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sonoma

DISCOVERIES FOR THOSE WHO LIVE AND PLAY IN SONOMA COUNTY | SINCE 1996

Musically Inclined Cheese Heaven

Volume 17, Issue 2 Spring 2014 $4.95

Spring Sparklers

Parading Around


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Editor’s LETTER ®

Brew Pub And Restaurant Hand-crafted Ales from the Heart of # ( & # ( #* ( & # + 345 Healdsburg A Ave., ve., Downtown Healdsburg 707-433-BEER ,BEER ! )www.bearrepub ) ) % * + + * & % ,! , ,! , ! , ,!

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In our spring issue of Sonoma Discoveries we showcase a terrific tapestry of talent and topics. As the cover illustrates, writer Barry Dugan brings you the top places to listen to live music in “Musically Inclined.” We’re fortunate to live in a place that attracts national and international stars while at the same time has a thriving local music scene. We introduce you to cheesemakers, sparkling wine producers, a new food columnist and a savvy winery communications director who’s making a splash via social media. Spring is the ideal season to tour cheesemakers on the Sonoma-Marin Cheese Trail. Abby Bard’s story, “Cheese Heaven,” depicts three who are dedicated to their craft and the animals that are a source of pride and award-winning cheeses. In “The Tasting Room Experience,” MaryColleen Tinney notes how sparkling wine can elevate any day to a special occasion. If you follow her lead, you will find the four experiences to be delicious while learning how sparkling is made. Writer Jess Poshepny enjoyed getting to know Jordan Winery’s Lisa Mattson for the Q&A – and we think you will, too. An award-winning wine industry blogger who recently published her first book, Lisa shares how she created the life of her dreams. Sheana Davis’ favorite place to hang out as a kid was in the kitchen, shadowing her grandfather, a chef at Paul’s Resort in Sonoma Valley. Her love of food motivated her to make it her profession. In her new column, “A Day with The Epicurean Connection,” she’ll be sharing seasonal recipes and spotlighting artisan farmers and producers. Discoveries Picks 5 is a fun department in which you discover five surprises that are ultra-local and cool.This time, we introduce five food products. If you haven’t yet tried them, you’re in for a treat (or 5!). For a simple pleasure that never grows old, “Parading Around” brings you the lineup of hometown parades with everything from the joyful procession of ‘fools’ in Occidental to the mystical dances with Oaxacan origins in Healdsburg. Finally, kudos to our photographers – Sarah Bradbury, Carrie Elzey and Gary Ottonello – who illustrate in beautiful images the people and places you meet in our magazine.

Patricia M. Roth, Editor


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12 40

34

Contents Spring 2014 features 16 |

A Day With The Epicurean Connection By Sheana Davis

28 | Cheese Heaven By Abby Bard

18 |

Lisa Mattson: The New Storyteller By Jess Poshepny

34 | Musically Inclined By Barry Dugan

Culinary and sensory garden, original recipes A candid talk about work, life and love

24 | The Tasting Room Experience: Spring Sparklers By Mary-Colleen Tinney

Touring four sparkling wine houses

Cheesemakers on the Sonoma-Marin Cheese Trail Sonoma County’s rich live music scene

40 | Parading Around By Kimberly Kaido-Alvarez

Where to snag a seat on the sidewalk

Cover: Roem Baur, Hopmonk Tavern, Sebastopol. Photograph by Gary Ottonello. Inset: Dancers at the Healdsburg Twilight Parade; cookies from WholeVine Products (photographs by Sarah Bradbury); Green Music Center (photograph by Gary Ottonello). Page 28: Illustration (font) in “Cheese Heaven” by Carrie Elzey.

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Contributors

  

 

  Kimberly Kaido-Alvarez is a Sonoma County native and journalist for SonomaWest Times & News. She has a BA in Communications from Sonoma State University.  

Abby Bard is a weaver who sells her handwoven clothing from her studio in Sebastopol and is a member of ARTrails. She has a passion for growing food in an urban landscape and writes about it and other subjects for Sonoma West magazines.

Sheana Davis is a cheesemaker, culinary educator and owner of The Epicurean Connection. She has supported the artisan and farmstead cheese movement for more than 20 years and sponsors the annual Sonoma Valley Cheese Conference. sheanadavis.com Barry Dugan is a freelance writer, editor and public outreach consultant in the field of water reuse and conservation. He was formerly the editor of SonomaWest Times & News, The Healdsburg Tribune and TheWindsor Times.

Carrie Elzey is interested in composing images, mostly with a camera, for herself and anyone that is interested in looking at what and how she sees. She received an MFA from The San Francisco Art Institute in 2010.

 



       



259 CENTER STREET | HEALDSBURG www.saintdhome.com 707.473.0980

Ray Holley is a writer, editor, and photographer who is lucky enough to live in Healdsburg, the land of good bread, good coffee, and good people. He has no fear of the serial comma. rayholley.com Gary Ottonello is a photographer born and raised in Sonoma County concentrating in portraiture and action sports photography, specializing in off-camera lighting. He comes from a video background and enjoys playing the drums and skateboarding. garyomedia.com.

Jess Poshepny is direct sales and marketing manager for Trione Vineyards & Winery. The Sonoma native is president of the Geyserville Chamber of Commerce.

Staff

Associate Publisher & Managing Editor: Sarah Bradbury | Editor: Patricia M. Roth Copy Editor: Pam Whigham | Senior Designer: Stephanie O’Hearn Photography Editor: Sarah Bradbury Contributors: Kimberly Kaido-Alvarez | Abby Bard | Sheana Davis Barry Dugan | Carrie Elzey | Ray Holley | Gary Ottonello | Jess Poshepny Email us: sarah@sonomadiscoveries.com | patti@sonomadiscoveries.com Publisher: Rollie Atkinson Advertising Director: Cherie Kelsay | Sales Manager: Paula Wise

Email us with advertising placement inquiries: paulawise@hbgtrib.com Advertising Sales: Kyle Domenichelli | Cherie Kelsay | Steve Pedersen Production Manager: Ruby Reed | Graphic Designer: Jim Schaefer Website Coordinator: Eileen Mateo Discoveries Magazine Advertising and Editorial Offices P.O. Box 518, Healdsburg, CA 95448, Phone: 707-838-9211 sonomawest.com <http://sonomawest.com> sonomadiscoveries.com <http://sonomadiscoveries.com>

Sonoma Discoveries is published quarterly, four times a year. The entire contents of Sonoma Discoveries is copyrighted by Sonoma West Publishers, Inc. Sonoma Discoveries is published at 230 Center Street, Healdsburg, CA. 95448. Application to Mail at Periodicals Postage Prices is pending at Healdsburg, CA. 95448. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Sonoma Discoveries. P.O. Box 518, Healdsburg, CA. 95448-0518. The annual subscription rate for Sonoma Discoveries is $20 per year (4 issues.) Š Copyright 2014 Sonoma West Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

4 â&#x20AC;˘ spring 2014

This magazine uses zero VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) UV inks. VOCs create smog. Because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not printed using conventional Heatset, this publication has substantially reduced its carbon footprint. Printed by Barlow Printing, Cotati, California.


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18

24

Contents Spring 2014

28

departments 2 4 6 8 10 12 13 15

| | |

| | | | |

Editor’s Letter Contributors

DoDates Calendar Festivals, concerts and wine tastings, March through May On Stage Local theatre shows for spring

Art & About Events and exhibits at art galleries and art centers

Discoveries Picks 5 Ultra-local and cool Sonoma-made food products Wine Discoveries A few wines to try for spring

Wine Personality Karissa Kruse, Sonoma County Wine Growers president

46 | Advertisers’ Index

46 | Farmers Markets

The T he 1166 th AAnnual nnual HHealdsburg ealdsbur g Jazz Jaz z Festival Fes tival oonce nce aagain gain brings bring s a wide w ide array array of of jjazz az z sstyles t yles to to Sonoma Sonoma County Cou n t y

MAY M AY 30 30 - J JUNE UNE 8 2014 2014 FESTIVAL FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE INCLUDE iniCCelebrating elebrating tth the he BBl Blues lues - A TTw Two-day wo-day M MiniFe Festival stival hhonoring onoring Charlie Charlie Musselwhite Musselw hite with with EElvin lvin Bishop Bishop an andd Guy Guy DDavis, avis, JJoshua oshua Redman Redman Quartet, Qu ar tet, John John Santos Santos y Sus Sus Soneros S oner o s w with ith PPerico erico HHernandez ernandez an restes Vilató, Vilató, aand nd more. more. andd OOrestes

OTHER OTHER DAYS DAYS IINCLUDE NCLUDE PPoncho oncho SSanchez anchez aand nd his his LLatin atin Jazz Jaz z BBand, an d, Ron Ron Carter Car ter Quartet, Quar tet, BBill ill CCharlap harlap an andd RRenee enee RRosnes osnes PPiano iano Du o, M arc Cary Car y - TTribute ributee to to Duo, Marc AAbbey bbey Lincoln, Lincoln,, CClaudia laudia VVillela illela Trio, Trio, M Mads ads TTolling olling Quartet, Quar tet, and and m many any oothers. thers.

INFORMATION INFORMATION A AND ND T TICKETS ICKETS a att

Inset: Amista Vineyards’ “Art of Sparkling” Dosage Tasting; Lisa Mattson with tools of her trade (photographs by Sarah Bradbury); sign leading to Joe Matos Cheese Factory (photograph by Carrie Elzey).

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DoDates Calendar (Area codes 707 unless noted)

March

MARCH 7 - 9 WINE ROAD BARREL TASTING

This is the 36th year of a two-weekend, sneak-peek wine tasting and futures event that covers 100-plus wineries in the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River valleys. Meet winemakers and owners in the cellar and take advantage of special deals. $50 per weekend, $40 Sunday only; designated drivers $5. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Tickets and list of participating wineries are on the website. 800-723-6336; wineroad.com.

MARCH 8 SONOMA COUNTY BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL

The 14th annual music fest includes headliners Missy Raines and the New Hip, High Country, Rita Hosking, Mike Justis Band and Front Country. Additional appearances, workshops and opportunities to jam round out the event. $30 advance, $35 at the door; $5 discount for CBA and SOCOFOSO members. 1 to 9 p.m., doors open at noon. Sebastopol Community Cultural Center, 390 Morris St., Sebastopol; 829-8012; 861-9446; cbaontheweb.org; socofoso.com.

MIRÓ QUARTET One of America’s highest-profile chamber groups, this dynamic quartet has reached the top tier of the international chamber music scene. Performances contain startling intensity and fresh perspective, befitting the group’s namesake, Spanish surrealist Joan Miró. $30 general, $10 students with ID. 8 p.m. Occidental Center for the Arts, 3850 Doris Murphy Ct., Occidental; 874-9392; redwoodarts.org. MARCH 21 WINEMAKER DINNER: VALDEZ FAMILY WINERY

The Bay View Restaurant at The Inn at the Tides in Bodega Bay welcomes owner and winemaker Ulises Valdez for a four-course dinner paired with selected varietals from Russian River and Rockpile appellations. $99 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Preview the menu online; call for time and

6 • spring 2014

“The Medicine Game,” Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival

reservations. 800 Coast Hwy 1, Bodega Bay; 800-541-7788; innatthetides.com.

MARCH 21 - 22 CELEBRATION OF PIGS AND PINOT

It’s the ninth annual, one-of-a-kind weekend of dining and educational events that toast pork and Pinot Noir. Chef Charlie Palmer is your host, bringing together a cast of Master Sommeliers and international celebrity chefs. Cost and times vary by event. Proceeds benefit Share our Strength plus local scholarships and charities. Dry Creek Kitchen/Hotel Healdsburg, Matheson St. at Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg; 800-889-7188; pigsandpinot.com.

MARCH 21 - 23 CALIFORNIA ARTISAN CHEESE FESTIVAL

Now in its 8th year, this festival brings together artisan cheesemakers, brewers, wineries and guests for three days of cheese tasting and appreciation. Enjoy tours, seminars, chef demos, pairings, panel discussions and a marketplace. Ticket prices vary. See website for full details and schedule. Hosted at the Sheraton Sonoma County, 745 Baywood Dr., Petaluma; 523-3728; artisancheesefestival.com.

MARCH 27 - 30 SEBASTOPOL DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL

This film fest brings strong, independent documentary films and filmmakers to West Sonoma County. Features and shorts are screened at different venues with discussions and Q&A sessions with filmmakers, editors and other collaborators. See website for full schedule and ticket information.

Presented by Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 282 S. High St., Sebastopol; 8294797; sebastopolfilmfestival.org.

April

APRIL 1 - 30 WHALE & JAZZ FESTIVAL

The Sonoma/Mendocino coast hosts the 11th annual Whale & Jazz Festival.Throughout the month, a variety of events feature great jazz, fine food (the popular Chowder Challenge is April 12), adventure, romance, family fun, and education about the majestic whales in migration along the Northern California coast. The main event is April 26. See the website for the schedule and all details. 884-1138; gualalaarts.org.

APRIL 12

REAL VOCAL STRING QUARTET Hear a chamber quartet that doesn’t abide by the constraints of the classical music rulebook. All four women perform vocally in addition to their “other” instrument. But the innovation doesn’t stop there; to understand you’ll have to hear this quartet for yourself. $30 general, $10 students with ID. 8 p.m. Occidental Center for the Arts, 3850 Doris Murphy Ct., Occidental; 874-9392; redwoodarts.org. APRIL 12 - 13 SEBASTOPOL APPLE BLOSSOM FESTIVAL

This year’s theme of “Red, White and Blues Blossoms” brings extensive blues acts to the weekend festival. Saturday kick-off parade starts marching down Main Street at 10 a.m.; festival runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Satur-


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day and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. $10 general, $5 seniors and students (11 to 17 years), under 10 free. Ives Park and Sebastopol Veterans Memorial Building, 282 S. High St., Sebastopol. 823-3032; appleblossomfest.com.

APRIL 13 CELTIC FIDDLE FESTIVAL

Three violinists demonstrate the global appreciation and interpretation of Celtic fiddle music. Kevin Burke (Ireland), Christian Lemaître (France), and André Brunet (Canada) are joined by acclaimed guitarist Nicolas Quemener. $27 advance premium seating, $22 general admission advance, $25 at the door. 8 p.m., doors open at 7:15. Sebastopol Community Cultural Center, 390 Morris St., Sebastopol; 829-8012; 861-9446; seb.org.

Violinists and guitarist, Celtic Fiddle Festival

APRIL 25 - 26 GRATON COMMUNITY CLUB SPRING FLOWER SHOW

The Graton Community Club celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2014. The “Diamond Jubilee” theme features historical exhibits and floral displays plus drought tolerant varieties, garden art, collectibles, and handcrafted items for sale, a raffle and live music. Free admission; lunch and desserts.

APRIL 26 - 27 BODEGA BAY FISHERMAN’S FESTIVAL

A “Fishin’ Mission” is the theme for the 41st fish fest. Boat parade and blessing of the fishing fleet is Sunday only. Watch a wooden boat challenge (Saturday only) and enjoy craft vendors, exhibitions, kid zone, great food, beverages and live music. $12 general, $10 seniors 65+, kids under 12 free. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Westside Park, Westshore Rd., Bodega Bay; 875-3866; bbfishfest.org.

May

MAY 2 - 4

ART ON THE COAST

In the first annual event, Sonoma Coast Art is partnering with local art groups to create a weekend of art events on the coast in Bodega Bay, Jenner, Sea Ranch and Gualala. The main event is an art exhibition and sale on May 4 in Jenner by the Sea at the Jenner Inn and Conference Center, to benefit Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods. There is no admission charge. Food, alcohol and other beverages will be sold.Visit www.sonomacoastart.com for more information.

MAY 3 - 4

OLD TIME FIDDLE CONTEST & FESTIVAL

Founded by the Cloverdale Historical Society, it’s the 39th annual music event that gets the toes tapping and dancers swinging. There’s an all-ages fiddle contest, dancing, crafts and food vendors. See website for prices and schedule. Discounts for weekend pass, youth and senior admission; 4 and under free. Cloverdale Citrus Fair Grounds, 1 Citrus Fair Dr., Cloverdale; 894-2067; cloverdalefiddles.com.

MAY 4

GEYSERVILLE MAY DAY FESTIVAL

Geyserville celebrates 38 years of this annual community tradition with music, kids’ activities, games, great food and local wines. Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without the crowning of the May Day Queen and the traditional May Pole Dance. Free admission. 12 to 4 22298 Geyserville Ave., Geyserville; 857-3745; geyservillecc.com.

HISTORIC HEALDSBURG HOMES TOUR

This is the 24th year for the Healdsburg AAUW self-guided spring tour of select homes in historical Healdsburg. A raffle offers a chance at a wine country basket filled with wines, lodging and fine dining experiences. Proceeds support scholarships and local public education. See website or call for tickets, hours and check-in details. Downtown Healdsburg. 473-0313; healdsburgaauw.com.

MAY 10

WINDSOR PARADE & FESTIVAL This annual tradition is made possible by the

Windsor Kiwanis Club and celebrates the town of Windsor at a beautiful time of year. The parade begins at Windsor High School, marches along Windsor River Rd., Market St. and McClelland Dr. At the Windsor Town Green, the festival keeps the party going. Free to attend. Parade starts at 10 a.m. 838-7285; kiwaniswindsor.org.

MAY 17 - 18

TASTE ALEXANDER VALLEY Alexander Valley Winegrowers host the 17th annual weekend of exploration in a premier Sonoma County appellation. Visit wineries not usually open to the public during this low-key but festive wine tasting event. Weekend pass: $65 advance, $75 at the door; designated drivers $20, $30; Sundayonly discounted $20. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets: 888-289-4637; info: 431-2894; tastealexandervalley.org.

MAY 22 - 24

TWILIGHT PARADE AND COUNTRY FAIR

This annual parade features animals, vintage vehicles, floats and dancers. Afterwards, the fair continues with food, games, entertainment, livestock shows and an auction. Free to attend. Parade starts at 6 p.m.Thurs. along Matheson, Center, Piper and Fitch streets. Fair runs 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fri. and Sat. in Recreation Park, Piper St. at University Ave. Healdsburg; healdsburgfair.org.

MAY 24 - 25

GUALALA FINE ARTS FAIR Wander the open air booths and marketplace stands of fine arts and crafts under the redwoods above Gualala. This is one of the best juried art festivals in the region with fine art, jewelry, ceramics, woodwork, photography, fiber art and more. Free to attend. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, rain or shine. Gualala Arts Center, 46501 Gualala Rd., Gualala; 884-1138; gualalaarts.org. MAY 30 - JUNE 8 HEALDSBURG JAZZ FESTIVAL

Another feast of jazz-licious entertainment opens this last day of May. Headline concerts, smaller intimate events, and open-air performances starring big names in the jazz scene make this a signature music festival for Sonoma County. For full schedule and details, see healdsburgjazzfestival.org. Please go to www.sonomadiscoveries.com to submit calendar items and view more events in Sonoma County. sonoma discoveries

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Sebastopol

UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL

ON STAGE (All area codes 707)

March 13 – 30 A mistreated Baedeker’s guidebook returned to a Dutch library 125 years overdue leads the untraveled librarian on the adventure of his life in this collaboration between John Shillington and John Craven. Thurs. through Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 5 p.m. Main Stage West, 104 N. Main St., Sebastopol; 823-0177; mainstagewest.com.

ALL IN THE TIMING

March 21 – April 13 A series of vignettes about the importance of timing, playwright David Ives serves up hilarious new perspectives on everything from speed dating,The Monkeys to Kafka, and the death of Trotsky. See website for performance times. Pegasus Theater Company, Rio Nido Lodge, 4444 Wood Rd., Rio Nido; 5832343; pegasustheater.com

self wondering – just who is that lady in the portrait? Fri. and Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. matinees at 2 p.m. Cloverdale Performing Arts Center, 209 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale; 894-2214; cloverdaleperformingarts.com.

MOTHER JONES IN HEAVEN

April 24 – May 11 Si Kahn has written a one-woman musical in which Mother Jones (played by Mary Gannon Graham) discovers that heaven is an old Irish pub. Through song and yarn, a trio of Celtic musicians accompanies the Irish-American schoolteacher/dressmaker turned labor organizer in reviewing her life. Thurs. through Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 5 p.m. Main Stage West, 104 N. Main St., Sebastopol; 823-0177; mainstagewest.com.

NOISES OFF

April 25 – May 11 This funny farce by Michael Frayn presents a manic menagerie of a cast, itinerant actors rehearsing a flop called “Nothing On.” Doors slamming, maneuverings both onstage and backstage, plus an errant herring all figure in the plot of this comedy. Fri. and Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. matinees 2 p.m. Raven Players, Raven Performing Arts Theater, 115 North St., Healdsburg; 433-6335 x11; raventheater.org.

THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE Thoroughly Modern Millie, 6th St. Playhouse Photo: Craig A. Miller

DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS

March 28 – April 13 This musical was written by Jeffrey Lane with music and lyrics by David Yazbek. Two con men living on the French Riviera make a bet on who will be the first to extract $50,000 from heiress Christine Colgate. Thurs. through Sat. 8 p.m.; matinees at 2 p.m. on Sat. and Sunday. 6th St. Playhouse, 52 W. 6th St., Santa Rosa; 523-4185; 6thstreetplayhouse.com.

THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP

8 • spring 2014

April 4 – 13 A funny tour-de-force that features satire, mystery and the amusement of upper-crust English domestic intrigue, you’ll find your-

May 2 – 25 Jeanine Tesori (music) and Dick Scanlan (lyrics) have created a full score of new songs to tell the story of young Millie arriving in New York City in 1922, when women were entering the workforce and the rules of love and social behavior were changing forever. Thurs.-Sat. 8 p.m., matinees at 2 p.m. on Sat. and Sunday. 6th Street Playhouse, 52 W. 6th St., Santa Rosa; 523-4185; 6thstreetplayhouse.com.

TAPAS: NEW SHORT PLAY FESTIVAL

May 16 – June 8 Don’t miss the 8th annual smorgasbord of delicious, thought-provoking, new one-acts written by local talent. Some will make you laugh and some will make you cry, but all of them will make you glad you caught this event. Pegasus Theater Company, Rio Nido Lodge, 4444 Wood Rd., Rio Nido; 5832343; pegasustheater.com.

Call or see websites for ticket information.


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Art Galleries

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Art & About

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(All area codes 707 unless noted)

Cloverdale Arts Alliance Gallery

Gualala Arts Center

“Arts in the Schools: Young Creative Minds,” through March 30. Reception March 7, 5-7 p.m. “We Stitch the Music, We Quilt the Song,” Pacific Piecemakers Quilt Guild, through April 27. Reception April 4, 5-7 p.m. Bay Area Basket Makers Guild Exhibit, through June 1. Reception May 2, 5-7 p.m. “Exotic Wood Vessels” by Robert Gauthier, through June 1. Reception May 2, 5-7 p.m. 46501 Gualala Rd., Gualala, 8841138, gualalaArts.org.

“Begin Again,” through March 13. Resident artists Robin Burgert, Marian Murphy, Laura Paine Carr, Paul Maurer, Sharon Kozel and Hanya Popova Parker welcome the talented guest artists for this exhibition. Open Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m.– 4 p.m. 204 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale www.cloverdaleartsalliance.org

Dolphin Gallery

Quilter Barbara Dunsmoor and potter Nancy Morgan, through April 2. Photography by Marty and Matthew Covington and woodworking by Tom Haines, through April 30. Reception April 5, 5-7 p.m., Paintings by Jennifer Bundy and woodworking by Paul Maurer, through June 4. Reception May 3, 5-7 p.m. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 39225 Hwy. 1, Gualala, 884-3896, www.gualalaarts.org.

Hand Fan Museum

“Dressed in Water” by Marylu Downing at the Graton Gallery

Erickson Fine Art Gallery

“Pedaços de Paisagem,” March 15-April 14. Sonoma artist Bob Nugent will exhibit his recent series of work, based on landscape fragments, in oil, acrylic, conte, graphite, distemper on prepared panel. Well known throughout the U.S. and Brazil, Nugent continues to explore forms from nature, their relationships and abstractions in a variety of mediums. Representing the best Northern California painters and sculptors: Barnes, Draegert, Fryer, Grassano, Hall, Haines, Kirk, McGinnis, Mew, Monaghan, Mooney, Mullen, Nugent, Perez, Racina, Setterlund, Van Dyke, Van Lith and Von Grone. Open daily 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wed. by appt. 324 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg. 431-7073, www.ericksonfineartgallery.com.

Graton Gallery

Showing the works of more than 50 local artists and artisans. Small Works Show, through March 30. Susan Ball and Rik Olson, April 1-May 11. Marylu Downing, May 13-June 22. Open Tues. through Sat., 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun. 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., 9048 Graton Rd., Graton. 829-8912, www.gratongallery.com. 10 • spring 2014

Fans tell the stories and histories of the cultures and individuals who used them. Art, culture, geography and history – all in the palm of your hand. This is the only fan museum in the U.S. Open Wed. through Sun., 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed holidays and rainy days. 219 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg. 431-2500, www.handfanmuseum.org.

Healdsburg Center for the Arts

Emerging Artist Show: March 12-April 27; opening reception March 15, 5-8 p.m. Metal Arts: April 30-June 22; opening reception May 10, 5 to 8 p.m. The gallery features local artists-in-residence and invited artists, as well as juried exhibitions. Kids’ Day is every third Wednesday of the month. Docents will be on hand to walk children through the gallery and talk about the work that is on view. 130 Plaza St., Healdsburg. 431-1970, www.healdsburgcenterforthearts.com

Local Color Gallery

“Etcetera” through April 14, featuring the paintings of gallery partners Jody Shipp, Ron Sumner, Pamela Wallace, Florence brass, Judy Henderson and the photography of Tom Moyer and Phil Wright. “Wavescapes,” April 16-May 19, presenting the ocean-inspired paintings of Pamela Wallace; opening reception, April 19, 1 to 4 p.m. “Underwater Mysteries,” May 20-June 23. Featuring paintings of Donna Schaffer. Meet-the-artist reception, May 24, 1 to 4 p.m. Open daily10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 1580 Eastshore Rd., Bodega Bay. 875-2744, www.localcolor.com.


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Ren Brown Collection

“Rain Upon Us!” While the drought persists, as part of our civic duty we will show an exhibit downstairs of woodblock, etching silkscreen prints by gallery artists, all depicting storms, umbrellas or rainfall. “Brush Strokes,” paintings by Yoshio Ikezaki, Tomiko Yabumoto, Chiyomi Longo and Fumiyo Yoshikawa, through March 30. Includes oil paintings, sumi brushwork painted wet on wet, abstractions and calligraphy. “Fresh Start,” new etchings and woodblocks from gallery artists, April-May 2014.Wed. to Sun., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 1781 Coast Hwy. 1, Bodega Bay. 875-2922, www.renbrown.com.

Sebastopol Center for the Arts

Main Gallery, through April 1: “In the Red,” a “red” exhibition featuring a variety of work in all media, Gallery II: “TheWorld Up Close,” large-scale oil paintings by Deborah Garber. Gallery III: “A World of High Contrast,” unique infrared photography by William Anderson. April 12-May 4. “Ready or Not (Here we Come),” a teen-run show for emerging teenagers. Opening reception, April 19, 11 to 5 p.m. “Art at the Source Preview Exhibit,” May 15-June 7: West Sonoma County’s premier open studio. Opening reception May 15, 6 to 8 p.m. No entry fee. Open Tues.-Fri. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sat. 1 to 4 p.m. 282 S. High St., Sebastopol Veterans Building, Sebastopol. 829-4797, www.sebarts.org.

Sebastopol Gallery

"From the Shadows, Out," through April 26. Paintings by Jeff Watts and photography by Mike Shoys, featuring works with deep and rich shadows. Reception March 15, 5-7 p.m. Open daily 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 150 North Main St., Sebastopol. 829-7200, www.sebastopol-gallery.com.

Upstairs Art Gallery

Inside Levin & Company community booksellers is a showcase for local art, featuring an eclectic mix of paintings, mixed media, collage, drawings, prints and an impressive selection of fine arts and jewelry. The gallery is owned and operated by local artists. Open daily 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 306 Center St., Healdsburg. 431-4214, www.upstairsartgallerysite.com. S

The lar largest gestt Art Art Center in California north nor th of San Francisco

www w.sebar ts.org 282 S. High St. Sebastopol, CA 707 7.829.4797

ARTT PERFORMANCE LITERAR LITERARY RY FILM CLASSES sonoma discoveries

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Discoveries Picks 5

5 Unique Foods of Sonoma County

Man – and woman – cannot live on wine alone. And sometimes bread and cheese aren’t enough either. While there’s plenty of wine, bread and cheese here in Sonoma County, that’s just an entree into the expanding world of foodstuffs produced here with all of the locally sourced crops, farm products and byproducts.To get you started, here are five unique Sonomamade items you can find at our best local independent markets and food shops:

1

J Brand Cattle. Of course Sonoma County would

have its own grass-fed, sustainably raised beef company. Actually, there are several, but J Brand is now coming into its own, just a few years after starting with an original herd of just six head of registered Angus. Steve and Marci Jacobs, who have Wine Country roots, were looking for a small operation where they could control the breeding, raising, processing and marketing with the highest sustainability and animal welfare standards. It’s a family-style operation that has become a very familiar way of farming in today’s Sonoma County.

2

Sonoma Brinery. Founder David Ehreth’s hobby for making homemade pickles is now a fast-growing company making all-natural pickles and sauerkraut. His pickles and kraut are worthy of the gourmet tag they were given by David’s original company name, Alexander Valley Gourmet. His bread and butter pickles that come packed in a plastic container are not only the freshest you can buy; they’re the best.Try them with your next hamburger and it will be like a marriage forever. David makes a spicy version of the pickle and several kinds of sauerkraut, including a probiotic fresh vat. If your neighborhood grocer doesn’t carry them, ask them what’s wrong with them. sonomabrinery.com

3

Terra Sonoma. Have you ever heard of verjus? It is

the pressed, unfermented juice of unripe wine grapes. Consider it a replacement for vinegar in salad dressings, meat mari-

12 • spring 2014

J Brand Cattle Burger with Sonoma Brinery Pickles. Photo by Sarah Bradbury

nades or even a cocktail base. Owners Karin and Justin WarneliusMiller live in Alexander Valley, where they encountered some unclaimed and underripe grapes one harvest. They stumbled upon a very old French recipe for verjus and ever since have turned a neglected crop into a great kitchen condiment that has a balanced sweet-sour taste with much lower acidity than vinegars. A 500 ml bottle retails for $15. terrasonoma.com

4

Sonoma Chocolatiers. Sebastopol-based, but

worldly, is this hands-on chocolate maker. They make 55 different truffles, 30 silky-smooth caramels and a dozen other chocolate indulgences. All ingredients are organic and include fruits, teas, spices, nuts, cheeses, herbs and other flavorings. After bread and cheese, chocolate has to be a red wine’s best companion, don’t you agree? sonomachocolatiers.com

5

WholeVine Products. This line of wine country

products was born out of a leftover mound of grape pumice following a harvest. What a waste to let all that grape essence be turned back under the soil. Managing partners Barbara Banke (Jackson Family Wines) and Peggy Furth (formerly with Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards & Winery) produce a line of grape seed-based oils and food products and have since expanded into other culinary oils, cosmetics, skin and seed flours and a line of gluten-free baked goods and baking ingredients. All products are available online and at many winery tasting rooms and independent grocery stores. wholevine.com


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Wine Discoveries

DRY CREEK VINEYARD 2010 AND 2011 HERITAGE VINES ZINFANDEL SONOMA COUNTY $19, 13.5% alcohol (2010), 14.5% (2011)

If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re lucky, you can still find the 2010 or 2011 Heritage Vines Zinfandel in your local markets, as we did. The winery released its 2012 vintage on March 1. This is a great price for a truly great Zinfandel. The 2010 is 88 percent Zinfandel and 12 percent Petite Sirah. The 2011 is 84 percent Zinfandel and 16 percent Petite Sirah. Both survived weather challenges, and they are silky smooth and full of that tell-tale Zinfandel spice. drycreekvineyard.com

HAFNER VINEYARD 2009 RESERVE CHARDONNAY & 2010 CHARDONNAY

$56, 14.2% alcohol (2009) and 13.9% alcohol (2010) This small winery in Alexander Valley offers this special twobottle selection of its exquisite estate-grown Chardonnay. The wines are from the same grapes and vineyard but are distinctively different once poured in a glass. Made in two different styles, they reflect the winemakerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s techniques. The 2009 Reserve has a flinty quality and is richer and softer. The 2010 Chardonnay is leaner and crisper with more noticeable true components. If you want to get this package, mention â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sonoma Discoveriesâ&#x20AC;? magazine. hafnervineyard.com

FORCHINI WINERY AND VINEYARDS PAPA NONNO TUSCAN STYLE RED WINE DRY CREEK VALLEY

The best local ingredients, presented with style and elegance, in a casual bistro atmosphere.



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$25, 14.0% alcohol

This wine is a tribute to winemaker and owner Jim Forchiniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grandfather, Pietro Bernacchi, who came to California in 1908 from Lucca, Italy. The backbone of the wine is older vine Zinfandel, with Cabernet, Carignane and mixed heirloom whites. The grapes were co-fermented to produce a style similar to Tuscanyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chianti wines. This is a hearty pasta wine, with delicious bright flavors. forchini.com

MERRIAM VINEYARDS 2010 WINDACRE VINEYARD MERLOT RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY $28, 14.1% alcohol

Winner of a Gold Medal at last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Judging, this is a Merlot with some power in it, thanks partly due to a noticeable dose of Cabernet Sauvignon. It has lots and lots of fruit and velvety soft tannins. Flavor highlights include cherries and cola. Buy a case and drink it for the next decade.The Windacre vineyard is located between Healdsburg and Windsor on Los Amigos Road, near Limerick Lane. merriamvineyards.com

Wine Emporium â&#x20AC;˘ Wine Shop â&#x20AC;˘ Tasting Bar Wine Club â&#x20AC;˘ Gallery â&#x20AC;˘ Gift Service Mon-Tue Knock for Service Wed-Sat 12-6 125 North Main Street, Downtown Sebastopol order online: the-wine-emporium.com

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Dry Creek Valley Tasting Rooms 32 Winds

Gรถpfrich Winery

Peterson Winery

A. Rafanelli Winery

Gustafson Family Vineyard

Preston of Dry Creek

www.32windswine.com www.arafanelliwinery.com

Alderbrook Winery

www.alderbrook.com

Amista Vineyards

www.amistavineyards.com

Amphora Hutchinson Wines www.amphorawines.com

Armida Winery

www.armida.com

Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves www.bellawinery.com

Chateau Diana

www.chateaud.com

Collier Falls

www.collierfalls.com

DaVero Farms & Winery www.davero.com

David Coffaro Vnyd. & Winery www.coffaro.com

De La Montanya Winery www.dlmwine.com

Dry Creek Vineyard

www.drycreekvineyard.com

Dutcher Crossing Winery

www.dutchercrossingwinery.com

Everett Ridge

www.everettridge.com

F. Teldeschi Vineyards www.teldeschi.com

Ferrari Carano Vnyds. & Winery www.ferrari-carano.com

Forchini Vineyards & Winery www.forchini.com

Frick Winery

www.frickwinery.com

Fritz Underground Winery www.fritzwinery.com

14 โ€ข spring 2014

www.gopfrich.com

www.gfvineyard.com

Hawley Wines

www.hawleywine.com

Kachina Vineyards

www.kachinavineyards.com

Kokomo Winery

www.kokomowines.com

Lambert Bridge Winery www.lambertbridge.com

MacPhail Family Wines

www.macphailwines.com

Manzanita Creek

www.manzanitacreek.com

Martorana Family Winery

www.martoranafamilywinery.com

Mauritson Family Winery www.mauritsonwines.com

Mazzocco Winery

www.mazzocco.com

Michel-Schlumberger Wines

www.michelschlumberger.com

Mill Creek Vineyards

www.millcreekwinery.com

MoniClaire Vineyards www.moniclaire.com

Mounts Family Winery

www.mountswinery.com

Nalle Winery

www.nallewinery.com

Optima Winery

www.optimawinery.com

Papapietro Perry Winery

www.papapietro-perry.com

Passalacqua Winery

www.passalacquawinery.com

Pedroncelli Winery

www.pedroncelli.com

www.petersonwinery.com www.prestonvineyards.com

Quivira Vineyards & Winery www.quivirawine.com

Raymond Burr Vineyards

www.raymondburrvineyards.com

Ridge Lytton Springs www.ridgewine.com

Rued Winery

www.ruedwinery.com

Sbragia Family Vineyards www.sbragia.com

Seghesio Family Vineyards www.seghesio.com

Selby Winery

www.selbywinery.com

Simoncini Vineyards

www.simoncinivineyards.com

Stephen & Walker Winery www.trustwine.com

Talty Winery

www.taltyvineyards.com

Trattore Estate Wines

www.trattorewines.com

Truett Hurst Winery www.truetthurst.com

Unti Vineyards

www.untivineyards.com

UPTick Vineyards

www.uptickvineayrds.com

Vineyard of Pasterick

www.pasterickwine.com

West Wines

www.westwines.com

Wilson Winery

www.wilsonwinery.com

Zichichi Family Vineyard

www.zichichifamilyvineyard.com


Final Spring 2014 Discoveries 021314_Layout 1 2/14/14 12:53 PM Page 15

Personality Wine

L

Sonoma County Wine Growers President

Open daily 11 - 4:30 3320 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg amistavineyards.com | 707.431.9200

A Premium Estate Winery located in Sonoma County, Califronia

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Premium Estate Grown & Bottled Wines from

Dry Creek & Russian River Valleys 5141 Dry Creek Rd., Healdsburg, CA 707.431.8886 • www.forchini.com Open for Tasting Fri-Sun 11am-4:30pm

KARISSA KRUSE

ots of people fall in love with wine and winemaking only to wake up one day and find themselves immersed in a whole new career. That’s certainly been the case for Karissa Kruse, the young president of the Sonoma County Wine Growers. Chasing her passion for making wine, Kruse left a corporate marketing career in Chicago to buy a small rural farm in Sonoma County in 2007. She and her partner, Justin Harmon, planted five acres of grapes and started a wine label (Argot) with just three barrels of wine. And she never looked back on her corporate days at General Mills and Universal Studios. In 2012, Karissa was hired as marketing director for the Sonoma County Grapegrowers Association (now named Sonoma County Wine Growers). In less than a year, the growers’ leadership tabbed her as the successor to their president, Nick Frey, who had announced his retirement after 15 years. She led an effort to create a new 18-month strategic plan for the Wine Growers in her first months on the job. And, this January, Kruse announced ambitious plans for Sonoma County’s winegrape industry to become the first “100 percent sustainable wine region” in the country. These days, her winemaking is mostly by remote consultation with Harmon while her day job at the Wine Growers is full of politics, public meetings, growers’ workshops, marketing activities and the occasional “road show” to NewYork, Chicago and other big wine markets. Kruse earned an MBA from the Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia, far from her birthplace of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She grew up in Colorado, but moved to Chicago after college where she worked for General Mills and Dairy Management, the

“Got Milk” folks. Later working in marketing at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, Kruse found her way into California’s wine world. “We used to take trips up to Napa to fill our wine cravings and one day we wandered over the hill to Healdsburg and toured around Sonoma County and, well, here we are,” she said. “We fell in love with this place.” The past year’s 2013 winegrape harvest was her first as Wine Growers president, an organization with 1,800 grower members. It was one of the heaviest and most promising crops of the last several decades, following a 2012 vintage of equally stellar quality. For an encore, Kruse and her growers must now face a coming season threatened by drought with everyone praying for rain but planning for the worst. “It’s the one thing you can never get away from in farming,” she said, without complaining. “The weather.” sonoma discoveries

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A Day with The

Epicurean Connection By Sheana Davis

ach week, when I have the pleasure of heading up north to deliver our cheeses to Kendall-Jackson, I always make time to stop and visit the Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens. I am continually and pleasantly surprised to find such a beautiful garden that I can walk through, exploring the sensory gardens on my own self-guided tour or on a guided tour with the estate’s farmers Tucker Taylor and/or chef and garden educator Matthew Lowe. Both care deeply about the land and biodiversity of the Estate farm.They graciously take the time to walk through the herb garden and invite me to enjoy the essences of the herbs. So I have delighted in the herb gardens, vegetable gardens, the Red Wine Sensory Tour and the White Wine Sensory Tour – and that is just the beginning! I have also relished the culinary tour and the opportunity to enjoy a wine and food pairing prepared by the amazing Kendall-Jackson Culinary Team, including executive chef Justin Wangler. Justin, employing his wealth of knowledge and extraordinary background as a chef, personally combines the wines with the estate-grown vegetables and locally

produced artisan products, including many artisan and farmstead cheeses. When I visit Justin, he is always inquiring about new farmers and new cheesemakers. Because I’m a cheesemaker and chef, our shop (The Epicurean Connection) seems to invite new producers to visit and share their artisan products. Justin seeks out local producers and features them on the menus, while pairing the wines to highlight the flavors in both the wine and the food. I truly enjoy how the Kendall-Jackson team makes culinary pairing easy and fun! Be sure to sample the artisan cheese plate, which features cheeses such as Valley Ford Cheese Company’s creations and Epicurean Connection’s Delice de la Vallee alongside their house-made crackers, WholeVine, containing flour ground from grape seeds and grape skins. And do look for Kendall-Jackson’s annual Tomato Plant Sale on May 3rd. They grow more than 300 varieties of heirloom tomatoes on their properties. Below are some recipes that I created using what’s in season in the Kendall-Jackson gardens and in local farm stands this spring.

Spring Harvest Chardonnay Compote

Spring Watercress Soup with Zucchini

E

Yields 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

• 1/2 cup Kendall Jackson Estate Chardonnay • 1/2 cup dried golden raisins • 1 cup fresh fennel bulb, sliced thin and chopped fine • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Instructions:

Place ingredients in a heavy bottom pot and simmer on low flame, covered for 12-15 minutes or until fruit is plump and wine is reduced to syrup. Enjoy a glass of Kendall Jackson Estate Chardonnay and serve it with Delice de la Vallee and fresh sliced baguettes.

16 • spring 2014

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients:

• 2 tablespoons Sonoma County olive oil • 1/2 cup small white onion, finely chopped • 1 small pinch of saffron threads (about 10-12), crumbled • 1 pound zucchini, stem and end removed and grated • 4 cups chicken stock • 8 ounces watercress, chopped • 1/2 cup heavy cream • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

In heavy bottom large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the chopped onion and saffron threads and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, approximately 7 minutes. Add in the zucchini and chicken stock and bring to a simmer, reduce flame to low and cook until the zucchini is tender, approximately 10 minutes. Add in the watercress and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree soup mix until smooth. Add the cream and puree until blended.Taste, adjust flavors and serve warm. Garnish with edible flower petals and watercress.


Final Spring 2014 Discoveries 021314_Layout 1 2/14/14 12:53 PM Page 17

heana Davis – cheesemaker, culinary educator and owner of The Epicurean Connection in Sonoma – has supported the artisan and farmstead cheese movement for more than 20 years. Her first job in the food world was in high school, working as an assistant for legendary food writer M.F.K. Fisher, helping to make stocks, bouquet garnis and ginger hottendot cookies for a “cast of characters” who visited the author’s Sonoma Valley home. Soon after, the renowned Ig Vella of Vella Cheese Company became Sheana’s mentor, and they maintained a close relationship until his death in 2011. A fearless marketer, she has helped launch 21 cheese companies. She hosts the annual Sonoma Valley Cheese Conference that draws cheese aficionados from across the U.S., conducts workshops, and participates as a guest chef at local and national culinary events. She travels between Sonoma, where she lives with her 21-year-old daughter, and New Orleans. Her cheeses include Delice de la Vallee, Creme de Fromage, Les Trois Fromage and Creme des Mouton.

S

Resources

The Epicurean Connection 707-935-7960, sheanadavis.com

Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens 866-287-9818, kj.com Vella Cheese Company 800-848-0505, vellacheese.com S

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Final Spring 2014 Discoveries 021314_Layout 1 2/14/14 12:54 PM Page 18

Lisa Mattson: The New Storyteller

By Jess Poshepny • Photography by Sarah Bradbury

Q&A

As the Communications Director at Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Lisa Mattson’s position, in a sense, defines the expression “wears many hats.” Wine is her passion and the backbone of her work, and she uses digital and traditional marketing to move the brand forward. In an industry long viewed as more traditional than innovative, she has become known for her video storytelling and social media savvy. 18 • spring 2014

Above: Lisa Mattson stands at the entrance to Jordan Winery in Healdsburg.

Before happily settling in at Jordan, Lisa was the director of communications at Napa Valley-based wine importer and marketer Wilson Daniels Ltd., event marketing manager at E & J Gallo Winery and news editor at “Wine Magazine” in South Florida. With 16 years experience in the wine industry, working in key positions related to marketing, PR, writing and digital media, Lisa has built a well-respected reputation throughout the industry. In her new book, “The Exes in my Ipod: A Playlist of the Men Who Rocked

Me to Wine Country,” you learn about a girl who struggles in love and works hard to get out on top. Lisa takes readers to a place where, while mostly fictional, they see a girl with possibilities.Working in marketing and sales in the wine industry myself, seeing Lisa’s success with Jordan and the communications world makes it ‘all’ seem a bit more attainable. Lisa inspired me – and during a time when more women are becoming power players in the wine industry, it was a real treat to interview her and share a little bit about her story.


Final Spring 2014 Discoveries 021314_Layout 1 2/14/14 12:54 PM Page 19

Q

Describe a normal day in your professional life. What goals are you working to achieve for Jordan Winery? An average day in my life at Jordan is very diverse. I might come in and do some emails, and then Erin Malone (our digital media specialist) and I will set up for a photo shoot. The other day we set up a tablescape for California Home and Design’s website). Then I’ll run over to the technical tasting room and do a presentation about 2014 communications strategy, then go work on brainstorming for a new video. I will work on copy for an email blast, do some website updates, and send samples out to journalists. There is a little photography, a little marketing, PR, website, a little multimedia and social media – a little bit of everything so it never gets boring.

A

Q

What was it like creating those two popular parody music videos: Gangnam Style and BlurredVines? In other words, what was the process from conception to completion?

A

One of the great things about working at Jordan is that John Jordan (Jordan Winery CEO) sees that to keep your most talented, high-performing employees inspired, you’ve got to give them a lot of creative freedom and that keeps those people fulfilled and wanting to stay in their jobs. Both videos were collaborative. John and Erin both really wanted to do Gangnam Style. I tried to think about how we make it “Jordan” and have that angle that’s really important to me: it’s got to have some sort of story. You cannot just do something for the sake of copying someone else. That’s when I came up with the idea: It gets boring in Wine Country. Casually, Erin and I will watch footage and say, “Oh, yeah – this is what we can do in the winery for a parody. This will work, let’s try that.” Then Erin and I put together a plan, talk to everybody about it, and just do it. John Jordan really wanted to do Blurred Vines. Lori Green, our marketing manager, came up with the idea for the storyline of the guy who is really geeky and into his wine list and he loses

his girlfriend to the cool guy. From there I came up with the wording of how we would promote that as the “wine geek” versus the “wine dude.” It is an interesting and creative process; you’re testing the lighting, directing people, telling them to “do this, now move here, okay, now have fun.” It’s just a cool, fun thing to do at your job.

Q A

What’s your goal in creating those videos? Who are you trying to reach and is it working? The goal is always about showing the winery and the wine world in a more fun, approachable way. I think those of us in the wine business forget how intimidating wine can be for people who don’t live it every day so we are always trying to demystify that snobbery. Part of the goal is when people come to visit, yes, they see the fancy chateau; but when they leave, they’re saying, “Wow! The staff was so friendly, we weren’t talked down to at all and we learned something about winemaking.” That is important to us in our hospitality, and it’s also important to us in those videos.

Screenshot from Jordan Winery’s “Gangnam Style in Wine County” video, courtesy Jordan Winery

sonoma discoveries

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Final Spring 2014 Discoveries 021314_Layout 1 2/14/14 12:54 PM Page 20

Handbags | Accessories | Jewelry

243 B Healdsburg Ave Healdsburg, CA 95488 (707) 473-0510 | www.dianasanabria.com

We wanted to do something that was going to get people’s attention, something that will make people laugh and do something that will make people feel that wine is fun and makes them want to visit the winery or say, “I want to drink Jordan because they don’t always take themselves so seriously because every now and then (even though they’re serious about the winemaking), they like to cut loose and have fun.” Getting the views and getting people talking about Jordan was part of the goal and while, sure, a couple hundred thousand views in the first few months would have been great rather than 30,000, we are new to this type of production. Hopefully, 2014 will be the year that we feel is more of a breakthrough for us as far as goals in hitting viewer numbers that we’d like to hit.

Q A

How do you stay on top of the “next big thing” to stay current and innovative for Jordan?

John Jordan’s philosophy is: if we are not getting better, we are getting worse. He asks the winemaking team: “How do we get better with each vintage?” It’s the same thing with communications. Just as Jordan is known for its consistency and the quality of the wines, we want to be known for that in the videos we do. We want to be able to evolve, be creative and not be pigeonholed into doing the same thing year after year. There are things that we will continue to do, like tasting-note videos, but we are just looking to raise the bar more because there are more wineries and people, in general, doing videos so there is a lot of content out there to compete with.

Q

What helps you with your creative side when working on content or photography? Is there something particular that 20 •spring 2014

A

you do or perhaps refer to find inspiration?

My inspiration comes from a couple of different places. I spend a fair amount of time on YouTube and, of course, that doesn’t always happen during normal business hours. My husband watches a lot of YouTube, more than TV, so he will show me something and say, “Hey you gotta see this.” I’ll look at it and think ‘hmm ... that’s really cool and interesting, and I think this is something that can be translated into another way in the wine world.’ That’s the way my brain works, that’s the journalism side of me: you have to think, how can my winery fit into that? You are always trying to adapt the story into your own so that it fits into a certain space. I do that a lot with videos. We got inspiration for a video that we are going to do in 2014 about Rafael Robledo (Rafael was the first employee of Jordan. He has been there 40 years.) when I watched this really cool video about these girls in Afghanistan about how they go to school to skateboard but while they’re there, they also learn. It was just how the video was shot and how inspirational it was that I thought that we could do a video shot this way, with inspirational music to it, and do it to tell Rafael’s story about the 40 years he has been with Jordan. The other side of things is the brainstorming, just the environment that we have at Jordan between Lori Green, our marketing manager, and I is very organic. Our offices are right next to each other and Erin’s desk is nearby, too.Yes, we have official brainstorming meetings, but every now and then one of us will stick our head into the hallway and say, “Hey, did you see this video? I really think we should do something like this.” And our eyes get big and ideas start flying from our lips. It will just snowball from there. That’s really where a lot of the inspiration comes from.


Final Spring 2014 Discoveries 021314_Layout 1 2/14/14 12:54 PM Page 21

Q

With her dog, Dante, by her side, Lisa Mattson takes pictures on-site at one of Jordan’s vineyards in the Alexander Valley.

Is there someone in particular whom you admire in the industry or someone who simply inspires you?

A

I really admire Dina Mande who does the Paso Man videos. She does videos for the Paso Robles Wine Growers Alliance and does videos for the Wine Institute. She’s a very talented commercialstyle filmmaker in wine. I would say she is definitely inspirational.There is also this guy, he calls himself Devin Supertramp on YouTube. It’s a lot of these guys that also shoot sports and videos that are not even related to the wine business. I think that that’s a great place for inspiration. A lot of my inspiration really comes from outside of the wine industry. Most of my creative research is done with businesses and videos that are completely outside of our world.

Q

I see you’ve held signings and traveled for Jordan since your new book, “The Exes in my iPod,” has been published. What part does Jordan play, if any,

in the release and marketing of the book, and how is this a winwin for both you and Jordan?

A

Jordan doesn’t really play a part in the marketing of my book.The first draft of my book was started a year and a half before I even came to work at Jordan. I did end up working Jordan into the book like I did with other wineries whose wines I have enjoyed over the years. I wanted to keep the book separate from my day job even though, like me, the book is about a small town girl who ran away to the big city to find herself and ended up dating an interesting string of guys along the way. I also didn’t want coworkers to think I was being favored or was leveraging Jordan for my own personal interests. This is also why I did my first signing at J Vineyards. My best friend is the brand manager there. There’s a big J bubbly in a break-up scene in my book, and Judy Jordan is a wonderful person. The team over there is very supportive of me. If I do any events where wine is poured I will pour Jordan, and Jordan donates the wines for those types of tastings.

Q

That would be the main promotional way that Jordan is involved.

Are there any challenges with juggling your day job at Jordan and marketing your book? The biggest challenge is time.With my day job, I just don’t have the time to come home and do the same things for my book. I pitch publicists during the week and know how to promote, but doing the marketing for my book is another full-time job. There really isn’t the time for that, and that is kind of a bummer but I didn’t write the book for the money. I did it because it was something I really wanted to do and a story I wanted to share. Hopefully, at some point I’ll have time to do the level of promotion that I should be doing.

A

Q

Given that the book has a playlist related to your ex-boyfriends, does anything about this make things awkward between you and others who may not have seen you in that light? sonoma discoveries

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A

Harley is based on me…there was a time many years ago when I started writing the book when it was a memoir. As the process went on, it became more apparent that turning it into fiction would be better for some of those relationships that maybe weren’t as exciting or didn’t have enough wine in them. It allowed me to sculpt the story and bend truths where I needed. There also were exes of mine who were not very happy about the book. It was just better and a little more freeing to turn it into fiction. Everything is a little different, not just the names but the nationalities and the relationships are different, too. The playlist is in the beginning of the book. It really is my playlist. Everybody has their own playlist, songs transport people back to memories. There was a book that came out back in the early nineties called “Love is a Mixed Tape,” and it was a really sad book about a man’s wife dying young and I thought, someone needs to write something like this but more optimistic – embrace the beauty of the baggage. You shouldn’t turn the songs off because they remind you of your past, you should listen to them because they teach you how much you have grown.

Q A

22 • spring 2014

Where do you envision yourself five years from now? I see myself in the same place. I’m at the age now … I’ll be 40 soon. I’ve worked for big corporations, wine importers and wine distributors, had a lot of experiences in the wine world, and have been working in it since 1997. I feel like I have found a great place in Jordan. I do not have any aspirations to go and start my own company because at Jordan I have everything I could possibly want as far as creative freedom, the team, the support of the boss – and I make good money. I just hope we’re still leading the pack, still keeping people interested, keeping Jordan on the same path that we’re on in terms of the wines,

which have never been better and what people are saying and thinking about us is all very positive. So, I hope it continues to go that route. Of course I hope my book sells more. I bought my dream house two years ago here in Sonoma County so I am very content. I do hope that maybe by then I will have vacationed in Australia and Thailand, though. I am very lucky. Like what I say in the book: “Being unlucky in love doesn’t mean you’ll be unlucky in life.” I am the perfect example of someone who was the least-likely person you’d ever expect to end up in the wine industry joined up with an amazing career.That’s part of the reason I wanted to write the book. Hopefully it will be inspirational to others. Just because you grew up in a town of 3,000 people, poor, and your dad’s an alcoholic, doesn’t mean your path is chosen or you just have to stay where you are and the cards you’ve been dealt is all you have. You can take control of your life and make a change. You have to take some risks like I did by moving to Florida with my pot-smoking college boyfriend when I was 20. I made a lot of mistakes in dating but I stayed optimistic and continued working hard and learning. I got into wine in Miami, and then one door opened, one closed, and another opened. My journey started in 1994 and here we are now 20 years later and I have everything I could ever want: an amazing husband, amazing life, great job. If I would have just accepted life as it was given to me, I’d probably be living in a trailer somewhere in Southeast Kansas but I didn’t want that for myself so I did something about it. S Resources jordanwinery.com exesinmyipod.com Find Lisa Mattson on Twitter: @Lisamattsonwine or @JordanWinery


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The Tasting Room experience

T

Spring Sparklers

by Mary-Colleen Tinney | Photography by Sarah Bradbury

here is a somewhat common misconception in the wine industry that sparkling wines, like Champagne, should be reserved for celebrations. After all, the popping corks of this fizzy, food-friendly drink have been featured at countless wedding toasts, yacht christenings and swanky New Year’s Eve soirees. There seem to be complicated rules and rituals, like (usually) only the French are allowed to call these wines Champagne, bottles are finished with a caged-topped cork and sometimes people even lop off the tops with knives! Well, nonsense, I say. Sparkling wine is one of the most versatile, approachable wine categories in the marketplace today. Further, Sonoma County is home to some of America’s best and most iconic sparkling wine houses. From historic and rustic estates to lush, modern tasting rooms, a day spent touring Sonoma County’s sparkling wine producers will be both educational and delicious. And if you have a reluctant tasting partner or two, nearly all of them also offer still wine tasting flights. Sparkling wine is indeed elegant and celebratory, but it needn’t be saved to be sipped. It can elevate any spring day to a special occasion – celebrate the return of baseball, finishing a new book, the release of a long-anticipated movie or maybe just the success of your daffodil bulbs. Sparkling wine’s unique characteristics make it an ideal accompaniment for meals, but it’s equally adept as a stand-alone drink. The grapes used for sparkling wine 24 • spring 2014

production (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, mostly) are picked at the start of the harvest season, so the fruit is relatively low in sugar and higher in acidity. The result is a lower-alcohol wine (generally

Amista Vineyards’ Blanc de Blanc bubbles

sparklers are around 12.5 percent alcohol, versus about 13.5 to 15 percent for a still wine) with a food-friendly bite of acid. Depending on the producer and

style, sparkling wines vary in sweetness. As for the pomp and circumstance of sparkling wine? Here’s my perspective on it: Many drinks have been featured at wedding toasts and swanky soirees, yet few are anxious about saving those for special occasions. Why should sparkling wine be any different? The sparkling wine bottle’s shape, caged cork and fancy knives that lop off their tops (sabers, they’re called) are just a result of physics – there’s a lot of air pressure built up from the traditional sparkling winemaking process. Called Méthode Champenoise (named after the process followed in the Champagne region of France), sparkling wines undergo a second fermentation inside the bottle. This produces carbon dioxide, which creates sparkling’s signature bubbles and pop of the cork. The cage is protection against the cork popping off too early. The saber, which does take practice to use properly, is somewhat of a trick: it’s struck at a weak point on a very cold bottle and the pressure build-up does the rest. Finally, the French trademarked Champagne because they wanted to protect what they feel is a unique, special product from the Champagne region. When the agreement was reached with France, they allowed longtime users of the name, like Korbel Champagne Cellars, to continue using it. After a day of sparkling wine tasting, you’ll come home with a much deeper understanding of how sparkling wine is made and a stronger idea of the styles you favor.


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Amista Vineyards

For Amista Vineyards proprietors Vicky and Michael Farrow, operating a winery has always been about friendship.Their friends have helped them establish their winery dream – from vineyard planting to garage aging to the establishment of Amista Vineyards, which is a Spanish word that translates to “it makes friends.” Now, in sharing their portfolio of still and sparkling wines, they are forging new friendships and connections with guests. Part of friendship is sharing and learning from each other. In beginning

process, as even a quarter-percent difference can change the entire character of the wine. At the end of last year, Amista began

a novel new experience at their winery: the “Art of Sparkling” Dosage Tasting. Available on weekdays to groups of six or eight by appointment only, or by advance reservation to groups of any size on the first Friday of the month ($30 per person), winemaker Ashley Herzberg guides guests through four levels of dosage on their Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine, providing insight on how she arrived at the ideal dosage level for Amista’s bubbly. Guests can taste first-hand how a one percent difference in sugar level can completely alter the sensory experience and learn where their ideal dosage level might be. Some prefer the sweeter fullness of the higher-dosage wine (about 2.5 percent residual sugar), while others enjoy the bracing, citrusy acid on a zero percent/non-dosage sparkler. Everything about a sparkling wine can change according to the dosage level. Given the level of sugar, the same base wine can taste more fruity, floral, nutty or acidic. This distinctive tasting experience at Amista gives tasters an insight to the process that, to our knowledge, no other winery offers. AmistaVineyards, 3320 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, CA; 707 431-9200 or visit amistavineyards.com.

Just south of Healdsburg on Old Redwood Highway is J Vineyards & Winery, a sophisticated and modern, yet extraordinarily friendly and comfortable, stop on your sparkling wine tour. Founded in 1986 by second-generation Sonoma County vintner Judy Jordan, the winery initially focused only on sparkling wines made using Méthode Champenoise. After a few years, J Vineyards expanded the line to include Pinot Noir, then later adding Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and other still varieties.

Opened at its current location in 1999, the tasting room is warm, open and airy, with concrete floors and stone accents balanced by an abundance of glass. The room is dominated by the J Signature Bar and the eye-catching, lighted glasswork art installation behind it. Created by artist Gordon Huether, it suggests the bead of bubbles in a sparkling wine, an ideal motif for a bubbly producer. All of J’s sparkling wines are sourced from estate vineyards in the Russian River and Alexander Valleys. J winemaker Melissa Stackhouse uses a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot

Meunier for her sparklers, adding layers of flavor from each of the grapes. The 2004 Late Disgorged Brut was particularly interesting, with both age and varietal blending creating a pleasing mix of hazelnuts, caramel and granny smith apple notes. The winery was among the first in Sonoma County to focus on formal wine and food pairing programs at its tasting room. Currently, J Vineyards offers up to five different tasting room experiences. The Signature Tasting, a mix of still and sparkling wines, takes place at the J Signature Bar. It’s offered daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for $20, with

their Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine program, they gathered in a group to determine the best level for the final stage of Méthode Champenoise sparkling winemaking: dosage (doSAHJ). It was an experience they wanted to share with friends. Dosage is the penultimate step in this method of sparkling winemaking – just after the remnants of the in-bottle second fermentation are removed, called disgorging, and before the bottles are corked – a tiny amount of sweetened wine or syrup may be added back to the wine to round out flavors and add a hint of sweetness. It’s a key decision in the

Testing different sugar levels in sparkling wine

J Vineyards and Winery

Winemaker Ashley Herzberg (right) guides guests through a dosage tasting.

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small bites available for an additional fee. From May until October, the Terrace Tasting is a $45 seated, outdoor tasting of four still or sparkling wines paired with four small-bite dishes. For those looking to focus just on sparklers, there is the J Legacy Tasting for $30 per person. Two flights are available: an all-sparkling flight of five wines or four of the winery’s smallproduction still wines and a sparkling option. The tasting is hosted upstairs

Korbel Champagne Cellars

in the Legacy Reserve Lounge, which overlooks the production facilities. Guests are directed to comfy oversize couches and chairs, where they are served their selected flight of wines. Again, there is a food pairing (a cheese and charcuterie plate) available for additional purchase. Of note here, in this taster’s opinion, was the 2007 Vintage Brut that tasted vaguely of honey and sweet citrus. The J Bubble Room option is a three-

course meal (plus a cheese and dessert course) hosted in the full-service tasting salon. The ever-changing menu features organic and locally sourced dishes paired with J Vineyards wines, including library and small-production wines. Offered Friday through Sunday, the cost is $75 per person and reservations are strongly encouraged. J Vineyards & Winery, 11447 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg, CA; 707-431-3646 or visit jwine.com.

Founded by three Czechoslovakian immigrant brothers in 1882, Korbel Champagne Cellars is one of America’s most iconic sparkling wineries. Nestled among the giant redwood trees lining the Russian River in Guerneville, the hand-built Korbel winery building is a familiar landmark along River Road. As California’s oldest sparkling wine producer and a pioneer in the Russian River Valley, Korbel has a rich history of not only winemaking, but in the formation of Sonoma County itself. The winery offers complimentary daily tours departing from the property’s original railroad station, starting on the hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This fun, historic and extremely informative tour offers an extended look at the establishment of the Korbel site, from its beginnings as a logging station to the growth of winemaking operations. One of the main components of the tour is a documentary-style film in the winery’s theater. If you haven’t been to Korbel in the last few years, it’s worth another

visit, especially as the film was completely re-done in 2011. The tour is a must-do for history buffs (particularly those interested in railroads or Sonoma County’s agricultural and logging foundations) and

those looking to find out more information about the unique and time-intensive Méthode Champenoise process. In the spring and summer, Korbel also offers a Garden Tour of the Korbel brothers’ family property. The gardens surrounding the circa-1880s home is host to more than 250 different rose varieties as well as native plants, shrubs, fruit trees, perennials and more. Offered Tuesday through Sunday, the garden tour departs at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Complimentary wine tasting is offered in the property’s original winemaking facility. Korbel makes about a dozen different California Champagnes, many that can only be purchased at the winery or through the wine club. Of particular interest is the unusual bottle Korbel Reserve Blanc de Noirs, which is made from a blend of Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and Gamay. Korbel Champagne Cellars, 13250 River Road, Guerneville, CA; 707-824-7316 or visit korbel.com. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with tours departing on the hour.There is also a gourmet delicatessen and market on-site.

The final stop on our sparkling tour, Iron Horse Vineyards, is located more than a mile up Ross Station Road in Sebastopol. Drivers should be prepared for a narrow, pothole-pocked drive through

gardens and oak trees, finally emerging at the palm tree-lined knoll with a breathtaking view where the winery sits. Iron Horse features an outdoor tasting room tucked along the side of their production building, with picnic facilities under a gazebo on the opposite side of the build-

ing. For the tasting patio, protection from the elements is provided by a covered trellis and, depending on the weather, fans or heaters. Facing northeast, the tasting room offers spectacular views of not only their 350-acre estate but the vast expanse of

Iron Horse Vineyards

26 • spring 2014

A historic display at Korbel Champagne Cellars


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S

         

                                       

              

    

                                                

Sonoma Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rolling hillside vineyards and forests. With even Mount Saint Helena visible in the distance, Iron Horseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tasting room view is unrivaled. Opting for hand-hewn simplicity, the often-crowded tasting bar itself is no more than thick, roughly-finished wooden planks sat atop used wine barrels. The bar area itself is inviting, with seasonally decorated with fresh flowers and fruits. Hand-drawn maps and wine specials are displayed on a set of large chalkboards behind the bar, while wines chill below them in galvanized steel tubs placed on yet more weather-worn barrels. The look is friendly, welcoming and, most of all, casual. Iron Horse began as a still wine producer before moving into estate-grown sparkling wines. All of the wineryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sparkling wines are vintage dated, which is somewhat of a rarity with bubbly. Outside of exceptionally high-quality years, most producers prefer to blend wine from several different vintages. Sparkling wine tastings are $15, waived with the purchase of a bottle within the flight, for five wines. Iron Horseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s blends tend toward Pinot Noir as its base, much estate-grown in Green Valley or the Russian River Valley. The 2009 Russian CuveĂŠ, named for its debut at the Reagan-Gorbachev summit meetings ending the Cold War, is a standout Brut-style wine. Their 2009 Wedding Cuvee, made from 78 percent Pinot Noir, spends three years aging on tirage. As Pinot Noir ages, it gains depth and complexity, and Iron Horseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s patience pays off with a delightful lightly pink sparkler with notes of deep red berry notes. Tours are offered Monday through Friday by appointment only, with the Friday tour conducted by winemaker David Munksgard. The $20 tour also includes a Reserve tasting flight of Pinot Noir and sparkling wine. Iron HorseVineyards, 9786 Ross Station Road, Sebastopol, CA; 707-887-1507 or visit ironhorsevineyards.com.



     

   

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Did you know there are 30 cheesemakers on the Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail? A third are open to the public, and another third can be visited by joining a tour. It’s a delicious way to explore an aspect of our incredible agricultural bounty, meet the animals that provide the milk and learn how cheese is made. I visited a dairy cow ranch, a goat ranch and a sheep ranch on the Trail, and met the people who are keeping the art of cheesemaking alive.

At 6:30 a.m. on a cool morning, with the moon still showing in the dark sky, Sylvia Tucker drives through the mist up the dark road to her family’s dairy farm to make cheese. Wearing a tee-shirt and jeans, rubber boots and a hair net, Tucker starts the boiler heating and, while listening for the sound it makes when it’s “up to temp,” she attends to yesterday’s cheeses. 28 • spring 2014

She removes heavy cement block weights from the ends of metal pipe levers that hold down blocks of wood compressing the cheeses. Stacking the weights across the room, she unhooks the metal levers and releases yesterday’s cheeses from their stainless steel molds. Unfolding the corners of the cheesecloth lining each mold, she turns it upside down and slams it against a food-grade plastic board set on a stainless steel draining table and the cheese slides out. She expertly “flips” each cheese to expose the bottom, removes the cloth, trims the rind and replaces it in the


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A slice of Barinaga Ranch farmstead sheep milk cheese

mold, first lining it with clean cheesecloth moistened with whey, finally restacking the cheeses on a draining counter and reattaching the traditional weight system to press the liquid out for a second day. Two-day-old cheeses have their cloths removed, are trimmed, and moved to shelves in an adjacent drying room. The Matos family makes a single type of cheese, called St. George, for their ancestral home, São Jorge Island in the Azores of Portugal. It’s made the traditional way, completely by hand. Back in São Jorge the presses are all made of wood. Here, stainless steel molds are used but, otherwise, the techniques are Continued on page 30

When the boiler is “up to temp,” cheesemaker Sylvia Tucker opens a valve and the morning’s fresh milk – 200 gallons – flows via overhead pipes from the milking barn into a cylindrical tank in the cheesemaking room at the Joe Matos Cheese Factory. In 1982, her husband Steve Tucker, an electrician, installed the complex boiler system.It’s technically a pasteurizer, although the milk is not pasteurized – just heated 80 to 90 degrees. FDA standards require raw milk cheeses to be aged for at least 60 days; Matos ages theirs for 90. Tucker turns a series of valves and the milk gushes out of a thick pipe into the 300-gallon rectangular vat where the metamorphosis begins. She uses a large whisk to settle the bubbles, then measures and adds a cheese culture and rennet. The milk begins changing from a frothy mass of glistening bubbles into a satiny creamy wave of liquid.

Cheesemaker Sylvia Tucker works the curds. Photo by Abby Bard

Tucker moves her whisk in figure-eight motions through the milk and the texture is visibly altered as the ivory curds begin to separate from the golden liquid whey. She tests the acidity of the whey, then uses a specially designed curd-cutter, resembling an oven rack on a handle, to sweep through the vat, dividing the solids into uniform particles. She bends over the tank and scoops up handfuls of cut curds to check their consistency.

300-gallon vat of liquid whey, Matos Cheese Factory

When she’s determined that they are ready, she allows the whey to drain, exposing the gleaming ivory colored curds. Back in the cheesemaking room, Garcia and Tucker, wearing large plastic aprons, bend over the vat and begin the back-aching process of working the curds by hand, moving up and down opposite sides of the tank scooping, pressing and smacking the curds against the side of the vat to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Tucker retests the acidity level of the remaining whey, and adds salt into the curds for the final mixing. I asked Tucker if there was a name for this part of the process, and she laughed, “It’s the hard part. I don’t really know the science. I just learned from my parents.” Finally, the drained curds are scooped into clean, cloth-lined molds then stacked and weighted in the pressing room. By 2:30 in the afternoon, Tucker has washed and disinfected all the equipment. sonoma discoveries

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the same. The result is a rich, golden, raw milk cheese with a firm rind. Tucker is the sixth generation of cheesemakers in her family. Her parents, Joe and Mary, grew up on farms on São Jorge and came together to the US in 1965. They bought their property on Llano Road in 1975 and began selling cheese in 1977. Tucker has always been involved on the farm, milking the cows and caring for the animals. She started making cheese at 18, but her parents wanted their kids to have an easier life, so she became a licensed veterinary technician. But when her father had a bad accident in 2007 and lost the use of his fingers, Tucker took over the cheesemaking. In 2009, Joe Matos was ready to come back to work and Tucker returned to her vet tech job, but this past September, he decided to retire from running the business. Tucker was happy to take over. “I enjoy doing this. My husband backs me up 100 percent, and I can always call on my kids to help. There is no better life,” Tucker said. At Matos, cheese is made 365 days a year, directly after the 30 Holstein and Jersey cows are milked.The aging rooms hold dozens of cheeses, each requiring daily care (affinage). Tucker works several days each week, and each morning at 8:30, another cheesemaker, Maria Garcia, opens the shop and begins flip-

Holstein dairy cows, out to graze in fields surrounding the Joe Matos Cheese Factory

ping the cheeses in the aging rooms (a lightweight term for a heavy job) so they dry evenly. Cheesemaking is the process of separating curds (the solids) from the whey (the liquid). Once curds have formed, the nutritious whey is drained off into a tub and siphoned back outside through a hose, where Joe Matos, who still cares for the animals, fills a drinking trough for the calves. His pride in the ranch is evident. “Everything we do here is oldfashioned. We do everything by ourselves. We feed the cows fresh whey for seven to eight months; they wait for us to open the gate so they can drink it. People are surprised that the cows are so nice – not afraid.” Newborns stay with their mothers for three days but continue to be fed whole milk for three months after the mother joins the milk herd. Two-day-old whey,

A weight system compresses the cheese molds. 30 • spring 2014

from the draining cheeses, gets fed to pigs, which are eventually sold at auction along with the male calves. Although the Matos ranch is not certified organic, “it’s pretty darn close,” according to Tucker. The cheese shop at Matos is a tiny room (typical of the shops in the village of Ursulina on São Jorge) with a single item for sale – a wheel of St. George cheese in a glass case. When you open the door to the shop, a bell rings, and someone will come out to cut you a wedge of cheese, weigh it and wrap it up for you. If you come while they’re squeezing the curds, you might have to wait a bit, but that’s an opportunity to go and say hello to the calves in their pens just outside and enjoy the sights and sounds of cows grazing in their pastures.

Joe Matos Cheese Factory (Queijo Tipo Sao Jorge), 3669 Llano Rd., Santa Rosa, 707-584-5283.

When Patty Karlin takes on a project, she puts her whole heart into it. After 30 years of raising goats, making cheese and passing along her knowledge to other local dairy producers, she’s now directing considerable energy toward making her ranch in the tiny town of Bodega a model of sustainability, and welcoming visitors from around the world to show them how it can be done. “It’s wonderful because, running the tours, I have visitors who are fairly sophisticated chefs and also people who don’t know too much – they get over here and the whole experience is very eye-opening,” Karlin said. It’s also mouth-watering, as the tour includes tasting a variety of her unusual cheeses paired with fruits and vegetables in her comfortable, textile-filled farmhouse.


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Patty Karlin with a wheel of her Goat Manchego

“The Andean-style Fresco is very creamy – chefs love its versatility. I make a mozzarella – goat milk gives it a slightly different flavor – and an Italian Robiola that pairs beautifully with honey. There’s even a Peruvian caramel sauce called Natilla, made with goat milk and three kinds of molasses.” Karlin learned the art of cheesemaking from her Peruvian father-in-law. In 1984 she bought the 7½-acre ranch and established Bodega Artisan Cheese with her ex-husband. After they parted in 2004, Karlin has been steering the focus of the ranch towards sustainable practices. She has been developing a model for teaching cheesemaking and other food traditions and for addressing diminishing resources by creating urban gardens and feeding systems for dairies. She’s enthusiastic about team-farming the land with Jordan Vermillion, who has designed permaculture systems for the property, and with two young couples who live onsite and run their own small CSA. She wants the ranch to be part of the future of sustainable land use, utilizing innovations such as Fodder Solutions (a technology created in Australia, of growing barley on trays, like sprouts, in a big shipping container with water misters) to provide food for the goats that currently eat an expensive diet of grain

pellets and alfalfa hay. “It comes off the tray like sod; you lay it on the ground to feed the goats. It cuts the food bill in half and the sprouts have two times the protein,” Karlin said. She’s installed solar panels on the roof, an ozonator on the well, dug a 30,000gallon pond (with another one in the works) and begun a 3-year project of

bred in September, and Karlin’s earlier career as a neo-natal intensive care nurse comes in handy from February through March when the babies are born. They nurse for four to six weeks and are fed mother’s milk until they are two months old. Milking for cheesemaking begins in mid-March, with everyone helping out, and continues to mid-November. Each goat produces a gallon a day. The resulting cheeses are unique and unusual. There are several types of fresh pasteurized cheeses and aged cheeses, like Goat Manchego and Charolais, a French-style cheese. Karlin has mentored several local dairy producers who now have their own businesses, including Saint Benoît Creamery, Lisa Gottreich of Bohemian Creamery and Omar Mueller, owner of Freestone Artisan Cheese. Two years ago she entered into a marketing partnership with George Gavros of Zoe Meats, an all-sustainable operator, and trained his cheesemaker Kelly Moore to make cheese at the ranch. Karlin is now

Permaculture garden at Bodega Goat Ranch

planting the entire pasture with trees and shrubs like Ceanothus and Tagasaste (a high-protein tree lucerne) for the goats to eat. Situated along a series of canals, the roots will stabilize the ground and the shade will prevent evaporation. Karlin quotes her heroine, Jane Goodall, who felt that it was not enough to save her little population: “You have to save the habitat.” The 20 French Alpine does are pen-

developing new cheeses for them to produce. “George and Kelly are making all the cheeses. I’m only working 40 hours a week now instead of 80! What I’m hoping is that with team farming, the kids take over the goat operation and I can just do the tours,” Karlin said.

Bodega Artisan Cheese, Bodega, 707-876-3483, bdgagoat@sonic.net.

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Geyserville Geyserville

Come in today for a complimentary tasting! Hours: 11am to 6pm daily.

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 Not N ot jjust ust a p place lace ttoo llive…It’s ive…It’s a llifestyle ifestyle 32 • spring 2014

When Barinaga Ranch owner Marcia Barinaga enters a pasture, the ewes crowd around her to get the treats she pulls from her pocket. She protects them from preying animals with solid fences and the help of four Great Pyrenees dogs who guard and escort the herd from pasture to barn, and from dangerous foot diseases that a human visitor might unwittingly bring in on the bottom of their boots by providing shoe covers. For someone who never touched a sheep before 2005, Barinaga has established a strong bond with her flock. “I love my sheep – I like making cheese, but it’s the sheep that drive me.” She shears the sheep twice a year, once in February so they’ll be clean for lambing, and again in August to prevent heat stress. And she makes sure that careful attention to hygiene is practiced on the ranch, especially in the dairy where pristine laboratory conditions are rigorously maintained. Prior to establishing the ranch, Barinaga, who has a PhD in molecular biology, was a science writer for “Nature” and “Science” magazines and the “San Jose Mercury News.” When she bought the 800 acres above Marshall with spectacular views of Tomales Bay, she felt the need to do something sustainable with the land. Her father had raised sheep in Idaho at one point and they were both interested in cheesemaking, but sheep milking is not traditional in this country. So Barinaga, her husband, biologist Corey Goodman, and her father all went to the Basque country in the mountains of France and Spain in July of 2005 to learn the shepherding and cheesemaking traditions of her Basque relatives. Then

Marcia Barinaga offers a cheese tasting in the milking barn.

she bought her original flock of sheep from Everona Dairy in Rapidan,Virginia. Last year, Barinaga and her crew milked 90 ewes twice a day.This coming

Tours, led by Marcia Barinaga (pictured), include visiting the sheep, peeking into the creamery and a cheese tasting.

spring they will milk only 30 ewes. “The business was getting too big – too many ewes, too many lambs. I like doing the milking and making cheese myself.” She has help with her East Friesian and Katahdin flock from full-time ranch manager José Dolores Cortez, called Lolo, who lives on the property, and part-time ranch hand Lisa Radke, who also helps with affinage.The seasonal calendar begins October 9 when the rams go into the pasture to breed the ewes. The veterinarian comes and does ultrasound on each ewe 55 days after breeding to determine their due date and the number of lambs they are carrying, often


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twins and triplets, and even quadruplets. There is a 142-day gestation period, and the ewes are brought into the barn just before their due date. Lambing begins March 1. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s intense during lambing, with highs and lows, joys and sadness. By the end of April, the pastures are full of moms and babes.The lambs stay with the ewes from 35 to 42 days before weaning â&#x20AC;&#x201C; some lambs are 50 pounds when we wean them,â&#x20AC;? Barinaga said. If these figures sound precise, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s because Barinaga keeps very detailed records of every aspect of ranch life. Once a month, milk production is metered, and each eweâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s output is ranked on a spreadsheet by milk production. The affinage of the Basque-style cheeses (which are similar to a French Basque cheese called Ossau-Iraty) is also carefully charted. Milking and cheese-

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Barinaga Ranch, Marshall, barinagaranch.com. Contact Marcia Barinaga at lists@barinagaranch.com; put â&#x20AC;&#x153;tourâ&#x20AC;? in subject line.

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y l l a c i s

u M W

e all know that Sonoma County has a well-deserved reputation as a world-class epicenter of enological and epicurean endeavors. The glamour and mystique of the wine country lifestyle permeate our local culture. An abundance of food and wine delights are available to locals and tourists alike. The same might be said for the less-heralded but no less abundant music scene in Sonoma County. If you’re

34 • spring 2014

Sonoma County’s Rich Live Music Scene

By Barry Dugan • Photography By Gary Ottonello

Above: Alex Leach, Roem and the Revival band, Hopmonk Tavern

a music fan who loves live performances, the possibilities are vast. During a given week, you can dance to reggae at the Hopmonk in Sebastopol, enjoy a mellow jazz trio in a the cozy Hotel Healdsburg lobby, bask in a symphonic experience at the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall at the Green Music Center or take in a Celtic or World Music act at the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center. Not only are there headline acts making stops on national tours – often

at Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, now in its 32nd season – but there is an abundance of local talent to enjoy in more intimate settings. It has not always been this way. Cloud Moss has been producing concerts and festivals for the past 18 years and remembers when there wasn’t a lot happening at smaller venues in Sonoma County. “When I first started in 1995, people would complain because they had to go down to the city (San Fran-


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cisco) to hear music,” said Moss. “I have not heard that a lot lately. Things have grown tremendously in the last few years. Now, there’s a plethora of stuff going on around Sonoma County. It creates a situation where sometimes people really do have to choose between venues on a given night.” Moss produces shows through his Cumulus Presents company and has carved out a niche for himself among the Celtic, Americana and World Music audiences. “I got into it originally to build community,” said Moss. “I liked raising money for good causes and bringing

Sebastopol’s Hopmonk Tavern is one place where kids young and old can listen to music or perform at the weekly open mic night. In the historic powerhouse building (formerly the Powerhouse Brewing Company) that once generated electricity for the Sebastopol-Petaluma-Santa Rosa railroad, the Hopmonk features a dizzying variety of live music and dancing. Monday nights are “Edutainment” shows, featuring Reggae bands and DJs. Tuesday is open mic night.Wednesday is “Brainstorm,” with dubstep electronic music. Thursday through Sunday they bring in local bands and big name acts from an assortment of genres: Leon Russell has appeared several times; Jefferson Starship, Roy Rogers, Ivan

In

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people together. It turned out to be what I was good at and it let me stay in the music field.” He and others including Jim “Mr. Music” Corbett and Jeff Martin of Studio E produce shows at the Sebastopol Cultural Community Center. The Sebastopol venue holds about 400 people and while it’s not the acoustic equal of a classical concert hall, it has its charms. Last December Scottish fiddle master Alasdair Fraser and cellist Natalie Haas played to a full house at the Community Center, dazzling the audience with their inspired playing in what felt like a homecoming. Fraser, who has played at the venue during numerous performances, told the audience, “This place is like Sebastopol’s living room.” “I like that old barn,” said Corbett, who also produces community events at the Sebastopol venue. “It’s a pretty decent sounding room right now and more improvements are planned.What’s been neat lately is the amount of original music coming out.There are some great young kids out there making great American music.”

Neville, Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven, Les Claypool, Little Feat, Meat Puppets, Steve Kimock and Mary Gauthier have all performed. “We’re so eclectic, we’ll do anything,” said general manager Bill DeCarli. “We’re all over the map.You don’t want to pigeonhole yourself.” But wait, there’s more: There is a comedy open mic night on the third Sunday of the month and occasionally they have a burlesque act, Cabaret de Caliente. “We’re just really excited to have music here,” said DeCarli. “It’s important for the community.” Adding to the diversity of offerings and venues in the West County is SchaefAbel Productions, which produces small shows for a loyal following of acoustic music lovers. “I think it’s great there is so much live music,” said Laurie Shaeffer, who, along with Greg Abel, has been

The band Kingsborough plays at the Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol.

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Authentic French Bistro

WA LT E R H A N S E L

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putting on shows for more than 16 years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I do it just for the love of the music, not the money.â&#x20AC;? Schaefferâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tastes lean toward the Austin singer-songwriter genre (Slaid Cleaves, Billy Joe Shaver), folk icons (John Gorka, Dave Alvin) and local artists such as Nina Gerber, Chris Webster and Kevin Russell. They started out staging house concerts, and today their shows are being produced at the Occidental Center for the Arts and also the Sebastopol Grange. Schaef-Abel has an established audience that Schaeffer describes as having a â&#x20AC;&#x153;West County mentality â&#x20AC;Ś retired or close to it, and a lot of gray and a lot of balding heads. Liberal leaning, environmentally conscious.

music seven nights a week, and there is no cover charge. The music is all acoustic, and mostly jazz, blues and folk performers, said owner Suzi Feehery. Over the past five years the restaurant has been expanded and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve added a full bar. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is a baby grand piano in the middle of the new part of the restaurant,â&#x20AC;? Feehery said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It holds about 140 people. We like to keep it acoustic, without amplification you can still talk and still have music. We have local entertainers and from San Francisco, pianos, duos â&#x20AC;Ś itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s turned out to be a beautiful little club. I liken it to more of a cabaret. You can bring a family in and get a pizza or come in and have a salmon or prime rib dinner.â&#x20AC;? Free jazz can also be found in the

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36 â&#x20AC;˘ spring 2014

Drummer Tom Hassett and bass player Piro Patton, of the Susan Sutton Trio, Hotel Healdsburg

Very loving, very kind people. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a whole community that has been built by these audiences. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s become a very comfortable environment.â&#x20AC;? A few miles to the west in the town of Guerneville is another comfortable environment, the Main Street Bistro (formerly Main Street Station), where customers can listen to music while they dine or have a drink at the bar. There is

lobby of the Hotel Healdsburg every Saturday night. The weekly performances from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. are a collaboration between the Hotel Healdsburg and the Healdsburg Jazz Festival, which has been showcasing world-class jazz music since 1999. Jessica Felix, artistic director of the Healdsburg Jazz Festival, has been booking musicians for 12 years in the hotel


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lobby. The musicians are local and from the Bay Area. The room has a grand piano and the lineup is typically a trio of piano, bass and drums. But “you can expect surprises,” said Felix. “I know a lot of musicians and I like to keep it fresh and fun. It is a lobby, so they play to that audience – standards and some original music. It’s always a variety.” The audience can also vary, said Felix. “It could be a wedding party, or it could be mellow,” she said. “It could be people waiting for dinner, or jazz fans. It’s a mixture of locals, tourists, hotel guests, jazz fans. It’s a pretty mellow atmosphere … people bring in their chess boards. The lobby is kind of a community place in a lot of ways.” Another intimate setting for jazz is in Cloverdale, where the Cloverdale Arts Alliance (CAA) hosts THE Jazz Club on the second Thursday of every month. Concerts are held in the 2,000-squarefoot gallery from October through May, when the CAA kicks off the town’s Friday Night Live concert series during the summer. “We have a variety of music. We bring in local musicians as well as Bay Area musicians,” said CAA Board Member Ron Pavelka. “The room holds 50 to 70 people. It’s a great little room.The nice thing is it is close and intimate.You’re not sitting in a big room with 300 people. It’s a great room to listen to music.” Tickets for the THE Jazz Club concerts are $15 for CAA members and $20 for non-members, which includes a glass of wine. Pavelka added that the Friday Night Live concert series has been going on for 13 years and brings thousands of people into downtown Cloverdale. Both THE Jazz Club and Friday Night Live are fundraisers for the non-profit CAA. “We’ve got a pretty good music thing going on between Friday Night Live and THE Jazz Club,” he said. “There is music all the time in town.” Small jazz clubs make for an intimate setting and folk music is best enjoyed in

small settings, too. If, however, you have your heart set on seeing Engelbert Humperdinck or, say, Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis or the Santa Rosa Symphony, you will have to visit one of the county’s large venues. And now you have two from which to choose: the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts and the Green Music Center. The Wells Fargo Center for the Arts (which many of us remember as the Luther Burbank Center) is more than a theater. It’s a non-profit organization that puts on 1,000 events a year, of which about 100 are concerts (and it hosts the twice-weekly farmers market in the parking lot), according to Kyle Clausen, the director of marketing and communications. “A big part of what we do is the headline name entertainers, but we also have extensive education programs,” he said. Many of those shows are family-oriented and shows for school groups. “Our mission is to be a great community gathering place,” said Clausen. Over the years, the Wells Fargo Center has undergone several upgrades, the most recent being a 13-week overhaul

Wells Fargo Center for the Arts

of the main theater. “For all intents and purposes, the place was basically gutted,” said Clausen. New seats and carpet were installed, the ceiling was altered, and 10 feet of height and 300 square feet of space were added to the stage. Acoustic improvements have vastly improved the sound quality. Backstage, 700 feet of space was added for offices, production and a new dressing room for the star performers. This marks the Center’s 32nd season. Recent headliners included Willie Nelson, Alice Cooper, Patti LaBelle and Vince Gill.Visit their website to find out about performances planned for the spring; new shows are added often. For instance, the world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra performs March 15 and Emmy-award winning comedian and Saturday Night Live alum Dana Carvey will be there May 31. The main Ruth Finley Person Theater seats 1,627 people, but the facility now has the ability to remove all the seats on the main floor for a general admission show. The facility was built by the Christian Life Center in the 1970s; and when sonoma discoveries

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it was first taken over by the non-profit Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in 1980, concertgoers sat on wooden pews. Needless to say, it was not an ideal seating arrangement. Clausen said the seats have not been removed for a show as of yet, but it could happen in the future. “It is sort of a whole new world for us and it is definitely a big change,” he said. “It’s always been a really great place to see a concert,” said

invites you to join the Healdsburg Jazz & Wine Club and get outstanding artisan wines and music CDs shipped directly to your door.

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Green Music Center

Clausen. “And it’s even better now. There are improved sight lines, improved sound and improved accessibility. I think it’s a really great experience.” The final venue on the list is the newest and most impressive: The Donald and Maureen Green Music Center. Located on the campus of Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, the Green Music Center is a world-class performing arts com-

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plex that consists of multiple performance venues, a music education wing, outdoor spaces, an on-site restaurant and a hospitality center. During the grand opening celebration in September of 2012, concert pianist Lang Lang performed the first night, the Santa Rosa Symphony followed the next day, and bluegrass diva Alison Krauss finished off the weekend with what is still the bestselling show to date at the center. Weill Hall is the main theater, where the majority of concerts are classical offerings, according to Jessica Anderson, associate director of communications for the Green Music Center. The hall seats 1,417 for indoor concerts. But the unique feature is that the theater’s entire rear wall can open to a terraced lawn and picnic area that can seat an additional 5,000 patrons. There is room for 1,648 people on tables and chairs on a terrace patio area, with the remaining 3,457 spaces for lawn seating. There are also tickets available for seating on a dining terrace in the front row of outdoor seating, which includes a three-course meal prior to the concert. During the summer months, the outdoor seating can be a rare treat, said Anderson. “You really get a unique experience of enjoying the concert with the fresh air and sunshine, and especially

the experience of listening to music under the stars,” she said. Weill Hall was designed to replicate the intimacy and acoustics of both Vienna’s Musikverein and Boston’s Symphony Hall and is modeled after Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts, which also features a rear wall that opens to the outdoors. “We have been very pleased with the audience responses,” said Anderson. “They have been very positive. We all recognize that, like with anything when you open up, you have to work out some of the kinks.We have fine-tuned the acoustics and procedures and we are always quick to make adjustments.” There is more to come at the Green Music Center. Anderson said that a 10,000-seat amphitheater is planned for the future, similar to the Shoreline Amphitheatre or the Hollywood Bowl. And opening this year is Schroeder Hall, a 250-seat recital hall that was named by Jean Shultz in honor of her late husband Charles’ piano-playing cartoon character from the “Peanuts” comic strip. This is not intended as an exhaustive list of local music venues by any means, and in fact only scratches the surface of the bounty of live music available throughout Sonoma County. Consider it a starter list that can be added to and enhanced by your own discoveries. S

Cloverdale Arts Alliance (CAA) THE Jazz Club 204 North Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale, 894-4410 www.cloverdaleartsalliance.org

Hotel Healdsburg 25 Matheson St., Healdsburg, 431-2800 www.healdsburgjazzfestival.org/wordpress/events/hotel-healdsburg/

Green Music Center 1801 East Cotati Ave, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (866) 955-6040 www.gmc.sonoma.edu/

Hopmonk Tavern 230 Petaluma Ave, Sebastopol, 829-7300 www.hopmonk.com/sebastopol/ music-and-events/

Main Street Bistro (formerly Main Street Station). 16280 Main St, Guerneville, 869-0501 www.mainststation.com/ Sebastopol Community Cultural Center 390 Morris St, Sebastopol, 823-1511. www.seb.org

Wells Fargo Center for the Arts 50 Mark West Springs Rd, S.R., 546-3600 www.wellsfargocenterarts.org/

Windsor

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B

Occidental Fools Parade lossoms and sprigs of green grass can seem magical and even a bit surreal after a few long cold months of winter. When sunlight and warmer temperatures beckon, humans and animals alike bow to Mother Nature in the most biological ways to welcome spring. Celebration and dancing in the streets is somewhat analogous to birds singing and butterflies fluttering about, and spring “coming out” parties have been the norm since human civilizations took root. Locally, Occidental, a historic little hamlet tucked in the majestic rolling hills and redwoods of West Sonoma County, hosts a unique and one-of-a-kind Occidental Fools Parade on April 5. The parade is, perhaps, a repercussion of a large population of artists and has a way of turning things upside down, kind of like the way Old English Spring Celebrations did, resulting in days where the normal standards and rules didn’t apply. “It’s a day to make sure that one does not take things too seriously,” said organizer Steve Fowler. Renowned musicians Ramon Sender and Kate Price are a few influential instigators of the Occidental’s Fools Parade that is produced by the Occidental Center for the Arts (OCA) but is sponsored by local businesses. Quite possibly a spin-off of Occidental’s “Silly Days” that took place in the 1980s, this celebration features plenty of controlled chaos, including outrageous costumes and role-playing. “It’s an opportunity to do performance art in public and there is no ringmaster,” said Fowler.

40 • spring 2014

By Kimberly Kaido-Alvarez

The New Orleans-style Hubbub Club marching band is a regular at the parade along with the Lampshade Brigade, whose members creatively re-invent the hat by wearing lampshades on their heads. Then there’s the signature mechanical green caterpillar, or “Lunapillar” rather, that is a favorite of children and adults alike. Stilt-walkers, llamas (festively dressed), clowns, jugglers and Morris dancers (English Folk Dancers) are some of the other participants in the parade that has gone somewhat viral in the social media realm, drawing a crowd of about 500 from the Bay Area and beyond. “I think everyone needs to be a fool once a year,” said Fowler of the extremely non-commercial event. The parade begins at the Occidental Community Center and ends at Occidental Center for the Arts with a reception following with music,

Photo by David Abbott


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food and the crowning of a king and queen. “We dress them up and put them in a porta potty, and they have to pull the plunger from the bucket of mud,” said OCA executive director Candace Mackey. “It’s a lot of fun.” This year will mark the 10th annual Fool’s Day Parade. For more information, visit www.occidentalfoolsparade.com or call the Occidental Center for the Arts at 874-9392.

S

• Parking – An extra lot will be set up at the northeast corner

of Graton and Bohemian Highway. You can also park in the Occidental Center for the Arts’ lot as well as the park-andride spaces by the community center. • Refreshments – Find them in the OCA lot after the parade. • Timing – Gather at noon, the parade starts at 1 p.m. and is usually over by 2 p.m.

Apple Blossom Festival Parade

By Kimberly Kaido-Alvarez

ebastopol’s agriculturally based Apple Blossom Festival Parade on April 12 celebrates the promise of yet another apple growing season and harvest. If the weather cooperates and the timing is right, one might be lucky enough to catch a breathtaking glimpse of delicate blossoms on the way into the town of Sebastopol on parade day. Gravenstein Highway North is the best bet for blossom-gazers because several orchard blocks still grace landscape on the route that is now dominated by grapevines. Home to the famous Gravenstein apple and Luther Burbank’s Experiment Farm, the historical and economic influence of the apple is alive and well and the parade is one way people celebrate Sonoma County’s apple heritage. The two-hour Apple Blossom Parade has been a part of West Sonoma County culture for over half a century and draws a crowd of about 10,000 people. Featuring more than 100 entries, the parade boasts countless floats and attracts people from near and far who flock to Main Street early in the morning to reserve “front row seats” along the sidewalk. “It’s good ol’ hometown family fun,” said organizer Teresa Romando, executive director of the Sebastopol Area Chamber of Commerce, who enjoys watching families loaded up with chairs and blankets, as they stake out the best seating arrangement. “For many families, it’s an annual tradition,” explained Romando.

Photo by David Abbott

Each year the parade has a theme, lending some direction to the creative souls bold enough to construct a float. Red, White and Blues Blossoms is this year’s patriotic yet musically infused theme that will dominate not only the parade but also the festival that follows the parade and lasts through Sunday. “There will be a blues festival on Sunday,” said Romando, who rattled off a few big names like Joe Louis Walker and Janiva Magness, who will hit the stage along with plenty of others. Although the parade showcases a healthy dose of traditional floats, marching bands, dance acts, clowns, horses and more, there is often a little element of surprise. “It’s an eclectic community and you never know just what you are going to find. It’s never a dull mix,” Romando admitted. The parade is viewed from Main Street (starting at Analy High School and ending south on Calder Avenue). A festival featuring, arts and crafts, food, entertainment and kids activities begins after the parade at Ives Park and the Sebastopol sonoma discoveries

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Center for the Arts in the Veterans Memorial Building. For more information, visit www.appleblossomfest.com or call the Sebastopol Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center at 707-823-3032. • Parking – In town, wherever you can find it. People come early, and once the

streets close at 9:30 a.m., it’s a challenge to even get to downtown.

• Refreshments – Analy High School Boosters Pancake Breakfast: starts at 6:30 a.m.,

6950 Analy Ave. $8 adults, $5 kids/seniors. All-you-can-eat pancakes, eggs, sausage, fruit, coffee and juice. On Main Street, Sebastopol Cookie Company or Holy Cow Coffee and Tea; on the square, Friendly Joe’s; at The Barlow, Taylor Maid Farms. • Timing – Parade: 10 a.m. to noon, April 12. Festival: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., April 12, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m., April 13.

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Healdsburg Future Farmers Country Fair Twilight Parade

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elebrating its 65th year in 2014, the Healdsburg Future Farmers Country Fair is an old-school celebration of livestock, 4-H projects, teriyaki burgers and pie-eating contests, held every year at Healdsburg’s Recreation Park. The fair begins on the Thursday before Memorial Day (May 22 this year) with the Twilight Parade. Locals joke that half the town is in the parade, and the other half is watching it – you’ll believe it after you’ve been watching it for an hour and the floats keep coming. The parade forms up on a group of residential streets east of downtown Healdsburg. If you’re in town early, wander over to Tucker or Haydon streets to see the floats and entries lining up. Kids, dogs, horses and adults fidget equally in preparation for the parade, and neighbors have gotten used to having flatbeds and carriages blocking their driveways for an afternoon. If you know anyone who lives along the parade route, try and crash their frontyard party. These are great places to watch the parade, with legendary potlucks and barbecues and plenty of refreshing beverages. If you don’t know anyone,

also

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go downtown and you soon will. The three blocks of Center Street, from Matheson to Piper, are packed with parade watchers and the entries really show off in that area. This is an election year so expect to see lots of political candidates in the parade. It’s good form to cheer them on, whether you vote for them or not. The Twilight Parade has fewer marching bands than yesteryear, but you’ll see some, along with plenty of dogs and horses. After the parade, meander over to Recreation Park for the first night of the fair. Corn dogs, jump houses, livestock and plenty of people-watching are the preferred activities.

t. 707. 467. 5300

• Parking – If you live nearby, the best

place to park is in your driveway. Downtown Healdsburg is walkable, so walk it. Visitors should try the public parking areas near City Hall, a block west of downtown. • Refreshments – Flying Goat Coffee is along the parade route, on Center Street, and is a good place for a cafsonoma discoveries

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aged, Natural Black Angus hormone and antibiotic free slow cooked prime rib hand trimmed steaks fresh fish full bar cozy fireplace lounge Sonoma County wines lunch weekdays 11:30 - 2:30 dinner every night at 5

4618 Old Redwood Hwy Santa Rosa, CA (707) 527-7768 www.cricklewoodrestaurant.com catty corner from Wells Fargo Art Center

44 • spring 2014

feine or sugar top-off. John & Zeke’s Tavern is on Healdsburg Avenue, a block west of the parade route, and is the locals’ preferred watering hole. • Timing – The parade starts at 6 p.m. and the first entry hits the downtown area about 15 minutes later.

Windsor Days Parade

A

By Ray Holley

project of the Kiwanis Club of Windsor, the Windsor Days Parade begins at Windsor High School and makes its way to the Windsor Town Green. Begun 35 years ago by a group of community boosters, the parade had a variety of sponsors until the Kiwanians took it over in the early 1990s. Like the community itself, the parade is filled with families and young people, along with business floats, bands, school entries and clubs. The busiest place to watch the parade, set for May 10, is on McClelland Drive next to the Town Green. The grandstands are set up near Powell’s Sweet Shoppe, a popular Windsor destination. That area is congested but fun, and most folks stand to watch the parade go by. A laid-back approach to watching the parade is to bring a lawn chair and set up on Windsor River Road, just south of the Town Green. The parade travels up Windsor Road from the High School and turns right onto Windsor River Road before looping by the Town Green. Froggy Radio will be out on Windsor River Road doing a live broadcast of country music during the parade. Since the parade ends at the spacious Town Green, organizers are planning post-parade activities on the Green. The details were not available at press time, but expect family-friendly activities and booths.


Final Spring 2014 Discoveries 021314_Layout 1 2/14/14 1:00 PM Page 45

The B The Bay ay V View iew Restaur ant & B ar Restaurant Bar Authentic A uthentic IItalian talian Cuisine Cuisine and SSonoma onoma C County ountty Fav FFavorites avorites Open for for Dinner Dinne — SSeasonal easonal Hours Bayy V View Ba iew Bar & LLounge ounge Spectacular Views Spec tacular Sunset V iews Outdoor Patio FFireside ireside LLounge ounge and O utdoor P atio Dinners”” ffea featured monthly ““Winemaker Winemaker Dinners eatured mon thly

(707) 875-2751

The T he Tides Tides W Wharf harf Restaur ant & B ar Restaurant Bar Photo by Matthew Hall

– The Town Green area has decent parking along the north and west areas. Plan to be there early to get a good space. There’s lots of parking at the high school, if you want to walk a few blocks. • Refreshments – Downtown Windsor has no shortage of eateries, coffee shops and snackerias, so plan to support a local business and stay for lunch or a munch. • Timing – The parade begins at Windsor High School at 10 a.m. and the first entries will arrive at the Town Green around 10:30. • Parking

“Locals” “L ocals” FFavorite Fav avorite for over over 50 Y Years ears FFocusing ocusing on FFr Fresh resh SSeafood eafood Sp Specialties ecialties Breakfast, Open Daily — Br eakfast, LLunch, unch, Dinner No Seats Seats without a View View of the Bay Bay Children’s Children’s Menu Menu Annual Crab Beer A nnual C rab FFeeds eeds and B eer Dinners Market, Gift Shop,, Snack Bar FFish ish M arket, Gif ftt Shop Large Groups Welcome Lar ge Gr oups W elcome

(707) 875-3652

www.InnattheTides.com w ww.InnattheTides.com 800 and 835 H Highway ighway O One ne Bodega Bodega Bay Bay

Photo by Sarah Bradbury

sonoma discoveries

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Farmers Markets (Area codes 707)

SUNDAY

Sebastopol Certified Farmers Market. Downtown Plaza, McKinley St. at Petaluma Ave.; 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., year–round; 522-9305; sebastopolfarmmarket.org. Windsor Certified Farmers Market. Windsor Town Green, Market St.; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 6 through December; 838-1320; windsorfarmersmarket.com.

TUESDAY

Forestville Farmers Market. Russian River Vineyards, 5700 Gravenstein Hwy North; 3 to 7 p.m., year–round; 887-3344; russianrivervineyards.com.

WEDNESDAY

Santa Rosa Community Farmers Market. Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building East Parking Lot, 1351 Maple Ave.; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. year–round; 415-999-5635; communityfarmersmarkets.com. Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market. Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Rd., 8:30 a.m. to noon, year–round; 522-8629; thesantarosafarmersmarket.com.

SATURDAY

Healdsburg Certified Farmers Market. North St. at Grove St., one block west of the Plaza, Healdsburg; 9 a.m. to noon, May through November; 431-1956; healdsburgfarmersmarket.org. Petaluma Farmers Market. Walnut Park, Petaluma Blvd. South and D St.; 2 to 5:30 p.m., May 17 through November 22; 762-0344; petalumafarmersmarket.com.

Oakmont Farmers Market. Oakmont at White Oak Dr., Santa Rosa; 9 a.m. to noon year–round; 538-7023.

Santa Rosa Community Farmers Market. Santa Rosa Veteran’s Building East Parking Lot, 1351 Maple Ave.; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. year–round; 415-999-5635; communityfarmersmarkets.com.

Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market. Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Rd., 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., year–round; 522-8629; thesantarosafarmersmarket.com.

46 • spring 2014

Ad Index

Amista Winery .............................................15 Antique Society ...........................................27 Art Galleries.................................................9 Erickson Fine Art Hammerfriar Hand Fan Museum Healdsburg Center for the Arts Nichibei Potters Upstairs Art Gallery Bear Republic...............................................2 Big John’s Market ........................................48 Boat House Restaurant ................................44 Costeaux French Bakery ..............................17 Cricklewood Restaurant...............................44 Diana Sanabria.............................................20 Forchini Vineyards........................................15 Garcia River Casino......................................43 Graton Gallery .............................................11 Garrett’s Hardware/The Gift Horse .............20 Geyserville ...................................................32 Mercury Wines Geyserville Inn North County Properties Gualala Arts Center .....................................42 Hammerfirar.................................................9 Healdsburg Jazz Festival .............................5 Healdsburg Jazz Festival Wine Club ...........38 Inn at the Tides ............................................45 K & L Bistro ..................................................13 Korbel Champagne Cellars..........................27 Leff Construction .........................................33 Merriam Vineyards .......................................4 Northwood Golf Course ..............................27 Ram’s Head Realty .......................................43 Ren Brown Gallery .......................................11 Rodney Strong Winery.................................38 Russian River Wine Road .............................2 Saint Dizier...................................................4 Sebastopol Center for the Arts ...................11 Sebastopol Art Gallery ................................9 Sebastopol ..................................................8 Hook & Ladder Mom’s Apple Pie Thai Pot Sushi Tozai/Eight..........................................33 Tallulah .........................................................5 Thankfully There’s Healdsburg ....................23 A Simple Touch Spa B Real Ereloom Framing Arts Healdsburg Emporium Pizzando Taverna Sofia The Spa Hotel Healdsburg Zizi Timber Cove ................................................42 Trione Winery...............................................47 Villaggio Dental/Dr Leach............................22 Walter Hansel Wine and Bistro ....................36 Windsor Town Green ...................................39 Frolic Pets My Chic Boutique Patterson Pub Wine Emporium ...........................................13


Final Spring 2014 Discoveries 021314_Layout 1 2/14/14 1:00 PM Page 47

Experience the newly renovated Experience the newly renovated Ruth Finley Person Theater! Ruth Finley Person Theater! World-class performersin inan anintimate intimatesetting. setting. World-class performers

U P C OMI NG P E R F OR MA NC E S APR 2

A Conversation with Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa

APR 13 Cesar Millan Live! APR 18 Aimee Mann and Billy Collins: An Evening of Acoustic Music and Spoken Word MAY 1 Straight No Chaser: Under the Influence Tour MAY 4 Rodney Carrington: Laughterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Good MAY 9 Mario Cantone Live!

707.546.3600

|

wellsfargocenterarts.org

Trione Vineyards & Winer y For more than three decades, the Trione family has carefully farmed and managed 750 acres of some of the finest grapes in Sonoma Countyy. With painstaking devotion to the land, the Trione family has developed a reputation for producing premium grapes, and in 2005, they decided to start o as T Trione rione their own portfolio Vineyards & Winery..

Trione Vineyards &Winery 19550 Geyserville Ave. Geyserville, Ca 95441 Our tasting room is open to the public. May-October: T Thurs hurs hu dayMonday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. November-April: T Thurs hursdaySunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 707-814-8100 www.trionewinery.com

sonoma discoveries

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