Support Hurricane Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico w/ City Winery

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On January 29, City Winery’s sending 125 of our management to Puerto Rico, spending two days in the middle of the island, where we’ll work with farmers to rebuild their property. This includes planting seeds, removing debris, and rebuilding barns, sheds, and farms. Hurricane Maria took a horrific toll and decimated the agricultural industry, which normally acts as the main food supplier for the island.

Chef Cuevas of Restaurant 1919 and the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel acts as the leader in the farm to table movement in Puerto Rico and is collaborating with City Winery to help those in need.

The City Winery employees will be making the trip with duffle bags filled with supplies. Thanks to American Airlines, who will be waiving the excess baggage fees, the company will be able to bring necessities including ground coffee, shovels, extension cords, dehydrated milk, and much more.

To supplement the rebuilding efforts, City Winery will be leveraging its extensive customer-facing business with a campaign to help raise additional funds, allowing the company to bring much needed cash down for distribution directly to the farming and food-creating community.

With over 300,000 email subscribers and a strong social media presence, the 125 managers participating – separately from the campaign – are striving to raise over $250,000 between now and their departure.

Would you be willing to help support by donating product or funds
? We are looking for partners that can offer supplies, cash, and support in our efforts to continue to rebuild Puerto Rico. In return, we will make sure your brand is mentioned on all materials sent to the media and we will have photographer (Getty) documenting the entire effort and you are welcome to use those as you wish. Our PR team can also connect and collaborate with you directly as they will be doing appropriate outreach.

We’re doing boots on the ground efforts to help those affected, and together we’ll make a real difference, please join us by donating at http://www.citywinery.com/puertorico or emailing us at puertorico@citywinery.com

PODCAST PREMIERE: City Winery Presents “The Tour” w/ Host Ted Canova! Episode 1: Amy Helm

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We are excited to premiere our first podcast, The Tour with host Ted Canova! Ted is an award winning journalist who will be profiling long time City Winery favorites such as Jerry Douglas, Alejandro Escovedo, Craig Finn, Lucy Wainwright and so many more! Each episode will uncover the fascinating stories and inspirations behind these incredible artists in order to capture an intimate portrait of their craft.

Today we premiere episode 1 with Amy Helm, a City Winery staple who will be performing in New York on November 4th with an all-female bill for Skylark: A Night of Songbirds. In this special first episode, Amy opens up about her music and the influence of her musical parents.

 

A Special City Winery Offer for Guests at The James in SoHo this Labor Day Weekend

If you are planning a memorable trip to the Big Apple for Labor Day weekend then look no further! The James hotel in SoHo is topping off their luxury experience with a special City Winery package. The complete offer includes:

– 2 admissions tickets to an evening concert at City Winery

– 1 complimentary wine tasting at City Winery

– Welcome amenity

– $50 Food & Beverage credit to the David Burke Kitchen or Room Service

 

For terms, conditions, & limitations please visit:  http://bit.ly/2giKt0c

Manhattan’s Only Crush

This time of year is always a busy one at City Winery. Summer is over, and the crowds return to the city, the holidays are just around the corner and with thema flurry of events, and, most importantly, it’s harvest time. This past Sunday we received our third shipment of grapes, about 6 ½ tons of Syrah and Viognier grapes from Alder Springs Vineyards in Mendocino, California. The grapes were picked in the middle of the night when the grapes are at their coldest, driven in refrigerated trucks by two drivers (so the truck never stops) and arrived at our back doorstep here in Manhattan. The grapes we’re greeted by a crew of winery staff, loaded onto a grape elevator, called a “giraffe,” and dropped by the cluster into a destemmer. From there they traveled onto a sorting table to be examined by at least six pairs of hands and cleared of any “MOG” – Material Other than Grapes – stems, leaves, or the errant bad grape. Once the winemakers were sure the grapes were ready, they were dropped onto another giraffe and into the fermenting tanks, where they began the maceration process. With this batch of grapes the winemakers are using a classic technique that most likely originated in the Northern Rhone region of France. They combined 90% Syrah with 10% Viognier– the former being red grapes and the latter being white. It may seem strange to combine red and white grapes, unless you’re making a “blush” wine, but the winemakers had a very particular goal in mind. Syrah grapes themselves are very thick skinned and dark red, creating a big, masculine and tannic wine. By adding Viognier the winemakers are able to create a more mellow wine with lower tannin, and some floral, feminine notes. In the end, we will arrive at a deep red wine full of complexity, but without the possible jarring aspects of a Syrah macerated and fermented on it’s own. These grapes will spend about four days soaking and becoming juice before fermenting for two to four weeks, followed by aging, which can take anywhere from seven to eighteen months. In the meantime, as we wait for this year’s grapes to become wine, we are reveling in current triumphs. City Winery was most recently recognized for its 2012 Reserve Chardonnay from Scopus Vineyards in Sonoma, California. The Beverage Testing Institute awarded a Gold Medal and 93 points to our Chardonnay, which they described as “a fantastically flavorful chardonnay with great structure for the table.” As harvest comes and goes and new grapes begin their journey, it is always a proud moment to know that once they reach the glass our City Winery wines will prove that all this hard work does not go unrewarded!

2012 Year in Review – Top 12 Greatest Moments From Our Staff (in chronological order)

 

#1 -Little Feat

January 2nd – 4th

What a great way start to 2012! For three nights, this American rock group brought their authentic, bluesy-horn blowing, down-home sound to the City Winery stage. City Winery has had their sights set on Little Feat for a long time, and hope that this will become a yearly event before they cross the ocean for their annual run in Jamaica.

 

 

 

 

Click here to see Joshua’s performance at City Winery.

#2 – Joshua Bell

January 6th

Joshua is one the most famed violinists in the world. Being a friend and a fan of our venue, he chose City Winery for a very special underplayed album release performance. The room was jam packed with an audience that was enjoying food and drink while remaining completely captivated by Joshua’s compositions.

 

 

 

 

#3 – The Cabinet of Wonders

February 4th, March 10th, April 28th, May 19th, September 8th, October 19th, November 16th and December 16th

City Winery is proud to have hosted and provided a home for wildly popular and NPR hit variety show by John Wesley Harding. The show has developed over the past three years into a true representation of what City Winery is all about; a coming together of leading cultural influencers in music, comedy, and literature. This year included the likes of Sam Amidon, Iris Dement, Nick Hornby, Stephin Merritt, Eugene Mirman, Aaron Neville, Steve Earle, Loudon Wainwright III, Alec Ounsworth, John Roderick, Ron Sexsmith, Stephen Kellogg and many more!

 

 

 

 

 

#4 – Wyclef Jean

February 24th, March 31st, October 18th, December 16th (Chicago)

2012 was “The Year of Wyclef” performing four incredible shows between New York and Chicago. This amazing talent showed everyone who was lucky enough to get in to the four-day residency that he is much more than a refugee; he is an amazing and talented musician who knows how to put on a remarkable performance. By the end of the show Wyclef had everyone out of their seats waving  City Winery napkins in the air. We look forward to seeing more from Wyclef in 2013 when he hosts the newly created Refugee Lounge Series at the winery.

 

 

 

 #5 – Robert Johnson 100th Birthday Celebration Rehearsal Show

March 5th

A live dress rehearsal at City Winery the night prior to the sold out show at The Apollo Theater. The show featured many soul, jazz and blues legends such as Steve Jordan’s All Star Band, Living Colour, Shemekia Copeland, Bettye LaVatte, Taj Mahal, Keb Mo, Sam Moore, Todd Rundgren and more.

Click here to see a clip from the show at City Winery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to see Todd’s performance at City Winery

#6 – Todd Rundgren

March 7th

One of our most beloved artists came through City Winery with five shows this past year, each one a little different from the other. These shows were advertised as ‘An Unpredictable Evening With Todd Rundgren’ not without reason. In addition, Todd also took part in our outside production at the Apollo Theater to celebrate Robert Johnson’s 100th birthday anniversary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#7 – Mother’s Day Show with Patti Smith & daughter Jesse Paris Smith plus Lucy Wainwright Roche  and daughter Suzzy Roche. 

May 13th

Click here to see a clip from the show at City Winery.

This very unlikely bill was put together specifically for City Winery and featured two mother and daughter combos and brought together the beautiful, melodic, harmonies of the Roches contrasting the strong minded delivery of the Smiths. Only in New York and only at City Winery can such a collaboration blossom from idea to reality.

 

 

 

 

 

#8- Ronnie Spector’s Beyond the Beehive

July 6th, 14th, 20th, 27th, August 18th, September 15th

This was a monumental run of 6 shows that was developed specially for City Winery and featured Ronnie Spector at her best. Ronnie took the audience on an emotional journey through her amazing life story through song, photos and video. Audience members included fellow celebrities in the music and theater community and friends that Ronnie has collected over the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to see the performance of “This Land is Your Land” by Diana Jones, David Robbins, Steve Earle, Tim Robbins, Miles Guthrie Robbins, Steve Butts (original member of The Highwaymen), and John Hammond.

#9 – Woodyfest: Celebration of Woody Guthrie’s 100th Birthday

July 11th-13th

An incredible line up of musicians from all genres came out to celebrate the100th Birthday year of the man who defined Americana music in this country. The performers selected for the tribute were a perfect fit for the City Winery audience and we were lucky enough to get a little help from our friend Steve Earle who was both the co-curator and host for all three nights. Some of the highlights included Billy Bragg, Allen Toussaint, Tim Robbins and John Hammond among others.

 

 

 

 

 
#10 – Sam Moore

July 17th

Who knows the fate of feel good soul music? A true, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity came when   Sam Moore of Sam and Dave played two shows in one day at City Winery this past summer. First he rocked out our backyard at the Hudson Square Wine & Music Festival and then a full show in the winery that evening. Keeping the Soul Man music alive!

See Sam More on “Goody Day NY” with Bethenny Frankel and Dave Price.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#11 – Taj Mahal

August 25-26th

The legendary blues man hit the stage for two special nights as well as joined our Rolling Stones tribute at Carnige Hall. Taj has been on our radar from day one and to see him finally play our stage was definitely  a highlight, especially when his daughter Deva joined him on the last night.

 

 

 

 

 

#12 Gad Elmaleh

November 25th-29th

Truly not knowing what to expect after booking a 4 night of comedy show performed all in French – we ended up adding two additional nights, made way for Jerry Seinfeld and started talks about an encore performance this summer!  The show was a real home run with the French community in New York! We hope that by hosting one of the most successful comedians in the world more will join the ranks.

 

 

Be sure to comment below and let us know some of your favorites, or acts you would like to see at City Winery in 2013.

 

Happy New Year!!

The Director’s Wine – Michael Dorf and Ed Burns sit down for some serious business

 

Earlier this week actor/director Ed Burns sat down with owner Michael Dorf to make some wine pairing selections for their upcoming evening together on Monday, December 17th.  For the second year in a row Michael and Ed challenge themselves to pair scenes from Ed’s films with wine selections from Michael.

This year there will be eight scenes from five films, 3 of which will be from Ed’s latest, The Fitzgerald Family Christmas.  Others include  Brothers McMullen, She’s the One, Sidewalks of New York, and Nice Guy Johnny.

Check out the full recap of the pairing from The Wall Street Journal.

 

A Night for Freedom with Esperanza Spalding, Bobby McFerrin, Gretchen Parlato and Special Guests Paul Simon and Prince!

Music is the greatest expression of freedom and that theme carried through in every capacity of the evening. Free the Slaves organizer Sarah Gardner started the show with a brief introduction about how the organization changes the lives of people still living in slavery in this modern-day in age.

The charm and wit of the lovely Esperanza Spalding carried the remainder of the night. She explained to the guests that she was brought up on the notion that using art and talent is the best way influence humanity for the greater good. Her voice rang with a soft chaos and moved across her bass with the grace of a ballroom dancer. Comrade and internationally recognized jazz singer Gretchen Parlato was introduced to the stage and brought another level of dimension and emotion to the performance.

The first surprise for the evening came with the introduction of the legendary Paul Simon. Esperanza did her best to respect Paul’s wishes and not to overdo the introduction, but that was quite impossible. Her introduction was a little early as Paul wasn’t quite ready to appear on stage. She joked about how now would be an appropriate time to Tweet and text your friends about not coming to the show and missing a chance to see Paul Simon! When Paul walked on stage he got right down to business and plucked out the first few chords of Sound of Silence. A truly religious experience for anyone in the room that night and a perfect instrumental duet between her bass and his guitar.

Bobby McFerrin was next up on stage and joined Paul and Esperanza for an impromptu performance of Scarborough Fair, Freedom Jazz Dance and Peace. Bobby continued to perform with Esperanza and the rest of the Chamber Music Society band. Bobby’s demeanor and presence on stage was perfectly in tandem with Esperanza and it was apparent that his seniority didn’t get in the way of working with the new girl on the block.

The second surprise of the evening was a very coy anecdote from Esperanza about her attempts to get auction items for the evening. She referenced a “very special” person who she nervously approached and graciously asked for practically anything, even a dirty sock! The morning of the show in the midst of sound checks and meetings a small box was delivered to her. The contents included a yellow, dirty sock. It was later confirmed that the one and only Prince would be sending a guitar to auction. And because he’s Prince, he took a private Jet to New York City and sat in our VIP section and enjoyed a portion of the performance. Esperanza very graciously nodded to him and she introduced the guitar.

The night was incredibly successful for the Free the Slaves organization raising somewhere in the neighborhood of $45,000 for the cause. A true night for freedom and memorable musical performance by some incredibly generous names in music.

 

Special thank you to photographer Adriana Mateo to which these photos are credited.

Jerry Seinfeld opens first of 5 sold out performances of French comedian Gad Elmaleh.

To open a five night, sold out performance of French comedian Gad Elmaleh, City Winery received a very special surprise guest appearance from New York comedic icon Jerry Seinfeld. Gad Elmaleh and Jerry have been friends for several years and share a similar bandwidth of popularity and fan adoration in their respected countries. In fact, last year Jerry did his first-ever show in Paris and Gad made a similar opening address to the French-American audience. The two also share a connection over the voice-over work from DreamWorks Animation’s Bee Movie.

Gad Elmaleh has received a very warm welcome by his New York fans and City Winery is honored to host his first ever appearance on our stage. We look forward to last two sold out performances!

 

 Robert Parker, Jr. Gives Music a 100 Point Score

 

Last night City Winery went out to support the TJ Martell Foundation Wine dinner.  Owner Michael Dorf had the privilege to sit next to Robert Parker, Jr, the renowned Wine Critic. Michael passed him a bottle of City Winery Bettinelli Cabernet under the table and joked that we made so little of it,  don’t rate it, just drink it.

Robert Parker in his remarks at the event had the following to say:

“The therapeutic combination of great wine with great music all shared by great friends is one of the greatest privileges of all time.”

 

Michael Dorf and Robert Parker Jr.

Michael Dorf and Robert Parker Jr. on November 15, 2012.

 

The TJ Martell Foundation was founded by Tony Martell, to honor his son who died of leukemia at the age of nineteen.  His son’s wish was for his father was to raise a million dollars for cancer research.  Over the years, they have kept the Foundation’s roots deep in the music industry and hundreds of volunteers have worked passionately with the staff to raise more than $250 million for leukemia, cancer and AIDS research which has been successfully leveraged into several billion dollars in additional funding from larger funding sources.

500 candles, 100 glasses of wine, and 3 generators

 

 

“Did you make it out of the Hurricane ok?!” – the most common phrase of New Yorkers these days.

City Winery lost electricity for 5 days as a result of Hurricane Sandy.  Fortunately we didn’t flood and were able to open on Tuesday, October 20th when owner Michael Dorf and his family hosted and served wine with cheese and charcuterie platters to some neighbors who saw the welcoming glow of 500 candles. After scrambling for generators and extension cords (special thanks to Carroll Music, InConcert Audio and Great Performances) we offered warm food, good wine, phone charging stations paired with a remarkable live performance by Al Stewart who agreed that the show must go on, a Comic Relief benefit and a day of free NY movies – from “When Harry Met Sally” to “Taxi Driver” – for those looking for company and something other than the inside of a powerless apartment.

We are very proud of our staff who made it in through difficult circumstances to keep the doors open and the operation going. The kitchen staff set up grills in the parking lot and made giant pots of soup and stew, the office and concierge teams coordinated everything from remote accessing of ticket lists and handling the flood of show enquiries coming in, to managing payroll and making and distributing flyers. Marc, our Tech Director ran power cables from generators and even across the courtyard from our new friends at the local Russian television station RTVi. Those who had access to the Internet at home kept the messaging going to the outside world and checked that our staff was safe.  The winery team worked hard to save the freshly pressed wine now in tanks which were unable to chill or warm as needed. Wizardry and tireless effort paid off.  We thank all our staff for the dedication and resourcefulness.

We were very aware that we weren’t alone in the dark and grateful that we had not sustained bigger losses considering the widespread damage across the area. As with everyone it’s been a very difficult week of keeping up with what’s happening all around us all while trying to bring some normalcy back to our agendas. We have stayed motivated by others who’ve suffered greater losses and continue to move forward.

In that spirit we do recognize that we are in touch with many people daily and will now use this advantage to actively help those who may not have been as lucky as us after the storm.  We’ve already raised over $2,000 for the Red Cross and are hosting a company-wide food and clothing drive, which will be donated to our neighbor City Harvest, an organization extremely active in post Sandy rescue relief.  We’ll also be hosting some California wine makers, The Rhone Rangers this Wednesday, November 7th for a trade and consumer walk-around tasting where $2 will be donated to the Red Cross for each attendee.  We’re honored to do our part so please look out for other charitable events coming in the weeks to come.

 

Let’s be the resilient New Yorkers we are and let’s take care of those who are hurting.