It’s just about the first anniversary of Ca’ Momi Osteria on First Street in downtown Napa. From Day One, musical performances have been integrated into the restaurant. Live artists are presented from 10 p.m. to as late as 2 a.m. every Friday and Saturday night. The popular series is only the latest of Ca’ Momi’s musical collaborations in Napa and beyond.
At the Osteria last week, Ca’ Momi co-founder Valentina Guolo-Migotto and hospitality manager (and well-respected local musician) Jonny Tindall talked about the history and musical outreach of its wine and food business. The winery was established in 2006, its Enoteca at Oxbow in 2010, and the downtown Osteria in October of 2015. With the opening of the Osteria, the Oxbow location has been scaled back to a pasticceria.
Ca’ Momi, BottleRock and the NapaRocks earthquake benefit
Ca’ Momi has been involved with BottleRock since the first festival in 2013. “We’ve been great supporters since the beginning,” Guolo-Migotto said. “It’s a great opportunity for us for not only team-building, but to test our limits every year. Each year, we put on a bigger production. We’ve proven our relationship with (BottleRock producers) Latitude 38 because we always tend to under-promise and over-deliver, and they’ve appreciated that over and over.”
“We made 4,000 pizzas during BottleRock this year,” Tindall said. “The relationship with Latitude is actually what brought me to Ca’ Momi. The NapaRocks program, the 2014 earthquake benefit, which Latitude 38 produced, was what put Valentina and I in the same environment.”
The idea for NapaRocks grew out of a dinner conversation at the Enoteca involving Latitude 38 CEO Dave Graham, Guolo-Migotto and Ca’ Momi co-founder Dario De Conti. “Valentina was involved in bringing Michael Franti in for the event and provided the green room catering for the bands,” Tindall said. “Ca’ Momi was vending as well.”
Ca’ Momi, Michael Franti and the Do It For The Love Foundation
“At the end of the first year of BottleRock,” Guolo-Migotto said, “Michael Franti and (his future wife) Sara said they had this idea to put together a foundation, a make-a-wish foundation for music. They explained the whole concept to me, and asked if I would want to be a part of it. Of course I said “yes.” The idea of being able to give back through music was something I couldn’t believe I was given the opportunity to do.”
The Frantis’ Do It For The Love Foundation (DIFTL) provides make-a-wish musical experiences for chronically ill and children and adults with disabilities. The fulfilled wishes are meet-ups with their favorite musical artists and VIP seating for their performances.
“Ca Momi has been supporting it since the beginning,” Guolo-Migotto said. “In year two, we started bottling specially labelled wine. We have a white and a red. I designed the label with Michael, and all the profits from the sales go to the foundation. It’s been going on for three years now. So there’s a way to give back and get a good bottle of wine. That’s a winning combination.
“I saw some recipients and it touched my heart. It was life-changing for me to see the spark of hope and happiness in the brief moments they had, and knowing what happened in the aftermath to those families made a huge difference.”
“It’s given us the chance to be involved in a lot of really incredible experiences, to have first-hand impact,” Tindall added. “Often as a venue or a winery you can donate, you can support, but in a lot of ways it’s very disconnected, it’s kind of hands-off.
“It’s really wonderful for us to get to be participants, to be in the mix with them through their events, through different experiences. We partner with DIFTL all over the place, not just through these larger channels like BottleRock, but we go out and do a lot of smaller benefit events, whether it’s winery-oriented or food-oriented. They tend to be the charity sponsor that we’re most commonly paired with.”
Friday and Saturday night music at Ca’ Momi Osteria
“The idea of live music at the Osteria started early,” Tindall said, “right when we first started talking about the restaurant.” He described his enthusiasm about designing and installing a first-rate sound system. “To have the opportunity to build something like that in a space like this was pretty incredible. And it was a chance for me to bring an element of my musical life that I’d always been knee-deep in. That was really exciting.
“Live music began the day that we did our pre-Grand Opening , the 10th of October, 2015.
There’s a lot of places for music in town. We’re trying to create a somewhat different experience. We’re trying to run a program of predominantly original music. We don’t have any one explicit genre that we’re focused on.
“We do have a contingent of locals who come repeatedly, but foot traffic and walk-ins are a huge part of our late night business. We’re running a latin dancing program a couple times a month, mostly DJ oriented because bands take up tons of space.”
Guolo-Migotto said that they initially instituted the latin dance nights for their employees. “We started it for them,” she said. “They were asking for cumbia, salsa and bachata and I thought, ‘why don’t use one of our nights to put something together for our employees?’ It’s grown, they’re bringing in their friends. Right away it was just crazy popular, right out of the gate.”
Tindall raved about this Friday night’s booking. “Ariane Cap is a renowned bass player, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music,” he said. “She is one of the go-to people as far as bass instruction in the world. She’s a local, lives in Vallejo. She and Paul Hanson have this really interesting act called Oon. They’re a bass and bassoon duo and they play very progressive music. Ariana is one of those players you watch with astonishment.”
Friday, September 30, 10 p.m. Oon. Saturday, October 1, 10 p.m. The Jamie Clark Band. Ca’ Momi Osteria, 1141 First St., Napa. 707-224-6664. CaMomiOsteria.com.
Classic rock sax legend Alto Reed October 15 at the Uptown
Alto Reed is to Beb Seger and the Silver Bullet Band what Clarence Clemons was for decades to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, a larger-than-life sax man playing solos and signature riffs that were as identifiable as the singer and the song. Grammy winner Reed brings his Legacy Band to the Uptown for an evening of blues-infused classic rock. October 15, 8 p.m. $35-$55. UptownTheatreNapa.com.