beautiful gardens at the Napa home of Joel and Kathy Tranmer are being
enhanced for the Napa Valley Designers Show House 2000 to fulfill the
home's potential for entertaining.
Parties will naturally spill out of the home to
the area around the pool. One addition for the Show House is the
construction of a bocce ball court by David and Sandy Brewer of Boccebrew.
According to David Brewer, a bocce court is a party. Sandy notes that
sipping wine and playing bocce seem to go together. Bocce is a social
game. And bocce is enjoying a new renaissance in Napa with numerous
private and public courts and leagues competing from Napa to St. Helena. Boccebrew has also installed courts at
is an ancient game, perhaps going back to the early Egyptians. Graphic
representations of figures tossing a ball-or polished stone have been
recorded early in history, according to one bocce web site. While the
game may have changed the goal has been the same - to try and come as
close to a fixed target as possible.
can be played by two people, but it is more often played by two teams of
two or four, people each. Bocce is played with eight large balls and one
smaller target ball called the pallino or jack. The object of the game
is to roll the large ball and get it as close as possible to the pallino.
are four balls for each team in two different colors. The balls may be
wood or metal. A “frame" is the time in the game where balls are
played from one side -of the court to the other side and points given.
cost of installing a bocce court varies depending on the setting and
size. This show house court required major site work to fit the court
among existing trees on uneven ground. At the show house, you will step
down slate steps to a free form slate patio which overlooks the bocce
court. The court is 12 feet by 60 feet and built with pressure-treated
wood faced and capped with “pau lope" wood. The subsurface
consists of a French drain and wire mesh (used as a rodent deterrent),
followed by layers of crushed rock, base rock, oyster shell and clay mix
and a fine layer of oyster shell 'flour" on top.
Proper drainage is key says Brewer. The court
should be playable in all kinds of weather and should require less
maintenance than a putting green. At the show house there is dramatic
up-lighting and down-lighting of the stairs, patio and bocce court area
incorporating the gorgeous oak and Japanese maple trees