A Very Good Year
Joel Peterson, who founded Sonoma's highly successful Ravenswood Winery, which produces about 800,000 cases of a year, is known as the "godfather of Zinfandel." He praises Charter Oak's wines. The process that Fanucci uses, he says, "harkens back to the core winemaking tradition that developed through trial and error over time and most often produced the most interesting, soulful wines." He finds those qualities in Fanucci's Zinfandels. "They clearly come from the heart, which is exactly what you want wine to do."
Layla's paintings are a labor of love, too. She quit teaching music in 2000 to pursue her other passion. Initially inspired by Matisse and Picasso, she developed a fluid, dynamic style of her own, creating dense, abstracted cityscapes with four to five layers of color and black-lined imagery. Bits of Manhattan skyline, for example, appear in the brimming surface of "Barcelona."
"All the layers bleed through, and it creates that luscious canvas. It gives you depth and texture," says Layla, who has exhibited at Morocco's Le Musée de Marrakech and New York's Walter Wickiser Gallery, which recently published a book of her work, "City of Dreams Unabridged, 1999-2011."
The paintings, based on photographs and her experience of Florence, Paris and other places, portray "my version of a city," she says, gazing at a huge canvas titled "City of the World, Opus 5."
"When I go to a city, this is what I feel. I feel a little bit claustrophobic, but I love the excitement and energy," adds the artist, a native San Franciscan who grew up on the Peninsula and thrived on the urban energy at SF State.
"I loved the diversity there, people from different cultures and backgrounds. It gave me a different perspective on life and the world. That was my foundation."
For the Fanuccis, the arduous process of creating art and wine is intertwined, a joyous family endeavor that produces what Rob calls food for the soul. Making wine, he says, "is like painting. You make it with your own hands. There's a special enjoyment when you drink it." Like Layla's art, "it's a celebration of life."
Go back to page one of A Very Good Year
See the story A School for Sommeliers
Share this story: