Set for Retail Release February 4, 2014
The serene setting of Napa Valley is not only home to some of the best wine-making in the world but is also a host to stellar music and music-making. Napa Crossroads is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between five prestigious wineries-- Silver Oak, Far Niente, Pride Mountain, Gargiulo Vinyards, and Casa Piena-- and David Pack, legendary producer, vocalist, and hit-maker (former singer-songwriter Ambrosia,) who conceived and produced the project. Stellar guest stars include: The Doors’ Ray Manzarek, Bela Fleck, Alan Parsons, Todd Rundgren, David Benoit, Billy Dean, Jimmy Wayne, Larry Carlton, Doyle Dykes, Mindi Abair, Robert Schwartzman, Cage The Elephant’s Lincoln Parish, Rick Braun and others. The album was created with a unique blend of superstars in the world of wine including Larry Maguire of Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel on jazz guitar and vocals; David Duncan of Silver Oak and Twomey on guitar and vocals, and Jeff Gargiulo of Gargiulo Vineyards on guitar, piano and vocals. Suzanne Pride Bryan of Pride Mountain Vineyards and Carmen and Gail Policy of Casa Piena wrote lyrics along with the rest of the group. The album is available exclusively at the following five wineries until release in February 2014: Far Niente; Silver Oak Cellars and Twomey Cellars, Pride Mountain Vineyards, Casa Piena, and Gargiulo Vineyards.
Pack describes the experience as “Five years, five wineries and a lot of fun.” He goes on to say, “It’s a time capsule to preserve the memory of friends, Napa Valley and a time that will never be again.” Noted producer and musician, Pack has been drawn to Napa for many years with an unrequited passion for viticulture. He became a welcome figure in the Napa community a number of years ago after developing a friendship with winemaker Jeff Gargiulo and playing concerts for local events in the community. That friendship opened Pack to the world of undiscovered musicians among the winemakers and incited Pack’s desire to create a recording that serves as a backstage pass to a once-in-a-lifetime special event.
The wineries invested in the album financially and creatively, collaborating on two tracks each along with contributions from special guests, culminating in 14 tracks of original material. All songs were produced by Pack and written and recorded in Napa Valley beginning May 2009, which includes one of the final recordings of the late Ray Manzarek.
Larry Maguire, partner & president of Far Niente says, “I love my life in wine, but had I met David when I was 22, I think we could have had one really hot band. Working with him has helped me realize one of the great dreams of my life—to record my songs on a professionally-released album—and it has reawakened my passion for creating and performing music.” Maguire’s compositions, “Corner of His Room” and “Next Adventure” are drawn from moments with his children and the new adventures he and his wife have yet to experience.
“Being included in this project fulfills a dream for me. I have been writing songs for years and thoroughly enjoyed the process of actually getting them finished,” says David Duncan, President and CEO of Silver Oak Cellars, who contributed “Every Time I Look at You,” and “Crossroads Bound,” to the project. One is a love song to his wife and the other follows the concept of the “crossroads” which provide secret ways through the valley.
Suzanne Pride Bryan, Co-owner of Pride Mountain Vineyards says “‘O’ Blessed Vine’ and ‘You Were the One’ capture special moments in time at Pride Mountain Vineyards, where we are always happy to be ‘high on the mountain.’” Suzanne’s songs were inspired by her parents, Jim and Carolyn Pride, the winery’s founders.
“This combined musical effort, which includes five spectacular winery partners, will allow people throughout the world to experience the warmth, spirit, and humanity that grows ‘heartily’ in Napa,” says Carmen Policy, owner of Casa Piena. Policy brought “Full House Full Heart” and “A Friend Like You,” which were influenced by the idea of friends and family, a concept that is embodied in the name of his winery.
“David’s concept of bringing together the art of songwriting with the art of making wine defines Napa Valley and what we are all about. To see his dream come true and be a part of it is truly awesome,” says Jeff Gargiulo owner of Gargiulo Vineyards. His songs, “April Born in May” and “Wine Country Cowboy” were inspired by his daughter and Jeff and David Duncan’s band The Silverado Pickups.
David Pack has won international acclaim both for his solo work and as former front-man for progressive rock group Ambrosia. He is a Grammy winning producer of legendary artists including Wynonna, Selena, Aretha Franklin and Kenny Loggins, and a Music Director of global stage events including both of President Clinton’s Inaugurals and events for Barbra Streisand, Elton John & the late Leonard Bernstein, and recently for Avon, with Fergie of Black Eyed Peas and The Who’s Pete Townshend Tec Awards. His #1 pop classics such as “Biggest Part of Me” “How Much I Feel” “You’re The Only Woman” have graced global radio for over 35 years winning BMI 5 mil. Airplay awards. His collective works as a performer and producer have sold over 40 million units worldwide. He credits mentors & friends Leonard Bernstein & Quincy Jones, whom Pack introduced, as setting his life’s quest for excellence in creating special music projects that bring people together in unique ways, such as Napa Crossroads, David’s dream project.
Far Niente/Nickel & Nickel
Founded in Oakville, California in 1885 and restored in 1979, Far Niente is consistently recognized as a benchmark producer of Napa Valley Chardonnay and Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. A dedication to winemaking in its highest form, paired with a focus on house style, vineyard ownership and social responsibility, has established Far Niente as one of the world’s great wine estates.
Larry Maguire joined Gil and Beth Nickel and Dirk Hampson at Far Niente in 1983. The Nickel’s and Hampson had just finished restoring the historic stone winery building, launching the estate on a path to create Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay to rival the world’s finest. Dirk, the Nickel family and Maguire continue the Far Niente legacy along with their three sister wineries: Dolce, Nickel & Nickel and EnRoute.
Silver Oak and Twomey
Silver Oak was founded in 1972 by Ray Duncan and Justin Meyer, who shared a vision of producing a single wine – Cabernet Saivignon. Today, Silver Oak is still family owned and operated by Ray’s sons David and Tim. In 1999 the Duncan family established Twomey Cellars where they produce Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc. Of the comparison between making good music and making good wine, David Duncan says, “When you get the wine just right, it’s like hitting a chord on the guitar. You have to have all the notes in place.”
Pride Mountain Vineyards
Suzanne Pride Bryan, Co-owner and her husband, Stuart Bryan, Pride’s Director of National Sales, work with Suzanne’s brother Steve Pride, Co-owner and CEO and Winemaker Sally Johnson to carry-on the tradition of highly-lauded and intensely delicious mountain grown wines. Pride Mountain Vineyards is known for its exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Viognier and their unique dessert wine Mistelle de Viognier.
Celebrating over two decades since its founding by Jim and Carolyn Pride and its first vintage in 1991, Pride Mountain Vineyards has been named one of the “world’s greatest wine estates” by Robert Parker, Jr. joining just 156 other wineries from around the world for this distinction. The Wine Spectator has placed Pride’s wines on their Top100 Wines of the World list six times. Significantly, the wines of Pride Mountain Vineyards have been served at the White House 27 times over the last 22 years across four Administrations.
Casa Piena is owned by Carmen and Gail Policy and located in Yountville surrounded by the Mayacamas, Vaca, and Stag’s Leap mountains. The inspiration for the winery started with Carmen’s childhood in Youngstown, Ohio where his grandfathers were “basement winemakers” in a vibrant Italian-American community. After a rewarding career in law, Policy joined the San Francisco 49ers organization, where he was fortunate enough to play a role in all five of the Super Bowl winning teams. This great achievement helped to establish the 49ers as one of the preeminent franchises in all of sports. He has carried a sense of family from his childhood, to the 49ers, and now into a world-class vineyard with Casa Piena in Napa Valley, where he and his wife Gail fell in love with the community, the beautiful climate, and the art of fine winemaking.
Over 20 years ago Jeff Gargiulo and his wife Valerie had a Napa Valley dream that has since blossomed into the beautiful Gargiulo Vineyards winery and Oakville property that you see today. His background is in agriculture, he’s been a lifelong farmer, so he knew that it all starts with extraordinary land. In the early 90’s Valerie’s cousins, Napa icons Barney and Bell Rhodes of famed Bella Oaks Estate, helped them find their first vineyard, Money Road Ranch. In early 2000 they added 575 OVX in Oakville’s premiere grape growing region, with their daughter April as creative director. Music is an important part of Jeff’s life and that theme is echoed throughout the winery, whether in jam sessions, songwriting, or grabbing one of his guitars off the wall and just being in the moment. He is grateful that their GV Cabernet Sauvignons, including G Major 7, Money Road Ranch, and OVX, have evolved into some of the most collectable wines in Napa Valley.
Concord Music Group
Concord Music Group is one of the largest independent record and music publishing companies in the world and owner of a rich and historically significant catalog of recordings. Concord Music Group’s legendary family of labels includes Concord Records, Concord Jazz, Fantasy, Stax, Milestone, Riverside, Specialty, Telarc, Peak, Heads Up, Prestige and famed American roots label Rounder Records.