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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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/
History of Missouri Wine
The Senate Bill
History of St. James Winery
The Future at St. James Winery
Cynthiana (aka Norton): the official grape of the State of Missouri and is considered the cornerstone of the Missouri wine industry. A fruity and complex, full-bodied dry red wine with flavors of red stone fruit, raspberries
and blackberries. Smooth tannins and a terrific texture make it a perfect partner with barbecue or aromatic cheeses.
With a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis, in political science, six years as the director of government relations with the nation’s second-largest student loan provider, and as a member of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s senior staff and advisory team, Gorman spent almost 20 years honing his prowess as a government relations professional and political strategist before pursuing his love of the grape.
Raised in Lodi in the ’80s, Gorman was not completely unfamiliar with life in a wine region, but he didn’t start to find his passion for it until the mid-2000s when a co-worker introduced him to the wineries of the California foothills. At the same time, Lodi was experiencing its own wine revolution, and weekends often found him wine tasting in Lodi and across California. Gorman says that as his appointment with the Schwarzenegger administration was coming to an end, he was becoming increasingly disillusioned with the country’s leaders in Washington, D.C., and he found his focus was shifting. Though he’d grown up around vineyards, he hadn’t really known or cared much about wine until he started hearing stories about the people who made it.
“All of my extra time was being spent on wine,” he says. “I was really excited about California wines.”
In 2012, Gorman and his then-fiancé (now husband) Kyle Peppers moved to Maryland so Peppers could attend graduate school. Unenthused about the potential professional options for Gorman in D.C., the couple agreed it was time for Gorman to follow his new passion for wine full time, starting with a $10-per-hour job at a wine retail shop, so he could start learning everything he could about the industry from the ground up.
“It wasn’t exactly a midlife crisis,” Gorman says with a wry smile, “but I did make a total career change in my 40s.”
One of the two brands of Amador County-made wines represented at the wine shop where he worked in Baltimore was Scott Harvey Wines. So when a tasting room manager position opened up at the actual winery in 2014, Gorman knew it was his opportunity to officially get his foot in the door of the California wine industry. Out of more than 90 applicants, Gorman was selected for the position and almost overnight became an Amador County resident.
“The plan was for it to be a stepping stone to Napa or Sonoma,” Gorman says. “Bay Area was the goal.”
After only a few short weeks, though, Amador began to work its magic on the couple, especially Gorman.
“I didn’t just get excited about the wine,” he says. “I got excited about the people and the passion that drives this small community.”
Diane Lang has dedicated her career to helping people turn their lives around and is now on a mission to help them develop a sustainable positive attitude that can actually turn one into an optimist, literally. A therapist and educator/coach of Positive Psychology, she has seen that it can provide a strong foundation for finding great happiness and is gratified that it is becoming a mainstream method of treatment.
A parent herself, Lang has taught Positive Parenting to parents and written extensively on the benefits of using it with even the youngest children. She has also spoken or conducted seminars on postpartum depression, striving for balance versus having it all and practical tips on interviewing, networking and dressing for success and is the author of “Baby Steps: the Path from Motherhood to Career.”
Diane is a Therapist and Life coach in NJ. Her clinical experience includes treating patients with different forms of mental illness, physical and emotional abuse and relationship issues. Lang is also an Adjunct in Psychology at Montclair State University, her college work includes mentoring students for individual career counseling and personal issue advisement.
As an expert in her fields of therapy, Lang has been featured in the Daily Record, Family Circle, Family Magazine, Working Mother Magazine and Cookie Magazine, seen on NJ 12 TV, Good day CT, CBS TV, Style CT, The Veira network and the national television program “Fox & Friends”. She has also participated in a reality based Internet show, ourprisoner.com, hosted Generation X-tinet and appeared in various educational videos including Columbia books.
Lang has an M.A. in Counseling and a B.A. in Liberal Arts from the New York Institute of Technology. Diane has her Positive Psychology coaching certificate from Wholebeing Institute. Diane’s latest book is: Creating balance & finding happiness.
Chris Specialises in FAST THERAPY a unique blend of therapy for Phobia Removal, Decreasing Fear and Anxiety and Boosting Self Esteem and Confidence.
Over the past 10 years, Chris has built up a reputation as a highly motivational coach, helping clients to overcome their fears and to achieve their goals. Chris creates individual client focus sessions and works with clients from all walks of life from Company Directors to Parents and Teenagers.
Chris created Fast Therapy. He have took the best from a range of therapy disciplines including NLP, Hypnotherapy, Solution Focus, Positive Psychology and Life Coaching and made it relevant to overcoming Phobias and Fears, Increasing Confidence and Reducing Anxiety.
The days of having hundreds of hours of therapy to overcome one issues are gone. Behavioral Neuroscience Studies and advancements in therapy disciplines have empowered Fast Therapy Therapist, to get quick long-lasting results.
Are you ready to overcome your issue? How does your current situation make you feel? What part of your life is really frustrating you? Are you determined to make a change?
If yes, then Fast Therapy is for you.
Kalā Wines is a Certified Craft Winery in Sonoma County, California and owners Santosh and Cynthia Alexander have a specific mission: to produce wines that pair well with diverse world cuisines. Ultimately, they want to bring more people together around the dinner table to share stories, talk philosophy, and focus on the important things in life. “We need to foster real human connections and conviviality in our increasingly virtual social environment by re-emphasizing the age-old tradition of friends and family gathering around food and drink”, says Santosh.
Kalā was inspired by a passion for the vast cultural diversity of cuisines around the globe, and the desire to create wines that pay tribute to them. There’s a reason we’ve named ourselves after the ancient Sanskrit word for art. Just as “Kalā” is a primal term for the craft of expression, Kalā Wines is dedicated to the purest possible expression of the grape.
Santosh developed his winemaking philosophy while traveling the globe working in tech. Along the way, he met winemakers who loved to sit down, discuss wines, and get to know you. He met chefs who wanted to introduce themselves to you and learn about your mood and what your favorite flavors are before cooking a meal for you. In these situations, it wasn’t all about business. It was about finding a way to connect as humans and share experiences. As a result, Kalā Wines tries to capture the feeling and soulfulness of great winemaking for its customers. It only produces around 350 cases of wine a year, including a rosé, a malbec, a merlot, an old-vine grenache, and an old-vine zinfandel. In 2018, Santosh will also make an old-vine carignane and pinot noir. Every wine comes from a single vineyard, and Santosh says it’s all about sourcing grapes from really special, sustainably farmed, small, family-owned vineyards. Craft wines from craft vineyards.
Ron Williams, a veteran of the Walla Walla tourism, arts, and wine industries, has been hired as the new Executive Director of Visit Walla Walla. “Ron’s broad-based experience with the key industries that drive tourism in Walla Walla made him a natural fit to take the reigns of Visit Walla Walla.
Since 2013, he has served as the Executive Director of Shakespeare Walla Walla. As Executive Director, he helped create the successful Dia de Los Muertos street festival, forged partnerships with a wide range of local and regional arts organizations, and oversaw explosive growth in the performing arts organization. Williams has also acted as the Managing Director of the Gesa Power House Theatre in Walla Walla, which hosts theater, music, dance, public and private events, meetings, parties, weddings, and festivals.
A proven collaborator, Williams has been involved in various projects with the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation, and throughout the education community.
“Walla Walla has done an extraordinary job in building its brand and growing into a world-class travel destination, and I believe my background will help build on that momentum,” Williams said. “I am thrilled to take this next step, and I look forward to continuing the great work Visit Walla Walla has done in promoting this region.”
A Theater Arts graduate of Occidental College in Los Angeles, Williams started his career in the film industry as a project manager and executive producer. Williams replaces Ron Peck, who served as Executive Director for Visit Walla Walla for more than three years.
Danni Lin (B.S., M.S.), CEO of GREAT WINE, Inc., would like to share her entrepreneurial journey. Under her leadership, GREAT WINE now has an online store, and understands that technology does not only make a product; it also creates an environment in which symbiotic parts of the wine world will thrive together to create higher product demand and supply.
Besides adopting groundbreaking technology in winemaking, GREAT WINE also collaborates with myVinotype – a smart wine recommendation platform for wine-related businesses and connoisseurs to learn more about clients’ wine preferences.
Launched in 2011, myVinotype first started as a website widget and a consumer survey. By 2016, the platform has launched an iOS app, and has become available in eight languages worldwide. All these features are supported by data analytics in order to be more client-oriented.
GREAT WINE is a huge success in the USA. In 2016, GREAT WINE opened its first tasting room in the Seattle Metro Area to offer wine tasting and vinotyping experiences to clients. It is ready to accept future challenges it may encounter during the expansion phase.
Our CEO Danni Lin is devoted to inspire more clients to engage in the global cultural exchanges of wine, with the opening of the first international satellite tasting room in China in September 2017.
Before becoming the CEO of GREAT WINE, Lin was a Data Scientist at Microsoft. Like many, Lin had experiences of going into a supermarket, and got lost in massive product lists and ads. She thought her likes and dislikes were related to how knowledgeable she was in wine – until she had a conversation with Tim Hanni.
Hanni is one of the first Americans to become Master of Wine, and introduced Lin to the scientific concept of “vinotype,” i.e. wine preferences and sensory abilities of people. Lin then transformed from a wine novice to a wine educator who encouraged consumers to speak their mind – what they really enjoy drinking and experiencing.
In 2016, GREAT WINE opened its first tasting room in the Seattle Metro Area to offer wine tasting and vinotyping experiences to clients. Lin did not let tasting and learning end in a brick-and-mortar store; she started a wine club for her clients so they can enjoy “vinotyped” selection of wines at home.
Rod Keeling and Jan Schaefer of Keeling Schaefer Vineyards in Pearce, AZ. Keeling Schaefer Vineyards is located on Rock Creek at the base of the Chiricahua Mountains at about 5000 ft. elevation, about a 45-minute drive from downtown Willcox in southeastern Arizona. They are proving to be key players in the Arizona wine industry in their relatively short time on the playing field. Their wines have been received with both national recognition and local praise. Rod has also been an influential factor in the industry through his actions as the President of the Arizona Wine Growers Association, heading into his third term. Having been instrumental in changing the wine laws which allow the smaller boutique wineries to have more control to self distribute and consequentially reach higher profits, Rod has seen the intense growth in the industry that such legislation has helped to provide.
Rod and Jan have harnessed their unique and individual abilities to create really great wine. In talking with the team, it’s clear that the success of their wines is due to the marriage of their strengths. As Rod explains it, he does most of the physical work, while Jan stays integral to the wine-making through her natural palate. “She’s got a palate that’s much better than mine. I can tell certain things about the wine. I can detect the flaws. I can tell whether it’s good or bad. But I can’t [pick up] the details she can.” Rod credits the blending as the step that takes the wine to the next level, making a good wine great. Humbly, he basically says he’s the physical labor and the chemist. His contribution is in growing the grapes, doing the crush and assisting the mechanical operations. He says, “I think a good wine-maker has to be a good wine drinker,” and although he likes wine and accredits basic tasting skills to himself, he doesn’t have the natural innate palate that he adoringly attributes to Jan. Not to say that the lines never cross, both partners are involved throughout the process, but Rod’s passion is the numbers and Jan’s talents are a key factor to the finish of the wine. It’s obvious that they’ve transcended their romantic love to the love of wine-making.
It all began for Rod when he fortuitously tasted a glass of wine with a friend at PF Chang’s in 1994. At that time in Arizona there were few wine bars, no real wine scene and even finding quality wines by the glass was difficult. His friend, Roger Egan, had worked in California through the 1970’s, during the initial boom of the California wine industry, where he had met Mike Grgich. Knowing that Grgich had produced fine wine he recommended that Rod splurge for the $9 glass of the Grgich Hills Zinfandel. Rod was blown away. “Oh my God! I didn’t know wine could taste like that . . . [it was] a big blockbuster Zin!” That’s when he said to himself that he had to figure this out. How could wine taste like that and how could he learn to produce it? Previously, he felt that if he was going to drink wine it would be inexpensive because it was “just OK”. White wine was fine because it was refreshing. But red wine, nothing had ever tasted like that glass of Zinfandel before. “But that got me going because I thought I could make it myself. I’ve got to try making this!” . . . plus he sheepishly admits that he really didn’t want the pay the $9 per glass.
Our “little” company was incorporated under the laws of the State of California on October 15, 1991 by its principal founder Troy Paski. Having gained experience in satellite operations, and software debugging/development, the company was originally conceived with the intent of providing engineering services to the defense industry.
Troy Paski and the longest-tenured craft brewery owner in the Sacramento area, if he comes off as a little jaded when you ask him about hot new brewery in town or the latest double IPA with mango, grapefruit and pineapple.
However, as an avid home brewer since receiving a brewing “kit” for Christmas in 1991, and having a passion for truly great beer, Troy soon realized a much more lucrative growth opportunity emerging in the craft-brewing industry, and helped pursued the company to pursue that avenue for growth instead.On a cold wintry evening while sampling a very nice blueberry ale from Marin Brewing Company in November 1993, it was officially decided to focus the company’s energy on commercially marketing our company’s new flagship product, which up until then had been T.ROY’s (nickname for Troy) home-brew specialty.
It took us six months of intensive labor finding the right investors, suppliers, and everything else, before we were able to get our flagship product on the market.In an attempt to carve out a niche in the growing microbrewery market, we decided to distinguish ourselves from the competition by providing the consumer with an easily identifiable package that was unlike anything previously seen in the industry (e.g., product separation…), along with a traditional style of beer (India Pale Ale – IPA) that had not been readily available to consumers for quite some time. We believe this style of beer tends to attract those consumers who are currently drinking hand-crafted pale ales, and who are looking for a more fuller-bodied “more mouth feel” type of beer to drink. This train of thought has proven to be an asset to our company, and has been clearly evident from the enthusiasm generated by consumers over our company’s flagship product!!!
Will Clark readily admits that his passion in life is California Foothill wines. He retired from investment banking in the early 1990’s, and with wife Jeanne, opened up his shop at 200 Main Street in Downieville. Jeanne runs the antiques and collectibles shop next door.
“We came here to do what we really wanted to do,” said Will. “People don’t expect us to be here. But really, Downieville is the first town north of Nevada City where you can find good food, lodging – and major historical lore about the area.” It all comes together in a mountain setting at the confluence of two rivers, with an enormous amount of Gold Country history. Will boasts a stock of around 50 wines. Here are some of my favorites from the tasting:
2006 Hatcher Cabernet Sauvignon, Sierra Foothills. Will believes this is his current best value in a Cabernet Sauvignon. The Hatcher winery is located in Murphys, Calaveras County, and they source most of their fruit from vineyards near Angels Camp. The fruit for this wine was sourced from the vineyard of Lori Kautz. Winemaker Matthew Hatcher has crafted this wine to have aromas of tropical fruit, volcanic minerality, anise and other exotic spices. Flavor is lush and ripe with flavors of melon, ginger, and spice, ending in a clean finish. Enjoy with spicy Asian foods, BBQ, lamb. 14.6% alcohol. $17.50/bottle at 49 Wines.
I was studying abroad, seated at a tiny café in Puebla, Mexico, when a cup of coffee changed my life. Time briefly slowed as I took in the richly layered taste of that cup, observing the energy, community and vivid conversation, all centered around a common love of coffee. At that moment, I realized that in some way, coffee would be an important part of my future.
From here, I journeyed to the plazas of southern Spain, where I became a student of café culture, in preparation for bringing the authentic experience to America. By 1997 I was the owner of a café in the U.S. The coffee I was sourcing from a regional roaster was the best to be found, but I knew I could do better. By the following year, I had purchased a coffee roaster and my first bag of unroasted green coffee beans, embarking on a lifelong quest. In the 17 years since, I have traveled across countries and continents in search of the most extraordinary coffees, innovative producers and complex flavors.
What began as an attempt to satisfy my own desire for superior coffee, soon became a mission to share the ultimate coffee experience, as I realized other sophisticated coffee lovers were seeking the same qualities I had discovered. With Demours, I am exploring cultures and expanding palates, focusing all my efforts on delivering to every person who tastes a cup of Café Privé Sélect their own life-changing coffee moment.
Jennifer A. Stone, founder of Demours Café Privé Sélect, is a Licensed Quality Grader by the Coffee Quality Institute as well as an internationally recognized coffee cupper and judge for the Cup of Excellence.
Andrew is the co-founder of Flytrippers. He is passionate about traveling the world but also, as a former management consultant, about the travel industry itself. An aviation lover, he aims to try as many different airlines as possible on his way to visiting every country in the world (current count: 34/193 Countries, 45/50 US States & 8/10 Canadian Provinces).
Flytrippers is an informative website that curates the best flight deals available everyday leaving from your city. We do all the research for you, so you no longer have to visit multiple websites and can now find all deals in one place. We make it easy for you to see all available dates for each deal and give you a direct link to book at the best price. In addition to these deals, we also offer many resources and share our expertise about ultra low-cost airlines so you can save on your next trips and more importantly, so you can travel more often!
When a young Jon McDaniel began his studies in politics and corporate law, his goal was "to take over the world, in a good way," he jokes. During a brief stint at a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C., McDaniel realized the cutthroat political arena wasn't his scene. So when one of the firm's clients, a wine retailer, offered him a job, he dropped everything and reset his course.
In the dozen years since, McDaniel has tried his hand at almost every role in the industry, working in retail, export, distribution and even winemaking. In 2010, after beverage consulting for the World Cup in South Africa, he finally figured out where he fit most comfortably into the wine world: restaurants. McDaniel joined the team at Los Olivos Wine Merchant and Café in Santa Barbara, Calif., then was lured to the Midwest to work as manager and sommelier for the Purple Pig in Chicago.
Now 34 ("going on 85," he quips), McDaniel is the corporate beverage director for the newly renamed Gage Hospitality Group, which includes five Chicago-area restaurants: Acanto, the Gage, Beacon Tavern, Coda di Volpe and the Dawson. He also finds time to teach hospitality classes and make wine under his own label. Editorial assistant Lexi Williams caught up with McDaniel to check on his progress toward (wine) world domination.