Disclosure: Party Bluprints Inc. was hosted by the Wine Sisterhood for this experience. The opinions are expressly out own.
Named the 2012 American Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast – image of the “Theater of Nature” Raymond Vineyards
“The Story behind the Labels – Wine Sisterhood Gathering 2013”.
We will always remember and cherish the time we spent at Wine Sisterhood Gathering in Napa. There are too many people and places to detail in one post, so we are excited to announce a six-week series – “The Story behind the Labels – Wine Sisterhood Gathering 2013”. Picking up where we left off in our book, Plan To Party, in our Wine Country Crush Party Plan, in which we shared the stories behind the wines we featured. The Wine Sisterhood is open to all – it’s a community of sisters (and some misters) that love and appreciate wine.
Please enjoy Part 2 of our Wine Sister Gathering Series, featuring Raymond Vineyards.
A Little About Our Hosts:
On the first night of the Wine Sisterhood Gathering we were invited to attend a Cocktail Reception/Dinner at Raymond Vineyards. It was a Speakeasy kind of night at the fabulous Raymond Vineyards! Named the 2012 American Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast for both their exquisite wines as well the spectacularly designed winery, Raymond was the perfect host for the Wine Sisterhood Gathering’s Welcome Reception and Wine Dinner. From the Red Room, the members-only private club, to the Crystal Cellar, laced with fine Baccarat crystal throughout, to the quietly hidden Library Room, we were treated to an extraordinary experience by our Host Jean-Charles Boisset!
While we anticipated that the wine tastings and tours would stimulate some of our senses, we could not have conjured up what awaited us as we stepped foot onto Raymond Vineyards. Terry Wheatley, Wine Sisterhood founder, had piqued our interest on the ride here by letting us know we were in for quite a surprise.
Terri Wheatley and Jean-Charles Boisset (JCB)
Join us for an inside peek of all the interesting spaces we experienced during our time at Raymond Vineyards (trust us, this is one unique winery with a vibe all its own!) Raymond Vineyards is all about experiences “designed to educate, entertain and enlighten!”. The property has many different areas/rooms each with a distinct vibe. From beginning to end we were awed and sometimes intrigued at every turn.
The Theater of Nature – As we stepped off the bus and walked the path to enter the winery, the entrance to The Theater of Nature was to our right (if you have time you can take a self-guided tour of this two acre educational exhibit on Biodynamic® farming). Obviously, we couldn’t resist running in our Flapper garb to this perfect picture op!
The Red Room – Upon entering the threshold of this room, it was clear we were in for a treat. Red velvet was draped ceiling to floor, but the real wow factor were the exquisite Baccarat chandeliers. It is here that we were formally introduced to Jean-Charles Boisset, President Boisset Family Estates which owns Raymond Vineyards. His exuberance and passion were palpable. He shared with us a sweet song, The Clapping Song and sent on us our way to continue our experience.
The Corridor of Senses – As we made our way to our next stop, we passed through the Corridor of Senses. These “hands” offer you the opportunity to smell the distinct, complex aromas found in wine.
Crystal Cellar – talk about creating a mood! The lights are dimmed, with jewel colored accent lighting highlighting various areas and reflecting off the stainless steel walls and tanks. Overhead more fabulous Baccarat Crystal Chandeliers line the ceiling as you meander throughout the space. It was a feast for all the senses! (Note: a few special guests adorn this room – scantily clad mannequins were hanging or rather “hanging out” around the perimeter – very unique way to “accessorize” a room…)
The Barrel Room – we entered this beautifully serene room to find a selection of cheese awaiting us along with the chef, Michel Cornu (Director of Cuisine and Hospitality at Boisset Family Estates.) Chef Cornu creates menus and oversees all fine dining experiences for Raymond Vineyards. He was delightful.
(Off the Record) The Gold Room: Chef shared a secret gem with a handful of us – we ducked out the back of the Barrel Room and made a few turns and entered through a secret room through a flowing white curtain which unveiled “The Gold Room”. Clearly inspired by James Bond this room is the ultimate in “hang outs”. This was really cool and fun!
- Raymond Vineyards was named Wine Enthusiast’s American Winery of the Year (2012)
- Boisset Family Estates which purchased Raymond Vineyards in 2009 is France’s 5th largest producer.
- Raymond Vineyards Winemaker is Stephanie Putnam.
- Jean-Charles Boisset (JCB) is a James Bond Fan – his Gold Room is inspired by 007 – (not sure the relevance of the stuffed cheetah.)
- JCB is married to Gina Gallo, winemaker and member of Gallo Wine Dynasty.
Thank you to everyone at Raymond Vineyard who made our visit an extraordinary experience, especially Jean-Charles!