Top 3 Napa Restaurants according to Superstar Chef Thomas Keller

Superstar Chef Thomas Keller

Calling all epicureans…I just read this article, “Thomas Keller’s Top 5 Napa Restaurants,” in Food & Wine magazine and wanted to share the info with you. Food & Wine is the ultimate authority on the best of what's new in food, drink, travel, design and entertaining. Superstar chef Thomas Keller is known as the unofficial mayor of Yountville, and as the Napa powerhouse when it comes to local restaurants. His restaurant The French Laundry, is one of my personal favorites. I also adore his bistro and bakery, Bouchon, and his casual offshoot Ad Hoc. Here are some of Keller’s favorite local restaurants: 1) Redd “In Yountville, Richard … [Read more...]

The Global Luxury Residential Real Estate Report 2015 – See how UHNW individuals invest their money

Results form the Global Luxury Residential Real Estate Report

Many interesting trends were unveiled in the recently released Global Luxury Real Estate Report 2015. This informative report, created by Sotheby’s and Wealth-X, utilizes Wealth-X’s proprietary wealth intelligence derived from the company’s 170 global researchers that manually research and curate dossiers on ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals (defined as those with US$30 million or above in assets). Here are some key findings from the report The value of UHNW-owned residential real estate assets increased by 8% globally in 2014. On average, UHNW individuals own 2.7 owner-occupied residences. As of 2014, over 7% of the world’s … [Read more...]

One of the Best Design Plants: Naked Buckwheat (Eriogonum nudum)

Naked Buckwheat

I love the look of the naked buckwheat that grows amidst the wild flowers on our Napa Valley mountains. Besides being a naturally occurring plant in our region, it’s also one of the best design plants, and is tough and easy to grow. Even more, naked buckwheat provides important food for pollinators year-round, especially during California’s record breaking drought. Plant this beauty now and you’ll enjoy butterflies who will visit your garden to sip the refreshing nectar in the summer. Starting in the fall to next spring, the plant’s bountiful and delicious seeds will be a delicacy enjoyed by all kinds of birds. You’ll see this … [Read more...]

Extraordinary Success for our Deserving Veterans at The Pathway Home in Yountville

Pathway Home

The Pathway Home in Yountville is an innovative California facility that offers hope to combatants with post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injuries. It's more than just a home for our veterans; the Pathway Home is the place that suffering veterans can go for dramatic and effective treatment, spending four months in the intensive program. The program includes introducing these veterans to a loving community of local service club members who assist them in finding their own pathway home from war.  Check out this glowing review of the program, “Nonprofit Pathway Home helps combat vets” in Stars and Stripes, a newspaper that provides … [Read more...]

Love my TED talks; love this one on Architecture!

TED Talk with Marc Kushner

I just love listening to TED Talks, the nonprofit organization that offers short, powerful talks on a variety of topics. TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics, from science and business to global issues and design, in more than 100 languages. I just listened to a recent TED Talk with Marc Kushner, a practicing architect who splits his time between designing buildings at HWKN, the architecture firm he cofounded, and Architizer.com, the largest platform for architecture and design online, hosting projects uploaded by designers themselves. Both have the same … [Read more...]

Interested in buying a “green home?” You’re not alone! 

going green graphic

In a recent blog, “Is a Smart Home For You?” I looked at the many benefits a smart home can provide. In this blog, I look at what homebuyers are looking for in a “green home.” Granted, green homes aren’t always “smart” homes, and smart homes aren’t always “green.” It’s possible, however, to create a “smart green home,” and it seems like that’s what many homebuyers are looking for these days. According to the latest data from the 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, and the 2015 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, green and energy-efficient homes are extremely popular among homebuyers today. In fact, many buyers cited … [Read more...]

Smart Kitchens are actually helping sell homes

smart kitchen appliances

Believe it or not, having smart kitchens adorned with state-of-the-art appliances and other high-end accouterments are helping clinch a sale. Smart-home products were all the rage at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, CES 2015. Everything from robotic washing machines and dryers to intelligent doorbells, locks, coffeemakers and brainy HVAC accessories were displayed front and center at this year's high-tech gadget extravaganza. The International CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. Held in Las Vegas every year, it has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough … [Read more...]

Napa Valley real estate – a great to place invest in a vacation home

vacation home in Napa Valley

If you have been toying with the idea of buying a second, vacation home in wine country, now is a great time to take the leap and Napa Valley real estate is the perfect place to invest. Interest rates remain low so it's a great to time lock in and enjoy the continual growth in market values.  According to the National Association of Realtors, vacation-home sales accounted for 13% of all transactions last year, their highest market share since 2006. "What our customers tell us, and what the data tells us, is that for an individual who is well-qualified and who clearly wants to purchase that second home, this is an outstanding time to buy," … [Read more...]

Have you eaten at Sam’s Social Club in Calistoga yet?

Sam's Social Club logo

Napa is abuzz over the recent opening of Sam’s Social Club, a delicious restaurant tucked inside a brand new building at the bohemian hideaway, Indian Springs Resort. Do yourself a favor and savor the restaurant’s Rustic American Cuisine for breakfast, lunch or dinner in the bucolic setting located at the western foot of Mt. Lincoln.  I think you will love the menu. The main dining area seats 90 guests and there's a ground floor brew-pub/bar called The Cellar.  Sam’s also invites patrons to dine alfresco on the tree-shaded patio. The outdoor area is set with fire pits and a natural geyser-fed fountain carved into a stone wall.  It's pretty … [Read more...]

Finally a Future for the Copia Cultural Food and Wine Center

The Copia Cultural Food and Wine Center

After being plagued for the past six-and-a-half years with financial issues, the future looks bright for the former Copia Cultural Food and Wine Center thanks to its new owner, Triad Development of Seattle. Since opening in 2001, the center has been fighting an uphill battle, in spite of major support from philanthropic groups, the full backing of Robert Mondavi, and contributions from many in the wine business totaling nearly $50 million. Finally, in December of 2008, Copia filed for bankruptcy. The details of sale between The Copia Liquidation Trust and Triad Development have not been disclosed, but the future could include a new tenant … [Read more...]