And, I interviewed Alex Trebek of Jeopardy, former proprietor of Creston Vineyards. [See below for more details and image.]
Talk about glamour… Fashion and elegance…
Hollywood event producer Anita Talbert (Hollywood Award Suites) has again just executed on what was one of the most amazing events I’ve ever seen in the posh Beverly Hills Hotel – Rodeo Room. I mostly hang with winemakers, who are a much more conservative group of artist-scientists.
Even my rock and roll days can’t compare; because, that was always backstage at some stadium venue, and not done with the flair of Anita’s red carpet mentality… Which was red carpet all the way.
The suite created by Anita Talbert (below) didn’t just amaze me, in my innocence of these types of events. It visibly dazzled all of the Hollywood icons, who also came out. Just amazin’… Just sayin’ …
Jose and I flew down to the Beverly Hills Hotel, where Anita held her Annual Pre-Oscar Gift Suite of 100 Stars. We were accompanying our client Tequila Semental, who was gifting the stars with their Silver, Reposado, and Añejo tequilas. We even had a small tequila tasting, with owner Efrain Lopez Gurza on hand to meet with all of the Hollywood celebrities.
It was really great to see their reactions. A favorite moment for me was when Natalie Cole tasted the Añejo, she remarked, “Oooo, this is so smooooth,” and then spent a moment to savor the flavors. Meanwhile, John Heard cautiously enjoyed his tasting, because he said it was a bit early in the day for him, but he did love the Reposado.
Personally, it’s really rewarding to see this client’s brand quickly developing into a benchmark standard as an ultra premium tequila of truly smooth enjoyment. Efrain practices the best business acumen of “only the best will do,” so that’s what he’s ended up producing… Simple logic, really.
The event began on a really high note for me, when I spotted Alex Trebek (above with Tequila Semental’s national ales manager Richard Burnley). He entered the suite early in the day; I’m sure so he could then be off taping Jeopardy later that afternoon, but I didn’t ask him. I didn’t want to intrude too much, because I was there to help with Tequila Semental, and he wasn’t in our area at the time of spotting him. But the wine blogger/publicist in me took over for just a second. He later came over to our area, and I snapped this one.
As I spotted him, I realized that he was also drifting away. I just couldn’t lose the opportunity to ask him about his winery. I knew that he had been a vintner, but I had also heard that he sold the winery. I hang out with these guys all day long. We speak the same language. It was a perfect moment to connect. I knew the odds of this ever happening again were 10,000,000 to one… So, I watched him, to see what direction he was going in. I stealthily crossed the room, strategically let him finish his conversation with the Suio Water people, and then he turned ~ a free agent ~ right in my direction. We were standing almost face-to-face. I had to work it a little, because he wasn’t looking for me, but I was looking for him.
“Excuse me Alex, could I ask you a question that’s off what we’re doing right now?”
“Sure,” he replied, looking at me quizzically. He’s usually the one asking the questions, right?
“Could you tell me whatever happened to the winery you used to own?” I queried. I felt like I was on Jeopardy, posing everything as a question.
“”Why do you ask?” he questioned.
“Because I’m a wine industry publicist, and I’d love to know.” All the while I was thinking how this would fit perfectly into this wine blog. Did you know that Alex had been a vintner a few years ago? Some people know it; others don’t. I wanted to record his history in one more location on the Web.
He said that he’d recently sold it, and someone has bought it; but, is running it under another name. I haven’t found that name, yet. Anyone know what it’s now called?
We had a few pleasant moments together; then with smiles, we were once again off in different directions.
The winery was Creston Vineyards: Central Coast region, South of Paso Robles. It’s a 15 acre producing vineyard with a dramatic architect-designed ‘glass house’ home. Wine grape varieties include Petite Sirah, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The property, in the South Paso AVA, gets the renowned Templeton Gap airflow. It’s a suburb area for red fruit.
It wasn’t until I’ve now just researched this that I’ve learned he grew Petite Sirah… If he only knew my connection to the variety as the advocacy director.
[Pictured below with William Shatner is Efrain Lopez Gurza of Tequila Semental. You’ll see Efrain pictured throughout this story, as all the stars came over to meet him at the Tequila table. It’s impossible to show everyone all on this one blog entry, but you’ll get a good snapshot here and can follow-up shortly on the Tequila Semental Website. There will be plenty more there..]
According to Hollywood Today Magazine, Anita Talbert is quoted as saying, “This was the first-ever suite of its kind at the Beverly Hills Hotel and raised the bar in caliber, luxury and bonafide stars for a gifting suite.”
It continues, and I did see all of these people, “Guests were a mix of young Hollywood and established established industry celebs, including William Shatner, Natalie Cole, Martin Landau, Charlene Tilton, Sofia Milos, John Schneider, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Lou Ferrigno, Lou Diamond Philips, Dee Wallace, Vail Bloom and many others.”
I’m adding Stephanie Powers to the list, as I reflect on favorite moments… Doris Roberts, Fred Willard, Marilyn McCue, Mimi Rodgers, Maria Conchita Alonzo, John Salley, Courtney and Ashley Peldon (sisters), Chris McDonald… So many… (John Heard and Ashley are in the above image.)
The event featured many designers and popular, new brands. These stars were offering the Hollywood stars their fabulous wares.
The gift list from designers and companies:
- Bejeweled Apparel (Susan Fixel) ~ hip fashions
- Cape Cod Leather ~ finest Italian leather messenger bags for men, stunning leather handbags for ladies
- Charlie Lapson ~ new collection of clutches and purses
- Cherry Berry ~ finest genuine vegan leathers and pleathers from their sumptuous handbag collections
- D’Bodinus Eco-Luxury Collection ~ Luxury Living Lounge for the event, gifting celebs with sumptuously fragrant eco-candles
- Fine Water ~ Italian Water launching in the US, totally pure
- Girlfriends Boutique, just say spa lush personally monogrammed robes
- Green Apple Active (Cristofer Smith) ~ certified organic bamboo and cotton contemporary active-apparel
- Hai-Elite ~ hair beauty tools
- Juan Juan Salon/Beverly Hills ~ Eric Bachlete, international stylist for L’Oreal flew in from Normandy, France to style the star’s hair and gift Beverly Hills products from his Beverly Hills locatioini, theJuan Juan Salon
- Julia Shlovsky ~ one of a kind jewelry for the red carpet and her world-wide clientele
- Just Look’n Eyewear (Daniel Oberti)~ dazzling collection of 18 carat solid gold framed sunglasses
- Kathy Wilson Atelier (designs for today’s fashionista) ~ Long white hooded coat with colorful floral lining to Sofia Milos to wear to an Italian film premiere, Maria Conchita Alonso also got a dramatic coat, while. Antonie Sabato, Jr. scored one of Wilson’s sleek suits with a brilliant red silk interior.
- LA Gear sneakers ~ sneakers in glowing, hot colors
- Leslie Belcher’s Accessoreez ~ line of gorgeous, “hot fired” borosillicate glass masterpieces
- Mignon Chocolate~ limited edition luxury “M” Collection
- Pevonia Botanica ~ elite, eco-friendly skincare line
- Robinson Designer Goldsmith ~ unique, hand-crafted, custom-designed jewelry, and Beach Bunny Swimwear
- Shoe Dazzle (Kim Kardashian) ~ online shoe membership society that includes personalized stylist recommendations and a pair of shoes every month
- Suio Water ~ Quenched everyone’s thirst
- Swartz Los Angeles (Kelly Ann Swartz) ~ Stars were trying on couture and ready to wear evening gowns
- Taber Studios (Martin Taber) ~ hand-forged and sculpted jewelry in sterling silver and 14k gold wire, accented with diamonds, pearls, precious, and semi-precious stones
- Tequila Semental (Efrain Lopez Gurza) ~ Silver, Reposado, and Añejo were given to the stars
- Tommy John ~ the ultimate undershirt, second skin
- Vanessa Swarovski Piedra (great great granddaughter of Daniel Swarovski) ~ Entire new VSP collection of Swarovski cuffs in dazzling colors. The eye-catching designs created quite a stir! Very unique and gorgeous! Even Scott Baio’s little daughter loved her tiny child’s Swarovski bracelet.
- Yon-Ka® Paris ~ French-made luxury skincare line
- YooStar ~ revolutionary entertainment system makes YOO the star of famous movie and TV scenes
Hollywood is impossible to do, being that I’m a Sonoma County person. L.A. is really south of where I am, but this is a high note to my visits to their walk of fame…
Stars in attendance:
- Alesandra Torresani
- Alexa Vega
- Alice Greczyn
- Antonio Sabato, Jr.
- Bridget Marquart
- Candice Cameron Bure
- Candy Spelling
- Charlene Tildon
- Chase Masterson
- Chris McDonald
- Courtney & Ashley Peldon
- D Aloris
- David Winfield
- Dee Wallace
- Florence LaRue
- Hector Elizondo
- James Pitt (Avatar) with Stephen Powers
- Jamie Hilfiger
- Jason Ritter
- Jessica Hall
- John Heard
- John Salley
- Lee Reherman
- Linda Thompson
- Lorenso Lamas
- Lou Diamond Philips
- Lou Ferrigno
- Maria Conchito Alonso
- Martin Landau
- Mimi Rogers
- Molly Shea (Skip two)
- Natale Cole
- Nia Long
- Rick Hune
- Sofia Milos
- Stephanie Powers
- Tamara Tiara
- Tony Dennison
Our Tequila Semental Crew, left to right: Mark Howard (Vital Beverages, Las Vegas), Efrain, Carlos Fausto, Michael Burnley, Richard Burnley, Miguel Sandoval, Jose Diaz, Jose ~ a friend of Efrain’s who has just developed the first certified “green” house in all of Mexico, in Cabo.)