Collage of images in a film strip

From Hollywood to Vine with Vineyard {511}
Adventures in Wine, Food, Film and Travel


Irene Ojdana
February 28, 2013 | Irene Ojdana

Tour of UC Davis Jackson Sustainable Winery Building and the Teaching and Research Winery

After another of Ed's board meetings, this time with the Executive Leadership Board of the Department of Viticulture and  Enology at UC Davis, we donned hard hats and green florescent vests for a private tour of the soon-to-be completed Jackson Sustainable Winery building, which will enable the adjacent winery, brewery, and food processing complex to become the first self-sustainable, zero -carbon teaching and research facility in the world. The $4 million building, slated for a grand opening May 29 of this year, was made possible by a $3 million pledge by the late Jess Jackson and his wife, Barbara Banke, proprietor of Jackson Family Wines.

We also got another look at UC Davis's two- year old Robert Mondavi Institute Teaching and Research Winery, designed to serve as a test bed for production processes and techniques that conserve water, energy and other vital resources. The 34,000-square-foot-facility received official LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification--the highest environmental rating awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The photo provided here shows the world's first wireless fermentation system, thanks to a $3.5 million network designed, built and donated to the university by the president and CEO of Silicon Valley-based Cypress Semiconductor Corp., T.J. Rodgers, who is also a wine lover and winery owner. Amazingly, the 152 fermentation tanks are wrapped in rubber, inspired by wet suits!

Time Posted: Feb 28, 2013 at 4:55 PM Permalink to Tour of UC Davis Jackson Sustainable Winery Building and the Teaching and Research Winery Permalink
Irene Ojdana
February 27, 2013 | Irene Ojdana

Napa Valley Film Festival Board Meeting and Cole's Chop House

After Ed's attendance at an executive board meeting of the Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF), where the board discussed the budget for 2013 and plans for the upcoming NVFF to be held Novemeber 6-10, 2013, Ed and I stopped by Cole's Chop House, in Napa, to give Wine Director Jim Gallagher a tasting of our Vineyard {511} '09 cab. He liked it! What's not to like?!?

Time Posted: Feb 27, 2013 at 4:40 PM Permalink to Napa Valley Film Festival Board Meeting and Cole's Chop House Permalink
Irene Ojdana
February 24, 2013 | Irene Ojdana

Eighth Street Wineries Open House and Alpha Omega Barbeque

Yesterday, we ventured out of Napa Valley to Sonoma for the Eighth Street Wineries Association Open House with my brother and sister-in-law Herb and Rita Silverman, who were visiting from Southern California. At this annual event, we explored ten neighbor wineries,  which included MacRostie and Patz&Hall, and enjoyed their new and current releases, barrel samples and library wines, paired with exceptional gourmet fare.

Next,  we wound our way back to Napa Valley and the gorgeous Alpha Omega winery, where owners Michelle Fields Blaggett and Robin Blaggett treated guests to an evening of mouth- watering smoked meats, created by Robin Blagett, pizzas by Tra Vigne, and lively foot-stomping music.

Time Posted: Feb 24, 2013 at 4:31 PM Permalink to Eighth Street Wineries Open House and Alpha Omega Barbeque Permalink
Irene Ojdana
February 23, 2013 | Irene Ojdana

Wine Tastings Up and Down Napa Valley


Last night, Ed and I attended two terrific receptions at the beautiful Silverado and Raymond Vineyards, as up and down Napa Valley wineries were hosting tastings for the wine buyers and media folks attending the 17th annual Premiere Napa Valley (a wine futures auction that raised $3.04 million for the Napa Valley Vintners' Association programs.)

At Silverado, one of the media members we talked with was Jay Spaleta, Associate Publisher at Wine Enthusiast, to whom we promised a tasting of our own Vineyard {511} Cabernet Sauvignon when he returns to Napa Valley next time with his wife. We ate some fabulous sliders, topped with caramelized onions, while gazing at the wonderful view  overlooking the vineyard; and afterward, in the barrel room, we were treated to tastings of various wineries, including Alpha Omega, Frank Family and Rombauer.

We chatted with Frank Family winery owner Rich Frank, not only about his wines, but also about his successful TV shows, Royal Pains and The Americans, for which he is the executive producer. We also chatted about our small world that his kids and my nephew, Geoff Silverman, manager of T.V.writers, went to high school together.

And then, while tasting some delicious Rombauer Chardonnay, Rombauer owner K.R.Rombauer reminisced with us about the not too distant past when Rob Lloyd, our current winemaker, was the Rombauer winemaker. Another six degrees of separation!

Later that evening, we made our way to Raymond Vineyards, where masked owner Jean-Claude Boisset, looking very mysterious and debonair, welcomed us to his "Napa" Gras celebration, where we all donned colorful feathered masks.

Feted with abundant shrimp, sushi and oyster buffets, we were entranced by scantily-attired dancers hanging from the rafters of the fermentation cellar. We topped off the evening tasting the terrific soon-to-be-released Raymond Masquerade Cabernet Sauvignon in the plush and sexy red velvet room.

Time Posted: Feb 23, 2013 at 4:15 PM Permalink to Wine Tastings Up and Down Napa Valley Permalink
Irene Ojdana
February 19, 2013 | Irene Ojdana

Culinary Institute of America's Induction into its Vintners' Hall of Fame

Last night, Ed and I attended the Culinary Institute of America's (CIA's) annual induction into its Vintners' Hall of Fame, at Greystone, in St. Helena. This year's inductees were labor leader Cesar Chavez and wine writer Frank Schoonmaker, both posthumously, winemaking pioneer Meridith (Merry) Edwards, and Wine Advocate founder Robert Parker. As it turned out, Merry Edwards was the only recipient to attend, as Robert Parker unfortunately sustained a back injury and was unable to attend; he did, however, accept the honor via a video presentation.  Needless to say, the food and wine before and after the awards ceremony, were yummy.


Time Posted: Feb 19, 2013 at 3:31 PM Permalink to Culinary Institute of America's Induction into its Vintners' Hall of Fame Permalink
Irene Ojdana
February 15, 2013 | Irene Ojdana

Hollywood to Vine

Welcome to our blog!

The purpose of our blog is to keep you informed about the status of Vineyard {511} wines, vineyard, and winery activities. We also want to share information with you  about special events in and around Napa Valley, as well as about our interest in independent film and travels, especially to wineries worldwide. Unless otherwise indicated, all events mentioned in this blog take place in Napa Valley.

We plan to update the blog at least weekly, if not before, so stay tuned!

Time Posted: Feb 15, 2013 at 2:40 PM Permalink to Hollywood to Vine Permalink