Paul Franson's


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

or wish they did.

Sept. 1, 2014

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.

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


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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

Businesses that are closed

Ceja leaving downtown Napa

New chef at 1313 Main

Vintners give $10 M to quake relief

Scott Lyall donating to quake relief

Fish Story fetes heirloom tomatoes

Compadres summer music extended

Help the Cameo

This week in Napa Valley

This week at the Cameo Cinema:

Napa Tuesday Farmers Market

Dog Bar: Sit. Stay. Drink.

Patrick Sweany at City Winery

Stevenson's Treasure talk and signing

Music around the valley

Priest Ranch Coachgun release dinner

The Great Grape Study of Grenache

St. Helena Farmers’ Market

Bottle Shock at Jamieson Ranch

Napa Nights with D-Lo at City Winery

Tomatoville at Bardessono

Loire Valley tasting at Back Room

The Princess Bride at Cosentino

Gala for Napa Valley Hospice

Napa Saturday Farmers Market

Tasting wine: The Classic Grapes

Mt. Veeder Appellation Tasting

A tribute to Kerry Manahan Ehlow

Tango in Napa Valley

Fork it Over and After at Oxbow

Hands Across the Valley

Bale Grist Mill Harvest Dinner

Harvest of Hope

Greg Johnson at Silo’s

Sean Hayes at City Winery

Marriage of Food and Wine at the CIA

Judd's Hill’s 25th anniversary party

Tamir Hendelman Trio at Silo’s

Future events

What’s up with that rind?

The Trip to Italy with meal at Cameo

Escapes to Paradise

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.


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


List of downtown Napa stores and restaurants open

Craig Smith of the Downtown Merchants Association kindly sent this updates on what’s open in downtown Napa. It may not be complete but should be useful.

All businesses east of Soscol are open except La Toque, which suffered water damage and will open Friday. La Toque and Bank should open Friday.

Everything in the Oxbow, Riverfront and Hatt Buildings are open.

As of today, these restaurants are closed: Bank Café, Bounty Hunter, Carpe Diem, La Toque, Molinari, Napkins,  Ristorante Allegria and Sushi Mambo.

Escapes to Paradise

As I’ve told friends tales of my wonderfully disastrous life aboard a sailboat in the Caribbean, they always say, “You should write a book!”

I finally did. More precisely, I’ve combined the story of that adventure with other tales from my time in the Caribbean aboard larger sailing ships and more.

I’ve also thrown in a collection of my favorite Caribbean recipes.  Here’s my pitch:

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

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

Author and sailor Paul Franson loves the romantic islands of the Caribbean Sea, but it’s not clear that those islands love him. He’s 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.

Formerly a writer and marketer in Silicon Valley, Franson now lives in Napa Valley, where he writes about wine, food, travel and the Wine County lifestyle — and occasionally more far-reaching subjects.

He’s been to about two dozen different Caribbean islands, and still wants to visit more — but not on his own sailboat.

The 170-page book also contains tales of sailing trips and other visits to other islands, information about some popular sailing destinations and a collection of recipes from the Caribbean.

Order a print version for $9.99 at

You can also buy it from Amazon, which owns Createspace, but I get a smaller commission from Amazon.

And note that while the name may not seem original if you search, the “s” is.

The Kindle version is $4.99 at

You can buy copies from me while I arrange some retail outlets. Email

New edition of Insider's Guide available

Though it's only been a year and a half, it was time to bring the NapaLife Insider's Guide to Napa Valley bring it up to date.

I've made hundreds of changes to add and delete restaurants and other venues, and correct errors.

The price dropped, too: It's now only $19.99. You can buy it at Createspace, part of Amazon, or at Amazon, but I get a better deal at Createspace. The Kindle version is $9.99 at

It will soon be available at local outlets.

The current version is 99 percent correct, of course, and I have a limited number of copies available for $10 including sales tax and shipping (perhaps delivery locally!) Visit special offer.

It's a great gift for friends, colleagues and visitors. If you want a bunch, as some realtors have found, it's an even better deal. They give it to newcomers to the valley. Email

 Music in Napa Valley

See for details on future events

Future concerts and plays

City Winery

Upcoming shows at City Winery

  • Patrick Sweany Sept. 3
  • Sean Hayes Sept. 6
  • NVOH presents George Komsky Sept. 7
  • Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars Sept. 8
  • Poppin Productions Presents Napa Nights featuring D-Lo  Sept. 9
  • Rock Cinema Series at City Winery: Searching for Sugar Man Sept. 10
  • Allen Stone with Romeo Testa Sept. 12
  • Macy Gray Sept. 18
  • Glen Phillips Sept. 19
  • NVOH and Lucky Penny’s “I’m the Greatest Future Star” Musical Theatre Competition for Kids Sept. 21
  • Glen Phillips Sept. 19
  • Chuck Ragan Solo Acoustic Sept. 20
  • NVOH and Lucky Penny presents: “I’m the Greatest FUTURE Star Musical Theatre Competition for Kids” Sept. 21
  • NVOH presents Beoga Sept. 23
  • Steve Nieve Plays Elvis Costello with Tall Ulysse Sept. 24
  • David Grisman Sept. 25
  • Justin Nozuka Sept. 26
  • Carlene Carter Sept. 27
  • Raul Midon with Gabby Moreno Sept. 29
  • NVOH presents Sunset Boulevard Sept. 30
  • Robert Earl Keen Octg. 1
  • Leo Kottke Oct. 2
  • Ralph Stanley and The Clinch Mountain Boys Oct. 3
  • Gary Wright Oct. 4
  • Justin Townes Earle Oct. 5
  • Jason Isbell with Amanda Shires Oct. 6
  • The Lone Bellow with Hugh Bob & The Hustle Oct. 7
  • Carbon Leaf Oct. 8
  • Storm Lange Oct. 9
  • Tom Rush Oct. 10
  • NVOH presents Will Durst from LSD to OMG! Oct. 14
  • Suzy Bogguss  Oct. 17
  • Loudon Wainwright III Oct. 18
  • NVOH and Lucky Penny present The Dynamic Duet! Oct. 19
  • Leon Russell Oct. 23
  • NVOH presents Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings Oct. 24
  • Iris Dement Oct. 25
  • NVOH presents Perla Batalla Oct. 26
  • NVOH presents Wait Until Dark Oct. 28
  • Tinariwen Oct. 29
  • Ramey Winemaker Dinner Nov. 1
  • NVOH presents Makana Nov. 2
  • Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors “Good Light Goes West” Nov. 6
  • Rhett Miller Nov. /7
  • Marcia Ball Nov. 8
  • NVOH presents Mariachi Divas Nov. 9
  • The Psychedelic Furs and Lemonheads Nov. 11
  • Sinead O’Connor — I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss Nov. 20 and 21
  • NVOH presents White Christmas Nov. 25
  • Judy Collins Dec. 4A John Waters Christmas
  • Dec. 6 at 8 and 10 p.m.
  • NVOH presents An Irish Christmas Dec. 9
  • Mike Birbiglia Thank God for Jokes. Dec. 12
  • NVOH and Lucky Penny present The return of “ChrismaCabaretNukkah! Dec. 14
  • NVOH presents Hapa March 8
  • NVOH presents Altan March 24

Most  events  start at 8 p.m.

Buy concert tickets or get information on a becoming a member at 260-1600 or

Uptown Theatre Lineup

Here’s the upcoming schedule at Uptown Theatre:

  • Oct. 11 Dark Star Orchestra
  • Oct. 12 Katchafire with Jordan T
  • Oct. 25 Lee Ann Womack
  • Nov. 9 Ziggy Marley
  • Nov. 13 Napa Film Festival Gala
  • Nov. 14 An evening with David Sedaris
  • Nov. 15 Napa Film Festival Gala

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

  • Mindful Celebration...A Day of Awareness in Napa Valley Oct. 4  9:30 a.m.
  • Fiestas Navideñas Dec. 6  7 p.m. Napa
  • Amadeus Film and Merry Mozart Celebration Dec. 13  6 p.m.
  • Sir Neville Marriner and Dmitry Sitkovetsky with Symphony Napa Valley Dec. 14  3 p.m.
  • Cirque Ziva Jan. 18  3 p.m.
  • Valentine's Day Swing Dance Celebration Feb. 14  6 p.m.
  • Peter Coyote and Dmitry Sitkovetsky with Symphony Napa Valley March 29  3 p.m.

Get information and tickets at or 944-9900.

Napa Valley College Performing Arts

See and or call 256-7500.

White Barn 2014 schedule

The popular April Sunday Salons will be held at 3 p.m. with tickets to each performance at $30 to benefit Rianda House.

  • Sept. 6: Tom Montgomery and Montango outdoor concert. Tangos from Argentina, tango dancers. A benefit for Connolly Ranch.
  • Oct. 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26: Broadway Musical. Friday and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets $35 to benefit the White Barn children’s programs.
  • Nov. 9: The Heath Family Saga, a one-man show with Michael Waterson. The Heath Family lived in a Victorian home on the property. The carriage house (the White Barn) housed their carriages and horses. 3 p.m. Tickets are $30 and benefit the St. Helena Historical Society.

For more information or tickets, see or call 251-8715.

The White Barn is at 2727 Sulphur Springs Ave. in St. Helena.

Long Meadow Ranch Summer Concert Series

  • Sept. 14 - The Mother Hips

Get details and tickets at

Compadres summer music series

The Compadres summer music series has been extended through September. It's every Sunday on gthe deck

Here is the schedule for August:

  • Sept. 7 - The Nite Lites
  • Sept.14 - Davies-Dukes
  • Sept.21 - Doubleshot
  • Sept. 28 - The Greg Richmond Band with Ed Early

Jessup Cellars “Art House Sessions” musical series

All on Saturdays:

  • Sept. 13 Chris Laterzo

Call (888) 537-7879 or email
Jessup Cellars is at 6740 Washington St. in Yountville.

Music on the Promenade at Beringer

Saturday 12 to 5 p.m. through October

  • Sept. 6 Steel Jam
  • Sept. 7 Jazz Mirage
  • Sept. 14 Trio Solea
  • Sept. 21 Jazz Mirage
  • Sept. 27 Steel Jam
  • Sept. 28 Sweet Burgundy
  • Oct. 4 Steel Jam
  • Oct. 5 Jazz Mirage
  • Oct. 18 Jazz Mirage
  • Oct. 25 Steel Jam

Napa River Inn Sunday Summer Series
On the patio. Music starts at 4 p.m. with no cover charge.
  • Sept. 7 Alvon Johnson
  • Sept. 21 Darrell Edward Heavy Weather Band
  • Sept. 28 David Landon

NapaLife Insider's Guide to Napa Valley

The following locations carry copies of the NapaLife Insider's Guide to Napa Valley:

  • Amelia’s Gifts at Napa River Inn

  • Back Room Wines

  • Black Stallion Winery

  • Bookmine

  • Copperfield’s Book

  • Fish Story

  • Grand Hand Gallery

  • Hagafen Winery

  • Hess Collection

  • Jarvis Winery

  • La Residence Inn

  • Milliken Creek Inn

  • Napa General Store

  • Silverado Vineyards

  • Tourist Information Center

  • Trefethen Vineyard

  • Visit Napa Valley Welcome Center

  • West End Napa

  • Wine Train Depot

  •  NapaStyle

  •  Villagio Inn at Vintage Estates
  •  Yountville Welcome Center

Rutherford and Oakville

  • Auberge du Soleil

  • Alpha Omega Winery

  • Franciscan Winery

  • Nichelini Winery

  • Peju Provence

  • Raymond Vineyard

  • Robert Mondavi Winery

  • Rutherford Grove Winery
  • St. Supéry Vineyard

  • Swanson Vineyards

St. Helena
  •  Domaine Charbay Winery
  •  Charles Krug Winery
  •  Spice Islands Marketplace at the
     Culinary Institute of America
  •  Harvest Inn
  •  Meadowood Resort
  •  Napa Valley Olive Oil Co.
  •  St. Helena Visitors’ Center
  •  Sutter Home Winery
  •  V. Sattui Winery
  • Calistoga Vistor Center
  • Copperfield's Books

You can also order a print copy for $24.99 from Amazon's CreateSpace or Kindle version for $9.99. Buy a pdf at


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Spinning the Bottle Again updates seminal how-to book on wine public relations  

Paul Franson and Harvey Posert have introduced Spinning the Bottle Again:  More strategies, tactics and case studies of wine public relations, a heavily updated and revised version of the seminal how-to 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.

In all, almost 50 experts tell how tell how to conduct effective public relations campaigns with examples of their programs what they accomplished.

The studies were collected by PR experts Harvey Posert and Paul Franson, who both live in Napa Valley. Each also contributed chapters to the mix.

Posert was the long-time head of public relations for renowned Robert Mondavi Winery as well as the Wine Institute. He also worked in general public relations and spent time as a daily newspaper reporter.

Franson has extensive experience in corporate and agency public relations as well as business reporting and editing. He founded one of Silicon Valley’s largest public relations firms. For the last 16 years, he has specializing in writing about wine and related subjects.

The book is must reading for anyone involved in managing a winery or marketing wine. It's relevant to the student of wine and marketing, the seasoned exec or owner, and a source of ideas for PR pros.

Both print and electronic versions are available.

The print version is $19.95 from Createspace, part of Amazon, at

The Kindle version is $9.99 from

A pdf version is $9.99 at

The original Spinning the Bottle is available for $20.

Visit for more information or contact Paul Franson at or 258-0159.