Monday, April 20, 2015

IN PHOTOS: Volker Eisele Memorial, Tribute to 47th Anniversary of Napa's Ag Preserve

Napa Valley's stars from the world of wine and politics turned out yesterday to honor the memory of Volker Eisele, the "lion of land use" in Napa who was a champion of protecting ag lands from over commercialization, a threat that continues today.

Eisele died in Jan. at the age of 78 from a stroke. (Here are some brief excerpts from an interview I did with him in the summer of 2014).

The memorial program featured brief remarks by U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson, who said Volker helped to get him elected and worked closely with him on legislative issues. Hugh Davies, whose father Jack Davies preceded Volker in land preservation leadership, spoke on behalf of the Jack L. Davies Napa Valley Ag Land Preservation Fund and its continuing efforts.

Author James Conaway, whose two classic books on Napa have chronicled the hard fought battles to preserve Napa's agricultural character, entertained the audience with the humorous story of his first meeting with Volker.

Napa County Supervisor Diane Dillon (a fifth generation Napa resident) thanked the Eisele family, as did others, for the time Volker spent on political battles.

Napa County Farm Bureau President Norma Tofanelli closed the program with a reminder that battles lie ahead in the protection of Napa's ag lands, calling for the attendees to continue the movement Volker and his allies created to preserve this precious region.

Note: Don't miss...Napa Broadcasting recorded an interview with James Conaway, reflecting on the past and present preservation challenges. You can listen to it here.

The event was held in the historic carriage
house at Charles Krug Winery (owned by the
Peter Mondavi family) in St. Helena
A crowd of wine industry and political leaders packed the hall
The program opened with a brief video tribute to Volker; the video will be posted
soon on the Napa Farm Bureau's web site and YouTube.
Host Marc Mondavi welcomed the group
Congressman Mike Thompson told several humorous stories that illustrated
Volker's tenacity in trying to rid his vineyard of wild pigs and wild turkeys
The reception outside featured classical music 
Guests mingled on the lawn amply supplied with food and drink, including
Volker's 2010 Cabernet

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