On April 14, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns & Roses, the Beastie Boys, Donovan, the Small Faces, Cosimo Matassa, Don Kirshner, Freddie King, and producers Tom Dowd and Glyn Jones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. On hand for the ceremony were Santa Maria Valley vintners Matt and Amanda Murphy, owners of the Presqu’ile (pronounced “press-keel”) Winery, and their extended family, who had been invited to serve their wines at the annual event.
I recently had the chance to sit down and discuss the event with Amanda Murphy, who explained, “Really, this experience was the greatest thing we’ve ever done. I wasn’t joking when I went up to the CEO of the rock hall and said, ‘I thought my wedding was the greatest party ever, but I was wrong!’” What follows is an edited version of our conversation.
How was Presqu’ile chosen to serve at the event?
We lucked out! Our in-laws are friends with the CEO of the Hall of Fame. We were asked to do it last year, but we just didn’t have the volume to serve wine at such a large event. I hope we get to do it every year! It was so much fun.
What did you serve?
We served the chardonnay and pinot on Friday at the VIP reception and also on the actual induction night. We got a lot of positive responses about the wines. The hall had never partnered with a wine distributor before, so it was great for them to get to serve a nice wine at the event.
How did you choose which wines to serve?
The chardonnay and the pinot are our two entry-level blends, and we thought it was fitting for them to be served. Our distributor also carries these wines, including our sauvignon blanc. The hall actually ran out of our wines, so it was a good sign to us that everyone liked the wines!
Who did you get to see?
We got to meet Slash, Alice Cooper, Michael J. Fox, and ZZ Top. Since we were staying in the same hotel as many of these artists, we got to see them outside of the hall. We also got to meet Aziz Ansari, and I actually got to have a lovely conversation with him. The Beastie Boys, Ronnie Wood, and all of the [Small] Faces were staying at the hotel too. To be inducted in the ceremony, you at least had to have put out your first album in the last 25 years. I got a little teary-eyed when the Beastie Boys made their speech, but overall it was just amazing. We also got to see Green Day, who opened the show, Bette Midler, LL Cool Jay, Chris Rock, Smokey Robinson, and Chuck D. Kid Rock and Travie McCoy and also the Roots did a Beastie Boys performance. Everyone got up on stage and rocked it out. George Clinton even got up on stage and split his pants right in front of us!
Would you go back?
We would go every year if we could! The next two years will be held in Manhattan, and then they’ll return to Cleveland. It was such a large event that we understand now why it can be a burden on the city that hosts the event. Because our in-laws have the ties to the CEO, we hope we will receive invitations to serve Presqu’ile at every future event.
Any other cool stories?
We even got to go to Hall of Fame CEO Terry Stewart’s home and see his incredible record collection. He used to run Marvel Comics, so it seems like he’s lived five incredible lives! Even though he may retire in the next few years, we all agreed that he is one of the coolest people we know. He’s definitely living the dream.
To taste wines for yourself, visit Presqu’ile Winery at 5391 Presqu’ile Drive in the Santa Maria Valley. For more info, call 805-937-8110 or see presquilewines.com.