Sunday, May 31, 2009

Touring Guests from Montana and Wyoming

One of my transportation service client's, the Brovelli's of Napa, CA asked me to take their visiting friends on a tour of wineries of the Napa Valley. The party is shown below from left to right: Bill Appel, Bill Suchor, Raylene Suchor, Charlie Reed, Margie Suedekum and Audrey Reed. (you can expand any of the pictures and copy them to your own files.)

The first stop was the Chateau Montelena winery, located north of the town of Calistoga located on Tubbs Lane, ( named after its founder, Alfred Loving Tubbs). The estate constructed started in 1882. Web site:

Pictured above is the stone winery designed by Hamden McIntyre, who also designed the pre-1900 wineries of Inglenook (now known as Rubicon), Far Niente, Eschol (now known as Trefethen), Bourn & Wise (now occupied by the Culinary Institute of America), Adamson (now known as Frog's Leap), and Ewer & Atkinson winery (which is contained within the newer outside structure now know as Beaulieu Vineyards).

Alfred, along with his brother, Hiram were very wealthy owners of a cordage & chandelier company in the Potrero Point and Hill area of San Francisco, south of Market street and along the water front. They supplied ropes to sailing ships and to the gold mines of 49'er country. There is also a street named after them near the place where their office once stood.

Next stop was Sterling winery built back in the mid 1960'3, is accessible by tram. It is a self-guided tour facility. It was once owned by the Coca Cola Co. who sold it to Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, Inc. which in turn sold to its current owner, Diageo, of Great Britain.

They all then went on the self-guided tour of the facilities.

Before leaving I had to have them see the view looking down (south)the Napa Valley towards San Francisco Bay from the upper level deck

Everybody was getting hungry so off we went to V. Sattui winery ( ) and deli. Sattui is the only winery permitted to operate a co-located deli. Their wines are only available at the winery or through their web site.

The Napa Valley Wine Train going back down-valley from St. Helena to Napa while everybody is finishing up their lunch.

I wanted them to the spectacular view from the tasting room located at Silverado Vineyards which is owned by the heirs of Walt Disney.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Touring & Other Transportation Services

Wine Country Marketing & Promotions (WCM&P) offers very special tours in Napa and Sonoma County Counties. Whether you are a first-timer to the two counties or an experienced traveling connoisseur, WCM&P tours are an unforgettable experiences.

Please view the righthand sidebar for samples of our tours and the photo journals we have amassed on Wine Country and San Francisco.

We also know our way around San Francisco. And if you want a run-away, let us introduce you to our Associate in the tip of Baja Mexico, "The Cabo Guy."

More info: Phone: 707-299-9548 To make reservations text @ 707-299-9548 or e-mail at You can also join our mailing list and receive updates on what we are offering for tours in and around the San Francisco Bay Area, including Napa and Sonoma wine country.

Our founder, John M. Olney, leads our professional, knowledgeable and personable guides on your Wine Country excursion. Mr. Olney is an acknowledge historian on the creation of the magnificent wineries first built in the 1860s through the addition of the most modern and newest large and small wineries dotting the country side of both counties. He sits on the 8-person Nominating Committee and is one of the 45 voting members of the California Vintners Hall of Fame Electoral College sponsored by and housed at the Culinary Institute of America, Greystone complex, St. Helena, California.

Mr. Olney has been published on Suite 101, Napa Valley Register and the St. Helena Star. He writes on the history of founding members (1903) of the Napa Elks Lodge and about wine tastings & tours throughout the Bay Area for WCM&P web sites. You may examine Mr. Olney’s credentials by clicking here for his biography, , and click here to access other stories and articles written by Mr. Olney, .

To provide a sense of Mr. Olney's personalized tours we encourage you to click on any of the photo journals shown in the righthand sidebar: Here are waht two recent users of our services had to say about us:

Mr. Olney's most recent tour was for a special bithday party of nine (9) young ladies. Click here ->> "Kelsey's Wine Touring Birthday" <<- to read the narrative and watch the slide show of the three wineries and lunch at Mustard's restaurant

By e-mail, the birthday girl says about our photo shoot of her tour: John that was lovely! Sent it to all of my girlfriends and they all went crazy for it! Thank you so much for making my birthday so wonderful! The pictures were great. -Kelsey Elliott”

Also by e-mail her mother says: John, What a great memory birthday tour.Please use me as a reference for anyone wanting to know about your services! Sue Elliott

You can be assured to receive first class treatment by Mr. Olney and his well trained guides. The goal of WCM&P is for you to experience the genuine warm hospitality from our customer service representatives to ensure your memories of your visit are only the best!

Mr. Olney has designed wine tour packages focused on Napa Valley winegrowers which he believes will particularly appeal to the wine consumer who has already acquired an experienced palate and now seeks a deeper knowledge of the history of the development of these outstanding wineries while enjoying the great wines of Napa Valley.

Mr. Olney has also designed wine tour packages which will provide the wine taster with the opportunity to better understand the multiple line approach to a mixed house of wines made to the full range of palates as well as budgets. Mr. Olney will work with you on developing your own desired winery tour selections in which you request him as your tour guide. Please refer to our Fee Charge Chart for the special costs and terms associated to all of our Wine Country Marketing & Promotions tours.

The well trained staff of WCM&P can also arrange the following specials:

      • Winery cave tours & dining

      • Group & individual tours to wineries of your choice

      • Private tasting at very exclusive winegrower facilities

      • SF Bay Area tours

Monday, March 30, 2009


Wine Country Marketing and Promotions (WCM&P) offers its existing clients our innovativeHire-A-DD” Program whereby we provide a Designated Driver (DD) to escort our clients and their quests, or their merchandise and documents, to and/or from their intended destination(s) in their selected vehicle whether owned, leased, or rented by them.

For airport trips we return the clients’ vehicle to its origin and secure the vehicle accordingly. For the return trip of our clients, our DD’s then return to the clients’ home and/or work location and proceed to the airport to pick-up the client in its vehicle. The client’s vehicles always remain in the most secure of environments.

In our “Hire-A-DD” Program the client bares all the expenses of vehicle insurance, bridge tolls, gas, etc., during the timeframe our DD’s are contracted to provide driving services.

We refer to our existing clients as “The Wine Country Club Founders.” They receive our service which include, but is not limited to, the following:

* Portal-to-portal service at any hour requested

* Unlimited advance time for booking dates

* Airport runs to/from work and/or home

* Pick-up and/or delivery of merchandise/documents

* Medical and business appointments

* Social events whether day or evening

* Wine Country/San Francisco Tours for the guests of our clients

We accept new clients based on the referral of the existing TWCC Founders.

Our rates are very reasonable and competitive.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cabo and our Associate, Brian, "The Cabo Guy"

March 21, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Background & Experience - John M. Olney

Founder & Chairman, Wine Country Marketing & Promotions

Tourism, Customer Services, Marketing & Promotions

Moving to Napa, Calif. in 1985, Mr. Olney pursued employment in the golf, wine and food industries including two golf courses, three winery tasting rooms (Silverado Vineyards, Mumm and Andretti Winery) and one restaurant.

He produced two wine label poster-maps on Napa Valley winegrowers under his own company.

He then began writing both fiction and non-fiction articles and books. He published numerous stories and opinions about Napa wineries and related laws. The list of publications that have presented his work include Suite 101 on the Internet, Napa Valley Register, St. Helena Star newspapers and he is a regular writer for the Napa Elks Lodge News letter and our own Wine Country Marketing & Promotions (WCM&P) blog web site.

In late 2006, he commenced his first fiction book on the California wine industry titled “Entwined Vines.”

As an acknowledged historian on the history of wine in America, in 2007, he began the draft of his first non-fiction wine book tentatively titled “Wine U.S.A. - A Modern Historical Perspective” with the draft of the chapter tiled, “The Gentlemen Winegrowers of San Francisco: The men who really established Napa Valley.”

In 2006, he was selected as one of the top wine writers in America by the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and participated in the selection of the inaugural members of the California Vintners Hall of Fame (HOF), located at the CIA Greystone complex in St. Helena, CA. In October 2007, he was added to the Nomination Committee for the 2nd Annual CIA HOF Induction selections. He continued to serve on this very important California Vintner recognition organization ever since and in 2009, the body became the Vintners Hall of Fame Electoral College as was pared to about 45 voting members.

Alternative Energy and Conservation, and

Public Awareness Programs

In 1975, Mr. Olney and partners drafted the federal grant applications for Energy Conservation, Alternative Resources and Public Awareness for the State of Hawaii and the U.S. Territory of American Samoa. His company was subsequently contracted to manage the grants and train local governmental workers to assume management of the grants on a continuing bases.

He was the invited speaker at the South Pacific Forum in 1978 where he traveled to Western Samoa and spoke to the kings, prime ministers and presidents of the Forum member countries. His topic was “Alternative Energy Resources and Energy Conservation for Developing Island Countries of the Pacific.”

His company also implemented the first rideshare program among all the Pacific Islands on Oahu, Hawaii in 1973.

The company also designed and conducted the 1st Energy Fair in the South Pacific in 1975 in the Eastern District of the Territory of American Samoa.

Military Duty and Sciences

He served in the U.S. Navy during the 1965-70 timeframe while stationed in Alaska, California and Hawaii where he conducted detection and tracking of Soviet submarines transiting the Pacific. For the next five years and as a civilian he continued analysis of Soviet submarine operating parameters while employed by Arthur D. Little, Litton, and Pacific Analysis Corp. He then left the industrial-military industry to start his own company.

In 1996 he began writing his first draft of an unpublished novel (14 chapters, 347 pages titled “The SOSUS Man, “on his Navy experiences detecting and tracking Soviet submarine operations in the Pacific Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS). He is currently revising and editing the draft in anticipation of self publishing the novel in the summer of 2009.

The Early Years
Mr. Olney was raised in San Leandro, Ca. where he earned High School All-American honors in the 400 yard freestyle swimming event and was a four time letterman.

He graduated from the College of the Pacific, a cluster school of the University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA in 1964 where he majored in Speech, minor in Drama. He was co-star in the play “The Beautiful People, “written by William Saroyan conducted in theater-in-the-round and for his senior studies he produced and directed “Waiting for Godot” written by Samuel Beckett.

He was an eight time letterman (four each in swimming and water polo) and member of the Letterman’s Society (President his senior year).

He was a member of the social fraternity “Delta Upsilon” and was selected as the “Man of the Year” in 1963 by the social sorority “Gamma Phi Beta” in 1963.

In 1964, he was selected to “Who’s Who among American Universities and Colleges.”

Friday, March 13, 2009


Photo's and text by John M. Olney
march 15, 2009
Copyright all rights reserved, Wine Country Marketing and Promotions,
1325 Imola West, #409, Napa, CA Phone: 707-299-9548Web site: E-mail:
If you haven’t heard of Pat Kuleto before, by the time you are done enjoying this photographic journal of one of the most recent building designs of his genius, you’ll want to examine all his master pieces which I have listed below for your ease to locate.

But before going on about the estate design, and layout, I need to mention that the Foley Family Wines (FFW), headed by William "Bill" Foley, purchased a controlling interest in Kuleto Estate ( ), owned by restaurateur Pat Kuleto, and his cadre of investors, in mid March of this year. FFW posses a 70 percent interest in the operations and owns an undisclosed number of acres in vineyard land. The Estate includes approximately 75o total acres of land with about 150 planted to vineyard. The winery currently produces about 3,500 cases per year and plans show growth to about 14,000 cases.

William Foley is Chairman of the Florida-based Fidelity National Financial Inc.( ) and Fidelity National Information services ( ). He began his operating interest in the wine industry in 1996 with the purchase of Lincourt Vineyards ( ) in Santa Barbara County when he formed FFW. Next he purchased J. Carey winery and vineyards in Sta. Rita Hills and renamed it, Foley Winery ( He went on to purchase two more California wine businesses - Firestone Winery ( ) in Santa Barbara County and Merus Winery in the Napa Valley ( ) - before moving up to Washington to purchase the Three Rivers Winery in Walla Walla ( ).

Just before the end of 2008, in December, Foley purchased the old and well established Sebastiani winery of Sonoma, CA ( )

With the acquisition of Kuleto, FFW owns seven winery operations on more than 1,000 acres between the states of California and Washington.

Now let me get back to Pat Kuleto and his accomplishments which include the following designs:


Located in San Francisco

Located in Napa Valley (St. Helena)

Restaurant & Lodging located along the shores of Tomales Bay, Sonoma County

Winery Estate located high in the hills east of Napa Valley's town of Rutherford.

I hope to tour the inside of the winery very soon and present it as part 2 of this photo journal.


Located on the northern hillside of Highway 128 - also known as Sage Canyon - Kuleto Estate winery & vineyards is at the end of about a 2.5 mile winding and narrow side road climbing the hill where once you reach the top you will experience fantastic views in all directions from roughly the town of Yountville to the south to Mt. St. Helena raising to the north of the town of Calistoga.

About half up I found this resting place which truly captured my attention with this beautiful spreading old Oak tree. I was fascinated by this very interesting branch growing into and out of an old wine barrel.

Found this work shack just after making the first sharp turn

Vineyards were planted in all directions as I wound up the road towards the winery

Probably the most striking element of Kuleto’s ground landscaping designs is the extensive use of separated rest area’s varying in size capacity from table settings for two to seating capacity for fairly large groups. He also uses a substantial amount of ponds, water falls and fountains throughout the property. At the base of the hill where he built the winery and a home Kuleto has sculpted a fabulous little lake complete with dock and wharf. As one rises from the pond he has created waterfalls and additional ponds that provide the viewer with the feeling that he/she must have arrived in the Shangri la of wine country Napa.

Pictured here is the driveway which circles around the winery located un the upper level in the right hand margin

From the parking lot you cross by these oven entry way to the winery and tasting room.

As it approaches night time the lights start going on and the facilities takes on a different look.

As you drive up to the winery building, Kuleto has established a collection of old farming equipment and this wonderful old Sage Canyon fire engine.

I started walking towards the other side of the winery and up the small hill towardsrds Kuleto’s residence. I first came upon this fountain . I found it fascinating. I stopped to walk around it looking for some sort of deep meaning but I just couldn’t come with anything at the time.

I’m still fascinated with this presentation and my current thought is that it’s some sort of presentation related to wine vases and vessels. I’m going be looking forward to actually meeting this man and hearing his explanation of the essence behind this fountain and pond.

Then I started walking the hill when I suddenly got a whiff of that familiar smell of animal droppings. As I turned around the island in the road, I saw what was causing the unpleasant odor. Pat Kuleto is a gentleman farmer!

How about these Turkeys?

The next stop was to see the view from the grounds surrounding Kuleto’s residence.


To the right is the private driveway leading up to his house from the Eastern side of his home and connecting to boathouse down below the winery as shown earlier.

These stairs lead to the home from the eastern side. I did not go up to house; rather I slithered around the southern side to see the view from the grounds.

Here is the staircase leading to the home from the western side of the site.

Around the southern side of the home, I found spectacular views of Lake Hennessey.
This one was snapped as the sun was starting to set for the day.

The view west from the pool and pool house deck as the sun begins to set. The bridge crossing over the water near the closest point of the Lake is right at the split of Hwy 128 to go to Pope Valley to the left (north) and to head up to Lake Berryessa to the right (east).

The sky was constantly changing as the sun was setting.

I then went around to the northern side of the home. There were not as many trees blocking out the sun so it appears like more light exists than when I was on the south side of the home. This shot was taken directly behind the winery complex.

I turned around and took a couple of pictures to give you a feel for the size of this winery.

Now I’m back looking at the sunset but on the northern side of the complex.

But before closing this photo journal out I thought a few photo’s of other interesting points around the compound might be fun for you to browse. This little guy (left picture) is way up on the southern side roof of the winery building.

Then there are the doors and windows that caught my eye.

Presented below is a slideshow providing glimpses of the property as taken with my digital camera as well as 35mm camera.

Hoped you enjoyed this photo journal of a truley magnificient working estate.

Monday, January 19, 2009


March 21, 2009

By John Olney & John Naab January 2009
August 30, 2008, all rights reserved, Wine Country Marketing and Promotions,

1325 Imola West, #409, Napa, CA Phone: 707-299-9548
Web site: E-mail:

4162 Big Ranch Road , Napa, CA 94558
Phone: 888-460-8463, 707.261.1717,
Fax: 707-259-6776
Web site: /

Before going any further, I have to mention that I first visited these grounds back in the summer of 1986 when I was traveling all the back roads of Napa County in search of wineries that would provide me permission to use their label on my wine label poster-map. This site was the home of a couple of Hippie-like winemakers living among the tree grove in a typical two-story, California ranch style wood frame home.

When I arrived on-site, dogs were running around yipping and wagging tail as I approached in my old Dodge truck. Soon a young couple came out and met me as I was getting out of the truck. After exchanging pleasantries I told them what I was trying to accomplish and they invited me to come into their home and see their labels. The winery name at that time was “Mallard Vineyards.” They showed me two different labels and I immediately opted for the one that had the most fun; “Got-A-Way.” Needless to say, they were delighted that I would display their label at no cost nor obligation to buy any of the final poster product.

Fifteen years later in 2001, I found myself working in the tasting room of Andretti Winery. The new owners had purchased the property in 1996 and proceeded to completely remodel the existing buildings and added some structures to create the magnificent Tuscan estate which is modeled after one of the principal’s of the new ownership - Mario Andretti - home when he was growing up in Montona, Italy (renamed ;Motovun, Croatia, after World War II)
During the time I was associated to the winery tasting room, we were pushing out about 8,000 cases of wine per year spread among the tasting room, wine club, restaurants and other retail outlets.

The Tasting Room
I had not returned since my about nine month employment period ending in early 2002 until this last President’s Day Holiday, February, 18, 2008. WOW, was I surprised to see Sue Hendrick was still with the winery. I had hired her when I was essentially performing the role of acting Tasting Room Manager. When I first interviewed her, she indicted she could only work Sunday and Monday which was just fine as we were looking for part-time Tasting Room staff. Now, she has become Tasting Room Manager and is working four plus days a week. (Since this visit, Sue has retired from full time employment)
What a personal joy it was for me to find out how successful she had become at Andretti. Now she was going to be the tasting host to my party of which included Candi Koslowski, a server at Napa Cuvee Restaurant located near downtown Napa and John Naab, my business associate in Wine Country Marketing & Promotions (WCM&P).

The Key Players
I let Sue know that my mission was to taste Andretti wines for an article I was writing about the winery, the wines and its principals, Joe Antonini, former Chairman of the giant K-Mart Stores chain, Mario Andretti, voted “Race Car Driver of the Century,” at the millenium year of 2000, and Robert Petri, Jr., winemaker here as well as consulting a number of others. Sue had no problem with our mission and gave us permission to photograph the grounds, buildings and, of course, our tasting experiences.

JOE E. ANTONINI - Chairman
Former Chairman, President and CEO of Kmart Corporation where he was employed over30 years. He was selected Chairman of the large retail chain in 1987.
Mr. Antonini has held key positions such as: Chairman of the National Retail Federation and the National Minority Supplier Development Council, member of the Board of Directors of Polaroid Corporation, Chrysler Corporation, Shell Oil Company, Ziebart International, NBD Bank, Michigan Bell, and the Economic Club of Detroit. He also served as a Trustee for the National Italian American Foundation. He is a recipient of the Horatio Alger Award.

Mr. Antonini is a native of West Virginia where he attended college and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from West Virginia University. He was recognized by the University as its most distinguished alumni in 1992.

MARIO ANDRETTI - Vice Chairman
When he was 15 years old, his family immigrated to the United States. Near his hometown of Nazareth, Pennsylvania, he discovered a dirt racing track and has never looked back since he fell in love with auto racing. He raced for five decades, winning just about everything; the Indy 500, the Daytona 500, the Formula One World Championship and the Pikes Peak Hillclimb. He won the Champ Car National Championship four times and was a three-time winner at Sebring. He was the National Dirt Track Champion. He won races in sports cars, sprint cars and stock cars – on ovals, road courses, drag strips, on dirt and on pavement. He has been honored as the “Race Car Driver of the Millenium.”

ROBERT PEPI - Winemaker
Bob Pepi has been the Consulting Winemaker at Andretti Winery since its inception. He began his winemaking career training under his father, Robert Pepi, Sr., at the former Robert Pepi Family Winery in Oakville which was subsequently purchased by the Jesse Jackson Family and renamed “Cardinale.” He earned a reputation for pioneering the Sangiovese grape and wine. He consults a number of other prestigious wineries.
Today’s Production

Since I worked at Andretti, they have grown to over 40,000 cases per year. The wines include ______ lines of which their very best wine is presented under the __________ label. The other wines are offered under their __________ and _________ labels.

The Wines Tasted

Sue started us off with the whites wines just as one would expect. The Andretti 2006 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc was simply delightful and refreshing but I could be biased since SB and Pinot Grigio are my favorite white wines. Unlike many SB’s this one had just the right amount of grassiness to my liking and the fruit was distinctive to the taste. I shy away from Chardonnay’s that have over about 20-25% Malalactic Fermentation and heavy Oaking.
Andretti 2006 Sonoma Pinot Noir
Andretti 2006 Napa Valley Sangiovese
Andretti 2005 Napa Valley Zinfandel-Primitivo Blend
Andretti 2006 Napa Valley Syrah