The Season’s Essentials


Our complete host's guide to fine wines, spirits & cigars. Gifts for her and him: rare, exotic designer jewels & new ultra-exclusive, ultra-slim watches. Plus, the amazing Rossion Q1, a reshaped Noble M400 that accelerates like the Ferrari Enzo. Also, 10 Winter golf getaways: Spain, California, Vietnam, Mexico & more.

From This Issue

Contributors: On the Road Again

She has served two terms as the president of Boating Writers International, but Kim Kavin’s writing experience covers a lot more than just boats. She has authored multiple volumes in the Everything Guide series, including upcoming books on Northern California and Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, and Italy. Kavin also runs the CharterWave web site (www.charter?, […]

Robb Design Portfolio: French Curves

1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C-SS by Figoni & Falaschi Parisian fashion houses produce couture the same way that Giuseppe Figoni, the artist behind the Figoni & Falaschi coachbuilding partnership, once designed cars. In 1937, Figoni created a unique body for a Talbot-Lago T150-C-SS. Chassis number 90107, clad in aluminum, is the only known Talbot-Lago to feature four […]

Robb Design Portfolio: East Side

Typically associated with semiopaque crystal treasures and a solidly Occidental style, Lalique ( turned to the East for inspiration as it created its new China Mood collection—an exquisitely detailed line defined by serpents, dragons, and other sinuous Asian forms. “The China Mood collection was inspired, in part, by Lalique’s own history,” says Craig Zehms, national […]

FrontRunners: Remembering a Titan

The Hyperion by Pininfarina (www.pininfarina?.com), a one-off ragtop commissioned by Rolls-Royce collector Roland Hall, began as a Phantom Drophead Coupé but now bears more of a resemblance to a 1930s roadster. Pininfarina’s Special Projects Division removed the car’s rear seats and pushed the driving position 16 inches back into the cabin. It also extended the […]

FrontRunners: Tiny Flyer

The Stratos 714 (www?, a $2 million very light jet from Stratos Aircraft of Bend, Ore., will be capable of transporting four people and their luggage as far as 1,725 miles without refueling—sufficient range to fly from New York to Denver. “A lot of people want performance,” says Carsten Sundin, chief technical officer for Stratos, […]

FrontRunners: Three-Way Tie

After taking five years to perfect the revolutionary Type 370 transverse movement of its original Bugatti watch, Parmigiani Fleurier must have found delightfully simple the task of commemorating the recently unveiled Bugatti Veyron Fbg. The new Veyron automobile is styled inside and out by Hermès, which co-owns Parmigiani’s sister company Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier, a watch-movement […]

FrontRunners: Heavy Reading

Italian publishing house Gruppo FMR’s new release, Michelangelo: La Dotta Mano (www.fmr?, is intended more as a work of art than as a book—thus its $150,000 price tag. Michelangelo weighs in at 50 pounds, much of that heft contributed by the book’s marble cover, a bas-relief reproduction of the artist’s Madonna della Scala. Beyond the […]

FrontRunners: Hide in Chic

Texas cattle ranchers and aficionados of Dutch abstract art now have a common point of reference: the Four Seasons Collection ( of cowhide rugs from the Kyle Bunting company of Austin, Texas. The parallel and perpendicular patterns that characterize the works of Dutch abstract artist Piet Mondrian influenced American architect David Rockwell when he designed […]

FrontRunners: Suite Views

From neither the new Penthouse suite nor the new Sea Haven suite at Bacara Resort & Spa (www.bacara? in Santa Barbara, Calif., can you see the two miles of sandy beach fronting the 8-year-old, Spanish Colonial–style retreat. All you can see are ocean and, weather permitting, blue sky. Each suite includes two master bedrooms and […]

FrontRunners: Beauty with Brawn

With its redesigned, 90-degree V-twin engine, the new Moto Guzzi Griso 1200 8V (www? can now exploit the superior handling that the Griso line is known for. The $14,290 bike’s 1,151 cc, air- and oil-cooled Quattrovalvole (four-valve) engine, which includes 563 new components, generates 110 hp at 7,500 rpm and a healthy 80 ft lbs […]

FrontRunners: Vision Quest

Ward Setzer’s newest yachts, which range from 72 feet to 240 feet, reflect the designer’s vision—in name and design. “This time nobody is telling me how they want the boats to look,” declares Setzer of his Vision collection, which includes the 165-foot Vision Cerise ( Setzer has spent the last 24 years designing yachts for […]

FrontRunners: Frame of Mind

Jewelry designer David Yurman set his sights on sunglasses with the David Yurman Eyewear collection (, which debuts in November. The line’s Signature Collection offers more than a dozen designs for men, such as $450 black acetate shades with silver accents. “The men’s sunglasses are both subtle and classic in nature,” Yurman says, noting that […]

FrontRunners: Leatherman Accessories

Accessories made with gold and diamonds need not sacrifice function for form. The finer examples of these items can perform such tasks as telling time, fastening the cuffs of your shirt, or—in the case of the $40,000 Leatherman Charge Del Rey (www?—gutting a trout. The Leatherman Tool Group’s stainless-steel pocketknife—an 18-function device with an 18-karat-gold-plated […]

Watches: Child’s Play

Spanish watch collector Franc Vila creates timepieces that he hopes will inspire in others the same sense of wonder he felt at age 6, as he examined his father’s automatic sport watch for the first time. Vila recalls that when he asked why the watch did not work, his father told him it was magic […]

Autos: Spur of the Moment

Etched into the doorsill plates in the latest version of Bentley’s Continental Flying Spur are the letters S-P-E-E-D.This polished aluminum inscription recalls the Speed Six, Bentley’s winning Le Mans entry in 1929. In that memorable race, Bentley drivers finished in first, second, third, and fourth places. The company is now reusing the historic nameplate on […]

Aviation: England’s Finest

By the late summer of 1940, battle-weary Britain found itself outmanned and outgunned by Hitler’s forces. Believing that the Royal Air Force (RAF) was exhausted and vulnerable, Germany focused its aerial firepower on London in an effort to bomb the British into submission. Yet, in one of the greatest David-and-Goliath stories of World War II, […]

Boating: Sea of Green

With the exception of a handful of superyachts that use experimental eco-friendly propulsion systems, vessels employing green technologies have been rarities in the industry. However, Mochi Craft, a division of Ferretti Group famous for its delightfully eclectic line of lobster boat–style yachts, hopes to change that. At the Genoa International Boat Show in October, the […]

Travel: Düsseldorf Doozy

Düsseldorfers are certain that their city is the wealthiest and most fashionable in Germany. And who’s to argue? Gleaming boutiques—from Aigner to Zegna—line both sides of the leafy, canalled Königsallee boulevard in the center of town, while the city’s sense of style is reflected, quite literally, in the whimsical Frank Gehry buildings that rise like […]

Golf: Dove Tale

“Do you think they will like it?” asks Kenn Depew, general manager of the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, outside of Tucson, Ariz. “They” are the pros of the PGA Tour. “It” is the club’s still-growing-in Tortolita course, which will debut in late February when it hosts the tour’s Accenture Match Play Tournament. Jack Nicklaus […]

Sport: On the Fly

When you know where to look, the intricate maze of reefs and atolls in the Maldives—a nation of 1,190 low-lying islands off the southwest coast of India—can reveal what every surfer is in search of: the perfect wave. Today, however, Jack Chisholm will settle for any waves at all. Chisholm, a guide with Australian surfing […]

Spa: Medieval Revival

An oversize hot tub positioned at the periphery of a steep ravine discreetly suggests that there is more to Castello di Vicarello than just the vineyards. Owners Aurora and Carlo Baccheschi Berti had the tub custom-made to resemble the oak barrels they use to produce their two wines: a savory combination of Sangiovese and Merlot […]

Vacation Homes: Same as It Ever Was

Like many private resort communities in the South, the recorded history of Hampton Island Preserve involves an indigenous tribe, plantation owners, and, eventually, developers. But unlike other Southern resort communities, Hampton Island Preserve—a 4,000-acre parcel located 35 miles south of Savannah, Ga.—will remain private and largely pristine. The project broke ground in 2003, but development […]

Spirits: Sugar Babies

When Prussian chemist Andreas Sigismund Marggraf discovered a way to extract sugar from beetroot, he effectively ended the Caribbean’s lock on the sugar market in 18th-century Europe. In the decades following his 1747 breakthrough, a lack of demand for cane sugar left the West Indies with huge surpluses of the once-precious sugarcane crop. “Something had […]

Dining: Memorable Morsels

“It’s perfect,” says the taxi driver as he turns to face me. “The best food in Germany.” Although experience teaches the seasoned traveler to rely on the advice of cops and cab drivers for dining recommendations in an unfamiliar city, in this instance, as I survey this side street in the sleepy Frankfurt suburb of […]

Wardrobe: Clothes Session

Tom James is much more than a top tailor. The name applies not to an individual, but to a bespoke service that employs an army of some 600 intensely trained custom clothiers around the world. After two years of instruction and apprenticeship, these tailors, armed with fabric swatches and sample garments, are fully prepared to […]

Jewelry: Forging History

On a cord around his neck, Turkish jeweler Gurhan Orhan sports a well-worn Sumerian jasper pendant carved with cuneiform symbols, an early form of writing that dates to around 3500 BC. Although he has fielded offers of large sums for the amulet, he has always refused to part with it. “This piece carries the spirit […]

Collectibles: That’s a Wrap

Upon walking through the unassuming doors of the Collectors Book Store on Los Angeles’ Hollywood Walk of Fame, you may not know where to look first. “We have ?5 million pieces, easily,” says co-owner Mark Willoughby. “And that’s probably conservative.” From every corner, rare collectibles stir memories of the film industry’s glittery past: Mae West […]

Art: True West

The crack of bullwhips splits the air as 12 cowboys steer hundreds of bellowing cows and calves to a dusty, sun-drenched pasture. Artist Duke Beardsley, manning his post on horseback, wheels around to block a bolting calf. As the animals settle in, he rides over to the ranch manager to discuss breeds, swap stories of […]

Home: Digital Dinnerware

Traditionally, makers of high-end dinnerware have found it difficult to maintain the integrity and consistency of a single design throughout all the pieces of single-theme collections because different materials react differently to various manufacturing processes. For example, metals often shrink 3 to 5 percent during production, and porcelain may shrink up to 18 percent. Consequently, […]

10 Robb Report Winter Golf Getaways

Winter forces golfers to be creative. But instead of making do with inclement weather, many of us simply escape it. This partly explains the abundance of top-rated golf resorts in temperate locales, a wealth that accumulates with every passing year. This season, the traveling golfer’s options are more extensive—and, in the case of the $1 […]

Winter Golf Getaways: Player’s Club

THE ULTIMATE SOUTH AFRICAN GOLF SAFARI WITH THE ULTIMATE SOUTH AFRICAN GOLFER.   Gary Player has designed more than 250 golf courses, some among the most exclusive in the world. But no Player course is more selective than the one he built at his stud farm in Colesberg, South Africa—located 400 miles northwest of Cape […]

Winter Golf Getaways: Taking Flight

PELICAN HILL LOOKS TO FULFILL ITS PROMISE WITH THE LAUNCH OF A NEW RESORT.   Pelican Hill—with its hilly coastal setting, temperate year-round climate, and two Tom Fazio–designed courses—has the makings of a world-class golf resort. Only one thing is missing: the resort itself. That will change in late November, when the Resort at Pelican […]

Winter Golf Getaways: Turn for the Better

RAYMOND FLOYD TAKES TURNBERRY ISLE’S COURSES IN A NEW DIRECTION. Of the dozens of golf destinations in Florida, the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club, located about midway between South Beach and Fort Lauderdale in Aventura, may be the best place to stay and play this winter. The resort completed a $150 million renovation in […]

Winter Golf Getaways: Down-Under Par

KALOS GOLF SETS SAIL FOR NEW ZEALAND.   New Zealand is best seen from the sea, whether cruising the crenulated coastline of Fiordland National Park or harboring in the Bay of Islands below the man-made wonder that is the Kauri Cliffs golf course. Kalos Golf will steer passengers to these sights and more on the […]

Winter Golf Getaways: Classic Rockefeller

A BIG ISLAND LEGEND IS REBORN.   When the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel opened on Hawaii’s Big Island in 1965, it was, at a cost of $15 million, the most expensive resort ever built. The property, set on one of the Hawaiian Islands’ best beaches, had a cultlike following for more than three decades, but […]

Winter Golf Getaways: Rock Solid

A NEW VILLA IS JUST A STONE’S THROW FROM THE BOULDERS’ COURSES The new $8,000-per-night Villa Retreat at the Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa in Carefree, Ariz., comprises two modern adobe homes connected by a courtyard with an infinity-edge swimming pool. Though the estate is 5,000 square feet and sleeps as many as 12 […]

Winter Golf Getaways: School of the South

GETTING INTO THE SWING AT THE BARTON CREEK RESORT & SPA The Barton Creek Resort & Spa’s recent renovation—which included the addition of an outdoor camp area with tepees and a s’mores fire pit—has made the Austin, Texas, retreat more conducive to family fun. But golfers have never lacked for diversions at this 4,000-acre Hill Country […]

Winter Golf Getaways: Charting Courses

CRUISING ABOARD CALLISTO TO GOLF CLUBS IN MOROCCO AND SPAIN. Perrygolf is best known for its upscale golfing excursions—by land, sea, and sky—throughout the British Isles. But when the weather fouls on the Firth of Forth, the 24-year-old tour company guides many of its clients to warmer climes. This December, the Wilmington, N.C.–based company is […]

Winter Golf Getaways: Point of Return

NICKLAUS’ LATEST PUNTA MITA COURSE ADDS TO THE RIVIERA NAYARIT’S ATTRACTIONS. Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit region stretches along the Pacific Ocean from Nuevo Vallarta, near Puerto Vallarta International Airport, to the town of San Blas, about a 100-mile drive to the north. With more than 35 tourism developments in some stage of construction, the area is […]

Winter Golf Getaways: Green Peace

VIETNAM BLOSSOMS AS A GOLFING DESTINATION.   During the vietnam war, members of the 70th Engineer Battalion often hit golf balls into C-ration cans that the soldiers scattered along the beaches near Hoi An in central Vietnam. In August, with the opening of 13 holes outside of Hoi An, the Montgomerie Links, Vietnam, became the […]

Noble Intentions

Building cars, completely or partly, is big business in South Africa. Companies here manufacture catalytic converters, assemble Hummer H3s, and produce right-hand-drive BMWs. A few South African firms also make, as marketing materials say, “pinpoint accurate, quality-crafted component cars”—vehicles better known as kit cars. At least two versions of Ford’s GT40 are built in the […]

Temptations in Paradise

The imagination and artistic vision of the world’s leading jewelry designers take root in nature’s familiar forms, turning them into an exotic array of bejeweled flora and fauna. In this garden of earthly delights, an ingenious, ruby-encrusted mushroom ring draws the eye, a hand-enameled orchid brooch blossoms, and a sinuous, diamond-studded snake choker entices us […]

Cameo Reappearance

Every art, whether major or minor, has its capital: Music has Vienna; fashion, Milan; haute cuisine, Paris. Even the somewhat obscure art of cameo-carving has its acknowledged center: Torre del Greco outside Naples, Italy. Many of the seaside town’s inhabitants make a full-time profession of the craft. But 36-?year-old Amedeo Scognamiglio says that “in Torre […]

Thin Again

For much of the past decade, serious collectors paid little mind to slim, elegant dress watches. Exotic designs, high complications, and large dimensions held the spotlight, banishing most traditional models to the shadows. Recently, however, dress watches have reappeared with a new look and an exciting market momentum. “The thin, clean look is definitely the […]

Beaux Arts Beauty

For a New York businessman, his wife, and their four young children, an 1892 marble-and-limestone townhouse—the city’s first in the Parisian Beaux Arts style—is not only an architecturally significant showplace, but a comfortable family home as well. However, when the owners acquired the residence nearly 10 years ago, they realized that its layout and interior […]

2008 Holiday Host Guide: 101 Fabulous Fermentations

If they are  neither conspicuously present nor particularly admired the rest of the year, Wise Men always enjoy a brief but enlightening vogue during the holiday season—reminders of the spirit of generosity that pervades these last two months of the year, and of our obligations to our fellow man. The wise host and hostess, of […]

2008 Holiday Host Guide: Leaf Changes

The fancies of high-fashion designers—as expressed in the creations that populate the runways of Paris, Milan, and New York—represent more than simply the latest in practical protection from the elements; they are social snapshots that capture the cultural mood of the moment. Simplicity might reign one season, complexity the next. Although cigar making ranks among […]

2008 Holiday Host Guide: On A Roll

In Cuba, it is better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission. After all, in a country where the economy runs on the black market and promiscuity is promoted as a tourist attraction, people tend to be understanding. To ask permission, on the other hand, is to call attention to yourself, to arouse suspicion, and, […]

2008 Holiday Host Guide: On A Roll: Visiting Cuba

It is possible, of course, for Americans to visit Cuba legally. Those with relatives still in Cuba, people on humanitarian missions, and some journalists are among those who can apply to the U.S. government for a license to travel there. Obtaining a license can be a cumbersome process, one that requires you to submit a […]

2008 Holiday Host Guide: On A Roll: Adding Cuban Rum to the Mix

Among purists, the most popular Cuban rum is the Havana Club Gran Reserva, a 15-year-old spirit that can be compared favorably to the finest Cognacs. But for centuries Cuba has been producing younger, lighter rums that are ideal for mixing in cocktails. In the early 1800s, the English favored the daiquiri, which evolved from the […]

2008 Holiday Host Guide: On A Roll: Forbidden Fruits

It is a violation of the Trading with the Enemy Act for Americans to purchase or consume Cuban products anywhere in the world, so it would be a crime to smoke the following cigars. Since it was created in 1966 as a diplomatic gift with which Fidel Castro could honor foreign dignitaries, the Cohiba has […]

Charter Choice: Casual Elegance

When the owner of the 193-foot Austal Outback told Australian yacht designer Sam Sorgiovanni that he wanted the vessel’s interior to feel like a beach house, Sorgiovanni knew he would have to create a decor far different from the norm. “In many yachts, you walk in and are overwhelmed by the details, paneling, architecture, and […]

Wheels: Run of the Mille

In a private lounge overlooking the start/finish line of the Circuit de la Sarthe—the racetrack in Le Mans, France—Richard Mille, president and CEO of his eponymous watch company, mingled with his guests. Behind Mille, Le Mans, the quintessential racing movie, played on 26 television screens mounted on the ceiling along the top of an expansive […]

Wings & Water: Quiet, Please

“It’s pretty damn quiet up there,” says Robert Mudd, a 62-year-old member of the Albuquerque Soaring Club (ASC), a group of about 70 glider pilots based at central New Mexico’s Moriarty Airport. “Soaring is a hobby, a personal challenge. Everybody’s got their reason for doing it. For me, it’s the solitude.” Mudd should enjoy the […]

Journeys: Natural Progression

In a brilliant morning at Seal Bay on Kangaroo Island, off the southern coast of Australia, hundreds of sea lions are doing what they have done for aeons: feeding and frolicking in the waves, nursing their pups, and sunbathing with their necks extended to the sky as if performing a group yoga stretch. Sandy McFeeters, […]

Style: Smokin’ Seams

The original smoking jackets of yesteryear were never intended for formal occasions. As their name implies, they were meant simply to protect a man’s formal shirt, tie, and waistcoat from collecting any odor while he smoked, usually behind closed doors with other gentlemen. In the 1930s, smoking jackets and dinner jackets became surrogates for evening […]

The Robb Reader

At 78, Jess Jackson has more energy than many people half his age. He travels the world with his wife, Barbara Banke, and oversees 24 wineries under the Jackson Family Wines umbrella (most notably Kendall-Jackson and the spin-off artisan wineries La Crema, Lokoya, and Cardinale). He frequently visits his six Thoroughbred horse farms: one in […]