Kevin Nelson Writer

Travel. Adventure. Discovery

B.R. Cohn Winery: Wine, olive oil and rock ‘n’ roll

B.R. Cohn WineryThe founder of B.R. Cohn Winery in the Sonoma Valley is Bruce Cohn, who manages the Doobie Brothers, the 1970s-era rock band that made such hits as “China Road” and “What a Fool Believes,” has sold millions of records, and continues to record and tour today. Because of its vintage rock lineage, the winery has a casual, easy listening sort of vibe. In addition to wine, it makes olive oils and wine vinegars and hosts a big rock music festival every fall. Read more about it HERE.

6 Napa and Sonoma wineries with lovely views

Artesa There are many reasons to visit a winery—the most important of which is, of course, the wine. If you like a certain wine, by all means, go the winery that makes it and do a tasting at the source. Another reason to go to a winery is the beauty of its natural surroundings. With this mind, I just filed an Examiner piece about Artesa, at left, and five other Napa and Sonoma wineries that offer delicious views. Read it here.

Operation Bullpen after 15 years: Movie, book, endless fascination

Bullpen resizedOn October 13, 1999, the FBI brought down the biggest autograph forgery ring in American history, in the biggest one-day bust in Bureau history. Fifteen years later, the case remains a subject of endless fascination, with a movie in the works, the release of a new edition of my book Operation Bullpen, coverage in the media, online chatter and more. Happily surprised by this interest, I wrote this update for Sports Collectors Digest on all the things that are happening with the case. Read the article here.

Abraham Lincoln sighting in Napa

Abraham Lincoln bustThe other day I was driving down a street in Napa and saw something entirely unexpected: the busts of Abraham Lincoln, Oskar Schindler and Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce. What the heck? What were they doing there? The sight of these figures in history, so beautifully rendered, led me to some interesting observations about travel and the value of following your own path. Read the article HERE.

Nice digs in Yountville: Villagio Inn & Spa

VillagioThe Villagio Inn & Spa in Yountville is ranked as one of the best luxury hotels in California, and rightly so. On a trip to Napa Valley not long ago, I stayed there three days and nights and came away with the feeling of being well-tended, well-tended indeed. If you’re looking for a nice place to stay on your next trip to wine country, it’s worth considering.  For more details (and some light, entertaining humor as well), please see my piece here.

Golden Gate Bridge: A sense of wonder and awe

I have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge many times in my life and each time I do it always leave me with a sense of wonder and awe. So I decided to write an article for A Luxury Travel Blog that gives travelers not one, not two, not three but FOUR new ways to experience and enjoy San Francisco’s landmark span.

Photo courtesy of A Luxury Travel Blog. Read the article here.

Waimea Bay: Great beach and a hang-loose place

Waimea BayWaimea Bay, Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach on the North Shore of Oahu are among the most famous and beautiful beaches in the world. I wrote a traveler’s guide them for A Luxury Travel Blog in this article here.

My favorite was Waimea Bay, pictured here. Besides being perhaps the greatest surf spot anywhere, is a truly hang-loose place. When we were there a lifeguard came on the sound system and announced that a Honolulu police officer was on his way up the Kam Highway to ticket anyone who was parked illegally. Parking is tight at Waimea, as it is at most every beach on the North Shore, and so people get very creative in where they leave their cars, parking on the grass or in handicapped spaces or wherever. So the lifeguard was giving everyone on the beach the chance to move their cars before the cop arrived. Fortunately we were in good shape—we parked maybe a half mile away on the highway and walked in—so we could continue enjoying the amazing water and sun and sand.

Where do you pop the question in Napa Valley? Find the answers here

A champagne toast on the patio at Domaine Carneros.

The patio at Domaine Carneros.

As a writer, I’m always looking for new places to publish and show my work. One of the sites I’ve discovered is A Luxury Travel Blog, edited by an Englishman, Paul Johnson. The site is quite successful and international in scope, so I decided to do an article for them called “Five Places to Pop the Question in Napa Valley.” It’s a fun piece, I think, intended to be light and frolicsome, and talks about some of the places I’ve visited in recent months. Know anyone who’s about to propose? If you do, this is the perfect thing for him to see.


One article, many sources: The Grgich wine label and the Napa earthquake

Grgich signOne article can have many sources. Such is the case with “The Grgich wine label, and how it relates to the Napa earthquake,” which will be featured tomorrow on Local Wine

First, I had the good fortune to attend a blessing of the grapes at the Grgich Hills Estate winery in late August. Mike Grgich, the 91-year-old founder of the Rutherford winery, was there. Two days later came the Napa earthquake. During this time I was reading George Taber’s Judgment of Paris which talks about, many other things, how Robert and Margrit Mondavi helped Grgich get his winery off the ground in 1977 after his success in creating the Chardonnay that won the white wine competition in that famous California v. France competition. Then I started thinking about how winemakers and others in Napa Valley come together in times of need such as the recent earthquake, and this is what came of it.


A look inside Napa’s Mercedes-Benz 300SL Museum

A rear view of a sporty 300SL.

A rear view of a sporty 300SL.

The 300SL Museum is a small but tasty car museum in Napa that showcases the exquisite Mercedes-Benz Gull Wing 300SL, one of the loveliest and most valuable collector cars in the world. It’s worth a visit for sports car enthusiasts especially. I stopped by there the other day, and filed a story on it.

Read the article here

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