Touring Mondavi's To Kalon Vineyard
[caption id="attachment_1338" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Ann Rea, Cheryl Copham, and Dave Copham"][/caption] This Friday afternoon I stood with the winners of the my Experience of Art & Wine from the Naples Winter Wine Festival. Tom and Cheryl Copham and I smiled for the camera as we enjoyed our first toast in Robert Mondavi’s famed To Kalon Vineyard in Oakville, CA. The Cophams won auction lot #14 that included my Experience of Art & Wine, and other amazing donations from my patrons Sandi & Tom Moran, Meadowood Napa Valley, The French Laundry, and Michael Chiarello, to name a few. It was a perfect afternoon. The light was as clear and crisp as the first sip of wine that we enjoyed that afternoon. I liked the Cophams when I “met” them on the phone. And I liked them even better in person. I’m always inspired by the stories of successful entrepreneurs like Dave. And I was heartened to find Tom and Cheryl to be warm and down to earth, like many of my fellow Midwesterner friends. Jani DiCarlo of Robert Mondavi ToKalon Circle guided us through To Kalon Vineyard revealing the different facets of the terroir. The afternoon light slowly saturated the tops of the vines as we discovered the golden California poppies, the big old oak tree hugging the stream, and the crazy looking cork tree, the rose bushes ending the rows, and finally the garden where Robert Mondavi himself used to love to entertain. I know that the Cophams must be curious about what and where I will be painting the series of To Kalon Vineyard but the truth is I just don’t know. When I return to To Kalon Vineyard I’ll respond to and then study in oil paint what calls me. And what that will be could be one thing one day and another the next day. It’s very personal. It’s simply an inexplicable creative response that only thrives when I release control by thinking too much about it. When I honor my creative impulses my paintings tend to call to viewers. They have a sense of what I felt blended with what they feel. Art is so very personal for the artist and for the viewer. In the words of Tim Mondavi, "That’s how the best art, and the best wine, are created – from the heart."