Posts From July 2008

From top left to bottom right: Bryant Terry, award-winning eco chef, food justice activist, and author hosts the 'Seeds' group; Barry Schuler, serial entrepreneur and Meteor Vineyards owner; Taste3 host Margrit Mondavi with Gordon Heuther on her insider tour; Chef Chris Cosentino prepares beef heart carpaccio for the audience to taste. (Photos by Elise Bauer and Ashley Teplin)

July 24, 2008

Report from Taste3

Last week Robert Mondavi Winery hosted the third annual TED-inspired TASTE3 at COPIA in Napa’s Oxbow District.  For us, this super-charged brain spa is an annual ritual around which we will juggle work, vacations and pretty much anything else.  In other words, it’s a must. In fact, we suggest you register now for next year’s TASTE3 , scheduled to run for three days beginning May 31, 2009.

To give you a taste of what to expect, here are a few things I learned at TASTE3 2008:

Continue reading "Report from Taste3"

Posted by Pamela at 2:30 PM | Comments (0) | Share on Facebook | Art Education, Meteor Vineyard, Napa Valley Chefs, Napa Valley Dining, Napa Valley Wines, Non-wine activities in Napa Valley


July 16, 2008

Mapping the grape genome

Tomorrow through Saturday TASTE3 brings together 40 writers, thinkers, chefs, winemakers, artisans and executives to join 400 attendees who are every bit as tapped-in.  The TED-inspired event is staged at COPIA and Cuvee in Napa with smaller, break-out functions staged in Napa Valley Wineries.    TASTE3 promises to thrill, tantalize, engage, intrigue, provoke and inspire.  And, for the past two years, this event has delivered in spades.

Friday morning at 10:45 award-winning eco chef, food justice activist and author Bryant Terry will host a session entitled, “Seeds.”  In that session, serial entrepreneur Barry Schuler will share his ideas for mapping the wine grape genome.  Schuler, who made his reputation and his fortune in Silicon Valley launched a pioneering interactive multimedia company with his wife Tracy in 1989.  One of their first clients was “a little company called America Online” which Barry ultimately led following the Time Warner merger in 2000.

In 1996 Barry and Tracy bought a 35-acre hilltop parcel in Coombsville, east of the city of Napa.  There they planted a 22-acre cabernet vineyard and eventually began to produce their own wine—made by Dawnine and Bill Dyer, partners in the enterprise—under the Meteor Vineyard label.

If you’re interested in joining the 2008 TASTE3 community, visit to see if late registrations are being accepted.

A few friends of Studio-707 who’ve signed on this year include:  Elise Bauer, blogger; Virginie Boone, journalist; David Darlington, author; Carl Doumani, vintner; Katherine Doumani, free-lance writer; Dawnine Dyer, vintner; Aaron Pott, winemakerMargrit Biever Mondavi, Robert Mondavi Winery; Gwen McGill, Marketing Director, Quintessa Winery; Garrett McCord, blogger; Heather Irwin, journalist; Cristina Salas-Porras; Phil Sherburne, eco-developer; Rives, performance poet; Gianni Stefanini, miller-owner Apollo Olive Oil; Dan Barber, chef; and Andrea Robinson, broadcast journalist

Posted by Pamela at 4:02 PM | Comments (0) | Share on Facebook | Meteor Vineyard, Non-wine activities in Napa Valley


July 9, 2008

Thursday at the Jug Shop Wine Bar

Yorkville Highlands Winemaker Tasting
with Yorkville Cellars, Wattle Creek, Bink & Meyer Family

"Down-home and largely undiscovered, the tiny appellation evokes images of a time gone by."  Virginie Boone, Savor Wine Country

Since the mid-1990’s, California has witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of wine-growing regions designated as American Viticultural Areas, or AVAs. With ten of its own sub-appellations, Mendocino County is an increasingly important region in the North Coast, particularly in light of the wide range of grape varieties planted in the county. A proportional number of microclimates support the efforts of the county’s grape growers, from the warm inland corridor that runs from Hopland north to Redwood Valley, to the cool-climate Anderson Valley just north of Sonoma County.

Tucked in the wild, picturesque hills that separate the Alexander and Anderson Valleys, the decade-old Yorkville Highlands AVA is one of Mendocino's most exciting appellations, if one of its lesser known. On Thursday, July 10th, four of Yorkville’s top wineries will introduce you to this extraordinary spot on California’s wine map. As a San Francisco preview to the annual Yorkville Highlands Festival which takes place in August, the owner-winemakers from Yorkville Cellars, Wattle Creek, Bink Wines, and Meyer Family Cellars (the festival’s host) will pour a diverse lineup of their current releases, including sauvignon blanc, syrah, pinot noir, and cabernet franc.

More than many viticultural regions in the state, the Yorkville Highlands represent a coming-together of factors that allow for the production of elegant, balanced red, white, and rosé wines: the Highlands’ continuous string of elevated benchland vineyards; proximity to the nearby Pacific Ocean, which moderates the climate and provides for an extended growing season; and ancient, gravelly, and well-draining soils that comprise many of the AVA’s best vineyard sites. Not to overlook the human factor of dedicated Yorkville growers working in tandem with winemakers whose collective goal is to produce elegant, food-friendly wines.

We hope you will be able to attend this unique tasting of wines from one of Northern California's up-and-coming regions!

Yorkville Highlands Winemaker Tasting
Thursday, July 10th, 2008
6pm to 8pm
$10 per person

Posted by Pamela at 2:17 PM | Comments (0) | Share on Facebook | Meyer Family Cellars, Yorkville Highlands


July 2, 2008

Photobooth comes to Yountville

San Francisco photographer Christopher Irion brings his PhotoBooth Project to the Yountville Community Hall Thursday, July 10 from noon-7 p.m. and Saturday, July 12, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. People who live or work in Yountville are encouraged to visit the booth on one of those days.  Irion invites townspeople to “bring your sweetheart, your kids, your dogs” and sit for a portrait. As a way of recognizing the collaboration with each participant, everyone is sent a complimentary 5” x 7” print.  In addition, all the portraits will be included in a mural to be installed later this summer in front of the Bardessono Inn on Yount Street adjacent to the community hall.  The installation will be on view until November.

The PhotoBooth is a lightweight, portable studio that can be shipped anywhere in the world.  During the past three years, Irion has traveled over 8,000 miles and made over 2,000 portraits in communities across America.  The booth is set up at cafes, in parking lots, at county fairs and on sidewalks.

Irion then creates installations of the resulting portraits taken of a particular community or group.  A requirement of the project is that the installation occur in a place that is frequented by the community in its daily activities, with pedestrian access rather than in a place apart such as a gallery or community space.  Irion considers the projects to be about community and only secondarily about art.

Irion is motivated by the concept of community.  “I am interested in strengthening the ties of a community, by showing the group back to itself in a direct and democratic fashion with the idea that viewers can directly gaze on the faces of fellow citizens and have a moment to reflect on their relationship to one another.  The installation functions as a place to meet one’s neighbors as a town green might once have allowed, so as to share with others the gaze of the community,” he explains.

The Yountville PhotoBooth project and Picture Wall installation have been underwritten by the Bardessono Inn and Spa scheduled to open in February 2009.

Click here to view photos of the Bardessono Inn and Spa construction site on Flickr.

Posted by Pamela at 10:52 AM | Comments (0) | Share on Facebook | Non-wine activities in Napa Valley, The Bardessono