Author of “Napa Valley Entertaining” Celebrates Popular Wine Country Hosts

A special event at Meadowood Napa Valley this week featured stunning holiday tables created by a number of Napa Valley hosts – a fabulous way to kick off the holiday season.

In addition to the gorgeous tables by local designers who appear in the book, Napa Valley Entertaining, there was local wine, champagne and signature seasonal cocktails to enjoy, like winter manhattans. Guests also noshed on delicious hors d’ourvres, Black River Caviar and decadent chocolates with edible gold dust.

Blakesley Chappellet, Amelia Ceja, Kris Jaeger and Leslie Frank. Amelia and Leslie are both featured in the book. Photography: Briana Marie

The event was held in Meadowood Napa Valley’s Vintners Room with its big stone fireplace and vaulted ceiling which gave a cozy and home-like feel. Nearly a dozen “hosts” featured in Napa Valley Entertaining were on hand to sign books and share their entertaining tips, along with author, Blakesley Chappellet and photographer Briana Marie.

A Peek Inside Napa Valley Entertaining

The hosts featured in the book and at the event represent the diversity in style that is Napa Valley. Hand-picked because of their own authentic way of expressing themselves through their entertaining; some are rustic and simple, others are over-the-top elaborate.

Top: left to right: Mother and daughter duo Amelia and Dalia Ceja, produce and greens from the Clif Family Farm adorned their table, Lindsey Rion the creative genius behind Rion Designs Bottom: Toni Rigdon, Ann Backen, Amy Chappellet and Monique Davies enjoy the festivities. Photography: Briana Marie

Some standout holiday tables included a Scandinavian Christmas table designed by Barbara Colvin. Described as approachable and fitting for guests of all ages, but whimsical and sophisticated at the same time. “Another table that had that same mix of elegance and playfulness was David Aten of AX Events with some vices like cards, dice, cigarettes booze scattered into a setting” said Chappellet. “Lindsey Rion’s fabulously chic table with gold wrapped gifts, sprays of burgundy orchids and tapered candles spoke to a glamorous adult evening as did Theoni’s dramatic white and gold table under a canopy of flowers and branches.”

(left to right) Holiday tablescapes by Barbara Colvin, David Aten, Theoni Collection and Rion Designs.

Chappellet’s book is a treat, like taking a VIP tour of beautiful Napa Valley offerings. Though it’s packed with stunning photography, inspiring settings, and delicious recipes – the book is ultimately more about people and appreciating beloved wine country, especially after the recent fires. “We were honored that St. Helena’s fire chief, John Sorensen attended the event, said Chappellet. Sorensen, who owns a catering company, is also featured in Napa Valley Entertaining for his lobster feeds. “You haven’t really experienced a party in Napa Valley unless you have attended one of John’s epic lobster feeds. He is part of the fabric of our community and we all adore him.”

St. Helena Fire Chief, John Sorensen. Photography: Briana Marie

According to Chappellet, 10% of all book sales from 10/10 thru 12/2 are pledged to Napa & Sonoma Fire Relief. “At this time of year, when we all pause and reflect on what we are grateful for, the entire Napa Valley community is indebted to our first responders, said Chappellet. “It’s nice to have one of them humanized in the book and to shine a light on what an important part of our community they are.”

Napa Valley Entertaining Event Images. Photography: Briana Marie

Roque Event’s Raquel Bickford Oranges, combined unusual Golden Mustard Roses with white anemone and evergreen bows on this gorgeous table.
Produce and greenery from Clif Family Farm and a burlap runner were the focal point of this organic table.
Designer Meredith Law collaborated with Clark-Claudon Winery on this eclectic table adorned with interesting objects to pique guests curiosity.
Barbara Colvin’s Scandanavian inspired table in traditional red, white and green.
Alex Hernandez of Meadowood Estate Events foraged in the woods around the resort to create a ribbon of  fall leaves down the center of the table.
A deck of cards begged guests to interact at David Aten’s holiday table.
Accents of gold add sophistication to a stunning table by Rion Designs.
An assortment of vases and an overhead trellis filled with monochromatic floral highlight this dramatic table designed by Theoni Collection.
Featured hosts Laura Regusci and Leslie & Rich Frank sign copies of the book for guests.
Photographer Briana Marie Forgie, publisher Sheila Thomas and author Blakesley Chappellet.


About the Author:

Jennifer Boden is a popular travel writer who features luxury lodging, top restaurants and events. She works and plays in Sonoma County. Follow her social Instagram or Facebook channels for her latest travel news. For inquiries or appearance requests, please email her at 




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