Robert Mondavi established his namesake winery in 1966 with a vision to create Napa Valley wines that would stand in the company of the world’s finest. He chose To Kalon Vineyard in the heart of the Napa Valley as the home for Robert Mondavi Winery. This first-growth vineyard, located in Oakville, California, is renowned for producing some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon wines in the world, as well as for its Sauvignon Blanc grapes, from which Mr. Mondavi crafted his signature wine, Fumé Blanc. Along with To Kalon Vineyard, Robert Mondavi Winery sources grapes from some of Napa Valley’s finest vineyards, including Stag’s Leap (Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc) and Carneros (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay). Mr. Mondavi believed that wines should reflect their origins, that they are the product of the soil, the climate, and the careful stewardship of those precious resources. He also believed in combining the newest techniques and technology with time-honored winemaking traditions.
Manti is believed to be originated by Uyghur Turks living in China as mantou, and was carried across Central Asia to Anatolia by migrating Turkic and Mongol peoples in the Chingizid-Timurid periods. In particular, according to one Armenian researcher, manti first reached Cilician Armenia as a result of the cultural interaction between Armenians and Mongols during their alliance in the 13th century. According to Holly Chase, ‘Turkic and Mongol horsemen on the move are supposed to have carried frozen or dried manti, which could be quickly boiled over a camp-fire’. In Turkey, it is also called Tatar böregi (Tatar bureks), which indicates its relation to nomadic peoples. Korean mandu is also said to have arrived in Korea through the Mongols in the 14th century. However, some researchers do not discount the possibility that manti may have originated in the Middle East and spread eastward to China and Korea through the Silk Road.
The history museum tells the story of Saint-Malo and its famous residents. It is located in the keep and tower of Saint-Malo’s castle. Back in 1838, the town of Saint-Malo decided to create a collection of portraits of prominent townspeople, to include Jacques Cartier, Duguay-Trouin, Mahé de La Bourdonnais, Maupertuis (famous mathematician), Chateaubriand, Surcouf, and Lamennais (priest and philosopher). The original 19th century museum was destroyed in 1944 during the struggle to liberate the town, and the present collection, numbering over 8,500 items, is themed around the maritime history of Saint-Malo and the surrounding area, including deep-sea cod fishing in the seas of Newfoundland, maritime trade, maritime warfare featuring colorful corsair characters such as Duguay-Trouin and Surcouf, long-haul sea voyages, and ship building. I have already posted images from the museum concerning Chateaubriand and Jaques Cartier in my posts Saint Malo and Jacques Cartier, look there for these subjects.
Jacques Cartier (1491-1557) was the first French Explorer to explore the New World. He explored what is now Canada and set the stage for the great explorer and navigator Samuel de Champlain to begin colonization of Canada. Cartier was the first European to discover and create a map for the St. Lawrence River. In 1838, the painter François Riss received an order by the city of St Malo to produce a portrait of Jacques Cartier (1491-1557). It was reproduced in 1846 by the painter Louis-Félix Amiel in Quebec City. The original painting of the imagined Cartier by Riss was destroyed in a fire at the old town hall in 1944. This version is one of many replicas of the lost work. It was executed in 1895 by the librarian of the city of Saint-Malo, Auguste Lemoine (1850-1908) for the the city of Paramé and now hangs in the St Malo civic history museum. There are no known contemporary portraits of Cartier.
As I said in the previous post, we went to Denver to visit my parents for the holidays. I grew up in Denver but it changed a lot since I left home. Denver has a lot of nicknames, Mile High City, Queen of the Prairies, Queen of the West, Gateway to the Rockies and of course Bronco-Ville. In the summer of 1858, a small group of prospectors from Georgia crossed the great plains of the Colorado Territory and made a region-changing discovery at the base of the Rocky Mountains…gold. And although not much of the precious metal was found, the mere whisper of the word was enough to start a veritable stampede into the region. After all, the California Gold Rush had occurred just nine years earlier.
Since we had lunch in Evergreen, we went over to Genesee Park for the view and to see the buffalo. The Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve has a herd of two dozen buffalo in a setting of grass and pines in Denver’s oldest mountain park that can be observed from Interstate 70 about 20 miles from Denver. The preserve is in 2,413-acre Genesee Park, which was acquired by the city in 1912 and features stunning views of Colorado’s Front Range. The first buffalo and elk herds were established there in 1914, and the buffalo are descendants of the last wild buffalo herd left in the United States. The scenic views from here are pretty amazing as you can see above and below.
We were in Denver over the holidays and decided to go up to Evergreen for some lunch with my parents. Evergreen is a little bedroom community about 30 minutes up Bear Creek Canyon from Denver. Homesteader Thomas Bergen arrived in 1859, establishing a ranch and stage stop north of present-day downtown Evergreen. Bergen's Ranch was recognized as a settled area at the establishment of Jefferson County, Jefferson Territory. Subsequent settlers homesteaded south of Bergen along Bear Creek Canyon and the downtown area grew around the confluence of Cub Creek and Bear Creek.
From earliest history until today, fragrant, alluring smells have been regarded as essential elements of civilized relationships. Exotic plant odors and the scents that could be utilized for body application have inspired explorers, aristocrats, writers, poets, merchants and priests, and they have been of fundamental relevance to religious practices and to courtship. Many societies have felt that the burning of fragrant woods provides an ideal, ethereal token of appreciation to their gods. The liberation of incense smoke was a source of perfume: this word comes from the Latin per fumum, “by smoke”. Incense is a word that means “that which is lit”. The main incense fragrances were frankincense and myrrh.
In 2004 the British Museum paired with the Bowers Museum in Southern California to present “Queen of Sheba: Legend and Reality; Treasures from the British Museum”. Curated with the British Museum from the latter's renowned “Queen of Sheba” show in 2002, the exhibition presented the language, religion, funerary customs, and architecture of Saba. The sculpture is especially remarkable, as seen in a classically inspired second-century A.D. cast-bronze head and a sixth-century B.C. cast-bronze altar on which rows of sphinxes visually echo the dedicatory inscription in stylized Sabaean letters above them. Saba's wealth also came from the production of frankincense; a third-century A.D. alabaster incense burner showing a camel and rider underscores its status in antiquity as an indispensable medicinal and aromatic ingredient.
Joël Robuchon was named France's Chef of the Century by the esteemed Gault Millau restaurant guide. He is one of the few three star Michelin chefs in America, the L'Atelier (meaning “the workshop”) in Las Vegas is a one star restaurant, I don't know why and I don't care. Coming out of retirement to open his first restaurant in the United States, Joël Robuchon caters to a sophisticated palate that features a menu of his finer specialties. There is no question that this and the main restaurant next door are the finest restaurants in Las Vegas and possibly in the world. L’Atelier's menu is based on serving “tasting plates”, similar to Gordon Ramsay’s Maze. Lisa's sister, Tema, was in town and we went out for a fantastic meal.