Behind the Scenes

Herbed Focaccia Bread

Herbed Focaccia Bread 1200 750 Round Pond Estate

This focaccia bread recipe was created by our Executive Chef Jamie Prouten to serve in alongside our Il Pranzo Lunch and Garden to Table Brunch.  It’s a wonderfully versatile and always welcome side to any meal or cheese plate, and so easy to make.

Ingredients
4 cups warm water
3 Tbsp yeast
2 ½ Tbsp sugar
12 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp sea salt
2 ½ cups Round Pond Italian Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup Round Pond Infused Garlic Olive Oil
2 Tbsp assorted dried Italian herbs (optional)

Place water, yeast, and sugar in a bowl and place in a warm environment until mixture begins to bubble – about 10-15 minutes.  Meanwhile, mix flour and salt in a kitchen-aid mixer bowl.  When yeast mixture is ready, add to the mixer bowl along with 1 ¼ cups of Italian Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Mix on low speed with the dough hook attachment for 4-5 minutes, or until the dough forms into a ball.  Increase the speed to medium and mix for 3-4 minutes more.

Remove dough from mixing bowl and place in a separate oiled mixing bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and put the bowl in a warm place to proof until it has doubled in size (about 2 hours).

Once the dough is proofed, brush two ½ sheet trays with Italian olive oil.  Cut dough in half and place a half on each sheet tray.  Using your hands, start to form the dough into the shape of the pan, making sure it is evenly spread to the edges.  Use your fingertips to poke holes into the spread-out dough creating holes and wells.  Cover with plastic wrap as before and let the dough double in size once again.

When the dough has doubled, drizzle with garlic olive oil and season with sea salt and herbs as desired.  Bake in a 400F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown. Slice and serve.  Enjoy!

About the FEED

About the FEED 2048 1368 Round Pond Estate

About The Feed

The FEED is the ultimate source for Round Pond-inspired wine pairings, delicious recipes, and effortless entertaining. As a family, we have always enjoyed sharing stories and creating new memories around the table with fantastic wine and food as the centerpiece. We are grateful to be able to share this joy and all that comes from our estate with you.

Here’s what you’ll find on The FEED:

Recipes
With six acres of gardens and a dedicated master gardener and chef, we at Round Pond heartily embrace the “farm to table” lifestyle.  Enjoy these recipes from our Winery Chef and bring the taste of Round Pond home.

Live like a (Napa) Local
This is your guide for where to stay, where to eat, where to go and what to do.  Get our staff-favorite fellow wineries and restaurants, owners Ryan & Miles MacDonnell’s list of must-do experiences in the Valley, and more.  Follow our lead and truly live like a local while you’re here.

Live like a (Napa) Local – At Home
Get tips and how-to advice on how to bring a Napa—and Round Pond—feel to your home, garden and table.  Host your own olive oil tasting, farm your garden organically, pair food and wine like an expert, and more.

Life at Round Pond – Behind the Scenes
To make something great, you’ve got to roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty and make sure to keep your sense of humor along the way!  We share how we make our artisan wines and foods with an eye on the integrity and purity of our estate products.

Subscribe to The FEED and never miss an email!

Top 5 Tips For Holiday Entertaining In Napa Valley Style

Top 5 Tips For Holiday Entertaining In Napa Valley Style 1200 750 Round Pond Estate

With its pleasing laid-back vibe and beautiful attention to detail, Napa Valley is famous for its comfortable yet elegant aesthetic.  This combination translates perfectly into an approach to entertaining for the holidays that wows guests with sophistication and polish, yet is easy to execute.

Here are our top 5 tips for bringing the spirit of Napa Valley to your next holiday gathering…

 TOP 5 TIPS

1. Seasonal Decor

Whatever is in bloom or handy in your garden can be used to dress your table.  Seasonal herbs, potted plants, evergreen boughs, pomegranates, persimmons, or bundles of holly interspersed with votives or fairy-lights can make a holiday table magical.  When you can, try to mix rustic woods together with vintage industrial copper or metal for an elegant farmhouse feel.  An added plus: if you use potted flowers or plants, they make lovely gifts to send home with your guests at night’s end.

 

2. Garden to Table

Bring seasonal produce to the table as much as possible.  Most all fruit or produce stands close during the winter months, but try to find a farmer’s market to shop, or a higher-end grocery store to get the pick of seasonal fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and local specialty international markets that can inspire and set the base for your menu.

 

3. Keep in Simple

Establish a color theme and stick to it.   Whether you go for a traditional red and green or blue and silver, keep your look cohesive and your sanity (and budget) in check by sticking to a unifying theme.  Scour your existing decor collection for items that fit into your color palate and source your decorative accents from what you already have before you shop for additional elements.   Make sure to bring some of the bright colors into your appetizer and food display with fresh fruits and vegetables – color is key to stimulating your appetite and your senses, plus the more vibrant the color the more healthful the food.

 

4. Keep It Intimate

The ideal number of people for a party is between 10-30 so that you can actually have time to enjoy your guests.  To keep the party going and infuse new energy into your circle, ask your guests to invite someone they think is interesting to keep the conversation lively and fresh. Want to make your party even more special?  Use a free design site like canva.com to create invitations, identifying signs for your appetizer table and drink bar, or to make personalized menus.

 

5. Wine Paring is Key

What comes first?  The menu or the wine?  Wine and food should complement each other, so this is where special attention should be paid.  Food and wine pairing guides are easy to find on the internet (we like this one).  Depending on your access to seasonal foods, you might want to design your wine choice around your menu.  However, if you are a confirmed wine lover and can’t wait to share your favorite wine with your friends, let your wine choices dictate the meal to come.  Better yet, ask your guests to bring their favorite wine to share!

From all of us at Round Pond, we wish you a healthy and happy holiday season!

Balsamic-Glazed Chicken With Beets & Figs

Balsamic-Glazed Chicken With Beets & Figs 1200 750 Round Pond Estate

Chef Jamie Prouten’s latest Il Pranzo recipe is a wonderful combination of the sultry flavors and colors of autumn!  Delicious balsamic-glazed chicken is topped by earthy roasted beets and figs tossed in our singular Blood Orange olive oil and crowned with fresh arugula.  Pairs perfectly with our Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

Ingredients
1 whole chicken, cut into 8 (or 2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 breasts but in half)
2 large red beets
¼ cup + 1 tbsp Round Pond Italian Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
1 bunch thyme
2 Tbsp salt
2 tsp pepper
¼ cup Round Pond Cabernet-Merlot Blend Red Wine Vinegar
1 cup balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp sugar
2 pints fresh figs, halved
1 cup baby arugula
2 tbsp Round Pond Blood Orange Olive Oil 

Place beets in a roasting pan and add the 1 tablespoon Italian Varietal oil, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and Cabernet-Merlot Red Wine Vinegar.  Toss to mix and then add 1 cup of water.  Cover with foil and roast in a 350 degree oven for about 2 hours.

Next, marinate the chicken in 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, remaining Italian olive oil, and thyme.  Let marinate for a minimum of 2 hours as beets cook.

Once the beets are fork tender, remove from oven and let cool, then peel the skin off them.  Cut into large chunks and set aside.

While the chicken is marinating and beets are cooking, make the balsamic glaze by adding the balsamic vinegar and sugar to a small pot and bring to a simmer.  Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, then remove from heat and let cool.

Once fully marinated, season the chicken with more salt and pepper and then grill on barbecue until cooked through.  Remove from grill and add chicken to a large mixing bowl, tossing with 2 tablespoons of the balsamic glaze.  Place the chicken on a large platter.

Toss the beets and figs in Blood Orange Olive Oil, then place them on top of the chicken.  Top with arugula and then drizzle with more of the balsamic glaze. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6

Grilled Flank Steak With Crispy Potatoes

Grilled Flank Steak With Crispy Potatoes 1200 750 Round Pond Estate

From our Il Pranzo menu, this delicious grilled flank steak with crispy potatoes, kale chips, and black garlic vinaigrette is everything dinner should be; simple, flavorful, and a real crowd-pleaser. Created to pair perfectly with our Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

Ingredients
1 head black garlic, peeled
1 tsp chopped thyme
½ shallot, chopped
¼ cup Round Pond Cabernet-Merlot Red Wine Vinegar
2/3 cup Round Pond Italian Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Tbsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 each flank steak (medium sized)
16 each baby Yukon Gold potatoes, cooked whole until fork tender
1 bunch Dino kale, stems removed
olive oil for drizzling
salt and pepper to taste

To make the vinaigrette, place garlic, thyme, shallot, vinegar, and salt and pepper into a blender.  Puree until smooth, then add 1/3 cup of olive oil and blend.  Check seasoning and reserve.

For the kale chips, make sure kale stems are removed and place the leaves in a mixing bowl, seasoning lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place the leaves on a parchment paper-lined baking tray and bake in a 375 degree oven for 7-10 minutes or until crispy.

Slightly flatten the cooked potatoes with your hands and then place them on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake at 375 for 15 minutes until they are golden brown and start to get crispy around the edges.

Next, season your flank steak with salt and pepper.  Cook flank steak on a grill until done to your liking. When done, remove from grill and let rest for a minimum of 5 minutes. While the meat is resting, place the potatoes on a platter.  Slice the flank steak very thin, cutting across the grain of the meat.  Place the flank steak slices on top of the potatoes, drizzle with the black garlic vinaigrette and top with the kale chips.  Enjoy!

Serves 4

Olive Risotto Arancini

Olive Risotto Arancini 1200 750 Round Pond Estate

Our most popular appetizer and most-requested recipe, this fried olive risotto arancini is perfect for any party and is a real show-stopper!  Pairs wonderfully with our Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon.

Ingredients
1/2 lb arborio rice
1/4 yellow onion, minced
1/8 lb butter
3 cups vegetable stock
1/4 lb grated Parmesan
1/3 lb Castelvetrano olives, minced
1/4 cup Round Pond Italian Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
3 whole eggs, beaten

Melt butter in large flat-bottomed pan. Add onions and cook on low heat until translucent. When onions are ready, turn the heat to medium and add rice. Stir rice until evenly coated with butter.  Add vegetable stock a cup at a time, letting the liquid reduce each time. When the last cup of stock is reduced until the consistency of stiff oatmeal, add the olives, Italian Varietal  Olive Oil and Parmesan cheese.  Season with salt to your liking and pour onto a baking sheet to let cool.

When completely cooled, roll the risotto into balls that are slightly smaller than a golf ball. Then toss them in flour, then dip in egg and then in panko breadcrumbs.  Deep fry the arrancini at 350 degrees for about 4 minutes or until golden brown. Should yield about 40-50 arancinis.

Roasted Garlic Aioli
2 egg yolks
1 cup Round Pond Italian Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup Round Pond Garlic Infused Oil
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp salt

Place yolks in a food processor with lemon juice. Turn on and slowly add the oils. Do not add too fast or aioli will break. Once all the oil is added, season with salt.

To serve, put a dollop of aioli evenly spaced on a platter, and place one arancini ball on each dollop.  Serve and enjoy!

Top 5 Tips For Entertaining In Napa Valley Style

Top 5 Tips For Entertaining In Napa Valley Style 600 401 Round Pond Estate

With its pleasing laid-back vibe and beautiful attention to detail, Napa Valley is famous for its rustic yet elegant aesthetic.  This combination translates perfectly into an approach to entertaining that wows guests with sophistication and polish, yet is easy (and fun!) to pull off

We asked our Special and Private Events Manager Jenn Sarkisian for her top 5 tips to bring the best of Napa Valley’s vibe to your next party!

 TOP 5 TIPS 

1. Seasonal Decor

Whatever is in bloom or handy in your garden can be used to dress your table. Providing it is safe to be around food, Jenn is a fan of incorporating seasonal herbs, potted plants, vines, and flowering branches into the event decor.  When you can, try to mix rustic woods together with vintage industrial copper or metal for an elegant farmhouse feel.  “The first 5 minutes of any party is the time to WOW your guests.  Bringing the outdoors to the table lets your guests feel like they’re one with the season and sets the mood at first glance.” An added plus: if you use potted flowers or plants, they make lovely gifts to send home with your guests at night’s end!

 

2. Garden to Table

Bring seasonal produce to the table as much as possible. “Supporting local vendors and buying seasonal produce is big in Napa Valley”, says Jenn.  If you don’t have a fruit or produce stand in your area, try to find a farmer’s market to shop, or a higher-end grocery store to get the pick of seasonal fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and local specialty goods that can inspire and set the base for your menu.

 

3. Tease the Palate

The appetizers will set the stage for what is to come on the menu, so keep it exciting!  Jenn asserts that “people love new ideas and combinations for appetizers – the more inventive the better, and presentation is huge!”  Dress up your cheese or charcuterie platter with edible garnish like pickled green beans or watermelon, add chocolate-covered espresso beans to accompany a cheese with an espresso rind – do the unexpected.  Make sure to bring some of the bright colors into your appetizer display with fresh fruits and vegetables – color is key to stimulating your appetite and your senses, plus the more vibrant the color the more healthful the food.

 

4. Have No Fear of Intimacy

The ideal number of people for a party is between 10-30 so that you can actually have time to enjoy your guests.  To keep the party going and infuse new energy into your circle, “Ask your guest to invite someone they think is interesting to keep the conversation lively and fresh.  A chef, a student, someone in the military – anyone that would enjoy meeting new people” says Jenn.  Want to make your party even more special?  Use a free design site like canva.com to create invitations, identifying signs for your appetizer table and drink bar, or to make personalized menus.

 

5. Wine Paring is Key

What comes first?  The menu or the wine?  Wine and food should complement each other, so this is where special attention should be paid.  Food and wine pairing guides are easy to find on the internet (we like this one).  Depending on your access to seasonal foods, you might want to design your wine choice around your menu.  However, if you are a confirmed wine lover and can’t wait to share your favorite wine with your friends, let your wine choices dictate the meal to come.  Better yet, ask your guests to bring their favorite wine to share!  Jenn says that “in the Valley, everybody wants to bring a bottle – it’s kind of like Napa etiquette!”

“The most important thing to remember when hosting”, says Jenn, “is what Maya Angelou said; ‘At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.'”

Dogs of Round Pond Estate

Dogs of Round Pond Estate 600 350 Round Pond Estate

The MacDonnell family has always loved dogs, and they are an integral part of the vineyards, family, and Round Pond office life.  The Estate Dogs are as different as can be from each other but make a great (and rowdy) pack!  When not out on their multiple daily walks, strolling the vineyards, or resting with their humans at home, they can be found hanging in the Estate offices providing comic relief and daily cuddles to the office staff.  Here’s your chance to meet The Dogs of Round Pond.


Vega’s Human: Miles MacDonnell, Owner
Breed: German Shepard
Favorite Toy: Whatever Bunker has
Best Trick: Can open office doors on her own by jumping on the handle, and lets herself and dog friends back in from outside
Personality in One Word: Sweetie
Nickname/Most Heard Phrase: “Good Girl”

Vega is the ultimate watchdog! Forever alert and watchful, she is the supervisor/mom of the office, and first to greet anyone walking through our office doors (you learn very quickly who is a dog-lover).

She is decidedly silent unless you are the dog-washer coming to give her a bath, and then she absolutely makes her displeasure heard.  When the office staff has birthday parties and gathers in the kitchen for cake, Vega will run quick, funny laps around the table as “Happy Birthday” is sung.

When she is at home, she likes to be around her people constantly.  She loves attention but is not a “romper” like her dog brother Bunker.  Silent and protective, she is the ultimate Nanny-Dog, and will sleep outside of the children’s rooms at night keeping watch!

 

Bunker’s Human: Miles MacDonnell, Owner
Breed: Labrador Retriever
Favorite Toy: Anything chewable
Best Trick: Making unattended office lunches disappear
Personality in One Word: Hungry. Always HUNGRY.
Nickname/Most Heard Phrase: “NO Bunker!”

Bunker is a complete ball of energy, the quintessential joker, with a totally goofy teenage boy attitude.  He loves to wrestle and play with his dog cousin, Kingston, and has restless little feet that are constantly moving, even as he is standing in one place.

Sister Vega taught him how to open doors, so any closed door in the office is a challenge for him.  Bunker is such a little dude that sometimes it takes a couple tries to get his full weight on the handle to open the door (leaving a telltale mark of scratched doors behind him).  He is also trained as a water retriever dog and LOVES to swim.  He will jump into any creek, pool, river, or stream he sees, regardless of the weather or temperature.

At home, Bunker needs attention, because if left on his own for too long, he is sure to get into trouble.  Miles firmly believes that he has some farmer genes in him because he will dig up and relocate (but not re-plant) various plants and shrubs as he sees necessary.  Bunker will also help with landscaping by eating any fruit from trees that land on the ground, and occasionally re-arrange outdoor furniture and lighting on his own!

 

Kinston’s Human: Ryan MacDonnell Bracher, Owner
Breed: Bernese Mountain Dog
Favorite Toy: All toys are his favorite until he shreds them
Best Trick: Dropping paper that is usually in his mouth
Personality in One Word: Goofy
Nickname/Most Heard Phrase: “Fluffy” & “What’s in your mouth AGAIN?”

Kingston is the fun-loving, loafing junior-high kid of the office.  He’s always ready to run around and party with his pack, but also can drop at any time for a long nap under Ryan’s chair as she works.  Kingston is also incredibly bonded to Ryan and is never far from her side.  He LOVES attention and has a habit of jumping up slowly to put his front paws on your shoulders to give “hugs”.

Kingston seems to always be too hot!  During the dogs’ morning pack walks, he is always the first to plunge into the dew-wet grass and roll around to cool off.  He loves to sleep wherever the air conditioning is blowing, and is usually on his way to the water bowl or just coming back from it.  He loves to wrestle with cousin Bunker, and at 100 lbs, usually wins!  King is also a bit mischievous; the office staff has to guard their papers carefully because he loves to eat them (we can truly say the dog ate our homework).

At home, this sweet and cuddly boy is so very gentle with his 3 little human sisters.  He loves to roll over on his back while Ryan’s girls give him belly rubs and hugs, although their dad is somewhat jealous that Kingston gets more massages than he does!

 

Bear’s Humans: Mr. & Mrs. MacDonnell
Breed: Bernese Mountain Dog
Favorite Toy: His KONG Wubba
Best Trick: Takes the longest naps
Personality in One Word: Relaxed
Nickname/Most Heard Phrase: “Good Boy” & “Leave that cat alone!”

Bear is the biggest dog at Round Pond, but also the youngest. At 1 ½, he is Lucy’s big little brother.  He is still very much a puppy and still learning commands (all he knows is SIT, at the moment).  Loping alongside the other dogs during the daily pack walks, Bear will often tear away to chase the barn cats or to race Bunker to the nearest body of water and try to jump right in often right on top of Bunker.

Bear is a happy dog, and VERY affectionate.  He has a sweet, happy disposition, and he and Lucy go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Bear also acts as “Dog Police” when the other dogs get too rowdy in their play by running alongside them and barking them to order!

At home, Bear is a big dog with a big bark and will let his humans know the minute someone gets too close the house or grounds.  He has no concept of his actual size and is convinced that he is a lap dog that must lay in Mrs. MacDonnell’s lap as soon as she sits down.

 

Lucy’s Humans: Mr. & Mrs. MacDonnell
Breed: Labrador Retriever
Favorite Toy: Tennis balls
Best Trick: Flip onto her back and suddenly weigh a ton when she doesn’t want to do something
Personality in One Word: Wiggly
Nickname/Most Heard Phrase: “Down, Lucy!”

Lucy is the sweetest, happiest, wiggliest little girl dog you will ever meet.  Her pretty eyes have a gentle penetration that goes straight to your heart.  She is the “little sister” of the Round Pond dog pack and spends most of her time with her fellow pups licking them affectionately and rolling over on her back to play.

Full of boundless, happy energy, Lucy has a rare talent for jumping up on anyone not paying enough attention to her for her liking.  She is a little dog compared to the others, it’s only natural that she’d want to be seen.  Lucy is very attached to her brother Bear and is rarely far from his side.  They are inseparable!

At home, Lucy likes to be a close to her people as possible; so much so that she will try her best to climb up onto couches or beds with them, which is a big no-no.

Tips for Gorgeous Autumn Arrangements

Tips for Gorgeous Autumn Arrangements 1200 750 Round Pond Estate

We love this time of year!  The holidays bring joy, laughter, gratitude, and a plethora of friends and family get-togethers.  We’ve turned to our beloved “Flower And All Things Décor” expert, Gretchen Lawton, for tips on how to make your gatherings beautiful – simply.  See all of her tips below…


FALL ARRANGEMENT & DÉCOR TIPS

1. Be Creative – But Keep It Simple
Sometimes just using one beautiful piece from the same family can bring that rustic-yet-modern look to your centerpiece.  For a fat and full arrangement, stick to just one flower or one type of branch.  Make sure to use a lot of it for high impact.

2. Check Out The Produce Aisle Instead Of The Flower Mart
To find interesting subjects for your seasonal arrangements, try perusing the produce aisle at your local market or strolling the neighborhood farmers market.  Colorful and in-season fruits and veggies are often beautiful too.  Try artichokes, lemons, pomegranates, bell peppers, cabbage, leeks…you get the idea.

3. Use Interesting Materials
This is the perfect time to think outside of the box.  Whether it be a remarkable birds nest your kids found in the backyard, or cotton branches growing wild, the options are endless when drifting away from the norm.

4. Utilize Your Seasonal Offerings
Autumn brings an endless array of natural gifts for your table. Some of our favorites at Round Pond during the season include pumpkins, baby gourds, red oak branches, agapanthus, dried lavender, eucalyptus, curly willow,  geraniums, poke sally (a super cool and colorful weed), white tuberose, pink digaplexis and of course an enduring classic; beautiful and sturdy sunflowers.

Have fun, and Happy Holidays!

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