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Sunday, November 22, 2015

12/07/2015 - A Tribute to the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center

Symphony Napa Valley Presents: A Grand Overture - 10th Anniversary Gala

On Saturday, November 21st, Symphony Napa Valley presented “A Grand Overture - 10th Anniversary Gala” led by Maestro Michael Guttman, at the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater. The Gala 10th Anniversary Celebration was a tribute to the dedication of the Friends of the Lincoln Theater. This small group of people raised the money to remodel the Lincoln Theater at the Veteran’s Home and create a world class performing arts center.

The Gala Event is destined to be the most magical night of the season as we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Lincoln Theater’s grand opening. The Symphony Gala will feature soprano, Marnie Breckenridge and tenor Christopher Bengochea. A Grand Overture pays tribute to all of those who built the Lincoln Theater with multiple overtures by Mozart, Verdi, and Bernstein as well as some of Classical Music’s most cherished pieces, such as Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, ‘Brindisi’ from La Traviata, ‘Tonight’ from West Side Story, and more.

In 2005, the Napa Valley community came together to raise funds for a much needed restoration of the Lincoln Theater in Yountville. Several supporters of the theater and the symphony worked tirelessly to raise the $23 million needed to perform structural repairs and modernize the building, which was built in 1957 on the grounds of the Yountville Veterans Home. The Lincoln Theater is now a beautiful, modern building and one of the most sophisticated facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Maestro Guttman

Michael Guttman is an eminent violin soloist, conductor and music director of festivals around the world. At age ten, he became the youngest student ever to be admitted into the Brussels Royal Conservatory of Music. Encouraged by his late mentor Isaac Stern, Guttman studied at the Juilliard School in New York with Dorothy Delay, the Juilliard Quartet and Felix Galimir. Guttman has earned critical acclaim from the New York Times for his “incredible wealth of tone colors and his sound of melting beauty“, and was described by the Jerusalem Post as the “Chagall of violinists“. He has performed in halls such as London’s Barbican Centre, New York’s Avery Fisher Hall, Paris’s Salle Pleyel, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Tokyo’s Bunko Kaikan. He collaborated with the late conductor and composer Lukas Foss at the Music Festival of the Hamptons, a relationship which initiated his conducting career.

Much in demand as a chamber musician, he is regularly invited to perform at festivals by Martha Argerich (Lugano), Yuri Bashmet (Elba), Natalya Gutman (Kreuth), Boris Berezovski (Moscow) or Salvatore Accardo (Vicenza), among others. In the coming season, Guttman is scheduled to premiere the concerto for violin and cello by Philip Glass in the US, Asia and Europe. He will tour the UK with the Brussels Chamber Orchestra and appear with the Dallas Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Hong Kong Philarmonic, the Royal Flanders Philharmonic and will premiere a concerto by Steven Stucky in 2013.

Mr. Guttman is the principal guest conductor of the Brussels Chamber Orchestra, the leader of the acclaimed Arriaga Quartet and of the Michael Guttman Tango Quartet, as well as the founder and artistic director of Pietrasanta in Concerto, the highly praised music festival in Tuscany. The Paris Camerata, an ensemble created by Guttman, will make its Italian debut at both festivals this summer. As a conductor, he has collaborated with such artists as Martha Argerich, Peter Serkin, James Galway and Richard Stolztman. Following his recording of three concertos by Israeli composers with the London Philarmonic and the late David Shallon, Mr. Guttman performed with most Israeli orchestras and will play the concerto by Noam Sheriff with the Israel Philarmonic. Like his mentor Isaac Stern, Guttman is dedicated to helping young artists, notably at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Brussels.



Gina Gallo and Jean-Charles Boisset

She’s a talented winemaker and the face of an American wine dynasty; he’s the scion of a French wine empire.

Gold Level ticket holders will continue the celebration post show at an exciting Gala Dinner hosted by Jean-Charles Boisset and Gina Gallo in the Famed Crystal Cellar at Raymond Vineyards.

The Crystal Cellar is inspired by the traditional candle-lit cellars of France, the inimitable Crystal Cellar boasts stainless steel walls, a mirrored tasting bar and a collection of historical cyrstal decanters from Baccarat. 


Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater is a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary performing arts center built on strong community artistic and philanthropic relationships, impactful arts education programs, and first-class local, national and international entertainment (including a new, scalable symphonic orchestra, Symphony Napa Valley).  Celebrating its first year anniversary, the Performing Arts Center hasemerged as a leading provider of arts education and world-class entertainment in the Napa Valley.

Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater operates under the aegis of Lincoln Theater Foundation, a nonprofit public benefit 501(c)(3) corporation, dedicated to enriching lives by preserving, enhancing and providing access to the performing arts and arts education, to nurturing and developing the artists and audiences of tomorrow by building a sustainable, relevant professional performing arts center where education and community are as important as entertainment, and to being a valued asset to the California Veterans Home and to the Napa Valley community at large.


In addition to bringing world-class entertainment to the Napa Valley, the cornerstones to sustaining a multi-disciplinary performing arts center are innovative and meaningful education programs, original programming and community collaboration and outreach.  In keeping with our promise to the community, we offer a diversified palate of programs and events that educate, entertain, enhance and touch all of our lives.  


ORCHESTRA INSTITUTE NAPA VALLEY innovative and unique performance and professional development programs.

§  The Fellowship Program is a year-round performance, teaching, mentoring, professional-development and community outreach program for exceptional post-graduate musicians for the mutual benefit of the Fellows and the community.

NAPA WRITES – highly acclaimed, innovative in-school, afterschool and summer workshops and seminars aimed at giving young people creative writing options and guidance through the exploration of the written word with the goal of having each child see his or her work come to fruition.

MULTI-DISCIPLINARY WORKSHOPS  – year-round workshops and classes, for students in all levels of artistic development from beginner to professional, in dance, theater, voice and other art disciplines taught by local, national and international experts in their fields.

EARLY CHILDHOOD ARTS INTEGRATION – this soon to be announced project will build a preschool arts integration program that brings together music, movement and storytelling for children 0-5 years old in the Napa Valley.  Our Orchestra Institute Fellows, authors and dancers will work with preschool teachers to create site-specific education programs based on the latest cognitive science.


SYMPHONY NAPA VALLEY  – a full symphonic orchestra and a scalable in-house accompaniment orchestra made up of the best professional musicians in the North Bay area, Orchestra Institute Fellows as well as guest artists and conductors from all over the world. The Symphony offers a breadth and depth of programming that while faithful to tradition will also explore new ground and new ways to enhance the symphonic music experience and make classical music relevant and approachable for today’s audiences.

LIVE IN THE LOBBY – the Lincoln Theater Lobby comes alive each Friday night in the summer with exciting, eclectic performances from every genre imaginable from jazz, pop and classical music to blues and bluegrass.  No cover; no admission charge.

CabFest Napa Valley – CabFest Napa Valley is a unique three day celebration exclusively dedicated to world class Cabernet Sauvignon. Cab is a rich, complex varietal that has been instrumental in the success of the Napa Valley wine industry. March 4-6, 2016 the Lincoln Theater will be transformed into the prime destination for discerning wine enthusiasts. The festival opens on Friday night with a mainstage Mat Kearney concert, followed by a VIP Cigars & Guitars afterparty. Saturday & Sunday pair extensive tastings of first class Cabernet with fine food and engaging symposiums.

Word4Word – May 9 & 10, 2014 an annual two-day celebration of language in all its forms, bringing together the best of local theater, film, multimedia and literary arenas to showcase the work of students and emerging artists and writers. Multi-award-winning John Lithgow will headline the inaugural festival performing his one-man tour-de-force “Stories By Heart,” in which he plays all of the captivating characters, featuring works by PG Wodehouse and Ring Lardner.  Along with the student works, the event will also include lectures, book signings, and author and celebrity performances.

All of our initiatives are strengthened by our Affiliate Alliance, a dynamic network of local arts and education groups working with us to propel the creative and cultural opportunities and access in the Napa Valley to new heights. Tailored to the individual needs of each partnering organization, this unique collaboration harnesses the drive and artistry of Affiliates to do what they do best: create and perform works that enrich us all.  Affiliates are long-term collaborations unique to each Affiliate that go beyond their utilization of our venue.  Co-Presenters (Co-Presenting Affiliates) are philanthropic groups that join forces with us on specific events to raise funds and awareness for their cause as well as ours.  Goodwill Affiliates are schools, churches and small performing arts groups who would otherwise be unable to utilize a professional venue of our size.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

11/30/2015 - A Matter of Taste, San Francisco (2)

Slow Living Radio comes to you from Matter of Taste, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate premier wine event in San Francisco.  We enjoy a conversation with Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW, Editor in Chief, followed by Milan Brajkovich or New Zealand's Kumeu River, and Gavin Speight of Old Bridge Cellars to talk about Greywacke wines.

Matter of Taste is a no-holds-barred walkabout wine tasting experience built around sought-after, iconic wines and the most talented winemakers in the world.

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (, brought its inaugural Matter of Taste tour to San Francisco on Saturday, November 14th at the elegant Palace Hotel, as part of a global series of exclusive events for members and guests.

A no-holds-barred wine tasting experience, Matter of Taste San Francisco is built around 150 of the most iconic Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays of California, Oregon and New Zealand, as well as cult-classic Rhone blends from California’s original Rhone Ranger pioneers. Each featured wine is rated 90+ points by The Wine Advocate and handpicked by Editor in Chief, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, and Reviewer Jeb Dunnuck.

Wine Advocate Editor in Chief
Assigned Regions: Australia and New Zealand

Born and raised in rural Maine, USA, Lisa graduated from Colby College with a degree in English Literature and Performing Arts. Her wine career began by accident when, living as a struggling playwright in London after college, she stumbled into a job as the manager of a wine bar. She progressed through wine sales and marketing roles in the UK wine trade throughout the ‘90s and early noughties before moving to Tokyo in 2002 where she worked as a wine buyer for one of Japan's top fine wine importers and a wine educator at Tokyo's Academie du Vin. In 2008 Lisa began writing a column for Robert Parker's website,, and later that year she achieved her Master of Wine qualification and the Madame Bollinger Medal for excellence in wine tasting. Now living in Singapore, she is the Editor in Chief for Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and and remains the publication's critic for the wines of Australia and New Zealand. Published by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate in 2015, Lisa's first book, Taste Like a Wine Critic: A Guide to Understanding Wine Quality, offers a comprehensive, straight-talking guide to answering the most important question that can be asked about wine: Is it good?

The Brajkovich family and Kumeu River Wines is a story that parallels the New Zealand wine industry.
From the pioneering days to the establishment of the New Zealand wine industry to today, the Brajkovich family have been internationally recognised as producing world class wine. The Brajkovich family continue to harvest their grapes at Kumeu and refine their wine making skills.
The Brajkovichs are nationally recognised as a founding family of the New Zealand wine industry, and the current generation are internationally recognised as producing world class Chardonnay.

Kumeu River has some of the most qualified, experienced, and dedicated staff as a business in this industry.

Milan Brajkovich

Vineyard Director


With a Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering, vineyard director Milan Brajkovich provides the technology at Kumeu River Winery whilst at the same time working with the land in the traditional way; such as hand harvesting, training the vines to grow on lyre trellises (U-shaped frames that expose the grapes to more sunlight), and canopy netting.
As the vineyard’s director, Milan manages a total of 40 hectares, with 10 hectares belonging to the various regional growers that supply Kumeu River.
We have an expert team of hand-pickers who harvest and sort the fruit, so that it arrives at the presses in pristine condition. The grapes are gently whole-bunch pressed to extract the best possible juice, which then goes in French oak barrels for fermentation. We do not add any yeast. We simply rely on the wild yeast strains that are naturally found on the grape berries that come in from the vineyard, which gives us a unique flavour and texture that is truly reflective of each vineyard’s individual terroir.
Variations in taste result from very minor variations in soil.
“We have two vineyards that are practically next door to each other, growing the same grapes in the same conditions, yet their minor soil differences are very obvious in the final product.”
For Milan, creating better wine involves a careful series of minor adjustments and planning as well as respecting that the weather gods will always play a role in the year’s vintage.

Gavin Speight of Old Bridge Cellars,
Importers of Greywacke

Greywacke is the Marlborough label of Kevin Judd, and the fulfilment of a long held dream. The name Greywacke was adopted by Kevin and his wife Kimberley for their first Marlborough vineyard located in Rapaura, named in recognition of the high prevalence of rounded greywacke river stones in the soils of the vineyard. Kevin registered the name back in 1993 with the vague notion that he might one day want to use it on a wine label of his own.

This quality focused winemaking venture sources fruit from mature vineyards within the central Wairau Plains and the Southern Valleys. These prime viticultural sites are cultivated using yield restricting vineyard management techniques and intense canopy management regimes. A number of the vineyards are owned by the Sutherland family, while complementary grape parcels are acquired from additional select sites, all located within these sub-regions.  The wines are made by Kevin at Dog Point Winery in the lower Brancott Valley, a facility extended to him by long-standing friends and industry colleagues, Ivan Sutherland and James Healy.

The Greywacke portfolio is primarily based on two varieties, sauvignon blanc and pinot noir, the sauvignon blanc being produced in two distinctly different styles. In addition to this core range

of three wines, there are also limited edition releases of chardonnay, and three aromatic varieties – pinot gris, riesling and gewurztraminer. Kevin’s signature vineyard photographs provide the unmistakable identity of the Greywacke range.

11/23/2015 - A Matter of Taste, San Francisco

Slow Living Radio comes to you from Matter of Taste, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate premier wine event in San Francisco.  We enjoy a conversation with Reviewer and Rhone Specialist, Jeb Dunnuck, followed by Ben Coles of Man O' War Vineyards on New Zealand's Waihaki island, Andy Smith of DuMol Winery and Joe Nielsen of Donelan Wines, both in the Russian River, California. But first, we welcome Kimberly Charles, Founder of Charles Communications Associates, and the organizers of the event.

Matter of Taste is a no-holds-barred walkabout wine tasting experience built around sought-after, iconic wines and the most talented winemakers in the world.

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (, brought its inaugural Matter of Taste tour to San Francisco on Saturday, November 14th at the elegant Palace Hotel, as part of a global series of exclusive events for members and guests.

A no-holds-barred wine tasting experience, Matter of Taste San Francisco is built around 150 of the most iconic Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays of California, Oregon and New Zealand, as well as cult-classic Rhone blends from California’s original Rhone Ranger pioneers. Each featured wine is rated 90+ points by The Wine Advocate and handpicked by Editor in Chief, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, and Reviewer Jeb Dunnuck.

Reviewer Jeb Dunnuck
Base: Colorado, USA
Assigned Regions: Rhone, Provence, Languedoc-Roussillon, Washingon State and Central California
An aerospace engineer by training, Jeb Dunnuck grew up on a farm in rural Indiana where whole milk was the beverage of choice and wine was hard to come by. It wasn't until 1996, when living abroad and traveling through Europe, that he became interested in fine wine.
Moving to upstate New York in 1999 to work for Lockheed Martin, and later to Colorado in 2001 to work for Ball Aerospace, he traveled extensively throughout the wine regions of Europe and the United States, where he quickly developed a passion for the wines of the Rhône valley and the Rhone Ranger Movement in California and Washington. To gain a better understanding of the business side of the wine industry, he took a temporary wine retail position in 2006.
Jeb launched the "The Rhône Report" publication and website in 2008 and began releasing a quarterly newsletter reviewing Rhône variety wines from around the world. Completely independent and including coverage on wines from France, Spain, Australia, and both California and Washington in the United States, the publication continued to gain in popularity and subscribers, and by 2013, was read in over 24 counties and seen as one of the leading authorities on Rhône variety wines.

Andy Smith, DuMol Wines, Sonoma County

Joe Nielsen

Joe Nielsen got his start in winemaking not in the California fields or a university greenhouse, but in the backyard of his parent’s Michigan home. A young entrant into college, Joe was studying pre-med at Michigan State when a friend suggested he consider a future in winemaking. After pouring over English-translated books on French viticulture, the 18-year-old cleared an acre of his parent’s backyard and set to work planting his own vineyard.
Never looking back, Joe completed the Michigan State winemaking program at an accelerated rate and received a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture, after which he spent a year with a Michigan winery before pursuing his winemaking dreams in California. As a self-proclaimed “cellar rat,”” Joe spent the next few years learning every aspect of the winemaking business with a Napa Valley producer before joining Donelan Winemaker Tyler Thomas in 2009 to hone his craft with terroir-driven wines.
At Donelan Family Wines, you’ll find Joe with his hands in all aspect of the winemaking process, from analyzing wine samples in the lab to managing the racking and bottling of the cellar. Abandoning traditional recipes and relying on the unique characteristics of the fruit, he explores the inimitable combinations created through the interaction of vine and Sonoma County’s unique environment.
Joe’s inherent desire for hands-on learning keeps him involved in local wine tasting groups and keeps his passport full of stamps from some of the world’s best wine regions. He lives in Sonoma Valley with his wife and spends his free time staying active outdoors and entertaining his passion for gardening.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

11/18/2015 - Austria: A Story of Great Wine and Travel

This week, Slow Living Radio takes off to Austria to learn more about the lifestyle, culture, history, places to visit, food and wine, particularly Grüner Veltliner .  We check in the Peter Katz, of the Austrian Tourist Office for the low down, before welcoming Dieter Hübler, from Laurenz V, one of Austria's most acclaimed Gruner Veltliner producers.

Dieter Hübler

In 2004, Laurenz Maria Moser V., descendant of the famous Austrian Lenz Moser wine family dedicated himself wholly to Grüner Veltliner with the support of two partners by presenting his first Grüner.

Today in 2014, ten years later, seven examples are made each year:
Forbidden – Sunny – Singing – Friendly – Silver Bullet – Charming Grüner – Four

 Laurenz Maria's partner, Franz Schweiger, a trained accountant and economics expert takes responsibility for the financial end of things while Dieter Hübler takes care of marketing and distribution and Laurenz Maria concentrates on the vineyard and vinification.

The enthusiasm for Grüner Veltliner and the knowledge and experience in winemaking for more than 400 years resulted in a new international style of Grüner Veltliner: subtle spice, elegant acidity, vibrant and playful on the palate and flattering on the finish.

Laurenz Maria Moser V. inherited his knowledge from his grandfather, the legendary "Grandpa Grüner", Professor Dr. Lorenz Moser III., who invented and developed the ubiquitous Austrian trellising system called the "Lenz Moser Hocherziehung", which revolutionized vineyard cultivation right across Europe.

His advice to his grandson was: "Concentrate on the important tasks in life and do them well. The art of good Grüner Veltliner is to cultivate perfect grapes and simply not ruin them in the cellar!"

LAURENZ V. exports to 45 countries around the world and one can enjoy CharmingSilver Bullet and Friendly, Singing and Sunny Grüner, as well as  the fruity Forbidden and the icon Grüner Four from Los Angeles to London, Dublin to Dubai, Sydney to Shanghai and New York to Oslo to name just a few.


Dieter on the left, with the Moser's from left, Laurenz Maria Moser V,
and his daughters, Sophie and Anna.

Austria: A Singular Journey, A Lifetime of Memories

Interview with Peter Katz 
Anyone traveling to Austria for the first time will benefit from a general overview of Austrian customs. Austria has been a premier tourism country for many decades, and navigating the country is easy. But like any foreign country, there are local customs that are useful to be aware of.

Gemütlichkeit: Austria has similarities with Germany, to its north, and Italy, to its south. Austrians have in common with Germans a love of order and efficiency, but they share with Italians a profound interest in the pleasures of the senses. Austrians are orderly and respect the importance of rules, but above all they seek to enjoy life, whether that means art, coffee, relaxation, opera, pastries, wine, or sports. Enjoying life at an unhurried pace is the essence of Gemütlichkeit.


Authenticity: Another important aspect of Austria is authenticity, both historical and geographical. History covers so much; after all, where in the world is there not history? Perhaps the proper term is really continuity. In Austria, connections to the past are everywhere, whether it is the many impressive palaces in the city or the dozens of astonishing castles and abbeys in the countryside. Additionally, virtually every Austrian village has an authentic town center and cobblestones and charming, narrow paths and lanes. Just outside of the villages, the unspoilt mountains, rivers, lakes, prairies, marshes, and valleys communicate the Austrians' deep connection to and respect for the land. Traditions die hard here; the past is part of the present.

The combination of pleasure, culture, modernity, authenticity, and Gemütlichkeit has made Austria such a beloved destination throughout the years.


DINING: For many Austrians, lunch is the primary meal of the day, especially in the countryside. On weekends and holidays, Austrians often gather for coffee (Kaffee) in the late afternoon. Often it is accompanied by a generous selection of fresh pastries. This is an occasion for pleasant chat and companionship - it may last several hours. It is an important social custom, in its way.

Since lunch is substantial, Austrians are often content with cold cuts for dinner; if you meet up with friends in the evening, you may find that a modest plate of cheese and bread is the only food anyone orders. (If you are counting your pennies, you can always dash outside for a quick snack at a Würstelstand (sausage stand) - Austrians will find that strategy perfectly sensible.)

There is no such thing as a diner in Austria, but fortunately there is the Beisl, an equally charming institution that provides excellent, simple fare at very reasonable prices. Look for the Tagesmenü (prix fixe meal) posted on the sidewalk out front for excellent values. Also, budget-conscious travelers should know that the delicatessen sections in all supermarkets can prepare delicious sandwiches at low cost.

LEISURE: Austrians draw a sharp distinction between work and play. When the workday is over, then thoughts of work are banished as well - it is time for the evening's pleasure, time to enjoy life with culture or cuisine or conviviality. The hectic person who lets work concerns invade the evenings and weekends will not meet with great approval. It is considered healthy and proper to limit work to its own sphere, to live life with a sense of proportion, and to enjoy the time away from the workplace. (For the same reason, most Austrians are guaranteed generous vacation time.)

Because they set aside time for personal enjoyment, Austrians love to linger. There is nothing more pleasant than an evening gathering in a restaurant with friends, over wine and cheese, that stretches to midnight or beyond.  By the same token, you will hardly ever feel pressure from the waitstaff in a café or restaurant to make room for another patron. In a café, when you receive your coffee, it arrives on a diminutive silver platter also bearing a small glass of water with a spoon draped over it - that glass of water symbolizes your right to keep your seat without ordering further coffees. You can refill the glass endlessly….

This is the essence of Gemütlichkeit - a complex and deeply felt concept that cannot be limited to mere "coziness." It denotes an atmosphere that incorporates relaxation, conviviality, and freedom from a stressful lifestyle. Because Austrian restaurants are genuinely gemütlich and affordable, Austrians prefer to gather in public settings rather than the home. In Austria, this is generally reserved for family and close friends.

ALCOHOL: Austrians generally favor wine over beer and spirits (although an evening of companionship may end with a round of schnapps or grappa). Most Austrians drink white wine (Grüner Veltliner) diluted with seltzer water (ein G'spritzter, a white wine spritzer). Austria also produces excellent red wines, for instance Blaufränkisch. Austrian beers are not well-known abroad, but Austria produces many fine lagers, many of which are produced locally.


Monday, November 9, 2015

11/09/2015 - Wine for Good

Explore Boutique Sonoma County Wineries on the V2V Wine Safari

This November, Global Partners for Development will host its first annual V2V Wine Safari, in which ticket holders will gain access to free tastings at eight boutique Sonoma County wineries that are helping to “turn wine into water” for children in Africa. Through Vineyards to Villages (V2V), the Sonoma County wine industry raises funds for clean water projects at elementary schools in western Kenya. Participating wineries donate 1/3 of the sales price of designated V2V wines in their tasting rooms to the cause.
Safari tickets are $40 and can be purchased at The tickets provide a free tasting at each of the following wineries from November 14-22: Christopher Creek Winery, Deux Amis Winery, Esterlina Vineyards & Winery, Fritz Underground Winery, Merriam Vineyards, Pedroncelli Winery, Viszlay Vineyards, and the Windsor Tasting Lounge.

Access to potable water and hygiene facilities remains a key public health issue around the globe. Waterborne disease is rampant in western Kenya and causes chronic illness and death, especially among young children. In 2013, only half of Kenyans had access to a clean water source. In 2011, the World Health Organization attributed global economic losses of $260 billion to the reduced productivity of disease-affected populations and the opportunity costs of time spent collecting water.

The V2V program funds clean water infrastructure, sanitation facilities, hygiene education, and community water kiosks at village primary schools in western Kenya. Each school forms a water committee to manage the projects and provide sustainability over time. V2V has raised more than $70,000 in its first 18 months and has brought clean water to thousands of children and their families.

When families are freed from the burdens of waterborne disease, they have the opportunity to commit their time and energy toward educational and entrepreneurial activities and contribute to the development of their own communities.
V2V is managed by Global Partners for Development, a Rohnert Park-based organization that seeks to address community-level needs in the areas of health, water, and education in East Africa. 

For more information on the V2V Wine Safari, contact Amy Holter, Director of Programs and Evaluation for Global Partners at    


Amy Holter
Global Partners

Amy Holter is the Director of Programs and Evaluation and has worked for Global Partners since November 2013. Amy brings expertise in monitoring and evaluation of international projects and experience working for both local and international education nonprofits. Amy holds a B.A. in Journalism and Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.A. in International Development from American University. Her interest in global service grew during her time working and volunteering in South Africa and Latin America

Dave Stare
Founder, Dry Creek Vineyards

David Stare - Dave has been a board member for Global Partners since 2009. David is the founder and board chair of Dry Creek Vineyards. After a successful 35 years in the wine business, Dave pursues the arts, travels, and serves on several community Boards.

The history of Dry Creek Vineyard is a long and colorful one. Founded in 1972 by David S. Stare, Dry Creek Vineyard paved the way for a renaissance of winemaking and viticulture in the Dry Creek Valley. Before his arrival, the Dry Creek Valley was little more than a few family farms and prune orchards. It was Dave’s vision to start a Loire Valley inspired winery, which triggered a viticultural reawakening in northern Sonoma County.

Without a doubt, David Stare is a pioneer. Heading west in the late 1960s, he personified the character and work ethic of early Gold Rush pioneers. Educated at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dave worked for the B&O Railroad for several years but quickly realized that his true calling was in the wine industry. Inspired by his trips to the Loire Valley, he headed west to California to start his own family winery.

Upon his arrival, Dave began taking winemaking classes at UC Davis as a graduate student. On the weekends, he spent time looking at vineyard land from Monterey to Mendocino. It was during one of those weekend trips that fate drew Dave to the Dry Creek Valley. When he saw an old prune orchard across the street from the Dry Creek General Store, Dave realized that he had found his dream location. He purchased the orchard and began planting vines. Captivated by his memories of Loire-style wines, Sauvignon Blanc seemed destined to figure prominently in the Dry Creek Vineyard portfolio. However, several famed vineyard specialists advised him against planting Sauvignon Blanc. Always looking to push the envelope, Dave planted the varietal anyway and the rest is history.

Clay B. Fritz
Fritz Underground Winery

 Clayton B. Fritz is the President of Fritz Cellars. A San Francisco native, he is the son of winery founder Jay Arthur Fritz and grew up playing in the vineyards and woods surrounding the winery. After graduating from the College of the Holy Cross, he spent several years working at start-ups and making wine during the summer. Eventually his love of wine took over and he came back to work harvest at Fritz and never left. 

At Fritz he has focused on expanding the offerings they produce at their unique subterranean facility, while maintaining a viticultural passion for sustainability, quality, and tradition. Clay is a board member of the Wine Growers of Dry Creek Valley and a board member of the Sonoma County Vintners Cooperative. 

Clay is married to Natalia Valpredo and they have three children: Buchannon, Bianca and Leonardo.

 Fritz Underground Winery is unlike any place you've ever visited. A visionary wonder built ahead of its time by namesake Mr. Jay Arthur Fritz in the late 1970's, this monumental Gaudi style masterpiece represents a viticultural passion for sustainability, quality, and tradition. Today, Jay's son Clayton runs the winery with the same dedication and enthusiasm to these core values.
Built into the side of a picturesque hill atop the northernmost region of the famed Dry Creek Valley, the Fritz Winery operates with a modern sensibility for efficiency and awareness by utilizing the unique attributes of its subterranean design. Naturally cool temperatures, ideal for wine making and cellaring, are maintained without any use of expensive or carbon-heavy devices common to most modern wine production. What's more, as a three-tiered structure, we're able to further cut down on energy usage by capitalizing on the always plentiful presence of gravity. By harnessing gravity to move our juice from the crush pad down to the tanks and barrels, we're not only saving energy by forgoing pumps, we're also saving our precious juice from the detrimental effects of excessive pulsation and buffeting. It's in this way that the delicate nuances present in our Pinot Noir and other prized Estate fruit is maintained and the nurtured by our winemaker Brad Longton.
Quality Starts with Terroir
Jay Fritz's vision for a winery grounded in responsible stewardship is what has allowed the quality of the natural bounty of our 120+ Estate to thrive over the past thirty years. With a natural spring to supply simple irrigation, redwood groves to provide unique micro-climates, and a soil ideal for prized planting year after year, the Fritz terroir provides for a caliber of wine unrivaled.
A Timeless Perspective
It was Jay Fritz's fidelity to sustainability and quality that ultimately made the Fritz Winery what it is today. The company's seamless respect for the vineyards, and the traditions of artisan, hand-crafted wine making continue today as both a testament to the founding and commitment to the future. Today, Clayton Fritz and the rest of the Fritz Winery Family work tirelessly to invigorate the traditions of old with the passion of the future. The results speak for themselves; we invite you to join us in enjoying the bounty of Fritz Underground Winery.