Showing posts from 2017

Fires, Wine and Adventures

I've honest been overwhelmed over the last few weeks and months. It started our peacefully with a trip to my grandma's house and lunch at Pietro's in Lodi. Then it all changed with the fires in Napa and Sonoma County. I went to sleep on a windy night and awoke to smoke filled skies. I worked 18 hours most days, 23 hours on one day, but it was an honor to work for a hotel that did so much to help the community that we call home. It was an amazing experience to be able to serve our community and provide them a little slice of peace during an extremely difficult time.

There were also wine tasting adventures and a birthday celebration that kept on going. It started with a quick trip to Orange County for meetings, then a locals tasting at Freemark Abbey, with quick stops at both Beringer and V. Sattui just to look around.  A FAM Tour with, we tasted at Trinitas, ran through Carneros and enjoyed an intimate dinner for 5 in our Estate Cave. The Napa Valley Film Festi…

Running for Real

I haven't actually run in a true race situation since high school, so it was time to see what I could do. I ran the Napa Half Marathon and placed in the top 10 (wine was waiting on the finish line), then ran the Bridge to Bridge (beer was waiting on the finish line) in SF finishing in the top 50, but a few people started after me and ran slightly faster, so I ended up at 51, but top 40 men. Now it's time to rest (and recover from a potential stress fracture or two in my legs - I got x-rays today, so hopefully will have results tomorrow). Beyond running there was a cooking segment on KCRA/My58 where we made scallops, two cooking classes (desserts and seafood), a Crawfish Dinner, a winemaker dinner with Newton Vineyards, and a tour of our massive construction project for a story with the Napa Register.

See all the pictures here.


Life is often an adventure and the last month has been full of activity ...
Jesuit Alumni Run (I would have done well if I wasn't racing against former State Champions and Olympians) ... White Water Rafting with W.E.T. followed by dinner at Auburn Alehouse ... a tour of The Village at Meritage Resort, Napa Valley ... a Harvest Party at Luna Vineyards ... a dinner with Schramsberg ... live cooking segments with Fox40, Good Day Sacramento and KCRA/My58, a Beer Pairing dinner with Lagunitas Brewing ... Wine Tasting at Trinchero, followed by a tour of vineyards for Stag's Leap Wine Cellars and wine tasting at Liana Estates ... History of Napa in 8 Glasses at CIA Copia and dinner with a friend at Gott's ... Helped at a charity event ... an Office Potluck ... and running, lots of running.

See all the pictures here.
Living in the Napa Valley has its perks ...
- Wine Tasting at Provenance Vineyards
- Lunch in SF with a friend at a rooftop restaurant
- Running through vineyards
- A quick trip to the Bradley Lodge for 4th of July weekend
- Biking and Kayaking through Carneros with with Getaway Adventures with stops at Saintsbury and Etude.
- A visit to the Wine Train to learn about all the trips they now offer
- Cal Poly Alumni Bochee Ball Tournament in Yountville
- Wine tasting at Festival Napa Valley
- Wine Tasting at Caymus Vineyards
- Lunch at Rutherford Grill
- Dinner with Paul Hobbs in the Estate Cave

See all the pictures here.

Mother's Day, Wine, Bradley Lodge and Sacramento

It's been another couple weeks full of wine, food ... and something new ... I actually left Napa a few times. We had a fabulous weekend of events for Mother's Day with Veuve Clicquot including a brunch (complete with cookies). I tried out a new restaurant at the River Terrace Inn, Alba, that was really good, hopefully I'll be back with friends in the future, maybe for Taco Tuesday, I was there on Meatloaf Monday. There was also a little bit of wine tasting with a friend that makes his own wine with friends. There was also a meeting at JAM Cellars (think Butter Chardonnay), a drive up to Calistoga to see the Napa Valley's version of Old Faithful, a 1 mile run in record time, and fish tacos.

There were also a couple trips out of the Napa Valley. I headed to the Bradley Lodge where we raked and burned pine needles, but also had some fun. We hiked around Boards Crossing, walked into Big Trees State Park, went to a craft fair ... and had milkshakes at Giant Burger. Beyond …

Flavor!, Wine Tasting, Running, Easter, Giants Game

It's been a month and a half since my last blog update ... I used to be so good when I lived in Roseville, but since moving to Napa my blog hasn't gotten as much attention ... oops. Here's a quick post of some of the fun things that I've been up to since the last post (note this only includes the fun parts, I don't want to bore you).

1. Flavor! Napa Valley at CIA at COPIA and CIA in St. Helena
2. Lots of running ... (and eating ... and making cookies) ... and I created a running map for guests at work.
3. Watching hot air balloons fly and land never gets old, it is truly one of the best parts about mornings in the Napa Valley.
4. Cooking ... I did make cookies, but also Tater-Tot Casserole from my childhood ... and maybe a few too many stops at Baskin Robbins and Ben & Jerry's.
5. Candy ... tried a new Chocolatier in the Napa ... (La ForĂȘt Chocolate)
6. Wine Tasting ... Kieu Hoang, Trefethen, Duckhorn ... my credit card bill has been higher since moving to …

Snow, Beach, Wine and Runs

In the last month or so I've been to the Bradley Lodge to spend time with family (and find snow), to Santa Barbara for some time at Bacara, and have been able to enjoy some pretty spectacular wines while also keeping up with my cardio goals ... running lots.

It started at the Bradley Lodge for President's Day Weekend, a family tradition that I haven't been able to go to for the last couple of years. Although we got we didn't have any fresh snow at the lodge, it was was nice to enjoy a beer while looking at snow out the window (it was a blizzard) at Bear Valley, and we had our share of wine and food throughout the weekend, including a trip to Murphys. With no snow I was able do some of the mountain runs that I love the most and was even greeted by my youngest nephew at the end of a couple of them.

Back in Napa there were wine tastings, nights out, and some long runs. As part of our winemaker dinner series I often get to go to the wineries in advance for a tasting with our…

Beach, Awards, Runs ... and Cake

I was fortunate enough to spend some time in Huntington Beach in January for work. I love our Orange County properties and this trip gave me the opportunity to stay at Pasea for a week, then head to meetings a few miles south at the Balboa Bay Resort and Newport Beach Country Club. I took full advantage of staying across the street from the beach with a quick run with my account manager from a new advertising/marketing firm, spent some time in restaurants at Pacific City Mall, and just enjoyed time with co-workers and hearing the waves crash on the beach from a distance. I also won an award, so that was cool ... small issue, didn't know I was even nominated for the category, so I wasn't in the room when they were looking for me.

Back in Northern California I spent a day getting all the paperwork together for my tax guy, ran a lot, went to the gym (loving InShape Napa), enjoyed a tasting with Trinitas, learned about what makes Napa so special for wine grapes from the Napa Vall…

Wine Tasting in Napa

One would think that living in Napa I would go wine tasting a lot more than I actually do. It's actually a pretty rare event for me to go to wineries on my off time. Yes I go sometimes for work, but on the weekends I stay home, go to the gym and otherwise avoid leaving home. That said, when friends are in town, I take the opportunity to visit new places, head to my favorites, and check out some of the ones that I help send our guests to. With friends in town I headed to Clos du Val, Robert Baile, Luna, Silver Oak (and toured with the winemaker as part of the Napa Valley Vintners "morning in the winery" program), Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, Bourassa, Jessup Cellars, Peju and Delectus. All were fabulous (although I'm partial to ones that include cheese ... so if you're in Yountville ... Jessup is a great tasting ... with a few days advance reservation Bourassa also does a food pairing). I also don't normally go out to eat alone, so this was a good opportunit…