Father’s Day Gifts that Will Prompt High Fives

No more boring ties, bbq tools or golf balls, here are five gifts that will put a smile on dad’s face. He’s your go to guy, someone you can always count on to have your back. This Fathers Day PlumpJack can help you show Dad you care, because your dad deserves something awesome.

1. Whisky, Wine & Beer, OH My!
Choose from so many great PlumpJack Wine & Spirits clubs, like our American Whisky Club, Gin Club, or Beer Club.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

2. Fly Fishing in Tahoe
Spoil dad with something relaxing and outdoorsy. Book the Fly Fishing Package at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn that includes private casting lessons and guided fishing on private, stocked ponds with famed fly fisherman, Matt Heron. Plus welcome snacks and wine in your guest room.

3. Forego Brunch and Opt for Cocktails
Spend a night sipping manly cocktails, at one of San Francisco’s Hottest New Bars in mid-market.

4. Gift Kits with a Kick
Choose from a number of great Cocktail Kit choices, including some classics like the Manhattan, Old Fashioned or a Sazerac.

5. Burger & Wine: A Perfect Pairing
Indulge in two balboa burgers with the suggested toppings of blue cheese, bacon, and sauteed mushrooms, perfectly paired with a bottle of 2012 Adaptation Petite Sirah for $100.00

6. PlumpJack Gift Baskets
Gift baskets don’t have to be a drag to receive, PlumpJack Wine & Spirits has gift baskets that will be sure to please Dad. From the Build a Better Bar Basket to the Three Cheers for Beer in a Bucket, our hand crafted baskets are loaded up with premium items.

Behind the Drink: The Negroni

                                           Florence, Italy

While the origin of the Negroni varies by many accounts, the most popular story goes like this. In 1919 Count Camillo Negroni, a frequent patron at Caffe Giacosa in Florence asked the bartender to strengthen his favorite drink ‘The Americano’ by adding gin instead of soda water. The bartender obliged, garnishing the new drink with an orange peel.
The results spoke for themselves, and after the soaring popularity of the drink, the Negroni family founded a distillery in Treviso. Producing a ready-made version of the drink calling it ‘Antico Negroni’.

For this classic cocktail, balance is the key to success. Conceived of equal portions of gin, Campari and sweet vermouth, it dances the line perfectly between bitter and sweet. Presentations vary, but it is usually served ‘up’ in a cocktail or coupe glass and garnished with a orange rind. Stirring the drink will lead to a more spirit forward drink, preserving the texture and body of the cocktail. While shaking will tone down the booziness, creating a leaner and lighter drink.

The Negroni Variations Cocktail Kit from PlumpJack Wine & Spirits Noe Valley

The Negroni Variations Cocktail Kit from PlumpJack Wine & Spirits Noe Valley

Many variations of the cocktail exist, the most popular being a ‘Boulevardier’, where the gin is subbed for bourbon. The Negroni Bianco, is a contemporary version, with a perfect bittersweet balance with every sip. In this variation, the Campari is subbed with another light colored bitter liqueur like Salers or Suze. And the sweet vermouth (usually dark in color) is substituted with a sweet vermouth clear in color like Dolin Blanc.

Creating your own variation on the drink is much easier than you would think. The key is to remember this drink is based on a balance of one part sweet, one part bitter and one part spirit. Order one of PlumpJack Wine & Spirits ‘Negroni Variations’ cocktail kits you’ll be able to make the classic Negroni, Boulevardier and the Old Pal at home.

Here is a slight variation of the classic Negroni cocktail. Ransom old tom gin is a corn/malted barley based spirit, fortified with gin botanicals and then barrel aged. Think whiskey crossed with a gin. This cocktail perfectly straddles the line between a Boulevardier and a classic Negroni cocktail.

1.5 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz Alessio Vermouth Torino

Stir all ingredients over ice. Strain into rocks glass with a sphered ice cube. Garnish with flamed orange peel.

Joshua Thinnes, General Manager and Wine & Spirits Buyer, Noe Valley Location

Conversations with Hilary: Justin Tuck

This edition of Conversations with Hilary highlights my friend and NFL defensive lineman Justin Tuck, formerly of the New York Giants, now with the Oakland Raiders. While millions of viewers see Justin suited up on Sundays, I know him as a champion of philanthropy. Justin and his wife Lauran, recently announced a $250,000 donation to the literacy initiative, “The Read Zone,” in an effort to help raise awareness and provide low-income kids with books and dedicated reading programs. His donation is the first grant to the initiative started by the 50 Fund, which is a legacy fund of the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee. In his own words Justin says, “You don’t get many chances at this kind of Super Bowl platform often.” He is a true hero who takes advantage of the opportunities he is given to make a real impact on people’s lives.

16th Annual PlumpJack/ LINK Golf Classic

Justin’s generosity is far reaching and includes our annual PlumpJack/LINK Golf Classic, in support of Breast Cancer research and Education benefiting CPIC.org. His participation since arriving to the bay Area has helped us raise over $500,000 in the past two years alone! I am deeply grateful and honored to call Justin and Lauran my friends. Enjoy!

1. What do you believe to be your greatest accomplishment?
Outside of being and husband and father I would say graduating from Notre Dame

2. Do you have a prized possession?
I really don’t have anything that I couldn’t part ways with so no

3. What qualities do you think others love about you?
Hardworking and honesty

4. If you could do anything other than what you currently do, what would it be?
I love cars and the outdoors. So probably something that allowed me to work with one or both

5. What do you like most about what you do for a living/career?
Football provides the opportunity to visit a lot of different places and meet different people – I think that is unique in this profession

6. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

7. What’s your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
Watch a movie with the wife after the kids go to bed

Justin at the PlumpJack/LINK Golf Classic

8. What were you passionate about in your younger years growing up?
The outdoors and sports

9. What are you passionate about now?
My family, the outdoors, and sports lol

10. What’s your favorite season and why?
The fall, I love the coloring of the leaves and the milder weather

11. If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three items would you want to have with you?
My cell phone, fire starter, and some water

12. If you were a cocktail or a drink what would it be?
Johnny Walker Blue neat

13. What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
In The Air Tonight – Phil Collins

14. If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Jesus, Martin Luther King and Muhammad Ali

15. If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?
I Just Want to Play

16. Do you have any regrets?
None, everything that’s happened to me, good or bad I take as a blessing

17. Define freedom?
Being okay with whatever life throws your way

18. What are your personal core values?
Always find a way to make the people around you better



Festival Fashion: BottleRock Napa Valley

Year three of BottleRock Napa Valley kicks off this weekend, which makes for the perfect excuse to rock cut off shorts, kimono’s, slouchy tanks, all with your favorite beer or wine in hand. We’ve picked our favorite pieces of the moment for some festival approved fashion to get you through the weekend (and the warm days) in style.


S U N G L A S S E S // Oliver People West

K I M O N O // Fifteen Twenty

T A N K // Red 23

S H O R T S // Hudson

J E W E L R Y // Gorjana

S A N D A L S // Tory Burch

The People of PlumpJack: Jacqi Almond

This week on The People of PlumpJack we feature Marketing Manager at The Carneros Inn, Jacqi Almond. She has been with The Carneros Inn for nine months, and has worked in the Napa Valley resort industry for eight years. For Jacqi one of the greatest parts of her job is the ability to share the property and connect with people who haven’t had the opportunity to experience it yet.

Originally from Woodbridge, Virgina, Jacqi lives in Santa Rosa. She is an avid football fan and always roots for the Washington Redskins. When she’s not working, you can find Jacqi reading and running, she has run over 15 half marathons, marathons and ultra relays. This upcoming July she is reregistered for the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon. Clearly a disciplined women, Jacqi has a personal goal to read 100 books this year. One of her favorites is Zero to One by Peter Thiel. We hope you enjoy getting to know Jacqi a little more in this weeks post on The People of PlumpJack.


What would your last meal be?
Authentic street tacos

What is the best advice you have ever received?
If you want to be successful, prepare to be doubted and tested. Be stubborn with your goals, and flexible with your methods.

What is the last thing you googled?
Avengers Movie Times

What is your personal mantra?
“Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

If you could travel back to any one point in time what would it be?
The last dinner I had with my dad

If money were not an object what would you do?
Travel and experience as many cultures as possible.

If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?
I would want to opportunity to experience space.

At Odette Estate Winery

At Odette Estate Winery

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Professional dancing. Dancing is one of my favorite activities and would love to be better at it.

What was the last gift you gave someone?
Seth Godin’s latest book to a few of my favorite marketers

If you could learn any language fluently, what would it be and why?
French and Italian because why choose?

When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?
I generally listen to marketing podcasts like #AskGaryVee & Social Media Examiner Show

“I love Jacqi’s robust and contagious energy of elevating The Carneros Inn brand and social media presence.” - Amanda Heath, Buyer for PlumpJackSport

Mothers Day Five Ways by PlumpJack

Mother on Your Mind Collage
Love and cherish your mom everyday and celebrate that love and devotion on Mother’s Day. At PlumpJack, we have compiled a list that includes the more basic take-your-mom-to-brunch option to a more adventurous, give your mom the gift of the outdoors, which includes a fly fishing excursion in Squaw Valley.

  1. Honor Mom with a Meaningful Meal – dine at Balboa Cafe San Francisco, Balboa Cafe Mill Valley, FARM at The Carneros Inn or Boon Fly Restaurant.
  2. Pamper Mom with a Day(s) of Rest and Relaxation – Book a spa package or just a couple of nights at our Napa Valley Resort, The Carneros Inn.
  3. Pop Bottles in Honor of Mom with some Fabulous Bubbles – Sign up for PlumpJack Wine & Spirits’ Champagne Club and she’ll be celebrating every other month with a new pick.
  4. Show Mom the Great Outdoors – Gift mom with PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn’s Fly Fishing Package!
  5. Treat Mom and Her Friends to a Fun Baking and Dessert Class in Tahoe – There’s nothing like bonding over fresh baked breads and desserts with your friends and then settling in for the night at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn – for 25% off your guest room. Register for baking dessert class.

For 100’s of other ways PlumpJack can create a magical experience for your mother, visit us at plumpjack.com

Conversations with Hilary: Gregory ‘Bonga’ Perkins

In my most recent family vacation to Hawaii to the Kohanaiki Club, we had the pleasure of meeting Gregory ‘Bonga’ Perkins. An American professional longboard surfer and two time ASP World Longboard Champion. He is regarded as one of the worlds best all around surfers.

BongaPerkins_GeoffCallanWhen it comes to surfing, nothing holds more weight than a North Shore reputation. Bonga has carved a niche for himself in the fiercely competitive line-ups of Oahu’s North Shore. He won his first ASP title in 1996 and then again in 2008. An impressive athlete, he is one of the few that tackles Pipeline on longboard. An incredibly kind and warm person, Bonga was a delight to meet during my trip to the island while we stayed at the Kohanaiki Club .

1. What do you believe to be your greatest accomplishment? 
My greatest accomplishment before having kids is knowing about this wonderful ocean.

2. Do you have a prized possession?
My most prized possession would be my surfboard!!!:-)

3. What qualities do you think others love about you?
Qualities people love about me it that I’m easy going and willing to give even if its just a little knowledge.

4. What do you like most about what you do for a living/career?
I love that there is no limits and or season to when you can or cannot do it. No one owns the ocean:-)

5. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Think how blessed I am to do what I do and all the cool people I may meet today.

6. What’s your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
I look forward to driving home and having a beer up in the mountains where I live if the waves aren’t up hahahah

7. What were you passionate about in your younger years growing up?
Wanting to be the best surfer in the world!

8. What are you passionate about now?
Just to see my kids love the ocean like me!

9. What’s your favorite season and why?
Winter season, big waves and lots of snow.

10. If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three items would you want to have with you?
My girlfriend, a spear gun and some beer.

11. If you were a cocktail or a drink what would it be?
Kamikaze for obvious reasons. My friends know when the waves are big you’ll see me out.

12. What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
Rolling Stones, anybody seen my baby

13. If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Would have to be Julie Andrews.

14. Do you have any regrets?

15. Define freedom?
Waves in our Oceans

16. What are your personal core values?
Old school morals new school approach.

I can’t say enough about our stay at the Kahanaki Club on the Big Island of Hawaii. The homes are beautiful and the landscape is stunning. Can’t wait to return with my family.






Bounty of Spring: Organic Wines to Drink for Earth Day

April 21st we celebrate Earth Day’s 45th anniversary. In honor of the day, PlumpJack Wine & Spirits Fillmore has five organic wine choices from around the world.

When is a wine considered organic? Organic wine and wine made with organic grapes are two different things. Wines that are made from organically grown grapes are farmed without synthetic additives and pesticides. What makes a difference between an organic wine or wine made with organic grapes is whether or not winemakers add sulphur at the bottling stage, this controls spoilage. So when purchasing an “organic wine” you’re buying wine made with organic grapes with no added sulfites. Here are our picks, all available at PlumpJack Wine & Spirits – Fillmore location.


2011 Umathum Zweigelt, Austria ($22)
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of crushed cherries and blackberries. Cherry and black cherry flavors have a nice stony underbelly and very faint velvety tannins, which make this a very easy-drinking wine.






2012 Frog’s Leap Zinfandel, California ($25)
Frog’s Leap harvests their Zinfandel grapes at the peak of ripeness rather than allowing them to become overripe. The result is an elegant and authentic expression of Zinfandel flavors. This Zinfandel is a dry-farmed and organically grown field blend that includes some Petite Syrah and Carignane. In the words of the winery, “superb raspberry, huckleberry aromas followed by taut, refined, seductive flavors of red fruit compote layered with spice and a sensuous mouth-feel”




2009 Domaine Habrard Crozes Hermitage, France ($25)

Crozes-Hermitage is the largest appellation in the Northern Rhône region of France and represents some of the low hills and terraces across the river from the famous hills of Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. Thanks to its soft tannins, the wine works well when meats are grilled or braised, especially if you play to the wine’s high tones with accents like rosemary, olives, black pepper, garlic and thyme.



2013 Workman/Ayer Viognier, California ($21)
From the central coast of California, the nose is finely focused with notes of lemon peel and florals. It is medium- full bodied and balanced to crispness with a slight acidic snap to its flavors of green peaches and limes.





2014 Bonny Doon Vin Gris, California ($16)
The fragrance is discreet and above all, elegant and draws one to the wine rather than mounts a frontal assault on one’s sensorium. On the palate, the wine has a sleek, salty, savory, mouth-watering aspect and a refreshing acidity. Discreet nose of alpine strawberry, evolving into a refreshing mintiness with additional air and warming. The wine pairs well with seafood such as ceviche and oysters, perfect for spring meal pairing.

Conversations with Hilary: Diane Keaton

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Diane Keaton on one of her many visits to The Carneros Inn. Diane frequented the Napa Valley while doing research for her book House, that expresses her vision of how we live today in spaces that have been artfully re-purposed or reinvented. The book demonstrates a strong commitment to environmental consciousness and its embrace of Green design, as seen in the architecture and interiors portrayed.

Photogrpahy credit: Ruven Afanador / http://www.ruvenafanador.com/

Diane is an extraordinary talent. She is a highly accomplished Academy Award Winning actress with dozens of notable films, including all three Godfather’s, Annie Hall, Something’s Gotta Give, Manhattan among many others. Diane has just published her new book Lets Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty, which is not to be missed! I am so incredibly pleased to feature Diane this month, I hope you enjoy!

 1.Do you have a prized possession?
My children’s art, letters,and notes. I save every note ever written to me. Beware!

2. What qualities do you think others love about you?
You would need to ask them. I hope it would be compassion for people and animals.

3. If you could do anything other than what you currently do, what would it be?
Build more…homes, hotels, you name it! And of course preserving old buildings particularly factories.

4. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Kiss my dog Emmie…turn on CNN…and make a cup of Nespresso.

5. What’s your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
Go to a movie and see a documentary then take an evening walk on the bluff and see the magnificent Pacific Ocean.

6. What were you passionate about in your younger years growing up?
Singing… but that didn’t work out. I am lucky I became an actress.

7. What are you passionate about now?
Imagery. I love Pinterest. I love pinning all the visual wonders on my pages. It is a world that is endless. I am in awe.

8. What’s your favorite season and why?
Summer..I like it hot! Desert hot!

9. If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three items would you want to have with you?
Iphone, ipad and computer.

10. If you were a cocktail or a drink what would it be?
Red wine on the rocks- also known as “The Keaton”

11. What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
Right now..Rhianna, Kanye West, Paul McCartney song-FourFiveSeconds

12. If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Friends I have lost…Robert Shapazian, Michael Blalock, Grammy Hall, Red (my old corgi mix), Josie (my mix breed dog), and of course Dorothy and Jack Hall, my parents.

13. Do you have any regrets?
No regrets. I just think everyone should document their lives. All humans are interesting and everyone’s personal stories are remarkable.

14. Define Freedom.
Being able to think, talk freely. I feel so fortunate to have that gift in our great country.

15. What are your personal core values?
Treat every person the same. Period


The Pant You’ll Reach for Again and Again

Have you worn out your tried and true jeans? Already have a pair of summer linen pants? The perfect work to weekend trouser?

Enter: The Jogger Pant – an easy ankle length with a slight banded hem, that you can pair with practically any shoe and with a million fabrics and colors out, this is an ideal pant to take from day to night. I love pairing with heels and a fitted top for drinks at night or with a slip on sneaker and loose sweater during the day. They’re also a great weight to wear throughout spring and well into fall.

A particular jogger pant we’re currently coveting, is the Abby jogger from Level 99. It’s offered in a beautiful chambray inspired dye and the lightweight fabric is as soft as ever.

How we’re styling the Abby jogger for spring: short sleeve white cotton tee shirt +  perforated slip on sneakers.