September 20, 2023

Episode #579 – The Unimaginable Road Trip That Ended 6 Months of Solitary Confinement

Episode 579 of Grape Encounters Radio represents the first significant road trip that Host David Wilson has taken after 6 months of chomping at the bit in solitary confinement, to visit Silver Oak Winery Co-Founder Bonny Meyer.

Wanting to squeeze as much as he possibly could in this trek up to Napa and Sonoma, David visited several mentors and friends along the way. It was a notably surreal journey to say the least and who better to recount it with than our announcer Brent Keast. Apart from being our golden voice of reason, Brent also happens to be an actor, voiceover talent AND winemaker. In this show I simply share my recent visit to Napa and Sonoma during freak weather that quickly devolved into lightening-ignited fires.

The purpose of the trip was, first and foremost, to do a very up-close and intimate interview with Silver Oak Winery Co-Founder Bonny Meyer, who just released her long-awaited book, “Perfectly Paired.” The book is a very personal look at the love story between her and Christian Brother Monk Justin Meyer. It all began when Bonny was in her late teens and, even though such a love story was absolutely unthinkable, it evolved into a relationship that has inspired lovers (and great winemakers) for decades. In this installment of Grape Encounters, David sets the stage for his upcoming two-part conversation with Bonny. David says, “I have done thousands of interviews with amazing folks from every corner of the wine world. This story, lovingly and intimately told by Bonny Meyer from home that she and Justin shared, will open your eyes and heart to unimaginable insights about unconditional love, the birth of world-class Cabernet Sauvignon, and finding light and meaning in immeasurable grief. I cannot recall ever being so profoundly moved during an interview. I wanted to spend part of this episode introducing listeners to this exceptional woman as a means of setting the stage for the next two episodes which I think will be deeply impactful to all who tune-in.” For those who think that luxury brands of any kind are the result profit-minded entrepreneurs, this is a story breaks that mold. The story of Silver Oak is not about a quest for fame and fortune. Justin and Bonny started their life together with a vehicle, a dog and not much else. Their unbridled passion to produce the world’s finest Cabernet was fueled by an unbridled passion for one-another.  

David’s one-day visit ended up evolving into 3 magical days of extraordinary conversation from Bonny’s Vineyard, followed by 3 additional whirlwind visits with mentors and friends who have had a profound impact on his life and career. Those visits include the GM and co-owner of our Napa and Sonoma affiliates; Michael O’Shea. Michael is a true radio legend and has contributed a great deal to the success of Grape Encounters. Next stop, Colleen Beaty. Colleen and David were responsible for developing a landmark economic recovery program in the days, weeks and months following 911. Finally, David’s last stop before heading home was an unforgettable dinner under the stars with now of America’s most beloved Sommeliers, Christopher Sawyer and his family. Christopher is probably best know as the “Sommelier to the Stars.” He’s been a favorite guest on the show for several years and never fails to bring grins, laughter and insights to every interview.

It was a trip filled with surreal moments. Many heartwarming, others heartbreaking. Most unforgettable. And so, a new chapter of Grape Encounters begins.

Today’s edition of Grape Encounters is brought to you by Total Wine & More, where you’ll find thousands of wines produced by folks who started with a dream and never looked back. Be sure to spend a little time online at You’ll be very glad you did!

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