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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

8/02 - "The Art of Chocolate" with Kollar Chocolates, V Marketplace, Yountville-Napa Valley

Naomi Pasztor and Chris Kollar

What happens when a Swiss girl meets an American guy? They open a chocolate shop together!

From classic European-style chocolates, to new world flavors, Naomi Pasztor and Chris Kollar have brought a taste of something new to Yountville in the heart of Napa Valley, California. Surrounded by wineries and world-renowned restaurants, a visit to Kollar Chocolates perfectly rounds out the Napa gourmet experience.

Artisan Chocolatier Chris Kollar welcomes customers to watch and learn about quality handmade chocolate through a glass show kitchen, where he produces his small batch confections. On the other side of the glass, Naomi Pasztor manages the front of the shop, offering prepackaged and to-order chocolates, Gelato, and Espresso coffee.

ADF4 Design,, and Baseline Developments came together to create this modern and European-influenced chocolate shop, introducing a refreshingly unique design to the Napa Valley; where industrial meets natural, Kollar Chocolates stands out with extraordinary details and an unforgettable “chocolate bar wall”.

Kollar Chocolates is also an exciting venue for private events and is pleased to feature its chocolates as corporate gifts or as hotel amenities.


Chris Kollar is a chef with a particular passion for chocolate. Trained as a savory chef, Chris is a self-taught chocolatier. His inspiration is European classic chocolate making. He has traveled Europe extensively, particularly Switzerland, France, and Italy to study and learn about classic chocolates, bringing this knowledge back to his own practice.

Chris has worked in kitchens across the country and beyond for the past 19 years, starting in his hometown of Atlanta, then working in South Carolina, Denver, Beaver Creek, the Cayman Islands, and Seattle. In 2001 he settled in the Napa Valley and worked at Domaine Chandon, Tra Vigne, Pinot Blanc, and Go Fish. Most recently, Chris was Executive Chef at Peter Michael Winery in Calistoga, where his passion for chocolate flourished.

V Marketplace - Where Art Meets Lifestyle

Jan Lee Fecther
As Managing General Partner of V Marketplace, Jan Lee Fecther has spearheaded a 20-year effort toward the exciting evolution of this historic Napa Valley property.  Located on the 23-acre Vintage Estate, between Vintage Inn and Villagio Inn & Spa, V Marketplace offers almost every Napa Valley experience in a singular location. Jan’s deep understanding of the market and passion for the project has led to development of such stellar signature experiences as The V Wine Cellar Tasting Bar & Lounge, celebrity Chef Michael Chiarello’s Bottega Napa Valley, and of course, the newest addition, Kollar Chocolates.
Formerly the Groezinger Winery, and once known as "Vintage 1870," the V Marketplace complex was originally built in the year 1870 by German-born vintner Gottlieb Groezinger. One of the largest facilities of its day, the Groezinger Winery and family home occupied more than half of the 23-acre Groezinger Estate. It included a massive brick winery, a brandy distillery, a steam power plant, creamery, brick stables and barns, and a two-story estate mansion to the north of the property. The property was sold by the Groezinger family in 1889, but remained an operating winery under successive owners until 1955.
Hosting a handful of specialty shops and two small cafes, the buildings were reopened in 1968 as the Vintage 1870 specialty shop complex. Over the past 40 years, and under subsequent ownership, the buildings have undergone continuing restoration to carefully blend the character and charm of yesteryear with the richness of the present day.

Since opening in 1968, V Marketplace has distinguished itself as Napa Valley's landmark icon of shopping, entertainment and special events. The center now welcomes over half a million visitors from around the globe through its doors each year.

Jan, Naomi and Chris outside Kollar Chocolates

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