Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking Back on 2013 – The People, Places, Food and Wine

“Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.”
Martin Luther King Jr.



2013 began with the arrival of our new baby boy, Nico Sebastiano, in early January.  The overwhelming joy of birth and a new baby brings is indescribable and if you’ve experienced it, you know what I’m speaking of. 

Nico’s middle name is that of his Great Grandfather, Sebastiano Colloca, who immigrated from Sicily to America landing at Ellis Island in New York in 1914.  Having spent our honeymoon in Sicily and having visited my Granfather’s tiny village first hand, Mindy and I thought it only fitting to honor him 100 years later.

The first call I made, was to my 96 year old father, who shed tears of joy learning about Nico’s arrival. Then, went the phone calls with the news to my seven brothers and sisters with similar reactions.  It’s these moments we cherish.





Nico’s sister and brother couldn’t wait to meet him … and hold him … and squeeze him.

They especially enjoyed the impromptu birthday party we had at the hospital.

Nico received his first chiropractic adjustment just ten minutes after his birth, and we’ve been blessed with a health and happy gorgeous addition to our family. 





I carved out a month from my teaching schedule to help Mom and Nico get settled and then took a February trip with the kids to see Grandpa Colloca and the snow in New York.  Grandpa was overjoyed and we were, too.



















Fair Haven

We have a new vineyard project that we’ve been working on for a few years, called Colloca Estate, located just 20 minutes from where I grew up in Oswego, New York.  The 86 acre property is ensconced on Little Sodus Bay, an inlet of the Great Lake Ontario in the resort village of Fair Haven.

Colloca Estate

In 2009, we planted ten acres to Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir and named the vineyard Lake Effect Vineyard® aptly after the cool summer breezes off the lake that keep the vines cool in the hot summer months, and the warm air that arises from the lake and the blankets of Lake Effect snow keeping the vineyard warm in winter.

Our inaugural 2012 vintage of wines will be released in 2014, after the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir aging in New French Oak and resting in bottle. We’re building a new tasting room that will open this summer to showcase the wines.

WP_20130201_005We had a chance to check in at the vineyard and experience its winter beauty.

It was a great visit with Grandpa, and aunts and uncles and of course, the many cousins.

Snow is a fun thing …

until you lose you drop your mittens in the snow and put your hand back in with snow now inside the glove ….

and when your boot gets stuck in the snow and you find yourself trouncing around in your sock… remember? 

The kids decided that hot cocoa at Grandpa’s kitchen table looking outside at the snow was almost as much fun.



February means seminar season … so it was back on the road and off to San Francisco for our Impulse Adjusting System Seminar.  We left Phoenix early for a quick visit to Sonoma County and the vineyards there on the Friday before the seminar.


Kunde Family Estate has been farming their huge property for generations and we paid a visit to the tasting room adjacent to their famous wine caves.



Wilwood Vineyards, a 1,000 acre parcel bought by the Kunde family in the early 1900’s was planted with imported cuttings from First Growth Chateaux Margaux and Lafite Rothschild from the Bordeaux region of France.

Its a large scale operation on an incredible parcel.

We popped in to Cafe Citti, a fantastic Italian Trattoria just up the road on Sonoma highway in Kenwood.

Everything on the menu is good …

we started with an antipasto and went on from there to their Italian specialties.


After a few days at home, I was off to Atlanta to speak to the student body at Life University assembly.

This speaking engagement is a special honor for me, as its an opportunity to give back to my alma mater, and as I told the students, I remember sitting exactly where they were listening to Assembly speakers – and now I’m the speaker.

Over 1,500 Life University students filled the auditorium that creates an energy for a speaker that you can only describe from the resonance of the platform upon applause.  I shared my insights with them and some of the current research that I’m working on to better understand chiropractic adjustments.  Here’s a link to the talk.


WP_20130215_004 When in Atlanta, I always get together with my old friend and classmate, Dr. Keith Braswell.  Dinner usually goes for four hours as we interrupt each other in non-stop conversation.  This occasion found us at one of Atlanta’s new hot spots, Local Three.

After the weekend course, I had a few hours to kill before flying back to Phoenix, so I drove out to Chateau Elan, a spectacular French Chateau built out in the Georgia countryside.

We had a tour of the winemaking operation and a late lunch before heading to the airport.





Next, it was off to Brisbane, Australia where I was invited to speak at the Australia Spinal Research Foundation’s Dynamic Growth Congress – Australasia’s largest chiropractic conference.  I gave one talk to the main audience of about 800 about goal setting and success motivation and another to a smaller group of about 200 on my chiropractic research.  The DG group of doctors are amazing and its always a pleasure just to be around them.

WP_20130225_001 While down under I used the week following DG to take care of some business in Adelaide where I’ve been doing spinal research annually for the past decade.

From there, a hour drive north brings me to the Barossa Valley to check in on our Australia wines on the Colloca Estate label.

Because of our cold climate in Upstate New York where our vineyard is located, we don’t have enough warm days during the summer months to fully ripen some of the red wine varietals that I love.

So, we’ve sourced the fruit from the Barossa Valley to make a Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and a Bordeaux Stlye Blend.  We’ve made two vintages of these wines that we’ll import into the USA to serve at our tasting room later this year.

The Barossa


This is the vineyard where our fruit comes from.  You can see the beautiful old vines that produce ripe and concentrated fruit to make our wines.  After two years in barrel and another two years in bottle, our 2010 vintage AUS Colloca wines will be released in 2014.

WP_20130225_005 WP_20130226_034











A quick flight back to Sydney gave me the opportunity to give our Impulse Adjusting System® course Down Under.  We have a great AUS instructor corps, so the 60 or so attendees had great one on one attention with six instructors.

WP_20130227_022We finished up this leg of the trip with a quick trip down to the beach at Culburra with good friends, good food and WP_20130228_005some fine wine.  We had the not so Aussie Shrimp on the barbie thanks to Jeb and together we assembled our famous lobster stuffed filet mignon … outrageous.

The dead soldiers from the evening were even more outrageous though (you’ll se a couple of 2010 Colloca’s in the lineup, too – a taste of good things to come).


On my last night, we celebrated my birthday at sake, a great Japanese restaurant located in the Rocks neighborhood of Sydney.



We had a memorable night at sake, one of Jeb and Michelle’s favorites.  When asked what I wanted for dessert, I said, “soft shell crab roll” and it came with candles.

My Aussie friends, Craig and Steve were most impressed with the table next to us where Australian legend folk singer, Colin Hay, was seated.

Hay is from the band, Men at Work, and once pointed out, I couldn’t help humming the tune, “Down Under”.

The guys got up the nerve to introduce themselves and I told Colin that they were the best chiropractors in Australia so if he needed them when he’s in Melbourne to give them a call.

Fun stuff.



After only a few days at home, March found me traveling to Miami for the Miami Chiropractic Conference, where I spoke on Neuromechanical Advances in Chiropractic.


I met my nephew, John, for dinner at Gotham Steak at the famous Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach.  This place is what you would call, “off the hook".  The lively atmosphere and excitement is only what you would find in Miami. 

The Fontainebleau was made famous in the 1950’s and 1960’s when its became a cite of movie shots … Sinatra graced its doors – The Jerry Lewis movie, “The Bellboy” was shot there and it also was featured in James Bond films such as Goldfinger.  The pool of the property was featured in Scarface and several other films and is an old school institution in Miami.











With stone crab in season, and a 50 oz prime ribeye tomahawk (for 2) available John and I looked at each other with common gastronomical interest … there was no question it was going to be a good night.


We brought a 2002 Drinkward Peschon and a 1993 Dalla Valle Napa Cabs with us to have side by side with the meal. 

Washington, DC

After a few days at home, I flew back East to Washington, DC to attend the Research Directors meeting at the Association of Chiropractic Colleges Research Agenda (ACC/RAC) Conference


Then, back on a plane North-West to Seattle for our weekend Impulse Adjusting System® seminar.



One more trip East to Columbus for our Impulse Adjusting System® seminar brought us to a well deserved weekend off for Easter.



Melia and Kai were excited to get dressed up for church and of course, Melia adorned her Easter Bonnet.

We colored Easter eggs and went to the Easter parade and had a wonderful holiday feast a home with the family.










Kai began baseball in the Spring and we had fun together as organized sports began (Kai is in the center of the picture … the one who hasn’t taken his glove off yet).






South AfricaWP_20130407_001


As April began, our lead instructors and their wives and I all set off for Durban, South Africa for the 25th Silver Anniversary of the World Federation of Chiropractic Congress.


WP_20130410_006At our pre-conference Impulse Adjusting System® course, South African chiropractors and students learned the Impulse Adjusting Technique®.

Neuromechanical Innovations served as the platinum sponsor of the congress and it truly was our honor to be selected to represent Instrument Adjusting on the World Chiropractic Stage.



The congress featured many excellent lectures by leaders in the field. 

WP_20130413_003 Research chair, Scott Haldeman, DC, MD, PhD addresses the WFC Congress

I taught two separate sessions of Impulse Adjusting Technique® during the conference to attendees from all over the world.


As always, the Neuromechanical booth was buzzing with interest and purchases of the new Impulse iQ® Adjusting Instruments.

WP_20130413_041Together with WFC Past-presidents, Dr. Efstathios Papadopoulos of Cyprus, and Dr. Michael Flynn of Louisiana

At conferences like these, just as much learning takes place in the hallways as the classrooms. It’s been wonderful to make so many friends from all over the World all with a common interest in dedicating their professional lives to advancing the chiropractic profession.

Thrilling for me, was to have my two older brothers join me on this trip – their first time to Africa.  While we were in the conference, they did some sight seeing and then joined us in the evenings for the social events.