tasting room is outdoor, a perfect place to drink sparkling on a warm day in Russian River Valley.

Sonoma Co June 2015 055 We also got to meet the CEO Joy Anne Sterling, she was kind and wonderful to show us around. She is the second generation of Iron Horse Vineyards, lives on the property with her family. They only produce about 12K-15K cases per year. It’s everything to her and her family. We’re truly humbled by the experience and feel so blessed to talk to one of the best people in the wine industry.

“This is my life, my passport to the world. Because of Iron Horse VIneyards, I can talk to anyone, anywhere, and I got to meet some of the amazing people.” CEO Joy Ann Sterling said.

A pioneer in the Green Valley appellation within the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County, the Iron Horse family is building a legacy of prestige sparkling wines and estate bottled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Sonoma Co June 2015 038We got to tour the estate and was impressed with the operations. We saw many bottle made just for special occations. One of the bottle that we got to enjoy was the Michel Mina sparkling. I’m a fan of chef Michael Mina, and have dined at dozen of his restaurants, Iron Horse is his choice for sparkling wine on his wine list.

TASTING

Sonoma Co June 2015 048 The Tasting Room is open seven days a week from 10am to 4:30pm. Tastings are $20 for a flight of five wines, refunded with purchase, no charge for wine club members with a choice of three flights.

Tours are by appointment Monday through Friday at 10am. Tours are $25 per person (including tasting), refunded with purchase.

Winemaker David Munksgard offers a truck tour through the vineyards and private tasting on Mondays at 10am. Visiting Iron Horse Estate was a truly memorable experience. Limit four people. $50 per person.

WINES

Sonoma Co June 2015 040Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, price ranges from $27-$85. Sparkling wines, price ranges from $42-$220 (magnum). Their sparkling is as good as it gets. I’m a big fan.

Iron Horse Chardonnay is a signature Green Valley region wine. Pinot Noir is the winery’s rising star. All their wines are estate wines Sonoma Co June 2015 030only. The first winery and vineyards in Russian River Valley and they remain family-owned estate operations. If you ever visit Sonoma County, Iron Horse Vineyards should be the first one on your “must visit” list.

Iron Horse Vineyards
Address: 9786 Ross Station Road
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Tel: (707) 887-1507
Website: www.IronHorseVineyards.com
Instagram: https://instagram.com/ironhorsevyds
Twitter: https://twitter.com/IronHorseVyds
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ironhorsevineyards

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by Manda Bear 

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WONDERING WHAT TO PACK FOR VEGAS? TIPS FROM ARIA RESORT & CASINO, LAS VEGAS

I’m not sure how often you go to Vegas, but I’ve been there 6 times in 2015, and ready to go back on July 4th weekend. And even how frequent to go there, I still struggle to pack each time. Here is quite a few great tips to share with you from Aria Resort & Casino Las Vegas. It’s #HowWeVegas.

What do you plan on packing for your one-of-a-kind Vegas experience? No matter the size of your luggage, prepare to live large. Bring your distinctive style, your colorful attitude and your appreciation of the unexpected. While Vegas tends to remove any limitations on your personal sense of style, you may occasionally find that a venue has a dress code. Stand out from the crowd with fashion choices that will take you places, and be sure to plan for the unexpected indulgences which make ARIA a Vegas experience like no other.

What to Pack for Vegas Infographic

 

DAY LIFE

LADIES

Whether you’re relaxing poolside or exploring the town, seek a style embracing the desert heat with casual elegance. Jean shorts and a casual tank top can be dressed up with wedges, dangly earrings and your favorite sunglasses. A big hat can finish the look and keep you shaded from the blazing sun. Be sure to keep your makeup routine light and bright to avoid run-ins with the summer heat. Pair your bikini with a chic, colorful cover-up accentuating your best features.

GENTS

Guys, don’t let the ladies have all the fun. If ever there was a place to let your style shine, Vegas is it. Pair your jeans or crisp shorts with a colorful polo, or even a linen button-down. Flip-flops are fine for a day at the pool, and boat shoes will take you just about everywhere else. Top off your style with a straw boater hat for a refined, yet casual look, and you’ll be ready to make Vegas your own.

NIGHT LIFE

LADIES

In Las Vegas, things really start to heat up after the sun goes down. Ladies, this is your chance to live it up with glam and glitter. Whether your style is flashy or refined, be sure to go a little further than necessary for a look that is uniquely you and then some. Think black sequins, stilettos and diamonds offset by a shawl that can be either classy or flashy — your choice. Make comfort a priority — followed by individuality, and you can’t go wrong!

GENTS

You’ll be all class when you dress for your evening on the town. A tailored suit is welcome anywhere. Paired with a slim-fit oxford in a color that pops, and you’ll be ready for anything. Small, but significant features like sparkling cufflinks, wingtip shoes and a designer watch will allow your unique style to shine through. Turn on the charm with an evening style that sizzles until the sun comes up.

EXTRAS

What are the extra style elements that you can’t live without? For ladies, maybe it’s that shiny black handbag to hold life’s necessities or a splash of your favorite perfume. For guys, it might be a classic pocket square or your trusty pomade tin. The Vegas experience is about looking and feeling your very best, so whatever you’re coveting, be prepared to indulge in the little extras that will make you look and feel spectacular. This is what makes Vegas special, and this is what you can expect with a customized ARIA Las Vegas experience.

Start packing, Vegas is waiting.

This article was shared by Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, NV
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