For nine years, Mark Eddowes has captivated guests of the m/s Paul Gauguin with fascinating tales of French Polynesia’s storied past, sharing his wealth of knowledge through lectures that that range from “The Cult of the Tiki” and “The Ancient Culture of the Marquesas Islands” to the real story of the Mutiny on the Bounty. These lectures are often cited as a highlight by our guests.
Jessica Vaitiare Chin Foo
A French American from Tahiti, Jessica Vaitiare Chin Foo comes from a family of serious entrepreneurs. Her great-grandfather was an industrialist and a banker who opened the first bank in French Polynesia, Banque Chin Foo, in the early 1920s. Her grandfather also established his own farm and a coconut oil plant, and he invested in the first brewery in the Pacific. Jessica’s mother founded and manages her own travel agency, Polynesie Voyages, welcoming travelers to French Polynesia.
Over the past decade, Jessica has split her time between Davis, San Francisco, and Tahiti. She graduated from University of California Davis in 2004 from the Agriculture and Resource Economics department with a Bachelor of Science in Managerial Economics. And she earned a Master of Business Administration from the New York Institute of Technology in 2008. She worked in French trade under the French Embassy and in renewable energy politics as an advisor to the Minister of Energy of French Polynesia. She also helped to alleviate chronic hunger in Africa and Asia through microfinance with Freedom from Hunger, and started her own yoga vacation retreat company, Polynesia Yoga.
In 2013, she co-founded Garba Wine Company with her friend Diego Barison. The winery specializes in indigenous European grape varieties. To enhance her knowledge and training as a wine professional, she received her Introductory Sommelier Certificate from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Her dynamic leadership and talent for business development enabled the smooth acquisition of Putah Creek Winery and the successful opening of their downtown Davis tasting room. As an active member of the Davis community, she launched Putah Creek Winery's Give Back Tuesday initiative to promote the mission of local nonprofits in the Yolo county region of California.
Jessica’s passion for wine and art inspired her to create the Gauguine brand of wines, speaking to the elegance of diverse women and marrying high-quality winemaking with art. She strives to release wines with character from French varietals, mostly from the Rhône region. The first vintage was released in 2013 and is found in northern California and in French Polynesia.
Join us aboard The Gauguin as Jessica recounts her journey through the wine industry in Davis, California, and offers a tasting of Gauguine and Putah Creek Wines.
other guest hosts appearing on the m/s Paul Gauguin
Denis’s life calling was revealed to him when he led a group of Bora Bora junior high school students on a field trip, on which they viewed a pristine coral colony. Returning just days later, he found that the coral had been destroyed by the anchors of small boats. And he decided to do something about it.
The University Distinguished Professor of Cultural Geography at Western Kentucky University, Dr. David Keeling has visited more than 185 countries and studied a wide range of topics, from the geography of exploration and discovery to socio-economic change. Join us aboard The Gauguin as he shares his expertise in a series of fascinating lectures.
Robin and Danuta Pfeiffer are the owners and winemakers of Pfeiffer Winery and Vineyards, an ultra-premium, sustainable, 70-acre vineyard with an international reputation for producing world-class Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Enjoy a wine lecture and a tasting of Pfeiffer Winery wines when Robin and Danuta join us aboard The Gauguin.