The CIA at Greystone is launching a new wine series this week and plans to teach the classes out of the old COPIA center.

“Downtown Napa has become a destination,” said Erin Euser, who’s promoting the classes. “Guests staying at Napa hotels or B&Bs can walk to COPIA. The convenience is a big draw.”

COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts officially closed its doors in Nov. of 2008 after a seven year run. In recent years there has been some activity in the colossal space, with groups hosting events.  But nothing major has been done with COPIA to date, although there is still talk of converting some of the building into office space.

Euser, who grew up in Napa, said she doesn’t know whether this arrangement between CIA and COPIA will lead to any kind of permanent situation, but the CIA is excited about the foot traffic Napa offers.

The classes begin this weekend and run through Dec. 29 and there are four to choose from: “Before You Taste, Become Winewise; “the Secret Wines of Napa Valley;“ and “Napa Valley vs. the World;” and “California’s Best Cheeses and the Wines that Love Them.” There are still spots available and the fee for each class is $40 per person.  For more information, visit:

What lies ahead for COPIA is a bit of a mystery for now but the Coalition for the Preservation of COPIA would love to see the CIA make COPIA a Napa outpost of sorts.

Can you hear the patter of foot traffic?

Napa has become a popular destination, thanks to relatively new players like Empire Napa ( and the Thomas ( which actively court the Millennials, the offspring of the Baby Boomers.

The Millennials, ages 21 to 31, are a force of nature at 85 million strong and they are intrigued by our wine culture, have plenty of pocket cash and are definitely worth courting.

The Empire reels them in because it’s a sleek lounge and it has plenty of whimsy –tanks of jellyfish, leather walls and candelabras along with a smart wine list, cocktails and brews. Meanwhile The Thomas has reinvented the old Fagiani Bar, resurrecting its neon sign, and making it a key part of this restaurant with its rooftop cocktails.