Wine, Conversation, and Memories at the Calistoga Ranch

calistoga_01_bigCalistoga Ranch graciously invited me to show my oil paintings last evening during their Friday evening wine tasting.  And I had the pleasure to mix and mingle with the staff and their guests. The first guest I met was Ron Kuhn, the proprietor of Pillar Rock Vineyard.  Ron is a dapper gentleman from Chicago with a handsome mane of white hair that matched his beautiful wife Teri’s shoulder length white hair.  The first thing Ron did was hand me a generous glass of the Pillar Rock Cabernet Sauvignon.  I swirled and sipped it, and I meant it when I said to Ron, “this wine makes me tingle.” It was supple, balanced, and full of complex flavors that my friend Christopher Sawyer, a Sommelier, wine critic and writer, does a much better job of describing than I. I also met an urologist and his new bride visiting from Austin who were visiting his sister, a San Francisco jewelry designer.  We chatted about color and aesthetics. Then I met a venture capitalist and his wife. By way of mentioning Thomas Kinkade, the “Painter of Light”, who is now filing for bankruptcy, we made our way to a conversation about integrity and ethics in business.  I suggested that this was the simple source of “Painter of Light" troubles.  This was on this guest's mind because he was dealing with an unscrupulous former business partner.  So I recommended my brother’s book, translated into several languages, “Integrity is a Growth Market”.  Even if you don’t buy the book, it would be great if everyone in business just remembered the title. And I met a mother of two who was reluctantly turning 40.  Her husband surprised her with a lavish trip to Napa from Baltimore.  I encouraged her to celebrate and appreciate all of the gifts that she has, and to consider the alternative to having a birthday. I meet interesting, intelligent, gracious people at events, and Calistoga Ranch is again no exception.  The people I mentioned above were just a few lovely folks I met last night.   Our paths may never cross again but we shared some wine, conversation, and maybe a memory.
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