Friday, December 16, 2016



Lombardi Wines crafts small lots of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the finest vineyards in the Sonoma Coast. Founded in 2013, Lombardi Wines honors a rich family history of wine, food and tradition. Small lots of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are crafted from the finest vineyards in the Sonoma Coast and are born from Passion, Inspiration and Family. To learn more and join the family of Lombardi Wines, please visit

A Sonoma County resident for over 40 years, I've been in the retail and wine industries since 1989. After leaving a ten year career managing Safeway retail stores throughout Marin and San Francisco, I took a leap of faith into the wine industry and haven't looked back.

Though the wine industry is ever evolving, it's still about the wine, the people, the lifestyle and our enthusiasm for it. PREVIOUS: PR for Kosta Browne Winery, Ascentia Wine Estates, J Vineyards & Winery



Calistoga readies for seventh Winter in the Wineries Passport Series

Explore and enjoy tastes from the top of Napa Valley through Feb. 5, 2017

The Calistoga Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau has announced the dates of its seventh Winter in the Wineries Passport Series, beginning Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, and running through Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. Calistoga’s Winter in the Wineries Passport program allows passport holders access to 15 wine tastings any time during this two-month period. Additionally, passport holders will receive special restaurant offers and discounts at several of Calistoga’s lodging properties and downtown shops.

Pre-orders for passports are available online: or by calling 707-942-6333. The passport price of $50 is valued at an estimated $300 in wine tastings alone and is considered the best value of tasting in Napa Valley, not to mention a great gift idea for the holidays!

With every passport stamped, passport holders are sure to enjoy the opportunity to swirl and sip in celebration of the Napa Valley’s Cabernet Season. Participating wineries include Calistoga’s boutique wineries and main street tasting rooms. Well-known wineries participating include Chateau Montelena, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Judgment of Paris, as featured in the 2008 Hollywood film, “Bottle Shock”. Another well-known stop is Castello di Amorosa, the authentically-styled 13th-century Tuscan castle, complete with torture chamber.

Now through Dec. 1, a contest to win two Passports, a two-night stay at Calistoga Spa Hot Springs Resort, a V.I.P. Tasting/Tour at Fairwinds Estate, and dinner for two at Calistoga Inn Restaurant & Brewery will be available through the website. The winner will be announced Dec. 2 via the website.

“Winter in the Wineries Passport program is a great way for wine novices and experts to experience Napa Valley varietals and Calistoga’s unique offerings,” said Chris Canning, executive director of the Calistoga Chamber of Commerce and Welcome Center. “We are excited to welcome another year of the passport series as a great way for visitors to leisurely explore and sip through the city during Cabernet Season.”

Passports are available to pre-order online at or by calling the Welcome Center, 707-942-6333. Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of Calistoga’s Winter in the Wineries Passport Series both personally and to give as the perfect holiday gift for wine lovers to experience the intimate nature of this charming community. Passport holders are encouraged to share their Winter in the Wineries experiences on social media using the hashtag: #TastesFromTheTop

For more information about Calistoga’s Winter in the Wineries Passport program and participating wineries, log on to or call (707) 942-6333.

About Calistoga Chamber of Commerce
The city of Calistoga is a Napa Valley town known for its natural geothermal waters, popular spas, relaxed atmosphere, adventures hiking and biking trails, wide variety of wineries and great dining. For information about lodging and dining options, local wineries, spas and events in Calistoga, visit You can also find Visit Calistoga on Facebook at, Twitter @VisitCalistoga  and Instagram at VisitCalistoga.



Hi-Time Wine Cellars is a family-owned retail store located in Costa Mesa, California. Founded by Fritz Hanson and his brother-in-law Jim McVay. Hi-Time opened its cellar doors in 1957  at its original location on 17th and Irvine in Costa Mesa, California. In 1984, the Hanson brothers moved to our present location in Costa Mesa where they built one of the largest underground temperature-controlled wine cellars in the U.S .

This 3,000 square foot underground temperature-controlled cellar now includes a selection of 10,000+ wines from many different wineries from all around the world. This selection represents the world's finest growing regions from such diverse areas as California, Oregon, Washington, France, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Germany, Austria, New Zealand, Australia, Eastern Europe, South Africa, South America and Portugal.

The recently re-designed store now has a retail space of 24,000 square feet. We added many new and exotic labels to our selection. Along with our selection of rare wines you will also discover hard-to-find spirits, espcially in the Bourbon and Scotch aisles, and exotic liquors from all over the world. In addition, we offer a comprehensive selection of North American micro-brews along with some of the best beers the rest of the world creates. Our walk-in beer refrigerator offers over 1,200 different beers from 25+ different countries. Our walk-in tobacco humidor holds over 500 different cigar brands and sizes as well as a great selection of pipes and fine pipe tobaccos.  We also offer gourmet foods, specialty chocolates, cheeses and charcuterie.

We are proud to have been able to serve our customers for over half of a century. Our goal is to provide our customers with one of the largest selections of fine wines and rare spirits from all over the world, at competitive prices and without sacrificing the quality of our customer service.


Friday, December 9, 2016



Castello di Amorosa is a castle and a winery located near Calistoga, California. First opening its doors to the public in April 2007, the castle is the pet project of 4th generation vintner, Dario Sattui, who also owns and operates the V. Sattui Winery named after his great-grandfather who originally established a winery in San Francisco in 1885. The winery sits on property that was once part of an estate owned by Edward Turner Bale.

The castle interiors, which include 107 rooms on 8 levels above and below ground, cover approximately 121,000 square feet (11,200 m2). Key details and building techniques are architecturally faithful to the 12th and 13th century time period. Among many other features it has: a moat; a drawbridge; defensive towers; an interior courtyard; a torture chamber; a chapel/church; a knights' chamber; and a 72 by 30 feet (9.1 m) great hall with a 22-foot (6.7 m)-high coffered ceiling.

The torture chamber has an authentic 300-year-old iron maiden which Sattui states he bought for $13,000 in Pienza, Italy, a replica rack, prison chambers and other torture devices. The great hall features frescoes painted by two Italian artists who took about a year and a half to complete and showcases a 500 year old fireplace.

The masonry, ironwork and woodwork was fashioned by hand using old world crafting techniques. Building materials included 8,000 tons of locally quarried stone, in addition to paving stones, terra cotta roofing tiles and some 850,000 bricks imported from Europe. Extending into the hillside adjacent to the castle lies a labyrinth of caves some 900 feet (270 m) in length. Beneath the castle are a 2-acre (8,100 m2) barrel cellar and tasting rooms where visitors can sample the wines-all sold only at the Castle.

Due to Napa County restrictions, the castle and grounds cannot be rented for weddings or receptions, but are available to rent for corporate gatherings and fund raisers. In May 2012 the county ordered the winery to cease holding a weekly Catholic Mass in the chapel located on the grounds due to lack of use permits, reviews by county agencies, including traffic and building code compliance. The services were among just a few in the area where Catholics could attend a traditional Latin Mass.

V. Sattui Winery stands today as the result of hard work, dedication, and the extraordinary vision of two men who happen to be related.  Vittorio Sattui started the business in 1885 after emigrating from Genoa, Italy.  The law-abiding Vittorio was forced to shut down when Prohibition went into effect, and the winery would lay dormant until 1976, when Vittorio’s great-grandson, Dario, would realize his dream of resurrecting the family business in the town of St. Helena in Napa Valley.



Don is a 25 year wine industry veteran, entrepreneur, agriculture advocate, winemaker, alternative energy lobbyist, and marketing communications professional. With agency and client-side marketing communications expertise, Don has worked with such as brands - Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, Delicato Family Vineyards, Paso Robles Vintners and Growers, Mendocino Wine Growers, Miller/Coors, Sodexo/Marriott, Safeway Stores, Napa Auto Parts, McDonald's Restaurants, Pella Windows, Macromedia, Hewlett-Packard and more.

An extremely creative, strategic contributor to the marketing/communication process, Don is always mindful of all green oriented issues relating to communications, farming and operations. Today, Don's primary responsibilities for Nomacorc LLC include: North American on/off-premise wine education; developing retail marketing intelligence and strategic planning; initiating pre/post-consumer sustainability programs; and fostering relationships with private label and custom-crush providers.

Don lives with his wife and three girls in Napa, California and is a community advocate serving on several boards including: serving as the current board President for the Napa County Office of Education and as a Director on the 25th District Agriculture Association for the State of California.
“We’re changing the way winemakers think about making and closing wine.”
— Gert Noël, founder, Nomacorc

Originally conceived as an entrepreneur’s solution to cork taint and bottle variation, Nomacorc is now one of the largest producers of wine closures. Since the company’s inception in 1999, Nomacorc co-extruded wine corks have become a trusted and widely-used way to close wine, protecting nearly 2.5 billion bottles of wine around the world each year.

In January 2015, Nomacorc became a part of Vinventions LLC, a leading global innovator of complete wine closure solutions. Vinventions™ is the creation of family entrepreneur Marc Noël, Chairman, in association with Bespoke Capital Partners, Heino Freudenberg, CEO, and further partners.
In partnering with Nomacorc, the goal of Vinventions is to become the most innovative, operationally excellent and trusted supplier of complete wine closure solutions to the still and sparkling wine industry.