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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
23 Jul 2009

Last Friday night we had the great pleasure of attending a dinner that was a tribute to the late Belle and Barney Rhodes of Napa Valley at their very beautiful house on Bella Oaks vineyard in Rutherford.  It was organised by Barney's niece Valerie Gargiulo of Gargiulo winery as an auction lot for this year's Napa Valley wine auction, which was bought by Barry Schuyler, ex AOL and the owner of Meteor wine, whose winemakers Bill and Dawnine Dyer attended inter alia.

Perhaps the most significant aspect was that our great four-course meal was cooked by chefs Cindy Pawlcyn of Mustards, etc and Michael Chiarello of Bottega (once Tra Vigna, then tv star turned wine grower). These two were admittedly helped considerably in their careers by the Rhodeses, but, amazingly, they continued to send them meals daily, without charge, for the nine years they were housebound before their recent decease.

Below, Michael Chiarello tells us about Zinfandel, spaniels, etc. Below that is a short scene-setting film of  the dinner with Jeff Gargiulo and a Mr Nick Lander in the background.