Event,Food & Wine

Project Zinfandel ~ An Exclusively Delicious Event ~ With Two Key PSILY Members

Introducing Project Zin – the first annual preeminent wine event that will showcase some of the most sought after Zinfandels, paired with delectable bites from top Sonoma chefs. Winemaker Clay Mauritson has teamed with renowned Chef Charlie Palmer to host this memorable Healdsburg event, for which proceeds will benefit the Sonoma County Down Syndrome Support Group.

Project Zin
October 29th, 6:00 p.m.
Hotel Healdsburg
25 Matheson Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448

Tickets go on sale Wednesday, August 17, 2011. Please find complete event details below as well as at: www.projectzin.org.

SAMPLE extraordinary wines from eight highly-acclaimed Zinfandel producers

TASTE special creations from Chef Palmer and Chef de Cuisine Dustin Valette of Dry Creek Kitchen as well as Petite Syrah, Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar, Baci Café & Wine Bar and many more outstanding Sonoma County restaurants.

MINGLE with some of the most elite wine producers.

PARTAKE in a silent auction including the chance to obtain rare wines, a Tahoe wine weekend getaway, and other exclusive culinary experiences.

SUPPORT a great local cause, Sonoma County Down Syndrome Support Group.

The Two members of PS I Love You are Robert Biale and Ridge.

Robert Biale Vineyards

Robert Biale Vineyards was actually the first Napa Valley winery to become a member of PS I Love You. Even though it was nearly 10 years ago, when I got their membership registration and dues, I remember it like it was yesterday. I was so thrilled, and so began my love affair with Robert Biale. It was their partner and marketing director Dave Pramuk who contacted us. Within a very short amount of time, based on our phone discussions, I realized that Dave is a marketing genius. (Yesterday I wrote about Kent Rosenblum having it going on; so does Dave.) In fact, Dave is so good that he’s served as President of PSILY, was on our board of directors for many years, and has remained our marketing committee chair all these years later. We frequently bounce things off each other.

I can’t say enough great things about anyone who is so willing to support an effort that is supporting his efforts. Dave is one of those people who just gets it, and has made my journey so much more enjoyable along the way.

So, I’m not the least bit surprised that his company is part of this upcoming Zinfandel adventure.

This is actually why I’m taking time to suggest this event… Dave’s paid more than his “dues” in my play book. If you go to this event, please pay special attention to his Zins. They’re fabulous. Jose and I got to taste them at his release party this past spring. The story is titled, “A Fabulous Robert Biale Opportunity ~ Black Chicken et al.” I’ve also written copiously about Robert Biale, because they’re always open to my visits with guests, and do so with open arms.

Ridge Vineyards

This is one member that I pursued.

Honestly, all of the producers above, I wish I had time to pursue everyone of the wineries that make fabulous Petites. However, now that the group is rolling along, I just don’t have the time anymore. We spend about 100 hours a month on this group, and the compensation (about what a company pays for a temp worker) isn’t paying enough for the skill set that it takes to run this group. So, I just don’t have the time to do that anymore. But, they’d make great members, and if they helped us, Petite Sirah sales (including theirs) would take on an energized life.

They’re all winners, and people love to hang with winners.

So, Paul Draper. I dogged him; yes, I did. I wanted – nay – needed, him to be a member. He returned my phone call, and I told him, “Look, I know you don’t need us, but we need you. You’ve got a great reputation, and for a small fee for PS I Love You, we’ll give you back marketing that will help you with sales and help us with credibility. We need you, Paul.”

Bless his heart, his check arrived. Meanwhile, his viticulturist David Gates has presented more than once at the Petite Sirah Symposium, and attends when he’s not a presenter. A more knowledgeable grape grower would be hard to find. Given that he’s also growing Petite Sirah to make their fabulous wines (including their blending into their Zins), what a tremendous resource Ridge has been for PSILY, advancing knowledge and awareness with such an outstanding example.

If you go to this event, raise a glass of the Ridge to celebrate Paul Draper, David Gates, and what Ridge has done for supporting the advocacy groups that support their efforts.

These two members of PSILY, Robert Biale and Ridge, are a couple of my heroes and worth your attention, time, and enjoyment.






2 Responses to “Project Zinfandel ~ An Exclusively Delicious Event ~ With Two Key PSILY Members”

  1. Jo……..thank you very much for your blog post about Project Zin. Down syndrome is something that is very near and dear to my family’s heart; our oldest son Brady has Down syndrome. My wife and I, with the tremendous support of chef Charlie Palmer, started this event as a way to give back to an organization that has helped us immeasurably, the Sonoma County Down Syndrome Support Group. The response we have received from the wineries and restaurants has been amazing; this is going to be a spectacular event.

  2. Jo Diaz says:


    Heaven sent you one of its very special angels, and you know what I’m talking about. I’m delighted to have posted this event for you all.

    I, like you, know that it’s going to be spectacular! Best wishes with it all.

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