Sonoma, CA- The founders of Rebel Coast Winery, an award-winning California winery with a rebellious spirit, announced the launch of the world’s first legal, alcohol-removed, cannabis infused wine. The new company’s marijuana (THC) infused, premium Sauvignon Blanc — Rebel Coast — is set to begin shipping to dispensaries and residents throughout California this year in compliance with the state’s new cannabis industry regulations. The new cannabis industry is expected to have a $7 billion dollar impact on the Golden State. The patent-pending product affects consumers in under 15 minutes and has 4mgs of THC per glass.
“If you’ve ever drank a glass of wine or tried marijuana before, you’re in luck,” said Rebel Coast Co-founder and CEO Chip Forsythe. “We’ve continued our disruptive approach to craft the world’s first cannabis-infused, alcohol-free wine. We wanted to excite the rebellious spirit in Americans through innovation, so we took two world-class California products — marijuana and wine — and created a proprietary process that resulted in a delicious, crisp and elegantly crafted Sauvignon Blanc that’s teed up to be a game changer for the wine and cannabis industries.”
“Winemakers have been making infused wine for years, but no one developed a reliable method to remove the alcohol and infuse it with cannabis’ active ingredients in a way that wasn’t impacting the quality of the wine, so it appealed to both wine and cannabis aficionados” said Rebel Coast co-founder Alex Howe. “Our infused wine is a premium product that we believe will be a hot, new dinner party trend across California and soon, the U.S. We also wanted to mimic the traditional wine drinking experience by incorporating a modest amount of THC in each serving- this is a product to be enjoyed by the masses, not the hardcore cannabis user.”
Rebel Coast’s grapes are grown in Sonoma County –California’s wine capital– and fermented through a traditional winemaking process. Then, Rebel Coast removes the wine’s alcohol and infuses each bottle of its premium Sauvignon Blanc with 16 milligrams of organic tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active ingredient found in cannabis, responsible for a euphoric high. Finally, the infusion incorporates essential fragrant oils called terpenes, that gives the wine a pleasant marijuana aroma.
Consumers in California, who are 21 and older, can pre-order bottles for $59.99 on the Rebel Coast site, which is expected to ship early 2018. Rebel Coast plans to be distributed to more than 500 dispensaries across California by Green Reef Distributing, a licensed statewide cannabis distributor that also represents national wine and spirit accounts for forthcoming CBD products. Rebel Coast is best served chilled and should be enjoyed responsibly.
In the coming year, Rebel Coast plans to craft and release a refreshing cannabis-infused Rosé and champagne, as well as a line of Cannabidiol-infused (CBD) wines with medicinal benefits, but no psychotropic effects, in the second half of 2018. Rebel Coast will offer the wine in additional states with recreational cannabis allowances and throughout Canada in the coming months.
I’ve made little secret about how much Karen and I appreciate the work done by the Historic Vineyard Society to preserve California’s treasured old vineyards. Having just received their latest newsletter, I wanted to share it with Eve’s Wine 101 readers. So, with the permission of HVS’s Mike Dildine, here it is…
It’s difficult to describe the last several weeks throughout Sonoma and Napa. Horrific fires raged a path of destruction across our beautiful land, and while the fires are behind us, they left deep scars that will take a great deal of time to heal. But amidst the heartbreaking news were countless examples of heroism and generosity, along with astounding stories about historic vineyards being saved. A few specific examples:
We clearly have much to be grateful for, and can’t emphasize enough how much we appreciate all your messages this month. As we approach the end of another year, we’d like to remind you about a few ways to be more involved with HVS and continue to support our efforts to keep these important pieces of California history in the ground.
Ways to Support HVS:
Once again, we can’t thank you enough for all your support of HVS. We look forward to another great year to come.
Michael Perlis has been pursuing his passion for wine for more than 25 years. He has had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show him the way, as well as a wonderful wife who encourages him and shares his interest. After a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as he possibly could, he had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Now, as Contributing Editor for Eve’s Wine 101, he does his best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers. Michael is also Vice President of Eve Bushman Consulting (fka Eve’s Wine 101 Consulting) http://evebushmanconsulting.com/ and President of MCP Financial. Michael can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
NAPA, Calif. (PRWEB) – Free Flow Wines announced the winners of the 4th annual KEGGY Awards to honor wineries, distributors, equipment providers and restaurant operators for their exceptional and sustainable contributions to the wine on tap category. The award ceremony, intended to be hosted at Luna Vineyards on October 19th, 2017 was cancelled due to the Napa and Sonoma wildfires. In lieu of the celebration, both Free Flow Wines and Luna Vineyards will be collaborating to host a fire relief benefit on Sunday, December 3rd at Luna Vineyards.
To date, more than 13.6 million bottles, or approximately 20.3 million pounds of waste, have been diverted from the landfill through the use of Free Flow’s reusable stainless steel kegs. Each Free Flow keg holds the equivalent of 26 bottles of wine and will save 1,560 bottles from the landfill over its lifetime. Free Flow currently has more than 149,000 stainless steel kegs in their fleet.
“One of our most important metrics of success is how much we reduce the wine industry’s impact on the environment. As sustainability is one of our four core values, we ensure it guides our decision making – from opening an East Coast kegging facility that reduces the carbon footprint of our logistics, to offering wine canning as a sustainable alternative packaging option,” said Jordan Kivelstadt, Co-Founder & CEO of Free Flow Wines. “We’d like to thank all of our partners for their contributions. Together we build categories that make a meaningful difference.”
WINERY – AWARD RECIPIENTS
Saved more than 1,000,000 bottles from the landfill:
Saved more than 500,000 bottles from the landfill:
Hahn Family Wines
The Wine Group
Saved more than 100,000 bottles from the landfill:
Clemenza Vini Imports, LLC
Dry Creek Vineyard
Foley Family Wines
MacRostie Winery & Vineyards
Matchbook Wine Company
Peregrine Ranch / VTPR Wine
St. Mayhem & the girls in the vineyard
DISTRIBUTOR – AWARD RECIPIENTS
Saved more than 500,000 bottles from the landfill:
Republic National Distributing Company of Texas
Saved more than 100,000 bottles from the landfill:
Breakthru Beverage Arizona
Breakthru Beverage Florida
Republic National Distributing Company of Maryland
Skurnik Wines of New York
Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Colorado
Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Illinois
The Winebow Group of California
The Winebow Group of Virginia
Young’s Market Company of Washington
AMBASSADOR – AWARD RECIPIENTS
David Whitney of Draft Doctor, LLC
Jon Schlegel of Snooze Eatery
Kent Bearden of Saint Marc Pub-Cafe
“PEOPLE’S CHOICE” – AWARD RECIPIENT
Bar Viñedo of Queen Creek, Arizona
About the KEGGY Awards
Free Flow Wines created the KEGGY Awards in 2014 to recognize winery partners for their commitment to sustainability by choosing reusable stainless steel kegs – a truly zero-waste package. Since then, the awards have been expanded to include distributors, restaurants and category ambassadors throughout the US who have helped reduce the carbon footprint of the wine industry.
About Free Flow Wines
Free Flow Wines is the pioneer of premium wine on tap, delivering the world’s leading wine brands to the taps of restaurants and venues nationwide. Free Flow’s keg leasing, filling, logistics and canning services have allowed the wine and hospitality industries to move to a more sustainable way of offering consumers the freshest, best tasting glass of wine. Founded in 2009, Free Flow has more than 250 wine brands in keg, from wineries throughout the U.S., New Zealand, Argentina and Europe. Their customers’ wines are offered in keg and can formats at a variety of restaurants, premium hotels, retail stores, sports and entertainment venues across the U.S. Free Flow Wines has locations in Napa, California, and Bayonne, New Jersey. You can find them online at FreeFlowWines.com, on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Flickr @FreeFlowWine.
LOS ANGELES – LearnAboutWine, a wine education and event website dedicated to the education, service, and enjoyment of wine, is pleased to announce a stellar lineup of wineries appearing at the 9th annual “STARS of Cabernet” event on November 15 at One of the top hotels in the Los Angeles area, The Peninsula Beverly Hills.
“STARS of Cabernet” is the premier tasting of the year that celebrates Cabernet Sauvignon. Over 36 of the best Cabernet producing wineries in California and the world will showcase their Cabernet as well as other wines. Tasting over 100 wines including cabernet and variety of others. Wineries come from Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, France, Argentina and Chile. The only event of its kind in the Los Angeles area, which showcases some of the top bottles of Cabernet.
There will be guest winemakers that will host an intimate VIP reception before the Grand Tasting and share their experiences and expertise with the select crowd. Featuring Wines from: Hess Collection, Hertelendy Vineyards, Metaphora Wines, St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery, Guarachi Family Wines, Garden Creek Ranch Vineyards Winery, Cornerstone Cellars & Clos Du Val.
A silent auction, containing lots of collectable and large format wines, benefits TJ Martell Foundation. The T.J. Martell Foundation is the music industry’s largest foundation that funds innovative medical research focused on finding cures for leukemia, cancer and AIDS. The Foundation sources and supports early-stage research projects aimed at developing more effective clinical treatments for patients which otherwise might not be funded. Learn more at tjmartell.org .
Tickets now on sale.
For more information about the event and to purchase tickets please visit StarsofCabernet.com
Stars of Cabernet thanks its’ sponsors: Peninsula Hotel, Los Angeles Magazine, Evian, Robb Report, The Somm Journal & Tasting Panel
Addendum Napa Valley
Arrowood Vineyards and Winery
Bernardus Winery Bordeaux
Clos Du Val
Derenoncourt (Montesquieu Winery)
Duckhorn Wine Company D
Folio Fine Wine Partners
Frank Family Vineyards Frog’s Leap
Gamble Family Vineyards
Garden Creek Ranch Vineyards Winery
Guarachi Family Wines
Hawk and Horse Vineyards
Hestan Vineyards JH Collection
La Sirena Metaphora Wines Nellcôte
O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery
Oakville Ranch Winery
Smoking Gun Wines Spire collection/ Mount Brave Spottswoode/ Pilcrow/ True North
St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery
ZD Wines, Napa Valley
About Peninsula Hotel:
The only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star-rated hotel in Southern California every year since 1993, The Peninsula Beverly Hills offers 194 guest rooms, including 38 suites and 16 private villas, nestled among lush tropical gardens in the heart of Beverly Hills. The Peninsula is located at the intersection of Wilshire and South Santa Monica Boulevards, within easy walking distance of Century City and Beverly Hills’ legendary Rodeo Drive.
About LearnAboutWine and the new wineLA.com
Ian Blackburn, founder of LearnAboutWine, drinks wine for a living. Since it was established in 1995, he has built LearnAboutWine into the leading source for wine education and events in Southern California and as it turns 20 years old in 2015. To celebrate its 20th Anniversary, LearnAboutWine will get a big facelift and a new brand called wineLA (.com) will take over events and classes in Los Angeles. Ian Blackburn say’s “LearnAboutWine has a higher purpose that we intend to grow nationwide in 2015… an exciting time for us indeed.” Ian continues to innovate and focus on demystifying wine for everyone from the casual drinker to the potential collector and was voted as “One of the Top 5 Places to Taste Wine in Los Angeles” by LAist.com (8/2013). Ian’s passion for wine and entertaining makes him one of the top spokespersons in the United States and currently Ian is studying for his Masters of Wine. Ian’s entertaining ways can heard on YouTube, or on many of Los Angeles radio airwaves; ABC’s “The Bachelor” and on Wealth TV.
UPDATED 11/8/17: both Stars of Cabernet and LA Supports Wine Country have merged and will both be held at the Peninsula Hotel on Weds 11/15. They will be held in two separate rooms…but are connected.
LOS ANGELES – Mother Nature traveled through the North Coast region of California this past month with tragically historic record setting wildfires exaggerated by 70 mile-an-hour winds. Over 8,000 structures have been damaged in the spreading fires and thousands of lives have been changed forever. The wine industry, meaning the people that live, work, and farm in the regions are the most important casualty in this natural disaster. It will take a great deal of time and energy to build back what used to be. Donations are going to be needed in every way to help those in need. To help bring these California communities closer to their fundraising goals, wineLA is putting together a benefit for Wildfire Relief supporting Habitat for Humanity – going to those that need it most in Wine Country. It is time to come together and donate to our California family in the north.
The wineLA team is working to put together an event on November 12, 2017, which will be open to anyone to come out to help support our efforts. We are looking for volunteers to help bring this event to life so we can reach our goal and grow the fund north of 1 million dollars.
ABOUT REBUILDING WINE COUNTRY: HABITAT FOR HUMANITY SONOMA: Rebuild Wine Country is for long-term giving. Immediate needs are being met by fantastic community non-profit partners already. This fund is about the bigger picture in the weeks, months, and years to come, protecting economic recovery for those without a roof over their head. With these funds, our fiscal sponsor Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County will distribute aid to sister chapters in all affected counties to repair and rebuild homes for those who need it most.
(Also you can sign up to volunteer - support - perform - provide - sponsor - and suggest)
VIP: 1:00 PM
Early entrance – enhanced food experience – top wines – VIP tables – and a stylish VIP tshirt! Special entertainment will also be provided to the VIPS.
General: 2:00-5:00 PM
Walk around tasting event with different food, wine, music in every room. Artworks and donated items on every table.
Participating Wineries: Aganjanian Vineyards, Herb of Lamb, Dragonette Cellars, Alpha Omega Winery, Beekeeper Cellars, Cakebread Cellars, Clos Pepe Estate Vineyards, Dane Cellars, Donelan Family Wines, Lucky Dogg Wines, Mauritson Wines, Moraga Wines, Nabor Wines, Page Mill Winery, Robert Craig Winery, Windrun.
Participating Restaurants: Cafe Pinot, Momed Restaurants, Nick + Stef’s Steakhouse, Otis Spunkmeyer, La Brea Bakery, Petrossion
Participating Entertainers: Carmen Rizzo, 123 Andres, Snap Boogie, Tina Kim, Malynda Hale, Los Caminantes
wineLA is about enhancing the wine culture of Los Angeles one event at a time. To do so, wine must be in rhythm with fashion, music, food and other beverages. It must take advantage of the geography, the architecture and the centers of interest. Los Angeles is a giant playground with an amazing array of venues, spaces, wine bars, restaurants, beaches, roof tops, gardens, and magical views. We want to be a part of the LA lifestyle, the wine lifestyle, and celebrate the people, the place and the passion.
In 2005 – founder Ian Blackburn hosted www.LAsupportsLA.com – an event to support victims of Katrina. Over 2500 guests – world famous entertainers – and hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised and donated to two charity entities. The event was seamless – and appeared to take months to prepare… but we accomplished the event in just 8 days… and hundreds of talented and loving individuals came together to make one of the most legendary events of all time take place. This time – we do it for Northern California and the industry we love and depend upon.
The only free tasting room I knew of in Paso Robles was Tobin James, however, when I sat down to research and write this article (NOTE: This article was written in 2014, it would be best to check with the wienries you plan to visit to find out current fees.) I found may more. In “Part One: Free Wine Tastings” I will give you a list of the wineries I could find in Paso Robles, Napa and Sonoma that offer free wine tastings. In “Part Two: Your Thoughts on Free Wine Tastings”, I will share the Facebook Roundup I collected when I asked friends “If you visit a winery that offers free tastings do you tend to buy a bottle? Or just indulge away?” next week on this blog.
So, how did it come down to this? I had heard, from more than one winery employee, that people that take advantage of free wine tasting don’t buy wine. It’s not very motivating for them to share their wines, talk about their winemaking practices and answer questions when the person sampling appears to be similar to that Costco customer, that dropped in to do their shopping just before lunch time, or just after picking up their young children, and stand by every aisle’s table waiting for the employee to finish baking, frying or cutting up something for free – that they had no intention of buying but…maybe the sample will be good enough and prompt them to spend?
The winery staff believe that if you sample for free, and you like the wine, you should purchase it – and come to the tasting room prepared to spend as well as taste! I couldn’t agree more. For myself, I’ve found that the greater the experience is, coupled with the wine, I want to buy the wine and join a wine club that promises more great experiences!
Come back for “Part Two: Your Thoughts on Free Tasting” to find out what wine drinkers say they really do. For this week I will leave you with these wineries that offer free sampling, please note that they were garnered from different websites. If I was planning a trip I would confirm policies have not changed.
According to Yelp:
http://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=Free+Wine+Tasting&find_loc=Paso+Robles%2C+CA and include Ecluse Wines, Eberle Winery, EOS Estate Winery (free and reserve wines can be tasted for $5), J Lohr, Castoro Cellars (first 3 are free, $first five is $3), Sculpterra Winery and Vineyards, Niner Wine Estates (free with a check in on Yelp), Tobin James, San Marcos Creek Vineyard, Alta Colina (two free tastings with a Yelp check in), Parrish Family Vineyard (waved if you purchase a bottle), Zenaida Cellars, Mondo Cellars, Eagle Castle Winery, Minassian-Young Vineyards, Dunning Vineyards (free for non-reserve wine tasting), Broken Earth Winery, Le Vigne Winery, Peachy Canyon Winery (free with bottle purchase), Clavo Cellars, and Veris Cellars.
There aren’t too many: Naked Wines, Trahan Winery, Mason Cellars Oxbow, Laird Family, Truchard, White Rock Vineyards…maybe this is why all my pals seem to be hitting Sonoma more these days!
According to http://www.sonomacounty.com/articles/free-wine-tasting-sonoma-county wineries include, Rafanelli, Adrian Fog, Alexander Valley Vineyards, Annapolis, Benziger Family, BogDog Wines at Sky Pine Vineyards, Bodega Ranch Cellar Door, Calstar Cellas, Carol Shelton Wines, Cline Cellars, Collier Falls Vineyards – Family Wineries Tasting Room, Coturri, D.H. Gustafson, Dehlinger, Draxton, Eric K James, Francis Ford Coppola, Frick, Frostwatch, Grey Stack, Gundlach Bundschu, Hafner, Hans Fahden, Hauck, Highway 12, Holdredge, Hook and Ladder, J. Rickards, Jacuzzi, Johnson’s Alexander, Karah, Ketcham, Kobler, Lauterbach, Locals Tasting Room, Loxton, Manzanita Creek, Martin Ray, Mercury Geyersville, Merry Edwards, Mojon’s Bench, Munselle, Novy Family, Optima, Partake by Kendall-Jackson, Pellegrini Family, Pendleton, Peter Cellars, Peterson, Porter Bass, Raymond Burr, Ridge Vineyards, Rielle, River Road Family, Ross Road Custom Crush, Route 128, Saini, Sausal, Selby, Siduri, Simoneau, Sonoma Valley Portworks, Starlite, Stuhlmuller, Suacci Carciere, Sunce, Tara Bella, Toad Hollow, Trecini and Williamson.
Reading news articles and watching film clips of both the #SonomaFire and the #NapaFire tells only one part of the story, over the last few weeks I found myself more drawn to social media – and especially to posts from friends – to grasp the full weight of what has happened.
One such friend, Gary Warburton – the white winemaker at Calistoga’s Phifer Pavitt and one of the first winemakers I ever met – was doing frequent updates as he, his wife Terry, his son Shane and daughter-in-law Suzanne and their children were surrounded by fires. I asked Gary if I could share his accounts, and he agreed.
So from beginning to end:
October 9, 1:36 AM: Fire seems to be everywhere. Entire hill between us and Santa Rosa ablaze. We are fine for now. Wind blowing away.
10:57 AM: …We have been up since 11:30 last night watching the hills burn all around us. Our fire started about 5 miles northwest at Tubbs and 128 and burned all the way over the hill to Santa Rosa taking many many homes, Safari West, and even possibly some of the kids high school. We watched it all morning just behind Chateau Montelena. If it had turned south we would have evacuated. Calistoga Fire looks controlled. Now Santa Rosa and Atlas Peak are ablaze. The kids and grandkids have been texting all night and many of their friends have lost entire homes. We appear to have dodged the worst.
2:45 PM: We are all safe here but stranded. Can’t leave in any direction. All electrical in both Calistoga and St Helena is out but for some unknown reason we have power at house and winery. We will stay on alert all night due to the forecast of wind direction change. Note: the Cavalry has arrived.
5:44 PM: Calistoga/Napa/Santa Rosa fire update. As predicted the wind has reversed and now we here at the Winery are covered with thick smoke. Visibility is less than 1000 feet. Not evacuating yet. The photo normally features a beautiful view of the valley.
October 10, 6:34 PM: Fire update. All of us here at the winery are safe at this time. A flare up just occurred on the ridge about 5 miles west and we have been watching a constant water bombing by 747s for the past hour. We will spend a vigilant night. The other six fires from Napa City to Santa Rosa are still all out of control. Our kids and grandkids all have close friends that have lost homes. More than a dozen to now. They also lost a great deal of their high school. Night for now.
October 11, 9:38 PM: We spent a vigilant night in shifts watching for flare ups in a hot spot a few miles west of our hillside location.
All is quiet now due to light or no wind. However, Cal-Fire expects 20 mph wind later today with higher gusts so Much of Calistoga has been evacuated and the remainder on evacuation alert. We are just outside or perhaps out of sight of the evacuation area so we are sitting tight but have a definite retreat planned if we see flames crest the ridge behind the winery. We are currently in heavy smoke and ash which is preventing the huge 747 tankers from making their drops but they are in the air ready to provide support. I’ll report again later today.
1 PM: Update from the Pavitts; at 3:15am this morning, Evacuation Notices were issued to Calistoga – up to Solage (1 mile away). The Tubbs Fire is the most immediate threat at Mt. St. Helena. However, all fires around us are still raging. We are at the edge of the Mandatory Calistoga evacuation. If we leave, we cannot get back in. Presently we are holding and we have assumed a defensive position.
The Firefighter ground crews have been battling all night. We need the ‘air cavalry’. Visibility & air quality is very poor right now. Praying for visibility to clear just enough that the Air Tankers can arrive.
Winds are rumored to create a ruckus from 5:00pm today thru 10:00am Thursday.
5:00 PM: Thank you for your calls, emails, texts and prayers! Currently, our family, our Team, our Home and our Winery are safe and unscathed.
It has been a harrowing few days. We are taking shifts sleeping. Our position in Calistoga has us flanked by fires to the North, West and South. After 2 days, we still have ZERO fire containment. The smoke is VERY thick and difficult to breathe. Ash has been raining down throughout Calistoga.
Air quality reports have reached the Dangerous air level. We are wearing bandanas and remaining indoors.
The boys lost their high school and SO many of our friends have lost their homes, wineries & vineyards. Many are still in harms way with the fires raging throughout Napa and Sonoma Counties.
The weather reports are not favorable, with forecasts of increased winds this evening.
We are numb with fatigue, fear and disbelief but we are safe, together and blessed beyond measure.
Thank you for your offers to help. At this point, please just keep praying for the safety of human life, our Firefighters and Emergency personnel and for containment of the widespread fires.
We will provide situation updates as they become available and time permits.
5PM: We are still under mandatory evacuation but are holding out for a bit trying to wet down the winery and house. As you can see by my photo the closest hot spot is gaining in intensity. It’s about five miles at most. We can’t see flames yet but imagine it’s only a matter of time. We will not risk staying much longer since we know the original flare up on Sunday traveled at 1 mile every 50 SECONDS…I’m off to wet things down. Promise to report late tonight.
11 PM: We are under mandatory evacuation as of 3:00pm. We wet down house and winery, put equipment away from buildings, riddled the Sparkling and evacuated at 6:00pm. Wind was only 2-3 mph and in a direction away from property. The kids decided to stay a bit longer. Wind decreased. Outlook good. As of this report the wind is still almost zero and the fire hot spots are burning away from the winery. Next report in the morning.
October 12, 7 AM: Time for a North Bay wildfires update from my perspective…Can’t say I wasn’t a very worried grandmother as I was leaving my kids and grandkids behind (at their insistence) to hold the fort, stay strong and fight Mother Nature. At 5:42 am we received an update from them that they had been vigilant throughout the night and as of now, house and winery are still standing with no damage. Thank you so very much for all your good thoughts and prayers, it looks like He was listening. We cannot thank enough the first responders who so tirelessly worked on all of our behalf. Even the stern sheriff that insisted we leave “right now!” Before we left the property, Gary and I each took a hose and sprayed the winery from top to bottom as the kids were doing the same for the house. They took shifts again last night to watch for any flare-ups or trespassing embers and were rewarded this morning to see that all is well. Thank you God. I don’t think we will be allowed back to Calistoga today, but hopefully tomorrow.
P.S. The video below only shows a few seconds of our escape. It doesn’t show the traffic we hit at the south end of the Valley where Hwy 29 and Hwy 12 meet. Cars and buses were merging together from Napa and Sonoma and it was crazy. We had plenty of time to call three different hotels to finally find one who had ONE room available in San Ramon (an hour and a half drive from Calistoga). Once we arrived, we were turned away because they had overbooked – there were five other families who had evacuated from the Valleys who were being disappointed at the same time we were. Back into the car to call another three hotels until we found one in Pleasanton where we landed a room right on the fwy (with all the fwy noise you would expect), and I slept like a baby for seven hours straight. Heaven! Sitting here now, I can’t believe I slept through the noise. Lol!
P.S.S. For those of my Facebook friends who remember Mango, our beautiful Blue and Gold Macaw, she apparently has been spared from the fire, as all of the animals at Safari West have been. The owner of the animal sanctuary, where we gave up our girl, saved all of his animals with a garden hose and perseverance. According to reports, he lost his home though. So the next time you are visiting the Napa or Sonoma Valley, plan on a visit to the sanctuary to show your support of such determination and love.
9 AM: Phifer Pavitt Winery survived the night of mandatory evacuation. The forecasted high winds did not blow and the hot spot that caused our evacuation moved away from Calistoga. We will remain vigilant. The fires are still out of control in the area but today should see some containment. Sidebar: what do you pack in your car when mandatorily ordered to evacuate? Personal business papers? Family photographs? Clean underwear? Well the only thing “I” packed were the 10000 labels for my Sparkling Wine. Stay tuned for afternoon report.
6 PM: The winery is not in immediate danger due to the favorable SW wind at only 4mph blowing fire away. However, the fire blew back over to the SW of Hwy 29 about 5 miles to the NW of the winery. Since the terrain is not defendable by man or engine our last crew on the property evacuated after again soaking the house and winery. So as of tonight our entire family is off the property and personally safe. Terry and I are in a hotel in Pleasanton and the kids and grandkids are with friends in west Santa Rosa. We will all meet tomorrow in Mendocino area to sit out the rest of this ordeal. Thank you ALL for your thoughts and prayers.
October 13, 6 PM: Good news to this point. Of course the worst of the remaining Tubbs Fire is still only a few miles behind the winery but the wind has stayed light and our skeleton crew managed a quick look at our wine. All is fine. Praying that the expected 20-40 mph wind does not materialize tonight. We are all on our way to Mendocino via “Chateau Jordan” where we are being hosted tonight.
Totally bummed that we just heard that the home of Charles Schulz along with all memorabilia was burned to the foundation. The Schulz legend is steeped here in Santa Rosa.
I’ll report tomorrow morning. Positive thoughts for a windless night.
October 14, 8 AM: The Tubbs Fire (our fire) after a somewhat calm night is now 45% contained. We are still under a “red flag” warning until, most likely, tomorrow morning. This will mean our mandatory evacuation may last until Monday or longer. Our winery as well as all others in Calistoga seems to be out of immediate danger. However, containment is not “control” and if the winds materialize the flames can travel at more than a mile every 50 seconds. We all remain patient and vigilant.
Since we can’t return now we are headed a few miles west to the beach in search of clean air…
8 PM: Calistoga is still under mandatory evacuation. Red flag fire warnings are still posted. Close friends who have eyes on the fire say that the Tubbs Fire behind our winery occasionally flares up but the winds have cooperated and the Cal-Fire crews have made great progress. We are blessed with friends offering sanctuary and are currently at Irish Beach with hopes of an advisory of repopulation soon. When this advisory comes we expect another day or two before it becomes effective. This may be a fantasy but we hold out hope. Sitting here totally out of danger and as a family we reflect on all our friends who have lost their homes and wineries. A sad day indeed. And the danger continues.
October 15, 10 AM: Preliminary and unofficial word is that the night was calm on our fire site. Firefighters on foot attacked the Mt St Helena area at its peak cutting fire breaks at the 4000ft plus level. Apparently the nighttime temperatures and humidity affords better chances of containment. Our “scouts” report that they are attempting to legally re-enter the winery to care for our wine on a temporary basis. We are insisting that all of our family and employees take no action that would either endanger themselves, hamper fire fighting, or ignore any official mandates. At the present, officially all road closures remain in effect and all evacuation orders stand firm. I’ll keep you posted on current events. We are hopeful that our evacuation orders will be able to be lifted soon. And to report on our wine all I can say is that we are very fortunate to be in a period between harvests and at the present all of our wine is safe and happy. Updates to follow, as we as a family are in retreat on the Mendocino coast in fresh air. We only wish that all of our friends could have been this fortunate. Our prayers go out to those who weren’t. We are patiently waiting until we can return so we can be of greater help.
6 PM: The Tubbs Fire (our fire) is over 60% contained. Calistoga City was repopulated as of 2:00pm today. However, we are about .6 miles outside the city limits so we are waiting for the OK to return from the county. Our staff was able to get a County Ag permit to return to do winery business. We are spending one more night here in Mendocino and will return tomorrow. Afternoon: our Cab is scheduled to be harvested Wednesday and that should be good timing as long as the current progress against the fires remains constant. One more night for us should calm our nerves along with…Dark’n Stormys.
October 15, 8AM: Calistoga Fire Report, Tubbs Fire. 70% contained. We are packing to return…for now I must mention that close to 10,000 fire fighters from as far away as Australia who have tirelessly fought against what the fire Captains have called a “career” fire. Amazing that fire fighters rallied from all around the nation. Last note this morning: while sitting at the winery on Tuesday late afternoon the parade of tanker planes attacking the flames looked like the landing pattern on a busy night at LAX.
October 16, 6:00PM: Home again. All intact and we are exhausted. The past 5 days of exile have been brutal but nothing compared to those who lost homes, schools, business, and loved ones. All fires now seem to be manageable but will cover the Napa and Sonoma Valleys with smoke for days to come. Our drive home forced us to drive south of Sonoma where we saw that the fire was stopped only by a few vineyards and the San Francisco Bay. It started north/west of our winery and traveled 31 miles to Carneros and the Bay devastating huge parts of both Napa and Sonoma Counties. Total acres burned approach 200000 or 315 sq. miles. The city of San Francisco is about 48 sq. miles and NYC is 304 sq. miles. Gives us some prospective of this firestorm’s wrath. This will be my last post as long as the fire continues to burn out. One Cal Fire Chef noted that most firefighters will see only one “career” fire in a lifetime. He said there were 5 career fires in this inferno. Thank you all for all your wonderful thoughts and prayers.
Maybe I should have realized things were going to go south.
It all started innocently enough. We had planned a trip to Northern California, meticulously researching wineries, hotels and restaurants in Sonoma County, San Francisco and the Monterey Peninsula that we wanted to write about for Eve’s Wine 101 readers.
Things got thrown a little askew initially when something good happened – we got invited to attend a tasting party at the Napa home of one of our favorite winemakers – Abe Schoener of The Scholium Project, whose 4-part story you had the pleasure of reading on our site just recently.
As the party was the day before our planned trip, it was an easy decision to head up to Nor Cal a day early.
At some point, we realized we had missed the email that the party had been canceled due to harvest considerations. No problem, we were still in Nor Cal a day early, specifically in Napa.
The only problem was it was a busy Sunday evening and we did not have dinner reservations anywhere. After driving through downtown Napa and seeing lines outside of every restaurant we had an interest in, we decided our best approach would be to head over to the Oxbow Public Market, which is home to a variety of eating and drinking places. It was also busy there and by that point, we were really looking for somewhere to sit down and be taken care of.
Sharing the parking lot with Oxbow is the CIA at Copia.
The Copia property has an interesting history. Founded in 2001 as a wine and food educational project between Robert and Margrit Mondavi and other notables such as Julia Child, it closed in 2008. The Culinary Institute of America acquired the property in 2015 as a home for its Food Business School. They also offer classes, winetasting and other experiences, as well as having a restaurant.
We’ve dined at the CIA at Greystone before and have had marvelous meals there. Assuming that this place was similar, we weren’t sure we wanted something that upscale, nor were we particularly dressed for it. I said: “Let’s just check it out. We don’t have to stay.”
I was glad we did. The dining room was comfortably casual and the menu was reasonably priced. The food was delicious and service was excellent. My hanger steak was cooked perfectly [rare, just as I like it]. The restaurant wasn’t very busy and I think it doesn’t get nearly enough attention.
We had a wonderful dinner and I thought that the week was starting off great.
The next day we headed to Santa Rosa to begin the main part of the trip we had planned. Since we had essentially arrived a day earlier than planned for our winery appointments, Karen suggested visiting the Armstrong Redwoods for some enjoyment of nature. Well, some tangled roots and a day in the ER left Karen with the diagnosis of a fractured knee and that was pretty much “all she wrote”.
To be continued…
Michael Perlis has been pursuing his passion for wine for more than 25 years. He has had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show him the way, as well as a wonderful wife who encourages him and shares his interest. After a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as he possibly could, he had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Now, as Contributing Editor for Eve’s Wine 101, he does his best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers. Michael is also Vice President of Eve Bushman Consulting (fka Eve’s Wine 101 Consulting) http://evebushmanconsulting.com/ and President of MCP Financial. Michael can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
What’s New in the California Wine World: Chatting with Tom Silberkleit, award-winning editor and publisher for Wine House Press in Sonoma. www.Californiafinewineries.com. His books have been featured in USA Today, People, and on Good Morning America.
Let me start by saying it takes a LOT to convert me from wine to vodka…no that isn’t right…to convert me from reading a book open in my hands to reading from an electronic device. I love the smell of print and I want to touch the photographs. All that has changed now and it’s changed over one book: The California Directory of Fine Wineries, Central Coast edition, published by Tom Silberkleit.
In a “snapshot” (Photographer Robert Holmes does outstanding work!) this is how Tom converted me…over a hot pastrami sandwich at Art’s Deli in Studio City with no wine added at all:
Also in Hardback