Paul Franson has been writing and self-publishing his weekly subscription newsletter, NapaLife, for more than sixteen years. With his pulse on Napa Valley’s wine, food and arts scene, we couldn’t think of anyone better to reflect on the trajectory of, well, life in Napa Valley for lo these many years.
As he mentions several times throughout part one of our interview with Paul in Yountville, California, he’s seen several trends, developments and big changes come and go throughout Napa Valley. Having been lured to Napa due to its wine focus, Paul made his home in St. Helena about a quarter century ago and has been writing about Napa Valley ever since.
His most recent book is, “The NapaLife Insider’s Guide to Napa Valley.” But he’s also co-written a guide to PR best practices for the wine industry with Harvey Posert, cleverly titled, “Spinning the Bottle Again.” A ardent traveler, Paul has also penned, “Escapes to Paradise: Adventures and Misadventures in the Beautiful Caribbean Sea,” and, with a nod to Silicon Valley nearby, he’s written, “High Tech, High Hope: Turning Your Vision of Technology Into Business Success.”
If his weekly newsletter and books aren’t enough, Paul’s also written for virtually every newspaper and magazine in the Napa Valley. If Paul’s CV as a long-time journalist weren’t intimidating enough, then his deep knowledge of Napa Valley’s history would be. For every speculative query the hosts put forth during the show, Paul had a ready answer and an elephant’s memory.
Tune in for a lively hour of fun conversation as we touch on the Delicato acquisition Francis Ford Coppola Winery and the Virginia Dare Winery; packaging developments (including box wine and cans); the “Sideways” effect; the benefits of canned wines; Napa’s explosion of music festivals, entertainment and much more.
During the show, we enjoyed the Priest Ranch Winery 2019 Grenache Blanc and 2019 Priest Ranch Rosé, perfect accompaniment for stimulating conversation among friends on a late-summer afternoon in Napa Valley! Both were icy cold, refreshing and ideal for a hot day.
During the show, Paul pointed out that cans chill faster than glass bottles and are 100% recyclable. And cohost Lisa Adams Walter reminded us that canned wines make for ideal picnic fare, as they’re far more lightweight, compact containers than glass bottles. Their wine can be poured into attractive stemware so you can still see the wine’s color while enjoying it.
Lisa also shared delicious cheese and charcuterie from the Napa Valley Olive Oil Company, a family-owned and operated purveyor in the valley since 1931. Their techniques and processes in olive oil making have never been altered in any way, and their oil is available for purchase by the jug. They foodstuffs were a perfect accompaniment to the wine and sunny afternoon.
For those interested in a subscription or more information about NapaLife, it runs 12 to 40 pages each week, including a list of almost everything happening in Napa Valley in the next week. It is e-mailed each Monday and an online version is also available. For a sample copy, call or email Paul at (707) 326-0797 or firstname.lastname@example.org.