Friday, February 22, 2008

A Visiting Dignitary at the Napa Valley Premier

This event is where all the vintners in the Napa Valley get together for a barrel tasting to see what will be their featured wines for the upcoming wine auction in June. I usually see a wide range of folks from the Napa Valley at these events. Unlike the Mustard Festival, this will attract mostly wine writers, media types, local vintners, wine merchants and then some. Around 700 people will be in attendance. Security will be in abundance as many people who don't have tickets to this one may make am attempt to get into the building.I will be on hand to direct traffic inside the building and to give out local information. Later on, I will be running the cameras for the cooking demonstrations.Now it is Monday, and I have a little time now to rehash what happened on Saturday. Much like the Mustard Festival, it rained all day and there were plenty of umbrellas at the main entrance of Greystone for the guests of the Premier.The Conciege desk was completely taken over by the people from the Vintner's Association who were registering the attendees. Around noon time, I wanted to get a glimpse of the action in the Barrell Room. Before I head upstairs I talked with James our security guard, who informed me that William Shatner ( the original Captain Kirk of Star Trek fame and more recently on Boston Legal as Denny Crane ) was somewhere in the building. I went to the Teaching Kitchen first, then walked back down to the Barrel room. Nada. Since I had to be back to do the cameras for the one thirty demo, I didn't have much time to catch up with him. Jeff Pettigrew our special events captain, informed me that he was wearing a black leather jacket and walking with a cane! ( that shouldn't be so hard to find him then, I thought.) Lastly, I took the elevator back up to the Teaching Kitchen to see if I could find him there...and as the doors opened... there stood Denny Crane !! (Shatner) waiting to ride back down. Immediately, I made myself the official "operator" as no one else was in the elevator, and proceeded to invite his whole entourage to board. The ride down was uneventful, save for the fact that he asked his handler for a telephone number of someone in the 415 area code. As eveyone got off on the first floor he was the last to leave as I held the door from the inside. I notice that he and I were exactly the same height which wasn't that astounding, really. Our directors, Charles and Ruben happened to be near the elevator as Bill took one last look around before leaving the building to get into his limo. I think we were all a little star-struck.

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