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"The Good Life" Show - Food, Wine, Travel & Lifestyle

Bio: Mike Wreyford, AKA Mike the “Wine Guy” is a Food, Wine,Travel & Lifestyle Expert. This Writer, Blogger, Foodie/Wine Enthusiast, and Spontaneous Traveler, is the Host & Producer of “The Good LIfe” Show, a popular Weekly Radio Talk Show. Mike combines his lifetime of Travel, 30+ years in the Restaurant / Bar business, an “Ongoing Appreciation of Wine”, along with his marketing and entrepreneurial expertise, to share his passion for Food, Wine, Travel and Lifestyle with friends, fans, and businesses around the world.
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Sep 22, 2019

Rudd Oakville Estate’s Managing Director Oscar Henquet discovered his passion for the luxury hospitality industry at a very young age while working with his family’s hotel business in The Netherlands. Spending summers amidst vineyards in Provence with his parents, Oscar’s exposure to the world of wine started at a young age.

One of two children, Oscar grew up in the region where Belgium, Holland and Germany intersect, and as a result, quickly learned the importance and value of understanding various cultures while becoming fluent in the English, Dutch, French and German languages. Oscar received a degree in Hotel Management from the Maastricht School of Hotel Management, founded by his grandfather. Upon graduation, Oscar pursued positions abroad, including an 8-month project in China where he was heavily involved with the opening of Crowne Plaza Chengdu in Chengdu, China.

Oscar gained further experience and expertise working at esteemed properties located in Belgium, France and Israel, but it was a trip to New York with his family in 1997 that set his future course: exhilarated by the city’s energy and rhythm, he decided to relocate there.

It was during this period that Oscar decided his future would be spent in the private hospitality sector, where he would apply his understanding of organizational protocols and internal structure, but maintain the level of attention to detail and personal interaction with guests that had attracted him to the industry. In 2003, Oscar accepted a position as Director of Operations at Nicole Farhi USA, where he managed daily food and beverage operations for five years.

While still at Farhi, Oscar opened 202 Restaurant in Chelsea Market, which won New York Magazine’s “Best Brunch” Award in 2006 and 2007. In 2008, Oscar accepted the role of General Manager at Rouge Tomate, where he coordinated the restaurant’s $15 million 2008 opening.

Oscar’s achievements and success at Rouge Tomate over the next two-and-a-half years attracted the ever-watchful eye of Graydon Carter and Jeff Klein at Monkey Bar, and in August 2010, Oscar took on the position of General Manager at the trendy midtown restaurant.

 

Sep 22, 2019

Karen MacNeil is the only American to have won every major wine award given in the English language. These include the James Beard award for Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year, the Louis Roederer award for Best Consumer Wine Writing, and the International Wine and Spirits award as the Global Wine Communicator of the Year.  In a full-page profile on her, TIME Magazine called Karen “America’s Missionary of the Vine.” In 2018, Karen was named one of the “100 Most Influential People in the Wine.”

But deep global wine knowledge is only part of the story. Karen is considered America’s foremost wine presenter–a speaker who can enchant audiences from 5 to 500, and from wine novices to wine collectors alike. Her customized TED-like talks are accompanied by extraordinary wines which she personally selects for the event.

Karen is also the author of the award-winning book, THE WINE BIBLE, the single best-selling wine book in the United States, praised as “The most informative and entertaining book I’ve ever seen on the subject” (Danny Meyer), “Astounding” (Thomas Keller), and “A masterpiece of wine writing…the single best wine book written in years…” (Kevin Zraly).

The former wine correspondent for the Today Show, Karen was the host of the PBS series Wine, Food and Friends with Karen MacNeil, for which she won an Emmy. Karen is the creator and editor of WineSpeed, the leading digital “e-letter” in the U.S. for fast, authoritative information about wine. Her articles on wine and food have been published in more than 50 newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, Town & Country, Elle, and Worth. She was the first Food and Wine Editor of USA Today. Karen currently hosts #SipWithKaren, the leading Twitter tasting in the global wine sphere, which each month reaches 20+ million timelines from Indiana to India.

Karen’s firm, Karen MacNeil & Company, creates customized corporate events and wine tours around the world for companies and individual groups. Among Karen’s corporate clients are Lexus, Merrill Lynch, Disney, General Electric, UBS, and Singapore Airlines, as well as numerous law and biotech firms.

Karen is the creator and Chairman Emeritus of the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America in the Napa Valley, which has been called “the Harvard of wine education.”

Sep 22, 2019

J Pearce is a boutique wine project that was started by great friends, Andrew Renda and Jarred Pearce. Andy and Jarred met in 2005 when Andy hired Jarred to work alongside him at Vintner’s Collective in downtown Napa.

Prior to Andy’s career in wine, it was a love of food and the restaurant industry where he first gained experience. Like many others, his first job was as a dishwasher for a gourmet caterer in his hometown. By age seventeen, he began cooking at The Country Club in Brookline MA, which is home to three US Opens, and the 1999 Ryder Cup. It was there where he was first introduced to the pairing of haute cuisine and world class wines.

After several years in the food industry, front and back of the house, he chose to start his quest to obtain more knowledge about the world of wine and spirits. The next eight years were spent helping to manage retail wine shops in the Boston area. His exposure was not just limited to California wines, but to a broad spectrum of global offerings.

Countless hours were spent tasting in order to gain a more refined palate and true understanding of what the world of wine has to offer. This passion for a lifelong career in the wine industry was set in motion, and it was time to relocate.

Andy and his bride to be Kelly, sold all of their belongings and packed a car to make the pilgrimage from Boston to Napa, no jobs, just a destination, the legendary Napa Valley!

They made a temporary home in a rental cottage as Andy pursued his dream, putting his passion and knowledge for wine to the test. The better part of the next decade was spent as the Director of Sales of Vintner’s Collective surrounded by top boutique producers. More importantly over that stretch, Kelly and he got married and now have two beautiful children Maxwell and Adelaide. His family is his driving force.

Jul 7, 2019

We started Drive as a home winemaking project in a vintage auto garage in Sonoma County, California. Through years of work in the vineyard, winery, and classroom; a hobby turned into a passion. We are humbled to take part in this journey with you.

Drive Wines was started by John Musto and Tom Young. Hobby winemakers who honed their craft in the vineyards, wineries, and classrooms of Sonoma County. Inspired by their surroundings, they've set out to craft single vineyard wines through passion and grit...

John Musto and Tom Young meet at Santa Rosa Junior College studying Viticulture and Enology. A mutual interest in winemaking drives them to buy a few hundred pounds of grapes for homewinemaking. John & Tom strike a deal with Peter Lewis, exchanging vineyard upkeep for the harvested grapes and production space at Triple Oak Vineyard in Fulton, CA.

Their new "winery", a vintage auto racing garage becomes a major source of inspiration and Drive Wines is born.Expanding their hobby into a business, Drive Wines harvests a small amount of Zinfandel from Puccioni Ranch in Dry Creek Valley. Drive Wines are crafted with the help of winemakers Chris Russi and Jackie van Sant Downes. Drive Wines expands, adding a Rosé of Zinfandel from Comstock Vineyard to their portfolio.

Jul 7, 2019

Chef Marc-Henri JEAN-BAPTISTE’s fine handmade pâtés, rillettes, ham and head cheese are hand crafted for all clients that want to find authentic European tasting products. Fully-cooked, ready to enjoy!

Every product is crafted using traditional European techniques and use only high-quality local meats. We as a company believed in using only products where we can derive the source and the manner in which it is grown. The respect of the product during fabrication is primordial.

Hand-made artisanal products, working with local farmers to source the best quality of meats, that are raised in a sustainable manner.
Animals raised without antibiotics or hormones. Great for charcuterie boards and wine pairings.

My passion for working with meat, and especially charcuterie, was born while working at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee. Tutelage there with Michael SULLIVAN taught me how to transform and sublimate pork products. This sparked a desire to produce artisanal charcuterie that has never left me.

I continued my training in haut cuisine kitchens with Daniel BOULUD in New York before crossing the Atlantic to join the crew of chef Alain DUCASSE in his most famous restaurant, Louis XV in Monaco. While holding on to my goal of creating my own charcuterie, I trained myself in all culinary positions in order to gain a fundamental understanding of the basics of cookery. My time there allowed to me to work with high quality seasonal ingredients to create refined Mediterranean cuisine for our clients.

It was with Gilles VEROT, in Paris, that I was finally able to master the subtleties of the production of charcuterie. As sous chef, I acquired the techniques to master this fine art of meat processing. My quest to learn more brought me to work in a high end butcher shop, Dierendonk in Belgium. While there I worked with his team to familiarize myself with the cutting of whole pigs, beef and lamb.

Jul 7, 2019

Idlewild has a relatively concise aim within a broad context: to produce wines of exceptional balance and beauty. It is a journey to pursue Italy’s Piedmont in the elevated hills of Mendocino County, and to find the sides of these varieties that are intriguing, delicious, and haunting.

Each wine is unique and treated as such, though the common thread is balancing depth and seriousness with vibrancy and joy. Emphasis is on the vineyard followed by minimalist winemaking techniques. While not dogmatic in practice, an honest and sustainable approach is fundamental in making wines of purity.

Idlewild has a few homes: a lonely rolling ridge line in Yorkville Highlands, a strip of bench-land in Mendocino county, a funky warehouse turned simple winery, and a Salumi & Wine Bar just off the plaza in Healdsburg, CA.

Wild Ruth Ranch sits in the elevated hills of the Yorkville Highlands in southwest Mendocino. The schist veined sandstone is planted to 15 year old Arneis, Cortese, Dolcetto, Barbera, and Nebbiolo.

Located in Central Mendocino County, Fox Hill Vineyard is managed by Wild Ruth. The rocky elevated slopes are planted to 20-30 year old Arneis, Cortese, Dolcetto, Barbera, and Nebbiolo.

Between Geyserville and Healdsburg sits our cooperative winery (Idlewild, Leo Steen, Ryme Cellars, & Ruth Lewandowski). The focus is on traditional equipment and the joy of sharing and working with friends.

Off the plaza in Healdsburg, you’ll find our Idlewild outpost. Schedule a tasting to learn more about our wines, or stop in for a glass and a plate of salumi: Make a Reservation

Jul 7, 2019

All of Jeff’s wines share a theme of fresh fruit reflective of the varietal flavors inherent in the grapes. Jeff selects grapes from vineyards that provide rich full flavors without loads of astringent tannins.

Personally, Jeff prefers his wines to have zest and vibrant flavors. “Once I release a new vintage I rarely return to the previous year’s wine. My father likes that; it means more of the older wines for him.”

Jeff produces wines from grapes grown throughout California. At last count he was planning to crush over twenty different varieties from nine different appellations for the 2013 vintage. Most of these wines are produced in very small limited quantities. However, there are four principle wines that the winery strives to have available throughout the year and they are: Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Barbera, and Petit Verdot.

Jeff started his adventure in the wine industry in 1977 when he interned with Seagrams at their Paul Masson Sherry Cellars in Madera while studying enology at UC Davis. Upon graduating in 1980, he worked in the cellar at Montevina in Amador County’s Shenandoah Valley and was promoted to winemaker in 1982. After a three year stint at the Napa Valley Cooperative Winery from 1987 through 1990, Jeff became the winemaker for the J. Lohr winery in San Jose. It was during his tenure at J. Lohr that it became clear that he was going to have to make wine for himself.

In 1995 Jeff crushed ten tons of zinfandel from the Massoni Ranch in Amador’s Shenandoah Valley and on April First 1997 he released 700 cases of that Zinfandel under his own label. In 1996 and 1997 Jeff made his wine at the Sycamore Creek Winery in Morgan Hill and then from 1998 through the 2010 vintage at the McManis Family Vineyard Winery in Ripon. In 2006 he finally returned to Amador County having purchased a small five acre walnut orchard on Shenandoah Road. In the spring of 2008 Jeff and Margie opened their tasting room. Production facilities followed and Jeff was able to crush the majority of their production in Amador in 2011.

Jul 6, 2019

Since way back in 1989, winemaker Rick Moshin has been producing natural, terroir-driven, and delicious wines in the Russian River Valley. He sustainably farms his own prized Goldridge-soil Pinot Noir vineyards, and using the natural yeasts of his grapes — plus the help of a dedicated winemaking team — he gently makes small-lot, premium wines in our gravity-flow winery on Sonoma County’s famed Westside Road. 

Celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2019, we're still family-owned and -operated, and our focus remains on hand-crafting some of the highest-quality wines in the Russian River Valley AVA. In addition to several styles of Pinot Noir, we make Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Merlot, dessert wines, traditional-method sparkling wine, and a crowd-pleasing, award-winning Rosé of Pinot Noir. 

Come visit our winery and vineyards, where you’re sure to be delighted by our gorgeous swath of California wine country, our friendly, knowledgeable staff,— and our beautiful wines, created purely for your enjoyment!

In the late 1970s, while teaching math at San Jose State University and working a side hustle at a home-brewing supply store, Rick was encouraged to try his hand at winemaking—and fell deeply, madly in love. His hunger for grapes soon inspired him to become a grape broker, earning access to extra fruit while forging relationships with vineyard owners throughout Northern California. This gig allowed him to be in the right place when a certain Pinot Noir vineyardthe first acreage in our estate—went up for sale in 1989.

A self-taught farmer who (along with friends and family) built our gravity-flow winery by hand, Rick enjoys experimenting with different varietals and winemaking methods. His heart will always belong to Pinot Noir, but as a passionate viticulturist and vintner, he remains ever-curious about the whole world of wine. 

Jul 6, 2019

Kevin Evans is President of WEB Media Group, a niche media company specializing in the relocation / newcomer and lifestyle market.  Currently, WEB Media Group produces 17 titles and 11 websites across 6 states, with three new branches in 2017.  In 2002 he started with a single employee, single market concept that has grown to a national company employing 20 people. 

Evans caught the publishing bug early in college, he served as Editor-in-Chief of his college newspaper, then worked for Auto Trader, traveling the country fixing problem publications and establishing new markets.  After leaving Auto Trader, he served as Vice-President of New Business Development with the Los Angeles Times before moving to Austin and launching the Austin Relocation Guide.  He has over 30 years of publishing experience. 

The newest venture for Evans has been the Napa Valley Life Magazine.  Kevin began managing the magazine and website two years ago and today is the President of Napa Valley Life Magazine.  

A luxury lifestyle magazine aimed at the people who live, work and play in the Napa.

For over 17 years, Napa Valley Life has been the premier lifestyle magazine dedicated to living and visiting the Napa Valley. We are dedicated in providing locals and visitors a magazine that captures the essence of living in the Napa Valley.

Published six times a year, Napa Valley Life defines and celebrates this special place we call home through sophisticated and informative feature and department articles solely dedicated on the Napa Valley. Within in each issue, we cover the Napa Valley lifestyle; from food and wine; homes and decor, entertaining, dining, gardening, health, events, insider information and destination guide information including a detailed winery map as well as local town maps.

The Napa Valley is noted as one of the most beautiful regions of California, rich in heritage and tradition.  Known for its world-renowned fine wines, epicurean experiences, luxurious accommodations and breath taking vistas, the Valley shines as a premiere destination to live the good life.  Napa Valley offers a variety of entertainment including fine art, theater, music and outdoor activities. Stay abreast and let NVL be your comprehensive guide to Napa Valley Events and things to do as well as learn about the people behind what makes this community so amazing.

Jun 19, 2019

Craig Palmer and Allen Habel, co-founders of the Experience Rosé Today. Experience Rosé brand, which aims to celebrate all things rosé. The new brand will host an array of events in 2018, all honoring the lauded “pink drink,” with the Experience Rosé: The 2018 Competition kicking things off in the Spring. Focusing exclusively on domestic and international rosé wines and directed by globally-renowned wine expert and educator Debra Del Fiorentino, the competition will take place on Wednesday, April 18 at Soda Rock Winery in Healdsburg. The Experience Rosé brand will offer a collection of curated consumer events beyond the competition as well, including The Great Rosé Pairing for Summer, to be held on Saturday, June 16, at The CIA at Copia in Napa, and The Great Rosé Pairing for Thanksgiving, which will take place Friday, October 19, at Jaxon Keys Winery and Distillery in Hopland.

Experience Rosé is all about providing extraordinary experiences for everyone who revels in our passion for Rosé and its infinite possibilities all year-long. Foodie to newbie. Wine maker to chef. Sponsor to volunteer. Because every day pairs better with Rosé. Fill your glass with us. We promise you a fulfilling experience that will be personal, passionate and perfect.

Celebrating a wide range of rosé winemaking styles and taking place on Wed, Apr 18 at Soda Rock Winery in Healdsburg, Experience Rose: The 2018 Competition will showcase the best of the best from both domestic and international producers in dry, sparkling and sweet categories.

“We’re excited to introduce these new elements around the Wine Competition,” states Del Fiorentino. “Our goal is to create an event that is beneficial to both our wine competition entrants and the attendees to the two consumer events, as we want everyone to have the best experience possible.”

The Brand will introduce two new wine events to the general public. On Saturday, June 16, 2018, Experience Rosé will debut The Great Rosé Pairing for Summer, to be held at The CIA at Copia in Napa. Event-goers will have the opportunity to sip winning wines paired with gourmet bites inspired by cuisine from the four major rosé producing regions (France, Italy, Spain and the United States/California). The bites will be prepared by teams of CIA students directed by Lars Kronmark, Professor of Culinary Arts at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley. This curated event will also include special arts programming and Experience Rosé Talks – an educational series featuring presentations, panel discussions and pairings.

Mar 4, 2019

In 1970, San Francisco firefighter Cecil De Loach, and his wife Christine, purchased the prized Barbieri Ranch in Russian River Valley’s coveted Olivet Road district. Both came armed with advanced degrees in anthropology but no background in farming or grape growing. That said, they had long dreamt of finding land their family could own and work together. For his part, Louis Barbieri, whose father Itilo planted the vineyard in 1905, was gratified to pass the vineyard on to a family committed to honoring its past, and stewarding its future.

Mar 4, 2019

We are tiny like an acorn. Our winery is framed by tall oak trees. Our wine is aged in oak barrels. So ACORN seemed the perfect name for our winery.

Bill traded in his law books for books on viticulture, pruning shears, and a tractor when we purchased Alegría Vineyards in 1990. In the early years, he was in the vineyards every day, and Betsy helped out on weekends, but within a few years she too was ready for a change and joined Bill full time.

At first, we sold all of our grapes to other wineries, and they produced highly prized Alegría Vineyard-designated wines. Then in 1994, we decided to make some wine ourselves and established ACORN Winery. Our first release, in 1996, was our 1994 Sangiovese.

Gradually, we kept more grapes for ACORN and added other wines. Now we make seven different wines—Russian River Valley Heritage Vines Zinfandel from the original 1890s vineyard, Russian River Valley Axiom® Syrah, Russian River Valley Cabernet Franc, Russian River Valley Sangiovese, Russian River Valley Dolcetto, two proprietary blends—Medley® and Acorn Hill, and a flavorful Rosato (a dry Rosé). We still sell half our grapes to other wineries. Several of them vineyard-designate the wines.

Our production remains small, at about 3,000 cases each year. All our wines are made from grapes we grow ourselves at Alegría. Every wine is a field blend, following the ancient tradition represented in the mixed planting that is our original 120-year old vineyard. Every wine is made by co-fermenting multiple varieties. We like to say that our wines are blended from the day they are picked. This is what sets ACORN wines apart.

Today, after 25 years, we continue to find alegría living in the middle of our vineyards, enjoying the cool Russian River Valley climate, and continuing a long tradition by sustainably growing premium quality grapes and producing acclaimed award-winning wines.

Mar 4, 2019

Since 1927, when John Pedroncelli, Sr. purchased vineyard and a small winery in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley, two elements remain unchanged: the exceptional place the Pedroncelli family farms vineyards, and the family's dedication to making fine wines.

  • From selling grapes to home winemakers during prohibition in order to keep the vineyards going,
  • to growing a small base of business during the 1930s and 1940s,
  • to the second generation joining their father: son John becoming winemaker in 1948 followed by Jim in 1955 as sales director,
  • to 1963 when the winery was officially purchased by John and Jim from their father,
  • to growing the line of wines in the 1960s with vineyard expansion and diversification,
  • to the boom time of the 1970s and 1980s along with many changes and additions to our sales base including national sales and export,
  • the third generation coming on board and vineyard replanting in the 1990s
  • to the 21st century refining our focus to restaurants and casual dining/meet-up wine bars and independent wine shops across the nation.
  • to the transfer of ownership of the company to the third generation (now a 70% woman owned company with a woman winemaker!)
  • to the second decade in the new millenium where the fourth generation is coming up the ranks...
  • Nine decades strong, we are still family owned and operated.It all adds up to tradition, heritage and a family of wines you can enjoy with confidence.

 

Mar 4, 2019

Debbie is responsible for managing Wine Road events, which include the annual event weekends Wine & Food Affair, Winter WINEland and Barrel Tasting. In her current position Debbie is the first line of contact for participating wineries (up to 100) as well as helping visitors plan their event experience. She coordinates with the health department, hires security, designs programs, event maps and working with a designer comes up with the inspiration for the overall event theme and look for all printed and online materials.

Along with these event planning tasks, Debbie works with advertisers and our PR Manager to make sure our events are getting the exposure needed to always bring in new customers.

Mar 4, 2019

Claudia Vecchio has assumed the position of CEO of Sonoma County Tourism.

Vecchio has many years of experience in the industry, including multiple leadership roles in tourism organisations, serving as the State Tourism director at the Ohio Department of Development, Division of Travel and Tourism, and senior vice president overseeing the tourism group at Edelman PR in Chicago.

In her new role, Vecchio will try to drive Sonoma County Tourism into record-breaking years, with out-of-the-box ideas and by sharing the message that wine country is open for business and ready to deliver the world-class experience that is expected.

She replaces Ken Fischang, who stepped down in May. Interim Sonoma County Tourism CEO Tim Zahner told the Las Vegas Review Journal that, after the fires, Vecchio will have plenty on her plate when she arrives.

“Claudia is stepping into a situation where the community of Sonoma County and the board and staff of Sonoma County Tourism have come together to not only support one another in our time of need, but also to rally around and get the word out that we are open for business and ready to welcome visitors to the Northern California they love,” Zahner said. 

Vecchio leaves her position as the first director of the state Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, which consists of the Commission on Tourism, Division of Museums and History, Nevada Arts Council and the Nevada Indian Commission.

“In addition to its extraordinary natural beauty, Sonoma County exudes an incredible spirit of independent thinking, creativity and fortitude that truly sets it apart from any other destination,” Vecchio said in a statement. “The truest sense of this spirit has been on full display during the recent fires. It’s a privilege to join a team and represent a countywide tourism industry that can come together through challenging times to not only support one another, but also to rally around and get the word out that we are open for business and ready to welcome visitors to Northern California.”

Vecchio said it should be a fairly easy transition on the marketing side, as Sonoma County has a few things in common with Nevada, like its independent, creative, maverick spirit.

“It’s wineries versus casinos,” she said. “They are important drivers, but I see so much more to talk about.” 

Vecchio long has been a fan of and visitor to Sonoma County, having family in Bodega Bay. Upon moving to Sonoma County, she had planned to rent, but after the destructive fires and the even tighter rental market, she is in the process of buying a home.

Vecchio is a former president of Destination Integration in Dallas and head of Ohio’s tourism office. She began working in Nevada in November 2011.

She also has managed national brand launch campaigns for Taco Bell, Frito-Lay and Norwegian Cruise Lines and was on the promotion team that launched the Fox Broadcasting Network’s television programming. She also was a tour manager for the international education and entertainment organization, Up With People.

Nov 11, 2018

A graduate from the University of California at Davis, Rachele developed a successful sales career in technology for RICOH U.S.A. for the past 22 years. During this time, she met and married Mitch Spaletta, the farmer she prayed she would one day meet. With a passion for people and talent for selling, the experience and knowledge gained through working for “Corporate America” would develop into a business she could call her own. “When you truly believe in something, and you are passionate about it, it’s not really selling!” - Rachele Spaletta

Nov 11, 2018

Early on in my glamorous (and painfully fast-paced) fashion career, I realized the way I worked was turning me into a tightly wound little ball of stress and tension. So before every business trip I conducted hours of research planning for self-care in my few precious hours of downtime. It changed my life!

Today, as a wellness travel expert and consultant, I lead travelers around the world on wellness tours with Pravassa. Creating group and individualized itineraries for the people and companies that are looking to restore productivity and creativity is my passion. Since having founded Pravassa, the first wellness travel company in 2009, I have been a winner of the prestigious British Airways Face of Opportunity contest. I contribute to columns in The Huffington Post and MindBodyGreen where I write about wellness travel and lifestyle. I am also a regular speaker at conferences around the country including the New York Times and Los Angeles Times travel shows and have participated in international conferences in Colombia, India, and Spain in order to bring wellness travel opportunities to these countries. When not is not traveling the world, I am based in New York City.

Nov 11, 2018

Catherine is an extraordinary wine aficionado with an exceptionally strong wine tasting palate. As a Master Sommelier, Catherine is a highly informed by wine scholars, expert wine judges, wine consultants. As a with passion of wine, she is highly personable, engaging for connecting with people and bringing overly complicated world of wine to an enjoyable level for everyone.

Catherine is the Master Sommelier at Planet Grape® LLC, a wine consulting firm providing content, reviews, corporate & private tastings, restaurant wine program development. She created her alter-ego, grape goddess®, to help bring wine down to earth for consumers as well as those entering the wine industry. She is one of a handful of female professional sabreurs (fencer) in the world, opening a bottle of Champagne with a sword in a dazzling theatrical performance.

 

Nov 11, 2018

Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel blogger and author. Patrick has appeared on over 300 radio and television outlets, including CNN, PBS, the BBC and National Public Radio. He is regularly cited in print publications worldwide, and was voted one of the “25 Best Bloggers” by TIME magazine. His op-eds and articles have been published in The New York Times, the Boston Globe, and several other newspapers.

Patrick took his first flying lesson at age  of fourteen and his first job is a copilot on 15-passenger turboprops earning $850 a month. He has since flown cargo and passenger jets on both domestic and intercontinental routes. He currently flies the Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft.

The author’s self-published punk rock fanzines and poetry journals of the 1980s and 1990s are considered among the more curious works of literature ever produced by a native of Revere, Massachusetts.

Patrick travels extensively in his spare time and has visited more than eighty countries. He lives near Boston.

Nov 8, 2018

Lisa Niver is a travel expert, writer, artist, entrepreneur, and on-camera host who has explored 96 countries. Niver has established a following through her written and video content, garnering over one million video views on YouTube, Amazon Fire Tv and Roku.

Niver is the founder of a top 100 travel blog, We Said Go Travel, that reaches more than 200,000 annually and is in the top 1/8 of the top 1% of all sites in the United States. In her tri-annual international travel writing competitions, she has published nearly 2000 writers from 75 countries.

She was invited to the United Nations as a Champions of Humanity ambassador, to the red carpet at the Oscars with United Airlines and to New Orleans for a project with American Express and Starwood Hotels. Her recent stories include Dutch designer villas for Luxury Magazine, interviewing Fabien Cousteau for Delta Sky, skiing with the blind for Sierra and scuba diving in the Solomon Islands for Smithsonian.

She also contributes to USA Today, Wharton Business Magazine, the Jewish Journal and is verified on Twitter. Niver was a 2012 nominee for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching and a 2014 nominee for the Charles Bronfman Prize.

Nov 6, 2018
  • SUMMARY: The wind and fire storms of October 8 changed my personal and professional life. Personally, the firestorm incinerated the forest surrounding my house, keeping my family out of our home for 7 months and creating years of work to repair the landscape I live in. Professionally, it immediately focused my work as an art curator and California environmental historian toward the new topic of environmental crisis that has resulted in a constant situation of California On Fire. 
  • The night of October 8 is permanently etched in my mind as I watched dozens of fires eventually gather into three monster firestorms surrounding my ridgetop home above the Napa and Sonoma Valleys: At midnight from my forest-ensconced mountaintop home above the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, I saw the shocking sight of the huge Atlas Peak fire burning 20 miles away. Over the course of the night we learned that Santa Rosa, Calistoga, Kenwood and Glen Ellen had all been wracked by the firestorm and within 24 hours 100,000 people were evacuated and 300,000 affected.
  •  My 9-year-old daughter, husband and I became long-term evacuees, living in a hotel for 7 months due to the catastrophic fire damage to the forest surrounding our home, and to our entire water and power system: The firestorm raged directly over my house and the dense forest surrounding my home, completely incinerating the forest that encircled my house, destroying all our water and electrical utility systems we ourselves build and maintain, including three huge water tanks, high voltage power poles, above-ground utilities that took 7 months to rebuild.
  • Our home itself was saved by our local volunteer firefighters, the Mayacamas Volunteer Fire Department, all of whom are also our neighbors. Of over 130 homes on the mountaintop where I live close to 50 home were destroyed by fire. The effort to save those remaining by a cooperative joint firefighting effort, but local volunteer firefighters who know the rural area helped guide that effort. Nearly half of the firefighters also lost their homes in the fires as they were fighting to save ours.
  • My personal experiences of the 2017 North Bay Firestorms immediately inspired my professional work with the two hats I wear. One hat I wear is as an art exhibition curator; the other hat I wear is as a California environmental historian, researcher and writer: As a trained historian, I am helping lead an oral history project in my local mountain community about the Mayacamas Volunteer Fire Department. I have interviewed all of the volunteer firefighters in my mountain area about their experiences. I plan to publish that story when we finish the interview project. My work as an art historian and exhibition curator inspired me to create an art exhibition and film screening event to show work by artists who immediately began creating art in response to the fires; 4 of the 11 artists in the show lost everything. We have worked hard to open this show in October for the anniversary of the 2017 fires. We thank Todd Zapolski for his generosity working collectively with us to provide a beautiful and accessible exhibition space in his shopping and dining development in downtown Napa, called First Street Napa. Our Art Responds project also includes an online public exhibition for anyone out there (adults, artists, kids, families) who has images inspired by California fires that you want to share online -- photographs, pictures from your phone, drawings, artwork, any image you can upload will be exhibited online. 
  • CONCLUSION: My experiences from that terrifying night of October 8, 2017 to now a year later, have led me to seek creative ways to channel the grief, terror, sadness and deep empathy that we all feel as we collectively recall, tell and rebuild our stories from the 2017 Fires in California. But this is not only a story for people who lived it in the Wine Country in 2017, but for all people in all places affected by wildfire and firestorm. For me, art is what allows us to begin and continue having the conversations we need to remember, share, heal, rebuild and move forward.
Nov 5, 2018

Michael Long, son of Larry and Linda, and Head Winemaker, Michael graduated Magna Cum Laude from Fresno State University with a Bachelors of Science in Enology.

Michael was just 15 years old when his parents purchased the land that Amador Cellars now sits on.

His love and passion for grape growing and winemaking blossomed as he began to learn more about the process and gained an appreciation for what it takes to make a nice bottle of wine.  

Michael began working in the vineyard as a teenager and gradually became more involved in other aspects of the business, including working side by side with father and winemaker, Larry.  

Michael became the Assistant Winemaker in 2008 and held the position for 5 years prior to taking the reins from his father as Head Winemaker in 2013.  

Michael is also very involved with the grape growing and farming, and you may find him pouring in the tasting room and at events from time to time.

Nov 5, 2018

Sicilia was inspired by a 2005 visit to Italy. Our mission is to provide quality grapes for quality wine making through partnerships with winemakers committed to European wine styles.

We employ the best farming techniques possible in order to produce high quality grapes of the Italian variety to produce high quality wine. We want to utilize the terrior (ie temperature rainfall soil type wind and rain), to develop varietals that may not be immediately recognized by current wine drinkers but wine enthusiasts will be amazed with these varietals once exposed to them.

Nov 5, 2018

Eric Sklar is an entrepreneur, Napa Valley vineyard owner and public official.  He and his family have been growing grapes in Napa Valley for 40 years and he has recently planted his first licensed cannabis garden. Eric is CEO of Napa Valley Fume, LLC, a cannabis management/branding company based in St. Helena, CA. He is also the co-founder and a board member of the Napa Valley Cannabis Association. He is currently a member of the Policy Committee of the California Growers Association and Board Member of Bay Ecotarium (Bay.Org). Eric was appointed to the California Fish and Game Commission in June of 2015 by Governor Jerry Brown and confirmed by the Senate in 2016. He was elected President in 2016 and was re-appointed by Governor Brown to a full six-year term in January 2017.

Wine Access and I mentioned my cannabis client to you - Eaze, they're now operating in Napa and Sonoma so we thought it'd be perfect for your wine country radio show. Interested in having Eaze or their partner Fume (the cannabis company)

Nov 4, 2018

Carmel Mooney, Traveling Corespondent for "The Good Life" Show, talks to Mike about her recent visit to Sorensen's Resort in Hope Valley California... near Lake Tahoe. http://www.sorensensresort.com/

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