Napa Valley Rocks is a new DVD produced by the Napa Valley Vintners that “digs into what makes Napa Valley America’s premiere wine growing region.”
In addition to spectacular photos that range from aerial shots showing the beauty of the valley and its vineyards, to close-up shots of pickers harvesting grapes, it includes informative comments by some of the valley’s winemakers.
One of the objectives of the DVD is to entice wine lovers to visit Napa Valley, and to learn more about this beautiful wine grape growing area and its world-class wines. You can view it at NapaValleyRocks.org, or on YouTube. The DVD is available for $10, plus shipping. It can also be ordered online at NapaVintners.com.
After a long and restful retirement of two months from Clos du Val, Bernard Portet could not stand not being in the wine business. So he and Don Chase, an industry veteran who has worked for several wineries in Napa and Sonoma valleys, joined to create Polaris Wines Inc., an umbrella company for present and future activities.
Their first release is Heritage 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon made from fruit from a block of the Beckstoffer Vineyards. Polaris will also release an olive oil from Chile.
Speaking of new ventures, Terry Hall, after seven years as the communications manager at the Napa Valley Vintners, has left to start his own company, firstname.lastname@example.org. (clever, eh?) which will bring his knowledge of the valley’s wine industry and its people to public relations, marketing and event-planning activities. He has set up his office off the breezeway of the St Helena Hotel. His telephone number is 963-3106.
Dick Maher (Maher and Associates) held his traditional Super Bowl party (and gabfest) for about 70 of the movers and shakers in the valley’s wine industry. With the passing years, some of the movers aren’t moving so rapidly, and their shaking has increased.
Before I leave the subject of the Super Bowl, I have to ask why the event clings to using Roman numerals each year. Probably 99 percent of us who learned them in third grade have forgotten them by fourth grade. Why not simply use Arabic numbers, which all of us use and understand every day? For nerds who use the binary code (zeros and ones), Super Bowl 17 would involve using a discrete arrangement of 32 zeros and ones.
A special fly-fishing trip out of Quebec, Canada, for eight; a vacation package for four in either Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, or Aspen, Colo.; a private studio session with Hollywood photographer, Greg Gorman; a hunting trip at Rancho San Antonio — these are some of the fabulous auction lots to be offered at the 25th anniversary of the St. Helena Montessori School fundraiser, scheduled for March 9th at the school’s new farm campus at 880 College Ave., St. Helena. More information and tickets are at sthms.org.
Auction Napa Valley 2013: Three levels of tickets are now on sale at TicketsNapaValleyAuction.org.:
1 — The Complete Auction Experience, for all events; price, $2,500 per person;
2 — The Perfect Day in Napa Valley; price: $1,500 per person;
3 — Friday at the Auction; price: $1,000 per person. There also may be a limited number of tickets for Friday at the Auction for $500 per person. Visit their website and scroll down to package details.
Steve Heimoff, a respected writer on the California wine scene, posted a blog on the Internet (Steve Heimoff.com) titled, “Have Expensive Napa Cabs reached the tipping point and when will we know it has? The tipping point is when consumers balk at paying 3-digit prices for a bottle of wine when it has no history to justify the price.” He notes that most new “militants” (under age 30) have no interest in what everyone else is drinking, but are more interested in finding wines of exceptional merit for far lower prices. Heimoff continues noting that the field has become so crowded with $100-plus Napa wines that the tipping point may already have arrived.
Caboose item: Didja know that Stefani Germanotta’s favorite wines are shiraz, grenache, malbec and cabernet sauvignon? Does this make your day? Also, she and her boyfriend were spotted in Sonoma County, looking for a location to get into the wine business; (her estimated net worth, $150 million, should allow her to buy a fairly nice piece of wine country dirt). Oh, I forgot to mention that she has changed her name to Lady Gaga.
George Starke can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at 707-942-0733.