Help Out While You Rock Out!
We are teaming up with rock CAN roll at The David Crosby Shows, January 28, 29 & 31!
We recently sat down with Shawn Colvin, a Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter who has a Fall residency here at City Winery. In 2012 the Folk singer released an album All Falls Down along with her memoir, Diamond in the Rough. Take a look at what the artist had to say about the writing process and her favorite parts about City Winery.
CW: What’s your favorite food at City Winery NYC?
SC: No question about it, crispy brussel sprouts.
CW: When it comes to songwriting, what’s the biggest difference between writing now and writing when you first started?
SC: I trusted myself less, I had less confidence when i first started I had to edit a lot and I thought things through maybe too much. I’m a little more intuitive now.
CW: You recently released the a book, Diamond in the Rough. What was the biggest difference between writing a book and writing an album?
SC: There’s a vast difference, I found out. Writing a song you’re kind of limited to 3 – 5 minutes, things have to rhyme, you need to scan the lyrics over the melody in the right way. All of those things limit you in a way. So you’re edited so you have to fit them in in a puzzle, like a sort of jigsaw puzzle. Whereas writing a book it’s like your butt is hanging out in the wind. Where do you start? Especially when you’re writing about yourself. There’s no poetry in it, it’s just you talking. Which is the secret. To capture what you actually sound like talking, instead of trying to be clever or fancy. Doesn’t work for me.
CW: On your latest album you collaborated with many different artists. What’s the best part about collaborating for you?
SC: Favorite part is just that, having someone offer an idea that you didn’t think of. You don’t always necessarily take it literally as their idea. I co wrote a song with Jakob Dylan and he set the song in the Civil War, and I kept a lot of lyrically what he wrote. But I kind of transformed it into a sad love song, took out the circa 1865 thing. What he gave me was invaluable. It’s the satisfaction in coming up with something together, and being proud along with someone else.
CW: What’s your favorite part about performing at City Winery NYC?
SC: I guess the audience. It’s a great room and I love the sound. But the audiences are respectful and enthusiastic. Even though they’re drinking and they’re eating you don’t notice it. And everyone who works here is divine. It’s a great experience!
This photo was taken in 1985 before the major restoration and saving of the theatre started by a handful of concerned Napa residents. In 1997, Robert & Margrit Mondavi led the way towards a $13m renovation done in 1997. Notice the flat ballroom floor, this was covered in the renovation with a racked fixed-seating floor, which we are taking out on January 1st to bring back to this original shape. We are thrilled to bring the theatre back to how it was designed when it opened with a production of Gilbert & Sullivan in 1880. Its seen the likes of John Philip Sousa to Jack London and Lusia Tetrazzini. We can’t wait!
Controversial Irish rocker Sinead O’Connor packed the house to the rafters this past weekend; she sold City Winery completely out on November 8th, 9th & 10th, and left the audience screaming for more.
Sinead, known earlier in her career for voicing her strong and deeply-rooted political and religious opinions, has in recent times, been just as outspoken on issues she deems important, including feminism and women’s issues.
Performing classics, more obscure tracks and more recent material, the artist had also recently performed at City Winery’s Chicago location to a packed house!
City Winery is thrilled to announce David Crosby will be playing at its venue for 3 nights on January 28th, 29th & 31st 2014. Crosby, best known for the group Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young will be embarking on a 5 city solo tour in large part to help promote and introduce his upcoming LP named, “Croz” which is set to be released on January 28th. This is Crosby’s first solo album in 20 years.
Crosby is excited for his upcoming tour saying, “I admit I have been lucky, but this tour is really a high point for me. I get to go out and play this record that we have made LIVE: the studio is good but live is even better. I am going to have a blast, and I suspect anyone else who comes to see us will too.”
Advanced tickets sales will start on Tuesday, November 12 to VinoFile members only on CityWinery.com. Please check out all of the benefits of being a VinoFile member.
Also, getting your tickets before the general public will help you get the best seats in the house. Please click the image below for more information on becoming a VinoFile member.
A wedding in wine country? Where do I sign up? A wedding in Manhattan? Iconic! What if you could have a blend of the two? Sometimes when we say the name “City Winery,” it sounds more like an oxymoron than a reality. Fortunately, for City Winery’s brides, this “major city meets wine country” wedding IS a reality. The synergy of the two settings creates an elegant, yet rustic wedding experience.
From the sleek, and modern Winery space for cocktail hour, to the warmth and intimacy of the Main Space for dinner and dancing, our events team has had a wonderful time this Fall, working with wedding clients to create the perfect blend of urban and rustic décor!
City Winery is thrilled to host Richard Marx for an evening of solo acoustic music. This is his 3rd year at CW, but this is the first time he’s doing two performance nights in a row. Not surprisingly, both shows sold out in advance. Hopefully he’ll be back soon!
1) What was your initial reaction to finding out you’d have your own wine?
How cool, and how many bottles can I get for free.
2) What is your favorite wine, and how do you like to enjoy it best?
It’s hard to choose, because there is a lot of wine I really love. It’s like asking what’s your favorite dark chocolate, they’re all good. I’ve had the privilege of having great, super expensive wines like Opus. But I have also gone crazy over $12 bottles of McManis Petite Sirah which you can’t get anymore. I bought as much of that as I could find online.
I don’t drink much white, but there’s a Sauvignon Blanc I like by Cloudy Bay. I like my reds chilled a little bit more than most people do. I don’t really believe in pairing, I can drink red wine at any time – morning, noon and night.
3) After winning your first Grammy Award, how did you celebrate?
I didn’t really celebrate because Luther Vandross and I won it together. It was about 6 months before he passed, and he had already had a stroke and was in the hospital incapacitated so he couldn’t come. I was grateful to be able to acknowledge him and mention my family and my dad who had passed. If he [Luther] had been there, you would have read about us in the paper the next day – we would have made the paper. I just went out dinner with family and friends and kept it low key. It was bittersweet.
4) Who do you like to enjoy a bottle of wine with the most?
I have two of three sons that are legal, and we were recently in Tuscany for a week, and it was the first time I drank with my sons. We had wine with dinner and a little bit of port after dinner. We sat around and discussed events and life. That’s been the coolest thing ever.
5) What pulled you towards being behind the scenes as a songwriter? Was being a songwriter always the goal, or did it just fall into place?
Songwriting is what started everything, I’ve always been a songwriter first before anything else. I had a some success as a songwriter when I was very young before had a record deal, and had a couple of hit with a couple of artists so I had Then my career kicked in for about 10 years and I did a little bit of writing and producing, but there wasn’t much time between all the touring. After about 10 years I put out a record that while did well, it didn’t do as well as the others. I thought, okay I knew this would happen because I think every artist has peaks and valleys. I was never the kind of artist that was going to reinvent myself in terms of image or do something shocking. It was all about the songs. When I saw that writing on the wall, I sort of deliberately retreated before I put out a record that really tanked. I backed off, stopped touring and stopped being an artist for years and dove into writing and producing for other people. Luckily, there was a line of people that were happy to have me do that.
6) What is the difference between writing a song for yourself and writing on for another artist?
Usually its a matter of how personal it is. If I write something super, super personal lyrically it’s probably not going to relate to the person I’m writing with and vice versa. When I’m writing with another artist my mission is to facilitate what they want to say. I don’t really bring a lot of my personal stuff into it. I just help guide it musically, that’s easy. I help write the music, or if not, completely write the music. Lyrically, lyrics I just sort of push the artist and help them craft it. If I write for me it’s going to be something I want to say.
7) Which do you prefer, performing at large venues or performing at more intimate ones like City Winery? Why?
In America I don’t really have a choice right now. I haven’t been on the touring circuit for so long that I can’t really play big venues anymore, but I still play big venues in Europe and Asia. Getting to do both of them is pretty amazing because in a setting like this, where it’s just my solo acoustic show – this is perfect. I mean, I’ve played some theaters that are 1000 seaters which is also really great for it too. Then I go to SE Asia either alone or with the band and that’s super fun too.
8) What’s your favorite city to perform in? What’s do you like most about performing in NYC?
For a while it was a tie between NY and Detroit for whatever reason. I would play either place and it would be an extraordinary experience. The last couple times I’ve played Detroit it’s been nice, but NY has never let me down, ever. Doesn’t matter if I was playing The Garden or Radio City or City Winery, there’s just something about here. Chicago, where I was born and raised and have lived for the past 15 years, doesn’t really treat me that great. But NYC, they treat me like I’m one of their own.
I’ll never forget Hal Willner bringing Lou by the construction site of the new Knitting Factory in Tribeca in the fall of 1993. I was both nervous and excited to be giving a tour of our upgraded venue to a musician I had many records and was so important to the history of music. Somehow, I convinced him to play a show there soon after opening–which we overly packed the joint. After that, over the next 6 years he played many special shows at the Knit. During that run, we started drinking a lot of Pinot Noir together, in particular, Domain Drouhin which was supplied by the photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders who was shooting much of Lou’s life around then. We did several big Pinot dinners at Montrachet which was just around the corner with the band after several of those shows.
One of my favorite memories was Lou calling me and saying he wants to bring Vaclav Havel to John Zorn’s Masada show. He knew the space, and asked to take the upstairs balcony which held about 50 people and set up a little food and drink, as he was “hosting” his friend. A few hours before the show we got another call from the office of Madeline Albright, the current United States Secretary of State expressing interest to join the President of the Czech Republic at the concert. Next thing you know, lots of different secret service folk show up. Lots of buzz and Lou and Vaclav arrive. We go upstairs, about five of us and 8 large Czech guys-his security detail. Show starts, Masada is killin it. Then the Secretary of State shows up, lots of noisy commotion, more secret service, some formalities happen between he heads of state and Zorn stops the show. He looks up at us, the entire room goes quiet and looks up at the balcony and he says, “shut the fuck up”. All the secret service folk where about to draw their weapons, Havel and Albright stopped talking, and Lou, who was standing with me of to the side, looked at me and we both started laughing very quietly. He put his arm around me to shield both our laughter and also not have Zorn get madder at us. It was a highlight of my life. The band continued and everyone was quiet. Lou had a smirk and twinkle in his eye for the rest of the night and we had a new bond. (There was a piece with Zorn’s quote in the Rolling Stone Magazine the next month, need to find it.)
Almost as good was the night Sarah and I went to Lou and Laurie’s Apartment for dinner. We where very excited to get invited over, just us. We brought a magnum of the Domain Drouhin 1994 which I had secured just in time, and totally ironically, Lou had done the exact same (and there are not that many 1.5l magnums of this stuff out there). Now 3 liters of wine is doable to drink by 4 adults in an evening certainly, but Sarah was pregnant with our twins, but not showing or telling anyone yet, so our deal was she would secretly give me her wine glass throughout the evening and I would trade my empty one without them noticing…. After the first bottle and not yet eating, I had essentially one bottle in me and was getting loopy. Then we decided to not eat there and bring the second magnum to the Spotted Pig around the corner from their house. In there, it was harder to sneak Sarah’s full glass to me empty, but we did somehow. Laurie didn’t drink at our same pace and finally in some moment of inhibition, after a few years of being pretty close, I finally had the drinker nerve to ask about some stories from the Velvet Underground. I had always wanted to be cool and not ask, but it finally came out. He was a great sport and told me some things; unfortunately, I can’t remember much detail or the rest of the night…..
Lou participated in six of my Downtown Seders, including this past March when he certainly seemed weak getting up the stage. But once he started reading his poem, the energy, humor and genius that he was came out loud and clear. I am grateful to having had connected with this special man.
Rest in Peace Lou!
City Winery hosts Nick Arrojo’s 2-Day Annual Hair EXPO
Last month City Winery had the pleasure of hosting Nick Arrojo’s Annual Hair Expo Arrojo Salon, just a few blocks down the street from us, invited 400 hairdressers to come to City Winery for a 2-day event, consisting of a series of hair presentations, lunch, more presentations, a cocktail reception and finally, a hair show, complete with a runway! Not only was this event fun to attend, but it was fun to plan too. Between the food, wine, music and runway production that took place, City Winery and Arrojo came together to create an unforgettable experience for all involved. This EXPO was a true testament as to why Arrojo is the salon of choice for the City Winery staff!
This time of year is always a busy one at City Winery. Summer is over, and the crowds return to the city, the holidays are just around the corner and with thema flurry of events, and, most importantly, it’s harvest time. This past Sunday we received our third shipment of grapes, about 6 ½ tons of Syrah and Viognier grapes from Alder Springs Vineyards in Mendocino, California. The grapes were picked in the middle of the night when the grapes are at their coldest, driven in refrigerated trucks by two drivers (so the truck never stops) and arrived at our back doorstep here in Manhattan. The grapes we’re greeted by a crew of winery staff, loaded onto a grape elevator, called a “giraffe,” and dropped by the cluster into a destemmer. From there they traveled onto a sorting table to be examined by at least six pairs of hands and cleared of any “MOG” – Material Other than Grapes – stems, leaves, or the errant bad grape. Once the winemakers were sure the grapes were ready, they were dropped onto another giraffe and into the fermenting tanks, where they began the maceration process. With this batch of grapes the winemakers are using a classic technique that most likely originated in the Northern Rhone region of France. They combined 90% Syrah with 10% Viognier– the former being red grapes and the latter being white. It may seem strange to combine red and white grapes, unless you’re making a “blush” wine, but the winemakers had a very particular goal in mind. Syrah grapes themselves are very thick skinned and dark red, creating a big, masculine and tannic wine. By adding Viognier the winemakers are able to create a more mellow wine with lower tannin, and some floral, feminine notes. In the end, we will arrive at a deep red wine full of complexity, but without the possible jarring aspects of a Syrah macerated and fermented on it’s own. These grapes will spend about four days soaking and becoming juice before fermenting for two to four weeks, followed by aging, which can take anywhere from seven to eighteen months. In the meantime, as we wait for this year’s grapes to become wine, we are reveling in current triumphs. City Winery was most recently recognized for its 2012 Reserve Chardonnay from Scopus Vineyards in Sonoma, California. The Beverage Testing Institute awarded a Gold Medal and 93 points to our Chardonnay, which they described as “a fantastically flavorful chardonnay with great structure for the table.” As harvest comes and goes and new grapes begin their journey, it is always a proud moment to know that once they reach the glass our City Winery wines will prove that all this hard work does not go unrewarded!
Our friend Philippe Gills at the Palmer House Hotel gave us a great shout out in this week’s “Things To Do In Chicago” presented by Concierge Preferred.
Check out the video below!
Artist: Mason Jennings
Playing At City Winery: March 29th & 30th – Buy Tickets Here
Q & A With City Winery
You were born in Hawaii and your music has appeared in the surf film Shelter. Do you surf yourself?
No, I don’t surf. Not much opportunity at home in Minnesota. I relate to the culture’s focus on simplicity and closeness with nature, though.
At a young age, your family moved to Pittsburgh and you began playing music. What was/is the music scene like in Pittsburgh?
I am not sure. I moved away at 19 before I ever got involved with a scene there. I came to Minneapolis following bands I loved like The Replacements, The Jayhawks and Prince.
You dropped out of school to move to Minneapolis to pursue your music career. What drew you there?
The bands I just mentioned. And I felt instantly at home in the landscape. I find the seasons intense and beautiful. I’m never in traffic. And there’s great public radio up there.
Your newest album is entitled Minnesota. Is this and ode, of sorts, to your home?
Sure. The theme is probably home but the most similar thing to Minnesota is how much variety there is on the record. The record feels like a collage to me, hence the cover art, and Minnesota has such contrasts as a place too. Freezing winters, hot summers, water and land, art world and back-woodsmandry.
Many of your songs are about love. In fact, on your website your new album Minnesota is described as “a collage of love trying to survive the transition into being a grown-up in a complex world”. What appeals to you about the subject?
Not sure any song about any subject is any good if it’s not about love. Or a longing. All longing seems to be about love in the end.
And how have your ideas about love changed and grown over the course of your songwriting career?
Oh, I’m just more open and hopefully more aware now. I love more deeply now. Being a parent there is much more at risk.
We are proud to announce that City Winery is ranked #48 in Pollstar’s 2011 Worldwide Ticket Sales Top 100 Club Venues– in the WORLD!
A big thanks to all of the talented artists and City Winery patrons for making this happen, and we look forward to another successful year in 2012.
Our Wine not War movement is a shout out to what we feel is important– making and enjoying wine!
Harvest is the perfect time to see what it takes to make great wine in Urban Wine Country; no other time of the year offers the same opportunities. This year, over 100 tons of grapes are arriving from Vineyards in California, Oregon, and Washington State to City Winery and management is adding its voice to New York.
Since inception, City Winery has averaged 75 tons a year of grape production, which yields the equivalent of 250 barrels or 5000 cases of wine from 15 different vineyards. In 2010, City Winery served almost 30% of its production without it ever going into a bottle. City Winery’s cellar holds 300 French oak barrels with 11 tap lines.
In addition to sampling our own array of wines produced on premises, guests may order from City Winery’s wine list of over 400 selections from most major winemaking regions of the world, recognized by Wine Spectator magazine with a ‘Best of Award of Excellence’ in 2010.
An old adage states, “that wine is made in the vineyard” and whilst it is true to an extent, it takes a winery to make great wine. Step inside City Winery and they’ll show you just how it’s done. Make wine not war– four simple words that could change your world.
For winemaking inquiries, please email email@example.com or call 212-608-0555 ext. 478.
City Winery, which opened in the fall of 2008, has quickly established itself as an innovative brand by uniquely combining the first winery in Manhattan with world-class music programming. With 6 harvests completed (3 from Northern Hemisphere vineyards and 3 spring harvests from south of the equator) more consumers will have an opportunity to taste the high quality of the wine through a unique tap system directly from the cellar below.
Reservations are now available: Click Here for OpenTable.com
City Winery’s cellar holds 300 French oak barrels with 11 tap lines to the newly launched Barrel Room which will serve the fresh wine, as well as being a new 30-seat restaurant within the Winery complex. The Barrel Room features its own menu, designed by our executive chef Andres Barrera, to complement the wine and much of the food is prepared right in front of you. In addition to sampling our own array of wines produced on premises, guests may order from City Winery’s wine list of over 400 selections from most major winemaking regions of the world, recognized by Wine Spectator magazine with a ‘Best of Award of Excellence’ in 2010. “The Barrel Room” is housed inside the building between the company’s fermentation tank room and the music and private event space. The tap system, which uses a neutral argon gas, allows us to serve wine in the “greenest” manner with no need for bottle, cork, label, or cardboard case. Much of the tap wine requires no added sulfites during “kegging” and because of the inert gas the wine is freshly preserved in stainless steel creating no waste from keg to glass.
“The Barrel Room allows us to show off two elements of our business which have matured nicely—namely the high quality of our food AND the delicious wine we have been producing,” said Michael Dorf, founder and CEO of City Winery. ”We are also very excited about giving our customers the rare opportunity of tasting some of our wine using a nontraditional method but getting as close to a barrel tasting of finished wine as possible.”
Since inception, City Winery has averaged 75 tons a year of grape production, which yields the equivalent of 250 barrels or 5000 cases of wine from 15 different vineyards in California, Oregon, New York, Argentina, and Chile. In 2010, City Winery served almost 30% of its production without it ever going into a bottle—the wine when finished with it’s aging process moves from a wooden barrel into a stainless steel keg for tapping straight into a glass. While many micro–breweries and even Whole Foods recently have started selling “Growlers”, riding on both the craft beer market and environmental benefits, the logistics of the wine business have generally not allowed for this. But given City Winery New York is in the heart of a wine consuming urban setting, drinking fresh wine locally is now possible.
David Lecomte, City Winery’s executive winemaker who is originally from the Rhone Valley in France, comments, “The tap system allows us to introduce small batches of wine down to a single barrel. We can demonstrate on one tap line Pinot Noir from Oregon aged in new oak for 1-year against the same vineyard’s Pinot aged in used oak, press wine versus free run wine, American oak versus French oak, barrel aging versus stainless steel tank aging. For a wine aficionado, this chance to learn and taste the differences is rare and exciting.”
City Winery plans to open in Chicago in the spring of 2012 in a new 25,000 square foot location with approximately the same winery capacity and even expanded tap wine tasting room. Putting a winery into the heart of a city allows for the fresh product to get to wine fans in a unique and efficient manner. City Winery expects to increase the amount of wine delivered in this way to almost 50% of its production in the future, as well as expand to additional urban markets.
(New York, NY, April 12th) In little less than three years Michael Dorf has taken something that was a germ of an idea and created one of New York’s preeminent music and wine culture venues, City Winery. With expansion plans well under way for the second City Winery in the historic Sullivan Building in downtown Chicago, Dorf and his personal vision of City Winery was recently featured in the April Issue of Wine Spectator.
Dorf sat down with Jennifer Fiedler, Senior Writer at WS to discuss exactly what it takes to convert a once empty building hulk into an upscale winery, winebar and live music venue while weathering the 2008 financial crisis. As with many of Mr Dorf’s ventures, the magic is in the details and the timing, and City Winery’s growing influence in the culture tapestry of NYC is a testament to that magic. The first commercial crush of grapes occurred in April of 2009 when 5 tons of Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina was processed at the state-of-the-art facility in SoHo’s Hudson Square.
Two years later the 3rd Annual Spring crush is just weeks away, with more quality Argentine fruit being flown in to be processed on April 24th & 30th. The vagrancies of international quarantine notwithstanding, City Winery will be celebrating its 3rd Spring crush with an estimated 200 people set to participate in the annual event.
To read more of the Wine Spectator piece – CLICK HERE