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'Kingfish' wine club
|Kuleto in Antarctica
Profile: Lt. Col. James McGann USAF
It's almost nine thousand miles from Kuleto Estate to Antarctica.
And even farther from Puget Sound. But Lieutenant Colonel James McGann, 62nd Operations Group Deputy Commander out of McChord Air Force Base in Washington, knows both ends of that expanse.
A charter member in the Kuleto Kingish wine club, Jim recently sent us awesome pictures of a very special payload he carried to share with friends who are stationed in the world's most hostile environment.
Jim is responsible for airdrops to support National Science Foundation research at the South Pole. His crew's single-pass drops from a C-17 Globemaster III are four palettes, each loaded with 70,000 pounds of food and supplies, supporting research facilities on 'the ice'. Jim further develops the "Operation Deep Freeze" systems and logistics, and tests the capabilities of the plane and the resiliency of the crew.
"We make a heavy equipment drop flying at 800 feet, but the environment is so extreme we have to be on oxygen and are battered in 11,000-feet level presssures."
Originally hailing from Boston, Jim blew his first job interview by staring at a picture of a fighter jet in steep liftoff over the shoulder of the interviewer. "I don't want this job" he confessed to her. "I want to do that."
"I knew I didn't want to just watch the news, I knew I wanted to be out there."
Jim's crew launches for McMurdo is Christchurch, New Zealand. The winemaking activities in and around this beautiful countryside have fed his wine passion, Jim cheerleading that "They take the time and capture their passion, and they make some great wines."
Antarctica lies 500 nautical miles beyond the tip of South America (and one of Pat Kuleto's favorite fishing spots!) and any passage there experiences extreme conditions. It's a nearly vertical flight rising to 9300' elevation from sea-level Christchurch. (One thing that they do not face is bird strikes, since the birds that far south walk, not fly.)
Payloads arrive safely, hitting the ice at about 8 MPH. Whether the payload that arrives is support or personal belongings, nothing accidentally arrives in Antarctica, including a bottle of Kuleto Cabernet. Lieutenant Colonel Jim McGann thinks it's the shortest link between Kuleto Estate and the end of the world.
||A Trail Blazer Thrilled in Days of Yesteryear
Silent Film Star Don Coleman
The 1965 SCTB Trek roster lists Don Coleman as a "livestock
rancher" from Willits, but that isn't half the story.
A native of Miles City, Montana, rodeo rider Coleman entered the
silent film industry as a stunt double for Douglas Fairbanks, then
starred in four silent westerns of his own in the late 1920s. His
films were all directed by one Leo Maloney of Santa Rosa, who
ran a studio five thousand feet high above Hollywood in the
San Bernadino Mountains.
Coleman's days on the rodeo circuit were literally more colorful
than his black & white films: he designed many of his own
Wild West show outfits. And unrecorded concensus serves that
he was the physical model for the bronze statue gracing the
entrance at the Buffalo Bill Cody Historical Center in Wyoming.
After his days saddled upon Ghost riding with or against the likes of Lash Larue, Hopalong Cassidy, Whip Wilson, Lucky Hayden and the Durango Kid wrapped, Coleman and his wife Petie settled in Willits, CA and were very well regarded in the community. The Colemans were strong supporters of Willits' Frontier Days events, and they provided several of the valley teens with lessons in trail riding, horsemanship and ettiquette, both on and off the trail.
|The Winemaker's Glass
Profile: Gary Patzwald, winemaker, Kendall-Jackson
If you ask Gary Patzwald about the 1998 harvest, he doesn't
mention grapes. He talks about rain. Then Gary talks about
challenges and rare opportunities.
The El Niño storms of 1998 brought rain showers in June that
retarded the developing vines, which led to an atypical lack of
color and luminescent yellow-green fruit in various cabernet
vineyards. Aromatic profiles that are normally a key indicator of
how the fruit is ripening came late. The late ripening lead to
one of the most selective harvests on record. Fpr those who
patiently waited until almost Thanksgiving, the grapes provided
exceptional flavors and mature nuances.
“I'm on Mother Nature's schedule, no one else's” Gary notes.
Gary's biggest challenge is the annual two-month harvest, and
1998 provided an exceptional harvest challenge. Bloom,
normally completed by May, reached into July. Harvest started
three to five weeks late and continued late into November.
“The season could have been a heck of a lot worse had we not
been patient”, Gary admonishes. “We eventually hit the mark,
and although the extreme weather limited yields, the result of
this vintage shows what can be accomplished if you don't
compromise your standards.”
|The "Looking Forward" Case
Live Auction Lot #23
An urban and rural retreat to appeal to both your sense of style and your sense of adventure.
Three fortunate couples will be culinary entrepreneur Pat Kuleto's guests for the October 2007 black-tie Grand Opening Celebration of EPIC Roasthouse and Waterbar, his new twin restaurants along the San Francisco waterfront. After the restaurants open to the public, the winning bidder will enjoy a private dinner for six prepared by this year's Classic Wines Auction Ambassador Dinner Chef Jan Birnbaum, chef and co-owner at EPIC Roasthouse.
The vibrant pulse of The City gves way to spectacular relaxation at Kuleto Estate, Pat's picturesque winery overlooking Napa Valley. Enjoy a private tour of the winery and villa, and feast on an ultra-special estate-produced wild duck dinner for 36 prepared by celebrity chefs, and featuring presentation of an exclusive twelve-year vertical of library reserved Kuleto wines.
The winning bidder will receive a personally signed 750 ml bottle
of winemaker David Lattin's Cabernet Sauvignon from each Kuleto vintage, 1999 to 2010. The first six bottles, our 1999 to 2004 vintages, will be presented in a handsome Kuleto Estate wooden box upon release of the 2004 Cabernet in August 2007. We will provide a second wooden box for storage and presentation of a signed bottled released each August, now through 2013.
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