Paul Franson's


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

or wish they did.

July 27, 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.

Subscribe to NapaLife

Use either a credit card or Pay Pal. I use the PayPal systems, but it also accepts credit cards without joining. American Express cards sometimes don't work...

New individual one-year subscription $50 per year
Renew individual subscription for a year for $50
Corporate and group subscriptions

You can also subscribe to NapaLife or renew by sending a check to Paul Franson, 2035 Oak St., Napa, CA 94559.

Be sure to include your e-mail address!
 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.

The valley is alive with of music

New café coming to Yountville

Tiny brewery to Tannery Bend

Pierce Carson semiretires

Spa at Napa River Inn chosen #1

Small compostable bags

New Napa Oktoberfest

Community Chorus seeks members

News for the wine community

Harvest begins in Napa Valley

Coho Old Poodle Dog Cabernet

This week in Napa Valley

This week at Cameo Cinema:

French regional dinner

Martha Davis at City Winery

Napa Tuesday Farmers’ Market

Double Indemnity at Opera House

Havens dinner at Napa Valley Bistro

Hudson Vineyard dinner at Angèle

Calwine Winemaker Wednesday

Stephen Stills is sold out

Historic vineyard tasting at Cadet

Steel drum jam session

Jonny Zywiciel at Andaz Artists

Music at Uva Trattoria this week

Brian Coutch at Silo’s

Boho Summer Party

Film Festival shows One Small Hitch

Chris Clouse at Andaz Artists

DiveBar at Bardessono

Riesling Fan Club of Napa Valley

Lagunitas Pint Night at The Meritage

Dave Badilla at River Terrace Inn

Todd Rundgren at City Winery

St. Helena Farmers’ Market

Uke-A-Palooza at Oxbow

Hurley’s Friday night patio BBQ

Rosé tasting at Back Room Wines

Purple Haze at Silo’s

Nate Lopez at River Terrace Inn

Music in the Vineyard starts

Dinner music with Wesla and Mike

Foreverland Michael Jackson tribute

Napa Saturday Farmers’ Market

Drought tolerant and native plants

Silver Oak release day

Schubert Sommerfest at the CIA

di Rosa Body Talk group exhibition

Indian music at Old Faithful Geyser

John Vicino at Andaz Artists

Mary Chapin Carpenter at Uptown

It’s A Grand Night For Singers

Kristen Van Dyke at River Terrace

Napa Humane Walk for Animals

Heritage Fire by Cochon 555

Compadres summer music series

Harvest party at Whetstone Wine

Future events

Yesterday Again

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

Recent articles

Food pairings enhance wine at Napa Valley wineries Inside Napa Valley

Skyline Park Wildlife Gardens Napa Valley Register

The Business End – biweekly column in Napa Valley Register on Napa's wine business

Visiting Napa Valley

A quick tour of Napa Valley

Visiting Napa Valley Alone

A Perfect Day in the Heart of Napa Valley

A Perfect Day in Carneros

A Perfect Day "East of Eden" in Napa County

Top 10 views in Napa Valkley

Top 10 gardens in Napa Valley

Top 10 picnic areas in Napa Valley

Yop 10 bike rides in Napa Valley

Eating in Napa Valley

Veggies in Vineyards

Tuscan dinner at Long Meadow Ranch

Brick ovens underlie Napa Valley cuisine

Vino with veggies

Living in Napa Valley

Millionaire's Guide to Buying the Napa Dream Food & Wine

Napa Valley: Glitz on  Deep Roots

Howard Backen's Kitchens Napa Valley Register

How ag preservation saved Napa Valley

Napa Valley Wineries

Napa’s French connection

Doctors & wine Napa Valley Register

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

Telephone (707) 258-0159
Web site
© 2015 by Paul Franson.

Proofreading by Rosemary Gafner and Betty Teller, but Paul Franson is responsible for content – and errors.

Future events

Lucky Penny presents Yesterday Again

This summer, Lucky Penny Productions has teamed up with Dezi Gallegos and Natalie Herman, and Santa Rosa’s 6th Street Playhouse to produce the world premiere of Yesterday Again.

Following its premiere run at 6th Street Playhouse through Aug. 2, it will move to Napa’s Lucky Penny Community Arts Center Aug. 7-16

This new drama by award-winning 19-year-old playwright Dezi Gallegos follows Eric Baxter and Bella Kadie over the course of 25 years as children, teenagers and adults – simultaneously.

This honest and poetic original theatre piece shows how lives intersect and interweave, and probes at love’s relationship with time.

Yesterday Again contains strong language and sexual themes intended for mature audiences.

Directed by Sheri Lee Miller, the cast features an ensemble ranging in age from 14 to late 50s, including Lucky Penny co-founder Barry Martin and 6th Street Playhouse artistic director Craig A. Miller.

Tickets are $15-25.

Buy tickets for the 6th Street run at or 523-4185 x1.

Buy tickets to the Lucky Penny run at or call 266-6305.

Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 8, and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Benefit at Vine Village

Vine Village, a loving home for mentally disabled adults in Napa, will hold its annual celebration fundraiser, a wonderful dinner and auction in the country farm setting of Vine Village on Aug. 9.

One of the auction items will be a three-liter bottle of 2007 Tierra Roja, etched and painted, with dinner for eight in the Tierra Roja Garden.

Tickets are $100 at

You can also arrange to bid remotely by contacting

Home Vineyard – Part 2

The UC Master Gardeners of Napa County will conduct a public gardening workshop, “Home Vineyard – Part 2” on Saturday, Aug. 15, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the UC Oakville Experimental Station.

Time includes a lunch break. Bring a lunch and wear clothes and shoes for the vineyard.

Topics covered include what to do, what to look for and how to plan for harvest and crush in the vineyard; managing the vines after crush; and preparing for winter and the next growing season. Home vineyard Master Gardeners will present this workshop and answer your questions.

The charge is $5 per person. Sign up at

For additional information, call 253-4221.

The UC Oakville Experimental Station is at 1380 Oakville Grade Road in Oakville.

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.

Wine Library tasting

The Napa Valley Wine Library Association’s annual tasting will be held at Silverado Resort and Spa on Sunday, Aug. 9 from 5 to 7 p.m.

This year’s tasting, “Toasting the Twelves,” celebrates the remarkable 2012 vintage. 2012 was no ordinary year here in the Napa Valley. The vintage was called “spectacular” by Robert Parker and both “dazzling and complicated” by Antonio Galloni.

Every current member receives an invitation to the Napa Wine Library Association’s Annual Tasting, a great opportunity to taste the wines of Napa Valley.

The Annual Tasting is a vintner’s choice with an abundance of 2012 selections to choose from. They expect more than 70 Napa Valley wineries to take part this year, most pouring more than one wine, and selected specifically by the winery for this occasion.

To renew your membership or join, visit

If you have any questions, email Jane Skeels at

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

  • July 27 Martha Davis and The Motels
  • July 28 NVOH Presents Tuesday Night Flicks: “Double Indemnity”
  • July 29 Stephen Stills SOLD OUT
  • July 30 Todd Rundgren Global Tour
  • July 31 Dinner Music with Wesla Whitfield and MikeGreensill
  • July 31 Foreverland: The Electrifying 14 Piece Tribute to Michael Jackson
  • Aug 2 Mini-Feat cancelled
  • Aug 3 Hot Club of Cowtown
  • Aug. 6 Maria Muldaur's Way Past Midnight
  • Aug 10 Leo Kaapana and Mike Kaawa
  • Aug 12 Creed Bratton of The Office, Dirty Cello
  • Aug. 14 Marc Cohn plus Phil Cody
  • Aug 19 Richie Furay, Empty Pockets
  • Aug 20 Gregory Alan Isakov
  • Aug 22 Eric Hutchinson, Tess Henley
  • 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 and 9 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 1 Mary Chapin Carpenter
  • Aug 15 Jerry Jeff Walker   
  • Aug 22 Casey Abrams 
  • Aug 29 Comedian Rodney Carrington
  • Sept 18 - G. Love & Special Sauce
  • Sept 19 Comedian Steven Wright   
  • Sept 27 Mavis Staples with Joan Osborne   
  • Oct 1 Boz Scaggs
  • Oct 12 Boz Scaggs
  • Oct 3 Get The LED Out, The American Led Zeppelin
  • Oct 9 Colin Mochri & Brad Sherwood, Improv Comedy 
  • Oct 10 Chris Botti 
  • Oct 16 Tommy Castro & The Painkillers 
  • Oct 30 Dave Davies of the KINKS
  • Nov 1 - George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic
  • Nov 4 - Jonny Lang
  • Nov 11-15 Napa Valley Film Festival
  • Nov 14 Comedian Kathleen Madigan 
  • Nov 25 An Irish Christmas   
  • Dec 2 Milk Carton Kids
  • May 5, 2016 - 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 Theater

  • Speakeasy Series: Laura Noel July 31
  • Villalobos Brothers Aug. 15
  • Dan Goodman presents Nonsense and Verse Aug. 20
  • 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 includinghave its ongoing Sunday series at  the Napa Valley Opera House once a month.

  • Aug. 7-16 Yesterday Again 
  • 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


Summer converts 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.

  • Aug. 15 – Stu Tails, 1-4 p.m.
  • 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. 16 Hot Buttered Rum, San Francisco’s own postmodern string band
  • 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.

Robert Mondavi Winery concerts

  • Aug. 1 Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

Visit or call (888) 769-5299.

The Robert Mondavi Winery is at 7801 St. Helena Highway in Oakville.

Compadres' Sunday Summer Music Series  

4-7 p.m. each Sunday.

  • Aug. 2, Sweet Burgundy offers beautiful harmonies, beautiful ladies and acoustic bliss.
  • Aug. 9 - Johnny Fittipaldi & Friends: Napa Valley's home grown soul man!  Motown to Memphis
  • Aug. 16 - Revolver: spot-on covers of late 60's and early 70's favorites!
  • Aug. 23 - Davies-Dukes: local favorites...these guys need no introduction!
  • 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.

Priest Ranch Winery in Yountville

Thursday Night Live 6 to 9 p.m.

  • Aug. 6, Charles Wheal
  • Aug. 20, Five A.M.
  • Sept. 3, Sean Carscadden Trio
  • Sept. 17, The J Silverheels Band
Summer concerts at Jamieson Ranch Winery

Napa City Nights

Napa City Nights, a free summer concert series at Veterans Memorial Park, returns to downtown starting June 5.

Each Friday night lineup 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:

  • July 31: Nuclear Blonde, Whitney Nichole Band, Sara Rodenburg
  • Aug. 7: BeaufunK, Amber Snider Band, Trevor Lyon
  • Aug. 14: Harvey & the Wallbangers, Skunk Funk, Kristen Van Dyke
  • Aug. 21: The Soul Section, Graveyard Boots, Vincent Costanza
  • Aug. 28: The Used Blues Band, Girls & Boys, Dawn Rose
  • Sept. 4: Brad Wilson, Funk Pickles, Doug Houser

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):

  • July 31: Magic – A local favorite playing hits from Motown. Food Truck Friday.
  • Aug. 7: Big Iron – Classic dancing, drinking, sing-along Bakersfield-style honky-tonk.
  • Aug. 14: Rhett Hammer Blues Band – Playing Classic Rock with soulful R&B.
  • Aug. 21: The Incognito Band
  • 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

A subscription to NapaLife

Subscribers can give gift subscriptions to NapaLife for friends, relatives and colleagues for only $25.  See box at top right.

Realtors and others who want to give NapaLife to their clients can give 10 for $100.

Contact Paul Franson at

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.