WineCountry.com Personality - Kathy Glass

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wcPersonalityPlatypusKathyGlass.jpgA Northern California Favorite with a Southern Accent

When you think of all the best things about the South, gentle conversation, gracious living, and good food come to mind. Nothing is hurried and everything is savored.

That southern tradition adds an extra element to Wine County exploration when you meet Kathy Glass, of Platypus Tours. She imbues the California past time of wine tasting and winery tours with a little southern accent. When you hear the soft lilt of her Alabama upbringing; you know that hospitality and home cooking will be as much a part of your experience as will talking about terroir and grape varietals.

Kathy's first big career was in the financial sector in New York. While Kathy loved her life in the city, 18 years later she traded in her panty hose and pumps for jeans with a taint of vineyard dust and sneakers. She met and married her husband Don and together they started Platypus Tours, a wine tours company, in 2004. Don, who was always in the food and wine industry, found a bus on eBay that was located in St. Louis. He purchased that bus and drove it back to Napa to begin offering specialized tours to meet growing demand. 
Kathy joined him in 2006, first as cheerleader and then later became known as Director of Macaroni Salad. Kathy's talent with the picnic staple earned her that honorary title, and her secret ingredient was the mayonnaise she imported from the South with the help of her family and friends. The Bama mayo ended up in her father's suitcase during many family visits.

Still pursuing her passion for good food, Kathy recently finished immersion training at the Culinary Institute of America, in St. Helena. As a CWP (Certified Wine Professional), Kathy now leads personalized culinary tours through Napa and Sonoma Valleys. These are one-on-one progressive dinners (which is Southern for lunch) at some of the most interesting winery stops in both Napa and Sonoma counties.  Kathy's wine and food pairings are part of her mission to help others enjoy the full breadth of wine varietals and the many delicious foods that help create the harmonizing experience.  "I enjoy cooking very much," Kathy said, "and there are certain things I have perfected. I have taken some of those ideas and those foods, and I work with wineries to take the pairing to a different level."

Only open to one or two couples, a progressive dinner will start with an appetizer at one winery, followed by a main course at another, finishing with a cheese and dessert course at a third. The course is paired with up to four wines and each wine pairing is explored through conversation and education. Many of Kathy's seasonal dishes are locally sourced, some right from her own garden. These tours are only available mid-week (Tuesday through Thursday) and only by advance appointment.

Describing herself as a reformed wine snob, she says "You will come out with an appreciation of wines you didn't previously have." Naming Zinfandel and Cabernet as past preferences, she related "I used to only drink certain varietals and then I had an 'ah ha' moment". That moment occurred during a tasting of sauerkraut and Riesling. It was from this "ah ha" moment that the Progressive Dinner tour was born.

Next time you are in Napa or Sonoma Valleys , why not give our very own Director of Macaroni Salad a call to reserve one of the Platypus wine tasting tours or Kathy's complete culinary tour.  Kathy's culinary tour will surely prove to make for an unforgettable experience.  "It is my mission to help others enjoy the full breadth of wine varietals and the many delicious foods that help create the harmonizing experience, and I figured out how to do it with Southern charm".

Platypus Tours
2471 Solano Avenue
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 253-2723


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1 Comments

Great article about a super woman. Way to go Kathy Glass!

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