Elizabeth Spencer Winery Launches Kathleen Thompson Hill Kitchen Memories Collection
Rutherford Cross estate becomes permanent home to historic culinary collection
RUTHERFORD, Calif. (October 26, 2022) – Boisset Collection today announced the opening of the Kathleen Thompson Hill Kitchen Memories Collection, a permanent exhibit of culinary relics, some dating back to the 1800s, which is among the largest collections of historic kitchen utensils on display in the United States. United and the first of its kind in a California winery.
The Kitchen Memories collection perfectly blends the themes of nostalgia, innovation and culture. The exhibition is now open to guests by appointment; reservations can be booked in advance on the Elizabeth Spencer website. Guests will experience the exhibit on a step-by-step guided tour and wine tasting that begins at Elizabeth Spencer in the historic 1872 brick post office. The interactive, multi-dimensional exhibit comes to life on a deeper level by linking each kitchen tool display to video interviews with Hill describing each tool’s origin, use, and historical relevance.
“We are honored to be the guardians of this unprecedented collection of historic kitchen tools,” said Jean-Charles Boisset, owner of Boisset Collection. “Cooking utensils are essential to cooking, and the kitchen is not just where we come together to create the food that nourishes our bodies; we also feed our souls through the memories we create when we cook a meal. Everyone has a cooking memory.
Kathleen Thompson Hill has been collecting kitchen tools for four decades. Many are from California, when she traveled inexpensively across the state with her husband Gerald Hill, and many more are from all over the world, including France, England, Canada, Japan, the Philippines and more. Some pieces date as far back as the 1800s. Kathleen bought each piece on a budget of $3, until the amount was increased to $8. Since then, Kathleen has amassed the largest collection of historic cookware on display in the United States.
“I am thrilled to share my Kitchen Memories collection, its history and the culinary culture it represents, and I thank Jean-Charles Boisset for making this possible,” said Kathleen Thompson Hill. “Join us to explore your cooking memories and possibly share them as well. Enjoy some laughs and maybe even some nostalgic tears, and have a great time,” she concluded.
Jean-Charles and Kathleen got to know each other when Buena Vista Winery became part of the Boisset Collection in 2011. Kathleen personally visited Jean-Charles, his wife and parents through Kitchen Memories when the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art presented a temporary exhibition. of part of his collection in 2013. Deeply passionate about food, wine, history and preservation, Jean-Charles was inspired to preserve the collection and share it with others, and nearly a decade later he acquired the entire collection and created a permanent home for it at Elizabeth Spencer.
Highlights of the exhibition include a collection of recipe lithographs by Alice Louise Waters from Chez Panisse restaurant featuring the artwork and calligraphy of David Lance Goines; a Toast-O-Lator (1948), a conveyor belt toaster with a Spy-O-Lator window to watch your toast go by; and the first three scoops of American ice cream. Tributes to Julia Child, who brought French cuisine and taught it to the American public, and American food writer and essayist MFK Fisher highlight intimate stories of Kathleen’s personal connection to them.
Since joining Boisset Collection last December, Elizabeth Spencer has seen a number of upgrades: legendary winemaker Heidi Barrett became consulting winemaker alongside longtime winemaker Sarah Vandendriessche; new tasting experiences have been created; the estate gardens and tasting room have been renovated and more.
For more information, visit Elizabeth Spencer’s website.
ABOUT ELIZABETH SPENCER
At the crossroads of Rutherford, the undisputed “heart” of Napa Valley, Rutherford, CA (Pop. 525), Elizabeth Spencer is a sought-after destination rooted in history, housed in a historic 1872 post office strategically located on the Highway 29 between Yountville and Sainte-Hélène. Founders and husband and wife team, Elizabeth Pressler and Spencer Graham each fell in love with wine independently and embarked on careers in the wine industry before they met. After their marriage, they pursued their vision together and established their winery in 1998, naming it after each of them – Elizabeth and Spencer – to reflect their committed partnership. Elizabeth Spencer Winery is the realization of their dream.
ABOUT THE BOISSET COLLECTION
Boisset is a family-owned collection of historic and unique wineries and lifestyle destinations linked by a common cause: authentic, terroir-driven wines in harmony with their history, their future and the land and people essential to their existence. . With over twenty-six historic and prestigious distillery and sparkling wineries in major terroirs around the world, including Burgundy, Beaujolais, Jura, the Rhone Valley, Southern France, the Russian River Valley in California and Napa Valley. Its California vineyards include: DeLoach Vineyards, Raymond Vineyards, Buena Vista Winery and JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset. His French properties include: Domaine de la Vougeraie, Jean-Claude Boisset, Bouchard Aîné et Fils, J. Moreau et Fils, Louis Bouillot, Domaine Maire, Fortant and Bonpas. Each house maintains its unique history, identity and style, and all are united in the search for fine wines that express their terroir. Wine is at the center of Boisset’s mission and is complemented by spirits, beer, gourmet products and luxury products. Boisset has a long history of championing Certified Sustainable, Organic and Biodynamic® practices at its Sonoma County, Napa Valley and France estates, and Elizabeth Spencer aligns with the same commitment. The two wineries also defend the leadership of women in the world, the respect of history and the commitment to conviviality as a fundamental value. Boisset is renowned for being an advocate of American wine history, including his restoration of Buena Vista Winery, Oakville Grocery, and Calistoga Depot, in addition to his two museums celebrating wine history – at Buena Vista Winery and the 1881 Napa Museum at the Oakville Wine Merchant.
To learn more about the Boisset Collection, visit our website.