california

Introducing Our Carneros Collection

Carneros Collection

 

We are launching our latest collection, which was also inspired by a Summer trip to the California Wine Country. For our stay in Napa Valley, we were at the Carneros Inn, which is a serene property with accommodations that are both luxurious and comfortable at the same time. (Just writing about it has me aching to go back!) The muted orange tones and soft grey colors mixed together with stark white was the inspiration for this collection. Feel a bit of the relaxed sophistication of Napa each time you wear a piece. . . See some of our fav items below and then view the collection on our website here.

 

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Upper left: Domaine Carneros 
Upper right: Oceans Eight Bracelet in Moonstone
Lower left: Asheville Tassel Necklace
Lower right: Vineyards

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Oceans Eight Bracelet in Grey, Peach and White MoonstoneE7121-PYR_blog

Oakville Earrings in Pyrite

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Yountville Necklace in Labradorite and Carnelian

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Petaluma Earrings in Labradorite, Carnelian and PyriteN7845-BN&TQ_blogAsheville Tassel Necklace in Bone, Pyrite and Turquoise

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The Judgment of Paris

Bottle Shock Wording

In 1976, Chateau Montelena shocked the world when their 1973 Chardonnay was rated above all other wines during a grand tasting, which has now come to be known as the “Judgment of Paris.” At a time when French wines reigned supreme, this stunning win helped to put California on the map in the world of wine. In the 2008 movie, Bottle Shock, beautifully tells this true story and is a must-watch for anyone who enjoys wine.

If you get the chance to visit the California Wine Country, a visit to Chateau Montelena is well worth your time. The grounds are absolutely stunning (and if you’re a wine club member, you can use their lovely Jade Lake for picnics!) and the wine is equally fine. Their Chardonnay is, of course, most famous, but all of their offerings are delicious, so don’t miss the rest. If you’re in San Francisco, but not able to make it North to taste, pop into the Westin St. Francis in Union Square, where Chateau Montelena maintains a small tasting room in the city within the hotel.

Inspired by the deep golden-yellow color of a glass of crisp Chardonnay, our Bottle Shock collection features rich golden tones that are both warm and mellow at the same time. Yellow and brown sapphires, rudilated quartz, gorgeous sunstone, sparkling silverite, champagne-colored mystic topaz and natural and white bone are all featured in this collection, which has a hip, but effortlessly chic vibe. Like a cool glass of white wine on a warm Indian Summer day, this collection brings good feelings with it as it illuminates your skin.

In the spirit of small companies with a big dream making a big splash in the world (and in Chateau Montelena’s case, changing the course of history!) take a moment to check out our new collection and learn a little more about what makes Andrea Montgomery Designs different. We are small by design, choosing to craft our pieces out of quality materials right here in Texas.

So, grab a glass of wine, get comfy and click here to peruse our newest collection for Fall (that will transition beautifully into Spring as well!)

Bottle Shock Photos

 

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Tasting at Ovid

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Living in San Francisco spoils you in many ways. Beautiful views at every glance, incredible food, abundant culture and proximity to fabulous vacation spots abound. One such spot is, of course, the wine country.

When we lived in SF, we could be in Sonoma in 45 minutes and Napa just a smidgen longer and we took advantage of that. . .a lot! When driving up for the day was as common as it was for us, we didn’t have to choose our vineyard visits and tastings very carefully – after all, we knew we could drive up again next weekend!

Now that we are back in Texas (and seriously missing those wine country visits!) we were so thrilled to take a trip back to Napa for a visit. Our friend turned 40 this year and his adorable wife planned the most incredible party for him at their ranch in the wine country. It was an absolute blast! (But I digress…)

Hubs and I decided to head up a few days early (our first trip sans kids – yikes!) and do a little wine tasting – and getting to know one another again. It’s amazing how much talking with one another we got done when we weren’t being interrupted by little voices the whole time! As you know, hubs is a major wine guy, so he planned all of the tastings. He loves research and during his reading, he asked me if there were any places that I wanted to visit. Well, hubs may be the wine guy, but I have a dear friend who is a sommelier (which is not an easily-earned title, let me tell you!)  See? I have connections, too! So, I emailed my friend Amy who recently founded the Bay Area Wine Company who gave me a few “not to be missed” tasting ideas, one of which was Ovid. Hubs was ecstatic, as that was one of the wineries on his list, so a phone call later, we were booked!

Ovid sits on Pritchard Hill and let me tell you, I wasn’t prepared for the fabulousness of this wine tasting experience. The surrounding beauty, the gorgeous facilities, the incredible wines and the lengthy two-on-one chat with our friendly hostess, Janet, a managing partner at the winery, were absolutely unparalleled. We had some great tasting experiences on our trip, but this was probably our very favorite.

Ovid makes only three wines and doesn’t even make each of those every single year. They create as the harvest allows and are committed to only using the best of the best in their wines, which means that some years, a particular wine doesn’t get made. Ovid grows four Bordeaux varietals:  Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot and farms them all organically. Varying proportions of each are used in their blends. You can read more about their wines on their lovely website here.

If you’re near Napa or planning a trip there soon, I highly recommend giving Ovid a call to see if they can fit you in. There is a waiting list for their wines, but we were able to purchase a few at our tasting on their beautiful property on Pritchard Hill. I’m positive that your palate will thank you!

For now, take a “mini tour” through our photos below. As you can see, they are committed to making each visitor feel special and literally set out the silver and crystal for us. We enjoyed such a nice, long chat with Janet and truly felt like we left as friends, having talked about wine, the changes in the California landscape, raising children and just about everything else in between! Did I mention that they sent us a handwritten thank you note after our visit? Astounding attention to detail, my friends. THAT is what great products are made from!

 

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When you first walk in, you’ll notice that your name is written on the Ovid chalkboard.
They’ve been expecting you and you’re an honored guest!

 

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So much so, that THIS is your lovely place setting.

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No attention to detail has been left to chance

 

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It is like a friend set the table beautifully, just for you.

 

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Sweet details

 

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Delicious bites!

 

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Thoughtful details.

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A lovely living-room-like setting for a tasting!

 

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(PS. I fell in LOVE with this glassware!)

 

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How lovely is THIS piece of furniture?

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Beautiful and meaningful – I wanted to open each one of these!

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A fire pit on the balcony

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Stunning views from the tasting room

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You can see so much of Napa Valley from up here!

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Lovely

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The valley

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Pretty sure I could sit here for hours and never tire of it!

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Ovid Vineyards…a must-visit!

The Carneros Inn

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The moment we pulled in to the Carneros Inn, I felt all of the stress of home melt away. This is our very first trip away from our three small children (yikes and yay at the same time!) and I’ve been a little worried about it. Oh, but the quiet drive up to the wine country with my husband reassured me that we had done the right thing in coming here. And then seeing our accommodations at the Carneros Inn confirmed it once again. This place is a mini-paradise, y’all! I cannot recommend it more highly.

The soft muted orange and grey colors everywhere contrast beautifully with the green and every amenity imaginable is here. There’s a gorgeous gift shop, a fabulous spa area, super comfortable suites with clean design, comfy beds, luxurious bathrobes, gorgeous bathrooms with a huge tub and a waterfall shower and an ADORABLE outdoor patio complete with relaxing loungers and heat lamps. I seriously want to live here. . .

 

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I love the aesthetic of this place!

 

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Gorgeous vistas await at every glance.

 

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Y’all, I even love the font! (Is that weird?!)

 

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How fabulous is the contrast of grey, soft orange and white here? Jewelry design ideas abound!

 

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Adorable vignettes beckon you to sit and rest awhile everywhere you look

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I mean… (right?!)

We LOVE Casanova

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It is no secret that I love Carmel, California.  It is absolutely gorgeous with stunning cypress trees, a rocky coastline, beautiful ocean views and stunning vistas everywhere you look.  Not only does it have natural beauty, it is home to many great restaurants, fabulous shopping, quaint streets and lovely art galleries. Speaking of great restaurants, one of our absolute favorites is Casanova.  The atmosphere is old-world European, reminiscent of France or Italy.  There are lovely indoor and outdoor seating areas and the many rooms make the large restaurant seem small and friendly.  The food is outstanding.  Every.  Single. Time.  I have been to the restaurant many, many times and have never not liked what I tasted.  It is always absolutely delish! (more…)

Muir Woods

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California is famous for its redwood trees.  Until you’ve experienced them in person, however, you cannot fully appreciate how incredible they really are.  This Summer, as part of our Summer of Fun adventure, hubs and I had a date day and went hiking in Muir Woods.  Muir Woods is located near Mt. Tam in Marin County, just on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge from the city.  The national park offers absolutely stunning views and is a gorgeous hike.  The Main Trail in the park is pretty easy and is generally pretty packed with tourists and cameras.  It is a really amazing place where you can soak up nature’s peacefulness and beauty. (more…)

San Francisco Bound!

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Today, we are packed up and headed to San Francisco (where I definitely left my heart in September!) We haven’t been back since we moved to Texas and we are SO excited to see dear friends there – and to visit some of our favorite haunts (read:  eat really good food and drink delicious lattes!)  I have two jewelry shows in two different cities on back-to-back days there, so I’m sure to be a busy gal, but I promise to blog about our trip as I’m able, so you’ll know all about some of our favorite hotspots for your next visit to Fog City.  One of the shows is a private home trunk show on Friday morning – if you’re interested in that, email us here.  The second is the Junior League of Palo Alto Home Tour show on Saturday.  For more information about that, click here.

See you soon, SF friends!

Secrets from a Sommelier

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You know those friends that you bond intensely with over a major milestone in your life?  The ones that become fast, but also deep, friendships because you go through something together that absolutely bonds you for life?  For me, the friends that I met through our playgroup (organized by GGMG here in San Francisco) were just like that.  We bonded over having our first babies together and I think because most of us are raising them far away from family, that bond is intensified even more.  Amy is one of the moms from our playgroup and she and I were friends from day one.  Amy is the kind of friend that will literally bend over backward for you in your time of need.  She will stay up all night working on something for you, answer your phone calls at any time of night and generally has your back, no matter what you need.  She’s a fantastic mom, an organized person…oh, and a sommelier. (more…)

b. patisserie

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Oh, dear.  I’ve discovered yet another adorable coffee shop in San Francisco and this one’s got amazingly delicious pastries.  And worse, its right in our neighborhood – just a few short blocks from my house.  Yikes!

The other day, we walked over to b. patisserie on California and Divisadero with the kids.  The shop was opened by quite a pair.  Belinda Leong was formerly the pastry chef at Gary Danko (one of my favorites!) and Michel Suas, a native of France, started his career as a pastry chef in Paris.  Not only is this place gorgeous inside, but it is filled with a delicious aroma and equally tasty treats!  They serve Four Barrel coffee and espresso and it is delish as well!  This is a fabulous place to sit, take a breath and contemplate life or to catch up with friends over a steaming latte.  The setting is crisp and serene and the food may have you heading back through the line more than once! (more…)

Gorilla BBQ

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Being a Texas gal, BBQ is definitely something that I miss here in California.  There’s nothing quite like sitting outside on the patio at Goode Company with old school country music playing, Shiner in hand, enjoying one of their chopped brisket sandwiches on jalapeño bread with extra sauce for dipping.  Seriously.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  Pure Texas.

So when my friend Dave Lomas told me that there is good BBQ within driving distance of SF, we had to check it out.  Down in Pacifica, there’s a place called Gorilla BBQ.  It’s basically located in an old trailer on the side of the highway and they sell their BBQ until they run out.  And then they close.  The first time we tried to go (around 4pm on a Saturday after the kids’ naps,) they were sold out.  Bummer.  (Don’t feel too badly for us – we made the most of it with a sunset picnic on the beach down in Pacifica.) (more…)