Husband and wife team, Rich and Leslie Frank, fell in love with Napa Valley separately and fell in love at Frank Family Vineyards together. Before devoting themselves full-time to our Napa Valley winery, the two enjoyed distinguished careers in Hollywood.
Rich’s love of wine first stemmed from his international travels as the President of Disney Studios. Leslie, an Emmy Award-winning journalist, developed her passion for wine while traveling for more than 25 years as a news anchor and reporter.
This former Hollywood couple has now found Napa Valley to be the ideal
place to live, entertain, and make great wine. “Family, wine and entertaining take center stage in our lives here in Napa Valley,” says Leslie. From small family gatherings and informal get-togethers with friends to large-scale charity dinners and winery events, the Franks love sharing the beauty of their surroundings and the fruits of their labor with the people closest to them.
A Celebrated Chef
When an avid entertainer like Leslie Frank pairs up with a culinary force like Chef Christina Machamer, winner of season four of FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen, the result is magic. Chef Christina is the Franks’ personal chef who not only cooks the daily meals for this on-the-go couple, she also excels at event design and menu curation. Chef Christina has worked side-by-side with some of the world’s top chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Thomas Keller before settling down to her burgeoning business in Napa Valley for the past decade. While her specialty is wholesome comfort food, thanks to her Midwest upbringing, Chef Christina is talented in a wide range of cuisines from French, Italian, and Asian to California farm-to-table.
The Franks work closely with Chef Christina throughout the year to create unique and memorable experiences for our guests, always pairing a beautiful setting with delicious food and wine. “Rich and Leslie love to entertain, and their style is always evolving,” says Machamer. “They are both warm and down-to-earth and that translates into the atmosphere of their events. Not all vintners are as open and gracious as the Franks, plus Rich always has a great story to tell from his previous career in Hollywood,” she continues.
Some of the unforgettable celebrations in their endless repertoire are fundraising events and charity dinners for prominent organizations such as Festival Napa Valley, Collabria Care, and the V Foundation, as well as winery-hosted gatherings like Frank Family’s Annual Chardonnay and Lobster dinner and harvest dinners in the courtyard. Whatever the occasion to bring everyone together, Rich and Leslie create authentic, elegant, and one-of-a-kind moments.
Food Loving Wines
Gathering over a glass of wine is the essence of Frank Family entertaining. Serving Frank Family wines with food is the way they were intended to be enjoyed after all. Winemaker and General Manager Todd Graff, who is celebrating his 20th anniversary with Frank Family this year, has mastered the artistry of winemaking from still and sparkling to late harvest and port.
“Frank Family’s wine portfolio is very comprehensive,” says Machamer. “I can’t think of a style or mainstream variety that isn’t represented – which makes my job easy.” While each wine is unique in character, they are all defined by purity of fruit, fresh acidity, and balance, a skill that requires finesse. Todd eschews high alcohol wines, favoring structurally elegant bottles where the grape characteristics are clearly translated. The result is extremely food-friendly and approachable wines begging to be paired with food.
Rich, Leslie, and the Frank Family team are on a mission to create an extraordinary destination where visitors can expand their knowledge of wine, food, and culture. We look forward to launching a brand-new event space directly behind our Calistoga tasting room, designed by famed architect Howard Backen. With plans to unveil the new hospitality area in late 2022, we are beyond excited for the possibilities it will bring!