Paul Franson's


The insider's guide for those who live in Napa Valley –

or wish they did.

Aug. 24, 2015

This is the web portal to NapaLife, which is emailed each Monday to subscribers. It's usually 12 to 18 pages or more of scoops, news and events happening in Napa Valley.

Go to TravelTastes for wine, food and travel writing outside Napa Valley by Paul Franson.

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 The inside guide to Napa Valley

Published each Monday in Napa Valley

Learn what's new in Napa Valley in NapaLife

NapaLife is the insider's guide to Napa Valley; this is only a taste of the whole newsletter. The weekly newsletter is published by insider Paul Franson.

This week in NapaLife

See for future events.

St. Supéry Muscat brandy

New company produces family shows

Silverado Market and Bakery

Sunday supper at Lucy

Gordon comes through

Cairdean hires Marquez

Belly dancers in Napa?

ABC photos of Cheryl Ann Shanks

Buses are back

News for the wine community

Another region steals a local idea

WSET course in Napa Valley

Fall wine seminars and programs

Heirloom expo features Biodynamics

This week in Napa Valley

Community notes quake anniversary

Tribute to George Starke

UC recruiting master gardeners

This week at Cameo Cinema:

French regional dinner

Napa Tuesday Farmers’ Market

Seminar on reducing quake damage

To Catch a Thief

Wine courses and boot camps

An afternoon in Tuscany

Uproot wine dinner at JoLe

Music this week at Uva Trattoria

Music this week at Silo’s

Music at River Terrace Inn

Uncorked Comedy at City Winery

Three Twins 10th anniversary

DiveBar at Bardessono

St. Helena Farmers’ Market

Piedmontese Wines at Back Room

Dinner music in City Winery

Mustards Farm Harvest

Johnny Cash tribute at City Winery

Guess the Grape at Back Room

Dinner with Schramsberg and Davies

Tomatoville at Bardessono

Napa Saturday Farmers’ Market

Preserving food at home

Yoga + Bubbles

Sterling: more than magic

Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon release

L’Elisir d’Amore at Jarvis

Rodney Carrington at the Uptown

Lydia Pense at City Winery

Dinner music with Mads Tolling

St. Helena tomato festival

Brothers Comatose at Long Meadow

Compadres summer music series

Rockapella at City Winery

Future events

Hospice gala

Second chance for pets auction

Down The Garden Path Tour

Tables in the Vineyards

View a sample of NapaLife.

NapaLife runs 12 to 20 pages each week including a list of almost everything happening in Napa Valley in the next two weeks. It is e-mailed each Monday and an online version is also available. It costs only $1 per week, $50 per year.


Publisher and Editor: Paul Franson
(707) 258-0159

Great souces for information about Napa Valley

Paul Franson writes about Napa Valley

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NapaLife blog

For a free guide to public relations for wineries, retailers or non-profit events, email


NapaLife is published 50 times a year. The individual subscription rate is $50 per year for email delivery. The corporate rate for up to 15 users is $100, for more than 15 is $200.

Publisher and Editor: Paul Franson

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© 2015 by Paul Franson.

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Future events

Mont La Salle scholarship benefit wine

The Lasallian Christian Brothers Foundation will present a sociable afternoon in the courtyard at Mont La Salle featuring wine tastings of several vintages, and a barrel-tasting of the newly-released 2013 Brother Timothy Mont La Salle Vineyard Cabernet on Saturday, Sept. 12 from 1 to 2 p.m.

Guests will be able to taste and buy 2009, 2010 and 2012 vintages while enjoying appetizers created by the order’s CIA-trained chef.

Brother Timothy Diener (1910-2004) was a renowned winemaker who worked under the Christian Brothers brand to produce wines for the benefit of students attending Lasallian Christian Brothers schools.

Brother Timothy’s legacy lives on in the Cabernet Sauvignon vintages produced in his honor by Hess Collection Winery and donated to the Lasallian Christian Brothers Foundation.

These wines are only available there and all proceeds from wine sales fund scholarships for low-income students to attend Christian Brothers schools in the western region.

Buy the wine online from Sept. 12 to 26 only at

It's by invitation only. Call  252-3710 or email to receive an invitation.

Mont La Salle is at 4401 Redwood Road next to the Hess Collection.

Bale Grist Mill dinner benefit

The Napa Valley State Park Association will hold its annual candlelit dinner at the historic Bale Grist Mill on 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12.

It includes a reception featuring American whiskeys and a farm-to-table dinner prepared with locally grown and raised food paired with valley wines.

Tickets are $125 at event/1761420.

The mill is at 3369 St. Helena Highway north of St. Helena.

The Great Mexican-American Grape Stomp

Indulge yourself in the wines from 15 Mexican-American vintners at the Great Mexican-American Grape Stomp on Saturday, Aug. 15 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Mi Sueño Winery.

Treat yourself to wonderful wine, fabulous food pairings, live mariachi music, grape stomp and silent auction lots filled with limited production wines and winery experiences.

Proceeds benefit the Mexican-American Vintners Association scholarship fund.

Special advance tickets are $75. Advance tickets are $100. Tickets at the door will be $125. Visit or call 266-1296 to buy tickets.

Mi Sueño Winery is at 910 Enterprise Way, Napa.

Hospice gala

Napa Valley Hospice & Adult Day Services will hold their ninth annual gala and auction at Napa Valley Reserve on Sept. 11.

This year’s theme is “Reflect & Rejoice.”

It will be a memorable evening of wine, food, and entertainment, with auction items that create unique experiences and warm memories long after the event is over.

Get more information at or 258-9084.

reThink Food at the CIA

reThink Food at the CIA Nov. 6-8 will feature entrepreneurs, scientists, chefs and business and foodservice leaders for presentations, tastings and insights into the future of food.

The conference presented by The Culinary Institute of America and the MIT Media Lab calls on visionary chefs, growers, entrepreneurs and innovators to prepare for the future of food and the intersection of technology, behavior and design.

Get more information at

Melissa Etheridge stars at Music Festival for Brain Health

The 21st Annual Music Festival for Brain Health will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19 at Staglin Family Vineyard.

This year’s festival features two-time Grammy and Oscar winner Melissa Etheridge.

Celebrating over two decades of research funding, the Music Festival for Brain Health is one of America’s most important fund-raising events focusing on brain disorders, with an historical total raised surpassing $220 million including leveraged grants from U.S. government agencies and private organizations,.

The Music Festival for Brain Health benefits One Mind Institute and One Mind, each partnering to support research, education, treatment, and to fight the stigma surrounding brain disorders.

The Festival kicks off with the scientific symposium featuring keynote speaker Geoffrey T. Manley, MD, PhD, Chief of Neurosurgery at San Francisco General Hospital and Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of California San Francisco. Dr. Manley will speak on Healing the Injured Brain: A Team Science Approach to an Old Problem.

Eric J. Nestler, M.D., Ph.D., the Nash Family Professor of Neuroscience, Chairman of the Department of Neuroscience and Director of the Friedman Brain Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York will moderate the symposium, which will also feature the 2015 Rising Star scientists, along with Dr. Carrie Bearden, Ph.D., Professor in the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, who will speak on Conquering Psychiatric Disease through Collaborative Science and provide an update on her research on understanding neurobiological risk factors for the development of psychosis.

The symposium is followed by a cult wine tasting paired with hors d’oeuvres prepared by Chef Sean O’Toole of Torc Restaurant in Napa.

The day continues with an intimate concert performance Melissa Etheridge.

Immediately following the concert, enjoy an exclusive Napa Valley feast under the stars at the VIP post-concert dinner created by Top Chef Chef Hubert Keller of Fleur Las Vegas paired with Staglin Family Vineyard wines.

Early bird festival passes prior to Aug. 1 begin at $750. Festival passes will be $1,000 beginning Aug. 1.

Buy passes at

Admission to the symposium only is free with prior registration. Proceeds benefit mental health research projects throughout the nation.

For more information, telephone Cindy Dyar at 963-4038, email or visit

Dinner at Connolly Ranch

Dine under the stars at Connolly Ranch on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 5 p.m. Enjoy an evening of farm-to-table food, live music and live and silent auctions during Dinner at the Ranch.

Tickets are $150 at with proceeds benefitting free and subsidized farm experiences for more than 5,000 schoolchildren each year at Connolly Ranch.

Connolly Ranch is at 3141 Browns Valley Rd., Napa.

Molly’s Angels Golf

Molly’s Angels 11th annual golf outing will be Wednesday, Sept. 30 at Chardonnay Golf Club.

It is presented by Compadres and Ca’Momi Winery and hosted by Giants alumni Vida Blue and Rich Murray.

For more information, call 224-8971 or visit

You can also pick up registration materials at Compadres Rio Grille.

Music in Napa Valley

See for details on future events

City Winery at the Napa Valley Opera House

  • Aug. 25 NVOH Present's Tuesday Night Flicks: Hitchcock's To Catch A Thief
  • Aug 29 Lydia Pense & Cold Blood with special guest Rick Stevens
  • Aug 30 Rockapella
  • Aug 31 KT Tunstall
  • Sep 1 KT Tunstall
  • Sep 5 Super Diamond
  • Sept 12 Marcia Ball
  • Sep 15 The Doors' legendary Guitarist Robby Krieger and his band Jam Kitchen
  • Sep 16 Graham Parker
  • Sept. 17 Donavan Frankenreiter, Peter Harper
  • Sep 18 John McCauley of Deer Tick
  • Sept. 20 NVOH and Lucky Penny presents: “I’m the Greatest future Star Musical Theatre Competition for Kids
  • Sept 22 Marc Broussard
  • Sept 23 Justin Hayward, Mike Dawes
  • Sep 26 Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin with The Guilty Ones
  • Sep 27 Little Hurricane
  • Oct 4 NVOH Presents: Mark Hummel, Anson Funderburgh and Little Charlie Baty with Golden State-Lone Star Revue
  • Oct. 18 A Special Solo Evening with Joan Armatrading, Matt Bednarsk
  • Oct 19 Dick Dale
  • Oct 24 Heartless Bastards, Slothrust
  • Oct. 25 NVOH and Terry Bradford present Terry Bradford's Voice Studio Concert
  • Nov 18 Squeeze (acoustic set)-An Evening with Difford & Tilbrook
  • Nov 19 Squeeze (acoustic set)-An Evening with Difford & Tilbrook
  • Nov 21 Janeanne Garofalo
Most events start at 8 p.m.
Buy concert tickets or get information on a becoming a member at 260-1600 or
Uptown Theatre
Aug 29 - Rodney Carrington
Sept 11 - Eddie Izzard Sold Out!
Sept 18 - G. Love & Special Sauce with The Iron Heart
Sept 19 - Steven Wright
Sept 27 - Mavis Staples & Joan Osborne
Oct 1 - Boz Scaggs - Almost Sold Out
Oct 2 - Boz Scaggs
Oct 3 - Get the Led Out
Oct 9 - Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood
Oct 10 - Chris Botti
Oct 16 - Tommy Castro & The Painkillers with Mark Karan
Oct 23 - New Show Announced Soon!
Oct 30 - Dave Davies of the Kinks
Nov 1 - George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic
Nov 4 - Jonny Lang with Runaway Saints
Nov 11-15 Napa Valley Film Festival
Nov 14 - Comedian Kathleen Madigan
Nov 25 - An Irish Christmas Production
Dec 3 - The Adam Carolla Show
Jan 16 - Comedian Kathy Griffin
Feb 19 - NEW SHOW Announced Soon!
May 5  - Author David Sedaris

Most shows are at 8 p.m. The Uptown Theatre is at 1350 Third St. in Napa. The box office phone is 259-0123 x 6 and website is 
Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theate
  • California Symphony Presents: Traditions New and Old December 21, 5pm 
  • California Symphony Presents: A Grand Finale May 6, 2016
Get information and tickets at or 944-9900.
Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center

Visit, or or call 256-7500.
Lucky Penny Community Arts Center
Lucky Penny productions also appear at other venues including have its ongoing Sunday series at the Napa Valley Opera House once a month.
  • Sept. 18 - Oct. 4 The Secret Garden 
  • Oct. 16 - 25 Gruesome Playground Injuries
  • Nov. 6 - 22 Beyond Therapy
  • Dec. 4 - 20 The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical
  • Jan. 29 – Feb. 14 In Love With the 8 X 10: Ten Minute Play Festival
  • April 15 - May 1 Andrews Brothers By Roger Bean
  • May 13 - 29 I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
  • Revenge Of The Space Pandas (or Binky Rudich and the Two Speed Clock ) Youth Academy Summer 2016 Production

Priest Ranch Winery in Yountville

Thursday Night Live 6 to 9 p.m.

  • Sept. 3, Sean Carscadden Trio
  • Sept. 17, The J Silverheels Band
Summer concerts at Jamieson Ranch Winery
Jamieson Ranch Winery’s summer concert series returns this year with an interesting variety of acts. Most are free, but some require tickets.
  • Sept. 5 – Charlie Wade, 1-4 p.m.      
  • Sept. 15 – Big Blu Soul, 1-4 p.m.      
  • Sept. 19 – Loose Blues, 1-4 p.m.
  Get details at
Long Meadow Ranch summer concert series
  • Aug. 30 West Coast favorites and high-energy string band The Brothers Comatose along with North Lake Tahoe’s Dead Winter Carpenters   
  • Sept. 20 bluegrass The Infamous Stringdusters    
  • Oct. 4 LMR All-Star Big Band, a 20-player big band drawn from an internationally accomplished group of musicians that has played jazz across the world benefiting the Timothy Hall Foundation. 
Tickets are mostly $35 in advance. For tickets and more information, visit or call 963-4555.
Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch is at 738 Main St. in St. Helena.
Compadres' Sunday Summer Music Series 
Compadres' Sunday Summer Music Series are held each week on the deck from 4-7 p.m. each Sunday.
  • Aug. 30 - Double Shot: more local favorites - old school classic and country rock!

Compadres Rio Grille is at 505 Lincoln Ave. in Napa, Call 253-1111.

Napa City Nights

Napa City Nights, a free summer concert series at Veterans Memorial Park, is held each Friday night with a lineup  that includes three local bands, with music running from 6:30 to 10 p.m.

Bring a blanket and a picnic, and enjoy the shows.

This summer's lineup:

  • Aug. 28: The Used Blues Band, Girls & Boys, Dawn Rose
  • Sept. 4: Brad Wilson, Funk Pickles, Doug House

Sebastiani summer music series

Sebastiani Vineyards features music from 6 to 9 p.m. every Friday through Sept. 25.

They’ll also have food and wine for sale and the last Friday of the month is Food Truck Friday in the parking lot with Pagan Pizza, Tips Trips & Tri-Tip, Caribbean Spices, Got Ball Meatball Factory, Marks the Spot and Seed on the Go.

Here’s the schedule (subject to change):        

  • Aug. 28: Ten Foot Tone – Food Truck Friday.     
  • Sept. 4: Poyntlyss Sistars – Playing Rock, R&B, Motown, and Pop through the decades.
  • Sept. 11: Sugar Foot – High-caliber R&B, Rock, Funk, Dance, & Groove music.      
  • Sept. 18: BackTrax – Dance the night away to all your favorite covers from the 60’s to the 90’s.     
  • Sept. 25: The Rolling Blackouts – One of Sebastopol’s finest bands playing Classic R&B. Food Truck Friday 
Reservations are not required for these events and there’s no cost to attend.
Sebastiani Vineyards is at 389 Fourth St. East in Sonoma.

Books by Paul Franson

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The NapaLife Insider's Guide to Napa Valley – 2015 Edition

By Paul Franson

The NapaLife Insider's Guide to Napa Valley tells the stories behind the valley and its people, and learn everything from the best views in Napa Valley to why Napa Valley is the unique place it is.

Print copy $19.99

Kindle version $9.99

Spinning the Bottle Again

By Paul Franson and Harvey Posert

Spinning the Bottle Again contains strategies, tactics and case studies of wine public relations. It’s a heavily updated and revised version of the seminal book on wine public relations Spinning the Bottle.

Spinning the Bottle Again is a collection of theory, practical information and case studies about promoting wine, wineries and wine-related issues.

Print version is $19.95 from Createspace, part of Amazon, at

Kindle version from $9.99.

Escapes to Paradise: Adventures and Misadventures in the Romantic   Caribbean Sea

by Paul Franson

You may dream of buying a boat in the tropics, but you’d do well to read this book before you do.

Author and sailor Paul Franson has had some of the best times in his life on the varied islands of the West Indies, but he’s also had some experiences that he can be philosophical about only decades later.

The book also includes tales of other sailing adventures, a guide to sailing some popular islands, and a cookbook of Caribbean recipes.

Print version $9.99

Kindle version $4.99 from

You can also contact Paul Franson to find out how to buy copies locally or pdf versions for use on computers and tablets.