Ilona Thompson

Ilona Thompson

Ilona grew up in St Petersburg & moved to San Francisco Bay Area a couple of decades ago to pursue her passion for food & wine. She spends much of her time traveling in Northern California wine country. She writes about her culinary & wine adventures (with an occasional artisanal cocktail present) that take her to just about every major food & wine festival for the last two decades. She knows her way around the most notable, exclusive wine & food events. Her inner winegeek has taken her inside some of the most inaccessible, enigmatic wineries & cellars. She also often finds herself in the middle of enthusiastic celebratory crowds at exclusive wine bashes in the wine country & the heart of San Francisco. Follow her whirlwind adventures on twitter @Palatexposure

  • Home page:
By Ilona Thompson On Friday, August 16th, 2013

Robert Brittan: Blazing A Trail from Napa Valley To Oregon

Robert Brittan, despite being an enormously accomplished winemaker, is one of the most humble, self-deprecating people that I have ever met. A quality that I find absolutely irresistible. Robert E. Brittan Stealth More...

By Ilona Thompson On Wednesday, August 14th, 2013
1 Comment

Epilogue: IPNC Oregon Wine Country Excursion

Here is my epilogue from an amazing Oregon Wine Country trip. IPNC 2013 was more than I could have hoped for. My trip to Oregon gave me a lot of insight and whetted my appetite for much more. Oregon wine country More...

By Ilona Thompson On Sunday, August 11th, 2013

Pinot Festival: IPNC 2013 (Part 4 of 4)

IPNC 2013 was amazing in every way. Here are some notable highlights from my time spent in Oregon. From the vineyards to the festival itself, IPNC 2013 was a thrilling experience. My Archery Summit visit, arranged More...

By Ilona Thompson On Saturday, August 10th, 2013

Pinot Festival: IPNC 2013 (Part 3 of 4)

IPNC 2013 in Oregon was great, but I was homesick. I am a California girl at heart. I fell in love with the Golden State. My love is complete, exuberant, and everlasting. I never get tired of rolling into the Napa More...

By Ilona Thompson On Friday, August 9th, 2013

Pinot Festival: IPNC 2013 (Part 2 of 4)

IPNC 2013 was a hit. The most well-known event of IPNC is the Traditional Northwest Salmon Bake and it was held on Saturday July 27th at Oak Grove. Here is a recap of this experience. IPNC 2013 featured King Salmon, More...

By Ilona Thompson On Thursday, August 8th, 2013

IPNC 2013 And A Celebration Of All Things Pinot (Part 1 of 4)

The International Pinot Noir Celebration is always a spectacular event. IPNC 2013 was no different. Many Pinot-fanatics are familiar with this premier wine event that takes place every July in the town of McMinnville, More...

BottleRock logo
By Ilona Thompson On Thursday, June 6th, 2013
1 Comment

BottleRock 2013 Review: Connections, Music, Food and Wine

In a balanced BottleRock 2013 review, Ilona Thompson discusses the musicians, the food and the wine, and uncovers the good, the bad, and the connections made at BottleRock in Napa Valley. Life is all about connections More...

napa valley wine auction
By Ilona Thompson On Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
1 Comment

Vintners, Celebs Enjoy $16 Million Dollar Weekend At Napa Valley Wine Auction

The Napa Valley Wine Auction is an annual community fundraising event that takes place the first weekend in June. It raises funds for healthcare and youth programs as well as affordable housing. Over the years it More...