Napa Valley Life Magazine – Spring 2023

Page 70

PLUS+ Napa Valley’s Unique Rosé

Los Olivos: Rich In History and Hospitality

Mike Grgich Turns 100 Years Young


Sophisticated, Elegant and Groovy


Advisor? Yesterday.

The best time to talk to a Merrill

These markets — they’re a wild ride. But we’ve seen it before. And with a Merrill Advisor, you can do more than just hang on — you can charge forward. Backed by world-class insights. Cutting-edge technology. And a personalized plan to help you thrive. Don’t just ride it out. Ride with the bull. Ride with Merrill.

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Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Riverfront – 700 Main Street Suite 200 Napa, CA 94559 707.255.5559
Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as “MLPF&S” or “Merrill”) makes available certain investment products sponsored, managed, distributed or provided by companies that are affiliates of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”). MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, Member SIPC and a wholly owned subsidiary of BofA Corp. Investment products: Are Not FDIC InsuredAre Not Bank GuaranteedMay Lose Value The Bull Symbol and Merrill are registered trademarks of Bank of America Corporation. © 2023 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. MAP4800316 | AD-01-23-2548.B | 472845PM-0622 | 02/2023 The best time to talk to a Merrill Advisor? Yesterday. The Gonzales Group Eric F. Gonzales Senior Vice President Senior Resident Director – Wealth Management Advisor 707.254.4606 Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Riverfront – 700 Main Street Suite 200 Napa, CA 94559 707.255.5559 What would you like the power to do? These markets — they’re a wild ride. But we’ve seen it before. And with a Merrill Advisor, you can do more than just hang on — you can charge forward. Backed by world-class insights. Cutting-edge technology. And a personalized plan to help you thrive. Don’t just ride it out. Ride with the bull. Ride with Merrill. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as “MLPF&S” or “Merrill”) makes available certain investment products sponsored, managed, distributed or provided by companies that are affiliates of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”). MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, Member SIPC and a wholly owned subsidiary of BofA Corp. Investment products: Are Not FDIC InsuredAre Not Bank GuaranteedMay Lose Value The Bull Symbol and Merrill are registered trademarks of Bank of America Corporation. © 2023 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. MAP4800316 | AD-01-23-2548.B | 472845PM-0622 | 02/2023

Living in Napa Valley means the chance to rediscover this wonderous place we call home. A land of natural beauty dotted with local wineries, charming towns, and secluded retreats, each one its own little getaway destination. It’s time to be a tourist in your own backyard and explore the good life.

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Cover Story The Ink House: Sophisticated, Elegant and Groovy Special Feature: Mike Grgich Turns 100 Varietal Series: Napa Valley’s Unique Rosé Side Trip: Los Olivos, Rich in History and Hospitality

46 SPRING 2023 NAPA VALLEY LIFE MAGAZINE SPRING 2023 THE HOUSEINK Sophisticated, Elegant and Groovy PLUS+ Napa Valley’s Unique Rosé Los Olivos: Rich In History and Hospitality Mike Grgich Turns 100 Years Young 50 71 FEATURES // SPRING 2023
6 NAPAVALLEYLIFE.COM NV Scene • 12 What’s Been Happening Around Town Things To Do • 18 18 Calendar of Events 20 Inside Track: What the Locals are Doing 21 A Weekend in Yountville 24 Take a World Cheese Tour with Janet Fletcher What’s Hot • 26 Wine • 36 36 Domaine Carneros 38 Sequoia Grove 42 St. Supéry 45 Frank Family Vineyards Winery Spotlights 40 PerUs Wines 44 Priest Ranch 54 Fortunati Vineyards Food • 61 61 Stunning Venues for Al Fresco Dining 64 Cooking with Karen Crouse 66 Villa Corona: A Legacy Lives On 68 Napa Yard Oxbow Gardens Special Features 56 An Invitation to Explore Livermore Valley 58 Wine Regions Series: Malbec in Mendoza Around the Valley • 70 70 Stanly Ranch: A Home Away From Home Real Estate • 74 74 Napa Tracy Style: Considering Retiring? Now May Be a Good Time People, Art & Design • 76 76 Kimberley Harrison Interiors 78 E & M Presents Local Spotlights • 80 80 The Estate Yountville 82 Napa Valley Aloft Wealth & Finance • 84 84 Merrill Lynch: How Can I Make the Most of My Retirement? Dining Guide • 86 21 61 58 24 56 DEPARTMENTS // SPRING 2023 NVL contents

As Andrew Carnegie once said, ”Ninety percent of all millionaires become so through owning real estate.” No matter what is happening in the economy, real estate is considered by many successful investors to be a solid strategy. This is a time to invest in real estate and start investing in your Napa Valley dreams—whether that is buying your first home, income property, or finally purchasing that vineyard to create your own label. J ennifer and her team at Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty can help you find the property that will move you into t he next exciting stage of your Napa Valley Dream Life.

Sotheby’s International Realty® is a registered trademark licensed to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. Each Office Is Independently Owned and Operated.
Jennifer Klingbeil UpValley Specialist
Jennifer Klingbeil | Realtor® | Top Producer | Lic.# 02067543 | | m 707.492.0435

Hello Spring

After a record-breaking rainy season, Napa Valley is alive with sunshine, longer days, and warm weather. It’s a spectacular time of the year boasting a dazzling palette of colorful wildflowers and bright, verdurous new growth in the vineyards and rolling hills.

With spring as our backdrop, we offer our readers a variety of things to do to enjoy the season. Whether discovering new tasting experiences at some of Napa Valley’s premiere wineries, enjoying restaurants with some of the best patios and views, or even riding high above the valley in a beautiful balloon, taking in Napa Valley ‘al fresco’ is hard to beat.

Our cover story featuring The Ink House, a collaboration between JeanCharles Boisset and wife, Gina Gallo-Boisset, is the latest addition to their mission to restore and preserve Napa Valley’s historic landmarks and put an inimitable touch on each location as they are brought back to life. Jean-Charles and Gina were attracted to the Inn’s remarkable history since its founding as part of the legendary Helios Ranch in 1885. Its preservation unveils a new style of luxury accommodation that exudes the couple’s personal touch and charm. Guests at the Ink House are treated to exquisitely appointed ensuite bedrooms, bespoke wine tastings, spectacular meals prepared by a private chef, and relaxing evenings in the library, hanging out in the Speakeasy grooving to the piano.

We couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to celebrate spring than our varietal series featuring unique Napa Valley Rosé wines. In a region best known for producing Cabernet Sauvignon, finding Napa Valley Rosé poses some limitations. As a result, some local vintners are having fun making their spring pinks from unique grape varieties, such as Primitivo, Grignolino, Petite Sirah, and Grenache, showcasing youthful, fresh, and fruit-forward wines. They’re affordable, fun, and the perfect muse to welcome the warm days of spring and summer.

For the adventurer, take a side trip down the coast to Los Olivos. Best known for producing some of California’s favorite Rhone varietals, the walkable fiveblock area has a fascinating old-west history and a laidback vibe. Its authenticity and warm hospitality make it a must-stop along the central coast.

Our special feature story is a remarkable and distinctive homage to industry legend Mike Grgich, who celebrated his 100th birthday on April 1. His life as an immigrant seeking a better life in America became an American dream that cleared the path for generations to follow. His fortuity and commitment to the craft changed the direction of the wine industry, offering new winemakers inspiration and giving consumers endless possibilities for great wines around the world.

Happy Spring! Cheers to warm days and new beginnings.

Photo by Lowell Downey
NVL editor’s letter
It’s time for mom to experience the thoughtful care she deserves. You’ve been looking for a place where mom can thrive, one with exceptional dining, innovative programming, and an engaging social life. A community designed to enhance health and well-being. A setting that offers expert care for her, and peace of mind for you. Offering refined residences for Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care, The Watermark at Napa Valley is just what mom needs– and more than you envisioned. Call 707-244-3924 to schedule your private tour and experience our award-winning senior living community. INDEPENDENT LIVING | ASSISTED LIVING | MEMORY CARE A WATERMARK RETIREMENT COMMUNITY 23-NVN-9601A | RCFE LICENSE #286803919 | 707-244-3924 4055 Solano Avenue, Napa, CA 94558


Derek Wright


Erin Hayden Seal


Laura Larson


Jackie Cyr


Doris Hobbs – 209-207-4876


Kevin Evans


Fran Miller

Laurie Jo Miller Farr

Layne Randolph

Melissa Vogt

Charlene Peters

Jillian Dara

Francie Low

Susan Richards

Mark Gudgel


Art & Clarity – Lowell Downey

Bob McClenahan


Proprietors Jean-Charles Boisset and Gina Gallo-Boisset relaxing in the library at The Ink House

Photo by Alexander Rubin

Napa Valley Life Magazine is published six times a year. We have four quarterly publications and two annual publications.

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NV Scene

What’s Been Happening Around Town


Downtown Napa & Oxbow District wowed spectators with its month-long “art after dark” event, the Lighted Art Festival. The annual celebration of creative arts, technology, and lights showcases light and light technologies as a growing art medium. The outdoor walkable experience featured ten luminous art installations at various locations in downtown Napa, the Napa Riverfront and Oxbow District and during the first nine days, five breathtaking projection art displays exhibited on some of downtown Napa’s iconic buildings. //

Polymery by Taylor Dean Harrison Arial View of Napa Riverfront Seed of Dreams by Martin Taylor/Chromaforms Jewellery’s Voices by Noemi Prud’homme Sound by Yohan Dumas Dahlia by Jacques Lesec


Chef Charlie Palmer hosted his 16th Annual fundraising event, Celebration of Pigs & Pinot, on March 17 – 18 at Hotel Healdsburg. The celebratory weekend offered a series of intimate dining and educational events where a cast of Master Sommeliers and international celebrity chefs showcased some of the world’s greatest Pinot Noirs alongside delectable pork dishes. The festival kicked off on Friday at the Taste of Pigs & Pinot, where guests sampled 60 highly-acclaimed Pinot Noir wines from around the world. Saturday’s program included the Tournament of the Pig competition and the Ultimate Pinot Smackdown Seminar. Saturday’s evening events included a Swine & Wine dinner at Spoonbar and a sumptuous Gala Dinner at Hotel Healdsburg’s Dry Creek Kitchen. Net proceeds from the event benefit Farm to Pantry and local scholarships and charities. //

SPRING 2023 13
#1 Pinot Cup Winners: David Yoshida, Debbie Zachareas , Charlie Palmer, Yolanda Papapietro, Ben Papapietro, Sarah Doyle, Daryl Groom, Host // Photo by Damion Hamilton Chef Bryan Voltaggio at the Taste of Pigs and Pinot Photo by Laura Larson #3 Tournament of the Pig Crowd with host Mario Cantone Photo by Damion Hamilton Photo by Damion Hamilton #2 Tournament of the Pigs Chefs: Bryan Voltaggio, Louis Tikaram, Elizabeth Falkner, Maneet Chauhan Photo by Damion Hamilton Photo by Damion Hamilton Chef Maneet Chauhan at Taste of Pigs and Pinot // Photo by Laura Larson Ultimate Pinot Smackdown Winners Circle-David Yoshida, Charlie Palmer, Jeff Pisoni, Anne Moller-Racke // Photo by Damion Hamilton



The Yountville International Short Film Festival (YSIFF) returned for its 6th Annual weekend in the heart of downtown Yountville on February 2 – 5, 2023. The four-day event, hosted by Founders Bill Hargreaves and Sinohui Hinojosa, brought the perfect combination of wine & film to cinema lovers everywhere. The incredible lineup of imagination-stretching short films from across the globe were shown in Yountville’s Community Center and the Bardessono Hotel & Spa and in combination with some of Napa’s premiere wineries, delivered the best in cinematic storytelling. //

Joel Quigley from Lloyd Cellars and Prescription Vineyards Photo by Laura Larson


February 22 – 25, 2023 was a magical week in Napa Valley as the Napa Valley Vintners’ 27th annual Premiere Napa Valley, conducted by Sotheby’s, took place among the rare sighting of snowcapped mountains. This year’s event is a memorable one. By the end of the annual auction week, 154 micro lots and 53 lots of Vintage Perspective Auction limited edition bottles of wine had been sold to bidders in far-reaching markets around the world. Among this year’s lots were 137 wines from the 2021 vintage which generated excitement among trade members, fetching an average bottle price of $295. The auction brought in an impressive $3.4 million including wines sold in the Premiere Napa Valley and the Vintage Perspective auctions. All proceeds directly fund programs to promote, protect, and enhance Napa Valley. //

SPRING 2023 15
La Sirena Proprietor and Winemaker Heidi Barrett with trade friends at the Women Winemakers Preview event Photo by Laura Larson Premiere 2023 Barrel Auction Photo by Alexander Rubin Napa Valley Vintners host the event, seen here with event chair Priyanka Dhar French of Signorello Estate // Photo by Alexander Rubin Wine Writer James Suckling joined the festivities Photo by Alexander Rubin Wine trade from around the world offer top bids on these limited-production wines // Photo by Alexander Rubin Peju Winemaker Sarah Foley and Lisa Peju at the Women Winemakers preview event Photo by Laura Larson Cardinale and Lokoya Winemaker Christopher Carpenter at Preview Party Photo by Laura Larson Robin Baggett from Alpha Omega, Darioush Khaledi of Darioush and Cyril Chappellet of Chappellet Vineyard Photo by Alexander Rubin The “Live Before the Live” red carpet broadcast with Amanda McCrossin and Trevor Durling of Beaulieu Vineyard // Photo by Alexander Rubin


From February 1 through March 31, Napa Valley was adorned in a vibrant blanket of yellow mustard blooms, which have become a significant part of the region’s culture and cause for celebration. This year, Jessel Miller of Jessel Gallery organized a twomonth event through artists in her gallery and among partnerships with local artists, wineries, hotels, and restaurants. Participants offered mustard-themed special offers and events that included artwork and exhibits, photo contests, writer’s salons, wine and food pairings, hotel packages, spa treatments, painting classes and even an exclusive, commemorative Mustard Celebration bottle of red wine produced by Bougetz Cellars. //

Calistoga Artist Homage to the Mustard Plant Jessel Iconic Tim Ennis of Bougetz Cellars pouring the Mustard Celebration commemorative vintage NV scene All is Calm Balloon John Comisky Shafer in the Golden Hour with Balloons Writers Salon

Taste for Knowledge

Celebrating 40 Years of Excellence!

May 12th, 2023 • at CIA Copia Napa, CA

Join Napa Valley Education Foundation for the 40th Annual Taste for Knowledge Gala. Don't miss an evening of food, wine, and generosity in support of Napa County's schools, teachers, and students!

Excite your tastebuds with small bites prepared by Napa County culinary students under the mentorship of Michelin Star Chef Robert Curry during our Taste Reception.

Enjoy a three-course meal prepared by the renowned CIA Copia team, paired with mystery magnums featuring legendary wines from across Napa Valley.

Enrich the lives of Napa County's youth by bidding big in our live auction featuring unparalleled wine, travel, and experience lots including a Land Rover driving experience and dinner for two at the French Laundry!

Leslie Sbrocco

Check Please Bay Area

Your event MC is none other than Bay Area's very own food and wine legend, Leslie Sbrocco! Her entertaining approach makes exploring wine, travel, and food fun.

Robert Curry

Auberge du Soleil Join our Taste for Knowledge Chef Mentor, Robert Curry who will work with Napa County public school students to prepare small bites for our Taste Reception.

Ticket and sponsorship opportunities avaiable now!

Visit for more information and to secure your spot.


NV Calendar

Upcoming Parties, Concerts, Celebrations and Events

Event dates subject to change. Please check event websites for current schedules.

April 19 – 22


Enjoy four nights of incredible music, wine, and food at some of Napa’s premiere wineries (Alpha Omega, Frank Family Vineyards, Brasswood Cellars, and Charles Krug) for Napa Valley’s annual Songwriters in Paradise weekend. Each “in the round” show will include intimate acoustic, songwriting & storytelling performances by some of the world’s most accomplished & talented singer-songwriters, such as GRAMMY- award-winning Tom Nichols, ACM Nominee Jedd Hughes, Lauren Jenkins, and Wyatt Durrette, plus a special Saturday night performance from Silverado Pickups featuring Napa Vintners David Duncan of Silver Oak Cellars & Jeff Gargiulo of Gargiulo Vineyards. The shows will include wine selections from that evening’s winery and hearty hors d’oeuvres. //

May 1 – Oct 31


Blue Note Napa rolled out its new music lineup for the 2023 summer concert season, which kicks off May through October at a new stage constructed along the meadow at the Silverado Resort. With a diverse array of performers in the lineup, the series welcomes the likes of Dwight Yoakum, Emmy Lou Harris, Belinda Carlisle, Chris Botti, Brian Culbertson, Madeleine Peyroux, Three Dog Night, comedians Marlon Wayans and Andrew Dice Clay, to name just a few. //

May 5 – 7


Mingle with some of Napa Valley’s top vintners and winemakers at Kerrin Laz’s signature Spring Alzheimer’s Association fundraiser for 2023. The spectacular three-day event offers wine enthusiasts,

philanthropists, and industry leaders the opportunity to unite with some of Napa’s greatest wineries and wine talents to raise money to fight Alzheimer’s. The itinerary includes a VIP Block party on Friday evening on Pritchard Hill, a wine seminar, and a food and wine celebration with a walk around wine tasting at Round Pond Estate on Saturday, followed by INSPIRE Napa Valley’s signature live auction and paddle raise. The weekend wraps with a Thomas Keller-themed VIP brunch on Sunday. //

May 18 – 21


OLE Health’s annual fundraising event, Vida OLE, kicks off a memorable weekend program hosted at some of Napa Valley’s most celebrated wineries, such as Sullivan Rutherford Estate, Darioush, Louis M. Martini, and Wappo Hill. The series of events includes lavish culinary wine and food pairing experiences prepared by

2023 Festival Napa Valley Arts for All Gala headliner Carrie Underwood Photo by Randee St. Nicholas Photo courtesy of SIP Napa

some of Napa’s renowned chefs, a luxury auction consisting of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, luxury getaways, rare wines, and much more. Proceeds from Vida will support OLE Health’s programs and services, which deliver high-quality healthcare to the essential workers that drive Napa Valley’s economic engine. //

May 20


Head to Yountville, the heart of the Napa Valley, for this artistic outdoor stroll to celebrate Napa’s local artists. This free art event featuring over 50+ juried artists—fine art, sculpture, ceramics, photography, and jewelry is spread throughout the town. ART, SIP & STROLL Tasting Packages ($40 optional) are also available. They include a glass with four winetasting tokens for any wine-tasting stop, plus the 2023 hand-signed original ART, SIP & STROLL Collector’s Poster by featured sculptor Ivan McLean. Open 11am – 5pm //

May 26 – 28


Back in Napa for its 10th Season, BottleRock Napa Valley will rock the Napa Valley Expo over the three-day Memorial Weekend. Presented by JaM Cellars, the 2023 festival presents over 70 musical acts with headline artists Red Hot Chili Peppers, Post Malone, Lizzo, Duran Duran, Lil Nas X, and The Smashing Pumpkins. The 3-day music, wine, craft brew, and culinary festival

is known for some of the world’s biggest bands, up-and-coming musical acts, and some of Napa Valley’s best food.

BottleRock Napa Valley also presents its highly entertaining Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage, showcasing a unique mashup of cooking demonstrations with renowned chefs, celebrities, performers, and rock stars. Initial ticket blocks were released in January, but some ticket types are still available for direct purchase or to score post-sale tickets, visit the Fan-to-Fan Exchange page. //

June 2 – 3



Napa Valley Vintners-Collective Napa Valley celebrates the start of summer with a live event weekend that includes everything you’d expect from only-inNapa Valley hospitality: vintner-hosted wine events and experiences, wines to taste straight from the barrel, delicious food from local restaurants and so much more, including a new grand celebration with a live auction offering once-in-alifetime wines and unique experiences

Dazzling vineyards, gourmet cuisine and world famous wines await you. WINETRAIN.COM | 800.427.4124 | NAPA, CA Spend the Day Exploring Napa Valley ON THE WINE TRAIN EXPLORE OUR EXPERIENCES
Photo courtesy of BottleRock Napa Valley

Inside Track

What the Locals are Doing

Cambria Hotel Locals Night

Cambria Hotel welcomes guests to join them for Happy Hour from 4 – 6pm daily, featuring $5 beers, $6 for select wines and $7 drinks. For locals and industry patrons, on Thursdays from 5 – 7pm happy hour lasts all night and includes complimentary small bites along with wine and beer specials. // 320

The Blue Note Locals Night

Grab a mate and head to The Blue Note on Wednesday evenings for Locals Night. Napa residents get free admission and no corkage fee after the first bottle wine purchase. Two-drink minimum

Heritage Eats Kids Eat Free

Bring the family over for dinner every Monday night and receive a free Kids Meal with the purchase of each adult meal. Choices include tacos, rice bowls, quesadillas, Bao buns and grilled cheese- all served with a drink and a side.

Kitchen Door Happy Hour

Downtown Napa’s Kitchen Door adds another reason to stop in for a visit. From 4 – 5:30pm get $2 off Draft Beer and wines on tap, house drink specials such as a $10 margarita, Paula Kornell Sparkling Wine, or a $6 Vermouth Apertif, paired with delicious apps such as wings, pizza, nachos, and potato skins. Available Monday – Friday // 1300 FIRST


Hunan China Express

Napa locals’ ‘go to’ for quality, fresh, take-out Chinese food, the family-owned restaurant has been around since 2008 and specializes in Hunan and Mongolian style dishes, prepared fresh and available to take out or enjoy on site. The menu includes a great selection of appetizers, soup, Fried Rice, Chow Mein, and a tasty selection of Chef Specials and Combo Plates, which include two entrees with rice or noodles. Open Tues – Sun 10am – 7pm //

that can be yours. Proceeds from the weekend event go toward funding the key to a bright future: the children of Napa Valley. //

June 4, July 12, Aug 9


Roll up with an appetite for American Canyon’s food truck rally on the second Wednesday of June, July, and August on West American Canyon Road between James Road and Elliot Drive. This three-part summer series of events includes a food truck rally featuring over 30 Bay Area food trucks, adult beverages, live music, a car show, a cornhole tournament, and kids’ activities. There will be on-street parking and a nearby lot, and people are encouraged to walk and bike. 5pm – 8pm //

June 10


DoNapa brings The Napa Table back to downtown Napa. Four hundred guests will socialize, sip and dine among friends, colleagues, and industry chums at the second annual Downtown Napa Celebration. The fourblock-long table will be set up along First Street, and neighboring wineries and restaurants will provide beverages and food for the dinner celebration and pre and post-event parties. Live and online auctions will be hosted to raise funds for the Napa Food Bank. //

July 8 – 23


Festival Napa Valley is back for its 18th season, presenting breathtaking performances in iconic wine country settings, paired with Napa Valley’s unparalleled food, wine, and hospitality. Over two weeks in July, the FNV program is intended to uplift and inspire, attracting artists and audiences worldwide, including Carrie Underwood, who will be headlining the Arts for All Gala. This year’s events will be hosted at some of Napa Valley’s iconic destinations, such as Charles Krug Winery, The CIA at Copia, Nickel and Nickel, and the Meritage Resort and Spa. //

1030 MAIN ST., NAPA •
ST., # 272, NAPA •
625 FACTORY STORES DR, NAPA • 707-252-8889
Photo by Darren Brazil San Geronimo at the Blue Note Photo by Mitchell Glotzer


Set against a backdrop of the Mayacamas mountains, Yountville is a storybook destination in the heart of the Napa Valley. Its 1.5 square miles of pristinely landscaped streets are peppered with luxury hotels, shops, and famed neighborhood restaurants such as Chef Thomas Keller’s Michelin 3-Star The French Laundry, Celebrity Chef Michael Chiarello’s Bottega, and the crystal covered palatialdesigned RH (Restoration Hardware), to name a few.

Options on what to do while visiting for a weekend may be wideranging, from a hot-air balloon ride at sunrise to wine tasting at one of 15 distinguished tasting rooms, to a high-end food-and-wine-pairing experience. With so much to do, it’s best to plan ahead for a weekend visit to Yountville.


Bardessono Hotel and Spa is the premier place to experience a digital detox. The neutral-toned spaces enhance a guest’s ability to unwind, and a spa butler is on-call to provide candlelight and music during an in-room massage. Partnerships with Lexus allow guests a chance to test drive or be driven around the area, while Duckhorn Vineyards, known for its Merlot harvested from Three-Palm Vineyards, offers tasting experiences on-site. //

Both Bardessono and Hotel Yountville Resort & Spa offer a digital Bedside Reading On the Download program to allow guests who prefer staying on-site to enjoy a reading luxury amenity. With Hotel Yountville’s 80 luxury rooms and suites, it’s easy for guests to curl up and immerse in a booklist of a dozen choices of eBooks, audiobooks, podcasts, and meditations. Physical books are also an option for guests who prefer to flip actual paper pages. //

SPRING 2023 21
 BY CHARLENE PETERS JCB Yountville Tasting Lounge Photo courtesy of Boisset Collection Photo courtesy of Hotel Bardessono


By the time guests arrive on Friday afternoon and depart on Sunday, they’ve probably exhausted their palates after tasting wine and devouring farm-to-table plates that vary from Parisian to Oaxacan to Italian to Californian selections. It’s best to prepare for a visit by researching how early dinner reservations need to be booked, especially at The French Laundry, where tables fill quickly. //

Lunch at Bistro Jeanty for a puffed pastry bubbling over a bowl of tomato soup is a must-order for excellence in taste and

presentation. This restaurant’s namesake, Phillipe Jeanty, arrived in Yountville in 1977 from the Epernay Champagne region of France to open a restaurant on the property of Domaine Chandon winery. In 1998, he left the winery restaurant and opened Bistro Jeanty with a vision to create a menu that speaks to comfort food and incorporates French cuisine, including a cheese plate with slices of pear and candied walnut to pair with an Époisses de Bourgogne cheese, known for its brandysoaked rind. //

La Calenda is a no-reservation Oaxacan restaurant that opens after 5 pm. It’s also Michelin-recognized as Bib Gourmand— defined as a friendly establishment that serves good food at moderate prices. Operated by Celebrity Chef Thomas Keller, on the menu are Oaxaca-inspired antojitos (appetizers) quesadillas al pastor with pineapple and Chihuahua cheese and a bowl of house-made tortilla chips, spicy guacamole, and salsa verde to wash

down with a specialty margarita. A plate of charred butternut squash tamale is cooked in an avocado leaf, and the chicken in stone-ground mole negro, with its velvety texture and chocolatey essence, is a mustorder. //


Everything tastes better with bacon, and at Priest Ranch, guests can sign up for the bacon and wine tasting experience or deconstruct the winery’s flagship Bordeaux blend, Coach Gun, during The Coach Gun Experience. //

A stop at the audacious yet sophisticated JCB Tasting Salon is where Old World and New World wines merge in three selections of wine flights, each accompanied by a selected pairing and elegantly served in Passion by JCB Baccarat crystal. Wines are also available by the glass and by the bottle. // tasting-salon-yountville

Balloons over Yountville Photo by Napa Valley Aloft Entrance to Bistro Jeanty Photo by Charlene Peters Priest Ranch Coach Gun Tasting Photo courtesy of Priest Ranch The French Laundry Photo by Meg Smith

When Jim, a.k.a. Bear Dyke, of Mira Winery, met Gustavo Gonzalez, a former winemaker at Mondavi, the two chatted mathematics; more specifically about Society 610, or the Golden Ratio, a formula that, in an artful exaggeration, equals visual perfection. The design of the Mira tasting room was built with the Golden Ratio front of mind, and this under-the-radar winery is the place to taste and marvel at Ovum, the winery’s wooden, egg-shaped fermenter. //

The luxurious Silver Trident name is a nod to Neptune and is associated with the owner’s ancillary businesses of luxury cruise lines. In response to Yountville’s ordinance that requires wineries to offer a percentage of retail, Silver Trident is adorned with the interior design of Ralph Lauren, as well as crystal accessories and framed photographs. The winemaking style of Silver Trident is Old World but with New World grapes. //


Previously known as “Vintage 1870,” V Marketplace is filled with restaurants, art galleries, a tasting room, and luxury shops

housed in three stone buildings historically accessible since the rail service began in 1868. // marketplace

Jewelry, clothing, housewares, gifts, books, towels, artwork, handbags, candles, body lotions and more are worth perusing inside Alchemy Works , a retail, gallery, and event space concept in the heart of Yountville. // pages/napa


Run by a local family, Napa Valley Aloft is one of the original hot air balloon companies to offer agricultural aerial tours over Napa Valley. Guests are consistently impressed while they take in the valley’s breathtaking scenery from above. The company’s FAA-certified hot air balloon pilots have extensive knowledge of ballooning over Napa Valley and are among the most experienced captains for balloon adventures. Once the balloon lands, brunch is served. //

FOR MORE INFORMATION 707-944-0904 //

The History of Yountville

Yountville’s storied past began in 1836 when George C. Yount received a land grant from the Mexican government. Three years later, he planted the first Napa Valley grapes. More than a decade later, when California became part of the United States, Yount designed this six-block hamlet with a public square named Yountville. What makes this city stand out among the rest of the Napa Valley is what transpired almost 50 years later at the edge of town when The Yountville Veterans Home opened its doors to housing elderly and disabled military veterans. Close to the Veterans Home is the nonprofit Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater, where symphonies, speaker series, and wine-related events occur throughout the year.

SPRING 2023 23 Locally owned, Family operated for 40+ years Breathtaking Scenery • Unforgettable Adventures Knowledgeable Pilots • Exceptional Service visit our site NVALOFT.COM to book today

SAY CHEESE Take a World Cheese Tour with Janet Fletcher

For Janet Fletcher, dinner isn’t complete without an end-of-meal cheese course. The Napa Valley food writer and cheese aficionado became “hooked” on this ritual while studying in Aix-enProvence for a semester. Fletcher said she saved up enough francs for a meal at a fine dining restaurant and recalled when the cheese trolley came to the table instead of dessert.

“I had never seen such a thing, and I asked the waiter how many I could try. ‘As many as you like, Mademoiselle,’ he said.” To this day, Fletcher and her husband still finish their dinners at home with a bite of cheese.

Fletcher works to share that same eyeopening experience with the attendees of her limited-run cheese class series, World Cheese Tour, held at Winston’s Cafe in Napa. “I love turning people on to artisan cheese and sharing what I have learned over the many years that I’ve been writing

about cheese,” said Fletcher. “Cheese is a lot like wine in that the more you know about it—the history, geography, process, and people behind it—the more you appreciate it.”

Fletcher began this series to share the exceptional wheels she’s enjoyed from France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the U.K.,

and the U.S. with a new audience. The classes follow a casual format: the small group of attendees gathers for an aperitif and hors d’oeuvre to get to know one another before class. Then, guests take their seats for a tasting as Fletcher guides them through the cheese selections and “helps boost your cheese IQ.”

Entering its 11th season, this year’s 10-part series began with Desert Island Cheeses in February. During this class, Fletcher showcased several kinds of cheese on her ‘GOAT (greatest of all time) list,’ which includes “sheep’s milk cheeses from the French Pyrenees and the aged cow’s milk cheese from the Swiss Alps.” As to why Fletcher considers these the greatest of all time? “They’re consistent, complex, and often good value, too.”

The second theme of 2023 focused on high-altitude cheesemaking, then there was Aged to Perfection and New Arrivals from Europe. Upcoming classes will run

NVL things to do
Photo by Douglas Fletcher

once a month until November and focus on everything from cheese rinds to American west coast cheeses, but Fletcher said she’s particularly excited about June’s History of Cheese in Seven Slices. “It is my attempt, in 90 minutes, to tell the story of five centuries of cheese through seven wheels that have had lasting significance and paved the way for those to come,” she said.

When asked what fascinating tidbits one may glean from her June History of Cheese course, Fletcher said it was discovering how and when milk was transformed into cheese. “Who first figured out how to transform milk into cheese? We’ll never know, but it was genius because it made perishable milk into a nutritious food you could transport and store. Over time, cheesemakers have discovered several substances that will coagulate milk, but one of the more interesting ones is cardoon flowers. They contain an enzyme that turns milk into curds. Some tasty Portuguese and

Spanish cheeses are made that way, with an extract from cardoon flowers.”

The August course is another one that Fletcher highly anticipates as she promises an interesting take on pairing cheese with beer. While most believe wine and cheese are the perfect combination, Fletcher explained that some cheeses are hard on wine of all types, but the carbonation in beer is very pleasing with cheese.

“I have never met a cheese for which I couldn’t find an appropriate beer. It helps scrub your palate and get it ready for

another bite. But I also think the malty flavors in beer echo the nutty, buttery, faint caramel flavors in many kinds of cheese,” Fletcher said. One of her favorite pairings is a Belgian-style saison with a mushroomy, bloomy-rind cheese like Camembert. Saisons have high effervescence and fruity aromas, which she called “the cider of beer and cider and Camembert are a match with deep roots in tradition.”

World Cheese Tour classes are for anyone from cheese newcomers to avid enthusiasts. Attendees include wine industry guests who

want to know more about cheeses that might go with the wines they make or sell, Napa Valley visitors searching for a unique experience, or locals who like cheese and are searching for new ones. One of Fetcher’s key objectives through her classes is she hopes guests will start to recognize and appreciate the difference between commodity cheese—the kind found at the supermarket—and artisan cheese, which represents great care and skill.

Visit to learn more or to sign up for one or more of Janet’s monthly World Cheese Tour 2023 classes.


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“ Cheese is a lot like wine in that the more you know about it—the history, geography, process, and people behind it—the more you appreciate it.”
Clochette // Photo by Douglas Fletcher Photo by Douglas Fletcher

Madeleines Macarons

Dennis and Aubrey McIninch have opened a new shop in Yountville for their many fans to acquire their delectable, home-baked (and gluten free) macarons, named after their daughter, “Maddie.” Located in the shop next to Stewart Cellars on Washington Street, the shop serves 32 flavors of sweet and savory macarons from which customers can build their own assortment—to enjoy at the café or to grab a box and go. For those opting to sip and nibble, drip coffee, espresso other interesting beverage concoctions such as a chilled extraction espresso and a “Cafe Sua Da” iced coffee from San Francisco roaster, Linea Caffe are available.


6752 Washington St., Yountville

EV Floral Design

Long-time and highly respected Napa Valley florist Erica Ramey reopened and expanded her popular floral design shop in the historic National Bank of Calistoga Building on Calistoga’s busy Main Street. The new shop is divinely spacious, allowing her and her team to meet the demand for her gorgeous signature designs for the home, office, tasting room, event, and wedding venues. Serving Napa and Sonoma counties, custom floral arrangements can be ordered for celebrations, weddings, and special events. Open weekdays 11am – 6pm, Saturday, 9am – 5pm and Sunday, 11am – 5pm.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: 1373 Lincoln St, Calistoga //

Lenchos Mexican Food

Chef Alex Soto, renowned for his Mexican dishes from Napa Bowl’s Café 33, has taken his Michelin acclaimed prowess to open a new eatery at the Premium Outlets in S. Napa. Named after Alex’s father, Lenchos is a family owned and operated take away restaurant serving up fresh, made to order Mexican specialties, including Quesabirrias, burritos, flautas, quesadillas, moles, and his popular tacos stuffed with fish, chicken, carne asada, pork, vegetables and mashed potatoes on house-made tortillas topped with a flavorful combination of toppings and sauces. Open Wednesday – Sunday, 11:30am – 7pm/5pm on Sunday

FOR MORE INFORMATION: 623 Factory Stores Dr., Napa //

NVL what’s hot
CERTIFIED YLIFT PROVIDER L.Britt Swor-Yim, M.D. Swor-Yim Aesthetics 7 Walkabout Lane Napa, CA 94558 415-596-1075 3247 Browns Valley Road Napa, CA 94558 415-596-1075 156 East Napa Street Sonoma, CA 95476 415-596-1075 1111 Exposition Blvd. Sacramento, CA 95818 916-206-8055 By Appointment Only: BOTOX . FILLER . Y LIFT . QWO . KYBELLA CERTIFIED YLIFT PROVIDER L.Britt Swor-Yim, M.D. Swor-Yim Aesthetics 7 Walkabout Lane Napa, CA 94558 415-596-1075 3247 Browns Valley Road Napa, CA 94558 415-596-1075 156 East Napa Street Sonoma, CA 95476 415-596-1075 1111 Exposition Blvd. Sacramento, CA 95818 916-206-8055 By Appointment Only:

Super Duper Burgers

Bay area burger joint, Super Duper Burgers opened its 17th location in Napa Valley in the Bel Aire Plaza Shopping Center. The fun, friendly and fresh local chain is known for its all natural, vegetarian-fed freshly-ground beef burgers, free-range chicken sandwiches, organic veggie burgers, French fries, salads and rolls made with non-GMO ingredients, organic milk shakes and ice cream cones— all made from, scratch and sourced by local farmers and food producers. They also offer seasonal items, an all-day breakfast sandwich, house-made pickles and lemonade. Open Monday – Sunday, 10:30am – 9:30pm

FOR MORE INFORMATION: 3900 Bel Aire Plaza Suite D, Napa //

Outer Space Wines

Located next door to sister business, First and Franklin Marketplace, Outer Space Wines is a wine shop, wine bar, and event space that champions small producers from infinity and beyond. The wines are selected with the utmost care and presented with intimate knowledge of the product and producer. The shop will offer wine tastings daily, along with regular wine-tasting events on Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons. In addition, winefriendly snacks prepared by Frankie’s Market & Deli are available to elevate customers’ tasting. Outer Space Wines is also available to reserve for private events.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: 974 Franklin St., Napa //

Mothers Tacos

Mothers Tacos is Ben and Ali Koenig’s (Heritage Eats) exciting new addition to Napa’s world cuisine. The family-owned and operated taqueria specializes in Mexico City style tacos with tortillas all made by hand. The menu includes street tacos, Mulitas, Mothers Fries, and more. Open Wednesday – Sunday, 11am – 9pm.


3150 A Jefferson Street, Napa // @motherstacos

NVL what’s hot
Photo by Bob McClenahan Dan Dawson, Owner of Outer Space Wines Photo by Tim Carl Photo by Alexander Rubin


S ophi

S tication ,

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Napa Valley is known for its lifestyle emphasizing rustic elegance, pioneering spirit, and wine, wine, wine. There’s also a revived interest in the area’s history, and Jean-Charles Boisset of The Boisset Collection is at the heart of the movement. “We have a keen attraction for historical destinations; it is important to preserve the American principle of architecture and design for the future.” combined
l E ganc E , and g roovin ESS

Jean-Charles has been acquiring, restoring, and preserving landmarks all over California wine country and putting his inimitable touch on each location as he brings it back to life. There is a veritable cornucopia of Boisset properties offering over-the-top, decadent, and luxurious experiences—so many that a visitor could build a weekend around only those locales. One legendary property especially close to the French-born vintner’s heart is The Ink House, owned by Jean-Charles and his American-born wife, Gina GalloBoisset. They love historic properties, such as Gina’s Dry Creek Store in Healdsburg, founded in 1881.


“The Ink House was founded as part of the legendary Helios Ranch–an over 300-acre estate in St. Helena and Rutherford. It has a phenomenal past and attracts us to preserve, promote, and enhance it to accentuate that remarkable history,” according to Jean-Charles. The opulent Inn unveils a new style of luxury travel unlike any other in Napa Valley and exudes the couple’s personal touch and charm.

“The Ink House is a fabulous asset in the heart of Napa Valley, [it is] a historical landmark that must endure. We acquired it together for the next generation so that they can continue to maintain the vision and history of California. Even though Gina

is a Modesto native and I’m from Burgundy, we embrace the identity of now-residents and stewards of Napa Valley.”

Evocative of the valley’s past, the land is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1885 by Napa Valley pioneer Theron Ink as a singlefamily home, later to become a bed and breakfast. The purchase and preservation of the celebrated property carry on the legacy of offering unparalleled experiences and access to Napa Valley luxury through the eyes of Jean-Charles and Gina. These two grew up in renowned and historic winemaking families; to many, they are considered wine industry royalty.

Gina shared, “Coming from a long lineage of winemakers, I have always had a deep appreciation for quality stewardship of the land. Our family brings this same level of care to this historic Napa Valley landmark.”

With Ink House, the couple has curated the ultimate Napa Valley experience. An estate manager arranges bespoke wine tastings, a private chef prepares exquisite meals, and excursions are booked for you to other Boisset or Gallo properties. The Inn also carries the pair’s new line of skincare products, Le Clos Saint Honoré, made with fruit from the couple’s estate vineyard in Burgundy. The active

Photo by Alexander Rubin Chef's Dinner // Photo by Alexander Rubin
“ The Ink House is a fabulous asset in the heart of Napa Valley, [it is] a historical landmark that must endure. We acquired it together for the next generation so that they can continue to maintain the vision and history of California.”

ingredients include resveratrol, diamond dust, iris, and hyaluronic acid. JeanCharles and Gina’s love story inspired Le Clos, which originated in Burgundy (where Jean-Charles also originated) and now offers products from Burgundy and Napa Valley, bringing the two worlds of Boisset and Gallo together. The antiaging Marriage Cream embraces the virtues of youth for both men and women, combining exceptional active agents and luxurious application. Le Clos Marriage Crème blends the polyphenol benefits of the Burgundian grapes with timeless diamond dust and vibrant iris to allow you to look your most radiant day after day.

Partners in life and business, it is unsurprising that the Boissets share a passion for historic preservation. At Ink House, the sense of stepping into and holding onto Napa’s past is woven throughout.

“We want [the Ink House] to continue for generations. It is essential to preserve from 1885 to the future of California. We will succeed in anchoring wine and the history of California by preserving historical monuments and ensuring they are restored in line with the vision of the founders and visionaries of the past,” the Boisset proprietor explained.

Because this is a collaboration between the power couple, guests of the Ink House have unique access to the wines and

experiences that Gina crafts at her family winery, E & J Gallo Winery, including her Gallo Signature Series, Louis Martini, and William Hill wines, and guests are offered a visit to the invite-only Secret Indulgence, a one-of-a-kind private tasting experience steps from the estate. Or for the ultimate experience, guests can request a private wine tasting from the owners themselves, in their estate. Secret Indulgence boasts limited-edition wines with a guided

educational winetasting alongside a personal sommelier.

Jean-Charles’ dream of celebrating the past by carrying it into the present and future is a hallmark of his preservation plans. “It is essential to us to bring to the 21st century a 19th-century house with the vision of the past completed and fulfilled… to bring younger generations, dynamism, and energy from the 19th century to the 21st century – contemporary within

SPRING 2023 33
The Speakeasy Photo by Alexander Rubin

historical views to entice the modern era to celebrate in the grandeur of time.”

The exquisitely appointed Inn has four ensuite bedrooms, starting from $850 per night; multi-room blocks are available for those wanting to enjoy it as a private Napa Valley estate. Each Ink House guest room draws inspiration from the past, heralding the Inn’s remarkable history.

At the top of the Ink House, the Observatory offers a 360-degree view of Napa Valley, the tallest point from the valley floor. When they head back to the

Ink House at the end of the day, guests can wind down on the wrap-around veranda with a cigar and a glass of JCB 1969 Cognac before heading down to the onsite, perfectly appointed Speakeasy, complete with billiards, chess, a private bar, and a piano once played by Elvis Presley.

The Ink House represents the Boisset’s first Napa Valley restoration project together.  Jean-Charles has restored many buildings from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, including Chateau de Pierreux, La Maison in Vougeot, Louis Bouillot, and their family winery Jean-Claude Boisset in Nuits-St-Georges, as well as Calfornia’s oldest winery – Buena Vista.

Gina’s family has stewarded many great family wineries, such as Louis Martini, William Hill, MacMurray Ranch, and Pahlmeyer, among numerous others.

“Gina and I share the same vision and idea for design – we want to bring a certain level of sophistication, elegance, and grooviness to each place we feel and touch. It is important to preserve, to be historical, but not rigid… to be attractive and unique in the fabrics, the feel, and the energy we bring to each of those places. We are fully in line with this vision together.”


“It is important to preserve, to be historical, but not rigid... to be attractive and unique in the fabrics, the feel, and the energy we bring to each of those places. We are fully in line with this vision together.”
Photo by Alexander Rubin The Speakeasy // Photo by Alexander Rubin


What says extravagance more than Champagne

Wishes and Caviar Dreams?

JCB St. Helena features a selection of artisanal caviar paired with exceptional JCB champagnes and sparkling wines. The JCB Salon is a secluded hideaway on the Raymond Vineyards property. It unites exclusive Napa Valley wines, luxury, and style, curated and created by Jean-Charles.


Before there was a California wine world at all, there was Buena Vista. Founded in 1857, Buena Vista is California’s first premium winery. It offers barrel tasting in the renovated Champagne Cellar or tours of the 1862 Press House steeped in wine lore. Stroll the grounds and explore the Wine Tool Museum before toasting the original owner, “The Count,” with a glass of Champagne. Visitors are transported to an era of carefree revelry and opulence in the Bubble Lounge or its red-wine counterpart, The Cave of Curiosity.


“We are certainly not shy to bring spice, energy, and allure, but at the same time, respect – Gina and I align deeply with this sense of inspiration.”

Jean-Charles dreamed of bringing the Buena Vista Winery to a permanent location in Napa Valley. The dream was realized through the Chateau Buena Vista tasting room in downtown Napa’s historic 1929 Gordon Building. Experience the pinnacle of luxury with a decadent tasting of Champagne, Caviar, Cabernet, and Chocolate. This perfectly paired sequence heightens the senses, fills one with delight, and is the ultimate indulgence.


Raymond Vineyards celebrated its first harvest in 1974. Today with the Boisset panache, guests can try their hands at being a winemaker for a day by blending their own Napa Valley Bordeaux-style red wine and designing their own label. Or relax in a private Cabana Under the Palms or in the Grove to relish serene and picturesque wine country.


Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Oakville Grocery in Napa Valley has been a wine country institution since 1881. This 1800s throwback is now a vibrant gathering place for locals and visitors, wine drinkers and vintners, hungry (and wood-fired pizza-loving) neighbors, and culinary connoisseurs.

Locations in Sonoma and Healdsburg expand its legacy. Grab a cup of locally sourced coffee and a picnic basket chock-full of lunch and snack items at all three locations.


At the Oakville Wine Merchant, adjacent to Napa’s Oakville Grocery, guests choose from more than 50 wines by the glass of Napa’s finest producers in a comfortable lounge setting. The nearly 150-year-old Victorian house is also home to the 1881 Napa Wine History Museum.


The Calistoga Depot Provisions on Main Street, Calistoga, combines a Napa Valley landmark with an impressive array of casual gourmet items, cocktails and spirits, beer on tap, and wine. Housed in a beautifully preserved and updated 1868 train depot, California’s second oldest train depot, guests walk through time with each sip and learn the hidden beauty and significance of the reincarnated Calistoga Depot.


Set in the heart of Napa Valley at Rutherford Cross Estate, a historic 1872 brick Post Office is home to one

of Rutherford’s best-kept secrets, the Elizabeth Spencer Winery. Tucked behind is an enchanted setting that unveils their award-winning wines and a permanent exhibition of vintage kitchenware, “Kitchen Memories Collection” by Kathleen Thompson Hill. Explore and discover the signature wines while strolling through the exhibition, then soak up the sun while playing croquet in the avant-garde courtyard.


The Boisset family brought together two generations from Burgundy, France, and California’s Russian River Valley. Sample featured wines from the Boisset wineries in France alongside their counterparts from DeLoach Vineyards, and taste the difference that varying climates and soil types make in these celebrated varietals.

“Napa lifestyle brings people together. Whether you are from Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and every part of the US –everyone brings the best of what they have and takes it to the highest level here. Wherever you are from, Napa is that lifestyle, that je ne sais quoi, that brings around the table that common appreciation of great wine, food, culture, music, art, preservation of iconic past, and the landscape that is Napa.”

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Here is a sampling of other must-experience Boisset Collection properties in California wine country. Each one symbolizes the Boisset “preservation with panache” in its singular way.

Sustainability that Sparkles: DOMAINE CARNEROS

Some of the most intriguing aspects of Domaine Carneros are those that largely go unnoticed by the fans that flock to the iconic Northern California landmark. Guests likely are unaware that Napa Valley’s sparkling wine icon, founded in 1987, is certified sustainable. Visitors probably don’t know that the winery features a solar micro-grid and battery system that supply 85% of the winery’s power, the first of its kind among Napa wineries, or that staff’s regular practice of composting, recycling, and reuse diverts tons of solid waste from landfills. Likewise, the winery’s packaging reuse program, whereby cases and inserts are repurposed for in-house use, is likely overlooked, as is the practice of using grape pomace from harvest to feed local cattle.

Such award-winning actions (Napa Climate NOW! awarded Domaine Carneros the 2020 Climate Champion in the Business category) might not seem essential for producing luscious Méthode Traditionnelle sparkling wines, but the Domaine Carneros winemaking team begs to differ. “We will never stop striving to make better wines with a lighter, more sustainable footprint,” said winemaker TJ Evans.

To wine taste at the Domaine Carneros Château (architecturally inspired by the historic Château de la Marquetterie owned by Champagne Taittinger in France’s Champagne region) is to share in the winery’s many passions, and chief among these passions, naturally, is fine sparkling wine. The small grower/ producer has become a California sparkling wine benchmark, reflecting both the individuality of its Carneros AVA terroir and the craftsmanship of its French Champagne Taittinger familyfounded legacy. Offerings include 100% estate and sustainably grown Brut and Rosé wines, in everyday to luxury cuvees, with interesting Late Disgorged and Ultra Brut options. Its most esteemed bottling, Le Rêve, made in limited quantities annually, is regularly described as America’s best sparkling wine.

Château visitors are offered a plethora of tasting options to be enjoyed within various on-property venues, such as the elegant Jardin d’Hiver, inspired by the Gustave Eiffel-designed glass buildings of the mid-late 1800s that protected plants and citrus trees on the Place de la Concorde in Paris. Gracefully curved glass walls, skylights, white marble tables, an indoor/outdoor fireplace, and a majestic fountain overlook endless rolling vineyards. Here, guests can indulge in meticulously prepared current-vintage wine and food pairings such as The Ultimate Chips & Dip tasting ($350/couple) featuring a taste of three highly treasured wines alongside three ½ ounce servings of Tsar Nicoulai Caviar paired with rich crème fraîche and potato chips. Bubbles & Bites ($90/person) offers a specially curated pairing highlighting the flavors of Spain and includes four savory Spanish-themed bites and one sweet paired with four sparkling wines. Can’t make it to the winery? Select a flight for shipment and schedule a personal virtual tasting via Zoom with a wine educator.

NVL wine
“We will never stop striving to make better wines with a lighter, more sustainable footprint.”

Celebrate 80 Years of Mondavi Family Legacy

Charles Krug winer y is home t o Californi a ’ s f irst tasting room and was purc ha sed by the Mondavi Family in 1943.

Toda y , five gene rations late r , the family le g acy continu es as st e wards of t his historic estateno w the ultimat e w ine country destination, renowned for i t s exceptional wi nes, stunnin g d esign, and storied h eritage. W e off er curated tasti ngs, tours, an d ev ents. The Gr eat Lawn and historical C arriage House create an ex qui site location and private e ve nts.

J oin us at our i conic estate as we toast to 80 years of bring ing you an experience like no other .

Open Daily 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 2800 Main Street, St. Helena, CA 94574 | FB + IG: @CharlesKrugWinery | 707.967.2229
©2023 Charles Krug Winery, St. Helena, CA

Wine Excellence Standing the Test of Time

It’s not often a winery’s first release hits it out of the park and continues the magic decades later. Sequoia Grove has achieved just that. Their flagship varietal, cabernet sauvignon, was deemed the “Best American Cabernet Sauvignon” in 1985, quite literally establishing roots for success.

In 1981, Sequoia Grove founders Jim and Barbara Allen envisioned and succeeded in producing a wine that showcased the character of the soil, climate, and elegance of the grapes and was also food-friendly, rivaling some of the best in the world. Sequoia Grove continues to successfully live out its dream of making great wine but is pushing the boundaries of the wine and food relationship. For example, rethinking how to pair a red wine beyond red meat is the intent of A Taste For Cabernet, one of several tasting experiences offered at the winery. In addition, the Winemaker Series Tasting, a flight of the winery’s current releases, has gained popularity as one of the few Napa Valley experiences under $50.

For over forty years, the relationship with the land and the gifts it bears has been and remains one of the core values of the winery. Sequoia Grove was the first of five wineries to be certified through updated Napa Green Vineyard standards, upholding sustainable practices to ensure soil viability for many years. Since 2018, the winery has

been 100% powered by renewable energy. However, the reverence for mother earth doesn’t end in its backyard. Sequoia Grove has donated $40K through 1% For The Planet to the Save The Redwood League in homage to the winery’s namesake.

Sequoia Grove’s historical success is always top of mind but does not preclude the winery from looking for opportunities to make a great wine even better. With an already stellar team at the

helm, in February of 2022, they welcomed winemaker, Jesse Fox.

“I see our wine evolving with a clear focus on complexity, density, balance, and a true sense of place,” said Jesse, who feels his new post is a coming home of sorts. As a Cornell University student, he won a scholarship to study in some of the best wine-producing areas of the world, a gift sponsored by Sequoia Grove’s owners, the Kopf family. The hope was to solidify a new generation of wine professionals. The investment paid off for both. After years as an accomplished chef at acclaimed restaurants such as The French Laundry, Jesse traded in his whisk for a wine thief. He worked his way up from the wine cellar to a winemaker, eventually landing in a familiar place, Sequoia Grove.

“To build on this historic Napa Valley winery’s 40-plus years of excellence is an exciting opportunity to give back to the family that believed in me 20 years earlier,” Jesse said.

The team is complete, primed to continue a long legacy that stretches like the redwoods standing sentry at Sequoia Grove, growing and changing but never losing sight of the roots that began this grand adventure.

Jesse Fox NVL wine


Discover the finest and most unique wine storage facility serving Napa, Sonoma, and the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Rutherford Wine Vault is located in the historic Beaulieu Vineyard champagne department - a meticulously transformed 110 year-old space. The vault features storage solutions for individual wine collectors and small vintners. Each locker is equipped with custom designed seismically independent racking systems, lockable private steel storage enclosures, redundant temperature and humidity controls, and more than five layers of state-of-the-art security systems.




•• THE RUTHERFORD WINE VAULT •• Napa Valley’s Premier Wine Storage

Currently accepting new members. | 1901 Saint Helena Hwy. | Rutherford, CA 94573

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PerUs Wines

Magnificent memories are often made while celebrating with friends or family after a day on the slopes or an exotic beach adventure, sharing dinner and fabulous wine. Elevating the moment with a wine tasting experience with PerUs makes the evening extraordinary.

The image of an intimate setting with out-of-this-world wine became the vision of the founder and CEO of PerUs Wines, Anmol Bhandari. He was inspired by memories of sharing iconic bottles of wine with his father, family, and friends throughout his youth while he explained the label, region, story, and why the wine was produced. His love of wine grew. After bonding over a right bank Bordeaux dinner with friends from the OPM program at Harvard Business School, he developed this idea of re-creating these moments with the next generation, and with the help of many, PerUs was born.

PerUs means “for us” or “by us” to indicate the wines produced are something the owners are proud to share and enjoy frequently themselves. Their highlyregarded winemaker, Russell Bevan, is one of the few in the world to receive over

20 perfect 100-point scores by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Armaan, named after Anmol’s son, is the most highly allocated wine, made from the most perfect four barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon from the legendary Tench Vineyard. The wine garners top scores and exudes power, strength, complexity, and depth.

“PerUs is more than just a winery; it is a curator of experience,” said Katya Perez, the Director of Marketing and Sales.

A private wine tasting with PerUs can take place anywhere in the world as the winery can go to the client versus the other way around. To date, over 250 intimate wine dinners have taken place in endless venues such as client’s homes, some of the most exclusive private clubs in the world, a ski mountain, one of the only shooting ranges in

New York City, and a hangar. If a client can dream it, PerUs will help make it happen.

Perez leads the events, and she curates the experience for the guests, tells the PerUs story, and shares the meaning and ethos of each wine. Guests lucky enough to attend can secure wine allocations where applicable.

Outside of exclusive tastings, wine enthusiasts living or traveling in Napa can inquire online for a private tasting with PerUs. If a tasting isn’t in the cards, it’s possible to find PerUs at prestigious events and locations such as The Monterey Car Show or The Yellowstone Club. Or, join the waitlist for membership into the club, where members will have access to their allocation once admitted.

The wine is superb and not easily acquired. Many will also say it’s worth the wait. Wherever the wine is appreciated, it’s bound to be an unforgettable experience with a small gathering of friends, family, or colleagues, just as the PerUs founder imagined.

Creating unique moments to meet, sip, and connect
NVL winery spotlight
“PerUs is more than just a winery; it is a curator of experience.”


More than 550 wines from 125 wineries vied for top honors at this INVITATION-only event. Our acquisition team spends each year tasting thousands of wines from across the U.S. identifying wines they deem to be the best in the country, inviting the best to participate.

Remember, price doesn’t always dictate the finest. Quality does.

Congratulations to the BEST OF SHOW WINNERS:

RED 96 • BECKER VINEYARDS, Barbera, Tallent Vineyard

AVA: Texas VNTG: 2019 SUGG RETAIL: $50

WHITE 95 • TRUCHARD, Roussanne

AVA: Carneros, Napa Valley VNTG: 2021 SUGG RETAIL: $30


AVA: Carneros VNTG: 2015 SUGG RETAIL: $125

SWEET 96 • PRAGER PORT WORKS, Noble Companion 21

AVA: Napa Valley VNTG: NV SUGG RETAIL: $80










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Welcomes Chef Gretchen Stoops Luongo

Located in Napa’s renowned Rutherford region, St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery combines French tradition with Napa Valley terroir, a classic combo that makes for an amazing wine tasting experience. Just as the French emphasize fine cuisine, so too does St. Supéry, and when paired with the winery’s prized, 100% estate grown, certified Napa Green wines, a visit to the grand manse off of Highway 29 becomes more than simply a day within the vineyards; a visit to St. Supéry creates a lifetime memory, grounded in the pleasure of incomparable tastes.

Attribution naturally goes to the St. Supéry winemaking team who create delectable Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and red Bordeaux varietals. And it is Chef Gretchen Stoops Luongo who makes those wines sing with her carefully curated, small bite pairings made with produce from the winery’s on-site culinary garden and Dollarhide Estate Ranch. The 90-minute Taste of the Estate experience, which changes monthly and is offered Tuesday through Saturday, highlights Luongo’s skills as both an Ecole des Arts Culinaires et de l’Hotellerie and Culinary Institute of America graduate. Prior to joining St. Supéry in 2022, she ran a private chef services company in the Bay Area, was the pastry chef at The Resort at

Paws Up, and worked as a private chef for a film executive in Los Angeles. She found herself drawn to St. Supéry’s dedication to sustainable farming, winemaking, and business practices, and she is pleased with the freedom afforded her to tailor tastings to guests’ dietary preferences, including vegan and gluten free offerings.

Gretchen echoes the winery’s ecoconsciousness with her approach in the kitchen, utilizing the culinary garden and sourcing the best local products for the smallest-possible carbon footprint. She also strives to reduce food waste by using every ingredient to its full extent—including the

parts others might throw away—to build complex flavors in her dishes. She believes strongly in the power of food to both nourish and heal, and she brings this sensibility to her “healthy international” style of cooking. Her April Taste of the Estate menu, for instance, will feature modern Scandinavia flavors highlighting sustainably harvested seafood and locally foraged wild garlic, ramps, wild mushrooms, and fiddleheads.

Gretchen, St. Supéry’s Estate Chef feels fortunate to source ingredients directly from the St. Supéry Rutherford property and 1,535-acre high-elevation Dollarhide Ranch. In addition to its 550 acres of grapevines, the properties feature more than 1,200 heirloom fruit trees comprised of 190 varieties including 87 peach, 34 nectarine, 20 apple, 12 plum and 16 pluot. The orchards add to the biodiversity of the property which already features a collection of flora and fauna including ducks, geese, cranes, egrets, jackrabbits, owls, bees, foxes, osprey, otters, bobcats and thousands of largemouth bass. For those looking to bring a little of the St. Supéry magic into their own home with Gretchen’s curated recipes, they are available on the St. Supéry’s website. Accompanying wines are recommended to pair with the recipes.

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Modern Hospitality

Our relaxed lounge presents a range of brands, terroirs, and grape varieties – from standard-bearing regions like Bordeaux to boundary-pushing estates in Patagonia and Beckstoffer Heritage vineyards.

1040 Main Street Napa, CA 94559 Downtown Napa Open Daily Noon to 7pm Reservations Available Walk-ins Welcome The lounge
Family & Pet Friendly

Wine Tasting with a Twist at Priest Ranch

Visitors to the Napa Valley have an abundance of choices when selecting their wine tasting opportunities. But few wineries or tasting rooms can match the originality of Priest Ranch. The Vaca Mountain range producer of traditional and not-so-traditional varieties has chosen Yountville as its wine tasting home base, and it’s within this warm and welcoming Washington Street location that visitors find pure fun.

They also encounter wines that are atypical for Napa producers, such as a bright and refreshing 100% Syrah Brut Rosé, as well as unconventional red blends, they creatively named Peacemaker, Snake Oil and Coach Gun. Several wines in the Priest Ranch portfolio are small production and are

available only in the tasting room. Open daily, the Priest Ranch tasting room features unique tastings such as the Bacon & Wine Pairing, which pairs four distinct and thick cuts of pork belly with four wines selected to enhance the flavors of each perfectly. The Bubbles & Bites tasting makes for a luxuriant celebration no matter the occasion and features their Brut Rosé with a 1 oz. serving of highquality caviar, crème fraiche, and kettle chips. Additional tasting room options include wines by the glass, cheese plates, and convivial outdoor seating. Have an idea for a unique tasting experience not on the menu? Ask, and the Priest Ranch concierge team will try to make it happen.

The source of Priest Ranch wines comes from Somerston Estate, a stunning 1682-acre property in the eastern hills of Napa Valley, just off of Silverado Trail, where limited production, single varietal wines are produced with the greatest integrity. Priest Ranch winemaker Cody Hurd has worked these vineyards for nearly a decade alongside Craig Becker, Somerston Estate’s general manager, cofounder, and director of winemaking. Hurd develops all winemaking protocols and supervises production while managing

the longtime cellar crew. As winemaker, his focus is maintaining a portfolio of distinctive wine blends reflective of the full diversity of the vineyard.

“Cody has been a part of Priest Ranch’s journey from the beginning and embodies our values,” said Craig Becker. “I greatly respect him as not just an incredibly talented winemaker but also as a leader to our longtime cellar and vineyard team, who are like family.”

“Joining Priest Ranch at an early phase in its evolution allowed me to grow alongside our estate,” explained Cody. “I want our wines to be an expression of this land and its heritage. My job is to work alongside our amazing team to bring out the unique characteristics of the property.”

The Priest Ranch Yountville tasting room is open daily, 10am – 6pm. Reservations are recommended, though drop-ins are accommodated if space is available. Somerston Estate wine tasting experiences at the Napa Valley winery are by appointment only. FOR

MORE INFORMATION 6490 Washington St., Yountville 707-944-8200
NVL winery spotlight

Frank Family Vineyards’ Long-Awaited Hospitality Space Opens its Doors

To anyone who has visited the Frank Family tasting room in recent years, the sounds and sights of construction have been evident. Rising over the vast back lawn, behind Frank Family’s Craftsman House-turned tasting room, a new structure overlooking surrounding vineyards and mountains has emerged, replacing the small fountain and grove of trees that had been a part of their property for many decades.

“Rich and I were actually married at this sight, in front of the fountain and cypress tree grove,” said Frank Family Founder Leslie Frank. “This is a very special location for me. I wanted to create a space here that integrated the natural beauty of our surroundings, where our guests could experience the joy of nature here in Calistoga.”


After years of Covid-related supply and construction delays and permitting setbacks, the new hospitality space, designed by famed American architect, Howard Backen, is finally a reality and open for business. The new space is practical, polished, dramatic, and down-to-earth, featuring sustainably reclaimed wood, high ceilings, and natural earth tones that bring the outside in. Expertly

designed with no detail spared, this gorgeous barn will forever be known as “The Miller House” in honor of the endless contributions of Leslie Frank, born Leslie Miller, whose vision was to build a unique and special entertaining area for winery guests.

“Frank Family is known for our 1930s yellow Craftsman tasting room, which was renovated in 2017 by Erin Martin Design in a way that marries the integrity of the old building with a modern-day feel,” said Leslie. “The Craftsman House consists of intimate rooms that accommodate smaller groups. What we lacked at the winery was a space to accommodate larger groups and the ability to host elevated experiences, lunches, and dinners in an area that complements our wines and showcases our surroundings. The Miller House does just that.”

The Miller House allows guests to enjoy a seamless indoor-outdoor experience on the Napa Valley floor no matter what time of year. The 2,300 square foot structure, with walls of floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, houses custom-made recycled ash wood tables with bold bases, large statement mirrors, artful light fixtures, and an inviting lounge area with cognac-colored leather sofas around a central fireplace. Each element was thoughtfully selected by Leslie alongside Napa-based interior designer Robin Beck of Hawkins Interiors to complete the space. They combined this contemporary interior with an additional 1,100 square feet of exterior covered seating for tastings and private and winery-hosted events, where guests can be at one with the serene landscape of the valley.

The Miller House is destined to become one of Napa Valley’s premiere landmarks cherished by visitors for many years to come. Frank Family looks forward to sharing this incredible new space with their club members and guests for new elevated experiences, private tastings, and winery events starting in spring 2023!



The Life and Legacy of Mike Grgich


André Tchelistcheff took a slow drag from his cigarette and looked thoughtfully into the intelligent eyes of the equally diminutive man seated before him. Wine was not the only thing these two globetrotters had in common. Both had backgrounds in agriculture, and both were highly educated and equally gifted. Much like Tchelistcheff, the man across the table from him had come to California ‘the long way’ en route from his home in Croatia. Tchelistcheff had spent time in Zagreb, and both men had fled Europe as refugees in search of a better life in America. Miljenko Grgi ć , who early on changed his name to Mike Grgich, was self-conscious about his English and studied hard to improve it.

Tchelistcheff sensed this and, switching languages without warning began speaking to Grgich in his native Croatian. Grgich smiled widely across the table at this strikingly kindred spirit. Tchelistcheff, it seemed, was a Godsend.”

– Excerpted from The Rise of Napa Valley Wineries: How the Judgment of Paris put California Wine on the Map

Some names and words are as deeply rooted in the history of Napa Valley as the vines themselves. Wappo words, such as Mayacamas, and Spanish words, such as Vacas. Later came names like Yount and Beringer, followed by names like Tchelistcheff and Mondavi. One name that Napa residents and wine lovers around the world will not soon forget is that of Mike Grgich, who, on April 1, 2023, celebrated his hundredth year of life.

Upon his arrival in the then-littleknown Napa Valley, Grgich took a job with Lee Stewart at Souverain before working at Christian Brothers with Brother Timothy, at Beaulieu alongside André Tchelistcheff, and later at Robert

Mondavi, replacing Warren Winiarski, where his ’69 Cabernet Sauvignon made skeptics wonder if world-class wine really could be produced in California. After Mondavi, Grgich became the first winemaker at Chateau Montelena, working for Jim Barret and his partners.

Montelena was destined to be a Cabernet house, but Grgich suggested white wines to keep the books in the black while the red wines matured. Montelena’s 1972 Chardonnay was widely appreciated, but it was the 1973 vintage that, three years later, won the Judgment of Paris, a tasting put on by English wine merchant Steven Spurrier. The 1973 went head-to-head with the best Chardonnays of France, tasted blind in Paris by French judges—and it won. An hour later, Warren Winiarski’s 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon won the red category in equally dramatic fashion. A journalist named George Taber wrote the story in TIME Magazine, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Or is it? Grgich left Chateau Montelena shortly after, partnering with the Hills siblings from Hills Brothers Coffee to open Grgich Hills Estate in Rutherford. Grgich Hills’ first Chardonnay won a gold medal at the Orange County Fair (where Winiarski was a judge), and while that was a nice accolade, it paled in comparison to what came next. In 1980, the Chicago Tribune staged the Great

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Mike at Chateau Montelena Mike and Austin Hills

Chicago Chardonnay Showdown, pitting 221 expressions of the Burgundian white varietal against one another in a fermented battle royale. Montelena, Simi, and Heitz landed in the top five, but Grgich Hills’ 1977 took top honors.

Much is owed to Mike Grgich, who helped transform Napa from a sleepy agrarian valley to the world’s premier winegrowing region alongside his contemporaries. As he turns a hundred years old, many whose lives he impacted have been reflecting upon his legacy and their time together.

“He is another American success story, an immigrant success story, as was my grandfather,” reflected Tim Mondavi, son of Robert. “That’s something we forget about today, but the contributions of immigrants should be front and center because they are something we all benefit from.” Tim credits much of his early learning to what Grgich taught him during their time together.

Michael Mondavi, Tim’s brother and Robert’s son, remembers how hard they worked on sanitation, the experiments they conducted, and the fun they had. “It was a pleasure working with Mike on testing, new ideas, yeasts, and techniques to improve the quality of the wines,” reflected Michael.

“When his biography was produced, I was asked to write the introduction,” recalled Industry icon Zelma Long. “I was struck with the fact that Mike has had two full lives: before Napa and after. His story of his family, his life as a young man, his training [in] Croatia, his need to escape.”

Long admires Grgich greatly and visited her old mentor late in 2022. “What André Tchelistcheff was to Bob Mondavi and Louis Martini, Mike was to me,” she said fondly.

“He was a different type of leader than I had ever experienced,” said Bo Barret, son of Jim, who was working for Grgich at Montelena when the 1973 was produced. “The first year at Chateau Montelena, it was just Mike. I was a low-level cellar intern. So he had to bring us up to speed really quick,” remembered Bo. “In 1973 there were only three of us in the cellar. I just went back over the records not long ago, and in a

two-week period, I worked 160 hours. Two weeks. We worked hard for that guy,” he chuckled, concluding, “That year, we won the pennant. Mike was our MVP.”

Gustavo Brambilla’s father had worked with Grgich and Tchelistcheff at Beaulieu, where the latter two encouraged Brambilla to find a way to send one of his children to college. After completing his degree, Gustavo worked briefly at Chateau Montelena before working at Grgich Hills. “When I was working with Mike, I studied his palate and made wines he liked. In doing that, I developed the ability to make wines for certain tastes. Since then, I’ve continued to study consumer palates— ever-changing—and incorporate that into my winemaking,” recalled Brambilla, who today makes sought-after wines and can often be found in his Oxbow tasting room.

Grgich remained active even as he aged. He opened a winery, Grgić Vina, in his native Croatia to support the economy as the Balkan nation recovered from war. He helped raise money for Roots of Peace, a charity that seeks to rid the world of landmines, including in his homeland. Most of all, he has left a legacy. His daughter, Violet, and nephew, Ivo, still operate the winery with a devotion to the land and a tradition of producing world-class wines.

The story of Mike Grigich is that of an American dream realized, an immigrant who sought a better life in America and then made one for himself and every generation to follow. His contributions to the wine industry cannot be overstated. So much is owed to the man who made the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that, alongside the 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, opened the eyes of consumers to the endless possibilities of winemaking around the world. Asked about Grgich recently, Warren Winiarski smiled fondly, and sent this message:

Dear Mike, Happy birthday and keep in your memory Paris in 1976. Let it keep you well into the future.
NVL community
Mike with daughter, Violet and nephew, Ivo Jeramaz Mike circa 1984
SPRING 2023 49 Celebrations begin April 1st. For more information, please visit




In a region dominated by bold reds that fetch high prices, seeking out rosé-style wines can be a welcome diversion. They are more affordable than their red counterparts for practical reasons, such as rosé winemaking being less labor intensive with a much shorter aging duration before release.

to keep it going! It’s juicy, balanced, and has a beautiful color,” she said. At Hess Persson Estates, their rosé is made from Petite Sirah. And Brendel Wines makes an Italian-style Frizzante Rosé of none other than Grignolino grapes—a grape so rare it doesn’t even account for a standalone varietal in the annual California Grape Acreage Report. At 601 Cellars, a Spanish and Italian varietal-focused estate, they favor Grenache for their rosé—a particularly beautiful variety for pink wine—and they grow it old-world style. Priest Ranch uses Syrah, and Robert Mondavi hopped on board in the 2021 vintage with a sparkling rosé

made primarily from Muscat. The vast range of grape varieties used for crafting rosé across the Valley is incredible and exceptionally fun to taste.


Looking at La Sirena’s Rosato, made from Primitivo and named in homage to this juicy Italian grape, it’s easy to see just how rare non-Pinot Noir rosé is. According to the 2021 Summary from the California Grape Acreage Report, there was a mere 1,348 bearing acres of Pimitivo vines across the entire state of California. Compare that to bearing acres of Cabernet Sauvignon across the state at 91,939, and Primitivo accounts for 1.4% of that total— this makes Primitivo from California rare and a rosé of Primitivo almost unheard of. And that’s an excellent reason to reach for varietals like this for rosé production. Finding a limited-production varietal that has the ability to craft a quality-driven expression of rosé brings with it a kind of exclusive fandom that can’t be earned in any other capacity.


In addition to the benefit of offering a truly limited and distinct wine, rosé has clout when it comes to culinary pairing and is often a favorite of sommeliers; it showcases grapes purely, offers lower alcohol, and brings with it the kind of acidity that’s just right for a plethora of cuisine. “It really is a versatile wine that

They can also be enjoyed in their immediate youth. Napa Valley rosé is unique, limited, and often unpredictably fun. While the traditional style of Napa Valley rosé is made from Los Carneros Pinot Noir, a classic grape from a classic region for this style of wine, many producers craft rosé from other grape varieties.

For many Napa Valley estates, making rosé brings with it room for creativity and the opportunity to offer guests something completely distinguishable. “We wanted to make rosé out of an interesting, less commonly found varietal in our region, and decided to try it out with Primitivo since we had never seen or tasted a Primitivo rosé before,” said Remi Barrett, Director of Sales and Marketing at La Sirena Wines. “It was so delicious that it was a no-brainer

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Photo courtesy of Robert Mondavi Photo courtesy of Priest Ranch

complements so many foods,” Barrett agreed. For Barrett, she prefers to enjoy her rosé with poke bowls, colorful vegetable salads with citrus-based dressing, and dim sum. “We’ve even had it with homemade pineapple fried rice, and it is just perfect,” she furthered.


For many Napa Valley rosé producers, there is also the element of youthful drinkability that rosé offers that can’t be provided by their Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux varietal-dominated collection. Rosé is quicker to the market and quicker to the glass because it does not require further bottle aging after purchase to be enjoyable. The instant gratification aspect is a nice complement to any Napa Valley estate’s collection, but especially one where the majority of the wines require long-term aging.

Rosé has always been a go-to style for those looking for youthful, fresh, and fruit-forward wines. They’re affordable and fun and offer pure drinking pleasure right out of the gates.

Rosé Ready to Enjoy

601 Cellars

2022 Rosé of Grenache, $30

The new-release 2022 Rosé of Grenache from 601 Cellars comes from the renowned 5-acre McGah Family Heritage Vineyard in Rutherford. The vines are head trained and the wine is made in a traditional Provençal style: picked early, gentle press of whole clusters, and barrel fermented. It’s dry and full of minerality, with flavors of strawberry and plum.

Brendel Wines 2020 Young Leon Frizzante Rosé, $38

The Brendel Young Leon is a fun and fruity sparkling made from organically farmed 100% Grignolino grapes and likely the only Napa sparkling made with this highly limited varietal. It’s juicy, full of watermelon and candied red fruit, but never sweet. It’s made in a light, fresh, and flavorful style.

Hess Persson Estates 2021 Rosé, $40

The Hess 2021 Rosé is made from Petite Sirah grapes and shows off the beautiful potential that bold reds have for being crafted in this style. Fermented and aged in stainless steel, then aged for four months in neutral oak, this 2021 Rosé offers juicy watermelon and strawberry flavors with refreshing acidity and length. It’s light and bright and showcases the deep color that Petite Sirah grapes bring to any wine—it’s beautiful in the glass.

La Sirena 2022 Rosato, $32

The new-release 2022 Rosato from Napa Valley’s La Sirena is made from Primitivo grapes grown in Amador County—a region that grows this variety, and other Italian grapes like Barbera, very well in their terroir. Light in color but full of aromas and flavor, the nose expresses a bouquet of strawberries, grapefruit, and white flowers. The palate shows off its dry style with refreshing notes of strawberry and cantaloupe, made lively by the mouthwatering acidity.

Priest Ranch 2018 Brut Rosé, $60

This lovely Brut Rosé from Priest Ranch is made from 100% Syrah and was aged for two years in stainless steel on lees. Following bottling, it saw an additional two years of aging before release. Made in the traditional méthode Champenoise, it boasts flavors of ripe wild strawberry and Bing cherries. It has a voluptuous body balanced by bright acidity; it finishes long and smooth.

Robert Mondavi Winery 2021 Sparkling Rosé, $35

The first-ever sparkling Rosé from Robert Mondavi is made from 76% Muscat, 13% Malbec, and 11% Pinot Noir. This beautiful blend brings forth aromas of cherry and watermelon, with notes of cherry, peach, and lime zest on the palate. It’s got a weighty, irresistible texture and fineness of bubbles. The Muscat comes from the Wappo Hill Vineyard in Stags Leap District, the Malbec from the estate To Kalon Vineyard, and the Pinot Noir from Stanly Ranch in Los Carneros.

Photo courtesy of Robert Mondavi Photo courtesy of La Sirena

Setting the Bar for Napa Valley Rosés

Spring is the start of rosé season, and finding a Napa Valley Rosé is exciting. Discovering a great Napa Valley Rosé is thrilling, if not downright lucky. Fortunati Winery makes an awardwinning rosé that is like sipping a glass of good fortune as Fortunati means “to be lucky” or “fortune” in Italian.

Gary and Ellen Luchtel founded Fortunati Vineyards over two decades ago, moving from their city life in San Francisco to their country life in the beautiful Napa Valley. The Oak Knoll property they picked was suited to growing a variety of grapes and accurately reflected their college travel adventures: tasting local wines across Europe and parts of the U.S. west coast. Their experiences inspired the decision to go beyond the traditional Napa Valley varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay and grow others to include Malbec, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah. Today over ten wines are produced, only available directly from the vineyard.

Living on the property allowed each to dedicate attention to their talents.

Their roles at the winery were perfectly in sync. Gary became the grape grower and winemaker, while Ellen became the marketing arm, responsible for sales and tastings. Gary can check on the vineyards daily, and one of his mainstays in making superb wine is spending time with the grapes. Ellen’s down-home charm welcomes patrons as if they were family, stemming from her Italian roots for entertaining. The dynamic duo created delicious, standout wines, from their Cabs to Zins to Syrahs to Malbecs and more, garnering 90-point+ ratings from wine critics such as James Suckling, Robert Parker, and numerous wine competitions and delivering them into the glass of eager wine enthusiasts across the country.

In 2005, the couple traveled to Australia, where they discovered Shiraz (Syrah) and rosés. Ellen fell in love with the pink thirst quencher. Instinctively, she knew this was the next step in their wine-producing adventure. Gary was a tough sell as he didn’t believe this was

the best use of Syrah. Ellen, unmoved, was relentless in her pursuit. Gary finally agreed.

“Rosé is the perfect wine to go with a midday meal any month of the year,” Gary reasoned.

Challenge accepted. If he were going to make a Rosé, it would be the best. “Good enough isn’t good enough; it has to be great,” said Gary.

Gary applies his winemaking mantra to every release. It is one of the secrets to Fortunati’s success. The Rosé was no different. Unlike many wineries, he dedicated rows of Syrah vines specifically for the new Rosé and nothing else. It was good– very good. From there, triumph ensued. Today, along with their other diverse award-winning varietals, Fortunati produces one the best Rosés in all of Napa Valley, winning gold and double gold status as well as Best In Class. The wine consistently sells out, leaving the husband-and-wife team smiling, especially Ellen and many Fortunati fans who love it. Saluté.

FOR MORE INFORMATION // Schedule a tasting: // 707-255-9300 FORTUNATI VINEYARDS
NVL winery spotlight

An Invitation to Experience


Just east of the Bay, bathing in sunlight and often draped in fog, is a valley full of wine grapes juxtaposing the beauty of an agrarian existence starkly within a stone’s throw of the frantic day-to-day bustle of San Francisco.Yet, while so much of the wine industry has experienced the explosive growth that comes with notoriety as the world has come to appreciate the unparalleled quality of Californian wines, the Livermore Valley—one of the oldest winegrowing regions in America—has quietly continued doing what it has always done, producing truly extraordinary wines.

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Many know of Livermore Valley and may have tasted wine from some of their more famous and storied producers such as Wente and Concannon, but what few realize is that the lush and sunlit valley is home to forty-four wineries and more than 2,800 acres planted to grapevines—largely Bordeaux varietals, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Francs that have been turning heads in competitions in recent years.

wines and passionate members of our community that are thrilled to welcome you to their wineries.” With so many of Livermore’s producers being small and family-owned, an experience there will surely be unparalleled.

Whether planning to attend the Taste Our Terroir event around harvest time, tasting amazing wine, or perhaps seeking an approachable place to open a winery business, the Livermore Valley should be at the top of a wine lovers’ list.

Among those forty-four producers, most would be considered boutique and family-owned. To walk into a tasting room in the picturesque Livermore Valley, one will likely experience a sense of belonging almost immediately. The people behind these wineries are hands-on, often pouring wine for their guests, and are deeply passionate about the Livermore Valley community. However, the quality of their wines only supersedes the friendliness of the vintners. This is what the Livermore Valley Wine Community’s executive director, Brandi Lombardi, is talking about when she refers to the valley’s “approachable luxury.”

“This is your personal invitation to come to the Livermore Valley Wine Community,” said Lombardi. “Seek our hidden gem of a region where you will experience award-winning

From San Francisco, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), a ten-minute uber ride will transport visitors to the heart of Livermore Wine Country. By car, the rural haven is just a short drive from Oakland, Sacramento, and other major metropolitan communities in northern California.

Not long ago, California wine country occupied the space of a peaceful, bucolic lifestyle seemingly lost to time. And while some areas have experienced a boom of rapid growth, the Livermore Valley Wine Community remains peacefully rural, balancing its time-honored heritage with an eye toward the future—a future to which all visitors have an open invitation.


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“Seek our hidden gem of a region where you will experience award-winning wines and passionate members of our community that are thrilled to welcome you to their wineries.”


with Altitude



Say “Argentina,” and three things may come to mind first: soccer, tango, and beef. But what about wine, an intricate part of Argentina’s culture and business? One of the world’s top 10 wine-producing countries, Argentina is the largest wine exporter in South America, sending one-fifth of its output to the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Brazil. And no grape tells the story better than Malbec.

Introduced to Argentina in 1868 by French viticulturist Michel Aime Pouget, pre-phylloxera Malbec grape vines quickly adapted, producing small berry clusters of intense colors, intense fruity flavors, and velvety texture. In more recent years, Argentina invested heavily in Malbec and now grows more than 70 percent of the world’s production, while France places a distant second, at just under 20 percent. The essential flavors of blueberry, cherry, and plum are apparent, however, Malbec produced in Argentina offers a much different flavor profile to the style produced in Cahors, France.

58 NAPAVALLEYLIFE.COM Mendoza // Viñedo // Alto Agrelo
Wine Regions Series | PART ELEVEN


Argentina’s famed flagship varietal—a full-bodied, fruit-forward, earthy wine—is Mendoza’s answer to Napa’s Cabernet Sauvignon. A New World leader in wine, Mendoza is the Argentine region that has propelled Malbec to its current uberpopular status.

Sourced from extremely high-altitude vineyards, some above one mile in elevation, irrigation comes in the form of glacier meltwater. This region, with views of the snow-capped Andes Mountains, accounts for three-quarters of the nation’s Malbec production.

Known for terroir diversity and distinctive microclimates, some say there’s nothing the wine capital of Argentina can’t do. Exceptionally high altitude is a viticultural bonus due to more ventilation, dramatic diurnal variation, and abundant solar radiation that increases levels of healthy polyphenols in red wine. In addition, thinner air and lower humidity account for thicker skins that result in deeper color concentration and more flavorful, aromatic grapes with more robust tannins.

While dominated by Malbec, there’s more to the Mendoza wine story throughout the 1,500 wineries in Maipú Valley, Luján de Cuyo, and Uco Valley. Across wide open spaces, extensively planted red varietals include Cabernet Sauvignon,

Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Tempranillo, and Syrah, as well as aromatic whites, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, and the native Torrontés.


From a base in the city of Mendoza, Maipú Valley is the easiest wine region to explore. Bringing Italian renaissance architecture to the Andean foothills, Trapiche was established in 1883 and is no stranger to lists of the world’s best vineyards. Taste the

biodynamic Malbec, available only at the estate. //

Seven miles from center city, Clos de Chacras is a pretty family-owned winery housed in a century-old building, offering tours, tastings, and meals on the patio overlooking a lake. //


Thirty minutes south of the city, Luján de Cuyo is ideal for a half-day or full-day outing. Reserve ahead to visit Catena Zapata, founded in 1902 and home to Argentina’s most-awarded wine family. Wine critic Jancis Robinson writes of the

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“Argentinian Malbec is a full-bodied, fruit-forward, earthy wine that is Mendoza’s answer to Napa Valley’s Cabernet Sauvignon.”
Mendoza // Viñedo // Photo courtesy of Visit Argentina Bodega Salentein

Wine Enthusiast recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award and Decanter Wine Legend himself, “Nicolás Catena Zapata is justly credited with putting Argentinian wines on the world map—by the best expedient of focusing entirely on quality.” The winery’s newest venture is Angélica Cocina Maestra, a wine-first 10-course tasting menu restaurant in Mendoza, which opened in February 2023. //

Also in Luján de Cuyo, Estancia Uspallata vineyard looks down on all the others from a small ravine more than 6,500 feet above sea level. Uspallata vines viticultural produce a complex Malbec with pronounced black fruit and herbal character, earthy aromas, high acidity, fine tannins, and a long finish. //

Not to miss: Carmelo Patti Winery, an artisanal owner conducting his own tours, consistently getting top marks for unbridled passion, friendly personalization, and free tastings. //



Venture 75 minutes south of Mendoza to Uco Valley, where the Andes provide a stunning backdrop to both large-scale and tiny rural wineries. Visit family-owned organic and vegan winery Domaine Bousquet where the Malbec Tupungato 2021 was selected as one of Wine Spectator’s top 10 values of the year in 2022. Here in Gualtallary, at the north end of Uco Valley, they also run a charming winery hotel and restaurant. //

For big name recognition, Salentein is one of Argentina’s larger wineries, producing millions of bottles annually that are

sold and distributed worldwide. Wander among 5,000 oak barrels on a guided tour in English. //


Malbec is planted in each of Argentina’s wine regions, covering about 1,700 miles from Jujuy in the north to Chubut in the south. Eight hundred miles north of Mendoza in the Calchaquí Valley, Bodega Colomé is Argentina’s oldest and the world’s highest commercial vineyard. An ambitious project representing the extraordinary vision of the late Donald Hess, the site he purchased

in 2001 now encompasses a nine-room boutique hotel and restaurant plus the only museum dedicated solely to American artist James Turrell. In addition to a biodynamic winery featuring the Altura Máxima range nearly two miles above sea level, guests come for stargazing and horseback riding at the dude ranch. //


Just 225 miles east of Santiago, Chile, the charming city of Mendoza, Argentina, is in the Andes foothills east of Mount Aconcagua, the Western Hemisphere’s highest peak. Every year on April 17, Mendoza leads in celebrating Malbec World Day, established by Wines of Argentina in 2011, to highlight the champion of this international wine capital. //

60 NAPAVALLEYLIFE.COM NVL beyond the valley
Mendoza. Bodega Finca de Cero // Luján de Cuyo Mendoza // Ciudad // Photo courtesy of Visit Argentina


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Take It Outside: for
Photo courtesy of Picobar at Solage

As spring blossoms in the Valley, ‘tis the perfect season for alfresco dining. The warm, sunny days beckon any excuse to spend more time outside, especially when it comes to eating and drinking. Whether extending a lunch hour to multiple hours on the patio, clocking off promptly at 5 p.m. to enjoy an aperitif or two overlooking the vines at sunset, or throwing on a sweater and taking dinner under the stars, there’s no shortage of opportunities to indulge in outdoor culinary experiences in Napa. From riverside terraces to sidewalk seating, flower-wrapped patios, and airy gardens, here are some of the best venues to dine alfresco.

The Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil: Reputed in Napa as the Valley’s first finedining establishment, opened in 1981 by French restaurateur Claude Rouas, The Restaurant is certainly a dining destination year-round. In the warmer months, however, the Terrace allures with its sweeping vista of the Rutherford landscape and executive chef Robert Curry’s prix-fixe lunch (two- or three-courses) and dinner (three-, four-, or six-course). Though the menus are seasonal and ever-evolving, guests are guaranteed unparalleled views and a regal ambiance— sure to feel like the king or queen of the hill —while dining at the elevated Terrace. This spring, The Restaurant debuted a redesign by Suzanne Tucker, bringing a lighter look that includes repositioning the bar to face outward toward the view. And for the fourth year, the resort will celebrate Rosé All May, including specialty programming

like rosé cocktails featured throughout the month, and for guests, a selection of still and sparkling rosés available upon guest check-in, a welcome bottle of rosé delivered to each room, rosé sangria at La Plage adults pools, and rosé-themed spa treatments. // aubergedusoleil/dine/

The Grove at Copia: Run by The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the Mediterranean-inspired menu at The Grove is sure to impress, and they have the setting to match it. Santorini-ocean-blue pillows adorn the patio furniture tucked under olive trees, and rows of garden beds showcase herbs and vegetables used in their farm-to-table dishes. Even though The Grove is located in downtown Napa, the serene shades of its green surrounds reflect otherwise. // grove-restaurant

Bear at Stanly Ranch: Rustic wooden tables accented with various grasses and

succulents make this patio worth returning for, especially for their popular dishes like sourdough bread, crispy rice, and short rib. Stanly Ranch also hosts seasonal culinary activations that expand their alfresco offerings, including The Window, their newest culinary concept of a grab-and-go lunch experience with a rotating weekly theme. Their Grange Harvest Dinner Series returns for a less regular, therefore, more coveted experience hosted at the onsite chef’s garden. // stanlyranch/dine/bear/

Farmstead: Though the interiors of this former nursery barn are cozy and seemingly bring the outdoors in with their whimsical plant displays, Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch does have designated patio seating, too. Diners will feel like they’re on a friend’s front porch with the open seating that encourages camaraderie between guests and spills out onto the restaurant’s green spaces. For an even

NVL food
Photo courtesy of Picobar at Solage The Grove // Photo by Emma K Morris

more casual setting or simply to start alfresco dining in the morning, Farmstead’s Café is tucked under a blue spruce tree in a tranquil corner of the property. It is perfect for coffee or an informal lunch. // restaurant/

Picobar: Overlooking the pool deck at Solage, with a rolling mountain backdrop, executive chef Gustavo Rios brings his native Mexico’s coastal Ensenada to Calistoga. Warm weather menu highlights include whipped avocado, Gulf shrimp ceviche, and the SOL Original Tacos, while popular cocktails include the Green Flash (cimarron blanco tequila, house-made jalapeño herb syrup, lime) and Eddie’s AP (la luna cupreata mezcal, lime, our al pastor syrup, pineapple, tajin). // solage/picobar/

Brix: Part of Yountville’s cult institutions, Brix offers a farm-to-table dining experience amid two acres of gardens and orchards, with another 14 prime Napa Valley acres past the vegetables and herbs. Though it’s worthy of lunch or dinner reservations, it’s also an ideal spot to settle in with a bottle of wine and enjoy slow sips with friends— the Kelleher family owns Brix, so opt for their highly-rated, estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon. //

Celadon: Not only does this international restaurant, featuring flavors from the Mediterranean, Asia, and the Americas, offer an outdoor patio, but it’s also located along the preserved Napa riverfront. Meander through a biophilic archway and settle into a seat on the greenhouse-styled patio, outfitted with a fireplace for any lingering chilly nights throughout the season. //

Oxbow Public Market: Branded as downtown Napa’s “local gathering spot for great food and wine,” the 40,000-squarefoot marketplace also offers one of the most scenic outdoor decks with seating along the Napa River, as well as various alfresco seating nooks to enjoy the variety of local vendors at this community hotspot. Hog Island Oyster Co. is particularly lively in the warm months, but diners can also pick from pizza to burgers, pastries to sushi. //

RH Yountville: Tucked off Yountville’s Washington Street, RH’s stone facade, glistening glass chandeliers, and live olive trees envelop guests for a design-forward dining experience. Even if guests don’t reserve a table on the open-air patio, RH ensures they

feel like they’re eating alfresco with oversized glass windows that maintain a bright, airy, modern ambiance to match the artisanal plates served from brunch to dinner. Don’t miss out on the wine list, as RH Yountville hosts a stunning two-story wine vault at the landmark Masonry building. //

Calistoga Inn: Whether seeking a relaxed dinner energized by live music or a casual after-work brew, at Calistoga Inn, there are two options for diners preferring alfresco space. The main restaurant’s patio features a new indoor/outdoor bar that hosts live music every evening from May through October between 6 and 9 p.m. And The Beer Garden is a setting of teakplanked picnic tables, perfect for enjoying

a cold beer from the onsite micro-brewery, Napa Valley Brewing Company, and a casual bite. //

Bistro Don Giovanni: This Italian restaurant draws inspiration from its restaurant garden to maintain a daily changing menu, and with outdoor seating available in the garden, guests can feel inspired, too, knowing that many of the ingredients are harvested from their viridescent surroundings. At the centerpiece of the alfresco dining experience is Bistro Don Giovanni’s Commedia dell’arte fountain, with characters of a traditional 16th-century Italian theater swinging from poles and stilts that spark conversation. //

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Photo courtesy of Bear at Stanly Ranch Oxbow Market Patio on the Napa River Photo by Bob McClenahan

Cooking with KAREN CROUSE

You will want to eat this salad at the end of your meal because it tastes like dessert. The sweetness of the pears and glazed pecans mixed with the pungent blue cheese makes it the trifecta of salads. It has top billing in my collection of favorite springtime salads.





• Large salad bowl

• Sharp knife

• Medium saucepan

• Spatula


• 6 cups of head lettuce, such as little gems or butter

• 1 container caramelized pecans (I like Mitica Brand)

• 1 medium or 2 small Bartlett Pears

• 4 oz. block of Point Reyes Blue Cheese

• 2 cups Modena Balsamic Vinegar

• Premium extra virgin Olive Oil

• Pinch of salt

TIP: Pears ripen from the inside out. When choosing, gently push near the stem. If it is soft, it’s ripe.


Heat the vinegar over medium heat. Bring to a low boil, then turn it down immediately to a simmer, occasionally stirring until reduced by half and it coats a spoon, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool. The vinegar will thicken as it cools. Transfer to an airtight glass container and store at room temperature.


Wash and dry the lettuce and tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.

Cut the pears into quarter-inch slices.

Place lettuce greens in a large salad bowl. Add the pears and pecans. Crumble the blue cheese over the salad, breaking it up evenly. Toss with olive oil and a pinch of salt. The greens should glisten (not drip) with the oil.

Divide the salad into 4 bowls and drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Serve with 2021 Prét à Boire Napa Valley Rosé.



A Legacy Lives on at Villa Corona Restaurants in Napa Valley

In 1960 Ismael and Guillermina Villaseñor immigrated from Mexico to San Francisco, California to make a new life in the United States. To support his family, Ismael started picking fruit in the bay area but soon got his start in the restaurant business working at a cafeteria in the San Francisco airport and later went on to work at the Dock restaurant in Tiburon. Ismael eventually joined the Golden Gate Switch Board Company, where he worked for ten years, and when the company moved to Napa, the family decided to follow.

Ismael had always wanted to have his own business, and the move to Napa was the beginning of his ambitious desire to have a restaurant. In 1972 he received the opportunity to open Villa Azteca Mexican Restaurant in the Bel Aire Plaza in Napa. The original restaurant sat about 60 people, and although he had no formal training, Ismael loved to create and serve his version of the Mexican food he craved from his homeland. The menu included

dishes such as Birria (slow roasted marinated goat), Menudo, Chile Verde, Chile Colorado, and Enchiladas.

Son Carlos Villaseñor remembers the early days of the family business. “We all grew up in the restaurant; if we weren’t at school, we were likely helping out at the restaurant. In 1974 my parents began to make Mexican cheese (Queso Fresco and Panela) while also operating the restaurant. Twice a week as kids, we would accompany our parents to deliver these items to the mission district in San Francisco. Occasionally our last stop would be at the home of a family friend, La Señora Santana. Years later, I discovered she was the mother of renowned musician Carlos Santana.”

In 1983 the Napa restaurant moved to its current location and was renamed Villa Corona, a combination of the parents’ last names. Initially, Villa Corona operated as a market offering homemade tortillas, pastries, and other baked goods. Then, a

year later, they added restaurant service. Starting over in the new location was tough, so Ismael began to drive up and down Napa Valley selling products from the restaurant in Mexican neighborhoods to promote Villa Corona. His family called these weekly excursions “Ismael’s la venta” (the sale).

Today the family legacy lives on. Fernando and Gaby, the two youngest Villaseñor children, manage the Napa location. Son Carlos expanded the business in 1997 when he opened up two locations in Vacaville, California, and a catering company. Soon after, in 1999, son Daniel and his wife Yesenia opened a fourth Villa Corona restaurant in the quaint town of St. Helena, California.

This year Villa Corona is celebrating 50 years of operation in Napa Valley and neighboring counties, offering Mexican food in a casual setting and full-service catering.

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The Villaseñor Family: L-R Fernando, Gabriela, Ismael, Guillermina, Daniel and Carlos (brother Miguel, not shown)
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Where the Napa River flows past the famous Oxbow District, where Robert Mondavi created Copia Gardens, the new Napa Yard Oxbow Gardens presents a one-stop shop for fun, food, and entertainment.

The amazing outdoor space is reminiscent of a European beer garden. The beer garden area offers elevated pub fare and a full bar run by the onsite craft distiller, Concordia Sprits, which creates grapebased spirits infused with botanicals and fruits from the garden. Guests rave about the sloe gin fizz made with berries from their mulberry trees. “Recently, we made limoncello with lemons from the trees in the citrus grove,” said Daniel Tellez, Director of Food and Beverage Operations.

The full-service Garden Kitchen offers a weekly, seasonal menu with ingredients sourced from their fantastic organic culinary gardens. “The gardens are part of the original project of Copia, which Robert Mondavi created,” Tellez added. “We have orchards, veggie and herb gardens, and everything you can imagine.” Along with the citrus, apple, plum, and peach groves, they also grow many vegetables–for example, they have 1000 plants of tomatoes right now, and the fried squash blossoms are a

real treat in the summer. Tellez said, “We use everything we harvest; If we don’t use it on our menu, we use it to infuse it–garden-to-table and garden-to-glass.”

The fantastic products offer a contrast with the casual atmosphere. Repurposed shipping containers that were part of the Yard at Mission Rock in the parking lot of Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, now provide the kitchen, bar, and storage areas. In addition, redwood and Douglas fir salvaged from wildfires have been milled locally for tables and benches.

Napa Yard proves that casual does not equate to lacking beauty or quality. It boasts a wine shed with curated tastings and a harvest table by the river that can seat 60 people for a private dinner. Relaxing in the plum grove is beautiful during spring and summer because the trees blossom and

brim with fruit. Spring brunch is amazing, and live music fills the air most weekends. A café and market are in the works for this summer. There will also be a picnic area that guests can reserve for shucking-theirown oysters. Napa Yard will offer private dining experiences, which include pig roasts and paella parties.

They can offer this wide array of food, beverage, and entertainment options partly because the space allows for it. Tellez explained, “We can accommodate over 2000. We can do family gatherings and corporate events simultaneously because we have different spaces—so you’re not closing the business to do an event—everything can happen simultaneously.”

The Napa Yard founders wanted to fill a much-needed niche in the area. “It’s a place you can go once or twice a week with the family without breaking the piggy bank; that’s important in Napa,” Tellez said as he explained the concept of the 3.5-acre property. “We needed more casual spots in the Napa Valley area. We have a dog run inside. I mean, you cannot get more casual than that!”

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“We use everything we harvest; If we don’t use it on our menu, we use it to infuse it–garden-to-table and garden-to-glass.”

Offering Guests and Locals A Home Away From Home

Designed to exist both as a destination worth traveling to and as a local gathering hub, Stanly Ranch is more than just another hotel in Napa. The 135room resort owned and operated by Auberge Resorts Collection opened last spring with a community-driven mission across their specialty programming, events, and experiences—and this spring, they’re adding to their activity line-up.

In March, Stanly Ranch launched its newest offering as a casual culinary concept, The Window. Stanly Ranch will host locals and hotel guests every Saturday through harvest season in their village center for live music and a grab-and-go window-style dining venue featuring weekly specials from Mexican-style street corn to classic Nashville fried chicken.

Another culinary happening is Stanly Ranch’s Grange Harvest Dinner Series, four unique multi-course dining experiences spread over the warmer months and hosted at the Grange, their onsite chef’s garden. Though the themes differ, from mustard (March 26) to edible flowers (May 21) to basil (August 6) and winter squash (November 5), the concept remains the same: to “honor

the infinite connection between the land, ingredients, makers, and farmers by focusing on a single, exceptional seasonal ingredient.” While the aforementioned are tailored dining experiences, Stanly Ranch’s signature restaurant, Bear, hosts more relaxed happenings year-round. This includes Locals Nights at Bear, where weekly specials are on rotation explicitly for locals, ranging from discounted martinis to a burger and beer combination or one-dollar oysters; the goal is to make Bear a local’s “go-to.”

Outside of food and beverage, Halehouse is Stanly Ranch’s all-encompassing wellness center, fostering a community in itself. The Halehouse Unlimited monthly membership is available to locals for $850 per month, which includes the use of all the spa and fitness facilities, including

scheduled movement classes from yoga to pilates, one complimentary personal training session, and a 60-minute massage per month as well as access to the adultsonly pool and hot tub seven days a week.

Though these offers are seasonal, Stanly Ranch offers a “Plan Ahead and Save” package, which doesn’t expire—so guests can save 30 percent on bookings year-round if they confirm a pre-paid booking at least ten days in advance. When they book, they’ll gain access to the 712-acre property’s year-round offerings, including two swimming pools, fireplace nooks where conversation among guests is encouraged, and luxury cottage rooms that provide the perfect retreat after a day of mingling with fellow travelers. Other unique experiences, such as artisanal hat making, immersive wine classes, scenic bike rides, falconry presentations, and gardening routines, occur throughout the year. And that’s just scratching the surface—no matter the season, whether a local or out-of-towner, Stanly Ranch welcomes guests to feel at home through their programming, property layout, and thoughtful facilities. FOR

NVL around the valley




Of the more than 120 wineries and wine-tasting rooms in the Santa Ynez Valley, nearly a quarter are located in quaint Los Olivos. As one of the six towns that comprise this celebrated wine growing region, Los Olivos is home to 30 labels, the tasting rooms scattered within a walkable, five-block area punctuated by charming, Victorian architecture and a convivial western vibe.

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Fess Parker Wine Country Inn. Photo courtesy of the Inn  BY FRAN MILLER

Afew of Los Olivos’ downtown buildings and residences date back to the town’s establishment in the late 1800s, the result of it being a stagecoach stop between San Francisco and San Diego; many local structures are more than one hundred years old. It’s this aura of California history, paired with modern hospitality, that creates such an appealing and entirely authentic atmosphere.


Just as Napa Valley’s Yountville is playfully referred to as “Kellerville” due to Chef Thomas Keller’s many restaurants that line the small town’s main drag, Santa Ynez Valley’s Los Olivos could be considered “Parkerville” due to Fess Parker’s welcome influence. The star of 50s and 60s television shows Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone is perhaps better known these days as one who helped transform Los Olivos into a wine lover’s destination. Parker lived for decades in Santa Barbara County, and after retiring from acting, he reinvented himself as a respected vintner and hotelier. As a result, he and now his family, have cultivated a worldclass hospitality portfolio around the beauty and bounty of Santa Barbara County. Guests to Los Olivos can experience the full breadth of the Parker family’s hospitable offerings with a stay at the quaint Fess Parker Wine Country Inn, which serves as a gateway to their collections of wineries.

This Preferred Hotels & Resorts LVX Collection boutique inn, now run by Fess’s son Eli Parker and his sister Ashley Parker Snider, is centrally located to the town’s

abundance of tasting rooms, art galleries, and boutiques. The inn, and its 19 rooms and suites of varying sizes, offer luxurious indulgences such as a bottle of complimentary wine upon arrival, a heated pool, a lush garden with firepits, a bountiful buffet breakfast, and plush beds and bedding. A stay at the Inn includes complimentary wine tasting at Epiphany, the Parker family’s second label that focuses on Rhône varietals from their estate vineyard Rodney’s, and at the eponymous Fess Parker Winery located nearby along the picturesque Foxen Canyon Wine Trail. Long a top wine-tasting destination for its exceptional Rhône and Burgundian varietals from Santa Barbara County, the winery recently renovated its

tasting room to reveal a modern design that pays homage to the family’s roots.


A County Historical Landmark and the social center of the Santa Ynez Valley through the 1930s, Mattei’s Tavern was originally a stagecoach stop. Today, the old-growth palm treepopulated site is a luxurious, new Auberge resort with 67 farmhouse chic guest rooms and cottages. The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern, Auberge Resorts Collection features an outdoor pool with a welcoming poolside bar, cabanas and firepits, a signature spa, and modern indooroutdoor event spaces. Additionally, guests can enjoy a culinary program that celebrates the

seasonal flavors of Los Olivos at an open-air destination restaurant.


With its heat-lamp warmed front patio and cozy interior, Nella Kitchen & Bar is the spot to convene after a day of wine tasting to indulge in their star attraction Pinsas, Roman-style pizzas with flatbread-like crusts, and a variety of toppings. For lunch, try the new Michelin-recognized Bar Le Côte, a stylish seafood tavern inspired by the modern cuisine of European seaside capitals. The Fried Oyster Po’Boy with sliced tomato, shredded lettuce, and spicy BLC tartar sauce has become a fast favorite.

NVL side trip
Fess Parker Winery Tasting Room Photo courtesy of the winery The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern, Auberge Resorts Collection Guest Room Photo courtesy of Auberge Resorts Collection

For a locally sourced, organic, sustainable breakfast, delicious vegan baked goods, and a great cup of coffee, head to Lefty’s Coffee Co., the community’s unofficial living room.


The Los Olivos tasting room for Refugio Ranch Vineyards, built c.1912, once served as a filling station for Pacific Coast Railway tank cars. It is now one of the largest tasting locations in town, where visitors sample wines sourced from the Gleason Family Vineyards Santa Ynez Valley portfolio’s 415-acre Refugio Ranch estate. Sister estate, Roblar Winery and Vineyards, features 40 acres of grand, oak-studded grounds, including a 5,000-square-foot tasting room,

multiple outdoor seating and event areas with vineyard views, organic Roblar Farm, and the portfolio’s state-of-the-art winery. For Burgundian-style Chardonnay and elegant Pinot Noir, stop by Liquid Farm’s tasting room. And for those tiring of wine, try The Other Room, where a great selection of California craft beers shares the stage with unique wines by the glass and hard-to-find bottles from obscure producers.


Annual Los Olivos events include the Jazz & Olive Festival every June, Day in the Country every October, and Olde Fashioned Christmas in December.

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Roblar Winery Vineyards Photo courtesy of Roblar Nella Kitchen & Bar Pinsa Photo courtesy of Nella Bar Le Côte Fried Oyster Po’Boy Photo by Carter Hiyama Fess Parker


Retirement can be an exciting and fulfilling time filled with new opportunities and adventures. Finding the perfect place to call home is a top priority for many retirees. For those who enjoy wine, great food, outdoor activities, lively downtown areas, and art galleries, Napa Valley is an attractive place. However, it is essential to consider various factors when making such a significant life change, including your financial situation, lifestyle needs, and personal preferences.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), from 1985 to 2008, the average length of time homeowners typically stayed in their homes was only six years. However, that number is on the rise. This trend could mean you have more equity built up in your home than you realize.

If you’ve been in your home for a significant period of time, you may have

built up equity that can fuel your next move. While home price growth varies by state and local area, the national average shows that the typical homeowner who’s owned their home for 30 years saw it almost triple in value. So whether you’re looking to downsize, relocate to a dream destination, or move closer to loved ones, that equity can help you achieve your homeownership goals.

A concern I hear from clients looking to sell their homes is that it’s hard to win in a “contingent offer” situation where you write an offer contingent upon the sale of your home in a market where inventory is low and up against multiple offers. So how do we purchase? For some of my clients, I suggest a bridge loan strategy or using cash and then acquiring financing after the sale can make sense in this scenario allowing you to purchase, move out and then prepare your home for sale. By consulting with a CPA or financial advisor,

you can make more informed decisions considering your financial situation, tax consequences, and long-term goals.

In conclusion, your housing and lifestyle needs may evolve as retirement nears, prompting you to consider relocating to a new destination or property. A reputable local real estate advisor can provide essential guidance throughout the process of selling your home and acquiring a new one that meets your desired needs and lifestyle. In addition, they can help you navigate the nuanced aspects of the transactions and offer insights into the local housing market to help you find your dream property. With rising home values and untapped equity in so many properties, now may be the perfect time to make your move and start enjoying your retirement.

My mother was a REALTOR®, I’m a REALTOR®, and my daughter is a REALTOR®, so you could say that real estate is in our blood. Having pursued this profession for more than 17 years, my passion for the Napa Valley began in 1985, when I bought my restaurant in Calistoga. While food and beverage hospitality allowed me to share my love of our Valley with visitors and locals, I have found that helping people sell and buy real property affords me the best opportunity to get more folks to fulfill their dreams experience their own Napa Valley passions

Considering Retiring?
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Modern Masculine with a Warm Side

Undoubtedly, surroundings significantly impact how one feels, and when beauty, comfort, and functionality combine, a well-designed home can soothe the soul and improve quality of life Interior Designer Kimberley Harrison understands this concept implicitly; she applies it to her own space. “If left to my own devices, I’d like a clean aesthetic. I like a home design that is quiet and not too fussy, but you want it to feel comfortable too. That’s where you bring in textures and layers, so it still feels warm and welcoming.”


Interior design is a second career for Harrison, who worked in sales before marrying and raising two children. However, she knew she had a knack for design and eventually launched her interior design company,, in 2016. That year, she was selected to participate in the Napa Valley Showhouse, and her bathroom design appeared in Traditional Home Magazine; from there, the floodgates opened. Today, she has a team of eight, a new office/studio/retail space in Lafayette, and she’s planning to launch a home accessories and décor shop online.

Harrison said of the retail line, “We’ll offer unique upscale and custom-made pieces. For example, I found an artist in France who makes these fun vases, so we ordered some of those.”

With interior design, optimizing space and resolving functionality is key, but aesthetics are vital because the design should reflect the person living there. For that to happen, a designer must tune into the client.

“I do a good job at hearing what clients say and what they want and understanding who they are intuitively.”

One of her favorite projects to date required her to use her tuning-in skills. She created what she calls “modern masculine,” a design concept that has become one of her signatures.

“The homeowner trusted me, and he let me run with the idea. It is easy to work on a project when the client trusts you, and if you spend the time upfront to create that direction, it works well. I pulled a lot of imagery up front, and we went through it so he could point to specific things he liked.”

The client is the third-generation owner of a family-owned iron company. “He wanted some elements of the family business mixed in, so I added some metal architectural elements and a custom mohair, alpaca, and wool rug with bronze inlaid strips. It captures the client’s desire to incorporate metal into the design and my instinct to blend textural elements. The final design has a masculine edge but feels warm and approachable.”

Modern masculine appeals to many of her successful male clients who are busy and need help. “They are great to work with because they know what they like and dislike, and they have strong opinions, so you get things done,” she adds. As a result, men have been some of her best clients to date.

Her next frontier is the northern Bay Area. She loves bringing nature and the outdoors into architecture, and bringing in the outdoors is especially desired when the landscape is as beautiful as California wine country. “When you use the right windows and keep your space open, that simplicity puts the focus where you want it—looking out at vineyards and rolling hills.”

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“I do a good job at hearing what clients say and what they want and understanding who they are intuitively.”

E&M PRESENTS Performing Arts for the Whole Family

When Evy and Morrie Warshawski started E & M Presents in 2015, their goal was to fill an important gap in the cultural landscape of Napa Valley – presenting affordable, highly entertaining performing arts geared to families with children. In doing so, they’ve also developed a formidable network of kindred spirit supporters within the community.

Before launching E & M Presents, the Warshawski’s actively participated in the performing arts. Evy was a Presenter, bringing hundreds of performing artists in all disciplines to communities such as St. Louis, Ann Arbor, San Francisco, and others; Morrie was a strategic planning consultant. Since the duo moved to Napa in 2004, they

NVL people & art
Clockwise from Top Left: Doktor Kaboom, photo by Martin Albert; Evy & Morrie Warshawski, photo by Marissa Carlyle; The Okee Dokee Brothers, photo by Nate Ryan; Max Read-Myers and his teacher, violinist Cookie Segelstein, photo by Fred. W. Goldman

have been deeply involved with the local arts community. Evy served as Executive/ Artistic Director of the Napa Valley Opera House (2004-11) and as a Leadership Napa Valley board member. She currently serves on the Napa County Library Commission, Napa County Arts & Culture Advisory Committee, and as a Napa Valley Register Editorial Board member.

Morrie served as a Consultant helping to create the Napa County Community Cultural Plan, a grants panelist for Arts Council Napa Valley, and a judge for the Napa Valley Film Festival (2013 – 2014). In addition, Morrie is an artist, a published poet and author of two books on fundraising and participated in Open Studios 2022, showcasing his original artworks.

Their deep connections and passion for the arts fueled their quest to bring the performing arts to children. They felt kids were getting the short shrift regarding live performance and hoped exposing them to talent in the arts might influence them and evoke their interest in becoming artists as well.

In their pursuits to find performances that appeal to children, they acknowledge that kids today are sophisticated and don’t book shows they wouldn’t want to see

themselves, avoiding acts that condescend or are too “cutesy.” “I look for artists that bring their message to the stage, that have something to say, to teach, to interact and have fun with the kids in the audience,” Evy said. “When I was at the Opera House, I knew I had booked a show with impact when I would hear people talking about it the following day at Starbucks. That’s what I want for our younger audiences.”

Although E & M Presents is the only presenter and local non-profit organization of touring artists bringing work for kids and families, they would not be entering their 8th year without the support of their generous donors who believe in the same cause and celebrate what they are trying to accomplish. Ticket revenues only cover approximately 30% of the expenses, but E &M strives to keep the shows affordable with lower-thanaverage ticket prices. In that light, their mission includes not leaving anyone out who cannot afford the price of a ticket. Thanks to donations and the support of many local social service providers, they are able to offer free tickets when space allows, reaffirming their mission that the show must go on.


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DOKTOR KABOOM Look Out! Science is Coming!
June 17 Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center 1pm and 3pm
Upcoming Performances
July 2 Yountville Community Center 1pm and 3


Putting the ‘ YOU ’ in Yountville

Occupying an enviable position on 22 acres of prized real estate in downtown Yountville, two boutique hotels comprise The Estate Yountville, a ‘village-within-avillage’ concept.

These unique properties with decidedly different personalities— Vintage House on the north end and Hotel Villagio and its vineyard on the south end—frame The Estate Yountville, the place where guests make wine country into a delightful personal domain.


This lifestyle resort in the heart of Napa Valley’s charming signature town is

the center of the wine and dine world. Modern tasting rooms, fine art galleries, and several Michelin-rated darlings of dining are among the highlights of a Yountville stroll. Anchored by an acclaimed spa and three restaurants situated on the property surrounded by vineyard views, guests love the fact that The Estate Yountville has quintessential wine country experiences right at the doorstep.

NVL business spotlight
Photos courtesy of The Estate Yountville


At Vintage House, cheerful bungalow-style residences—some that can sleep four— are tucked into the lush landscape. Each guest room has charming decor, a patio or balcony, plush robes, rich bedding, a wellstocked mini-bar, and more. A private pool zone with sun-soaked chaise lounges is the perfect retreat for a lazy spell.

At Hotel Villagio, rich, dramatic guest rooms and bathrooms are designed as polished retreats, with sunsoaked terraces lending to their exceptional appeal. Handknotted rugs draped over wood floors and mahogany headboard walls set the tone for a getaway escape.. Freestanding soaking tubs are illuminated with elegant lighting, creating a sensual ambiance in the bathrooms.


Of course, there’s more to vacations and getaway weekends than dining and drinking well…right? Check off a few experiences on the proverbial bucket list. Sail aloft in the wicker basket of a hot air balloon, float in a peaceful pool, seek out a spa sanctuary, or bicycle through vineyards of lush grapevines. Take a private escorted tour at a winery and sip from the source at a barrel tasting before sitting down to a wine pairing. Settle into a comfortable lounge serving caviar and Champagne in a garden setting.


And a note for would-be wine country brides and grooms…a thriving weddings business is the icing on the cake at The Estate Yountville. The Villa at The Estate Yountville is a 6,600-square-foot five-bedroom residence that’s ideal for wedding parties wishing to spend time together while enjoying more space with ultimate privacy. Seven gracious, inspired indoor and outdoor event spaces across the two extensive hotel properties are just the place to invite wedding guests to bear witness and join the festivities.

From rehearsal dinner to ceremony to the morning brunch afterwards, a polished professional event team is on hand to plan and execute a suite of picture-perfect moments that last a lifetime.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION 6481 Washington St.,, Yountville //


Hot Air Ballooning. An Adventure Above the Rest

Brightly colored hot air balloons drifting across the rolling hills of Napa Valley, just as the sun rises, is enough to stop everything and gaze. It’s as if one stepped into a storybook setting. The awe of such a sight is inspiring. Imagine being in the hot air balloon, and it’s a whole other fairytale come true, grand and glorious.

Napa Valley Aloft offers a unique adventure to see the world from a birds-eye view. The premiere hot air balloon company is family-owned and has been creating magical experiences since 1978. Jerrold Kimball (Jay) was the first generation of balloonists to introduce hot air ballooning to Napa Valley, sharing the joy with the community and his children, now grown. The family of hot air balloon enthusiasts is continuing the legacy, running the business from the ground and the air.

“Hot air ballooning is a way to celebrate life, create memories, and bond with loved ones,” said the founder’s son Jared Kimball.

Being raised around hot air balloons, the Napa Valley Aloft family knows better

than anyone how to create a memorable experience from start to finish. A trip begins in the wee hours when the wind is at its calmest and to experience the magnificence of the valley at sunrise.

Safety is a top priority. Napa Valley Aloft launches its balloons from one of two locations, The Estate Yountville as the primary launch site and northern Napa County in the town of Pope Valley, to better increase the chances of take-off as the weather varies across the region and may impede a successful trip. In addition, offering smaller baskets makes for a safer, more intimate, and personalized experience, setting it apart from the competition.

Lift-off is slow and gentle, the anticipation palpable. Once in the air, the magic begins, and for each guest, that moment of awe comes in gasps, grins, and glistening eyes as the world’s beauty is spread out in front of them, drifting ever-so calmly for just under an hour. It’s an encounter like no other.

“Hot air balloons offer an opportunity to slow down, take a break from the daily hustle and bustle, and enjoy a peaceful and serene flight over breathtaking landscapes,” said Jared.

After a gentle landing, elated guests are invited to a champagne brunch for an additional fee to relive their experience and toast to the world’s splendor. It’s no wonder time after time, Napa Valley Aloft earns five-star ratings on popular websites such as Yelp and Tripadvisor and was voted the number one hot air balloon company by USAToday in 2019. Newlyminted balloon enthusiasts rank hot air ballooning as one of life’s top must-dos, especially gliding over the rolling hills and vineyards of wine country with Napa Valley Aloft.

NVL business spotlight
FOR MORE INFORMATION // 855-944-4408
SPRING 2023 83 SUMMER 2022 891040 Main Street, Suite 105, Napa, CA 707-690-2028 Collabria Care is now part of Providence —Will Marcencia, Wine Down Media Vice Chair, Community Health Foundation Napa Valley 707-254-4157 Community Health Foundation Napa Valley Adult Day Health | Palliative Care | Hospice “My company and I have supported Collabria Care for over three years now. The name change to Providence does not make any difference because I know that we will still offer the same care. Regardless of the name, the donations stay local and they make an impact in OUR community.”



Most heirs face many complex decisions—and potential tax consequences. These insights can help you avoid common mistakes and make smarter choices.

An inheritance can seem like a mixed blessing, coming as it often does after the loss of a loved one. At such an emotional time, it can be difficult to think through what you need to do to manage the gift. But even if your parents decide to give you your inheritance, or a portion of it, while they’re still living—as many parents increasingly prefer to do—you’ll likely have many questions, says Kevin Hindman, managing director and wealth strategies executive, Bank of America Private Bank.

You might want to schedule a conversation with a financial advisor and your personal tax professional in advance to discuss the potential tax consequences and how the gift could help you pursue your goals. It can also make sense to talk with your

parents about their hopes for your financial future. Read the insights below for a better sense of how to prepare for the many issues heirs can face.

Q: How do I begin a conversation with my parents about their estate plans?

A: It’s not necessary to ask how much money your parents might leave you. Start the conversation by asking about their values and what wealth means to them. That can lead to productive conversations about the role an inheritance could play in your financial future and what your parents’ expectations might be. This sort of conversation also provides you with the opportunity to share your preferences and priorities. For instance, if there’s a family business, or even a family vacation home, and you

have no interest in owning either, be upfront about that. When everyone understands the expectations, the outcomes tend to be better for everyone.

Q: I just found out I’m receiving an inheritance. How quickly do I need to make decisions?

A: You’ll likely have some time before you receive the funds; depending on the complexity of the estate, the probate process, if applicable, generally takes at least six months to a year. That’s often for the best. Too often beneficiaries make large purchases or sweeping decisions that they later regret. Even paying off debt right away may not be in your best interests, says Hindman. “Does it make sense to pay off a mortgage at a rate below 3%?

You might do better than a 3% return elsewhere,” he notes. Instead, consider setting up a meeting with your advisor to discuss your competing goals and how you could manage your newfound wealth to help you pursue them. Bank of America Wealth Strategist Victor Diune suggests looking at four buckets — spending needs, short-term goals, long-term goals and philanthropy.

“How you allocate your inheritance to these buckets depends on your situation,” he says. If you have young children, a portion could go toward college costs in the long-term bucket. But if you’re looking at renovating your home or relocating, you’ll probably want to put those funds into a short-term bucket and make sure they’re easily available.

Trust, fiduciary, and investment management services are provided by Bank of America Private Bank, a division of Bank of America, N.A. and its agents, Member FDIC, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation. Investing involves risk. There is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Asset allocation, rebalancing and diversification do not guarantee against risk in broadly declining markets. Merrill, its affiliates, and financial advisors do not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions. This material is not intended as a recommendation, offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or investment strategy. Merrill offers a broad range of brokerage, investment advisory (including financial planning) and other services. Additional information is available in our Client Relationship Summary. This material does not take into account a client’s particular investment objectives, financial situations, or needs and is not intended as a recommendation, offer, or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or investment strategy. Merrill offers a broad range of brokerage, investment advisory (including financial planning) and other services. There are important differences between brokerage and investment advisory services, including the type of advice and assistance provided, the fees charged, and the rights and obligations of the parties. It is important to understand the differences, particularly when determining which service or services to select. For more information about these services and their differences, speak with your Merrill financial advisor. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as “MLPF&S” or “Merrill”) makes available certain investment products sponsored, managed, distributed or provided by companies that are affiliates of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”). MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, Member SIPC and a wholly owned subsidiary of BofA Corp. Insurance and annuity products are offered through Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc., a licensed insurance agency and wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation. Trust, fiduciary and investment management services, including assets managed by the Specialty Asset Management team, are provided by Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC and wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”), and its agents. Bank of America Private Bank is a division of Bank of America, N.A. U.S. Trust Company of Delaware is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation. Banking products are provided by Bank of America, N.A. and affiliated banks, Members FDIC and wholly owned subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation.

Are Not FDIC Insured Are Not Bank Guaranteed May Lose Value Are Not Deposits Are Not Insured By Any Federal Government Agency Are Not a Condition to Any Banking Service or Activity Investment products offered through MLPF&S, and insurance and annuity products offered through MLLA.:
NVL money & wealth

Q: What if my inheritance isn’t in cash?

tax-deferred accounts like a traditional IRA or 401(k) account, you’ll pay taxes on your withdrawals, including RMDs, as ordinary income at whatever your rate is.

Happiness: Financial Independence

When it comes to taxable accounts and other assets like real estate, there’s the possibility you’ll owe no income tax, because the cost basis of the asset gets stepped up (or down) to current fair market value upon its owner’s death, thereby wiping out any taxable capital gains on appreciated assets, says Hindman.

A: Most inheritances aren’t, says Hindman. You might be named the beneficiary of a retirement account—or you could inherit the family home, for instance. If you’ve inherited a tax-deferred account like an IRA or a 401(k) account and you’re a nonspouse designated beneficiary1, you’ll have 10 years after the death of the original account owner in which to fully liquidate the account (depending on your age relative to the original account owner and certain other circumstances). The rules are complex, and you’ll want to consult with your tax professional to help you understand them and decide on a strategy to address them.

Are You the “Family Bank”?

Keep in mind that if you inherit an asset that provides income—say, a trust that pays out annually—it may put you in a higher marginal tax bracket.

family and financially are to according to a partnership Solutions,” provide with the because no? Maybe you you’re by whether it’s own. for your but there politely you’re here are children family the sharing your decisions Stacy Allred, Wealth™. to ask making the sound own.” more someday find consider

“Things can get more complicated when converting real assets such as a family home or business into cash, especially when multiple beneficiaries are involved,” notes Hindman. If there are disputes over a will, it could take years for the issues to be resolved. In the best-case scenario, parents have worked with their advisor and estate attorney to construct a will or trust in such a way that its provisions account for the beneficiaries’ desires—for instance, which child wants to keep the family home or work in the family business.

a position to provide it. Yet the “Finances in Retirement” survey found that few respondents had budgeted to be able to help family members financially, despite giving an average of $6,500 annually to family. “We create budgets for such things as travel or shopping, so why not for family giving?” asks Bill Hunter, Retirement Client Experience, Director, Strategy & Solutions at Bank of America.

• Start saving for retirement and take advantage of having longevity on your side. Contribute to an employersponsored savings plan such as a 401(k) at least at a level that meets any company match.

Q: Could my inheritance require changes to my own estate plan?

A: Whenever your net worth changes, you should update or revise your estate plan, says Diune. You may need to consider how to protect certain newly acquired assets—for instance, a family home or business that’s been passed down to you that you want someday to go to your children.

Hunter advises that you determine how much you can commit to this purpose without disrupting your retirement planning and current living needs. When you have that figure, consider your other priorities. Are there any lifestyle changes you may need to make in order to keep giving to family during tough times? Most important, before you give, be sure to set aside an emergency fund for yourself to help ensure that you will have a comfortable cushion in retirement.

• Talk to your local Merrill advisor, who can assist with putting together a plan to help pursue your goals.

develop a basic philosophy that applies to everyone. Explain that this philosophy helped your family build its wealth and that any loan or gift decisions will be made based on your core values, such as a strong work ethic, pride and self-sufficiency. If you’re dreading the prospect of refusing a request, prepare your reasons beforehand so that you can explain them unemotionally. When you can’t afford to give, outline the reasons for your decision.

When a family business is involved, notes Schmieder, it’s possible that your relatives don’t understand the company’s financial limitations.

For more information, contact Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor

Q: How could my inheritance affect my taxes?

A: For tax purposes, inheritance generally isn’t considered income, but there are some exceptions.If you inherit certain

3. Set firm guidelines for saying yes. Decide in advance under what circumstances you would feel comfortable giving or lending money.

“If you’re going to make a gift of the money, think about using the occasion as a teaching moment,” suggests Hunter. Without sounding preachy or judgmental, try to explain to your relative how you’ve put yourself in a position to provide this assistance. Have you kept your debt under control, for instance, or lived within your means or avoided high-interest credit cards?

Eric F. Gonzales in the Napa, CA, office at 707.254.4606 or

“Ask yourself, if something happens to you, how will your assets flow to the people you care about?” he adds. A trust might be one way to accomplish that aim. To learn more, you might want to engage with an advisor about ways you might want to use your inheritance to further your own legacy—and help make your beneficiaries’ future more secure.

“Not everyone may be aware, for instance, that company owners have an obligation to reinvest their profits into their businesses to maintain growth,” he says. Use this opportunity to explain that the company’s profits aren’t a ready source for gifts or loans.

As you consider each request, it’s always important to remember that gifts or loans to family members will have a direct impact on your retirement planning. There might be an unwritten fifth rule, says Hunter: “Beware of being overly generous, or you could end up needing financial help yourself.”

“For young adults in the family, this could be a valuable lesson,” he says.

Contact Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor

experience and communication, Merrill © 2023 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. | MAP5071549 | WP-01-23-2624 | 472503PM-0322 |

“If you expect to be paid back, create a loan document,” recommends Joe C. Schmieder, principal consultant of the Family Business Consulting Group. This may include details on how frequently repayments will be made and whether interest will be charged. If the family member has asked you to invest in a business, request a business plan or other formal details on how the money will be used. “It’s important that the recipient understands your terms,”

Eric F. Gonzales in the Napa, CA office at 707-254-4606 or

1 Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. “How Does Student Debt Affect Early Career Retirement Saving?” 2018.

For more information, contact Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor

2 Age Wave/Merrill Lynch. “The Financial Journey of Parenting: Joy, Complexity and Sacrifice,” 2018.

yes and how to say no if family members turn to you for financial support. approximately retirement early debt. concerned wellbeing and financially. by children is annually. 2 bleak, as the percent) financial to early financial budget. Track and can make goals. high-interest, (e.g., non-tax loan). as health

Eric Gonzales in the Napa, CA, office at 707.254.4606 or

Hunter says.

SPRING 2023 85
money sense
1 An
(EDB) is
before or after
required beginning date for Required Minimum Distributions. Senior Helpers offers personalized in-home care solutions that truly set us apart, like our Senior Gems® program. We focus on what your loved one can do instead of what they cannot do. Take a step in a positive direction by contacting us today. 707.200.6665 | HCO #284700002. All rights reserved. Senior Helpers locations are independently owned and operated. ©2023 SH Franchising, LLC. SENIOR CARE ONLY BETTER You’re invited Whether you’ve never been to church or are looking for a community to be part of The Father’s House Napa Sundays 9AM & 11AM 860 Latour CT 94558
eligible designated beneficiary
a surviving spouse, disabled or chronically ill individual, an individual who is not more than
years younger than the decedent, or a child of the account owner who has not reached age
Distribution rules differ based on the date of death, whether or not the beneficiary is an
and whether or not the original account owner died

SOLBAR RESTAURANT Solbar divides its menu into light, delicate flavors to stimulate your palate and bold, savory dishes, all with ingredients that showcase the best of what’s fresh and seasonal in the Napa Valley. Enjoy outdoor dining on the sunlit Solbar patio, or the new Picobar, for dining al fresco or relaxing by the firepits overlooking the landmark pool.



FIRST & FRANKLIN Downtown Napa’s newest Marketplace and Deli features the best of the Napa Valley. The Marketplace offers a full-service deli and a specialty Grocery Store selling local wine and craft beer. The store is filled with grab-and-go or made-to-order sandwiches, salads, and picnic side salads for you to take home or enjoy on either of their two patios.


HERITAGE EATS Heritage Eats offers a fast-casual, globally-inspired menu that thinks and acts locally. The popular restaurant serves up tacos, wraps, baos, rice and salad bowls made-to-order with choice of protein, toppings and sauces with unique flavor profiles from all over the world. The Dirty Fries, Papa K’s Burger and Haven Wings are local favorites.


OSHA THAI Led by renowned Chef Lalita Souksamlane, the menu highlights her award-winning flavors and showcases dishes never before tasted at her other restaurants. Sourced with ingredients grown in her own personal garden and partnering with local vendors, Osha Thai provides an authentic farm-totable experience with quintessential wine country flair.


SOUTHSIDE CAFÉ Southside is a community-centered café and coffee bar with three locations: Carneros, Yountville, and Century in South Napa. They serve a chef-driven menu of authentic California cuisine with a Latin influence, specialty coffee from Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters, and beer & wine from friends in the Napa Valley. Open for breakfast, lunch, and Century is also open for dinner.



PIZZERIA TRA VIGNE For the past 25 years, Pizzeria Tra Vigne reigns one of St. Helena's local treasures. Guests of all ages enjoy the pasta, pizza, or a fresh daily special to go at this vibrant, family restaurant. Their pizzas are a crowd favorite to eat in or carry out. There's plenty of seating outdoors on the beautiful patio, complete with a bocce court, or inside with family and friends.


NVL dining guide
AMERICAN-LATIN FUSION Photo by Darren Brazil

C CASA Offering reimagined Mexican cuisine, C CASA features fresh food crafted with nutrient-packed ingredients sustainably sourced. Handmade tortillas are made from 100% USA grown, non-GMO, organic white corn. C CASA offers a modern and fine casual approach to tacos, salads, quesadillas and rotisserie meats. And everything is 100% Gluten Free! Vegetarian/Vegan offerings available.

OXBOW PUBLIC MARKET // 610 1ST ST., NAPA // 707-226-7700 // MYCCASA.COM


FILIPPI’S PIZZA GROTTO For over 15 years, Filippi’s Pizza Grotto has been one of Napa Valley’s favorite Italian restaurants among locals and visitors alike. Best known for its extensive pizza menu, their dinner entrées include traditional Italian favorites such as Veal Scaloppini, Eggplant Parmigiana and Linguini with Clam Sauce. Soups, sandwiches and gluten-free options are also on the menu.


NAPA PALISADES SALOON Located in downtown Napa, Napa Palisades is a local gourmet grub pub serving American comfort food with a twist. Their full bar serves up their own Napa Palisades Beer Company house brews, over 30 local craft beers and many guest taps. They boast 16 big screen TV’s, weekend brunch and a popular happy hour.

1000 MAIN ST, NAPA // 707-492-3399 // WWW.NAPAPALISADES.COM

GRILLE 29 Nestled in Embassy Suites Napa Valley, Grille 29 offers a casual, friendly space ideal for a business lunch, after work drinks or dinner with the family. The tall rustic ceiling with chandeliers, sofa seating and beautiful oak bar add an old-world charm to the intimate dining room and lounge. Enjoy delightful entrees using fresh products and herbs grown from its very own garden!

1075 CALIFORNIA BLVD., NAPA // 707-320-9520

THE GRILL AT SILVERADO A one-of-a-kind Napa Valley restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and bar appetizers, The Grill at Silverado features Wine Country Cuisine, emphasizing fresh and sustainable products. Just minutes from downtown Napa, the Grill overlooks one of the most beautiful golf courses on earth and offers a respite from the daily routine for everyone who visits.


NAPA NOODLES Eiko’s sister restaurant, Napa Noodles, is an Asian Pacific Rim-style restaurant that fuses the delicious taste of Asian noodles with Napa Valley cuisine. Specialties include house-made noodles, savory soups, slow-roasted meats, seasonal salads, duck, flavorful rice dishes, Asian beers, Sake, and local wines.

1124 FIRST ST, NAPA // 707- 492-8079 // WWW.NAPANOODLES.COM

SPRING 2023 87
PHILANTHROPY ISSUE Napa Valley Vintners: Celebrating a New Chapter of Giving Viognier: Aromatic and Irresistible Fall in Love with Virginia Wine Country PLUS+ SUMMER 2022 NAPA VALLEY LIFE MAGAZINE SUMMER 2022 the BRING NAPA VALLEY to YOUR FRONT DOOR subscribe TODAY NAPAVALLEYLIFEMAGAZINE.COM/SUBSCRIPTIONS/ 1 YEAR • 6 ISSUES $12 // 2 YEARS • 12 ISSUES $19 // 3 YEARS • 18 ISSUES $25
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21,214 +/- square feet of production, tank, barrel, and storage space

• Crush pad, offices, lab, tasting room

• 15K case permit, easily expand to 30K+ Water system for 30K+ cases

• Gorgeous 1,360 SF Modern Farmhouse

• 20 Acres of Plantable Land Equipment, ongoing business $2M+/annual revenue, Large upside in growth

Presented at $7,500,000


• 26 Acres Planted to Premier Hillside Vineyard

• Permitted 15k annual case production winery with Tasting Room

Primary Home + Short Term Rental Both With Stunning Views

Winery Features 3,600SF Enclosed

• Turn Key Winery Estate Includes Winery Equipment

Presented at $3,250,000



• 42.5 Acre Sauvignon Blanc Vineyard

• 1694 Acre Private Wilderness in Potter Valley, CA 20+/- Certificates of Compliance

• Exceptional Blacktail Deer Genetics

• Property Sprawls from Potter Valley to Redwood Valley

Presented at $2,750,000

• High Production Zone of the Big Valley AVA

Large Output Agricultural Well Plus on Site Reservoir

SB From This Area is Trending at Higher Than Ever Pricing

Quad and VSP Trellis - Drip and Overhead Solid Set Sprinklers

Presented at $1,950,000

For more information on the vineyards and wineries we represent for sale please visit our website at

The NorCal Vineyards Team, managed by 3rd generation grape grower Tony Ford, has represented buyers and sellers of vineyards, wineries, land and estates in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, and Lake County for over 19 years. Tony has transacted over $650 Million dollars in sales volume specializing in agricultural assets, vineyards, land and estates. Tony’s reputation is built on value-added services, ranging from assisting in the creation of wine brands, grower relations of wine grapes, and more. His main territory is in the North Coast but is known to branch out across the broader Bay Area region and the greater California landscape. Tony approaches with crucial area knowledge giving his clients a high degree of confidence and customer experience when they engage his services. Tony has spent the last two decades building ironclad relationships, and much of his business comes from word of mouth and referral.

707.391.5950 // DRE #01406167 // 109 Mill St., Healdsburg, CA 95448

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