This is my first year as president of the Napa Valley Wine Library Association, and I am looking forward to our two events, the Annual Tasting and our Varietal Seminar, in August. Response from the wineries invited to our 47th Annual Tasting, “The Romance of PetiteZinNoir,” has been excellent and the 19th Varietal Seminar, “On the Other Hand: Discovering Other Reds,” chaired by Carolyn Martini and assisted by Allen Balik, is almost sold out. Please refer to page 19 of this issue of the REPORT for more information about both these events.
Photography: Jane Burger
Our semiannual REPORT, compiled and edited by Diana Stockton, is a major part of Napa Valley Wine Library’s mission to chronicle the stories and histories of those who grow the grapes and make the wines of Napa Valley. Diana’s excellent work assures that this history is preserved. Special thanks go to Priscilla Upton whose photographs beautifully illustrate the interviewees in each REPORT.
Kevin Alfaro, our president for the past three years, deserves thanks and credit for a job well done. Fortunately, he continues to serve on the board of directors and give much needed guidance. In addition, we welcome new board member Barbara Insel, and thank outgoing board member Morgan Morgan for her work on our website. A very special mention goes to Julie Dickson, guiding light of the Wine Library’s memory. Julie developed and manages our relationship with St. Helena Public Library, the repository of the collections of the Wine Library. In addition, she has supervised the Barney’s Backyard Petite Sirah vineyard on the grounds of the public library that produces the wine that honors the memory of Belle and Barney Rhodes—truly the patron saints of the Napa Valley wine culture. Please do not hesitate to visit the library in St. Helena and meet its dynamic director, Jennifer Baker.
On Wednesday, May 20, 2009 four authors took part in the 2nd Annual Books on Wine Festival we cosponsored with St. Helena Public Library. Paranormal investigator Jeff Dwyer, Ghost Hunter’s Guide to California’s Wine Country’; UC Davis professor Charlie Banforth, Grape vs. Grain; historian Charles Sullivan, 2nd edition of Napa Wine; and photographer Bill Tucker, Napa Behind the Bottle held the rapt attention of a large audience with their presentations. Accompanying wines for the event were provided by Appellation St. Helena members as well as NVWLA.
Today, many of us are concerned that with the hundreds of new wineries and vineyards in the Valley, the histories of the men and women and their contributions to our wine community may be lost. We have now begun the process to create a comprehensive listing of all of Napa Valley’s wineries, wines and vineyards online. Such an undertaking will require the participation of a vast number of individuals and institutions. Our recent board members were invited to serve with this project in mind. I am hopeful that we can present a plan for this project by the end of the year and, most importantly, on how you can participate!
Thank you for your enthusiastic support. I look forward to seeing you in the Grove of Silverado at the Annual Tasting in August.
Bob Long, President