A Taste for LifeWritten by Lisa Higgins / Photography by Mikel Healey / June, 2012
TV and movie star Candace Cameron Bure shines in her new roles –wife, mother, and wine maven with her husband, vintner Val Bure.
CANDACE CAMERON BURE LITERALLY GREW UP IN FRONT OF A NATIONAL TV AUDIENCE. From 1987 to 1995, she played adorable big sister D.J. Tanner on the iconic ABC family comedy, Full House. With her big hair, funky sweaters, and rosy cheeks, she winningly portrayed the trials of adolescence for all of America to see over eight seasons of the popular TV show, winning many accolades in the course of the show’s run, including Favorite Television Actress at the Kids’ Choice Awards. Today, Cameron is all grown up and enjoying ongoing roles—wife, mother and, in conjunction with her husband, wine entrepreneur.
Candace met NHL hockey star Valeri Bure in 1995, and they married in 1996. At that point, she decided to take some time off to be a full-time wife, joining Val on the road while he was playing. They subsequently started a family, and the couple is now the proud parents of three children, Natasha, 13, Lev, 12, and Maksim, 10.
When Val retired in 2005, after playing on two Olympic teams and for ten seasons in the NHL, he was ready for a second career. Having become passionate about wine during his hockey days, he dreamed of creating his own wine label. Candace was on board immediately. “I developed a love of wine because of Val,” she says. Since they both also loved Napa Valley, they decided to establish their wine business there. “It’s so beautiful and serene in Napa,” says Candace. “We just knew it was the perfect place for us.”
Today, Bure Family Wines, based in the serene town of St. Helena, is thriving, and although the couple lives full-time in Los Angeles, they have a second home in Napa Valley. “Val is up there every other week,” says Candace. While she and the kids love the time they spend there as a family, for Candace it’s a juggling act with her active brood and career, “I don’t go as often because I’m at home with the kids while they’re at school, or I’m working.”
A FULL LIFE
Candace started acting in commercials when she was five, so it’s not surprising that she jumped back into work once the children began to grow up. For the last three years, she’s had a featured role as Summer Van Horne in Make It or Break It, a drama about the world of competitive teenage gymnastics on the ABC Family channel. Also important to Candace is her Christian faith; her book, Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness, a New York Times bestseller, was published in 2011. In it, she revealed her struggles with weight control and her faith-based success in dealing with it. Charity work is also important to her—she volunteers with several organizations, among them the Children’s Hunger Fund and the National House of Hope, which concentrates on group homes for troubled teenagers. With this kind of schedule, Candace, like most modern women, has learned to prioritize. “I just do it day by day,” she admits. “It’s a challenge. I don’t think you can really balance it all.” She says that if she’s starting to work a little too much, “Val will let me know, and I do the same with him.”
HOME AWAY FROM HOME
But the Bure family always finds time to visit Napa during the summer. “It’s all about relaxing,” says Candace. “St. Helena is such a small town, I feel really safe and comfortable there with my kids. It’s such a different lifestyle from L.A. The kids can just be kids—go play outside, in the fields—and do it by themselves, which gives them some independence.”
When the couple first moved to Napa, they bought a “rancher,” which they have been renovating with the assistance of designers Michael Roché and Jackson Butler of 38 Spatial, a design firm based in St. Helena. Roché has been working with the Bures to design a variety of Cambria installations in the house. “The house is very clean and contemporary in design,” Roché explains, “and Cambria, with its dynamic offering of designs, allows us to add another layer of texture.”
Working from a combination of five designs, mostly earth tones (Clyde, Greystone, and Sussex from the Cambria Desert Collection and Cardigan Red and Carlisle Gray from the Classic Collection), the design team is fashioning several artful pieces for the house’s main living spaces that emphasize some of Cambria’s dramatic designs. Most notable is a “stone painting” in a mosaic pattern, which will “float” on the dining room wall. “It’s going to be phenomenal,” raves Val. “I think it will be the focal piece of the house.”
This palette of colors will continue in a wine bar, linking the kitchen and dining room, and a dramatic eight-foot-tall surround for the fireplace in Cambria’s Carlisle Gray. “Cambria has a large selection of designs,” Roché points out, “which allowed us to easily find shades that would complement the architecture.”
Next up in the renovation: converting the existing garage space into a winery office and public wine tasting area. And because Cambria is hygienic, nonabsorbent, and stain resistant, it offers a great low-maintenance solution for countertops in the tasting room, while its beautiful surface makes a stunning design statement.
COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE
In fact, it’s not surprising that the Bures chose Cambria because both companies pride themselves on being family-owned businesses dedicated to quality and innovation. Throughout its history, Cambria has demonstrated its commitment to excellence and attention to detail, offering beautiful, quality surfaces and exceptional customer service.
“As a family-owned company, we’re devoted to honoring our heritage and maintaining a tradition of excellence, and that’s why we’re so proud that Val and Candace decided to put Cambria in their house,” says Cambria CEO Marty Davis. “We place our seal on only those products that can always be counted on to live up to the highest standards.”
Now six years old, Bure Family Wines produces five small-lot, handcrafted wines. Sourced from some of California’s finest grapes, grown from local vines, each vintage is individually crafted by Luc Morlet, a fourth-generation winemaker from France, who personally oversees every batch. The offering includes three red wines, all cabernet sauvignons, named Majesty, Thirteen and Duration, and two white wines, a sauvignon blanc called Nuit Blanche, and a chardonnay blend, Malena.
HERITAGE AND A FUTURE
Much like with Cambria, the Bures use as a symbol for their business, a family crest, which Val adapted from a family seal that goes back several generations to his great grandfather, who was a watchmaker for the Russian czars. This devotion to heritage is one of the many qualities that keeps not just the business, but the family grounded. “Family is the number-one priority,” Candace says.
And this family is looking forward to a long and fruitful run as vintners. They’re also thinking about the next generation. “Val wants to teach the children about wine-making,” Candace says. “And he hopes that one day maybe one of the boys or Natasha would want to follow in his footsteps and take over the business.” We hope so, too.
Five Things to Know About Wine from Val and Candace:
LIVE DANGEROUSLY Don’t be afraid to try new wines, says Val. It’s easy to get stuck drinking wines from the same region or the same country. Strive to extend your knowledge!
AVOID A CHILL Don’t serve white wine straight out of the refrigerator, Candace points out. If it’s a good quality white wine, it should be served almost the same temperature as reds. That way you can experience its full flavors and aroma.
GLASS ETIQUETTE When you’re drinking wine, hold the glass on the stem, counsels Val. Otherwise, if you hold onto the upper part or the bowl, the heat from your hand will warm it up, affecting its taste and nose.
GO BIG Drink wine, whether red or white, out of large, full-bodied glasses, says Candace. Then you can swirl, smell, see the color, and truly experience all the senses of the wine.
AGING WELL If you don’t have a wine cellar to store your wine, a dark, cool place will do just fine. The optimum temperature for aging wines should be 57 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re off a bit, don’t worry—the wine will be okay, it simply won’t age quite as well.
Bure Family Wines
DURATION 2009 Intense, complex, and pure. Dense and sublime concentration of black cherry, blackberry, and espresso with creamy and silky tannins. A finish that lasts long after you start breathing again. Drink now after decanting or store it for 15 to 20 years.
THIRTEEN 2009 Intense, complex, and rich bouquet. Mocha, blackberry, and blueberry with a hint of graphite. Silky tannins, super dense and concentrated. Long finish that keeps on going. Drink now after decanting for two hours or keep it in the cellar for 15 to 20 years.
MAJESTY 2009 Beautiful nose of chocolate, blackberry, and tobacco. Rich in flavor yet not a super heavy texture with solid ripeness. Smooth and round on the palate with a very pleasant, long finish. Drink now or you can also hold this wine for 10 to 15 years.