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LE T TER FROM THE EDITOR

Helloooooo springtime! Glad you’re here. It’s always fun to do a springtime issue of the magazine (especially when you’re writing about it in February and it’s pouring buckets outside). Stories about gardening and home-front judging and bowling greens tend to shake those cobwebs loose. We’re welcoming a new writer to this issue: Ann Jarmusch, the former architectural critic of The San Diego Union-Tribune, will be a regular contributor to Coronado Lifestyle. Ann’s an old friend. She loves our community and relishes the opportunity to meet some of our local architects and explore “Coronado style.” In this issue, she introduces us to several Craftsman-style homes built a century ago by F.C. Winchester. Several Winchester homes will be on this year’s home tour presented by the Coronado Historical Association. Ann’s story begins on page 22. I drove up to San Francisco a few months ago, taking Highway 101 and it’s changed dramatically from the years I traveled the road in the early ’70s. From Santa Barbara to San Jose the rolling hillsides are covered with vineyards. Our wine columnist, Samantha Metzger (who also is an English teacher at Coronado High School) takes us on a statewide tour of the wine country…Napa Valley has some competition these days! Samantha’s story begins on page 58. The Soroptimists have a way of choosing three women each year in our community who are heroes, and who we either haven’t gotten to know personally or who have been there for us for generations and we’ve tended to take for granted. Get to know this year’s Legends a bit better, Doug St. Denis’s story begins on page 36. Now, I know your gardens will be yielding some of their most bountiful blooms this year. Do consider sharing them at thee April Flower Show. (See page 11.) Just pick up a garden show “Schedule” — that’s what the official brochure of Standard Garden Shows is called — at the library or your local florist to show you all the possible categories. Or, heck, just cut off a stem and head down to the show on n Saturday morning. The friendly folks will point you and your posy in the right direction. Happy gardening!

Kris Grant 6 Coronado Lifestyle • Spring 2010


V ENI, VIDI, VINO !

Goodbye orange groves, hello grape vines California’s vineyards shoot out in all directions.

By Samantha Metzger

58 Coronado Lifestyle • Spring 2010

California: Home to Steinbeck, the “Governator,” lots of sunshine, and the crown jewel city itself. Add on to the Golden State’s myriad of unique qualities the fact that it accounts for 90% of the country’s wine production. And, if California was its own separate country (many would argue we may as well be!), it would be the world’s fourth largest wine producer. California first started producing wines in the 18th century when the Spanish missionaries began planting vineyards to make wine for religious Mass. When, a century later, the California Gold Rush brought waves of new settlers, the demand for wine increased. Chinese immigrants were largely responsible for the development of these regions, planting and harvesting vineyards and digging the underground cellars, until the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1890, which encouraged “white labor” instead. The budding industry took root in the northern California region, including Napa and Sonoma counties. Some of the country’s oldest vineyards reside in these areas. By the early 1900s, California boasted nearly 800 wineries and was growing almost 300 grape varieties. However, with the passing of the 18th amendment (a dark day for wine lovers) and Prohibition, the majority of the wineries were forced to uproot their vines and destroy their cellars. Some wineries were able to stay in business by switching production to grape juice, while others avoided the Prohibition laws by providing sacramental wines to churches. By the time 1933 rolled around (after suffering through the Great Depression sans wine…) and Prohibition was repealed, only about 140 wineries remained. Over time, however, the California wine industry bounced back stronger than ever. In 1976 California landed itself on the map for wine internationally. After being invited by the British, we entered the Judgment of Paris Wine Competition and, much to their shock and chagrin, beat out the French wines in both the white and red categories. Tres Magnifique! Today, our special state has become one of the premier wine regions in the world. Besides the rich history of California’s wine production, the weather we brag about to all those out-of-staters is responsible for making the state a perfect place to grow wine.

Caalilifo California forn rnia ia fir ffirst irst st started sta start rted ed producing wines in the 18th century

Above: Napa Valley — the state’s most famous wine producer left: Ripe clusters of Chardonnay grapes on a mature vine. Climate conditions in Sonoma and Carneros counties are ideal for creating superb Chardonnays. Spring 2010 • Coronado Lifestyle 59


V ENI, VIDI, VINO !

Goodbye orange groves, hello grape vines California’s vineyards shoot out in all directions.

By Samantha Metzger

58 Coronado Lifestyle • Spring 2010

California: Home to Steinbeck, the “Governator,” lots of sunshine, and the crown jewel city itself. Add on to the Golden State’s myriad of unique qualities the fact that it accounts for 90% of the country’s wine production. And, if California was its own separate country (many would argue we may as well be!), it would be the world’s fourth largest wine producer. California first started producing wines in the 18th century when the Spanish missionaries began planting vineyards to make wine for religious Mass. When, a century later, the California Gold Rush brought waves of new settlers, the demand for wine increased. Chinese immigrants were largely responsible for the development of these regions, planting and harvesting vineyards and digging the underground cellars, until the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1890, which encouraged “white labor” instead. The budding industry took root in the northern California region, including Napa and Sonoma counties. Some of the country’s oldest vineyards reside in these areas. By the early 1900s, California boasted nearly 800 wineries and was growing almost 300 grape varieties. However, with the passing of the 18th amendment (a dark day for wine lovers) and Prohibition, the majority of the wineries were forced to uproot their vines and destroy their cellars. Some wineries were able to stay in business by switching production to grape juice, while others avoided the Prohibition laws by providing sacramental wines to churches. By the time 1933 rolled around (after suffering through the Great Depression sans wine…) and Prohibition was repealed, only about 140 wineries remained. Over time, however, the California wine industry bounced back stronger than ever. In 1976 California landed itself on the map for wine internationally. After being invited by the British, we entered the Judgment of Paris Wine Competition and, much to their shock and chagrin, beat out the French wines in both the white and red categories. Tres Magnifique! Today, our special state has become one of the premier wine regions in the world. Besides the rich history of California’s wine production, the weather we brag about to all those out-of-staters is responsible for making the state a perfect place to grow wine.

Caalilifo California forn rnia ia fir ffirst irst st started sta start rted ed producing wines in the 18th century

Above: Napa Valley — the state’s most famous wine producer left: Ripe clusters of Chardonnay grapes on a mature vine. Climate conditions in Sonoma and Carneros counties are ideal for creating superb Chardonnays. Spring 2010 • Coronado Lifestyle 59


60 Coronado Lifestyle • Spring 2010

IMAGEARIUM/Curt H. Bentzinger

conditions that are perfect for creating superb Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. The cooler coastal region of Santa Cruz allows it to boast wonderful Pinot Noirs, and even some original wines from Marsanne, Rousanne, Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre vines. Another cool climate region is Monterey, which produces some great Pinot Noir, Reisling, and Chenin Blanc. The Santa Clara wine region puts forth luscious Cabernets and some award-winning Zinfandels as well. Paso Robles Wine Country is California’s fastest growing wine region. In 24 square miles, there are nearly 200 wineries and over 26,000 vineyard acres. Several wines from this region have gained national and international acclaim and awards, and wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr. wrote in Food & Wine magazine, “I believe the region

Dunning Vineyard in Paso Robles, California’s fastest growing wine region. IMAGEARIUM/Curt H. Bentzinger

Viticultural Areas (AVAs), which designate wine growing regions based on geographical conditions. (There are 172 designated AVAs in America — California has around 100 of them!) Areas closer to the Pacific that are not obstructed by mountain ranges have consistently cooler climates. The north coast, for example, has cool winds and fog that balance out heat and sun. Other areas near mountain ranges (such as some areas near Sonoma and Napa) have warmer climates without the cooling ocean breezes. These varying climates allow us to successfully grow an array of grapes. Drought can be a threat, but we generally receive enough rain throughout the wine growing regions to avoid any damage to vines. And, because our winters are so mild (75 degrees in February!?) we don’t risk frost damage either. We love the weather here and so do our grapes!

Tank room at Robert Hall Winery, Hwy 46 East, Paso Robles.

Santa Barara County produces sauvignons, reislings and Chardonnays.

Read on to see which delectable California wines you should enjoy based on the wide array of regions and climates: Because of its rich history and long-standing tradition, Napa Valley is definitely the state’s most famous and perhaps best wine producer. Some of the very best Chardonnays and Merlots come from this region, but its famed grape is Cabernet Sauvignon. Napa’s close neighbors, Sonoma and Carneros counties, have climate and soil

IMAGEARIUM/Curt H. Bentzinger

Curved vines grace the landscape in Santa Barbara county

photos this page courtesy Santa Barabare Conference and Visitors Bureau

Because we are such a geographically diverse state, we have a wide range of climates and soil quality that allows us to produce many varieties — and produce them well! California is separated into four wineproducing regions: southern, central, northern coastal, and the central valley. The state’s climate can generally be described as Mediterranean, but each region has specific climate and soil qualities that create optimal wine growing conditions. These are called American

Moonrise over Summerwood Winery, Paso Robles.

Spring 2010 • Coronado Lifestyle 61


60 Coronado Lifestyle • Spring 2010

IMAGEARIUM/Curt H. Bentzinger

conditions that are perfect for creating superb Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. The cooler coastal region of Santa Cruz allows it to boast wonderful Pinot Noirs, and even some original wines from Marsanne, Rousanne, Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre vines. Another cool climate region is Monterey, which produces some great Pinot Noir, Reisling, and Chenin Blanc. The Santa Clara wine region puts forth luscious Cabernets and some award-winning Zinfandels as well. Paso Robles Wine Country is California’s fastest growing wine region. In 24 square miles, there are nearly 200 wineries and over 26,000 vineyard acres. Several wines from this region have gained national and international acclaim and awards, and wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr. wrote in Food & Wine magazine, “I believe the region

Dunning Vineyard in Paso Robles, California’s fastest growing wine region. IMAGEARIUM/Curt H. Bentzinger

Viticultural Areas (AVAs), which designate wine growing regions based on geographical conditions. (There are 172 designated AVAs in America — California has around 100 of them!) Areas closer to the Pacific that are not obstructed by mountain ranges have consistently cooler climates. The north coast, for example, has cool winds and fog that balance out heat and sun. Other areas near mountain ranges (such as some areas near Sonoma and Napa) have warmer climates without the cooling ocean breezes. These varying climates allow us to successfully grow an array of grapes. Drought can be a threat, but we generally receive enough rain throughout the wine growing regions to avoid any damage to vines. And, because our winters are so mild (75 degrees in February!?) we don’t risk frost damage either. We love the weather here and so do our grapes!

Tank room at Robert Hall Winery, Hwy 46 East, Paso Robles.

Santa Barara County produces sauvignons, reislings and Chardonnays.

Read on to see which delectable California wines you should enjoy based on the wide array of regions and climates: Because of its rich history and long-standing tradition, Napa Valley is definitely the state’s most famous and perhaps best wine producer. Some of the very best Chardonnays and Merlots come from this region, but its famed grape is Cabernet Sauvignon. Napa’s close neighbors, Sonoma and Carneros counties, have climate and soil

IMAGEARIUM/Curt H. Bentzinger

Curved vines grace the landscape in Santa Barbara county

photos this page courtesy Santa Barabare Conference and Visitors Bureau

Because we are such a geographically diverse state, we have a wide range of climates and soil quality that allows us to produce many varieties — and produce them well! California is separated into four wineproducing regions: southern, central, northern coastal, and the central valley. The state’s climate can generally be described as Mediterranean, but each region has specific climate and soil qualities that create optimal wine growing conditions. These are called American

Moonrise over Summerwood Winery, Paso Robles.

Spring 2010 • Coronado Lifestyle 61


IMAGEARIUM/Curt H. Bentzinger

already shows some of the most striking potential in all of California.” Another large producer of the central California Coast is San Luis Obispo County, home to 110 wineries and 26,400 acres of wine grapes — 8,600 of which are the region’s specialty, Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot is the runner up in terms of production, occupying 4,000 acres.

Edna Valley Vineyard, San Luis Obispo

The Santa Barbara County winegrowing region has almost 90 wineries and predominantly grows Chardonnay, which occupies about 8,000 acres. The delicious fruity, jammy Pinot Noirs that come from this region are planted across roughly 2,900 acres in the county. The region also produces some excellently crispy sauvignons and reislings. And, you need not even venture out of San Diego to experience some great California wines. We may be California’s smallest wine growing region, but we boast multiple microclimates and rich soils that put forth some delicious Chardonnays, Cabernets, and Zinfandels. With all these varieties and succulent wines to choose from right here in our own state, (over 60,000 California wine labels, to be exact), it’s no wonder that California ranks first in wine consumption in the United States. Keep up the good work!

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62 Coronado Lifestyle • Spring 2010

Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Overlooking beautiful La Jolla, California

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