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Harvest 2014 Wine 1

The Wineseum Is on Its Way

“About four years ago, I was on the board of the Sonoma County Museum when it was looking to expand,” remembers Kings Hill Cellars’ Lindsay Austin. “We met with [developer] Hugh Futrell, who offered us space in the AT&T building downtown. But permits were too slow and we couldn’t take advantage of the space.
“At about the same time, the museum was contacted by long-time collector and antique dealer, Jim McCormick, who had a large amount of wine memorabilia that he wanted to donate. We looked around and realized there was no museum in the state dedicated to our rich wine culture. It was a golden opportunity.”
With McCormick’s vast collection as a starting point and Futrell’s promise of a home, Austin took on the California Wine Museum project and began enlisting a board of directors to guide the vision. Today, the Wineseum (as it’s recently been rebranded) is on track for a 2015 opening, with Austin serving as board president.
“It became clear, in our discussions with business and community leaders, local schools and universities, as well as the wine industry, that we needed to become more than just an exhibits-and-history museum. Today, people want things to be more experiential and hands-on,” he continues. “So that’s our new goal.”
Moving forward, with a capital campaign to begin in early 2015, the Wineseum plans to offer multiple ways for visitors to interact and learn, including classes, events, tours and, of course, tastings and pairings. “I envision it like an Exploratorium for Wine,” says Austin. “There’ll always be something new to see, taste or do—so locals will want to be part of it. Plus it will explain the rich history of the whole state’s wine culture, so visitors can use it as a jumping off point for their explorations of the area.”

Napa Valley Rocks

By the time your read this, Napa Valley will have rocked the last weekend of September with events that ran Thursday through Sunday and featured top chefs and vintners, community gatherings, a half marathon and a concert at Napa Valley Expo dubbed “Napa Rocks!” that featured Michael Franti and Spearhead, Afrolicious and Grass Child. It was all made possible by the community coming together to offer their time, talent and resources to support those affected by the August 24 earthquake via the Napa Valley Community Relief Fund. A true example of what being part of a community is all about.  

The Giving Tree

The Whistler Tree is the most productive cork oak tree on record. It grows in the Alentejo region of Portugal and is more than 230 years old. Harvested on a nine-year cycle, in 2009, it’s last harvest yielded enough cork for 100,000 bottles. As a comparison, the average cork oak produces material for about 4,000 bottles per harvest. Named for the countless songbirds that occupy its dense canopy, the Whistler Tree is in excellent condition and is well on its way to produce a total lifetime production of more than 1 million corks.


In this Issue

Growing Pains

On a windy Saturday afternoon, the once-bustling Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana is barren, the chairs against the wall sit empty. Two wipe boards show the dispensary’s limited offerings,...

Vineyards as Firebreaks

When the phone rang at 11 p.m. on October 8 last year, Lyall and Karen Fahden did not yet smell smoke. A friend from nearby Calistoga had called to warn them that a fast-moving fire was heading towa...

The Search for Seasonal Workers

The long days of midsummer are quiet in the vineyards and orchards. The winter pruning and spring suckering are long past, and now it’s nature’s turn to do its part. The next big round o...

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