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The Society BLOG

Together, wine, food, and travel make up three of life's greatest offerings. The Society Blog will feature expert experiences and opinions relating to these delicious topics. Here, we will freely discuss the diverse flavors of food, the inviting culture of wine, the vast nature of travel, and the ultimate experience you get when you combine the three!

The Society
July 19, 2014 | The Society

Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon Training Update: David Lattin

The last couple of weeks I have been experiencing some ankle pain due to all the training I’ve been putting in preparation for race day. To combat this, I have been integrating cycling into my workouts so I can keep up my cardio and build muscle strength in my legs. In addition to incorporating other methods of exercise, I have been icing regularly and taking Advil to reduce swelling. With the race date rapidly approaching, I have been taking it easy this week in an effort to conserve my energy for Sunday!

Here’s a salad recipe for when I don’t want any bulk from carbs but need some protein – I like to enjoy it with a slightly chilled Zinfandel, Sangiovese, or other fresh red wine.

- David



½ lb flank steak
2 very large handfuls of arugula
1 red onion
1 tbsp Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Parmesan cheese

1. Sprinkle flank steak with sea salt 30 at least 30 minutes before cooking and set aside at room temp (covered loosely w/plastic wrap).

2. Wash arugula and set aside in refrigerator.

3. Cut ends and remove skin from red onion.  Slice across into 4 thick slices keeping the rings together.  Sprinkle onion slices with sugar, a grind or two of sea salt, and the same of black pepper.

4. Heat olive oil to medium and lay 4 onion slices carefully into oil.  Reduce heat to low and ‘sweat’ onion on one side for 15 minutes.

5. Turn onion slices over, add a couple of liberal dashes of balsamic vinegar over the slices and continue sweating for another 15 minutes.

6. When onions are slightly caramelized on both sides, turn off heat.

7. Heat grill to medium high and grill flank steak for 7 minutes on one side, 5 minutes on the other (or longer if you don’t want medium rare).  Set aside on cutting board for 10 minutes.

8. Slice flank steak across the grain in ¼-1/2 inch slices and separate into 4 even portions.

9. Divide arugula between two plates.

10. Put one portion of the steak on the arugula, lay an onion slice on top, add the second portion of steak and the last onion slice.

11. Pour the juices from the onion pan onto both salads.

12. Use a cheese slicer to cut 2 wide strips of parmesan on top of each salad and serve.

Time Posted: Jul 19, 2014 at 12:29 PM
The Society
July 10, 2014 | The Society

Napa to Sonoma Update: Courtney Foley

My training progress is pretty minimal – I have developed plantar fasciitis – an inflammation of a band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, which runs under your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. This inflammation results in a deep, stabbing pain on the bottom of the heel, making it difficult for me to run. As a result of this, I’ve had to scale back my mileage and have had to stay in shape through other modes of exercise – mostly by riding my bike. I’ve found that switching to cycling while dealing with a running injury has been helpful because it helps strengthen the complementary muscles in my legs, and helps to increase leg turnover. Both of these things are crucial to being primed and ready for an upcoming race, and it is the next best thing to actually being able to run. Hopefully, with diligent attention to my aches and pains, and supplementing my normal running schedule with cycling, I'll still be able to finish the race, and with any luck, run it at pace!

In the meantime, to fuel my bike training I have been enjoying these homemade cherry-almond granola bars – these are incredibly easy to make, healthy and provide lasting energy for long rides.

- Courtney



Adapted from


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 cups quick oats
1½ cups almonds, coarsely chopped
1 cup dried cherries
3 tablespoons brown sugar
⅓ cup honey
1½ cups almond butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on both sides.

2. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oats and toast until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, combine the oats with the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine. (This can be done by hand, but it’s especially quick in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.)

4. Press the oat mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Pop the pan into the refrigerator or freezer to let the mixture set for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut into 12 evenly sized bars and serve. The bars will keep in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic for up to five days.

Time Posted: Jul 10, 2014 at 11:46 AM
The Society
September 25, 2013 | The Society

The Philanthropic Side of Foley Food & Wine Society

Bill Foley, founder of the Foley Food & Wine Society, gets a lot of press for his business acumen. Numerous writers have outlined his meteoric rise and the breadth of his holdings. In 1984, after practicing law for a few years, he bought a then small title-insurance company called Fidelity National Title, with just $40 million in revenues. Under Foley's leadership, Fidelity has grown exponentially, yielding $5.63 billion in revenue in 2012. The company has repeatedly been named to Fortune’s list of America’s Most Admired Companies.

Carol and Bill Foley

As a result of his hard work and business sense, Foley was able to acquire a diverse portfolio of wineries, restaurants and resorts which will be available for members of the new Foley Food & Wine Society, which see its launch this Saturday, September 28th at the Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara.

Foley Food & Wine Society launch party

Less well known, in keeping with their reputation for being "down-to-earth" and low-key, is the time and money that Bill and Carol devote to philanthropic causes. Their generous donations include $15 million to the United States Military Academy at West Point, where Bill earned his B.S. degree in Engineering, and  the support of the Jacksonville Cathedral Arts Project, which offers free after-school classes in visual and performing arts for elementary school students in Florida.

students at the School of Culinary Arts SBCC

The Foley have roots in Santa Barbara and have been members of the President's Council, the cornerstone of philanthropic support for the Foundation for Santa Barbara City College (SBCC). Long time advocates for education, they were happy to partner with the non-profit Santa Barbara Culinary Arts on the gala launch party of the Foley Food & Wine Society, knowing the net profits would further the education of students at the School of Culinary Arts and Hotel Management at SBCC.

culinary students at Foley Food & Wine Society

Three top chefs from the School of Culinary Arts and from Santa Barbara Culinary Arts will be presenting their culinary creations at the launch party, aided by a team of current culinary students. At the launch party, you will have the chance to meet the students and chefs and sample delicacies like Smoked Salmon with Caviar and Crème Fraîche on Endive Pockets and Gorgonzola and Goat Cheese Tartlet with Fig Butter Topped with Fresh Fig, Toasted Walnuts, Local Honey and Micro-greens.


Santa Barbara Culinary Arts Presents the Foley Food & Wine Society Launch Party    
Saturday, September 28, 2013
3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Bacara Resort & Spa - Santa Barbara, CA


Time Posted: Sep 25, 2013 at 10:00 AM
The Society
September 19, 2013 | The Society

First Harvest of the Year at Chalk Hill Estates

“The 2013 harvest is in full swing, giving us no end of excitement--and the occasional hand wringing!" --Lisa Bishop Forbes, winemaker Chalk Hill Estate

grape harvest Chalk Hill Estate


For nearly four decades, Chalk Hill Estate of Sonoma County has produced exceptional, highly-acclaimed wine. The quality begins in the vineyards with conscientious and scientifically precise agricultural practices. The focus is on creating and maintaining the optimal flavor, freshness and depth of character of each varietal.

Chalk Hill Estate beauty shot


Each of the 60 vineyard blocks are tended individually. The grapes are hand-harvested by parcel and fermented in individual blocks.

The September 2013 harvest began with night harvest of the estate sauvignon blanc and pinot noir grapes. The video shows our crew loading bins with the pristine sauvignon blanc.

Nighttime picking is easier on the crew because they avoid the wasps and bees that are out during the day and the temperature is not blazing hot. It's also better for the grapes as high temperatures can change their sugar composition and sometimes allow wild yeasts to grow unchecked. It saves on energy as well; since the grapes are cool, they don't need to be chilled prior to fermentation.

Lisa Bishop Forbes, winemaker Chalk Hill Estate


"Chardonnay will follow next along with Pinot Gris, then Malbec and Merlot. The fruit is beautiful and very flavorful, with ideal sugar and acid balance." --Lisa Bishop Forbes, winemaker Chalk Hill Estate

“It is a privilege to be involved with such a significant and strikingly beautiful property. For nearly four decades, Chalk Hill has been one of the premier wine estates in California. Our Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blancs, and proprietary Estate Red are all considered benchmarks among their peers. Our commitment to sustainable farming ensures that our land will remain healthy for generations and our wines will accurately reflect their origins in the hills of eastern Sonoma County.” - William P. (Bill) Foley II

Bill Foley at Chalk Hill Estate


Meet Bill and Carol Foley and taste the elegant wines of Chalk Hill Estate on Saturday, September 28th, 3 - 6 pm at the ocean front Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara. A fundraiser for the Santa Barbara Culinary Arts Scholarship in Honor of Julia Child, the event celebrates the launch of the Foley Food & Wine Society.

JOIN the Society today to receive special offers from Chalk Hill Estate and dozens of other fine wineries and resorts in the Foley Food & Wine Society portfolio.

PURCHASE tickets to the event.

Foley Food & Wine Society Launch Party
Saturday, September 28, 2013
3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Bacara Resort & Spa - Santa Barbara, CA

Time Posted: Sep 19, 2013 at 10:00 AM
The Society
September 3, 2013 | The Society

Golf and Wine, Perfect Combination

Foley Food & Wine Society tasting roomAfter playing a round of golf at Sandpiper in Santa Barbara, stop by the Foley Food & Wine Society tasting room at the Bacara Resort & Spa! It's the perfect "19th hole" after 18 holes out on the links.

Santa Barbarans are spoiled. We're so used to temperate weather, with the highs and and lows of daily temperature being between 60-75 degrees, that we complain bitterly when the thermometer tops 80. It's easy to get used to paradise!

So, I set my alarm last week for 6 am to be the first out to play Sandpiper and avoid what we call a "heat wave"--81 degrees forecasted. I was rewarded with a glorious morning with the next group three holes back and the Pacific Ocean glinting in the morning sun. The greens had just been soaked, which helped keep my score down. The Sandpiper greens are notorious for being wickedly fast.

pelicans above Sandpiper Golf

The green at the 5th hole overlooks the ocean and there usually is a line of pelicans riding the updraft. This day was no exception, as four of them skimmed the edge of the cliff, seeming close enough to touch.

13th hole SandpiperThe 13th hole is one of the best designed and most challenging in Southern California. 399 yards (532/516 men's) run along the crest of the cliffs; in the middle is a deep ravine, followed by a nasty thicket of bushes. Low handicappers lay up their second shot on the foreward edge of the ravine to try and drop their 150 yard (or so) chip shot onto a tiny, steep green bordered by the cliff, the bushes and three bunkers! Those with higher handicaps, like me, just hope our third shot gets us safely over the ravine to the left where there are no bushes to snag our balls.

Bacara from Sandpiper Golf

As usual, the 13th hole chewed me up and spit me out. But, I was rewarded by views of the Bacara Resort & Spa from both the tee and the green (pictured--looking back at ravine).

wine tasting at Foley Food & Wine, Bacara

I dropped by the Foley Food & Wine Society tasting room afterwards to visit my friend Lila, Assistant Tasting Room Manager. She and Annette took a moment to pose for a photo before taking care of some of the hotel guests who were in to taste some of the Foley portfolio. The elegant, yet comfortable, tasting room is the perfect place to sip delicious wines after a round of golf. Open 11-7 daily.



Time Posted: Sep 3, 2013 at 10:00 AM