ABOUT STEVE: Author, columnist, and comedian Steve Hofstetter is often called the hardest working man in show-business. With all due respect to the late James Brown.
Hofstetter's national TV debut came on ESPN's Quite Frankly, where Stephen A. Smith yelled at him for three minutes. Hofstetter has also appeared on CBS' "Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson," Showtime's "White Boyz in the Hood," VH1's "Countdown," Sundance's "On the Road in America," and ABC's "Barbara Walter's Special," where he thankfully did not cry. He is the host and executive producer of "Laughs" on Fox networks, where he only cries occasionally.
One of the top booked acts on the college circuit, the original writer for collegehumor.com has also released five albums and three books. Hofstetter has written humor columns for the New York Times, SportsIllustrated.com, and NHL.com, where he publicly admitted to being a Ranger fan.
After hosting Four Quotas on Sirius Satellite Radio for two seasons, Hofstetter moved to broadcast radio, and his Sports Minute (Or So) was syndicated on over 170 stations and in over 30 newspapers. Hofstetter's second live comedy album ("Cure For the Cable Guy") reached #20 on Billboard's comedy charts. His third album ("Dark Side of the Room") was the first ever pay-what-you-want" comedy album, since people were going to steal it anyway. His fourth album consisted of an hour of 100% ad-libbed material, which is, frankly, nuts. And his fifth album hit #1 on iTunes' comedy charts, which is also a bit nuts.
Hofstetter's brutal tour schedule consists of over 100 colleges and dozens of clubs every year, and is fueled by an immense online popularity, tons of press, and a Prius with great gas mileage. He reached 200,000 friends on Facebook and 400,000 more on MySpace, and high shelves in grocery stores.
While Hofstetter's live shows are routinely sold out, he is best known for his writing, first published at age 15, mainly to impress girls. At 18, he co-founded "Sports Jerk of the Week," an irreverent website featured by press like USA Today's Baseball Weekly, Sports Illustrated and CNN. And at 20, Hofstetter took a year off of school to head up web content for the New York Yankees. The Yankees won the World Series that year, which would have been wonderful if they hadn't beaten Hofstetter's Mets. Yes, he's also a Mets fan. Poor kid.
While an undergraduate at Columbia University, Hofstetter was a well-read columnist for the Columbia Daily Spectator and a voice of the Lions. After a summer writing for Maxim, ESPN, and Sports Illustrated for Kids, Hofstetter turned his column into two books, and syndicated it in several newspapers.
JOE SHIRLEY – WINEMAKER, NAPA CELLARS
In 1968, Napa Valley winery owners and grape growers joined forces to have Napa Valley declared the country’s first agricultural preserve. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. City sprawl and freeways soon transformed nearby agricultural regions into bedroom communities for San Francisco. Napa was protected.
Then in 1976, a blind tasting held in Paris pitted a Napa Valley wine against the best wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy. The Napa Valley wine won, and the world’s perception of Napa Valley changed forever.
The same year that Napa was granted the status of agricultural preserve, self-made man Charlie R. Woods founded our winery on five and a half acres of prime Oakville soil. In the 1970s, he built a geodesic dome there to store barreled wine, and he concentrated on making reds, in particular Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The winery changed hands a number of times before being purchased in 1996 by Koerner Rombauer and Rich Frank. That’s when we earned our reputation for rich, buttery Chardonnay—a style that was becoming popular in the United States at the time.
A decade later, the Trinchero family was looking for a winery property that would capture the essence of Napa. Napa Cellars, with its ideal Oakville location and fame for luscious Chardonnay and authentic Napa reds, was the obvious choice. Winemaker Joe Shirley came on board a year later, in 2007. He has since introduced French oak to our Chardonnay for a more balanced and contemporary style of wine.
Though Napa Valley is small—30 miles long and only a few miles across as its widest point—its varied microclimates and soils make it possible to successfully grow a variety of wine grapes. That gives us the luxury to choose the best fruit for each wine we make without ever having to look beyond the Napa Valley.
ABOUT JOE: Joe is that rare bird known as a California native. He was born in Long Beach, raised in Napa Valley and after high school headed back down south to earn his Bachelor of Arts degree in Exercise Physiology from Occidental College in Los Angeles.
Just a short time later, Joe enrolled at the University of California, Davis where he received a Master of Science in Enology. After college, Joe launched his winemaking career at Sonoma-Cutrer in 1997. He joined Trinchero Family Estates in 1999 as enologist and worked his way up to winemaker for Trinchero Family Selection and Trinchero Napa Wines in 2002. In 2007, Joe accepted the position as head winemaker for Napa Cellars.
Beyond the artistic side of winemaking, Joe is also a leader in the technical aspects of his craft. His work on grape seed tannins was published in the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture. Joe also researched and a co-authored a letter published in the Lancet (the British equivalent of the Journal of the American Medical Association) on the phenolic content of chocolate.
Joe makes his home in Napa with wife Monette and daughter Savannah. In his spare time Joe follows baseball, enjoys beer and power tools, and does the NY Times’ Sunday crossword puzzle in pen. Joe once bowled a 252.