Last Friday, June 1, my wife Tess and I attended the annual Alfred Hitchcock Golf Tournament dinner at the Seascape Golf Course in Aptos, California. We were the guests of Bob and Judy Brassfield, current owners of Hitchcock’s former estate in Scotts Valley. Pat Hitchcock (the daughter of Alfred and Alma Hitchcock) was there signing copies of her book, “Alma Hitchcock: the Woman Behind the Man.” I bought a couple even though I read the book three years ago. There are pictures of the Scotts Valley estate in the book, including a tiled table of heavy teak that is still there. The Hitchcocks used to dine on this table and the picture in the book shows it set for dinner.
Tere Carrubba and her husband Paul were there and we said hello. Tere is one of Hitch’s granddaughters. I saw and chatted with Mary Stone there, another granddaughter (Tere’s sister) and finally got to meet the third granddaughter, Katie Fiala. If you buy Pat’s book, there is a picture of all three granddaughters and Pat standing next to Alfred and Alma Hitchcock in a picture taken on Hitch’s 75th birthday. If you have the DVD of Hitchcock’s movie “To Catch a Thief,” there is a segment of Mary Stone talking about her grandfather’s films. Mary is a lovely, petite blonde. She told me she was terrifed making that segment, but she seems cool and professional in the film.
The Brassfields have replanted the vineyards that once grew on the Scotts Valley estate, from which Hitchcock sold grapes to local wineries. The Brassfields have their first commerical vintage of Pinot Noir in the bottle. After I saw the movie “Sideways,” which featured Pinot Noir, I ordered some at an Italian restaurant. It tasted like shoe polish. I thought Pinot Noir must be an “acquired taste.” However, the Brassfields’ wine really changed my mind. Their first commercial Pinot Noir is delicate and delicious, fragrant and a beautiful purple color (not red).
Their wine label is “Heart O’ the Mountain,” which is the name given to the estate by its original owners, the family of Bruce Cornwall. Cornwall was a San Francisco attorney in the 1930’s and a partner in the law firm of Cornwall, Coldwell and Banker. He sold the estate to Alfred Hitchcock in 1940 or thereabouts.
The Brassfield family are not strangers to winemaking: son Dustin runs his own winery “High Valley” in Napa and has won a number of awards for his wines, both reds and whites, and they are delicate and delicious. Two years ago at the Golf Outing I got into a bidding war with Pat Hitchcock over a couple of the bottles auctioned for the charity. I started at $100, she upped it to $150, I went to $200 and then she went to $400. Pat went home with the bottles.
I told the Brassfields that great winemaking must run in the family but they insist it was the great weather that produced excellent grapes. They are having a wine pouring at Michael’s Restaurant in Soquel, California this weekend, for anyone who is interested.
The purpose of the Hitchcock Golf Outing is to raise money for cystic fibrosis research. Mary and Jerry Stone lost their daughter Melissa to the as-yet incurable disease in 2003. Melissa Stone was only 24 years old when she died, a very lovely young woman who was following in her famous great grandfather’s footsteps, working for Universal Studios. Variety carried her obituary and you can read it here. Her father Jerry showed me a tattoo on the underside of his right wrist that is in memory of Melissa. It is the red outline of a heart encircling the letter M. Melissa has always been encircled by her father’s love and the tattoo says it all.
If your company is interested in sponsoring and attending the golf tournament next year, call the number below or visit the Golf Tornament’s website for information. You can request to be put on the mailing list and will receive a sponsor package next year.
Tere Carrubba Chairperson
Alfred Hitchcock Memorial Golf Tournament
Seascape Golf Course Aptos, California
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: (408) 723-3525