Paula Kornell 59 MINUTES

A new podcast series from Doug Shafer about the people behind the food and wine you love.

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Doug Shafer with Paula Kornel for The Taste wine podcast

This episode gives you two incredible life stories in one – that of Hanns Kornell, who managed to get out of a Nazi concentration camp, make his way to America, and founded a winery near Calistoga producing sparkling wine and that of Paula Kornell growing up at her parent’s winery, working with some top wineries such as Mondavi and Joseph Phelps, and now going full circle launching her own sparkling wine brand. Enjoy!


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FULL TRANSCRIPT

 

Doug:
Hey everybody, Doug Shafer with The Taste. Welcome back. I've got a dear friend of mine in here today and, um, I've known her for a long, long time and her family, Paula Kornell. Paula, welcome.

Paula:
Thank you glad to be here.

Doug:
Good to, good to have you in. So before we get going, I've gotta tell a little story, so you're going to have to put up with me on this one.

Paula:
Okay.

Doug:
But, uh, back when I was in college, UC Davis there's two summers '75 and '76. I had a summer job at, uh, Hans Kornell Champagne Cellars, which was Paula's dad. Up on Larkmead Lane and it was, uh, my first kind of real, uh, you know, eight to five, 40 hour a week, job, and it was tough. Um-

Paula:
(laughing)

Doug:
... you know, I had to wake up, and you know drive for 30 or 40 minutes up Valley and it was, you know, since seven o'clock. I'm a college boy who was cold. But, worked with your dad two summers, um, I will never forget the experience. He was, he had a reputation as being a real tough, ornery guy and tough to work for and volatile. And he was, but I figured it out. He would just want, he wanted people to work. I mean, you know, you sitting there with your hands in your pocket and he'd walked through the cellar, it's like-

Paula:
(laughs).

Doug:
I'll try to imitate him, "God damn it, get your hands-

Paula:
Oh, God, no, honey, what are you doing.

Doug:
... out of your pockets, pick up a broom do something." But anyway, so there was three or four other college guys and I work in the summer, and he had his regular crew, but he actually, I think, really liked the college guys. 'Cos we actually work pretty hard because we didn't know any better. So it's like we better work hard. I think I started at $2.75 an hour.

Paula:
Oh, my God.

Doug:
But once we- we realized that all you had to do is kinda work and do your job, he'd, we, we fell in love with your dad. He would call us professor."Hey professor get over here." And he all of a sudden that's, by that second summer, I mean, he as the, is the most kindest, gentlest, caring guy I've ever known. And I just relished my time with him. 'Cos the last four or five weeks that second summer I became his, uh, his guy. You know, I'd helped him do the, uh, the blending-

Paula:
Uh-huh (affirmative).

Doug:
... of the cuvee. He always had one guy and I was, I was that guy for about four weeks. So I had a lot of one on one time with him, and he was a scream. You know, he locked me in a tank one time to ha, ha, ha get out of there. I mean, stuff like that. And but the classic line was near the end of that stint, he was like, "Hey professor, you don't need college, leave college come work with me. Marry Paula."

Paula:
(laughing)

Doug:
I don't know if you ever heard that.

Paula:
No.

Doug:
He was like-

Paula:
I never heard that.

Doug:
... "Come back here. Marry Paula."

Paula:
Oh, God.

Doug:
You know, and- and, you know, "Work my winery with me." You- you didn't know that?

Paula:
No, God help me.

Doug:
Oh, man, that was four, five times he hit me with that. And now meanwhile, you were like in eighth grade.

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
You know, I mean, I was like, "Mr. Kornell." It's like "Paula is like a little girl here. I've, I'm not, That's not gonna work."

Paula:
No, I was on my way to college, but that's okay. (laughing)

Doug:
Okay. But still, it was, you know, you're young. Young.

Paula:
No, no, no.

Doug:
So I had-

Paula:
He loved you. He thought you were the best...

Doug:
Wow.

Paula:
... so I can imagine him doing that. But-

Doug:
It was mutual, it was mutual.

Paula:
He was a tough guy to work for.

Doug:
So I had to tell that story.

Paula:
I love it. I just-

Doug:
And, uh, but lets, lets start the, tell me about, tell us about your dad. It's a tough story but I, I gotta have you tell it.

Paula:
And so he, um, he grew up in German- he's German.

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula:
The part of Germany that he was born in is now Poland. But, um-

Doug:
Mm.

Paula:
So he was in, um, the sparkling wine or sekt business and - his family, my uncle, his uncle and my great grandparents, they were all in the sparkling wine business or German Sekt business in Germany.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
So he had that lineage of being in the bubble business.

Doug:
So he grew up with that grew up with that?

Paula:
Grew up with that.

Doug:
Got it.

Paula:
He was also very athletic. So he was on the fencing team, he was on the downhill ski team.

Doug:
I didn't know that.

Paula:
So, there's fabulous pictures I'm finding now, of him on the fencing team that are just very cool.

Doug:
Huh.

Paula:
But he was skiing with, cross country skiing with his cousins, and they were caught by the Nazis. And this is the beginning of the war. So it was, um, they were taking political or affluent Jews.

Doug:
Got it.

Paula:
And he his family was Jewish. He knew nothing about Judaism.

Doug:
Oh, my gosh.

Paula:
As a matter of fact as I grew up my mother, the Catholic was a much...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... better Jew than my father ever was. So-

Doug:
How old was he?

Paula:
He would have been 20 like 22.

Doug:
When they grabbed him?

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
So he was in Dachau for, um, I think it was 18, it was 17 months.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
And, um, he was in with his um, cellmate at that time was in for murder, but he, so it I don't know where that political and, you know, but there was a...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... mishmash of people, and they had KP duty. So it was, the guy would always tell him you, "You need to eat as much at the potato under the potato skins as possible...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... to survive in here." And...

Doug:
Interesting.

Paula:
... that's what he did. But he did tell you know horrible stories of...

Doug:
Oh, yeah.

Paula:
... what hap- what happened there?

Doug:
Oh.

Paula:
And then somehow my grandparents, um, had a connection in London ... with a, um, it turned out he was a Freudian psychiatry. I mean, who I eventually had met, but Dr. Weinchowski ...

Doug:
Wow.

Paula:
... helped him, um, or they f- figured out this whole system that there would be somebody, he'd build wine cellars for-

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
... in London. And that's how they got him out, that he had a job and that he was, but he was had to get out of Germany in 24 hours.

Doug:
Oh my goodness.

Paula:
So he was given 24 hours, my grandmother packed up this trunk ... that I still have...

Doug:
Oh.

Paula:
... with one set of, or one s- yeah, one set of Sterling she threw in ... a signet ring. And you know, a couple of other things, and off he went to London. And then never saw his parents again, because quickly after that they were both taken to Theresienstadt-

Doug:
Oh. Oh.

Paula:
... and obviously killed. But it's, it's a, it's a bizarre story in the fact that, you know, here are people that are attached that aren't even religious-

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... very religious.

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
I can't even imagine that in our society today.

Doug:
No, just- just- just crazy. Bless his heart.

Paula:
But I did meet this Doctor Weinchowski (laughs)

Doug:
That's, that's kind of neat.

Paula:
... years later in London, who turned out to be this little Polish German guy that was a, was a Freudian psychiatrist.

Doug:
How cool. Did you track him down? You had to? Or you just-

Paula:
He found my father.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
He found my father, and many people found my father. Um, I don't have it on today, but someone walked in to the tasting room at Hans Kornell about, I don't know, 60 years ago...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... walked in with my grandmother's wedding ring and engagement ring. So I have both those today.

Doug:
Wow.

Paula:
So...

Doug:
well that's so cool. That's so cool.

Paula:
... so it's a bizarre, you know, it's amazing how it all comes full circle.

Doug:
Just connecting.

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
So he got to London and somehow he got to United States.

Paula:
Got to London, then, um, the United States was the golden land.

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
And at that time so many immigrants were going to, they were coming in to Ohio-

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
... and Missouri. So he started in Ohio at, um, Cook's Imperial which was, uh, a still wine and Champagne company that brought in, I guess they brought in some fruit from the, from California but there was a lot of fruit at that time in Missouri and Ohio.

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
Um, his love as you know, more than his family, was always animals. So he bought a broken down...

Doug:
Oh, no, he- he adored you by the way.

Paula:
... race horse. Well, yeah, but, the animals were still...

Doug:
Okay. they're big.

Paula:
... I guess sort of I have that trait today (laughing) but, um, so he bought a horse...

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula:
... and somehow got a job in Sonoma. And trailered, this horse after I think four years and between Cincinnati and somewhere in Missouri, trailered his horse to California.

Doug:
Was he, did he speak English?

Paula:
He was learning...

Doug:
Learning.

Paula:
... a little bit, but basically, you know, he's always had that-

Doug:
So he, he lands here and he's a winemaker-

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
... basically a winemaker...

Paula:
And with nothing, I think...

Doug:
... he's 22, 23-

Paula:
... he has like 20 bucks, and that's it.

Doug:
He's 22, 23 years old?

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
No family?

Paula:
No family.

Doug:
Strange country. Oh, my goodness.

Paula:
So by the time, by the time he got to there, he was probably like, 20-

Doug:
Yeah, 25, 26.

Paula:
... 25, so yeah. Yeah.

Doug:
So, he gets the Sonoma.

Paula:
Gets to Sonoma.

Doug:
And he's making wine.

Paula:
... and works at the round barn, the red round barn that burned in the last fire.

Doug:
Oh, I remember that place.

Paula:
The Fountain Grove, Fountain Grove. Um, and I do have some photos of that, that are great.

Doug:
That was a winery.

Paula:
It was a winery. A working winery that, uh, I don't know I can't remember...

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
... think it was called Fountain Grove Winery. And he was there for a couple years.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
It might have even been a few more, because that's when he started his winery. And he started Hans Kornell Third Genera- it was called Ha- Hans Kornell Third Generation in Sonoma.

Doug:
In Sonoma.

Paula:
Where the Safeway store is right now.

Doug:
And he was making still wine or sparkling?

Paula:
He was making sparkling.

Doug:
And making with the, uh, what, what system? With the method-

Paula:
With method champagnoise, so the traditional, always traditional-

Doug:
The traditional European which is, which, by the way, is when you make sparkling wine, is when you take a base wine, and this method is the traditional way from France. Uh, you basically blend some base wine with, um, sugar and yeast and h- have a second fermentation. In the bottle. And after a few years, uh, basically that's how the champagne gets its...

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
... bubbles and discover, it's a natural carbon dioxide its, uh, process, but, uh, but at that time in this country most sparkling wine wasn't made that way.

Paula:
No it was all made in the charmont method.

Doug:
Which is a big bulk tank, tank thing.

Paula:
Right. And he was living, um, he lived at the Swiss Hotel in Sonoma.

Doug:
(laughing)

Paula:
And he became really good friends with the Dunlap's that owned Swiss Hotel and the Sebastiani's. And let me see. So my mother was a, um-

Doug:
Yeah, where did she, where she grow up?

Paula:
She grew up between Berkeley and Vallejo.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
And my grandfather worked at Mare Island. And she was, um, she had her medical degree, but she also was an opera singer. So she would sing with the San Francisco Symphony. Quite a bit.

Doug:
I didn't know that.

Paula:
Oh yeah (laughing) oh, yeah, for years every Sunday I'd be stuck in the car when she'd go to her...

Doug:
Oh, she sang for years.

Paula:
Yes. So, the old Swiss Hote- the, excuse me, the old City of Paris...

Doug:
okay.

Paula:
... store which is, if you're familiar with Neiman Marcus...

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula:
... it's the it's where Neiman Marcus is today. It was this beautiful department store that had a cellar very similar to Harrods, it was a flower sto- stall, she cou- she could raise wine.

Doug:
Got it.

Paula:
And there was a gentleman that had the wine store, the wine and hard alcohol store.

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula:
And my grandfather, my mother's father went to go buy some champagne for one of her recitals. And, which she did, but then. Um, he was telling my grandfather about this young guy who's single who lives in Sonoma and (laughing) they need, that my mother and he needed me.

Doug:
That's wild.

Paula:
My mother was tall, dark hair, you know, dark you know darker skin. My father was blonde blue eyes and short-

Doug:
Her maid- her maiden name-

Paula:
Was Rossini.

Doug:
Rossini. So she's Italian?

Paula:
Swiss Italian.

Doug:
Swiss Italian.

Paula:
And her family homesteaded in Napa Valley.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
So, where I grew up, on Crystal Springs Road, was their summer house.

Doug:
That goes back to her family?

Paula:
Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Doug:
So your mom. So that's how they met?

Paula:
So, they eventually, they eventually met and it was very shortly after that, they were married. So that, they were married in 50. If I was born in 59, they were married in 58.

Doug:
Got it. Got it. That's wild.

Paula:
Yeah, it was very funny.

Doug:
And so, he was still in Sonoma.

Paula:
He was still in Sonoma.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
And so they, um, it was during their dating time that, um, they found out that there was am uh, storage house or a storage building for Italian Swiss Colony...

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
That was on Larkmead Lane.

Doug:
And the net here in the Napa Valley.

Paula:
In Napa Valley.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
And that's when he made the step over to, and that was June, 13th. That it closed because I remember that every year on June, 13th, it was the Dunlap's from, um, Swiss Hotel

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
The Sebastiani's and Bob and Margie Mondavi. We'd all have dinner together on June 13, 13th, for years. So June, 13th, was always a good lucky number.

Doug:
Interesting.

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
'Cos so the winery had in Sonoma was called Kornell?

Paula:
It was called Hans Kornell...

Doug:
Hans Kornell.

Paula:
... Third Generation.

Doug:
Third Generation?

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
And so he basically, he bought this building property on Larkmead Lane, here in Napa...

Paula:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Doug:
... so move the operation over here to Napa...

Paula:
Yep.

Doug:
... and kept the same name.

Paula:
Kept the name, and just called it Hans Kornell Champagne.

Doug:
Hans Kornell Champagne, on Larkmead Lane.

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
which is now the site of Frank family wine?

Paula:
Frank Family, correct, yeah.

Doug:
Um, June 13th, well that, it's, it's, there's certain dates, my father did the same thing, uh, when it came to getting our bonded winery number here at Shafer, I guess this before I was even here, and he was talking to some regulator and they say, "Well, what they do want to have?" And he said, "What do you mean, you just whatever." And she goes, "Oh, you can pick whatever date you want within this, you know, three week period." It was February, so he goes, "February 14th, Valentine's Day."

Doug:
So now valentine's day, here, like everybody here...

Paula:
I love it.

Doug:
... knows, it's like, "Oh, that's our, you know, 35th. you know, year in business." Or something like that.

Paula:
I love it.

Doug:
It's kind of cute.

Paula:
That is great.

Doug:
It's good to have those days.

Paula:
That is really wonderful.

Doug:
Dates are good.

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
Yeah.

Paula:
Yeah those are the good kind of dates. Yeah.

Doug:
They are. All right, so he's over here. This is in the late 50s. And you probably showed up pretty soon after that.

Paula:
I showed up in 59. Yeah.

Doug:
59 (laughing) so you've growing up in Napa Valley.

Paula:
Grew up in St. Helena,

Doug:
In St Helena, what was that, like?

Paula:
Certainly different than it is (laughing) now. In one way or another? Um, you know, it was a great way to grow up.

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
It was, you know you didn't, first of all, I think of all the great times of just being outside I mean, now you look at kids that are stuck in front of their TV or computer.

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula:
You didn't have any of that.

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
So, my grandmother would, my grandmother lived in for Vallejo.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
And so she would come up and she would you know, she was a taskmaster because she would shut that door and she didn't want to see me or my brother at all during the day.

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
So you just went off and you were hiking or you were building forts or you were horseback riding and that's what you did, and it was great.

Doug:
That's great. And did you hang around the winery a lot?

Paula:
I hung out the winery a lot. So, that was my-

Doug:
That must have been fun.

Paula:
I say to everybody, I think I smoked my first joint there. I smoked my first cigarette there. I got kissed the first time, we used to collect bats up on the tirage stacks.

Doug:
(laughing), oh yeah.

Paula:
Remember all those bats, that would be-

Doug:
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah the stacks where Dieter used to riddle.

Paula:
(laughing)

Doug:
Dieter, that was his name wasn't it? The riddler.

Paula:
You're absolutely right (laughing) there's a name I haven't thought of in a long time.

Doug:
He was the guy.

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
There, there with these the champagne or something called riddling. And there were these angle racks, and the bottles upside down, and be, you have to turn them. A quarter of a turn every few days a week and there was one guy who did, and I was Dieter...

Paula:
Oh, Dieter.

Doug:
...because he'd be up there, you heard this little clink, clink, clink it's like, "Oh, Dieter's up here somewhere."

Paula:
Watch out Dieters up there.

Doug:
Yeah.

Paula:
But there were these big, um, when they're aging the bottles and there all those big stacks...

Doug:
Oh, the big stacks.

Paula:
... we'd climb up on the stacks, and catch all these bats and then bring them to school in mason jars. It was such a...

Doug:
You climbed, no, no, you didn't, n- not those stacks.

Paula:
Yeah. You could get on that side of the upstairs, and that, not upstairs, in the back building-

Doug:
The stacks of bot- the stacks of bottles.

Paula:
Yeah...

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
... you could go climb up on the side...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... and get those-

Doug:
I have to interrupt. So what happens is, as this sparkling wine is going through its, its secondary fermentation. The bottles are stacked horizontally, you know, across the way and then they end you know, opposite, opposite for each layer. So you've stepped up, oh up to 15, 20, 25 bottles high, a, a, like a wall of bottles...

Paula:
Right.

Doug:
But, what happened was the things have little coke caps on them. And if you if you, if you hooked the coke cap, there's 120 pounds of pressure...

Paula:
That's right.

Doug:
... in that thing, that thing would blow off and half the time you're falling over. Those steps were a little, they were scary. I'm just thinking, l- little kid climbing up the stack.

Paula:
Oh.

Doug:
Did your dad know you're doing that?

Paula:
Of course not, (laughing) he had to know where we're getting these bats from (laughing) for gods sake.

Doug:
Yeah, that's true.

Paula:
But, it was a playground, I mean, you know if you remember it was dark and...

Doug:
Oh yeah.

Paula:
... it was moldy. And it was just it was a cool scary place to be. You know, when you're a kid, you could make all sorts of fun up there.

Doug:
It was spooky, it was a spooky place.

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
There were nooks and crannies and that place that were wild. But how fun to be able to see your dad kind of doing it...

Paula:
It was great, and then, and then we did...

Doug:
... would you, would you bug him and all that stuff?

Paula:
... and then we did every job.

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
So my first was, my first job was selling peacock feathers, walnuts, and prunes, in front of the tasting room.

Doug:
Where'd you get-

Paula:
'Cos remember we had those peacock feathers at my parents.

Doug:
That's right.

Paula:
And then-

Doug:
'Cos I wondered where you got the feathers?

Paula:
(laughing) peacocks, and then the prunes and the walnuts were all from that orchard...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... where you painted the fence.

Doug:
That's funny. And cool.

Paula:
And then we'd start, I'd start by giving tours or I had pig tails in the labeling line, he had us doing all those jobs.

Doug:
That's great. Well-

Paula:
That's good.

Doug:
... good work ethic.

Paula:
Yeah. "Oh, honey, oh honey get going (laughing)

Doug:
Oh, I know that.

Paula:
(laughing) oh honey."

Doug:
To this day. "Goddammit, pick up a broom." Anyway, um, so there, uh, high school I think you were with brother, uh, younger my younger brother Brad...

Paula:
I was, I went to school with Brad. Yeah.

Doug:
... you both went to-

Paula:
I think it was a year older than Br- yeah in school, Bra-

Doug:
Yeah, in Justin-Siena.

Paula:
... yeah, at Justin-Siena.

Doug:
And then college was UOP.

Paula:
Yeah, in college UOP, why I ended up at UOP I have no idea (laughing)

Doug:
You know, this is the University of the Pacific, this is a great school. Brad went there.

Paula:
It's a fabulous pl- it's a great place, but in, just in general I think, you know, there would have been so many other places I should have gone.

Doug:
No.

Paula:
But, you know what it was...

Doug:
It's a great school.

Paula:
It was great.

Doug:
And after college, um, New York.

Paula:
During college though, it was wo- so I worked-

Doug:
Oh yeah, where'd you, where'd you-

Paula:
For dad a couple of years, and then I went to work at, um, Stanford Court Hotel, because the best guy in town was Jim da Sicas, and Stanford Court at that time was the...

Doug:
That was the place.

Paula:
... the hotel.

Doug:
In San Francisco.

Paula:
So I was management trainee at Stanford Court for two summers, and I loved that. It was-

Doug:
Really?

Paula:
It was great.

Doug:
The hotel biz?

Paula:
It was great except for having to do, I liked every department except being a cocktail waitress with a Kiana, you know, that lovely natural fiber (laughing) dress.

Doug:
Oh yeah, yeah.

Paula:
Long skirt, that with a, a cocktail waitress was not, and room service was two things that were not my-

Doug:
I would bet room service is kind of spooky?

Paula:
Oh, that is so bizarre, being at somebody's door (laughing) it's like-

Doug:
At somebody's door, you don't know what they're wearing, because I've thought about that when I, I'm in hotels, and it's like, okay, room service coming, you know, let's-

Paula:
People do really weird things, so.

Doug:
Put some clothes on, you know, be normal, you know.

Paula:
Well, with- with- why would you harass your poor service staff (laughing) like that...

Doug:
Oh my gosh.

Paula:
... but people take great pride. But it was wonderful working with him. He was a really, he was, he was an absolute wonderful, uh, role model for, for customer service. And then right after college I did, I went to work at Sherry-Lehman in New York, when it was still on Madison Avenue.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
So I worked with our distributor, the Hans Kornell distributor which, um, on Wednesdays, which had Robert Mondavi, Burgess...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... Hans Kornell, um, not that many California brands.

Doug:
Not then, no, you, California wines were a tough sell in New York.

Paula:
And then the rest of the time I sold, I was on the floor for Sherry-Lehman.

Doug:
On the floor for Sherry-Lehman.

Paula:
And every time anybody sold a bottle of Napa Valley wine, it was, whoo, whoo.

Doug:
(laughing)

Paula:
And the whole staff, and it was all starving actors, or other brats like myself, kids that were from winery's around the world, and some of them are still. Um, my best friend became Alexis Zwack, whose family, um, made, makes Hungarian eau de vies, and has a brand called Unicum ...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... that's like a digestive...

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula:
... and Alexis to this day is still one of my best friends. That, so you met, great, great people.

Doug:
And so what, she was in New York doing the same thing?

Paula:
She was in New York doing the exact same thing. And then she end- ended up going to work at Winebow for a few years, and, but, and then out of the business entirely, but it just was fun to learn about everybody el- what everybody else did.

Doug:
Yeah, so, so school you studied marketing I think, right...

Paula:
Marketing.

Doug:
... then you, so then you you had the hote- the hotel experience, so you had selling wine retail, plus you're working with distributors, so-

Paula:
So it was a good-

Doug:
This, this makes perfect-

Paula:
The working with distributor, was, you know you're being kicked out of accounts because they don't want to buy any California wine.

Doug:
Uh, yeah.

Paula:
It was-

Doug:
What distributor? Do you remember who it was.

Paula:
House of Burgundy.

Doug:
House of Burgundy?

Paula:
Yeah, they had Prosper, Maufoux, Domaine Ott...

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
... um, so that was my first learning, first about great rosé...

Doug:
Yeah.

Paula:
... it was good, it was, but at Sherry-Lehman they gave me Burgundy as my section. Burgundy. I thought Burgundy was in a big jug that came (laughing) from...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... the central valley, I did not know.

Doug:
I’m with you.

Paula:
So it was a true experience learning about Burgundy.

Doug:
What year, with what year time frame is this?

Paula:
That would have been...

Doug:
80s?

Paula:
... in 81.

Doug:
Okay. Because, I remember I started here in ‘83 but dad, I remember dad just having fits and starts, I mean for four or five years in the mid-eighties, we couldn't get a distributor in New York to take us on. Because California wine, it was all very euro- European centric...

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
... in New Yo- the east coast. It was tough.

Paula:
I remember tasting, um, it had to have been Acacia, it was either, I think it was Acacia Chardonnay for the first time when I was there, and it was this buttery, it was that, it had to have been Acacia, it was this buttery wine...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... that I went, "What the heck?" And was something that-

Doug:
That was the hot thing.

Paula:
... that was so entirely new.

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
And then came back and called, Boots and, um, um-

Doug:
Diamond Creek.

Paula:
At Diamond Creek.

Doug:
Boots Bronstein.

Paula:
Called Al, to say-

Doug:
Her husband Al, right.

Paula:
"I'd love to come up for a tour, this is good, I came, I'd love to come up for a tour, because I've been selling a lot of your wine." And he said, "Honey, you've been to this property many, many times." I didn't know this was the pond that we've been skinny dipping in all through, through high school (laughing) and sure enough, I go up for a tour, and yes indeed, and, probably just thought that, that was the funniest damn thing.

Doug:
That's, I didn't know that one.

Paula:
That was (laughing) he thought that was the funniest thing.

Doug:
All right so after New York, where did you go?

Paula:
I came home kicking and screaming. I had a on- my father gave me a one way, first class ticket home, with a note that said (laughing)...

Doug:
I didn't know this.

Paula:
... if I wanted to stay in New York, that it was gonna be on my dime. And there was no way (laughing) I could stay there with Sherry-Lehman, um, so I did come, and it was time, it was-

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
It was perfect. New York for two years was absolutely fabulous.

Doug:
Did you kind of always know you were going to come back and work with dad?

Paula:
Pretty much.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
Pretty much.

Doug:
Interesting, yeah.

Paula:
I mean, I think during college it was still, maybe I wanted to be, go into sciences, into veterinarian science and then, there was no way, I was never a science per- really, so I figured I could always have a lot of animals-

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
So, it worked out.

Doug:
Good.

Paula:
Um, and went to work with him, and loved it.

Doug:
And this is mid 80s?

Paula:
That would have been 82.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
That's about when I, because I came over here in 83 with dad.

Paula:
God.

Doug:
Yeah, but I didn't see you, I didn't see anybody because I was just trying to figure out [crosstalk 00:30:04].

Paula:
When was the first vintage for Shafer?

Doug:
78. And then he built the winery in 80, and I started here in 83.

Paula:
'Cos I so remember being on a sales trip, for Hans Kornell, and my mother came with me...

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
... and we were in Chicago and we had dinner at Printers Row, I di- this is like...

Doug:
I remember Printers Row.

Paula:
... I can't even believe that I remember Printers Row, but Printers Row, and we had a bottle of Shafer, and we called your dad the next day. But it was then I learned, for something like, I guess it was from my mother to say, if you enjoyed somebody's wine, to write them a note, or to give them a call and tell...

Doug:
(laughing)

Paula:
... tell them how much you enjoyed it. And it was just, just, I remember that so clearly, and also they were so proud of, they loved your dad.

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
They loved your family. And they were always so proud of what, the success and how things were going, so.

Doug:
That's pretty neat.

Paula:
Truly, they were very, very proud.

Doug:
Well, your folks, class acts, big time. They were great.

Paula:
They were great. They were great.

Doug:
So this-

Paula:
We're lucky, both of us.

Doug:
So th- so you're working with dad, you know, through the 80s, I've got to tell you a story, because I had to do some thinking yesterday, I figured out what year it was. It had to be like 88, 89, I've been here for a few years, hadn't seen your dad, hadn't stopped by, you know, once in a while, every couple of years. Lost touch a little bit, and I'm, I've got two little kids, three and four, Katy and Kevin, and, uh, we're doing something, it's Christmas time. It's like, um, delivering wine it's I don't know, December 15th, 16th, something like that. Drive around, and I'm up near Larkmead lane, I got both kids with me. I said, "Ah, kids we're gonna go see an old friend of dads. His name's Mr Kornell." They're like, "Huh." You know.

Paula:
(laughing) what the hell?

Doug:
And we, and we pulled into your place, and I go in, and I'm talking to the receptionist, or his secretary, and, and he sees me down the hall, "Hey!" (laughing) and so I said...

Paula:
[crosstalk 00:32:05] (laughing)

Doug:
... "Hey, Mr Kornell." "Get in here." And oh, and he sees these two kids, these two adorable three and four year olds. And he instantly is like, yelling at his secretary, I don't know. "Where's that chocolate, where is that chocolate?" And these, my kids, are like, holy shit, who is this guy? 'Cos he was, you know, he was verbose...

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
... and I think they were kind of scared of him, 'cos he was like the, "Ah, where's that chocolate?" And so, no big deal, they're, he's dealing with the chocolate and the kids were kind of just huddled in the corner and all of a sudden I see Johnny, who's the foreman...

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
... who was still there. Who I worked for, you know, back in college. So it's like, he's out in the office, so I go out to go and say hi to Johnny, I'm chatting with him for a minute, for five, ten minutes. You know, n- nothing going on. I walk back to your dad's office, and I, before I get in there, I hear this, giggling. My two kids are giggling hysterically.

Doug:
And I come around the corner and your dad is on the ground, and these two kids are jumping on him. They're rolling around like, I mean, it was like...

Paula:
Doesn't surprise me.

Doug:
I'll never forget it. And, we leave and my two kids are going, you know, "Who's that guy, he's great, we gotta come back." But he was just, Paula it was, I'll never forget it.

Paula:
Nope, he loved, he loved kids. Absolutely loved them.

Doug:
He, on the floor.

Paula:
He was a great, warm, you know, once you get past that exterior, it was always, there was lots of yelling, but there was always...

Doug:
(laughing)

Paula:
... you know, I think about that even in politics today, you know, always being able to sit down at that table, that dining room table, and you could, my parents always changed. One would be a Democrat, one would be a Republican. And they'd both be Republicans, and they'd both be Democrats, but you always learned to talk about it.

Doug:
Mm.

Paula:
And everybody was very, um, boisterous about their beliefs at the time...

Doug:
Sure.

Paula:
... that you could always talk about it. And I always felt, I mean there was-

Doug:
Well, and respectfully.

Paula:
That's exactly it, it was about respect. 'Cos he was a big, both of them were a big thing about commanding respect.

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
That's, and I think his parents were pretty much task masters too, so...

Doug:
Well they had to be, come on.

Paula:
... that was, you know...

Doug:
Are you kidding.

Paula:
... but, yeah.

Doug:
(laughing) I know that one.

Paula:
But it was a, you know, I loved coming back, I loved working with him. I liked being on the road, um, and preaching ... the story of Hans Kornell...

Doug:
... telling the story.

Paula:
... because it was a great story. Um, trying to get him to change was trying to get him to go from traditional, so everything was traditional method, champanoise, but it was made from Riesling...

Doug:
Which was his German...

Paula:
Exactly.

Doug:
... German background, that's what he knew.

Paula:
And so that was for the Zir Trokken...

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula:
... and then, um, everything else was a blend of mixed whites, which I'm now finding, going full circle, that, that's pretty much, today, that's pretty much the world of sparkling wine...

Doug:
Is it really?

Paula:
... California sparkling wine. Um-

Doug:
Because I remember, I remember running into you and you were like frustrated, because you were trying, you were trying to get him away from doing as much Riesling.

Paula:
And doing Chardonnay...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... and doing traditional Chardonnay and-

Doug:
Pinot.

Paula:
... Pinot, and so by the time that happened, after a few years, it was really too late...

Doug:
Ah.

Paula:
... it was really, um, there was so much, um, competition...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... with European money, with Chandon, and then with Mumm, um, so it was, and unfortunately he had, he was very proud of his airline contracts.

Doug:
I remember that. Yes.

Paula:
But that was putting your eggs in one basket.

Doug:
In one basket. Right.

Paula:
And it was, um, so when that went away, it was really, it was really tough.

Doug:
Interesting. And that, and it, and it was tough, and the doors got closed.

Paula:
Yeah. The doors got closed. And it was a very, um, sort of serendipitous year for me, because it was the year, it was 1992, I chaired Auction Napa Valley.

Doug:
You chaired the wine auction, Auction Napa Valley.

Paula:
And the winery was closing right behind me. Um-

Doug:
How tough.

Paula:
... and so it was, it was, it was tough but the community, I think that's where, when you realize what a great place we live in, because there was really a great support system from the community.

Doug:
Nice.

Paula:
I had already, I, I kn- I saw the writing on the wall...

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula:
... and had run into or had, was speaking somewhere, I think it was somewhere in Southern California, and Joe Phelps was there ... so even before the winery door was closed, Joe had offered me a job to come to work at Phelps, so it was, you know, there was standing up there for auction, it was, I knew, at least I had a home to go to after...

Doug:
How sweet.

Paula:
... that happened.

Doug:
I didn't know that.

Paula:
So Tom Shelton and I were hired the exact same day.

Doug:
We (laughing) now, now, now that's something I've never heard.

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
Were you really?

Paula:
We were hired both exact same day. T-Tom to be Director of Sales and VP of Sales, and I was VP of Marketing.

Doug:
Wow.

Paula:
Yeah, it was great.

Doug:
So-

Paula:
I mean that, that took, I thought my father was bad (laughing) working for Joe Phelps was truly an experience.

Doug:
Okay, yeah, I can see that. But hey, working alongside Tom Shelton...

Paula:
Uh.

Doug:
... what a, what a treat.

Paula:
He was the best. The absolute best.

Doug:
How long did you get to work together?

Paula:
We worked together for a year.

Doug:
Ah, great.

Paula:
Because it was a year, maybe it was a little longer...

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula:
... probably a year and a half. It was a year and a half of Joe getting used to not having Bruce Nyers with him.

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
Because it was just after Bruce Nyers, and Joe was really trying hard, I will give him credit that he was trying very hard to, um, work with two people. And it was very obvious that it had to be a one person-

Doug:
One person thing.

Paula:
... and that, and it, and Tom was definitely the person to be working with...

Doug:
Sure.

Paula:
... which, you know, the, what Tom did there...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... for me, it was, remember I've been doing sparkling wine...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... so to work with Craig and to work with...

Doug:
Craig Williams the winemaker. Right.

Paula:
... Craig Williams to work with such a great wine making staff, and team, and to learn and to really get my teeth into Cabernet.

Doug:
Right, and still Wine.

Paula:
And still Wine. And then-

Doug:
Cabernet, Chardonnay.

Paula:
He put me in charge of Le Mistral, which was the more blends...

Doug:
That's right.

Paula:
,... and that was when if you did a spell check for Viognier, it came out vagina.

Doug:
Oops.

Paula:
(laughing) so it was-

Doug:
We've come a long way.

Paula:
We've come a long way. But it was great. It was, but it was one of those, boy, I though my father was a task master, it was, um...

Doug:
Yeah.

Paula:
... Joe liked to make sure that there were butts in seats in that office, six days a week, and, you know, it...

Doug:
Got it.

Paula:
... it was interesting.

Doug:
Well good experience.

Paula:
Yeah, good experience.

Doug:
So aft- so after that, in the meanwhile you, you lost your dad in 94?

Paula:
I lost my father, um, 90- I think it was 94, 95, 'cos I had just started working at Mondavi.

Doug:
Okay, so after Phelps you went to Mondavi.

Paula:
I went to work at Mondavi, running Vichon.

Doug:
Vichon, which is, I remember Vichon its up on Oakhill Grade.

Paula:
It's now where Promontory is.

Doug:
It's on Promontory.

Paula:
Yeah, and it was this...

Doug:
La Familia for a while, it was-

Paula:
It was La Familia, and Vichon was known for it's, um, Chevrignon, which was...

Doug:
Wow, this is going back.

Paula:
... Sauvignon Blanc and ...

Doug:
Um, in something.

Paula:
(laughing) I don't remember, I guess it's...

Doug:
So Mondavi had another facility called Vichon, which was, it was something before that, but they bought it.

Paula:
And Tim, and it was basically Tim's Mondavi winery.

Doug:
Tim Mondavi’s winery it was half way up Oakhill grade, past Far Niente and, uh, they were making chevr-

Paula:
Chevrignon...

Doug:
Chevrignon.

Paula:
... and Cabernet and Cab Franc. They were buying grapes right next to you from Illsley.

Doug:
Right, got it.

Paula:
And, um, yeah it was-

Doug:
And so, hired there as GM or Sales?

Paula:
As GM and, and sales, so I was, I had a bizarre job that I was in the Mondavi...

Doug:
Family, yeah.

Paula:
... sales team...

Doug:
Got it.

Paula:
... but I was also GM of a property. So, um, I spent, oh god, ten, eleven, years working for Mondavi. First Vichon ... then Vichon became Vichon Mediterranean. So I spent quite a bit of time in the South of France, um, working on bulk wine transfers.

Doug:
Oh, so they were bringing in wines from-

Paula:
... we were bringing that in.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
And then, um, from there went and did national accounts for Mondavi.

Doug:
Okay. Wow.

Paula:
And learned I could sell wine.

Doug:
Yeah.

Paula:
Like walk in from anything having soup to nuts, from Woodbridge to Opus.

Doug:
You can sell anything.

Paula:
So I learned I could sell.

Doug:
That's great. How does that feel?

Paula:
Which I never really felt I could do that.

Doug:
Yeah, but once you, once you, once you felt, when was that, like what time period? 90, mid 90s?

Paula:
Mid to late 90s. And I sold, and I had all, you know, I had Four Seasons and I had Hyatt, I had all the big...

Doug:
Yeah.

Paula:
... chains, and it was, um, and those faces still appear in our lives today. So, you just never know when any of those GM's showed up.

Doug:
How did that, how did that feel when you kind of realized I can sell anything.

Paula:
I loved it.

Doug:
Yeah, I bet.

Paula:
I absolutely loved it. And I loved being able to be on, you know, its, you had soup and nuts, but you could be honest and it was, that's were the best selling tool was being honest, is, you know, you didn't like something it was really hard for you to sell something you didn't like.

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
So, usually steered people the right way, and it was successful.

Doug:
But wasn't it, it must have been kind of liberating just for you personally? It's like, and just self confidence?

Paula:
Absolutely.

Doug:
Yeah.

Paula:
Yeah. Absolutely. And those were also the days when, you know before that, let's talk about Napa Valley Vintners ...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... you know, we had all those pe- all those, we had Jim Barret, we had all those guys putting all of those young kids on the Boards...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... and so, you know, it was a great, it was a different time, but it was really wonderful to see how Napa Valley has succeeded, and has been stronger along the way.

Doug:
Because we are, because you were on the, you were on the Board a lot.

Paula:
I was on the Board, I don't know, I've tried to figure this out, it was like early 9- no late 80s...

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
... so when John Kongsgaard in, I don't know whatever that, so that was two years, and then, two or three years...

Doug:
Yeah.

Paula:
... then later on.

Doug:
Yeah. And this is the Napa Valley Vintners Organization, and Paul was on the board a bunch, and you were Chair of the Auction Napa Valley, our summer fund raiser, and that was in 92 and then-

Paula:
92, and then again when we did it all the past chairs, of the, of the auction...

Doug:
And that was 05.

Paula:
Okay. And now this year.

Doug:
Now then this year, in the next week, you're Chair again because it's all 35 Chairs.

Paula:
Yes.

Doug:
Something like that. So the Auction Napa Valley, has been going since 1981 and we've raised over $185 million for local charities in Napa, that has been incredible, so. The people that step up and Chair it like yourself, um, it's, um, a thankless job, but thank you, appreciate it.

Paula:
We have, we're so lucky to have an incredible staff now...

Doug:
Yeah.

Paula:
... that does so much work.

Doug:
They crank.

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
They crank. But, we need to go and smile...

Paula:
And we smile.

Doug:
... and do our thing.

Paula:
Smile, if you like it or not.

Doug:
We will sell, by golly. Um-

Paula:
Whether we like it.

Doug:
So Vichon and Mondavi for eight to ten years, and then what happened.

Paula:
And then, to just before 2000, um, I was approached by the team from the Chalone wine group...

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
... and, uh, Phil Woodward and, I'd known all that group because of loving their wines for so long, and then, so I got offered to job to go over the mountain to Sonoma.

Doug:
You jumped ship.

Paula:
So, um, I went over the Oakville Grade and to, um, Carmenet...

Doug:
Carmenet.

Paula:
... which was at the top of Moon Mountain...

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula:
... and to a while another world (laughing) of craziness. Um, immediately was put on the board of the Sonoma County, or Sonoma County Vintners, because... they needed some help.

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
And, um, but being on top of that mountain was beautiful. It was a great funky, funky, funky property. But, met one of the greatest people that I met in my life, named Phil Coturri.

Doug:
The vineyard guy.

Paula:
The vineyard guy.

Doug:
Yeah.

Paula:
Phil is the quintessential deadhead.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
Looks like he should be in the band, grew up with most of those guys.

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
So is best pals with all of them. And he taught me how to do a vineyard budget, taught me how, anything about organics, and biodynamics. And eventually when I, after my two years we- two years at Carmenet, when I came back to Napa Valley, um, hired him to work on Oakville Ranch. And now that is a, when I started there, was a, um, the vineyard looked nuked, it had been...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... just...

Doug:
Too many chemicals.

Paula:
... decimated, and now is thriving and they're selling grapes for the highest they can command. So, and today, truly now he farms so many vineyards...

Doug:
Yes.

Paula:
... in Napa Valley too and is just a great, great guy.

Doug:
So you were there for two years. Met Phil.

Paula:
Two years, and met Phil, um, loved being over there. Um, liked having a foot still in Sonoma, because there was a piece of, going back to dad.

Doug:
Oh, you were with your dad. Of course. Of course.

Paula:
There's a piece of my heart there.

Doug:
Yeah.

Paula:
Um, it, but it was, it was definitely different and I, definitely Napa Valley girl and trying to build, or was trying to build a winery for them in Sonoma Valley.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
Oh, that was not a pretty thing. It was now Lassiter prop- John Lassiter owns this property.

Doug:
Quite right.

Paula:
That we were trying to build a winery, that, um, was near, the winery was already there, we were trying to redo a winery next to an elementary school.

Doug:
Tough the- tough one.

Paula:
Yeah. That was, I'd be over this hill, driving over Oakville Grade in tears half the time, because you were just, by the, you know, PTA, by everyone. "Young lady, do you have children?"

Doug:
Oh. Oh.

Paula:
"Young lady, you're going to kill our kids."

Doug:
That's tough.

Paula:
It was, tough. So I had known Mary Miner, socially from, because of the San Francisco Ballet.

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
And, um, she was...

Doug:
A wonderful gal.

Paula:
... going through her own trials with her family.

Doug:
Mm.

Paula:
She's the widow of Bob Miner, who started Oracle with Larry Ellison. And has this incredible piece of property up on the top of Oakville-

Doug:
On the, uh, eastern side.

Paula:
Eastern Side.

Doug:
Eastern side of Napa Valley.

Paula:
Just above Dalla Valle. And, um, so, you know, 62, 72 acres of incredible grapes...

Doug:
Wow.

Paula:
... at the top of the mountain, very small brand.

Doug:
I didn't know, I didn't know she has that much up there.

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
So she sells a lot. Obviously.

Paula:
Yeah, so now she sells most of it.

Doug:
Right. But her brand was Oakville Ranch.

Paula:
Oakville Ranch.

Doug:
So, s- s-

Paula:
Very small brand but, um, so the biggest job really was getting that vineyard, in shape.

Doug:
So you, you started working with her, with the vineyard, with Phil.

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
You were with here, you were up there for a while.

Paula:
It was ten years.

Doug:
Ten years.

Paula:
Yeah. Yeah.

Doug:
So basically GM, running the place, obviously.

Paula:
Running the place and doing...

Doug:
Everything.

Paula:
... whatever needed to be done up there. So, and it was, you know, it was your own little oasis up there.

Doug:
Oh, you know, you're, it's nice for you. You kind of get to run everything. That's, that's neat.

Paula:
It was great. And she was a, she was a, she was a truly unique individual that...

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula:
... wanted her privacy...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... um, was very generous to the community, but everything was, um, everything was very silent, u- until she found, um, Auction Napa Valley. And started just-

Doug:
She's been one of the best bidders forever.

Paula:
Ah. It's amazing.

Doug:
She's fantastic.

Paula:
And one year I know, when Lexus, no when Cadillac, no it was Lexus, Lexus was our, it was the first or second year of Lexus being one of our partners...

Doug:
That's right. Right.

Paula:
... and she bought the lot, with all the magnums in it, and turns to me after she buys it, and said, "You're gonna sell it for me, aren't ya?"

Doug:
(laughing)

Paula:
So it was, you know, she just, she was, it was, you just never knew that was going to happen with Mary. And she was great.

Doug:
How fun.

Paula:
Absolutely great.

Doug:
How fun.

Paula:
And during the end of those years, um, our mutual friend, uh, Nancy Duckhorn...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... who was consult, doing wine consulting, kept saying, "You need to start your consulting business."

Doug:
Oh, yeah, I was going to ask you, so this is like around 2013, 2014?

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
So Nancy, who was Nancy Duckhorn, and, and she's...

Paula:
Who-

Doug:
... been consulting forever.

Paula:
Right.

Doug:
About 10 years.

Paula:
And Nancy has, has been one of my best friends for years when she and her, ex-husband had Pine Ridge ... and so we've done lots of traveling together. We've, along with Karen Cakebread, we've traveled, we've climbed...

Doug:
That's, that's another subject, hold that, we'll get back to consult. So she said, let's do some consulting.

Paula:
She said that you should be, basically, you should be in the consulting business. You know where most of the bodies are buried, you know how to do this, this. So, um, I guess it's five years ago, I took the step off the-

Doug:
So you're consulting...

Paula:
So I've been consulting.

Doug:
... so you've been consulting for, I'm I'm assuming small wineries, um-

Paula:
So, it's been small wineries...

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula:
... basically Napa Valley. I did, um, I was the, um, Director of the Moon Mountain AVA. Just the first Director of the Moon Mountain AVA, started that and, and that was definitely an interesting experience having Bob Kamen call you in the morning, Robert Kamen, Bob Kamen calling in the morning, and you know, blah, blah, blah. You know, uh,, there's- he can't really speak a whole sentence, and I love you Bob if you're listening to this (laughing)...

Doug:
(laughing)

Paula:
... but he, he can't really speak a whole sentence without expletive, expletive, expletive...

Doug:
Got it.

Paula:
... and, um, but what a great. It was great to go back up there...

Doug:
Sure.

Paula:
... and to work with that new team, also. Um, but small wineries, and they've revolved through, so it's been great.

Doug:
And basic consulting with, uh, management, with sales...

Paula:
It started, sales.

Doug:
... production?

Paula:
It stared sales and marketing...

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
... and now I have to say it's probably more general business than anything else.

Doug:
Just folks, just, just show them the ropes. Any, any names-

Paula:
Yeah. So it, and it's start ups. Oh, William Cole, Eleven Eleven, Eleven Eleven since they opened their doors...

Doug:
Great.

Paula:
... um, then Parallel, um, Merryvale, um, Rare Cat, um, a new brand called Nelcoat.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
Zaikin, um-

Doug:
And you're busy.

Paula:
I'm busy. I'm busy and I love it. And I love th- I love when things are when things are successful and people have a smile on their face, and they get it.

Doug:
What's the secret to a good consulting gig. What's, or a good client. What's, uh, what, what makes it work?

Paula:
Client, you know, Nancy said this, and I will reiterate it. First of all they have to have a great product.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
I mean the product has to be good. And here in Napa Valley I think we're pretty lucky, and then the people have to be great people. And-

Doug:
Interesting.

Paula:
... their, um, you, you have to be able to get along with people and you have to, um, they have to be interested in what you have, you can give all the advise, you can lead the horse to water but-

Doug:
But they've got to do it.

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
Yeah. They got to want to get on...

Paula:
Absolutely.

Doug:
... get on a plane and do a winemaker dinner and do what you need to do.

Paula:
Yeah, and what, what I've learnt from all, what we do in our lives, is that, you know, I can talk through their brands all they want. But it really has to be them in front of that audience. that, they need to be there. They need to have the relationship with their distributor, with their media, with the clients.

Doug:
Right. They need to tell their own story.

Paula:
They do. So I hope...

Doug:
Over and over and over again.

Paula:
... you know, to help them tell their story.

Doug:
All right, but now going back to Nancy and your, your gang, the gang of gals...

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
... and all your adventures. Tell me, you, you got, I can't, I've stopped keeping track of everything you've done. You've got a gang, what's the, the group. Lust for Life?

Paula:
It was called, Lust for Life. Now we've sort of lost our lust, (laughing)

Doug:
Haven't lost your life, but I've lost my lust. Um, no, you did this for a while, this was-

Paula:
We tried to get your wife to go on one of them, and that didn't work out. Um,

Doug:
I think she was, I think she was, I think she was busy getting married to me, that time.

Paula:
I think she was, I think that was exactly it.

Doug:
I think it was.

Paula:
Um, I don't know, well we had a really good friend that, uh, was one of the...

Doug:
Oh.

Paula:
... first Executive Directors of the Napa Valley Vintners.

Doug:
Yes.

Paula:
Um, Elaine.

Doug:
Elaine Mackey.

Paula:
And she had passed away very young, of breast cancer, and we were all trying to figure out, how do we raise money for some kind of trust...

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula:
... and in the meantime, Karen Cakebread and Nancy and I were thinking about going to Nepal. And all of a sudden brain storm, maybe we can raise some money doing that. So, we never thought we'd be able to do much, we thought maybe we could raise money doing that, so...

Doug:
(laughing)

Paula:
... we never thought we'd be able to do much. We though maybe we could raise, I don't know, maybe $10,000...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... so it was the first group was, um, myself, Nancy, Karen ... Lindsay Harrison...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... who had Harrison Vineyards at the time.

Doug:
I remember.

Paula:
And now she still has grapes in New Zealand.

Doug:
New Zealand, I remember that.

Paula:
Um, Katy Murphy from Alexander...

Doug:
From Alexander Valley.

Paula:
... Valley Vineyards...

Doug:
Got it.

Paula:
... she was our Sonoma, um-

Doug:
Representative.

Paula:
... representative. And I think that was it. Uh, Polly Ogdon.

Doug:
That's right.

Paula:
Polly was our non-vintner but contractor to the stars in Napa Valley, so.

Doug:
Got it.

Paula:
Um, and we made it to, we asked, we turned around and sent letters to everyone who's ever asked us for a bottle of wine.

Doug:
(laughing)

Paula:
And every distributor...

Doug:
That's a long list.

Paula:
... everything, and no donation was too small. So, I think it was to get on the t-shirt, it had to be $1,500 and to get a t-shirt it had to be $100...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... so, we had donations of all sorts. So, over the years it was, Nepal ... um, then we decided we needed to summit something, so we did Kilimanjaro...

Doug:
Oh, man.

Paula:
... then it was, Turkey, we did the Caucasus mountains in Turkey, which is right on the Georgia border. Um, Peru, which was, um, in all these trips also, we did something that was great R&R. So...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... um, Hong Kong after Nepal.

Doug:
Now you're, now you're talking, that's smart, yeah.

Paula:
Oh yeah, after Kilimanjaro it was, uh, we were in, we were on a game, at a game lodge, uh, Caucasus mountains, we were on a, um, lovely 60 foot gorge in the Mediterranean...

Doug:
This is, I like the way you guys roll.

Paula:
That's where I, (laughing) that's where I am.

Doug:
I need to, I need to get a group.

Paula:
Um, and then there, Turkey was probably the wo- oh no excuse me, Peru was probably the worst, because we did Machu Picchu as our rest and relaxation...

Doug:
Oh no, no.

Paula:
... and then we went on the Cordillera Blanca, which was the biggest damn mountain that, and the whole time, "What the hell are we doing here?"

Doug:
That was pretty funny.

Paula:
Ah, Peru. Where else did we go, um, Mongolia...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... India.

Doug:
And India.

Paula:
And, um, after, I think it was the first four we raised money, and then it was, from then on we went, "No we can't do this anymore." But, we raised quite a bit of money to start a foundation here, and it was, turned out great. And many got disputed, disputed, dis-

Doug:
Dispersed.

Paula:
... dispersed. Thank you. Dispersed among, um, a few organizations. And then the rest of it ended up in the Calistoga pool, getting the Calistoga pool built.

Doug:
That's fantastic.

Paula:
So, it was good, and we had a great time.

Doug:
You had fun.

Paula:
Camping was lots of fun, um, we just can't get in and out of tents anymore (laughing) so easily.

Doug:
I was, I was gonna ask you for stories, I said, no maybe another time.

Paula:
Oh, there's lots of stories.

Doug:
Yeah, yeah, I know (laughing)

Paula:
One of the best last ones though...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... of India, was we were, uh, rafting down the Ganges, was half of it, and then camping was, trekking was other, so we're rafting down the Ganges...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... and Karen had found this guy that was going to take us, guide that was...

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
... going to take us, well this person ended up not being much of a guide at all. We're rafting and all of a sudden we see that, they're building a dam, in the middle of, middle of our ...

Doug:
(laughing)

Paula:
... so you look up on the mountainside, there's thousands of men looking at these women, in these wet suits...

Doug:
Wet suits.

Paula:
... and there's cops on the side of the river, "Stop. Stop. Stop."

Doug:
Stop.

Paula:
That our guide had no idea, that there was a dam being built.

Doug:
So that was the end of the, that was the end of the rafting.

Paula:
Well they carried the, the rafts went down the dam, and then we walked around (laughing)...

Doug:
(laughing)

Paula:
... it. But it was good.

Doug:
That's a good one.

Paula:
It was good.

Doug:
All right, but now, the most important thing I want to know about, because this has just happening, you've got a new gig.

Paula:
I have a new gig.

Doug:
I want to hear it, what have we got?

Paula:
So, um, this is actually a good story, is that when...

Doug:
Well good, good stories are important.

Paula:
... the winery, when the winery was, um, in its, when Hans Kornell was in its craziness.

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
Um, the bank had put in a guy named Pat Rony, who, um, was a consulting with the bank and it was basically to make sure that there was a business plan, that we...

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
... had a business plan. And, of course we had a business plan, but a lot that's going to do when you have something on yeast, that's not going to be ready for another three years.

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
But-

Doug:
This was the new, this was the new sparkling, with Chardonnay...

Paula:
Correct.

Doug:
... Pinot Noir, that the new move that we-

Paula:
Correct.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
So, but Pat and I became friends, and so we've been friends all these years, so Pat goes to work at, um, he runs St Jean...

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula:
... he, uh, meets Leslie Rudd, becomes very good friends with Leslie, goes to Kansas, works at, um, Leslie's distribution company...

Doug:
Leslie's, distributing, Kansas.

Paula:
... and then becomes President at Dean & Deluca.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
And then helps get Dean & Deluca built here in Napa Valley, and then he, along with Leslie work on the Girard brand, and then he eventually starts this company Vintage Wine Estates. And so, years go on, and so I'm in the middle of my consulting business, Le- uh, Pat and I check in, every year, a couple of times during a year...

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula:
... and last April he came to me and said, we're having lunch, and out of the blue he said, "We have two blank spots in our portfolio. One's Rosé and one's sparkling wine. And I think it would be great to do it with you." I did, and I just said, "Yeah."

Doug:
Both of them, both of them or just the sparkling.

Paula:
Oh, just the sparkling.

Doug:
Oh, how cool.

Paula:
So I just said, yeah, and I walked down this path before with a couple of other people...

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
... but it sort of, so it did make me get to Hans Kornell trade marked. It made me do a few things.

Doug:
Right.

Paula:
But that's been so far in the back. So, um, so for auction next week, I will have, um, for the Top Bidder Dinner, and for my table, I will have the first Paula Kornell sparkling wine.

Doug:
Wow. Congratulations.

Paula:
It's pretty cool.

Doug:
Look at you.

Paula:
I'm excited now.

Doug:
I'm gonna, I'm gonna find your table.

Paula:
It was, um, it, so the grapes are the Napa brand, all come from Mitsuko's vineyard in Carneros...

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
... which was an old Clos Pegase property. And it was a great lovely story, that Jan Shrem gave his wife...

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula:
... in a little box for Valentines Day...

Doug:
(laughing)

Paula:
... a box of dirt, with a note, that said, he has an acre for every day of the year he lo- she, he loves her, and it was 365 acres.

Doug:
365 acres. Wow.

Paula:
And all those years of working with Mondavi and spending time in Carneros I never knew there was that big a contiguous

Doug:
Contiguous.

Paula:
... so the fruit comes from there. And Robin Ackhurst at, um, Clodoval, clodaval, cloda..

Doug:
That's all right.

Paula:
Clos Pegase...

Doug:
Clos Pegase.

Paula:
... is making the blend, the still blend with, with me and then it's going over to Sonoma Rack and Riddle.

Doug:
Got it. So Chardonnay Pinot Blend.

Paula:
Chardonnay and Pinot for Napa Valley.

Doug:
Got it.

Paula:
And there's 500 cases of that. And then there'll be 7,000 cases of California. And that's when I go to, we've backed full circle to dad, is it's really funny speaking to everyone that does California blends, and yes, they're Chardonnay and Pinot. But it's Chenin Blanc and dry white varietals.

Doug:
(laughing)

Paula:
And it, I, I-

Doug:
Because, it's what your dad did.

Paula:
I really thought that was a joke, but-

Paula:
You, somebody is just throwing, throwing this at me.

Doug:
That was - that was yeah.

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
That was yeah, cause, you know, he used all those different grapes.

Paula:
So, and that's still-

Doug:
Full-

Paula:
being-

Doug:
Full circle.

Paula:
Full circle.

Doug:
And the ... it's called Kornell Wine Company.

Paula:
It's called Paula ... It's called Paula -

Doug:
It's called Paula, Paula.

Paula:
... Kornell Sparkling Wine.

Doug:
Paula Kornell Sparkling Wine.

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
So someone-

Paula:
Kornell Wine is-

Doug:
So-

Paula:
... More the consulting.

Doug:
So I wanna find for ... I'm sure there're people listening, but I wanna find it. So how do I find Paula Kornell Sparkling.

Paula:
So it will be out this summer.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
So, it will be out this summer and there's um, it will be, there's ... I've got um ... I I know at, here in Napa Valley, Oakville Grocery, I know, Ed is bringing it, and our dear friend Gary Fish in New Jersey will be-

Doug:
On the East Coast.

Paula:
It will be definitely-

Doug:
New Jersey.

Paula:
... On the East Coast with Gary. So it, it hasn't as far as distribution, it hasn't gone out yet. Um, the California will hit the market for Valentines Day.

Doug:
Okay.

Paula:
Next year.

Doug:
Good. Well you you you kind of know your way around the block on distribution and sales. So I'm not worried about that.

Paula:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Doug:
But congratulation. How cool. Your own brand, full circle. The Paula Kornell Sparkling. What, you know I gotta ask, 'cause you know one of my best memories is your Dad, but what do you think he'd think about this?

Paula:
I think he'd be very proud.

Doug:
Yeah.

Paula:
Ya know, I think, I think he's toasting the glass.

Doug:
Yeah.

Paula:
Hopefully he and my Mother both are.

Doug:
I'm sure they are.

Paula:
Yeah.

Doug:
Well cheers. Cheers to your folks.

Paula:
Thanks.

Doug:
And to you. And all of us. Have a good one.