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We are living in an exciting time for women. The recent mid-term elections were a victory for women. More than 100 women won their races for the House and at least 118 women will serve in the 116th Congress. South Dakota and Maine have their first female governors and Tennessee has its first female senator. It is a referendum on women. Following on the heels of these historic wins, Hall Winery hosted a panel entitled “High-Powered High Heels.” Moderated by Academy Award and Golden Globe Winner and Goodwill Ambassador Mira Sorvino, four powerful and successful women shared their stories and discussed the road forward. The panel consisted of Former U.S. Ambassador & Vintner at Hall Family Wines Kathryn Walt Hall, Actress Annie Stark, Emmy Award-Winning Computer Engineer Leshelle May and Founder and CEO of the Maris Collection Lee Ann Sauter.
There is something beautiful about watching paella being cooked over an open fire in a large open pan. This image was magnified this past week where at least a dozen different paellas were being made for the Berryessa Gap Paella Cook-Off, the Please The Palate pick of the week. Berryessa Gap is a winery based in Winters, in Yolo County, California, located 30 miles from Sacramento and 60 miles from San Francisco. Owned by the Martinez family who originates from Spain, they celebrate their Spanish heritage each year with the annual Paella Cookoff and Dinner. This year marked the 11th annual event and more than a dozen local chefs came out to make paellas, many from their own family's recipes.
It is not uncommon to hear about wineries in Napa who have started to explore other wine regions, such as Paso Robles and Santa Barbara, which are more affordable and offer different soils and micro-climates. But Fess Parker Winery in Santa Ynez Valley is reversing that. With a 30-year history in Santa Barbara Wine Country and a portfolio that includes Burgundian and Rhone varieties, as well as sparkling wine, Fess Parker has now expanded to Napa Valley with their label Addendum, which you can read about in my column in the Napa Valley Register.

Fess Parker Winery is a third-generation winery in the Santa Ynez Valley. Fess Parker, an American film and television actor best known for playing Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone in the 1950s and 1960s, purchased a 714-acre ranch in 1988 with the idea to run cattle, grow a few acres of grapes and one day establish a small winery. He envisioned it as a family business to hand down through the generations.