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It is not every day that I'm invited to photograph a dinner party for hosts with the titles of Sir and Lady, and just as equally as exciting, I had an up close glimpse into an extraordinary piece of 18th Century history.
These fun moments began on Saturday when I was invited to photograph a private dinner party at the Peter Michael Winery which is tucked into the Calistoga hills. The guests began their evening by sipping perfectly chilled wine while taking in the beauty of the private lake and then we were caravaned up the mountain to one of the most spectacular dinner sites to be held!

This amazing perch sits just below the Mt. St. Helena summit.

A moment of fun with the shadows.

If the immense views and fine wines were not enough, the guests (and I) enjoyed a beautiful private performance by a very talented violinist; Elizabeth Pitcairn. Her talent alone is remarkable, however having it paired with the Red Violin was truly a treat. Take special note of the armed security guard behind her! I thought it was a bit odd to see security at such a private venue, but when she began discussing her violin and it's infinite history, well then it all started to come together. I wish I had the audio to share with you because the story of how she acquired her violin at the age of 16 was an amazing story! Here is a little glimpse of information that I pulled from the Internet:

The film (The Red Violin) was inspired by one of Stradivarius's violins, the Red Mendelssohn (1720), which is currently played by Elizabeth Pitcairn, whose grandfather purchased it for her 16th birthday for $1.7 million at auction at Christie's London. It is called "The Red Mendelssohn" because of a unique red stripe on its top right side, but how the stripe came about is unknown.


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