Richard Channing met his long-lost sister Julia for lunch at the Auberge du Soleil in an episode of 'Falcon Crest' first shown in 1982. "The salmon mousse is excellent," Richard recommended, pointing at the menu. "(Or) how about just some dessert and coffee?" 'TV Guide' reported in October 2013 of a "proposed new series" of 'Falcon Crest' featuring Richard Channing and Cole Gioberti. 

William Moses played Cole told the press at the time, "Warner Bros. owns the rights and so it's a discussion between them and the writers. There is a pitch and an idea germinating that has some traction. The producers contacted me to ask if I’d be interested, and I said yes. Where it goes on the producing side, I don’t know. Life was too small for Cole in the vineyards, so he went to Australia (in 1987) to form a new life. Because the character was left open-ended, I would be curious to see what that boy became as a man. I can see him coming back to the valley with a chip on his shoulder." 

Richard: Tell me about your work. 

Julia: I am an enologist. I'm responsible for all the aging and blending of the wine at Falcon Crest. 

Richard: Sound interesting. 

Julia: It is. 

Richard: You sound devoted. 

Julia: I am. 

Before Richard arrived in Tuscany Valley in 1982, Angela was told, "For the past several years he had been working as a power-broker where a large sum of money have changed hands. From energy cartels to world banking, from Asian refugee transport to war in the Middle East." Speaking to wine writer, Thomas P. Skeen in 2002, Professor Sara Spayd of the Washington State University said of winemaking, "It's not 'Falcon Crest'. It takes a lot of determination and willingness to work a lot more hours than most people are used to. Like owning a farm, a winery is a high-risk, 365-day-a-year job." 

Winemaker Kay Simon recounted, "It made all those organic chemistry classes worth it. My mother knew 30 years ago (back in 1971) it was important to keep a young girl interested in math and sciences. I've never been raised with the thought that, 'Oh, you're a girl.'" Professor Sara Spayd stressed, "It's not gender; it's competence. Kay has very high standards and she's goal oriented."

Angela to Jacqueline: Falcon Crest belongs to those who can control it and make it live. It belongs to me because I'm strong enough to make it produce. The future here belongs to anyone who has the skills and the raw guts to take it away from me.

Kay Simon went into the wine business with viticulturist Clay Mackey alone without other partners. Clay Mackey explained, "I think both of us felt strongly that we wanted to do the things we wanted to do without being second-guessed. We were each other's partner." Kay Simon added, "Although we joked that one of us should have married rich. I don't think we fully realized how much money it was going to take to do what we wanted to do. And I don't think we realized how risky it was until we borrowed money for the first time." 

Angela: What did you find out about Carlo Agretti's financial affair?

Phillip Erikson: Melissa inherits everything including all the debts. Without liquid asset - hard cash - I'm afraid Melissa is going to find it difficult to pay any state taxes.

Angela: Poor Melissa. All that land and no money.

"They were making some changes in the pilot of 'Falcon Crest,' including some cast changes," Robert Foxworth as Angela's nephew Chase recalled. "And I got a call asking me to look at a script and meet with Earl Hamner. I talked to Earl and he was just wonderful. But I must say I didn't think 'Falcon Crest' would be a hit. Other people told me it would be, but I didn't believe them. I guess it was a lack of faith on my part. They toughened my role up. The changes are still in progress. It evolved as the writers and producers saw what I was bringing to it. I don't think the character is there yet (in the first season)."

Carlo Agretti: Let's be completely honest Angela. Each of us have always wanted what the other has (the Agretti vineyard and the Falcon Crest winery). That is why this union between Melissa (Carlo's daughter) and Lance (Angela's heir apparent grandson) is so important. It's the only way either one of us will ever realize our dreams.

Angela: I have more than mere dreams. I have plans.

Robert Foxworth continued, "I think one important thing about my character is the almost fantasy thing of changing his life in midstream. Here's a guy in his 40s, with a good career as an airline pilot and he gives that up to start in the vineyards. As a result of that he gets involved in politics. The Napa Valley is filled with people like that. I think it enhances the character because it's a fantasy fulfillment."

In at least the first 7 episodes of the 1982-83 TV season of 'Falcon Crest', viewers were shown the "democratic process" function as well as the "judiciary system" and how the board voted on issues such as water rights and public land when Chase became an elected official and member of supervisor of the Tuscany County. Arguing "Mr Gioberti is a politician and I am a business woman", Angela told Chase, "I am a business woman and this is a business decision. Falcon Crest is a business Chase - not a charity. Good business is to pay for as little as you can. Don't think the wine industry is run like a charity because it isn't. It's a business - a tough business and I want Falcon Crest up on the top. Nobody said competition was easy on the stomach."

In June 1988, Mildred Howle reported, "In a sadly-funny footnote to history, the charming old Parrott Mansion, on the side of Spring Mountain above St. Helena, is now identified by a series of small, blue and white road signs, as Falcon Crest. The pilgrimages of devoted fans became so commonplace at Spring Mountain Winery, where the Parrott Mansion is a private home, that owner Mike Robbins was finally forced to add a tasting room and open the grounds to visitors.

"Later, realizing that those who came to taste his wines were being mightily disturbed by those who came to gawk and gape at the gables and cornices of the house, he separated the two audiences by transforming the gardener’s cottage into a gift shop where wine could be purchased, out not tasted, and where the devotees buy 'Falcon Crest' tee-shirts, posters, postcards and other memorabilia. It works well, particularly since many of the purely 'Falcon Crest' viewers are often accompanied by small children who quickly tire of watching people sip and swirl.

"There is also an escorted walking tour through the grounds which surround the house, with adequate stops along the way for photo opportunities. The $4 charge for the tour may be applied toward the purchase of a bottle of wine or 9 souvenir. For the winery-oriented, there are two winery tours - one at 10:30 a.m. and the other at 2:30 p.m. Spring Mountain Winery is constructed on the famous Miravalle vineyards where Tiburcio Parrott grew select French varietals and made wine which was nationally acclaimed 100 years ago (in 1888).

"The wines are available in all 50 states, with the bulk of the production selling in New York, Texas, Colorado, Arizona and California. All the wines, even some of the 1979 vintage, are available for tasting at the winery. Don't look for the stars of the television series, however, when you drop by. Greg Vita, winemaker, tells us the production company has so much footage that they have shot over the years (1981 to 1987) that they only spend 4 or 5 days a year at the winery.

"'Every year,' he adds, 'the producers of 'Falcon Crest' tell us that the show will probably only run a year or two longer, but it just keeps going.' There is, of course, a Falcon Crest wine, with the famous mansion on the label, so, as you watch re-runs, you can double your 'Falcon Crest' involvement. This may not be the first place you will read this story, nor will it be the last, but it is the sort of icon-toppler that all of those fighting wine snobbism love. It concerns a blend tasting of California cabernets - including such gems as a 1978 Jordan, 1983 Caymus and a 1983 Joseph Phelps Insignia."

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