Mid-week during Festival del Sole an unexpected surprise laid in wait. A dinner party hosted by Raymond Vineyards Owner and part-time San Francisco resident, Jean-Charles Boisset and his wife Gina Gallo, overflowed with cosmopolitan sensibilities. At first glance, the property is unassuming and quaint, traditional to the valley with the sense of a larger purpose. Then little hints of whimsy become apparent, like large picture frames hung for your amusement, Louis XVesc vinyl Queen of Love chairs dotting the lawn and Lady Gaga booming in the distance.
Adjacent to the Eichler Style guesthouse was the JCB Lounge. The décor dripped in golden design with an alluring audacity and commanding presence. The dinner, set in the mirrored Crystal Cellar, (Baccarat of course) helped burn the night on the senses like warm cognac at the back of your throat. Yet in all the playfulness, the importance of organic and biodynamic farming principles are never overshadowed at Raymond. Like it’s charismatic proprietor, the grounds are packed with panache and pleasing terroir.
Along with events at Grgich Hills Estate, Fantesca Estate & Winery and HALL Napa Valley, Quintessa was the last leg for the SF Socialite Examiner. After the hours when tasting rooms along Silverado Trail have all closed, guests found themselves driving through the vineyards at Quintessa. The wonderland setting leaves you feeling astry for a brief moment just before you arrive at the lakeside residence of Agustin Huneeus. Huneeus, who also plays the Cello held a surprise performance alongside the famed, Nina Kotova and Svetlana Vladimirova. After a photo of the trio was taken Huneeus remarked that “this is a picture I will keep forever.” Many aforementioned notables seen throughout the week came to dine. Joining them were San Francisco Ballet Principal Dancers, Vitor Luiz & Lorena Feijoo, Dede Wilsey, Ann & Gordon Getty and Kathryn & Craig Hall.
No matter how you package it, Festival del Sole is the culmination of people so passionate about music, wine, food and its best compliments. It is an event not to be missed and a favorite of the SF Socialite Examiner.
To see part I of this column click here.
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All the best – Moanalani Jeffrey | Follow me on Twitter @/sfsocialitemj.