Rescheduled from May due to weather:
On a wonderfully clear and bright fall Saturday in the matchless setting of the Winery Library and Hospitality Center of Mayacamas Vineyards & Winery, our panel of six winemakers moderated by Tegan Passalacqua presented a memorable history and tasting of their Cabernet sestet.
We heard from bedrock to our wineglass the choices made that brought the 2019 into being. Everyone felt very lucky to have taken part in what proved to be a spectacular 32nd Annual Wine Seminar.
Special thanks go to Napa Valley Vintners for their support of the program (wineglasses, water tumblers and event how-to’s) and event host Mayacamas Vineyards & Winery.
Panelists from the Eastside were:
Alex Kongsgaard, Kongsgaard
on Atlas Peak
Allison Tauziet, Colgin Cellars
Graham Wehmeier, Diamond Creek,
From the Westside:
Mike Dunn, Dunn Vineyards,
on Howell Mountain
Lisa Togni, Philip Togni Vineyard
on Spring Mountain
Braiden Albrecht, Mayacamas Vineyards
on Mount Veeder
Moderated by fellow winemaker and NVWLA Board Member Tegan Passalacqua
Chef Kevin O’Connor’s palate- and appetite-pleasing lunch al fresco perfectly matched our seminar wines and additional magnums from Mayacamas.
Mayacamas has a long history with our organization. Artist and letterpress printer Jim Beard, a founder of the Wine Library, designed the wine label for owner Bob Travers. Bob had taken several of the Wine Library’s wine education classes with Jim. He was also a good friend of Gunther Detert, a past president of the Wine Library, and joined him as technical advisor on the newly formed Book Committee in 1974. Bob and Gunther directed the growth of the Napa Valley Wine Library Collection at the St Helena Public Library (SHPL) for 20 years, until Gunther’s death. Please see our Summer 2012 NVWL REPORT for our interview with Bob’s son Chris Travers, then manager and associate winemaker at Mayacamas. More recently, Mayacamas winemaker Braiden Albrecht’s mother, Lynne, retired this year as Technical Services Director at SHPL . Lynne was also responsible for the Napa Valley Wine Library Collection. We shall miss her knowledgeable and ever-enthusiastic help.
A founder of Napa Valley Wine Library, Mary Frances, as MFK was known, was an active faculty member of the Wine Library’s wine education classes and helped establish the Napa Valley Library Collection of wine-related materials at St. Helena Public Library.
Panelists were filmmaker Greg Bezat; Mary Frances’s daughter Kennedy Golden; food and wine writer, editor, author, and symposia founder Antonia Allegra; food and wine writer and editor Jerry DiVecchio. Q&A’s from both panel and audience were astutely moderated by distinguished wine writer, editor and author Bob Thompson.
Frog’s Leap Winery provided a matchless setting for the al fresco evening paired with wood-fired pizza, popcorn, a fresh fruit punch, and Frog’s Leap wines. The beauty of the surrounding gardens and wafts of fermenting Sauvignon Blanc created a brimming basket of Napa Valley hospitality. THANK YOU, Tori and John!
On a mild winter’s evening, in celebration of the third edition of The Wine Bible’s publication, author Karen MacNeil was in conversation with Kelli White, Director of Education for the Wine Center at Meadowood. In the Hospitality Barn of The Reserve Napa Valley, a firelit reception with Champagne and The Reserve wines preceded Karen’s storytelling in response to Kelli’s adroit questioning of Karen about her career and the new edition. Book sales and signing with the author concluded a most memorable evening with these two distinguished wine mavens.
As a benefit of membership, there is no charge for the evening but seating is extremely limited and an RSVP is required to reserve your place on a first come, first served basis.
At the college, Dr. Krebs taught classes in grape growing, winemaking and wine marketing and sales for over 25 years. During his tenure, enrollments from less than 50 reached over 1,000 students each year; acres of vineyard were planted on college land and a fully bonded winery was built in order to better teach the skills of growing, producing and selling wine. As Steve (as he is better known) put it, “It’s not everyone who has a classroom in a vineyard.”
The program includes tours of the Krebs Collection in the California Room and an interview of Steve by Tegan Passalacqua, director of winemaking for Turley Wine Cellars, owner and winemaker for his own Sandlands Vineyard, and one of Steve’s former students.
In his Reflections, Tor writes of an ever-developing vinous and culinary education, innumerable friendships begun, and a bird’s eye view of Napa Valley as it grows from less than 50 wineries in the 1970’s to nearly 1,000 today. Tor had spent nearly 30 years at Beringer when he and his wife Susan founded TOR Wines in 2001.
At our reception, TOR wines will join Barney’s Backyard to savor along with cheese and crudité. Tor was a great friend of Barney Rhodes (the first president of NVWLA and its vineyard’s namesake) so it will be a most felicitous pouring. Tor said he is really looking forward to seeing friends and neighbors and having lots of Q&As.
*Robert Mondavi wine, cheese & charcuterie
Zelma is one of California’s trailblazing female winemakers! As a student at UC Davis in 1970, Mike Grgich convinced her to put her studies on hold and join him at Robert Mondavi Winery. Her career led to executive positions at Simi Winery and French-owned Domaine Chandon.
Having traveled the world with Chandon, other international opportunities arose in Bordeaux, Israel, and Germany. In 1997, she and her husband Phillip Freese co-founded Vilafonté Winery in Stellenbosch, South Africa. However, Zelma is proud to call Sonoma County home.
Zelma’s extensive list of honors and awards include entry into the James Beard Hall of Fame, the Culinary Institute of America; Vintner’s Hall of Fame, and Lifetime Achievement Award for Innovation in Winemaking by Wine Business Monthly.
Don’t miss Zelma’s tales of breaking barriers and seeking adventure! She will be on hand for a Q&A following the presentation of her Visual Oral History.
Moderator: Tegan Passalacqua of Turley Wine Cellars and Sandlands
Keynote speaker and Mentee: Abe Schoener of Scholium Project speaks to the ancient Greek tradition of teacher and student
Mentor Warren Winiarski expounds on the necessity and responsibility of mentoring
John Williams of Frog’s Leap Winery | frogsleap.com
John Kongsgaard of Kongsgaard | kongsgaardwine.com
Nicki Pruss of Nicolette Christopher | nicolettechristopher.com
Françoise Peschon of Drinkward Peschon | drinkwardpeschon.com and Heimark Vineyard | heimarkvineyard.com
Michael Silacci of Opus One | opusonewinery.com
All are honored to share their mentee experiences with Warren and as mentors in their own careers and each has been invited to pour one wine.
Program hours are subject to change in observation of Covid-19 restrictions at Saint Helena Public Library. Event must conclude by 7:30 p.m.
James O. Gump, Professor Emeritus and author of
Maestro: André Tchelistcheff and the Rebirth of Napa Valley
For our program, Dr. Gump provided an excellent overview of his research and writing. The uncertain weather had turned dry and mild and a Courtyard reception before his talk was enhanced by a Beaulieu Vineyard 2018 Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon given by Beaulieu for the occasion. Heidi Barrett’s 2020 La Sirena Rosato and a Grgich Hills 2018 Napa Valley Estate Chardonnay gave amiable company. All these wines had close ties to André.
A fun evening with great food, delicious Chateau Montelena Wines, and a showing of the film Bottle Shock, a 2008 American comedy-drama based on the 1976 wine competition termed the “Judgment of Paris”, when California wines defeated the French in a blind taste test.
Enjoy the entire event outdoors at the Mount View Hotel patio and Moonshine Theater.
Online via StreamYard
Napa Valley Wine Library Association
In 1946, CK Mondavi, a new line of affordable, everyday wines was released, the first wines to have the Mondavi name on the label. During this Perspectives event Marc Mondavi and his daughter Angelina will share details of CK Mondavi & Family’s 75 years in the wine industry. The 3rd and 4th generation Mondavis look forward to continuing the family legacy well into the 21st century.
Online via StreamYard
Napa Valley Wine Library Association
For decades the Napa Valley Wine Library had collected oral histories; the transcriptions and recordings of which are housed within the wine library. Two years ago we began recording new versions on video, which we call Visual Oral Histories.
Join us and guest Michaela Rodeno, owner of Villa Ragazzi winery, and former senior executive of St. Supery and Domaine Chandon, as we share excerpts from her Visual Oral History. We will also share portions of visual oral histories featuring George Hendry of Hendry Ranch Wines, and Dr. Richard Peterson, a Napa Valley winemaster, innovator and author.
During the presentation you’ll learn how you can access past oral histories and our recent Visual Oral Histories from the Napa Valley Wine Library as we continue to fulfill our mission to disseminate, preserve and share information regarding viticulture, enology and wine lore as it pertains to Napa Valley.
Online via StreamYard
Napa Valley Wine Library Association
Colleen FitzGerald is ten years into her career in the wine industry. She has been inspired by the innovation and determination of Cathy Corison, whose journey began
nearly 45 years ago.
Colleen earned her BS in biochemistry from Cal Poly in 2012 and began working for Pine Ridge as a harvest intern in 2013. She became its enologist in 2015 as well as assistant winemaker in 2018. In 2020, Pine Ridge launched its first new label in 25 years, a sparkling version of their proprietary Chenin Blanc+Viognier blend guided by Colleen.
After graduating from Pomona College, Cathy earned an MS in enology from UC Davis in 1978 while working in the tasting room of Sterling Vineyards. She then interned with Freemark Abbey, going on to become winemaker at Yverdon in 1979. In 1980, Cathy was hired by Chappellet Winery as winemaker before founding Corison Winery in 1987.
This Perspectives event provides a rare opportunity for Colleen and others to learn and be inspired by Cathy's experience and the hurdles she’s had to overcome.
Our online moderator, Tegan Passalacqua, is not only winemaker for Turley Wine Cellars and the magnums of Barney’s Backyard Petite Syrah bottled exclusively for NVWLA; Tegan is also co-owner and winemaker for Sandlands and a founder of Historic Vineyard Society, committed to preserving the old vine vineyards of California.
Tegan had moderated our 29th Annual Wine Seminar in 2019, “A History of Italian Vines and Wines in Napa Valley,” and readily accepted our invitation to moderate an Old Vines and Wines seminar in 2020. That live program was postponed, changed to virtual, and began with alacrity on May 15.
Tegan and Kelli are joined by:
Bob Biale, Founding Owner
Robert Biale Vineyards | www.biale.com
Rosemary Cakebread, Owner and Winemaker
Gallica | gallicawine.com
Michael Hirby, Winemaker and Proprietor
Relic Wine Cellars | www.relicwines.com
Morgan Twain-Peterson MW, Winemaker and Owner
Bedrock Wine Company | bedrockwineco.com
Our Recorded Virtual 30th Annual Wine Seminar
1 hr, 48 min.
Top: Bob Biale, Robert Biale Vineyard; Morgan Twain-Peterson MW, Bedrock Wine Company
Middle: Tegan Passalacqua, Turley Wine Cellars
Bottom: Rosemary Cakebread, Gallica; Michael Hirby, Relic Wine Cellars
Bedrock Wine Company
Morgan Twain-Peterson MW, Winemaker
*2019 Oakville Farmhouse Red Wine
Rosemary Cakebread, Winemaker
2016 Saint Helena Petite Sirah
Relic Wine Cellars
Michael Hirby, Winemaker
2019 Calistoga Alfred Frediani Vineyard Carignane – Old Vines
Robert Biale Vineyards
Tres Goetting, Winemaker
*2018 Oak Knoll Aldo’s Vineyard Zinfandel
Turley Wine Cellars
Tegan Passalacqua, Winemaker
*2018 Saint Helena Hayne Vineyard Zinfandel
* Wines made from vineyards registered with the Historical Vineyard Society
With five stellar winemakers
THANK YOU authors, winemakers and host.
The evening’s presentations, Q&A’s, and sense of camaraderie could not have been improved upon.
And Zoom’s transmission was terrific.
Thank you Acme Fine Wines, Napa Bookmine, ARNS, Corison, Corra, Crocker & Starr, and Pride, Brennan Solutions, Brian Nash Design, and Paladin Wine for your support and expertise.
The wines we tasted were:
Heather Sandy Hebert, author of
The New Architecture of Wine: 25 Spectacular California Wineries
with Bob Torres, Principal & Vice Chairman, Trinchero Napa Valley and Erin Martin of Erin Martin Design.
Twelve of the 25 wineries in Heather’s new book are in Napa Valley, including Trinchero Napa Valley. Each was built or, in the case of Joseph Phelps Vineyards, renovated in the last ten years.
Please join us to hear from Bob what Trinchero Napa Valley envisioned for its new winery campus, how Erin interpreted the interiors, and from Heather the how and why of choosing wineries for her book.
“Celebrate the sophisticated blend of agriculture and style that defines California wine country.”
As wine tourism has increased, California vintners have embraced the call to create splendid spaces where visitors can taste their unique varieties and enjoy conversation about wine.
Please join us in the Tasting Room of Trinchero Napa Valley at 6:00 pm for a glass of wine and a chance to tour the adjacent winery with Bob Torres. The Hospitality Center next door opens at 6:30 pm with wine and small bites to be followed by the evening’s program at 7:00 pm.
Copies of Heather’s book will be on sale for signing with the author.
Warren Winiarski Wine Writer Collection Fellow,
UC Davis Library
Jullianne is here to discuss year one of her inaugural two-year Wine Writer Fellowship at UC Davis Library where she is engaged in active research to document the influence of wine writers on the kinds, styles and qualities of wine in the United States since Prohibition and to develop and provide content and access for the materials at UC Davis Library. Our Napa Valley Wine Library Collection has played a prominent role in her research. Selections from its archives will also be on exhibit
Alexandria Brown and her just published
Hidden History of Napa Valley
"Napa Valley is known for its wine and winemakers, but just beneath the fertile soil lies another, more complex version of its history. Uncover the story of Napa’s first Chinatown—once home to nearly five hundred immigrants—that dwindled to fewer than seventeen residents before the last buildings were razed in the early twentieth century. Meet the small but determined group of African American farmers and barbers who called Napa home and the indomitable May Howard, a successful businesswoman and brothel owner. Learn about the Bracero Program that kept many of Napa’s wineries, including Krug, Beaulieu and Stag’s Leap, thriving during World War II. Join author Alexandria Brown as she explores these lesser-known stories of the ordinary people who helped shape modern-day wine country.”
Copies of the book available for sale
Session begins by Barney’s Backyard at the Saint Helena Public Library and then moves into vineyards adjacent.
We’ll be covering veraison, sugar levels, crop estimates and other essentials at harvest time.
We interviewed Joe for our Summer 2005 REPORT; his granddaughter Allie just poured for Phelps at our 2018 Annual Tasting.
Joseph Phelps Vineyard wines and small bites from the winery’s in-house chef will be served and the Phelps family will join us for reminiscences and Q&A’s at 6:00 pm
Please note: Joe’s book, The Best We Can Be: The Life and Wisdom of Joseph Phelps, is only available at the winery. There is a special price for all NVWLA members at this event.
Refreshments will be served.
© Napa Valley Wine Library Association
All rights reserved
P.O. Box 328
St. Helena, CA 94574
The Napa Valley Wine Library Collection
is housed at the St. Helena Public Library.
For information please be in touch with Cecila Raffo,
Circulation Supervisor and Volunteer Coordinator,
Saint Helena Public Library
“The purpose of the Napa Valley Wine Library Association is to collect and share the stories of the wines and vines of Napa Valley and in Wine Country Around the World.”
We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and all proceeds benefit the NVWL Collection and our public programs