At Boca Express Travel we are always looking for fun and unique ways to celebrate the holidays. I can’t resist a good food and wine pairing!
The Twelve Days of Christmas at Meadowood Napa Valley
Celebrate the spirit of the holidays with The Twelve Days of Christmas® at Meadowood Napa Valley, benefitting Share Our Strength® December 7-22, 2012. Twelve influential chefs cooking in collaboration with Chef Christopher Kostow in The Restaurant at Meadowood. Twelve legendary Napa Valley vintners. Twelve holiday dinners you won’t want to miss. Just sixty seats per evening.
Day 1: Friday, December 7
Chef: Scott Anderson, Elements – Princeton, NJ
A New Jersey native, Executive Chef Scott Anderson has garnered acclaim both locally and nationwide, sourcing the freshest ingredients and applying them to his “interpretive American” style of cooking. In its 2011 Best Restaurant Issue, Esquire’s John Mariani named Scott the “vanguard of modern global-American cuisine.”
Visit the Elements website
Vintner: Juan Mercado, Realm Cellars
Juan grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and was introduced to wine while studying at St. Mary’s College. In 1999, just four years after graduating, he decided to move to Napa Valley to pursue his passion. In 2002, Juan founded Realm Cellars with the singular goal of producing hand-crafted wines of superior quality from the finest vineyards in Napa Valley. Together with Winemaker Benoit Touquette and Consulting Oenologist Michel Roland, Realm is guided today by the same fundamental virtues as more than a decade ago. This is only the beginning of Realm’s journey, and the best is yet to come.
Visit the Realm Cellars website
Day 2: Saturday, December 8
Chefs: John B. & Karen Urie Shields, Formerly of Town House – Chilhowie, VA
Award-winning chefs John B. and Karen Urie Shields recently left destination restaurant Town House in Virginia to open their own restaurant in the Mid-Atlantic region. John is an alumna of Charlie Trotter’s and Alinea; Karen of TRU and Trotter’s.
Vintner: Ehren Jordan, Failla Wines
Failla is dedicated to sourcing cool climate fruit from the extreme coastal areas of Sonoma County. Winemaker Ehren Jordan began his career with a two-year apprenticeship in the Rhône, followed by years of making wines for Neyers Vineyards and Turley Wine Cellars. Ehren and his wife Anne-Marie Failla founded Failla in 1998 and since then have built a winery and caves in St. Helena, as well as a reputation around a growing portfolio of wines that include Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays influenced by Ehren’s viticultural training in France. In 2008, the San Francisco Chronicle named Ehren “Winemaker of the Year.”
Visit the Failla Wines website
Day 3: Tuesday, December 11
Chef: Phillip Foss, EL Ideas – Chicago, IL
Since opening in 2011, Chef and Owner of EL Ideas, Phillip Foss, has turned the tables of fine dining around. In a non-pretentious setting and in an unknown industrial neighborhood in Chicago, Chef Foss and his collaborative team of chefs put forward a progressive menu featuring contemporary cuisine for eighteen guests an evening. As the small dining room is set directly in the oversized kitchen, the barriers between diners and chefs are broken down. Guests are invited to join chefs in the kitchen, ask questions and even help plate and serve. The result is a level of intimacy unlike that in any other restaurant.
Visit the EL Ideas website
Vintner: John Conover, PlumpJack Wines
Vintner John Conover and partners Gordon Getty and Gavin Newsom are known for quality and innovation at PlumpJack Winery (Oakville) and CADE Estate (Howell Mountain). The estate Cabernet Sauvignons from both wineries earn top scores each year by critics including Robert Parker, Jr. PlumpJack’s June 2000 release of the U.S. wine industry’s first bottling of ultra-premium wine in a screw cap bottle was a bold gesture that launched a national discussion about closures. Today they stand as leaders in the green winery movement, having opened CADE in 2009 with a coveted LEED-Gold certification for environmental design, distinguishing the property as the greenest winery estate in California. In August 2012 ODETTE Estate (Stag’s Leap District), became the newest member of the PlumpJack family.
Visit the PlumpJack Wines website
Day 4: Wednesday, December 12
Chefs: Stuart Brioza & Nicole Krasinski, State Bird Provisions – San Francisco, CA
Native Californians Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski spent seven years cooking in the midwest. They returned home in 2004 to take the reins at Rubicon where they earned their first Michelin star. In 2012, they opened the doors to their soulful and innovative restaurant, State Bird Provisions, which has quickly garnered rave reviews.
Visit the State Bird Provisions website
Vintner: Beth Novak Milliken, Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery
Spottswoode is a family-owned historic vineyard and winery in the Napa Valley renowned for its elegant, balanced Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. Established in 1882, the property is distinguished by the Victorian home depicted on the label. Mary and Jack Novak purchased the 45-acre estate in 1972, wanting to raise their family of five in this rural setting. After Jack’s untimely death in 1977, Mary realized their shared dream in 1982 by producing the first vintage of Cabernet. Organic farming practices were adopted in 1985, making Spottswoode among the first in Napa Valley to farm in this manner. Winery President Beth Milliken and Sales Director Lindy Novak work closely with their mother as stewards of this singular estate property.
Visit the Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery website
Day 5: Thursday, December 13
Chef: Jason Franey, Canlis Restaurant – Seattle, WA
After six years of working under Daniel Humm at San Francisco’s Campton Place and New York’s Eleven Madison Park, Jason left the post of executive sous chef to become the executive chef of Seattle’s landmark Canlis Restaurant. Having helped transform Eleven Madison Park, placing it on the forefront of Manhattan’s dining scene, Franey set a new course: to make 60 year-old Canlis the city’s preeminent food destination. Three years into his tenure he continues to do just that with innovative, seasonally inspired menus and local sourcing.
Visit the Canlis Restaurant website
Vintners: Joe Wender & Ann Colgin, Colgin Cellars
Ann Colgin has helped forge a reputation for California wines as amongst the greatest red wines of the world. Since 1992, Colgin has produced highest quality wines from exceptional hillside vineyards in the St. Helena area of Napa Valley. These unique sites, coupled with meticulous vineyard management and neo-classical winemaking techniques, produce wines with distinctive personalities. Colgin currently produces four first growth quality red wines: Tychson Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Cariad Napa Valley Red Wine, IX Estate Napa Valley Red Wine and IX Estate Syrah. All of the Colgin wines are made at the state-of-the-art winery located at IX Estate.
Visit the Colgin Cellars website
Day 6: Friday, December 14
Chef: Matthias Merges, Yusho – Chicago, IL
Matthias Merges is the owner and executive chef of Yusho restaurant in Chicago, which opened in 2011 to rave reviews. Matthias was previously the executive chef of the legendary Charlie Trotter’s for 14 years, during which time he honed skills in innovative cuisine, exemplary service, notable wine acquisitions, business expansion, corporate consulting, cuisine product development, cookbook projects, philanthropic programs and international event coordination.
Visit the Yusho website
Vintner: Philippe Melka, Melka Wines
Melka Wines is a family-run operation that draws on the combined wine industry expertise of winemaker Philippe Melka and his wife Cherie, a skilled enologist. Founded in 1996, this once homespun project now arcs into its second decade above the radar and in full fruition. Focusing on limited production wines that capture the essence of terroir from their vineyards in Knights Valley, Napa Valley and Saint Emilion, Philippe and Cherie aim to create wines that they not only enjoy to produce, but love to drink.
Visit the Melka Wines website
Day 7: Saturday, December 15
Chef: Mori Onodera, Formerly of Mori Sushi – Los Angeles, CA
Chef and artist Mori Onodera, formerly at the helm of Mori Sushi in Los Angeles, served his own locally grown rice and created handmade plates for the restaurant. He is currently making plates for Michelin Guide restaurants Mélisse and Providence in Los Angeles and Manresa in Los Gatos, CA. He has also embarked on a new project to grow premium Japanese rice in Uruguay.
Vintners: Cleo & Jayson Pahlmeyer, Pahlmeyer
Jayson Pahlmeyer has been producing seductive, hedonistic wines since 1986. Pahlmeyer’s flagship wine is the Proprietary Red, a Napa Valley Bordeaux blend. Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Noir round out this stunning portfolio. These wines are produced from exceptional mountain vineyards in the Napa Valley and Sonoma Coast, including the Pahlmeyer family’s Waters Ranch and Wayfarer. These vineyards, coupled with winemakers Kale Anderson and Bibiana Gonzalez Rave’s passion and talent, turn out wines with power and finesse.
Visit the Pahlmeyer website
Day 8: Tuesday, December 18
Chef: James Syhabout, Commis – Oakland, CA
James Syhabout is the Chef and Owner of Commis and Hawker Fare Restaurant. An Oakland native, James has accomplished having Oakland’s first and only Michelin Star restaurant with Commis. Before he set sail to have his own restaurants he worked for David Kinch at Manresa as his Chef de Cuisine for many years.
Visit the Commis website
Vintners: Ann & Dick Grace, Grace Family Vineyards
In the late 1970s, Dick and his wife Ann started a small winery in the Napa Valley. Although the family began their venture with virtually no experience in wine making, the Insider’s Wine Line says “the Cabernet Sauvignons that have evolved from the original one-acre vineyard on the property have now become legend.” Known as much for its prized wine as its mission statement: “Wine as a catalyst towards healing our planet,” Grace Family Vineyards raises well more than a million dollars annually for various charitable causes.
Visit the Grace Family Vineyards website
Day 9: Wednesday, December 19
Chef: Nick Anderer, Maialino – New York, NY
Nick Anderer is the Executive Chef of Maialino, an acclaimed Roman trattoria located in Gramercy Park from Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. Nick has worked for Larry Forgione at An American Place, Rose Hill and Manhattan Prime, as well as for Mario Batali and Gina De Palma at Babbo. He then cooked at Gramercy Tavern for six years, first under Tom Collicchio and then Michael Anthony, before becoming the opening Chef at Maialino.
Visit the Maialino website
Vintners: Donald Bryant, Bryant Family Vineyard
The life of Bryant Family Vineyard founder, Donald Bryant, is marked by true passion and a drive for excellence. He acquired the vineyard in the 1980s, replanted it with 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon using modern viticulture practices and produced the first vintage in 1992. The gravity-fed winery and state-of-the-art cave insure proper care of the wine from vineyard to bottle. The expanding Bryant portfolio stays true to Bryant’s vision of celebrating the unique terroir of Napa Valley while paying homage to the great winemaking traditions of Bordeaux.
Visit the Bryant Family Vineyard website
Day 10: Thursday, December 20
Chef: David Toutain, Agapé Substance – Paris, France
Chef Toutain developed his passion for cooking from some of France’s most influential chefs, such as Alain Passard and Marc Veyrat. While working at Mugaritz in Spain, a restaurant that placed ingredients at the heart of cuisine, he met his future wife. They moved to New York where he became Chef at Corton. The birth of his son Aiden inspired him to return to France and open his own restaurant in his own vision, Agapé Substance.
Visit the Agapé Substance website
Vintners: Bart & Daphne Araujo, Araujo Estate
Araujo Estate is located just east of Calistoga at the legendary Eisele Vineyard, which has produced some of Napa Valley’s most highly regarded Cabernets since 1971. Since purchasing the vineyard in 1990, the Araujos have protected and reinforced the integrity of its century-plus history through organic and biodynamic farming practices and by producing wines of the highest quality at the winery they built there. A fifth generation Californian, Bart’s family ties to ranching as well as years of business experience and Daphne’s formal training in landscape architecture, have prepared them well for developing and managing a world-class wine estate.
Visit the Araujo Estate website
Day 11: Friday, December 21
Chefs: Josh Habiger & Erik Anderson, The Catbird Seat – Nashville, TN
Chefs Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson both possess impressive resumes, working in the kitchens of Auriga, French Laundry and Alinea. Together, the duo helms the open kitchen in the 32-seat Nashville restaurant, The Catbird Seat. The restaurant has only been open for six months and yet in that time Habiger and Anderson have been named Best New Chef by Food & Wine, chosen as one of the top 10 new restaurants in America by GQ magazine and nominated as semi-finalists for Best New Restaurant by the James Beard Foundation.
Visit The Catbird Seat website
Vintner: Charles Thomas, Quintessa
Agustin and Valeria Huneeus developed Quintessa in 1990 to establish the 280-acre property in Rutherford as one of the great red wine estates of the world. Winemaker Charles Thomas joined Quintessa in 2007 with more than 20 years of experience. Charles and Agustin focus on crafting a single estate red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Carmeenre from each vintage that expresses the hallmark harmony, balance and elegance of this tremendously diverse organic and biodynamic vineyard and wine estate.
Visit the Quintessa website
Day 12: Saturday, December 22
Chef: Christopher Kostow & Sous Chefs, The Restaurant at Meadowood – St. Helena, CA
Christopher Kostow is the Chef of The Restaurant at Meadowood and Culinary Host for The Twelve Days of Christmas.
Visit The Restaurant at Meadowood website
Vintners: H. William & Deborah Harlan, BOND
BOND is the enduring vision of winegrowers H. William and Deborah Harlan and their team to create a portfolio of wines that are diverse in their geographical representation and “Grand Cru” in quality. From more than seventy vineyards that they have worked with during the last thirty years, they have diligently selected five hillside estates that vividly demonstrate the range of Napa Valley’s finest terroirs. Your hosts for this evening also include BOND Co-Founder Don Weaver and Winemaker Cory Empting.
Visit the BOND website
Call us at Boca Express Travel for the best rates and reservations to the Meadowood!
Location and Directions to Meadowood
900 Meadowood Lane, St. Helena, California 94574
Tel (707) 963-3646 Fax (707) 963-3532