Judd's Hill Napa Winery Comes to Chinatown

To Share Previously Unreleased Wines, All To Benefit HI Youth Symphony

Judd's Hill Napa Winery Comes to Chinatown

Once again, these people are just too cool for words. But we'll give it a shot.

Three generations of Finkelstein's, from Judd's Hill Winery in Napa Valley, are coming to Honolulu for their annual mele on July 26th. The event is a wine dinner at HASR Wine Co., from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., featuring the best wines from their arsenal, plus live Hawaiian music. The event will raise funds to benefit the Hawaii Youth Symphony.

For those who aren't familiar, Judd Finkelstein is the son of wine making Art Finkelstein. Judd is an ukulele strumming vintner with a passion for all things aloha. His Napa-based band—The Makai Gents—are a study in Hawaiian standards as well as American folk oldies. The "Gents" have released a CD entitled "The Wiki Wiki Grog Shop", and are booked "all through Napa's luau season," claimed Finkelstein, who informed us runs between May and October. His instrument of choice is a custom-made "Pineapple Sunday" koa ukulele, made by the Okami family's KoAloha Ukulele Company, based in Kalihi.

"They remind me of us," admitted Finkelstein. "The father and two sons work side by side, and play gigs with various musicians around Honolulu."

Along with his wife Holly (who dances hula for The Makai Gents), daughter Tallulah (who will celebrate her first birthday at the event), mom and dad (Bunny and Art), Finkelstein will bring current releases that include the 2004 Carernet Sauvignon, 2004 Petit Syrah (the '02 wowed us at last year's dinner), 2006 Pinot Noir and other wines not available to the public, like their coveted rosé and a new, dry Muscat. All of the wines will be sold at HASR the evening of the event, and the Finkelstein's have offered to sign bottles. Judd's Hill produces less than 3,000 cases of wine annually. They are located on the Silverado Trail just outside the town of Napa.

Others that the Finkelstein's consider among close friends are Eddie Kamae (of the Sons of Hawaii), Herb Ota Jr. and Jake Shimabukuro, each of which has visited and performed at the Judd's Hill Vineyard. Finkelstein was tight lipped as to whom might show up armed with an instrument the evening of the fund raiser at HASR. However, we were assured "there will be music, that's for sure," said Finkelstein, in an exclusive interview with B on Hawaii.

"It will be a great excuse for celebration," shared Finkelstein. "It's my daughter's first birthday, and we'll be benefiting the youth symphony in Hawaii—who will play for us."

Finkelstein also shared that most of the events they host in Napa have a charitable partner. In April, Judd's Hill did a benefit concert for the Napa Youth Symphony.

Tickets for this charitable event are $75 per person and must be purchased in advance by calling the Hawaii Youth Symphony at (808) 941-9706. HASR is located at 31 North Pauahi Street in Chinatown. Culinary delights will be provided by HASR's neighbor, The Grand Café.

Judd's Hill is open daily by appointment only in Napa. Visit www.JuddsHill.com for more information.

Judd is an ukulele strumming vintner with a passion for all things aloha. His Napa-based band—The Makai Gents—are a study in Hawaiian standards as well as American folk oldies.