Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

Napa Valley Vintners Pledges $1 Million to the CIA at Copia

Recent event in the Napa Valley Vintners Theater with Food Network star and CIA alum, Amanda Freitag ’89

Napa, CA – The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) has joined the world’s premier culinary college by pledging $1 million over 10 years to support The Culinary Institute of America’s (CIA) new Copia campus in Napa.

The CIA will name its state-of-the-art wine tasting and culinary demonstration theater at Copia in honor of the NVV. Offering daily programs starting this fall, the Napa Valley Vintners Theater will bring together acclaimed vintners, chefs, visiting scholars, educators, and food and wine leaders who shape the industry for compelling and thought-provoking programs.

“The Culinary Institute of America is honored to have partnered with the Napa Valley Vintners in pursuit of excellence in wine education over the past 20 years. We look forward to continuing this partnership at the CIA’s Copia facility and beyond,” said Thomas Bensel, managing director of the CIA’s California campus.

The CIA and NVV have a history of collaboration dating back to the opening of the Greystone campus in St. Helena in 1995. The organizations partnered on the launch of the Greystone wine programs, NVV supported the Napa Valley Vintners Sensory Classroom at the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies, and the NVV and CIA are longtime sponsors of the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers.

“The CIA has been a tremendous partner to us, providing numerous opportunities that support our mission to promote the Napa Valley wine region,” said Linda Reiff, president and CEO of the NVV. “We’re excited to be part of the new CIA facility, which will offer wine education for consumers and wine professionals, and create unique marketing opportunities for our 525-plus winery members.”

The NVV’s pledge is funded by proceeds from the wine trade association’s annual Premiere Napa Valley barrel tasting and auction, held each February since 1997 at the CIA’s Greystone facility. (No proceeds from Auction Napa Valley, the NVV’s other annual fundraiser which benefits local community health and children’s education charitable nonprofits, will be used toward this partnership.)

When it officially opens this fall, CIA at Copia will quickly become a focal point and gateway to the Napa Valley for wine and food lovers from around the world. Visitors will soon be able to enjoy wine tasting experiences, culinary demonstrations and classes, world-class dining, shopping, community events, and more. Napa Valley wines will be featured in ongoing educational programs and in a new tasting experience in the atrium of Copia. The NVV will also host many of its trade, consumer and member education programs at the facility.

Photo Captions and Hi-Res Images:

Photo 1 (top photo): The Napa Valley Vintners.
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Photo 2: Recent event in the Napa Valley Vintners Theater with Food Network star and CIA alum, Amanda Freitag ’89. (Photo credit: John Barkley/CIA)
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Media Contact:

Anne Girvin
Marketing Manager

About The Culinary Institute of America
Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to developing leaders in foodservice and hospitality, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers bachelor’s degree majors in management, culinary science, and applied food studies; associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts; and executive education through its Food Business School. The college also offers certificate programs and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its conferences and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry, and its worldwide network of 49,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food business. The CIA has campuses in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

About the Napa Valley Vintners
The Napa Valley Vintners nonprofit trade association has been cultivating excellence since 1944 by inspiring its more than 525 members to consistently produce wines of the highest quality, to provide environmental leadership and to care for the extraordinary place they call home. Learn more at

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