Friday, January 26, 2007

SF Social Diary

Arrival at Shanel, Shansby's spread in Sonoma for Partida Tequila celebration.
by Jeanne Lawrence

A Tequila Sunset at Shansby’s Shanel Estate

Gary and O.J. Shansby transported Shanel, their spread in Sonoma, to Mexico to celebrate Tequila Partida at a dinner and tequila tasting.

O.J. planned an amazing alfresco ‘do’ that even the weather couldn’t dampen. She simply moved the festivities, Mariachis and all, into their impeccably clean, candlit garage, of all places. “Everyone had a blast,” beamed a relieved O.J.

Most guests arrived costumed for the occasion (Gary was festooned in real silver!). Ken Rainin brought Dante and Adria Bini and John Traina by helicopter. The rest of the gangs, included Gail and Dr. Harvey Glass, Ann Paolini and hubby David Lambert, Donald Magnin and Carole Robinson, Connie and Bob Lurie, Elise Stephens, and Austin Hills of Grgrich Winery.

“The Ambassador of Tequila,” Julio Bermejo - owner of Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant on Geary in SF, led the tasting of Partida’s three varieties: Blanco (not aged), Reposado (aged 6 months) and Añejo (aged 18 months).

The all-natural estate-grown elixir was born when Gary, founder and chairman of the Shansby Group and 35-year veteran of consumer brand development and marketing, decied to market tequila.

Along came Sofia Partida, one of 11 children, had a source and a brand but needed capital and counseling. The match seemed as natural as their product.
Sofia Partida, company spokeswoman, with her Uncle
Tequila Partida, Star of the party
Partida was awarded “5” stars by spirits expert F. Paul Pacult in the December 2005 Spirits Journal. Reposado was a double gold winner at the 2006 SF World Spirits Competition.

Like fine single malt scotch, premium tequila is best served ‘neat’ but makes a fabulous cocktail, too. Try Sofia’s Swizzle, created by Jacques Bezuidenhout, bar manager at Tres Agaves in San Francisco.

We have the Conquistadors to thank for discovering tequila. The liquid gold was distilled from Aztec fermented agave juice – pulque.  Maybe they did find El Dorado, after all.
Hosts O.J. and Gary Shansby
Ann Jones enters with Gail and Dr. Harvey Glasser
Catherine Hall with Austin Hills of Grgrich Winery
Harvesting the Blue Agave
Dante and Adria Bini, Ken Rainin, and John Traina arrive
Anne and Roger Walther
Neiman Marcus Ann Paolini with husband David Lambert in from Texas
Norah and Norman Stone
Gary Shansby greets architect Sandy Walker
Peter Stern and wife Lori Puccinelli, Keith Ross, and Gardner Robinson
One of O.J.'s many floral arrangements
Pass the Pasilla if you please
Dr. Seth Matarossa
Diane and Matthew Kelly
Stephene McKeen
O.J., Donald Magnin, Gary and Carole Robinson
Elisa Stephens, President Academy of Art Colleges
Mad about Mariachi
Mas Tequila, por favor
Urannia Ristow with daughter Cecila de Quesada Harris
Jane Gammill of NYC and SF
David Rodriguez and Sean General
Julio Barmejo, the 'Ambassador of Tequila'
Gardner and Kendall Robinson
Shanel's sumptuous Interior
Can't have tequila without lime
Shanel dining room always filled
Rain came and party moved to festive garage
Connie Lurie, Maria and Gae Muzio, and Bob Lurie
Looks delicious
Decadent chocolate for dessert

Many Napa Valley luminaries headed to downtown San Francisco for a luncheon at the sleek Armani Boutique to support the Oxbow School Scholarship Fund.

Oxbow School's modern campus
The legendary wine family and art patrons Robert and Margrit Mondavi and SF philanthropist Ann Hatch founded the Oxbow School in 1997, located on three beautiful acres at the oxbow of Napa River.

Besides founders Ann and Margrit, the luncheon guests included talented Ellie Coppola (wife of Francis Ford Coppola and mother of Sofia Coppola), Oxbow’s Director and Dean Stephen Thomas, Vice Chair and former New York art consultant Bonnie Levinson, Armani GM Yuki Van Den Ende, Regina Kulik, Phoebe Brookbank, and Elizabeth Grossman, who flew in from Los Angeles.

The Oxbow’s interdisciplinary visual arts based program is geared to juniors, seniors, and post-graduates, integrating painting, sculpture, photography, digital media, and printmaking with literature, history, mathematics, and science.

This summer, not only is there a camp for 14- to 17-year-old art aficionados but also the Oxbow Summer Adult Studios - one-week workshops. How nice that would be to study while wining and dining your way through the Napa Valley.
Ellie Coppola with Oxbow co-founders Margrit Mondavi and Ann Hatch
Oxbow School's Director Stephen Thomas and Yuki van den Ende, Armani GM
Bonnie Levinson, Margrit Mondavi, Elizabeth Grossman, and Jeanne Lawrence
Lunch is Served
Armani Trunk Show
Lovely view of the Napa River
Everyone's Favorite