The Napa Newbie Diaries - You Might Be Becoming A Wine Snob If…

Hey there Getaway Family,

I can’t believe that August is almost over -- NVJG 2014 seems like just yesterday! Since returning to “normal life” after NVJG 2014, I’ve found it increasingly obvious that I’m becoming a bit of a wine snob. It’s an occupational hazard (working with this festival) to be around premium product, and my palette is starting to notice. Over the weekend, my friend brought over a bottle of Pinot Noir and a bottle of Zinfandel to share with a group of us while we watched some exceptionally terrible movies (good wine + bad movies = lots of laughs). As we opened the bottles, I poured a taste for each for us. My friend asked the natural question:

“They’re both reds. What’s the difference?”

Wine education courtesy of Riedel and Mi Sueno.

Wine education courtesy of Riedel and Mi Sueno.

Wine education courtesy of Silver Oak.

Wine education courtesy of Silver Oak.

I proceeded to describe the wine itself (this Pinot being much thinner than the Zin in color and tannins) and said something about Pinots not being as intense as Zins.

She sort of stared back at me like I was speaking French.

Then she asked, “Can I go wine tasting with you?”

I just had to laugh. One because I probably sounded pretty pretentious in that moment, and two because of just how much my wine education has been shaped by this festival over the past couple years. One of my favorite things about NVJG is how much I learn about wine, and I love being able to bring that knowledge back with me and add a little NVJG to the everyday.  For example, I recently bought a bottle of Black Stallion Cab for a family member as a thank you gift, and it was really special to be able to share that this was the wine we served at the Welcome Dinner back in June. Needless to say, she thought it was delicious.

The Black Stallion Cab.

The Black Stallion Cab.

NVJG 2014's Welcome Dinner at Black Stallion.

NVJG 2014's Welcome Dinner at Black Stallion.

So in these months when we aren’t in Napa, I hope you also have these little tidbits of NVJG to hold you over until next summer. It may seem far away right now, but it’ll be here before you know it.



GRAMMY Foundation Spotlight

Hello Getaway Family!

We are just two days away from the start of NVJG '14! While enjoying the amazing adventures that await you in Napa, there will be an opportunity to give back to a great cause: music education.

Last year we raised over $65,000 at our annual wine reception and silent auction to benefit The GRAMMY® FoundationWe hope to raise even more money this year through your generous contributions.

The event will be held at the Lincoln Theater on Friday, June 13th from 5:30-7:00pm prior to the "Friday Night Funk Night" concert and will feature a performance by the Vintage High Jazz Combo from Vintage High School, Napa CA plus complimentary wine tastings from some of the best wineries in Napa Valley.

Here's a sneak peek at some of the items up for bid:

* Roland Keytar played and signed by BC *

* Earl Klugh’s Weekend of Jazz at Kiawah Island VIP Package for 2 *

* Kirk Whalum & Ernie Watts signed tenor saxophone *

* Various autographed artwork and vintage vinyl by several artists *

* Napa Valley Wine Basket with various signed bottles *

* “XII” Drumhead signed by BC and Chris Miskel *

* Various Winery Private Tastings and Tour Experiences *

* Handwritten "Dreams" Sheet Music by BC *

...and much more!

Some items from the NVJG 2013 GRAMMY Foundation Silent Auction

Some items from the NVJG 2013 GRAMMY Foundation Silent Auction

A packed house for the 2013 NVJG Silent Auction

A packed house for the 2013 NVJG Silent Auction

BC speaking at the 2013 GRAMMY Camp.

BC speaking at the 2013 GRAMMY Camp.

Brian is very proud to be associated with this wonderful cause and has dedicated countless hours to help create awareness and raise funds for music education throughout the country. As more and more school districts cut funding for the arts, it is up to us to keep music and the arts alive.

We're also excited to have two live auction items that will be auctioned off by Brian to benefit the GRAMMY Foundation during the show on Saturday night:

* 57th GRAMMY Awards Platinum Ticket Package with Rehearsal Access *

Autographed Gibson 335 Guitar by ALL NVJG 2014 artists *

Participating Wineries:

Castello di Amorosa
means “Castle of Love” in Italian, their internationally acclaimed wines are primarily Italian varieties that pair well with foods from around the world.

As a pioneer of sparkling wines, Chandon has built an expertise in the region that now includes still wines from their prized vineyards.

Chimney Rock
Sample wines that are pristine and authentic in terms of varietal character accompanied by a velvety taste and astounding softness, balance, and cohesion.

Jamieson Ranch Vineyards
Home to Reata Wines, Light Horse and Jamieson Ranch's own label, each takes a unique approach to particular varietals.

Jessup Cellars
Sourced from the finest vineyards throughout Napa Valley, Jessup Cellars has earned a loyal following for its ultra-premium wines of distinction.

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Mi Sueño
Offers superbly made handcrafted wines by owner Rolando Herrera. Their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon are some of the finest in Napa.

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Napa Smith Brewery
is the only production brewery in Napa Valley. They create beers using proprietary recipes developed by Master Brewer Don Barkley, who has over 30 years in the craft brewing industry. Only the finest domestic and European hops, two row barley, and malted wheat are used in their beer.


widely acclaimed as a California wine trailblazer, Newton Vineyard was one of the first wineries on Spring Mountain. They produce 3 types of artisanal wine: The Puzzle, unfiltered wines and Red Label wines.

Prager Winery & Port Works
produces three table wines, two late-harvest Rieslings and three vinegars in addition to their famous port.

Rutherford Hill Winery
Offering an outstanding selection of hand-crafted wines, Rutherford Hill Winery allows you to try classics, including their legendary Napa Valley Merlot, or winery exclusives such as the Reserve and Limited Release wines.

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Silver Oak Cellars
Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons are crafted with a single-minded focus on Cabernet excellence. By sourcing from only the highest caliber fruit and using an extended aging process, Silver Oak creates delicious wines that are eminently drinkable upon release.

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Twomey was founded with the same philosophy that has guided Silver Oak since 1972: make food-friendly wines that are deliciously drinkable upon release. They work small, focus on quality and carry out their mission of making handcrafted wines.

Tickets to the Friday night silent auction and wine reception are available as part of theFriday Night Funk Night single-day ticket or as part of the 4-Day Gold Package.

If you have any questions about this or any other Getaway event, please contact René Ralston our Guest Services Manager at



ACCESS CARD Spotlight -- Wine Down #4

Hello Getaway Family!

We're almost there! NVJG '14 starts next week!

Take a look at what we have planned for our fourth and final Napa Valley Jazz Getaway Wine Down Event at The Westin Verasa Napa.

Held Thursday through Sunday afternoons (June 12th-June 15th) in the courtyard of The Westin Verasa Napa, Wine Down Events will feature complimentary wine tastings, giveaways and special appearances by several artists. Participating wineries will have order forms and delivery options for purchases and you are always welcome to visit their tasting rooms during your stay in Napa.

Sunday, June 15th at 1-3pm


Brian Culbertson

“I’m going to tell stories and play several songs from my new CD ‘Another Long Night Out’ that I don’t play in my regular show so come on out to have some more “Culbertson” Pinot Noir and hear some ‘album’ cuts.”

Brian worked with many amazing artists in making "Another Long Night Out". Here are a few photos from the recording sessions:

David Benoit and BC

David Benoit and BC

Nathan East of Fourplay

Nathan East of Fourplay

Jonathan Butler

Jonathan Butler

Candy Dulfer and BC

Candy Dulfer and BC

Featured Winery:

Jamieson Ranch Vineyards
Located in the gateway to Napa Valley, the 300-acre vineyard estate represents over 100 years of farming, ranching and gracious hospitality. Visit and experience their artisan-crafted wines paired with culinary delights drawn from their local bounty. Wine varietals include Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Viognier, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gringo and Syrah. Many of these wines are very limited production and available exclusively at the winery.

"Culbertson" Pinot Noir
Jamieson Ranch Vineyards is now home to Brian’s own “Culbertson” Pinot Noir by Jamieson Ranch Vineyards and Reata Wines! 

Brian describes his wine as a light, smooth and vibrant wine that will pair extremely well with lots of different types of food. "It was a lot of fun blending this wine and I hope to continue this new ‘Culbertson’ label for years to come.”

Luke PIerce, BC, David Britz, Kim Zimmer, and Kyle Novak of the NVJG Team

Luke PIerce, BC, David Britz, Kim Zimmer, and Kyle Novak of the NVJG Team

Only VIPs and Gold ACCESS CARD holders gain entry to the Wine Down Events. Gold ACCESS CARDS are exclusively available with the purchase of a 4-day Gold Package. Click HERE for more information and to purchase multi-day packages or single-day tickets.

If you have any questions about this event or any other Getaway details, please contact Rene' Ralston our Guest Services Manager




ACCESS CARD Spotlight -- Lyall Family of Stores

Hello Getaway Family.

Just 15 more days until NVJG 2014! 

Who loves to shop? Well, if you answered a resounding "I DO!", you'll be happy to know we have added three upscale and unique clothing and shoes establishments as 2014 NVJG ACCESS CARD partners: 

- Helen Lyall clothing for women

- Scott Lyall clothes for men

- Marie Lyall Shoes for him & her

Helen Lyall clothing for women

Helen Lyall opened this gem on Main Street in downtown Napa in 2010. The 2,700 sq.ft. boutique houses dresses, evening wear, furs and accessories, and features some of the world's greatest designers. Experience a most unique, elegant shopping experience which includes personalized service, wardrobe consultation, lunch, free gift wrap and more. 

ACCESS CARD offer: 10% off in-store purchases

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Scott Lyall clothes for men

Following his mother’s passion (owner of Helen Lyall clothes for women), Scott Lyall opened his store for men in 2011 offering contemporary casual sportswear with innovative color and style for the fashion conscious man with a sophisticated lifestyle. The laidback spirit of the clothing seamlessly blends with the ambience of the store. It is not unusual to shop while lounging, watching the latest sports game on the big screen TV or listening to a variety of funk, soul and R&B music while sipping a glass of wine and visiting with Scott.

ACCESS CARD offer: 10% off in-store purchases

BC says....

"Great blazers, shirts & more! I'm even gonna wear this velvet 'wine' colored jacket
for one of my shows during the Getaway."


Marie Lyall Shoes for him & her

Marie Lyall Shoes is the newest member of the Lyall family clothing stores, known for providing a warm ambience with a classic urban vibe. You’ll find that same relaxed atmosphere in Marie's shoe store.

From well-known designers to high-quality, lesser-known labels, you can look forward to a fine selection of men’s and women’s shoes, including Stuart Weitzman, Aquatalia, Donald Pliner, Marc Joseph, Arche, Calleen Cordero, Ilse Jacobson, SeaVees, BM Stretch, Nomad, Yoshi Samra, Blundstone and Tom’s. In addition to shoes, the store offers accessories including jewelry, belts, handbags, hats, scarves and HUE hosiery for her along with some leather and canvas bags for him.

ACCESS CARD offer: 10% off in-store purchases

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NVJG ACCESS CARD offers are good from June 9 – 20, 2014. Only NVJG VIPs, 4-Day Gold Package and 2-Day Silver Package attendees will receive ACCESS CARDS, which cannot be purchased individually. Click HERE for more information and to purchase multi-day packages or single-day tickets.


Team NVJG 

ACCESS CARD Spotlight -- Non-winery Partners

Hello Getaway Family!

Just 13 days until NVJG 2014! 

We've added more exciting businesses to our list of 2014 NVJG ACCESS CARD partners that offer a variety of things to do while in Napa Valley: 


- Beau Wine Tours

- Gloria Curry Day Spa

- Lucero Olive Oil

- Napa Valley Museum


Get around the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway safely with UBER! 

UBER is an exclusively on-demand service, so request a driver a few minutes before you need a ride. Track your driver in real-time, hop in the car and hop out at the end of the ride without ever taking out your wallet.  Check out how easy it is to use!

1.) Order a Car
Use the iPhone or Android app, or visit to request a ride.

2.) Your Driver Comes to You
Sit back and relax. They'll text you when your UBER arrives curbside.

3.) Hop In & Hop Out
After arriving at your destination, they'll charge your credit card on file and email you a receipt.

NVJG Offer: 
All first time riders will receive $25 off their trip for the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway. Follow these steps to receive the deal:

1. Sign up for Uber here using the code NAPAJAZZ

2. Download the free app for iPhoneAndroid
3. Sign into your account.

Beau Wine Tours

Experience a private chauffeured wine tour of intimate and exclusive winery estates or discover boutique gems on the road less traveled.

Beau Wine Tours and Limousine Service is Napa Valley's award-winning premiere wine tour service. They offer special tours for couples and small groups, and can create a custom itinerary to meet your needs. Their expert wine tour guides will help you discover Napa Valley's best-kept secrets and hidden treasures!

Round trip airport transfers are also available

ACCESS CARD offer: 15% discount on base hourly rates on Fridays and Saturdays, and 25% off base hourly rates on Sunday-Thursday. 10% off airport transfers as well as a special $99 per person rate on 6-hour group tours.

Gloria Curry Day Spa

Gloria Curry came to Napa with over 30 years of experience as a licensed esthetician and an extensive background in the spa industry. She is committed to offering the very best in therapeutic facial and body massage treatments that utilize Seaweed Extracts and Aromatic Essential oils to balance the body, mind and spirit.

A variety of facial and massage treatments are offered to Restore, Revive and Relax in an elegant and calming atmosphere located near the Wine Train and The Westin Verasa Napa.

ACCESS CARD offer: 15% off services and products, including boutique items.

Lucero Olive Oil

The Lucero family is third generation olive growers nestled in rural Northern Sacramento Valley. Known as The Olive Capital, Corning has some of the oldest olive trees in California and many of these century-old trees continue to flourish in the family's groves.

The family assures same-day picking and pressing at peak ripeness to capture the fresh fruity flavors along with producing award winning Extra Virgin Olive Oils.

ACCESS CARD offer: free dipping dish with each purchase

Napa Valley Museum

Situated in the historic town of Yountville next door to The Lincoln Theater, this vibrant museum offers a break from whirlwind wine-tasting.

From the 1950s Napa City Limits sign (Population then: 13,155. Population Now: 77,000+.) to paintings and photos of wine pioneers, the museum's collection chronicles the history of the region, its people and geology along with the wine industry that put Napa Valley on the map.

On display thru June 15: Napa Valley Collects, honoring the region’s private art collectors, is a three-month exhibition that includes significant works from outstanding art collections throughout the Napa Valley featuring artists such as Joan Brown, Andy Warhol and Edouard Manet.

ACCESS CARD offer:  2-for-1 admission  (Adult Admission cost: $5)

NVJG ACCESS CARD offers are good from June 9 – 20, 2014. Only NVJG VIPs, 4-Day Gold Package and 2-Day Silver Package attendees will receive ACCESS CARDS, which cannot be purchased individually. Click HERE for more information and to purchase multi-day packages or single-day tickets.


Team NVJG 

PLEASE NOTE: In a prior ACCESS CARD Spotlight email, we featured Scott Lyall shoes. The store is now under new management with a new name: Marie Lyall Shoes for him & her. Marie offers the same great designer shoes as well as fine
 jewelry, handbags, scarves & hosiery.