Thank you for hosting our bottling event. All of my staff and fellows enjoyed it and we are still talking about it. I especially appreciate your time and patience in answering all their questions about winemaking. Your home is beautiful and a great place for entertaining. Please let Karen know the food was delicious and a great pairing for your excellent wine. See you next year.
This was the best group activity get together that we have had in 20 years.
For the past 20 years, since my first trip to a culinary school in Paris, I have returned to work side by side with France’s culinary artisans over twenty times. These are the extraordinary people that are committed to perfecting their craft. They practice the highest standards of excellence and are committed to excellence. They are the people that have so generously shared their knowledge with me.
Most recently I had the pleasure of meeting one of America’s true wine artisans, Kirk Reid of J.Kirkwood Winery. Owners Kirk and Karen Reid host BYOB parties at their Napa Valley winery. That would not be Bring Your Own Bottle, the popular college party scenario. When I called to accept the invitation and ask if we were to bring wine or some type of liqueur, Kirk kindly explained it was a Bottle Your Own Barrel party! Although you do not actually bring your own barrel, your group will bottle, cork, seal and label a barrel of the J Kirkwood’s luxurious Merlot wine. It was a magnificent learning experience that was accompanied by a tour of the winery and a synopsis of the wine making process by Kirk. As we bottled, corked and sealed bottles, Karen Reid designed wine labels personalized with our names, making us all feel like master wine makers. My bottles will be sent to friends and business associates around the world and shared at my cooking classes and my home!
Every minute of this experience was memorable, especially by ending the day with a wonderful lasagna dinner made by Karen in their home with a group of new friends and of course the exceptional hand crafted Merlot of J. Kirkwood Winery. This is a perfect venue for a corporate or private party or a team building event!
Put A Cork In It! Or How We Bonded Over Wine And Glue Sticks.
On a sunny March Saturday morning a small group of friends, relatives, and high school classmates gathered at J. Kirkwood Winery, under the leadership of Karen and Kirk Reid. The declared intention was to constitute a BYOB. I came armed with wine labels, created to celebrate a communal June 60th birthday party weekend of our high school class, the Class of 1964. We were instructed in the fine art of bottling; that is filling the bottles with a barrel aged 2002 Merlot, forcing a cork into the neck of the bottle, placing a foil over the top of the bottle neck, and carefully easing a hot shrink-wrap tool over the foil. Finally, on to the labeling table, where the “labeling artists” glued front and back labels on most of twenty four cases of wine. Hard work was rewarded by a delicious paella, created by John Coss, a chef from Calistoga. The Reids provided tasty appetizers, and a Cesar salad. The meal was finished with an outstanding flan. The beverage of choice was, of course: 2002, J. Kirkwood, Napa Valley Merlot. A day well spent.
Our latest BYOB gathering at the Reid’s winery was a mix of folks from Russ’ work at AT&T, some friends of their friends, and some local people, too. And as always everyone became instantly good friends. Certainly that has a lot to do with the idea of people getting together who share a love of wine and food and fun, but I think it has even more to do with Kirk and Karen. They are the most gracious and comfortable hosts you can imagine. Kirk does a far too short but fascinating tour showing family winemaking in the traditional French style, then all hands get to work on moving the precious nectar from the barrel into the bottles (a few sips go missing along the way!), and into the cases to find their way home. A true labor of love. And make no mistake, this is some of the finest wine you will ever enjoy. Topped off with an excellent barbecued Tri-Tip lunch, sharing the day’s stories with new friends over a glass of excellent wine, this is a genuine Napa Valley experience not to be missed if you have the chance!
I was searching for an icebreaker experience for our visiting international sales distributors and bottling wine at J.Kirkwood Winery really filled the bill. We had representatives from seven different countries and everybody had a great time. I would highly recommend a BYOB day for any group that needs a fun way to practice working together. We will definitely be doing that again!
We had a terrific time at the J. Kirkwood Winery. Bottling all that wine was a terrific team building experience. I highly recommend this event to anyone looking to do something extraordinary.
Our group of senior financial executives for large global companies and their wives meet twice a year. The highlight of our meetings in 2005 was bottling our own wine at Reid Family Vineyards. In fact, the event turned into a real team building session. The warm hospitality extended by the winery owners, Kirk and Karen Reid, in having our group as dinner guests in their home after bottling the wine made this occasion a memorable event. Those attending this function agreed that it was the best social event we have had since we started our group with the first meeting in the summer of 2000. In fact, I am planning another meeting with a different group in the fall of 2006.
Kirk and Karen were gracious hosts and passionately shared their knowledge and expertise of the wine production process. They provided us with a wonderful experience at their winery where our whole team had a chance to participate in the bottling and labeling process. Truly a worthwhile experience for us.
Our bottling event was a wonderful, fun-filled day. As part of a weekend wedding celebration, we had a real Napa Valley experience at Reid Family Vineyards. The kids had a jumpy house, the adults enjoyed playing in the wine cellar, and everyone enjoyed the pool-side meal. The atmosphere was fabulous. We would enthusiastically recommend this activity and look forward to doing it again someday. I can’t wait to hold a corporate event at the Reid Family Winery!
On behalf of the employees and families of the Informatica Cloud team, I’d like to thank Karen and Kirk for a wonderful time had by all. It was a perfect setting to learn about wine, share a delicious meal (including highly appreciated vegetarian dishes), establish new friendships, and build lasting teamwork that has already carried over into our work. It was a truly special occasion that everyone is still talking about. In the mean time, we get to enjoy the cases of wine we bottled with so much fun. It was a perfect event we can’t wait to do again!