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Monday, January 11, 2010

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By Emma Krasov, photography by Yuri Krasov

Napa Valley spring, with its misty vineyards, luscious greens and bright yellow mustard blossoms is not on calendar yet, but it’s definitely here, after all those rainy days and weeks before the New Year. The unveiling of the artwork by Thomas Monaghan, 2010 Napa Valley Mustard Festival Artist of the Year, revealed a dreamlike springtime misty landscape, called “Reverie” in hard-to-paint green and yellow palette. “I composed this painting in August, the harvest time” said Monaghan. “It’s a dream about spring, about how it would be like when mustard is in bloom. It’s a memory about this time of year. It’s meditative. There is no specific landscape, no photographs used in my work, it’s just based in Napa – dreamlike, no hard edges, fields of mustard receding to a point where there is no real horizon. It starts out dark – a fertile earth, which gives us great wines.” And great wines they were, like Hall 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon of Napa Valley – ripe, aromatic, and endlessly enjoyable, generously offered along with other delectable wines and hors d’oeuvres by the Hall Wines (, where the event took place yesterday.

On beautiful Hall grounds, tastefully landscaped and alive with contemporary sculpture, in an artfully decorated testing room with prevailing rich red color, the artist was greeted by the organizers of the annual Napa Valley Mustard Festival and numerous guests.

The bidding on “Reverie” opened right there, at the unveiling event to be concluded at the Photo Finish on March 27 at Rubicon Estate. This year’s Mustard Fest of food, wine, and art promises to be bigger and better (if at all possible) than ever before, opening on January 30 and going on for almost two months! For more information and tickets to Mustard Magic: The Grand Opening Event go to


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