Paul Franson's


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

or wish they did.

May 18, 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.

Don Perico reopened

Rae Set Asian Grill open

Hoachuck leaves City Winery

Carpe Diem going home

What’s up at the Oxbow?

Changes in the Chronicle’s top 100

Tenants for Taste of Oxbow

Sushi Mambo open for lunch

Charlie Palmer’s Harvest Table open

Hall Cabernet Cookoff raised $60,000

Studio M Fine Wines

Redolent Mercantile opens Friday

Spa Solage renovation complete

Zapolski buys Kohl’s property

Support St. Helena Farmers’ Market

Conaway working on third Napa book

Indonesian businessman closed Meadowood

News of the arts

Lucky Penny adds pros

Lucky Penny’s Cowgirls, The Musical

Whetstone concerts not BottleRock’s

Music in the Vineyards

Compadres’ Sunday music series

News for the wine community

Schramsberg celebrates 50 years

Schramsberg updates winemaking

Silver Oak buys U.S. oak cooperage

CIA holds first Sommelier Summit

Wine Industry Tech Symposium

Duckhorn buys Three Palms Vineyard

Organizers cancel event due to ABC

Rocca plants truffles

Would you like cat litter with the Sauvignon?

This week in Napa Valley

Asleep at the Wheel at City Winery

This week at Cameo Cinema

French regional dinners

Emerging Artist Showcase

Real Estate Woods at Gun Bun

Release of college wines at Mayfair

Women’s cycling clinic at Velo Vino

Live music at the Andaz

Brian Cline at Silo’s

Music at Uva Trattoria this week

Franc D’Ambrosio at City Winery

Y. Rousseau dinner at The Thomas

Sip & Support the Farmers’ Market

Locals Thursday with Brian Coutch

Doors’ guitarist Robby Krieger

The Great Grape Study - GSM

St. Helena Farmers’ Market

Coombsville Wines at Back Room

Mad about rosť

Salmon, potatoes, cherries and more

The Bad Jones at Silo’s

Dinner Music with Wesla and Mike

Live Music at La Condesa

Rose care for spring and summer

Memorial Day at Beringer Vineyards

Wine Train chef’s book launch party

Jarvis presents Seymou

Napa Company presents Images

Full Chizel at Capp Heritage

Rivvrs at Andaz

Wasabassco Burlesque at City Winery

Napa Youth Chamber Ensemble

Grass Child at Silo’s

Garage Band 101 for Adults

I’m the Greatest Future Star

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at Uptown

The Swinging Chads at Compadres

Celebrating Mike Thompson

Future events

Pinot dinner at Silver Trident

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

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Paul Franson writes about Napa Valley

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Publisher and Editor: Paul Franson

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Future events

Pinot dinner at Silver Trident/Tasting Home

Silver Trident Winery in Yountville, which hosts a Ralph Lauren Home showcase and store, presents a Springtime Pinot Pop-up Dinner on May 30 from 6 until 9 p.m.

It is the release celebration for the winery’s 2013 Benevolent Dictator Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.

Chef Curtis DiFede from Oenotri will serve a four-course dinner paired with four of the winery’s wines.

The cost is $195. RSVPs are required to 945-0311 or

The Silver Trident Tasting Home is at 6495 Washington St. in Yountville.

For information, see

Taste of Howell Mountain

The 20th annual Taste of Howell Mountain will be on Saturday, June 20 at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena.

The 35 Howell Mountain wineries pouring wine will be joined by food pairings and live music. Proceeds benefit the Howell Mountain Education Foundation.

12-3 p.m. Walk-around wine tasting, food pairings, silent auction, prizes and live music

3-5 p.m. More Howell Mountain wines, desserts and live auction

Buy tickets for $125 at,

Charles Krug Winery is at 2800 Main St. in St. Helena.

Golf 4 Girls on the Run

The first annual Golf 4 Girls on the Run will be held at Eagle Vines Golf Club on June 1 at 1 p.m.

This is the first official fundraiser for Girls on the Run Napa & Solano. It includes auction items and a chance to win an instant cellar of 50 bottles of wine from women winery owners or winemakers.

Golf 4 Girls on the Run will help empower young girls. Girls on the Run Napa & Solano raises money so all girls can participate, but particularly those who are low income (77 percent) and ethnically diverse (66 percent). More than 800 girls will participate at 40 schools throughout Napa and Solano Counties.

The golf ticket for $145 includes lunchbox, dinner and awards with silent auction and raffle. The dinner and award celebration only is $40.

Sponsorships are $165 to $5,000.

Call Girls on the Run Napa & Solano at 637-8909.

Oxbow School Riverside Picnic Concert

Oxbow School will hold its annual Riverside Picnic and Concert to support its scholarship fund on June 13 with a live performance by Grammy-nominated Oxbow alum Matthew Santos with special guest Chihsuan Yang.

The event is from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Visit and search to find the event. Eventually, you may find where to buy tickets.

Oxbow School is at 530 3rd St. in Napa

Sparkling wine dinner at Auberge du Soleil

Join Auberge du Soleil for an evening of sparkling wines paired with fresh, seasonal cuisine on Thursday, May 28 from 6 to 9 p.m.

The popularity of sparkling wine continues to grow worldwide, and California is producing some of the finest. Executive chef Robert Curry’s extensive knowledge of sparkling wine and food pairings will make for an effervescent evening. The evening will showcase both New and Old World sparkling wines to complement an array of chef tasting stations.

The cost is $75.

Call 967-3147 or email to buy tickets or visit

Auberge du Soleil is at 180 Rutherford Hill Road in Rutherford.

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.

Kevin Spacey sings at Festival del Sole Gala

Actor and singer Kevin Spacey will be the headline entertainer for Napa Valley Festival del Sole’s annual Festival Gala at Meadowood on July 19.

To buy passes or sponsor a table, contact Development Manager Tessa Edwards at or 346-5052, ext. 4.

Do it for the Love benefit with Michael Franti

Michael Franti presents an intimate ‘on-stage’ dinner and private performance on the eve of BottleRock on Thursday, May 28 to benefit the Do it for the Love Foundation.

Do it for the Love Foundation brings people living with life-threatening illnesses, children with severe challenges and wounded veterans to live concerts.

The reception begins at 6:15 p.m. and dinner starts at 7 p.m. followed by a performance by Michael Franti.

Only 50 tickets will be sold at $1,000 per person, and all proceeds will benefit the Do it for the Love Foundation.

Buy tickets at

Guests will meet Franti an d get an insider preview of the 2015 BottleRock  festival.

It will occur on-stage at the BottleRock Second Stage at the Napa Valley Expo, 575 Third Street in Napa.

Music in Napa Valley

See for details on future events

City Winery at the Napa Valley Opera House

  • May 18 Asleep At The Wheel
  • May 20 “Phantom” star Franc D’Ambrosio  
  • May 24 NVOH and Lucky Penny presents: “Lucky Penny Presents Future Stars Singing Broadway Blockbusters” -
  • May 26 NVOH Presents Tuesday night flicks: “Love in the Afternoon“
  • May 28 The Monophonics
  • May 29 Bottlerock After show with Los Lobos
  • May 30 Bottlerock After show with Chris Robinson Brotherhood
  • June 6 Robben Ford
  • June 9 Todd Lundgren
  • June 12 Gordon Lightfoot
  • June 13  The New Mastersounds +  On The Spot Trio
  • June 16 World Party
  • June 18 Bob Schneider
  • June 19 Marty Balin
  • June 20  Mike Doughty -
  • June 22 Elaine Elias
  • June 27 Rudy Colombini & The Unauthorized Rolling Stones
  • June 28 An Evening with Leo Kottke 
  • June 30 NVOH Presents Tuesday night flicks: “Witness for the Prosecution“
  • July 2 Active Child
  • July 3 Jeff Austin Band July 9 Calexico
  • July 5 Shuggie Otis
  • July 8 Baby Boomer Comedy Show
  • July 10 Karla Bonoff
  • July 11 John Mayall
  • July 17 Tainted Love
  • July 18 Zap Mama
  • July 24 10,000 Maniacs
  • July 25 Wonder Bread 5
  • July 28 NVOH presents Tuesday night flicks: “Double Indemnity“
  • July 30 Todd Rundgren Global Tour (2nd date added)
  • Aug. 6 Maria Muldaur's Way Past Midnight
  • Aug. 14 Marc Cohn plus Phil Cody
  • Aug 22 Eric Hutchinson
  • Aug. 25 NVOH Present's Tuesday Night Flicks: Hitchcock's “To Catch A Thief” 
  • Sept. 17 Donovan Frankenreiter 
  • Sept. 20 NVOH and Lucky Penny presents: “I’m the Greatest future Star Musical Theatre Competition for Kids
  • Oct. 18 A Very Special Solo Evening with Joan Armatrading
  • Oct. 25 NVOH and Terry Bradford present Terry Bradford's Voice Studio Concert

Most events start at 8 p.m. 

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

Uptown Theatre 

  • May 24 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
  • Aug 1  Mary Chapin Carpenter
  • Aug. 15 Jerry Jeff Walker Napa Summer Camp
  • Sept. 19  Comedian Steven Wright
  • Oct. 10  Chris Botti

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

  • Napa Regional Dance Company Presents: Images
    May 23, 7pm 
  • NVPAC First Annual Golf Tournament
    May 28, sold out
  • May 31 Symphony Napa Valley with Michael Guttman  presents Tango and Opera Sensations
  • The Silvertones June 5, 7pm
  • June 10-11 Napa Valley Jazz Getaway sold out
  • JuneLittle Feet- 2015 Recital June 14, 1pm
  • Drama Boot Camp June 15-19
  • Marnie Breckenridge performs "The Great American Songbook" June 20, 7pm 
  • Symphony Napa Valley with Michael Guttman Viva Vivaldi! June 28, 3pm 
  • Performance Lab Intensive Camp!
    July 27- August 7
  • 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

  • June 4-20 Cowgirls: The Musical
  • July-August Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Lucky Penny productions also appear at other venues includinghave its ongoing Sunday series at  the Napa Valley Opera House once a month.


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.

  • May 28 – “Kickoff to the Summer Concert” featuring the Stone Foxes, 5:30 p.m. (Tickets required)
  • June 13-14 – Napa Valley Jazz Getaway (Tickets required in advance)
  • June 27 – Jimi James Band, 1-4 p.m.
  • July 4 –Howell Devine, 1-4 p.m.
  • July 18 – Allen Stone (tickets required)
  • 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 

  • May 30 brunch with Brett Dennen
  • June 28 traditional country rhythm and bluegrass group Fruition
  • July 19 Nashville’s The Travelin’ McCourys, sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury
  • 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

  • July 4 The Wallflowers & Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
  • July 11 Phillip Phillips
  • July 18 Lyle Lovett
  • July 25 Melissa Etheridge
  • 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 thru Labor Day Weekend,

  • May 24 – The Swinging Chads
  • May 31 - The Nite Lites
  • June 7 - Sweet Burgundy
  • June 14 - Double Shot
  • June 21 - The Greg Richmond Band
  • June 28 - The Swinging Chads

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:

  • June 5: The Pat Jordan Band, Flanelhed, Johnny Smith
  • June 12: Second Line, Weekend at Bernies, Bruno Grossi
  • June 19: No show
  • June 26: The Bad Jones, C4INC, Rose Paradise
  • July 3: No show
  • July 10: Twice as Good, Shawna Lynn Band, The Pine eedles
  • July 17: The Deadlies, 37th Parallel, Francesca Lee
  • July 24: Revolver, The Voltones, Grover Anderson
  • 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):

  • May 22: Big Iron – Classic dancing, drinking, sing-along Bakersfield-style honky-tonk.
  • May 29: BackTrax – Dance to favorite covers from the ‘60s to the ‘90s. Food Truck Friday.
  • June 5: Poyntlyss Sistars – Playing Rock, R&B, Motown, and Pop through the decades.
  • June 12: Rhett Hammer Blues Band – Playing Classic Rock with soulful R&B.
  • June 19: The Rolling Blackouts – One of Sebastopol’s finest bands playing Classic R&B.
  • June 26: Adam Traum and the Mosey Boys – Bluegrass, country blues, rockabilly and folk styles. Food Truck Friday).
  • July 3: The Cork Pullers – Sonoma’s premier acoustic vocal band harmonizing Classic Rock with a little Country.
  • July 10: BackTrax – Dance the night away to all your favorite covers from the ‘60s to the ‘90s.
  • July 17: Ten Foot Tone
  • July 24: Jami Jamison Band
  • 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

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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.