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Wine Country Celebs Get Good News, Bad News

It’s good news and bad news for a pair of wine country celebrities.

 First, the good news. The 76 bottles of rare and expensive wine stolen in a Christmas Day heist from famed chef Thomas Keller’s tony French Laundry restaurant in the Napa Valley were recovered a little over a month later in. . . wait for it. . . North Carolina.

 The stash of wines whose estimated value was more than $300,000 included such iconic brands as Screaming Eagle and Domaine de la Romanee-Conti. They were found in a wine cellar in Greensboro and have since been returned to the Napa Valley, though whether the transporting and month-long absence has harmed the wines has yet to be determined.

 Also yet to be determined is the person or persons behind the theft, which took place on a day when the restaurant was closed and no employees were present. Apparently, the wine cellar alarm had not been set either. The circumstances surrounding the robbery have led many to conclude that it was pulled off by someone with inside knowledge of the restaurant’s wine storage practices, as the thief/thieves knew how to gain access and targeted only the best and rarest vintages.

 No vintages at all—at least for now—for another wine country celebrity. This one is Food Network’s Guy Fieri, whose proposal to build a winery named after his two sons on seven acres of vineyard land west of Santa Rosa was unanimously turned down by the Sonoma County Board of Zoning Adjustments.

 Plans for the Willowside Road winery, to be called Hunt-Ryd (for Hunter and Ryder), called for production of some 10,000 cases of wine per year, plus more than a dozen special events annually. The winery would have been open to the public on weekends and by appointment only during the week. Neighborhood opposition to the winery plans was quick and universal and was cited by at least one zoning board member as reason for the denial.

 

Categorized: Bulk Wine News