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


Irene Ojdana
October 15, 2016 | Irene Ojdana

Vineyard {511} 2016 Harvest Party

As the leaves were slowly changing from green to orange in Napa Valley, our good friends gathered in our outdoor entertainment area Sunday to celebrate our 2016 Harvest and to toast the release of our new and delicious Vineyard {511} 2015 Carneros Chardonnay. It was such a hit, we couldn't pour enough of it! It will be available to our wine club members and at wine dinners.

Vineyard {511} Harvest Party 2016

In addition to the newly-released Chardonnay and our award-winning 2012 Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon, we also poured a pre-release of our 2013. We were lucky to have our winemaker Rob Lloyd and his wife Bonnie in attendance. Rob remarked how great the 2013 was tasting, which he hadn't sampled for awhile. Unfortunately, he had to leave early to get back Jessup Cellars to press our grapes, but which is also very fortunate for us as he uses a truly unique process for it.

The Chardonnay paired nicely with our appetizers, which included deviled eggs with crispy prosciutto and asparagus wrapped with fra mani ham, and the Cabernet Sauvignon paired wonderfully with the whole roasted pig, slow roasted marinated chicken thighs and yummy desserts of Chocolate It's It ice cream bars and strawberries and cream.

For entertainment, Tim Ryan, national sportscaster for CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox, talked baseball and football, as well as his new book, On Someone Else's Nickel: A Life in Television, Sports, and Travel. And to top it all off, we raffled off two magnums of our Vineyard {511} 2013 Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon. The lucky winners were our designer Christian McDaniel and good tennis buddy Martha Bothwell.

We are looking forward to another year and another great vintage.

Time Posted: Oct 15, 2016 at 1:32 PM Permalink to Vineyard {511} 2016 Harvest Party Permalink
Irene Ojdana
October 3, 2016 | Irene Ojdana

Calistoga's Third Annual Harvest Table

What do you feed 800 dinner guests? Luckily, 13 of Calistoga's restaurants shared the burden during Calistoga's 3rd Annual Harvest Table. This unique event saw white-linen-tablecloth-covered tables, decorated with lovely sunflowers, stretch all the way down Lincoln Avenue, which was closed to traffic. Some of the restaurants that participated were the Calistoga Inn, Brannan's, Johnny's, Checkers and the Culinary Institute of America. Volunteers manned wine stations selling wine provided by wineries from the Calistoga AVA.

Patrons had signed up in advance in a mad rush for each restaurant reservation, which sold out almost immediately. Ed and I scored tickets for Checkers for a delicious Italian meal, featuring lasagna and New York cheesecake. (I remember that from my Brooklyn days.) For every ticket sold, the Calistoga Chamber set aside a portion of the proceeds to benefit Calistoga Cares Food Pantry. This year the donation was about $4000.

Last year, the diners had to eat inside the restaurants, as the entire stretch of Lincoln Avenue had to be open to allow fire trucks to drive through to fight the devasting Lake County fires. This year, we had the boulevard all to ourselves, all 800 of us.

Calistoga Annual Harvest Table 2016

Time Posted: Oct 3, 2016 at 5:56 PM Permalink to Calistoga's Third Annual Harvest Table Permalink
Irene Ojdana
October 3, 2016 | Irene Ojdana

Vineyard {511} 2016 Harvest

Our Vineyard {511} Cabernet Sauvignon Diamond Mountain District vineyard was harvested on the early morning of September 26--two weeks earlier in the year than it was last year, when we thought we had had an early harvest. Both summers were warm, and we ended up harvesting at a 26 brix. Our vineyard management company, John Deer Farms, arrived at the vineyard at 5 am and worked away feverishly, but carefully, until around 9:30 am. Then we went back to the house and had a nap. They went on to another vineyard--no nap for them. They work tirelessly, and we really depend on them to do the great job that they do.

Vineyard {511} Harvest 2016

Time Posted: Oct 3, 2016 at 5:39 PM Permalink to Vineyard {511} 2016 Harvest Permalink