Bliss Babe Magazine May/June 2018

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MAY / JUNE 2018 | $3.95

Wine Roundup In the Sierra Foothills

Fancy Footloose The only cowgirl boots you’ll ever need

Adventure on horseback Reflection in nature

Miss Reno Rodeo 2018


Get Ready For Summer




TA B LE of CON TE N T S BeautĂŠ 08

Jet Set 30

Ulta Beauty

Adventure on Horseback

Fashion 12

34 Going 80

When Fashion Takes a Walk on the Wild Side


The Only Pair of Cowgirl Boots You'll Ever Need

Flavour 22 Whole Foods Recipes

Vino 50 El Dorado Wine Map

54 Rodeo Wine Roundup

56 E16 Winery


Experience Your Next Milestone

Health 26

58 Rancho Victoria

62 Element 79

Embracing Natural Wellness to a Tea


Ask Katie



Jennifer Fisk speaks on becoming Miss Reno Rodeo for 2018, failure versus success, her past, and goals for the future.





775-786-5700 • ELDORADORENO.COM Receive half off entrée at any of the Eldorado’s award-winning restaurants with the purchase of a full price show ticket


e are so excited to be able to share with you our third Reno Rodeo Issue. Our photo shoot with Miss Reno Rodeo 2018, Jennifer Fisk, was gorgeously shot by Chris Stanton of the award-winning Stanton Brothers. In addition, our feature reel of Miss Reno Rodeo was produced and filmed by Nick Stanton, the other brother of the talented duo. We’re coming off a big winning streak as our team received not just one, but two, Gold Addy in the category LESLIE MCCARROLL Awards of Cinematography. It Publisher feels amazing to be able VP of Sales/Marketing to work with a team that understands our vision and has the creative insight, talent, and determination to produce award-winning work. Our mission is to tell stories that inspire our readers to become the absolute best version of

themselves. We hope you enjoy this issue and look forward to seeing you at our Reno Rodeo kick-off party on May 16th at the Plaza Hotel. It’s sure to be a “bucking” good time! BE BOLD, BE BRAVE, BE REMEMBERED. Yours Truly, Leslie McCarroll

Publisher and VP of Sales & Marketing



CHRIS MEREDITH Creative Director


DEBBIE MCCARTHY About Town Deb Business Development




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Subscribe now to the premier women’s lifestyle magazine for Nevada and California. FIND EVERYTHING BLISS FROM: • Spas • Fashionistas • Staycations • Personal Trainers • The Finest Hidden Wineries • Healthy Recipes from Local Chefs • Meet Some of the Most Inspiring Women from Around the World!




ith the summer breeze coming in right around the corner, we at Bliss Babe have found our signature summer essences to welcome the return of the sun. Flowers in our hair and floral fragrance on our skin, summer has arrived.

Coach Floral perfume is the original summertime dream stimulated by sweet pineapple, tea rose, jasmine, and notes of musk from patchouli. Your elegant, sun-loving hippie will shine through with this, freespirited summer beach-goddess fragrance.

Begin the Spring Equinox with Kate Spade New York In Full Bloom. This spirited perfume uses rose to entice the senses. It awakens warm feelings with fresh notes of lemon, earthy cedar wood, and green tea. This long lasting floral perfume comes in a delicate, feminine glass bottle perfect for a spring or summer wedding.

The all-enchanting, witching fragrance by Dolce & Gabbana Dolce Rosa Garden utilizes the power of the rose matched with notes of papaya flower, white lily, and daffodil. A subtle scent of sandalwood helps reground the fragrance to an earthy, summer night out.

Ulta Beauty also has an exclusive Dior Blooming Bouquet Pearl fragrance this summer. This perfume has a roller pearl for, application making it perfect for summertime traveling. Dior uses radiant, springtime floral Damascus Rose and Peony scents, entwined with citrusy Bergamot, to give this fragrance elegance with a secret scent of subtle spice.

Ulta Beauty makes welcoming the seasons bright and beautiful. Visit them at their website






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775.499.8296 | 141 East Pueblo Street |

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JUNKEE Located in the heart of Midtown for over nine years, Junkee Clothing Exchange can help spice up your wardrobe and home decor with our vintage clothing, funky furniture, and affordable antiques. Stop in this spring because Junkee is carrying all of your warm weather essentials. We’ll help you express your free-spirited, funky side in unconventional and envy-inducing outfits, specifically tailored to your style. While you’re at it, remember to pick up a gift card for the perfect thrifty Mother’s Day present!


1864 TAVERN 1864 Tavern celebrates the good fortune that Northern Nevada is surrounded by distinguished wineries, masterful breweries, and acclaimed distilleries with our extensive bar menu. We source local ingredients to create craft cocktails that showcase the region’s fermented and distilled gems. Come celebrate Nevada with us during our weeknight specials: Monday is Industry Night, Tuesday is Ladies’ Night, and Wednesday is Trivia Night. See you soon! | (775) 329-1864 | (775) 322-5865

Celebrate Nevada

NEVADA SUNSET WINERY The Old Brewery District is now home to Nevada Sunset Winery, right next door to Lead Dog Brewing. Enjoy wine made from NV and CA grapes at our fun tasting room. We’re pouring local wines harvested from Placerville, Lodi, and our Fallon vineyard, which we crush, press, blend, and age in-house. Stop in before Mother’s Day and we’ll help you choose the perfect bottle of wine for all the wine-loving moms in your life.

CHOCOLATE WALRUS The Chocolate Walrus has all of your intimate vacation essentials this spring. Embrace your inner vacation goddess with our selection of sexy lingerie, eye catching costumes and adornments, as well as our pleasure accessories. Even if you’re staying in town, we’ll help you turn your bedroom into a paradise by making sure you feel beautiful and confident in outfits that fulfill all of your fantasies. Visit us in our boutique or online to start meeting all of your desires. | (775) 825-2267

GREAT FULL GARDENS Whether you’re hankering for a fruit omelet (it’s famous), a banana split liege waffle, or you just want to discover paleo heaven, Great Full Gardens is your new favorite eatery. Our full service restaurants in Midtown and South Reno offer deliciously filling and fresh meals made with lots of love and organic ingredients. We cater to those who crave healthy, wholesome food, including adherers to vegan, paleo, and gluten free diets. We’re serving brunch until noon at our South Reno Location. Ask us about catering your next gathering! | (775) 324-2013


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By: Brandi Michelle Photos: Pooley Photography


ashion is everywhere and is one of the biggest avenues to express individuality and unique style. From New York City to Los Angeles, the ends of the fashion spectrum are always pushed. What happens when you find yourself somewhere in the middle of that spectrum? You land in the great state of Idaho, where the dynamic duo of identical twin sisters Cheryl Sikes and Caryl Wilson hang their matching hats. This pair of incredible designers has taken high fashion and let it run wild. With their custom leather high fashion designs, they are making their brand, Wild Instincts, a household name. Nestled away in Idaho and living several hours apart, the sisters weren't always traveling down the path of fashion design. Originally from the Midwest, and as 4th generation cowgirls, they share a love for the outdoors, horses, and experiencing life from the start. When tragedy struck the family unexpectedly, the sisters decided that it was time to find a mutual love of something that could be an outlet for grief and a pathway to healing. They found that in Harley Davidson motorcycles and hit the open road. The pair struggled to find a more feminine fit with the mainstream leather clothing available on the market, and that's when fate began creeping into their lives. Sikes and Wilson started small, as a hobby, deciding to find and create clothing patterns for themselves and their friends who were also in search of different leather clothing options. The first few handmade garments, which included a pair of half chaps made of elk hide, were a hit among friends and could be made totally custom to express each person’s individual style, which is what we all strive for in the world of fashion. Truly enjoying the process of designing and creating, the sisters decided to try their hand at offering designs with the most high-end leathers to the public. Today, the sisters each have their own studio at home and make everything themselves with no employees. Each item is crafted from the highest quality of elk, deer, or exotic hide and is tailored to be a custom fit, staying true to their slogan, “Wild Instincts fits like a second skin.” The name was a no brainier for the twins, using a combination of being a little bit wild and following their instincts down this new journey in life. As business has grown and gained popularity, Sikes and Wilson have traveled to design conferences, been featured on many runways, magazines, and trade shows, all while setting up and tearing down their booth on their own (which is no small feat, taking six hours or more each time). They love getting to meet clients, promote their latest designs, and gain new fans across the nation. With new fans, comes new designs, some Original Wild Instincts Designs and some totally custom, including a chocolate brown mother-of-thebride dress with a matching shawl for a client in Georgia. Splitting duties equally is something that comes naturally to the twins. This includes Sikes managing the website and Wilson handling things on the social media end. They each focus on their responsibility to promote and introduce new designs. Agreeing in the beginning that they were not only going to focus


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on traditional sample sizes, they make high fashion leather garments for any size and shape, with that signature second skin fit to make any client feel and look their best. The path of fashion is never foreseen and, like any great journey, often times makes stops along the way. Wild Instincts branched out and now works with master silversmiths and other makers to add a jewelry and accessory line to their already successful brand. Turquoise jewelry and accessories are a timeless addition and complement the rich tones of the leather perfectly. They add another element of high fashion to the designs and have been a favorite of many mega celebrities from Cher to Elvis over the years, cementing a permanent place on the shelves of iconic fashion. Looking ahead, Sikes and Wilson are always striving to expand their line, coming out with men’s fashions and even adding a bit of sequins and rhinestones for those who love the shimmer and shine of a glamour look. With new designs and custom orders comes countless hours of dedicated craftsmanship from the twins. To put into perspective the amount of time that goes into just one garment, the signature leather duster takes approximately 40 hours of continuous work, while a leather vest takes about 10 hours. One of the signature features on a Wild Instinct design is the Mexican braid edging that takes seven times more lacing than the traditional whip-stitch to go the same distance. This edge creates a very couture and polished look to the designs, skyrocketing them into the world of high fashion. Fine leathers have always been a cornerstone to high fashion designs and that is no different for the work of Wild Instincts Custom Leathers. Adding their own “wild” twist, you can be sure that the search for something unique and expressive of your own style will continue as it always has, and that search will lead you right to Idaho and the studios of Wild Instincts. Brandi Michelle is a Fashion Influencer and the owner of Western Atelier who combines her edgy style with the desire to inspire others along their fashion journeys. She has walked many runways nationwide for prestigious brands and designers and has been fortunate enough to grace the covers of several fashion magazines. For more information, please visit them online at or on social media @wildinstincts.

Brandi Michelle of Western Atelier


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Bumblebee Blooms Flower Boutique

Beecause the world needs to Bee a little more beeautiful!

“Make It Bee Remembered� 135 N. Sierra St., Suite A-2, Reno NV 89501 P:775.348.2799

Summer Wine Paring Just in time for Mothers Day, Dorinda's Chocolates Riverside location is excited to announce that this summer we are pairing our deliciously decadent chocolates with top winery's for a unique pairing experience. Each tasting will feature 4 hand picked wines expertly paired to 4 of our melt-in-your-mouth chocolates. Dorinda's Chocolates is nestled right on the Truckee River, atop cobbled stone and under Nevada night stars.

RIVERSIDE RENO 775-432-2024 727 Riverside Dr Ste E Reno, NV 89503

SOUTH CREEK 75 Foothill Rd Reno, NV 89511


The Village at Squaw Valley Resort 1960 Squaw Valley Rd Olympic Valley, CA 96146

Tasting Dates: Thursday, May 17th Thursday, June 21 Thursday, July 19 Pre-purchase tickets at


By: Britton Murdock Nunn Photos: Michelle Manningham and

Cowgirl Boots T H E O N LY P A I R O F



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CALLING ALL LADIES It’s time we channel the rodeo queen in all of us. The rodeo comes around once a year, so let’s take full advantage of it and let our inner rhinestone cowgirl shine through. First things first: You can’t go to the rodeo without boots; I’m pretty sure they make you go through a boot detector before you can enter. If you aren’t a true cowgirl (be honest, that’s most of us), boots are something you break out occasionally for the rodeo and country concerts. Finding boots isn’t easy, but I have found a brand that is both feminine and authentic cowgirl, all with an inspiring story to help a good cause.

Texi Boots

Texi Boots is a cowgirl boot brand founded by Michelle Manningham, a dreamer from East Texas. She was a girl with a dream and a treacherous road to success. She knew she wanted to design cowgirl boots and started sketching in her living room. She decided to follow her passions and had to go through a few manufacturers to nail down her design. Once she found the manufacturer that could bring her vision to life, she started The Original Pink Sole cowgirl boot line. From here she wanted to do more: to help other women with dreams accomplish them. So, she started the Texi Boot line. These boots are the Louis Vuitton of cowgirl boots, each pair has a hot pink sole making them unique, womanly, and symbolic all at the same time. These boots are your statement piece. What they stand for is even cooler than the boots themselves.

Nothing inspires Manningham like a woman who is brave enough to pursue a dream. She gives a portion of all the profits from Texi Boots to help a woman entrepreneur start her businesses. In an interview with Michelle she said, “I want to equip this woman to take the dream from her head and her heart, into her hands.” What is better than a stylish boot, made by a woman with a passion to help others? You’ll never have to wonder what you are going to wear to the rodeo again. These boots make every outfit; just wear them with confidence. Where can your Texi Boots take you? Check out to purchase a pair of your own! Also, check the website to follow along with Michelle’s Heart and Sole Conference and find out how you can be the entrepreneur that receives the Texi Boot funding! Britton is a woman who followed her dream and opened The Biggest Little Fashion Truck, a mobile fashion boutique. She has always been in love with clothes, how they fit, and people’s unique styles. Her calling is helping women feel confident through fashion. She loves her family and living in The Biggest Little City.


t n a w I “ s i h t p i u to eq to take woman m a e r d e th d a e h r e from h heart, r e h d n a ” . s d n a h into her

By: Murdock Nunn Photos: Rebecca,


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Ingredients 2 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour 1/2 cup flaxseed meal 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 2 sticks (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1 cup packed dark brown sugar 1 cup granulated sugar 2 large eggs 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 cup rolled oats 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped

RECIPES Method Whisk together flour, flaxseed meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Place butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until butter and sugars are blended, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture to the bowl, and blend on low speed until the flour is just incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Gradually add oats, chocolate, coconut and pecans, and mix on low speed until evenly combined. (Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and then use your hands to turn and gently massage dough, to ensure all flour and added ingredients are absorbed.) Chill dough for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.


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Using a large soup spoon, scoop dough into golf-ball-size rounds (use your hands to roll them into shape) and place on the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Gently flatten each cookie. Bake cookies, rotating the sheets halfway through cooking time, until they are lightly browned on the edges, about 17 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3 to 4 minutes, and then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

Nutritional Info Per Serving: Serving size: 1 cookie, 200 calories (100 from fat), 11g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 25mg cholesterol, 160mg sodium, 23g carbohydrates, (3 g dietary fiber, 14g sugar), 3g protein.



By: Megan Radtke Photos: Milestone Restaurant

Experience Your Next



s the Bliss Babe Team expands into El Dorado Hills, we were excited to find our first treasure, Milestone Restaurant. Owners Alexa Hazelton and Nick Dedier, along with their staff, take pride in their work, their food, and your dining experience. “Give guests the best opportunity to have the best time they can have,” is Alexa’s expectation for everyone who chooses to dine with them. We started our evening at the bar to take in the ambiance of the restaurant. Presented with an extensive list of cocktails, spirits, beer, and wine, we welcomed the suggestions to try Milestone’s Gin and Tonic. This signature drink was recommended by other guests and our bartender Aaron. It starts with a house made tonic that includes 19 different ingredients: lime, tops of a pineapple, and blueberry, to name a few. No syrup added, just a touch of raw sugar. The tonic mixture goes through a four hour boiling process, then is strained to create a pinky-purple tonic that’s topped with Leopold Brothers Blood Orange Summer Gin. The drink is served in a wine glass for an elegant touch while a slice of grapefruit and lime grace the rim and a long stem of rosemary adds the final touch. When we first looked through the list of adult beverage options, Aaron joked the list was complete with “all your wildest dreams,” and it’s true. With 13 bourbons to choose from, 12 beers on tap, mixed drinks, and a variety of wine, including 38 reds from our local region, Napa, and other countries, there is a drink for everyone. And even though Milestone would love to share their drink selection with you, they do allow you to bring your own bottle of wine with a corkage fee. Easy conversation with the bartenders makes the bar a perfect place to wind down or it can be the fabulous beginning to a fulfilling evening, not just dinner. Watch for our next issue for more on Milestone’s fresh menu options and daily event specials or check out their web site at Open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. 4359 Town Center Blvd in the Town Center of El Dorado Hills, 916-934-0790.


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About Megan Radtke: Home grown in the foothills, mother of three, and elementary school librarian finally gets a night out with her husband of 20 years. Most evenings at the Radtke household involve the kids’ sports, but they all have dinner at the table when they’re together.


By: Debbie McCarthy About Town Deb Photos: Davidson Organics

Embracing Natural Wellness,

to a

t ea

Co-owner of Davidson's Organic Promilla Mohan practices yoga.


is one of

the best ways to inspire people to par ticipate in t h e i r o w n health a n d wellbeing.


ore Americans are moving towards a holistic and organic lifestyle, partly due to the complexities and expense of traditional medicine, and partly out of a desire to live a cleaner and more natural life. Whatever the motivation, Davidson’s Organics is here to support you with their new line of Ayurvedic-inspired tea. Ayurveda, a 5,000-year-old Indian system of natural healing, literally translates to life (Ayur) and science (Veda)—a perfect partnership. When Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar and Dr. Manisha Kshirsagar, both accomplished Ayurvedic Physicians, located in Reno, Nevada, began collaborating with Davidson’s Organics in 2017, the goal was to design a line of Ayurvedainfused tea to help consumers achieve natural healing and overall wellness. “Tea is one of the best ways to inspire people to participate in their own health and wellbeing,” said Dr. Suhas. “Preparing a warm cup of tea, and staying away from less healthy choices, gives them a clean, natural, and 100% organic option that contains powerful herbs and simply makes them feel good.”

in the development of their seven new teas: Sleep, Slim, Energize, Digest, Laxative, Detox, and De-Congest. While they all have their specific merits and uses, Mohan is particularly fond of the Detox and Energize blends for women for their ability to purify, heal, and strengthen. She also echoes Dr. Manisha’s views on the importance of women taking time to address their body’s imbalances and impurities, despite their hectic schedules. “Take time for yourself; self-care is important,” she said. “I make it a priority to meditate, drink my cup of tea in the morning before my children wake up, and to not rush myself through my tea,” she explains. “It helps me to set the tone for my day.” Davidson’s Organics tea can be found at select retailers, at, and on For more information on Ayurvedic approaches to medicine, visit

Women’s health is a particular area of interest for Dr. Manisha, and she sees overburdened women on a regular basis who can benefit from a simple and more natural approach to wellness. “They feel sad, stressed out, financially and socially burdened, and there is no time for them to take care of themselves in this hectic world,” she explained. “Then they accumulate impurities in their systems.” These impurities, coupled with hormonal changes due to menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause, can be best treated by adopting an intentional routine of self-care, coupled with infusing their bodies with the natural herbs found in tea. “Our functional teas are a step toward holistic, preventative health, and offer an alternative approach to common health issues,” said Kunall Patel, co-owner of Davidson’s Organics. “Through our partnership with Dr. Suhas, we’ve created seven distinctive blends that further our goal.” Patel, along with business partner and wife Promilla Mohan, operate this organic, fair trade, and specialty tea company out of Sparks, Nevada. As a third-generation tea grower, the business of tea is in Mohan’s blood. Her background, combined with her education in marketing and public relations, led to a perfect partnership with Dr. Suhas and Dr. Manisha. Patel and Mohan used their experience to help develop the brand and market the concept, while Dr. Suhas and Dr. Manisha used their knowledge of Ayurveda to formulate the blends. This collaboration resulted


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Health By: Katie Coombs


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ear Katie, how do you teach women the difference between Tribe Power and enabling each other? Sincerely, Kathleen Hanley

Kathleen, I found this question to be quite timely as I have been thinking about this topic lately in my own life. I once had a friend call me at 2:00 a.m. with way too much alcohol on board telling me how much she needed to talk to me about a problem with a man. I answered “the best thing you can do right now is go to sleep and we will talk tomorrow.” The worst thing I could have done in that situation is entertain her drunk ranting. What she needed was sleep and the members of your Tribe will tell you when you need to stop certain behaviors. At younger ages, I think we measure our importance by the number of friends we have. If we can take a picture with 20 women, we must be important, right? As we grow older, we realize that large quantities of girlfriends is not necessarily fulfilling and it is impossible to maintain close bonds with more than a handful of women. I know many people who grow tired of friendships that only revolve around wine bars or big events where it is hard to really communicate about deeper issues. I wish I had learned the difference between a loyal and deep friend versus an acquaintance in my twenties and saved myself years of frustration. Your Tribe will stop you when you aren’t being you. They will show up in a hospital room when you are sick and they will make sure you and your children are fed in times of crisis. They will drop everything to help you escape a bad relationship and boost you up when you feel the pressures of life. They won’t let you call them drunk at 2:00 a.m. but instead make sure you are home safe and get some much needed sleep. They won’t waste their time on petty gossip as there are bigger and more important issues to discuss. They will attend your parents' funerals and cry with you. They will tell you when you are stuck in a bad relationship. They won’t make you question if you are welcome at a party or on a trip. You are family to them and they are family to you. Friendships that don’t provide this level of depth will frustrate you and even hurt you. You might find that a “friend” has betrayed a secret you asked them to keep quiet. You may feel you are constantly competing with these “friends” in looking good, or feeling rich, or telling the biggest success stories you can think of regarding your children. These are not relationships that require depth and you will spend more time buying wine for occasions than providing true life support. For me, it wasn’t until I reached my 40’s that I found my Tribe. It took walking away from friendships that didn’t fulfill me and realizing that having a smaller handful of amazing women provided more peace in my life than a large group that didn’t know what was happening in my life. It doesn’t mean that we can’t have these acquaintances. It does mean that we need to realize the difference between our Tribe and those who are just there for fun. You feel the difference each day between the two types of friends and once you realize these differences, you begin to develop deeper bonds with the women who love you and support you. These are the women that also call you out when you need it and you accept what they are saying because you trust them. Find your Tribe. Stay away from friendships that are only there to fill your time and serve as a platform to talk cruelly about others. Your Tribe isn’t interested in degrading other women as they realize that we all have difficult paths and our own stories to tell. Your Tribe will build you up and as a result end up building up everyone around them. To learn more about Katie or to ask your own question visit or email

Jet Set By: Danell Perlman Photo: Cherie Humpreys King


ack in my home country of South Africa, since I was 12-years-old, I used to enjoy my once a week horseback riding lessons. I am sad I didn't keep that hobby going; it was an amazing, free feeling being out in nature and spending time learning to communicate with such a beautiful animal, practicing trust with all of my being at such a young age. My dad was an avid horseman and patrolled his livestock at least once a week on our ranch on horseback. I have fond memories of him leading my trainee horse and me, an eight-year-old, behind his horse to make me get comfortable being on horseback. When I close my eyes, I can still imagine smelling the fauna and flora we rode through on our little excursions when the cows were back in their stables after being milked at dusk. I have such fond memories of the two of us sharing an apricot jam and cheese sandwich (on bread baked by my mom that morning), sitting on our horses, watching another beautiful African sunset. Now, after being in the USA for 21 years, taking only the occasional one-hour beach horseback excursion while on vacation, I am ready for a real cowgirl adventure. One of my best girlfriends and her aunt have been organizing riding adventures throughout the West and Canada for over 25 years. They claim once you’ve ridden with the group you’re a lifetime member. I've been invited to join this group of super fun and adventurous women the past five years, every year I could not participate due to my work schedule. Well, this year I've decided is my year for climbing out of my comfort zone, of saying yes to me, by setting work aside when the time is needed to nourish the body and soul. Work will always be there, and my team is very capable of running the show in my absence, so I attended the first official meet up. The standing rule by Cherie Ballew (founder) is that the scenery must be mind-blowing and magnificent. Needless to say, the


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deposit check for this week-long special vacation was in the mail the very next morning; there was no hesitation in my decision this time around. The time was now. What can you expect on one of these week long trips? Lost Creek Ranch Lodge is this year's choice; the reviews look amazing! Located at the base of the Grand Tetons outside the tiny town of Moose, Wyoming, this ranch offers the best views of the Grand Teton mountain range, and a couple rides a day (you are matched up with a horse partner for a week who is best suited to your riding ability). Lost Creek Ranch offers lessons for anyone who wants to brush up on their skills or wants to learn something new. You will walk away with incredible lessons in horsemanship from world-class riders and guides. In a nutshell, whether you’re traveling solo or with a friend or group, you can expect to connect with nature's all-encompassing beauty from the back of a peaceful friend while enjoying Lost Creek Ranches many amenities and photo opportunities. There's skeet shooting, fly fishing, a day trip to majestic Yellowstone National Park, a float down the Snake River, and a great cookout on a mountaintop. There are five-star accommodations and home cooked meals plus a pampering spa to soothe those aching muscles at the end of the day. It will be challenging to leave after seven days spent in God's country because this setting looks genuinely magical. Follow Danell's travels on Facebook at AmplifyAfrica.US and her website

Linda Bissett Contemplating through the Aspens

Overlooking the Continental Divide in Canada. Back row: Janice Bailey, Lynette Langston, Cherie Ballew, Becky Bryson Front: Cherie Humphreys, Pam Pike

Pam Pike with her horse Nugget having lunch - Monitor Mountain Range 32

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Jet Set By: Molly LeGoy (The Hungry Dater)

Greets the Jet Setters I

write about going elsewhere and eating food in other places. But man, I love my Reno. Many times I don’t have to leave because Reno is often the place to be. One of those times is during the Reno Rodeo. For two weeks in June, people from all over come here to participate and watch the “Wildest Richest Rodeo in the West.” When people travel to the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, they’re greeted by friendly staff, a beautiful building, and, if they’re lucky on the day they arrive, Paws 4 Passengers. What is Paws 4 Passengers? The Reno-Tahoe International Airport’s very own team of thirty therapy dogs. How do I know? Flower, my Bernese Mountain Dog, and I are a part of the team! Every month, there are five days decided on between the Airport Authority and the president of Paws for Passengers (P4P), Debbie Harvey. Then, each of our 30 teams commits upwards of six hours per month (in shifts of two hours) to come to the airport and bring a smile to people’s day. Most people ask us why we’re there, and I think each team probably has a slightly different answer, though all coinciding around one idea: We’re here to make air travel a little less “ruff.” Our job—and what the dogs truly live for—is to help alleviate stress, distract from the boredom that comes with the “long waits” of air travel, hang out with kids, play games, show off tricks, and help eradicate anxiety through petting and contact with our dogs. When the airport plans our schedule, they try to be especially cognizant of the special events coming into Reno. This would absolutely include the Reno Rodeo. With events such as this one, where we know most of the participants are animal lovers, what better way for the airport to greet the participants than to meet you at your gate with a bunch of lovable, fluffy dogs? As I mentioned, the group is made up of 30 registered therapy dog teams, and all of us are different. We have men, women, big dogs, little dogs, long-haired fluff balls, and short-haired tail waggers. And I can honestly say that every one of those dogs absolutely loves it at the airport. As a die-hard traveler, this service appeals to me 34

MAY & JUNE 2018


on so many levels. Air travel can be difficult; there is almost always stress like delays, people wanting to “share” your purchased space, weather-related bumps, screaming children, or even canceled flights. But even in the midst of some of the worst travel-related stress, being able to sit down in front of a smiling face and a lolling tongue to see the world through a dog’s eyes for a moment, can make a bleak situation seem one thousand times better. Oh, and those screaming children? When there are three dogs around to play with, those children are generally no longer screaming, unless it’s with delight at seeing a “doggie dance” from an American Eskimo, getting a high five (though sometimes a mis-aimed one) from a Bernese Mountain Dog, or watching a gaggle of dogs dig their heels in and refusing to move if their handlers/owners are trying to walk by the dress shop in which they know there are cookies. Ask any local child about our “trading cards” and they’ll probably reveal a collection reminiscent of a pack of baseball cards. No gum, but way cuter. So the next time you’re lucky enough to go to the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, if you’re flying out, make sure to look for the sign just up the escalators after the security line. If it says in big red letters that Paws 4 Passengers is there, look for us. If you’re ever landing in Reno, keep your eye out and feel free to ask any of the local workers whether they’ve seen us. We’re pretty popular, so usually someone can tell you if we’re there. We’re in red shirts and usually travel in packs of three dogs and three owners/handlers; the dogs’ “PET ME” vests are difficult to miss. Here’s to staying home sometimes to welcome other travelers! And here’s to all you wonderful participants in the Reno Rodeo coming to make our wonderful town a little more exciting for those two weeks in June. Hopefully Flower and I will get to meet you! Molly travels to find the best restaurants, haunts, and hot spots for singles and couples alike. It’s her mission to eat her way through the dating scene, while sharing recipes, date night destinations, and gory dating details so other singles know they’re not alone in this crazy world of finding love. Find more of Molly’s writing at

Spotlight By: Laura Van Antwerp Original Photography and Edits: Chris Stanton Model: Jennifer Fisk Miss Reno Rodeo Chairman: Ann Quinn Hair and Makeup: Caliber Hair & Makeup Studio Lead Hair: Tres Benzley Hair: Carla Rodriguez Lead MUA: Krista Puett MUA: Missy Moffett Clothing & Jewelry: Triggers Boutique Animal Models: Saving Grace (Horse), Panther (Cat), Fiona (Dog) Catering: Washoe Public House Location: Gold Hill Hotel and Crown Point Restaurant 1540 Main Street Gold Hill, NV. Patrick McNamee Matthew Wilson Owner/ Manager Ranch Location: Star Street Farms Feature Reel Filmed & Arranged: Nicholas Stanton Colored and Mixed: Chris Stanton

Miss Reno Rodeo 2018

Jennifer Fisk

"Don't give up." W

hen Jennifer Fisk competed for the title of Ms. Reno Rodeo, she felt confident. She had extensive public speaking experience, considered herself a horsewoman, and, thanks to her lifelong involvement in 4A, FFA, and various rodeos in the region, felt at home with the ins and outs of the Western lifestyle. This, combined with her bubbly charisma and head-turning beauty, would deem her a shoe-in for the role.


MAY & JUNE 2018


Then she lost. T

hat was in 2017, the first time Jennifer Fisk competed for the coveted position of ambassador of the “Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West.” “It was a really hard thing to overcome,” Jen admits. “I think my biggest obstacle was trying to stay positive after that.” The official Miss Reno Rodeo 2018 knows a thing or two about perseverance. Competing for the title of Miss Reno Rodeo is as rigorous as it is time consuming, and most who compete only gun for it once. “For six months after the pageant, I thought to myself: I’m content, I’ve tried it once. I don’t need to do it again. The thought of running again and potentially losing was incredibly difficult.” As much as she tried to put Miss Reno Rodeo behind her, life had other plans. People constantly reminded and encouraged her to compete again. On campus, she moved in close circles with 2017 Miss Reno Rodeo, Alexandra Rayppy, who was her sorority sister and friend. It was as if the opportunity was being constantly dangled in front of her, ever reminding her not only of what could have been, but what still could be. “I think seeing how much fun Alex was having and the experiences she was able to enjoy made me realize this wasn’t something to pass on. As the pageant got closer I knew that I would kick myself in ten years for not having tried again. I think without the constant reminder, motivation, and encouragement from others, I wouldn’t have competed again, and I can’t tell you how thankful I am that I did.” Since horsemanship was where she fell short in the first pageant, Jen took eight months of lessons between pageants and rode as many horses as she could, striving to improve her skills and boost her confidence. “When it came time for the pageant this year, I thought to myself, I can totally do this.” Now, nine months into her reign, Jen knows all too well the profound value in the saying “Don’t give up”—three words often dismissed as a hackneyed cliché. But Jen Fisk isn’t one to live with regret. “I would have been so sad to have missed this opportunity knowing I didn’t even try. I’m so glad I did!”


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MAY & JUNE 2018


Home is where the heart is.


en grew up in Auburn, California, the youngest of four girls with a little brother in tow. Her love of agriculture, animals, and sports had not developed over time so much as it was inherited at birth. For as far back as her memory serves her, these passions have been woven into the fabric of her life. “My dad rode horses with me when I was a couple months old. I started raising cattle when I was eight years old, so for my eighth birthday I got a cow and have been hooked ever since,” she recalls fondly. Despite growing up in Auburn, Jen has always considered Reno “home.” She has family in the area and has been attending the Reno Rodeo with her father since the second grade. As soon as she and her friends were mobile, the Reno Rodeo became a summertime staple. “Once we were able to drive, we were like, ‘Woo! We can go to Reno guys!’ So every summer we made a point to come up here.” With each and every visit, her love for the area continued to blossom. When it came time to choose a school in pursuit of becoming a veterinarian, The University of Nevada, Reno was the obvious choice. “It wasn’t a hard decision to make. Reno has always been home. My heart has really grown here,” Jen admits. She says this with the conviction of someone who knows that home isn’t so much where we were born, or even grew up, but where we plant our hearts.

Rodeo Life

The Reno Rodeo is a ten-day Western sporting event that attracts about 140,000 spectators eager to soak in the exciting atmosphere at the “Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West.” Cheering crowds, Technicolor sunsets, and whirring carnival rides are just a few of the signature elements of the Reno Rodeo. But what’s a rodeo without a dazzling spokesperson to represent it? That’s where a rodeo queen comes in.


MAY & JUNE 2018


Articulate, poised, but not afraid to get her boots dirty, Miss Reno Rodeo serves as a goodwill ambassador and—on some level—a celebrity representative. Throughout the course of her year-long reign, she helps the Reno Rodeo Association and Reno Rodeo Foundation with various events and fundraisers, such as the Denim Drive and Reading Round-up. She also writes for the Bull Sheet, a monthly newsletter that’s distributed to all Reno Rodeo Association members, and speaks at various functions. There’s also plenty of travel involved, particularly to various rodeos across the country. So, what does a typical 'Rodeo Queen' day look like? For Jen, rodeo days start early, which means no sleeping in. While she’s not necessarily obliged to, she makes a point to show up to the early events, such as Kid’s Day and the rodeo parade. “I’ve gotten really good at doing a full queen hair and makeup routine in under 30 minutes because I really value sleep,” she says with a chuckle. “My job is to be an ambassador, so it doesn’t do much to sleep in and only show up for the performance.” Plus, attending the many earlier rodeo events offers her the chance to interact with attendees. “Being active with fans is one of the best parts; it really keeps you going all day!” The main performance is when the queens really have a chance to shine. In their glamorous rodeo queen ensembles, they ride their horses across the arena carrying flags, helping steer cattle, or picking up mutton busters and waving to the cheering crowds. “It all just happens so fast. You’re like, wow, that just flew by! I think the performance is the highlight of my day.” And while her family can’t be near to share and support in this exciting year with her (they’ve since moved from Auburn to Texas), she believes she’s found family in the Reno Rodeo Association. “It’s so nice to feel supported by everyone in the association. Whenever I need anything there is someone there for you. They have made this experience really special.” So, what’s the most important quality a queen should possess? “Being positive and really caring. You can study all you want, you can learn to ride a horse, you can put on makeup, but it’s humbling to know you were chosen because you can be a role model.”


"You can study all you want, you can learn to ride a horse, you can put on makeup, but it's humbling to know you were chosen because you can be a role model."

FAVORITE RENO RODEO MEMORY “My dad’s good friend always had a box seat right in the corner for the Reno Rodeo, and I remember vividly—I think I was sixteen or seventeen—sitting in the box and Ashley Espin [Miss Reno Rodeo 2015] would sit there and hang out with us, on her horse, and eat our fries. I was like, ‘Ashley ate my French fries!’”

ADVICE FOR FUTURE RODEO QUEENS “Don’t give up. I know that’s so cliché but if it’s something that you really want to do, then give it your all.”

FAVORITE EVENT “Tie-down roping. I think my favorite part is watching the horse back up and take the slack out of the line. The horse knows exactly what to do and I love watching that.”

FAVORITE QUOTE "It ain’t done ‘til it’s done right.’ I got that one from my dad. Go, Dad!”

MUST-HAVE RODEO QUEEN ACCESSORY “My planner. My planner is my life. I can plan out my schedule for the next three months for you. Someone asked me last week what I would do if I didn’t have my planner and I said, ‘I would cry!’”


MAY & JUNE 2018



MAY & JUNE 2018


Reno Rodeo Facts Want to check out the “Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West?” Here are some important things to know! Dates: June 14-23 Tickets: Available for purchase at

What's Next ?

Facebook: Instagram: @renorodeo


he most important week of Jen’s reign is still ahead of her. She’s been to many rodeos but has yet to fulfill her queenly duties at her own. That time will come June 14-23, when she takes center stage as the official queen of this year’s Reno Rodeo. It’s a bittersweet week, since it will not only be her time to shine, but also when she will pass the crown. But, when she does, she’ll have no regrets. “I’m so glad I didn’t give up on this opportunity. Of all the things I’ve been involved in, this is probably one of the greatest.” Laura Van Antwerp is a writer and public relations account manager currently residing in Reno, NV. She is an avid backpacker, reader, travel junkie, climber, snowboarder, and lover of podcasts and all things fitness. Be sure to look for her at this year’s Reno Rodeo!


MAY & JUNE 2018

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National Park


By: Mike Owen, Founder of Crystal Basin Cellars


hile many folks might hoist a tasty cold beer during the Reno Rodeo, I would like to suggest that there are some great wine pairings with the unique and amazing events which make up American Rodeo. From my first rodeos in diverse places such as Jackson Hole, WY, and Ripon, CA, I’ve been impressed by the competitive aspect of rodeo that combines man, animal, and chance like no other activity. That said, here are Mike’s wine pairings to go with each event of the Reno Rodeo. Bronc Busting - Zinfandel is the wine of the West, having been brought to California during the Gold Rush. The fruit burst of a great foothill Zinfandel is like the bucking bronco of the wine world. Have a T-Bone steak ready! Steer Wrestling - This is a sport for the hands-on folks out there. We suggest that you enjoy your Steer Wrestling with a nice, aged Cabernet Sauvignon while your bruises are healing. Barrel Racing - This high-energy event is the essence of Chardonnay. The grace, power, and connectedness of the barrel racing team between a woman and her horse reflect the devotion of the fruit, depth, and nuances of well-made Chardonnay. Bull Riding - The wine equivalent is Petite Sirah! Unabashedly shameless because of the tannins and fruit battling in the glass, it’s an equivalent of getting bounced off a 1000 lb. animal. The biggest glass and event during Rodeo in June! Team Roping - When you have a team at work, you can get more done in a more elegant manner! That’s why red blends are becoming the favorite wines at many venues. We like Renegade Red, our iconic red blend for almost any Western cuisine. Mutton Busting - While not for the under-21 set, Bubbly wines go very well with the short burst of grit, activity, and excitement that is Mutton Busting. Grab on tight and toss some guava juice in the Bubbly to make a memorable mimosa. Bareback Riding... Just gonna leave this one alone. Enjoy! Lasso your own wine collection from Mike at Crystal Basin Cellars. Find them at


MAY & JUNE 2018




By: Russell Reyes Debbie McCarthy/About Town Deb Poem: Robin Eitland Photos: ASTRA Marketing

VIVERE by Robin Eitland

I drink from my glass the sultry taste of wine, shared under the canopy of vines and sunshine. A flirtatious craving wells up inside me for the beautiful balance of crispness and grace. Here we lay, with shared glass indulging in pleasure, Two souls embracing. Two hearts connecting. And through all of this…. I am left in awe of experience and a strong craving for the voluptuousness of life.


MAY & JUNE 2018

A Romance in Every Bottle



he story of E16 unfolds like a blockbuster Hollywood fairytale romance, yet is grounded in the real and tangible vines and roots that weave meaningful relationships together. Owner Robert Jones met his partner and soul mate, Robin Eitland, by chance at a time in both of their lives when neither was looking for romance. Encouraged by close friends to meet, both rebuffed their well-meaning friends’ efforts until the moment their eyes met. That is when the magic happened. It was a connection that is best told in a poem written by Robin called “Vivere” where the words “a strong craving for the voluptuousness of life” give us a glimpse into the world of Robert, Robin and E16 Winery in Fair Play, California. E16 opened its doors in August of 2017, after Robin, and Robert saw to every detail of their new winery and tasting room. Robert has had a love affair with the vine since he was a child. As a third generation grape grower and owner of Firefall Vineyards in El Dorado County, he paints a picture of the importance of the relationships in his life by explaining, “I am just chasing my grandfather: it’s my way of being close to him.” Like all good fairytales, there is an epic story of achievement despite perceived obstacles, and it is because of Robert’s belief in relationships, specifically the relationship with his distributor, that we get this story. When the premier wine bar in Las Vegas, La Cave at the Wynn, was looking for a California Pinot Noir, their distributor encouraged them to choose one from a blind tasting. At the distributor’s request, the tasting included a Pinot Noir from a small unknown winery called E16, alongside the best Pinots California had to offer. This wine bar, frequented by the top sommeliers in Las Vegas, ended up choosing the Pinot Noir from E16, which helped propel the brand to some of the finest wine lists in Las Vegas. “What it all comes down to is relationships. Life is all about relationships – nothing else matters.” Robert says of a value he is instilling in his two sons. It is a value that he and Robin strive to live out daily at E16.

Vivere is Italian for “to be alive” or “to live.” Robert and Robin are living a shared dream. They believe they were meant for each other. Robert says, “You never believe that later in your life you can fall in love again, but here we are!” Since that first night in the vineyards where Robin and Robert first met, they have been inseparable. They truly love being in each other’s company, and it is not only visible in all their interactions, but it is also palpable when you walk into E16. Their passionate relationship is apparent in all they do, from the blending of world-class wines, to the fresh and wholesome foods they love to prepare together. It even carries over to the planning and execution of the stunning urban Zen-inspired tasting room, and leather appointed social club vibe of the wine cave. E16 is a road that leads to Fair Play, but it is bigger than that; it also serves as a metaphor for the road they are on together. Robin and Robert have big plans for E16, and it will be fun to watch their vision unfold in the coming years. One such plan is the restaurant that sits across the tranquil creek on the property. Robert envisions it as becoming a destination that serves fresh, local, and affordable food. It will cater to locals during the week, but step it up a notch on the weekends for visitors looking for a charming location to enjoy creek side dining for lunch or dinner. At once a poem, a fairytale and a world class winery, E16 is sure to delight you the next time you find yourself in Fair Play. Vivere! For more please visit Russ Reyes is founder and head creative guy at Reyes Digital Media and Kilt & Cork. As a writer, graphic designer, artist, and photographer, he has been a passionate fan, promoter, and supporter of the wines and wineries of the Sierra Foothills for over two decades. He is always available for private tours and tastings.

“We want people to feel like this is their winery, to feel like they are a part of the family. We want people to feel E16 is inclusive.” Of course a big part of that is the joy one gets from tasting their wines. BLISSBABE.COM

MAY & JUNE 2018


Vino By: Russell Reyes Photos: Rancho Victoria Winery


MAY & JUNE 2018


Rancho Victoria Winery Where Western Culture Meets Fine Wine


hen most people are asked to picture life on a working cattle ranch, what comes to mind is trail-worn dusty cowboys, long hard days on the range, tending to cattle, working the fields, and early to bed to do it all over again at sunrise. But when you ask John and Cindy Sweigart to describe their life on the 1100 acres of Rancho Victoria, you’ll hear words like “fun, laughter, joy, and teamwork”. This place is so beautiful; it is possible the original owners, George and Margarete Greilich, also used words like that when they founded the ranch back in 1864. John describes Rancho Victoria as “Amador’s best kept secret." Cindy says. “We just love it when people sit on our stone-laced patio and admire the views, while sipping on one of our breathtaking wines.” In fact, it was when the Sweigarts themselves saw the views that they knew they had made the right decision to buy the property, plant the vineyards, and start the next chapter of their lives. One of John and Cindy’s favorite ways to unwind at the ranch is to take a bottle of wine, ride the horses to the top of the property, and just sit and enjoy the beautiful landscape. This include the expansive range the cattle call home, plus 120 acres of vineyards that produce the wines Rancho Victoria is becoming known for. “Cindy helps me out, especially during harvest, and I am her right-hand man during wedding season," said John. Weddings are quite popular at Rancho Victoria because of these views and the charming country feel of the venue. In fact, it is a wedding at the property that led to the hiring of manager Victor Turinsky. Victor and his wife were married at Rancho Victoria in 2016, and became friends with John and Cindy. When the plans to open the tasting room were brought up, Victor asked who was going to run it. When John asked if he had a recommendation, Victor said, “This guy right here!” while pointing to himself. You can find Victor passionately pouring the wines of Rancho Victoria in the tasting room that was once the scale house for the original cattle

ranch. Complete with the original scale from the 1800’s as a centerpiece, the beautifully appointed western-themed room is a perfect place to sample their award winning wines. One such wine, Horseplay, was the idea of winemaker Robert Morse and is a nod to Cindy’s upbringing in a rodeo family training horses. Horseplay is a red blend of Mouvedre, Montepulciano, and Barbera; it is a beautifully complex wine; and a fan favorite. The 2015 Barbera is currently one of John and Cindy’s favorite wines. In fact, if they could go back in time and share a meal and a bottle of wine with the original owners, George and Margarete, they would bring that Barbera with them. They feel it is one of the best in Amador right now and shows off the soils of the ranch beautifully. Of course wine-maker Robert Morse has a hand in these beautiful wines, too, but his philosophy of “less is more” allows terroir to show through. Robert will meticulously hand sort the berries to ensure minimal intervention is needed during the wine-making process. By taking a minimalist approach, he allows the wine to develop in the barrel and highlight the flavor profiles of each varietal. Rancho Victoria is truly a special place–a place where the land allows wonderfully artistic wines to be produced, as well as grazing for the many cattle that call the ranch home. It also serves as a romantic backdrop for weddings and long romantic afternoons lounging on the patio, sipping wine and enjoying the beauty of this land. You can often see Cindy riding through the vineyards with a parade of dogs as she and her horse Charlie, or Marylin, gallop by. John and Cindy love this land that is Rancho Victoria, and they invite you to come by for a visit, and fall in love with it, too. Learn more about them at Russ Reyes is founder and head creative guy at Reyes Digital Media and Kilt & Cork. As a writer, graphic designer, artist, and photographer, he has been a passionate fan, promoter, and supporter of the wines and wineries of the Sierra Foothills for over two decades. He is always available for private tours and tastings.


Placerville, California By: Mike Owen

SIGNATURE WINES Hand Destemmed | Barrel Fermented

THE HISTORIC CARY HOUSE HOTEL In the heart of California’s Gold Country wine region, the Historic Cary House Hotel has been a popular respite since it first opened in 1857. Through the years it has hosted many leg-endary guests including Mark Twain, Buffalo Bill, Bette Davis, and Elvis Presley. Conveniently located in the center of town the hotel offers 38 uniquely designed rooms and suites, each with all the modern conveniences. Some suites feature sitting rooms and kitchenettes. Yet The Cary House retains its historic charm with a fully functioning original elevator that is over 100 years old and intriguing antiques and memorabilia in the lobby. Many beautiful weddings, gala parties, family reunions, and other celebrations have taken place in the hotel’s banquet facility, and there is a conference room ideal for small meet-ings. Wine tourists are drawn to the charming, secluded courtyard with a fountain and ivycovered brick walls where they can relax over coffee or a glass of wine.

530.622.4271 • 300 Main St • Placerville, CA 95667

LIVE JAZZ Every Other Saturday Night

$35 LUNCH/DINNER For Two To Go + A Bottle of Wine

OUTDOOR VENUE for Weddings + Private Parties up to 130 People Winery + Tasting Room

Tasting Room + Kitchen

7351 Fairplay Road Somerset, CA 95684

3400 Carson Court Camino, CA 95667


Tasting Room

4520 Pleasant Valley Road Placerville, California Tasting Room 530.647.8078 Office 530.621.0700

775-789-2000 |

Tours & Tastings - Saturdays, Noon-4pm | | 775.423.4000 | Fallon Nv

Vino By: Russell Reyes Photo: Russel Reyes


MAY & JUNE 2018



Vino By: Russell Reyes

It is one of the softest metals, allowing it to be shaped into beautiful and wondrous objects of extreme value. Its discovery prompted a budding nation to “rush” west in search of it, despite the harsh and brutal travel conditions. Gold is a part of almost all romances in one form or another, and it has adorned kings and queens the world over for centuries. On the periodic table of the elements, gold’s atomic number is 79. It is no coincidence that a new winery in Fair Play, Element 79, is named after this beautiful and versatile element. Les and Sharon Heinsen come from farming families in North Dakota and grew up sharing a love of the earth and the lifestyle of a working farm. They are high school sweethearts who met at a school dance. “I gave her a ride home on my motorcycle,” Les recalls, with a sly smile. As if fate was beginning to point them down this road to Fair Play, Les explains, “You know, ’79 was also the year Sharon and I were married!” That same year, 1979, Les began his 38 year career working at a national insurance company, which took them away from their North Dakota roots. The saying “you can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy” is true in Les’ case, so he and Sharon set a goal to return to their farming roots by one day owning a winery in the Fair Play AVA (American Viticultural Area).

Les and Sharon believed that there was something very special about the Fair Play AVA. Their goal of one day creating outstanding wines here is now a reality with the opening of their beautiful new, upscale, rustic tasting room. Element 79 is a part of the new gold rush in El Dorado and Fair and, Since Les describes the wines produced here as “liquid gold.” As a nod to that Old West Gold Rush history, their logo is a stylized gold pan, complete with gold dust, forming their distinctive and meaningful number 79. In addition to their themed logo, Element 79 completes the western experience with a namesake PBR bull. A cousin of Sharon’s is a stock contractor for the PBR (Pro Bull Riders) and said Element 79 is a great name for a bull, so this past January, their bull made his debut in Sacramento and like his namesake, made quite an impression! As you walk into the tasting room you will soon realize you are in for a special experience. Sharon's expert hospitality provides a comfortable tasting environment, modeled after Paraduxx Napa. You are warmly greeted and are encouraged to find a place to sit among the comfy chairs and couches in the cozy tasting room. Weather permitting, there is an outside patio with sprawling vineyard views. A host approaches and places a tray for two in front of you, featuring samples of four wines, complete with tasting notes for you to enjoy at your leisure. It is an environment that fosters connection and conversation, which allows you to take in and savor the wines among the very earth that drew Les and Sharon to this area. It is a feeling of family, friendship, and inclusion. Les and Sharon said one of the best things about opening Element 79 as a couple is that they can now work together, enjoying the search for new ideas and knowledge, and learning this business as a team. Gold is a big part of their romance, but now they get to share that gold with those who visit Element 79. Check out their website at Russ Reyes is founder and head creative guy at Reyes Digital Media and Kilt & Cork. As a writer, graphic designer, artist, and photographer, he has been a passionate fan, promoter, and supporter of the wines and wineries of the Sierra Foothills for over two decades. He is always available for private tours and tastings.

Your next chapter starts here. Clarke & Gust Group

TEXT CGGROUP to 800-701-6509


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Signs of a Possible Stroke? Act F.A.S.T.! More of the brain is damaged with each passing minute of a stroke. Call 9-1-1 if you or a loved one experience:

Face droops when you ask a person to smile. Arm weakness when you ask a person to raise their arms above their head.

Speech is slurred when you ask a person to repeat a sentence. Time is important. If you notice any symptoms of a possible stroke, call 9-1-1.

Learn more about the signs of possible stroke at

2375 East Prater Way | Sparks, NV 89434 775-331-7000 | Physicians are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Northern Nevada Medical Center. The hospital shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians. For language assistance, disability accommodations and the non-discrimination notice, visit our website. 180371 2/18

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About Dr. Nuthi Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Dr. Nuthi earned her medical degree from New York Medical College in New York City. She completed her neurology residency at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago and went on to complete a fellowship in neurophysiology at Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center, also located in Chicago.

Usha Kiran Nuthi, MD Board-Certified Neurologist

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For language assistance, disability accommodations and the non-discrimination notice, visit our website. 180371 2/18