Thomas Rivers Brown, above, is what you might call a champion flying winemaker. He is a champ because he achieves, or has achieved, 100/100 from leading assessor Robert Parker Jr (who has close links to a Singapore investor Soo Hoo Khoon Peng). Rivers Brown is also a flying winemaker in that he flits from one to another of his 40+ clients, who apparently pay up to $700,000 each, per year, for his expertise. At Four Seasons Napa Valley, opening outside Calistoga CA in the immediate future, the University of Virginia graduate – whose academic expertise is Economics and Literature – tends six acres of organic vines. Girlahead cannot wait to visit this Four Seasons resort, run by GM Mehdi Eftekari. What with vineyards, Napa-area ambience, 23 acres of land and only 85 rooms, plus 20 residences, of course it will be a winner. Big money obviously thinks so: even at this pre-opening stage, apparently bids of around $170 million are coming in to buy the whole thing.
There is growing HNW interest in the Napa area. First, Americans are travelling domestically, for obvious reasons. Next, everyone, worldwide, is looking for space and nature. Another Napa-area property to note is Montage Healdsburg, run by Allen Highfield, the San Francisco-born hotelier whom Girlahead has followed from there to Deer Valley UT, and now to wineland. The 130-room Montage Healdsburg, owned by Ohana Real Estate Investors, is a sprawling 258-acres, and on the oenological front it partners with Jesse Katz’s Aperture Cellars.
It is possible, indeed, to have a Napa-area resort WITHOUT wine? Las Alcobas, St Helen brainchild of Mexican entrepreneur Samuel Leizorek, partners with its neighbour Beringer, whose vineyards surround the resort. Meadowood, which works with Bill Harlan and his wines, has its own vines, its own viticulture members’ club. And so on.
On the wine, and food, front, Jumeirah’s gourmet CEO José Silva is one of the most popular stars of Mary Gostelow Girlahead Podcast. If you missed him before, hear him here: