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SUMMER 2014

WILDERNESS, HISTORY & HIKING IN THE MAYACAMAS MOUNTAINS

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34 FEATURES

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Craft Beer Tours Welcome to Beer Country

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Camping with Kids

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Sebastopol

Contemporary Bistro Fare

inspired by the abundance of Sonoma County

K& L

BISTRO

SIGNATURE COCKTAILS CRAFT BEERS FRESH OYSTER BAR WOOD FIRED GRILL 707.823.6614 klbistro.com 119 South Main Street Sebastopol, CA

Visit Sebastopol

Bring your ruby slippers.

sebastopol.org 2

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DEPARTMENTS

IN EVERY ISSUE

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28

Q&A: WINE CHAT Winemaker Ondine Chattan

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SUMMER 2014

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EDITOR’S LETTER

Valley Ford Cheese Company & True Grass Meats

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ART & ABOUT

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DISCOVERIES PICKS 5: BBQ

THE TASTING ROOM EXPERIENCE

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WINE DISCOVERIES

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EVENT CALENDAR

A DAY WITH THE EPICUREAN CONNECTION

Bring the children: Cinematic-resort, working farm and creekside settings

28 OUT TO EAT 3 Great Family-friendly Restaurants

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GUALALA ARTS AUTO SHOW

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EDITOR’S LETTER

Summer 2014 Editor Patricia M. Roth Design & Production Brent Miller Photography Editor Sarah Bradbury Web Coordinator Eileen Mateo Copy Editor Pam Whigman Publisher Rollie Atkinson Associate Publisher Sarah Bradbury Advertising Director Cherie Kelsay

Sales Manager Paula Wise

Advertising Sales Steve Pedersen Neena Hatchett Carol Rands Graphic Designers Jim Schaefer Deneé Rebottaro Cover Photo Gary Ottonello

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 St., 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 95447-0518. The annual subscription rate for Sonoma Discoveries is $20 per year (four issues).

Sonoma Discoveries advertising and editorial offices 9025 Old Redwood Hwy., Suite E Windsor, CA 95492 P.O. Box 518, Healdsburg, CA 95448 707-838-9211 ©Copyright 2014 Sonoma West Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Sonoma Discoveries is an advertising supplement to the May 29, 2014 issue of Sonoma West Times & News, The Healdsburg Tribune, The Windsor Times and Cloverdale Reveille. Printed by Barlow Printing, Cotati, CA

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It’s summer. We’ve waited all year for it, and there’s so much to savor. Let’s start with craft beer. When we asked writer David Abbott if he’d like to tour the craft breweries in Sonoma County, he hesitated – for a heartbeat. Like millions of others around the country, Abbott’s a fan of handcrafted beers. Independent, small, local and innovative – what’s not to like about these burgeoning breweries? Mirroring national growth, the local craft-beer industry continues to expand every year, a bonus for beer-lovers and our economy. And while craft brewers may pride themselves on being renegade, we learned they’re truly family-oriented and contribute generously to our communities. So check out David’s leads this summer. If you discover a favorite, don’t keep secrets – beer’s meant to be shared. Those of you with kids home or visiting during the warm weather are going to appreciate the stories written with families in mind: camping, going out to eat and wine tasting. Camping was something Kerrie Lindecker and her husband always enjoyed doing together. After their two girls were born (and with a little ‘tweaking’), they discovered how fun it was for all of them to go on these overnight outdoor adventures. Kerrie shares her family’s favorite camping spots in Sonoma County plus her Top 10 tips for a successful getaway. Abby Bard writes about three restaurants in Cloverdale, Healdsburg and Occidental that passed the “family-friendly and delicious” test. Check out these places where the whole family can relax and be themselves while eating good food that pleases both children and adults. If you’re planning to go wine tasting this summer, you don’t have to find a babysitter first. As Mary-Colleen Tinney wrote: “While the children can’t partake in the drink, they can partake in the experience, perhaps learning more about agriculture, food and culture along the way.” Mary-Colleen tracked down wineries that offer amenities to keep the kids as entertained as the adults. Sometimes all we want during the summertime is serenity and a feeling of solitude that’s best found in wide-open spaces. If you’re looking for such a spot, read about the hike Barry Dugan took with a group to the Modini Mayacamas Preserves, an area steeped in history and wild, natural beauty. Craving barbecue? Discoveries Picks 5 names five tasty sources that will make you wonder whether you should bother firing up the grill at home. And if it’s local cheeses and grass-fed beef you’re after, Sheana Davis writes about a food-to-table experience you can re-create in your own kitchen. Finally, our calendar highlights the season’s hottest events, from the Healdsburg Jazz Festival to Fourth of July celebrations. As you read, we hope you linger over the original photographs and the new design of this issue. Here’s to a sweet summer – filled with family, friends and discoveries. Patricia M. Roth, Editor patti@sonomadiscoveries.com

CONTRIBUTORS David Abbott is editor of Sonoma West Times & News and has been a member of the staff of Sonoma West Publishers since 2007. He enjoys writing about beer, bicycles, running and hiking. Rollie Atkinson is the publisher of Sonoma West Publishers, Inc. and writes editorials and articles for the group’s four community newspapers. 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. Sarah Bradbury is the associate publisher of Sonoma West Publishers, Inc. and has had the opportunity to photograph the county and its people for Sonoma Discoveries for 17 years. 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 Sonoma West Times & News, The Healdsburg Tribune and The Windsor Times. Kerrie Lindecker is the editor of The Healdsburg Tribune and Cloverdale Reveille. She lives in Cloverdale with her husband and two little girls. Nevin Mahoney is a budding nature photographer from Geyserville, currently focusing on landscape shots and abstract macro compositions. He further fulfills his love of the outdoors through target shooting and motorcycles. 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 Patricia M. Roth is the editor of Sonoma Discoveries. She was previously senior editor at Wine Business Monthly magazine and has been a reporter and editor at various publications in California. Mary-Colleen Tinney is a Sonoma County native with more than 13 years of experience as a wine journalist. After nearly nine years at Wine Business Monthly magazine, she spent a year working in the wine regions of New Zealand. She works in wine marketing and hospitality positions while continuing her wine journalism career on a freelance basis.

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ART& ABOUT

Cloverdale Arts Alliance Gallery “Cultivate” through July 17. “Flourish,” July 18-Sept. 18; artists’ reception July 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Open FridaySunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 204 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale. 894-4410, cloverdaleartsalliance.org. Dolphin Gallery Mike and Jennie Henderson: Weavings, drawings and pit-fired ceramic pottery produced in their home near Point Arena. This will be their first combined show in their 43 years together: June 7-July 2. Stained glass by Christine Charter Moorhead; baskets and felted sculptures by Gerda Randolph. Clay sculpture by Ann Berger; paintings by Ellen Boulanger: July 5-July 30. Opening reception August 2, 5-7 p.m. 884-3896, GualalaArts.org.

GRATON GALLERY Showing the works of more than 50 local artists and artisans. “In Water” with Marylu Downing, mixed media, and Barbara Hoffmann, clay: through June 22. Pam Powell and Linda Ratzlaff, paintings: June 24Aug. 3. Sandra Rubin, “New Works” through Sept. 21. Open Tues. through Sat. 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun. 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed Mon. and Tues. 9048 Graton Rd., Graton. 8298912, gratongallery. com.

Dovetail Collection Collection of American handcrafted items, with an emphasis on fine wood furniture from Northern California master craftsmen. Unique collection of furniture, home décor and gift items. Open Thursday through Monday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday, except by private appointment. 407 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg. 431-0111. dovetailcollection. com.

A Sisters by Carlos Perez

Erickson Fine Art Gallery Rotating works by gallery artists. Representing the best of 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.-6 p.m. Wed. by appointment. 324 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg. 4317073, ericksonfineartgallery.com.

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HEALDSBURG CENTER FOR THE ARTS “A Show of Metal,” through June 22. 12th Anniversary celebration, June 28; artist demonstrations all day; reception 5-8 p.m. Gallery artists fill the gallery space from June 23-July 6. “Clay & Glass,” an invited artists show, July 1-Sept. 14; reception July 19, 5-8 p.m. Open daily 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Artwalk Second Saturdays until 8 p.m. 130 Plaza St., Healdsburg. 431-1970, healdsburgcenterforthearts.com.

HAND FAN MUSEUM 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, handfanmuseum.org.

Gualala Arts Center Art of the Sakha Republic in the Russian Federation, including displays of Sakha costumes and other artifacts and art of well-known Sakha artist Andrey Chikachev: through June 29. Opening reception June 18, 5-7 p.m., with a performance art selection showcasing this intriguing culture. Special Yakut events June 18-June 21. Art of Chinese artist Fei Pai Yeh, inspired by the Chinese Year of the Horse. Opening reception July 4, 5-7 p.m. Wall and sculptural art inspired by the automobile (complements the Gualala Arts Auto Show on July 19). Opening reception July 4, 5-7 p.m. Gualala Arts Center, 884-1138 or GualalaArts.org. Hammerfriar “Selected Works” (including an Installation by Claude Smith) with Jann Nunn, Bella Feldman, Michael Garlington, John Parulius, Bill Shelley, Seymour Bergman, Art Moura, Ann Gerber, Chris Beards, Peter Crompton and Robyn Spencer Crompton, Sherry Parker and Penny Michel: through July 6. “Jenny Honnert Abell: Solo show,” July 15 – Sept. 7. Reception July 26, 6-8 p.m. 132 Mill Street, Suite 101, Healdsburg. 473-9600, hammerfriar.com. Local Color Gallery “California Marine Life” featuring underwater paintings by Donna Schaffer, through June 23. “Assembled, Mixed, Painted, Fired” featuring Rebecca Trevino’s assemblages, Susan St. Thomas’s mixed media, Paula Matzinger’s paintings and Chris Boyd’s ceramics: June 24-July 28. Artists’ reception June 28, 1 to 4 p.m. “Profusion of Joyful Color” featuring watercolor paintings by Michele Weitzenberg: July 29-Sept. 1; opening reception Aug. 2, 1 to 4 p.m. 1580 Eastshore Rd., Bodega Bay. Open daily 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 1580 Eastshore Rd., Bodega Bay. 875-2744, localcolor.com. Nichebei Potters The works of Nichebei Potters blend the elegant tradition of Japanese folk art with a contemporary flair resulting in an innovative collection of handmade pottery. Visit their studios during Art at the Source – Open Studio Tour. 1991 Burnside Rd., Sebastopol. 823-0950, nichebeipotters.com.


APPROVAL

Client: Ren Brown Run date: 5-29-14 Ad title/slug: 1/3 page color Returned approval due by: 5-1-14 Scheduled to run in: Disco Summer 2014 Please check this proof carefully for errors and omissions. Your signature below constitutes acceptance of full responsibility for all errors, omissions and legal and ethical compliance in this document. Sonoma West Publishers will not accept liability for errors overlooked at this stage of proofing. Any changes from your previously approved copy will be charged extra according to both time and materials. Advertiser agrees to pay appropriate rates and production costs as specified in the current rate card. All conditions of the latest rate card apply. OK AS IS Your signature and date

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Ren Brown Collection Celebrating its 25th year in Bodega Bay, the gallery offers rotating exhibits of contemporary Japanese printmakers and local artists featuring original mezzotint, etching, woodblock and silkscreen prints. There is also a broad selection of fine jewelry, wood-fired and salt-glazed ceramics, and antique Japanese tansu chests. Don’t forget to check out the Japanese gardens, too. Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 1781 Coast Hwy. 1, Bodega Bay. 875-2922, renbrown. com. Sebastopol Center for the Arts “Art at the Source Preview Exhibit,” West Sonoma County’s premier open studio event has 160 participating artists showcasing one piece of work in the gallery: through June 7. Galletta Gallery: “Bibliophoria III,” a biannual exhibition presenting book art, juried by Mary Austin, co-founder, San Francisco Center of the Book. SCA will host a street printing festival June 28. Gallery II: “Bound together: tablet to tablet,” a glimpse in the history of bookmaking. Gallery III: “Sonoma County Book Arts Guild” showing a new collection of work. June 12-July 25. Opening reception June 12. Galletta Gallery: “Play it again Sam” featuring collage, assemblage and recycled art juried by Sharon Spain of Recology, San Francisco’s Artist in Residence Program. Gallery II: “Shadows and Stories” by Beth Changstrom. Gallery III: “Shifting Weights” by Betsy Kellas. July 31-Aug. 30. Opening reception July 31, 6-7:30 p.m. No entry fee. Open Tues.-Fri. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat. 1-4 p.m., 282 S. High St., Sebastopol Veterans Building, Sebastopol. sebarts.org.

The largest Art Center in California fine museum quality framing highest standards of preservation and conservation methods used (707) 473.9600 132 Mill Street • Healdsburg hammerfriar.com

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north of San Francisco

www.sebarts.org 282 S. High St. Sebastopol, CA 707.829.4797

ART PERFORMANCE LITERARY FILM CLASSES

Sebastopol Gallery Kalia Kliban and Sandy Eastoak “Full Circles,” through June 21. Paintings by James Reynolds, June 22-Aug. 10. Open daily 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 150 North Main St., Sebastopol. 829-7200, sebastopol-gallery. com. Upstairs Art Gallery The gallery at 306 Center St. in Healdsburg, 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. 431-4214, upstairsartgallery.com.


GALLERIES NOW OPEN!

Christie Marks Fine Art Gallery Presenting

Jerrold Ballaine Through June 22

Alejandro Salazar June 27 – Aug 10

Ben Lastufka Alejandro Salazar - Untitled

Aug 21- Sept 28

322 Healdsburg Ave., 2nd floor, Healdsburg • (707)695-1011 Christiemarksfineart.com

100% M ADE

IN

A MERICA A RTISAN G ALLERY

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DISCOVERIES PICKS 5: BBQ Sonoma County isn’t known as “BBQ Country” but it could be, if it weren’t for already being known as Wine Country. Texas has brisket and Kansas City and St. Louis have sweet and tangy sauces. The Deep South has hot and spicy and slow-cooked barbecue styles. But those places don’t have wine and year-round outdoor cooking weather that you find here. Every family has its own champion barbecue chef. But on the chef’s night off, here are five sources for a suitable alternative – or new favorite:

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Pack Jack Old Style Bar-B-Que 3963 Gravenstein Hwy. South Sebastopol. 827-3665 Open Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 8 p.m.

Located on Highway 116 between Sebastopol and Cotati, this familyowned local institution could easily be mistaken for a Texas roadside joint. It has the half-worn look on the outside, small smoky room inside and an impressive brick oven smoker and piles of split wood out back. Pack Jack actually burned to the ground in 2004 and did not re-open until last year by Robert Harris, son of the founder Robert. Prices are great and portions are generous. Choices include ribs, lamb, links, chicken and sliced beef. Don’t leave without some Pack Jack beans.

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World Famous Hamburger Ranch & Bar-B-Que 31195 N. Redwood Hwy. Cloverdale 894-5616. Open daily, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. hamburgerranchandbbq.com

Located at the northern edge of Cloverdale where Highway 128 turns left toward Anderson Valley, this food is worth the drive (or motorcycle cruise). Owner Bob Krucker comes from Kansas City and has a giant wood-fired smoker to prove it. He slow-cooks his meats at low, low temperatures. The result is smoky flavors and very tender meats, including brisket, baby back pork ribs, pulled pork and chicken.

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Leo Tocchini, Jaded Toad BBQ & Grill

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Jaded Toad BBQ & Grill 275 Windsor River Road Windsor 838-8336 Open daily from 11 a.m.

Here’s another small cooking shack with a big outdoor dining area and beer garden located in Old Windsor, a half block from the Town Green. Owner Leo Tocchini is a veteran grill master and host. He served as director of concessions for his family’s movie theaters and entertainment groups and cooked at Tony Roma’s. The

menu continues to evolve to keep the outdoor grill and smoker always busy. Dishes such as panfried frog legs, salmon and sliders have shown up on the menu along with crowd favorites like baby back ribs and barbecued chicken. Parking lot favorites. Local 4 independent grocery stores like Pacific Market, Molsberry’s in Larkfield and Healdsburg’s Big John’s Market roll out large grills for summertime cooking that beckon shoppers rolling by with half-filled shopping carts. These stores all have an excellent choice of the region’s best chickens, ribs and other meats, including tri-tip and other cuts. Cooked all day on the outdoor grills, the barbecue goodness is still warm when you get home and you car will never smell the same again. Locations: Big John’s Market, 1345 Healdsburg Ave.. Healdsburg; 433-7151. Pacific Market, 550 Gravenstein Hwy. North, Sebastopol; 823-9735. Molsberry’s Market, 522 Larkfield Center, Santa Rosa (Larkfield); 546-2331. Otis &Sadie’s Windsor Town Green 5-8 p.m., Thursdays June 12 to August 28.

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A favorite booth the past few years at the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market is moving to the Thursday night Windsor market on June 12 for the remainder of the summer. John Cain (and his children Otis and Sadie) fire up an assortment of grilled and smoked meats and sides, including brisket, ribs and pulled pork. Delicious sides include smoked beans and mac n’ cheese. Cain, an associate director of marketing at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, entered (and won) several barbecue contests in recent years and decided to put his grill master skills to good local service at the local farmers’ markets.


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Bucher Vineyard 2013 Rosé of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley $18, 14.1% alcohol

The Bucher family grows Pinot Noir grapes for neighbors who happen to own wineries, including Williams Selyem, Siduri Wines, Papapietro Perry, Arista Winery, Holdredge Wines, C. Donatiello Winery and Thralls Family Cellars. That’s a lot of fruit power from just 38 acres of hillside vineyards, planted on former grazing land of the Bucher Family Dairy. Grapes for the family’s own Rosé comes from one ton of fruit harvested from the Pear Tree block. This wine is full of bright fruit flavors including strawberries, pomegranate and orange zest.

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WINE DISCOVERIES It’s the season for more outdoor pursuits, so why wouldn’t we include more fresh-air wine sipping and sharing? Yes, let’s. Out of doors can mean picnics, grilling and barbecuing. That means we need some hearty reds to stand up to our favorite grilling sauces and smoky meat flavors. May we suggest some Old Vine Zinfandel or a classic red Rhone? Hot weather also nudges our thirsts toward something a little lighter, fun and fresh, like a delightful Rosé wine. Here are three of our picks for summer.

Acorn Vineyards 2013 Rosato Russian River Valley $22, 13.5% alcohol

Just because a wine is pink doesn’t mean it can’t be robust or dry. Here’s the bottled truth. Bill Nachbauer blended this wine from Dolcetto, Zinfandel, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc grapes from his Alegria Vineyards, located in a cooler part of the valley. The grapes were harvested in late September and early October of 2012 and the wine was just released this month (May 2014.) A total of 112 cases were produced.

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Balletto Vineyards & Winery 2013 Rosé of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley $18, 13.9% alcohol

We used to think making Rosé from full red berries of Pinot Noir or Zinfandel should be a sin, but not anymore. Anyway, there’s

plenty of red grape plantings across the Russian River Valley to let a little free run juice flow into its own fermenters to make wines like this light, crispy and delicious Rosé. This primrose-colored wine could be accused of being a little spicy. And that’s a good thing. Wilson Winery 2011 Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Dry Creek Valley $28, 15.7 % alcohol

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Diane Wilson is a Zinfandel master, no doubt about it. Each year she makes a half-dozen or more separate Zinfandels from various vineyards and lots. This one isn’t the most expensive, but it might be the most approachable right now. The wine is sturdied by a 5 percent blend of Petite Sirah. It has plenty of blackberry spice and a nice presence of oakiness. It won a Gold Medal at the most recent International Women’s Wine Competition. Truett Hurst 2012 Mendocino County Dark Horse GPS Mendocino County $40, 14.4% alcohol

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First tasted at the Wine Road’s Barrel Tasting event, it was obvious that bottles of this wine were headed to our cellar. GPS stands for Grenache, Petite Sirah and the Syrah grapes in the blend. Like all Truett Hurst wines, these grapes were farmed with Demeter-certified biodynamic practices. Pair with grilled sausages or any barbecued meats.

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taste+

SONOMA LOCAL

A winemaker for 15 years, Ondine Chattan is the Director of Winemaking at Geyser Peak Winery. When she was promoted to this position, the CEO of Ascentia Wine Estates called her “an extremely talented, progressive winemaker.” She is also the lead winemaker for the XYZin brand, whose wines are also produced by Geyser Peak Winery personnel.

Q&A: Wine Chat Winemaker Ondine Chattan by Patricia M. Roth What drew you to viticulture and enology?

The opportunity to pursue a scientific career that also offered creativity and lifestyle components. What is your winemaking philosophy and how does that translate into your day-to-day work and long-term goals?

Chattan has crafted numerous award-winning wines and created two new proprietary red blends from the Alexander Valley for release in 2014: Tectonic and Devil’s Inkstand, along with an appellation-focused Pinot Noir, Pluto’s Fury, from the Russian RiverV alley. She lives in Healdsburg with her husband, David, and their three sons: 4-year-old twins and a 1-year-old. Ondine Chattan, pictured during the grand opening of Geyser Peak Winery’s new tasting room and winery operations on Westside Road, outside downtown Healdsburg.

Geyser Peak Winery 2306 Magnolia Drive Healdsburg, CA 707-857-2500 geyserpeakwinery.com

photo by Sarah Bradbury

I have made wine my life but I believe in a healthy perspective with regard to its importance in the world. I believe wine should enhance food and the dining experience and serve as an accompaniment to conversation but I do not believe it need take center stage. My mantra is ‘context is everything’ and I am fortunate in my position to be able to craft wines in multiple price ranges that allow me to pursue gradations in philosophy. I believe in presenting both fruit and earth elements in a wine and showcasing varietal subtlety. I also take great pride in producing a line of wines that is accessible to both novice and connoisseur. I am staunch in my belief that a consumer should be able to purchase a very good bottle of wine for $12 or less, and I am proud to produce a handful of wines that deliver at that price point. I believe in a house style that also allows for vintage variation so our Geyser Peak wines are highly consistent in quality and flavor profile from vintage to vintage while still allowing for the signature of each specific vintage. What this all rolls back to is a foundation belief in a connection to the earth and a philosophy of sustainability. From style consistency to fair price, this involves inputs at every stage of the winemaking process from working with grower partners to implementing innovative techniques in ferment, aging and finishing the wines. In your opinion, what aspect of winemaking is most important to making good wine?

Sourcing good grapes and working with particular sites and growers over many years. Good ‘ingredients’ make good wine.

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Which of your “secrets” or techniques might you share with your peers?

Sauvignon Blanc tastes best when the vines carry a heavy crop (as long as the vine and water availability will allow the fruit to mature). Wine consumers have been trained to believe that wine is only good if the vines carried a small crop. Another ‘secret’? Mechanical harvesting is amazing.

Let us help you save water!

What percentage of the grapes that you source from California comes from Sonoma County?

About 50 percent. What wines are you making with Sonoma County grapes, and how would you describe them?

Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, four different Cabernet Sauvignons, Zinfandel, Petit Verdot, a Rhone-style blend, Chardonnay, Meritage, a red blend. As a group they show the interplay of fruit and earth and a strong sense of continuity in style. Our style is distinct but not overblown. We have abundant fruit, intriguing spice, supple tannins, medium to full body, distinct varietal character, subtle oak influence, reasonably low alcohol, persistent finishes and overall accessibility. I like to think the wines don’t ‘clobber’ you but rather impress with their subtlety and versatility. There is an accessibility and ‘welcoming’ nature in the wines.

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What wine or wines would you recommend for the summer?

I’ll be a broken record here but Sauvignon Blanc is perfect. Also, our Pinot Grigio is lovely and floral. Tectonic is a medium-bodied red wine that will pair beautifully with summer grilling and is not too heavy. I always have to say Zinfandel for barbecue as well. How many vineyards do you visit and why is this important?

Besides individual vineyards we also have individual blocks within each vineyard so it is actually an alarming number – well over 100 – and each block might as well be a different vineyard site. Visiting vineyards is critical to understanding what we can achieve with each site and, of course, during the harvest season we make our picking calls based on taste so spending a lot of time in the vineyards is critical to harvesting at optimal maturity. What are you most proud of?

Producing wines (notably our California Sauvignon Blanc) that are accessible to just about anyone and still regularly receive high accolades. I love hearing from our consumers how our Sauvignon Blanc is their ‘go-to’ wine. It is so rewarding to reach such a wide audience – it is like being part of a community, a shared culture and mindset. SD summer 2014 +

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SONOMA LOCAL

Sheana Davis, cheesemaker, culinary educator, and owner of the The Epicurean Connection in Sonoma, California, has supported the artisan and farmstead cheese movement for more than 20 years

A Day with The Epicurean Connection Valley Ford Cheese Company & True Grass Meats by Sheana Davis

Valley Ford Cheese Company valleyfordcheeseco. com True Grass Farms truegrassfarms.com Certified Humane certifiedhumane.org

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ach week it is an honor to drive west and meet up with Karen Bianchi-Moreda and Joe Moreda Jr. at their 95-year-old dairy, which has included five generations of dairy farmers and cheese makers. The family is fully committed to their land, their cows and embracing their Italian heritage. Their dairy – Mountain View Jerseys – milks 450 prize-winning Jersey cows twice a day and is on 640 acres overlooking the wetlands of the Estero de Americano and located on Highway One, which gives the prize-winning cheeses their name. The un-pasteurized farmstead cheese comes from a “closed” herd that is dedicated to top quality health and nutrition programs. Valley Ford Cheese Company is a Certified Humane farm and they continue to work with local and state organizations to promote sustainable practices and quality dairy products within the farm. Anyone who can understand the unique qualities of a region – its sun, soil and water contribute to the flavor – will see that the cheese deliciously reflects the perfection of the place that produces it.

True Grass Meats

The first time I had True Grass Meats, Chef Matt Elias told me it all begins with the grass.

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At True Grass, they are totally committed to maintaining healthy pastureland by embracing a process of rotational grazing that depends upon the stewardship of a natural ecosystem, of which we, as well as the grass, are only two elements. When visiting the True Grass Farms, we were impressed by the animals they had selected, including Black Angus cows, California Kobe, a Japanese breed renowned for its flavor and tenderness, along with American Guinea and Blackworth hogs, rabbit and heritage chicken breeds. It is always an honor to work with True Grass – as they are true to their words and strive toward a more harmonious relationship with our environment to provide the best local source of fine beef, pork and other pasture-raised USDAcertified organic meats to our community. Chef Matt Elias invited our shop to be part of the true farm-to-table concept; we purchase our meats from True Grass for the shop, and Chef Matt will oftentimes be a guest chef at the shop and prepare a three-course meal featuring True Grass Meats and include the Valley Ford Cheeses in his menu since they are neighbors on Valley Ford. I love their statement direct from their website: “We invite you to join us in forging a creative new reform of our food system while savoring the best that nature can offer. Find us at Bay Area farmers


markets or connect with us directly; we thrive upon a foundation of transparency and open communication. I pledge to provide delicious products that contribute to the health of our environment as well as to the future of our world, one plate at a time.” Please visit True Grass Farms for retail locations and to join their meat club.

Potato Risotto with Beef Tenderloin & Valley Ford Highway 1 Created by Sheana Davis The Epicurean Connection Yields 4 2 tablespoons sweet butter 1 cup white onion finely chopped 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into

Experience desired

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Making, and enjoying, great wine is a hands-on experience. Join us for a taste of our Single Vineyard Cabernets.

2 cups beef broth

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1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Place Matters - Sonoma County

1/8-inch-thick slices, then 1/8-inch cubes 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes

1/2 cup Valley Ford Highway 1, finely grated

Open Daily 10:00 am to 5:00 pm 11455 Old Redwood Hwy. Healdsburg, CA 800.678.4763 www.RodneyStrong.com

1/4 cup fresh chives 4 each 6-8 ounce beef tenderloin steaks (each 3/4 to 1 inch thick) 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, stems removed and chopped fine 1/4 cup Sonoma County olive oil

Over medium flame, in a heavy bottom large saucepan, melt butter, add onion and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes until onions are soft and translucent. Add in potato cubes, sprinkle with chili flakes, salt and pepper. Add 11/2 cups chicken broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are nearly tender, adding more chicken broth if needed (as mixture should be creamy with some sauce, and not dry), approximately 10 minutes. Add cream and simmer until potatoes are tender but still hold their shape, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Stir in cheese and chives, taste, adjust seasoning and serve warm with steaks. Risotto can be made 2 hours ahead. Sprinkle steaks with coarse salt and pepper, then chopped thyme. Heat tablespoon of olive oil in heavy large skillet over mediumhigh heat. Add steaks and cook to desired doneness, adding more oil as needed, 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Serve with a Merlot or Wheat Beer. SD

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craft

TOURS Welcome to Beer Country or two bleary weekends early this spring, I set out to research beer tours and the craft beer industry in Northern California, taking an organized, 6-hour tour with North Bay Brewery Tours in late March followed by a small, independent tour at Bear Republic Brewing Company, a cutting-edge brewpub/ microbrewery in northern Sonoma County. Three locally born and raised home brewers/craft beer enthusiasts, brothers Ron and James Holt and their longtime friend Robert Watkins, launched North Bay Brewery Tours in April 2011. James Holt was on driver duty the day I sat down with Ron and Robert to get a rundown of their entry into a slice of the local tourism industry that generates approximately $123 million annually, according to a 2013 study by the Sonoma County Economic Development Board (EDB). photos by Gary Ottonello

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R Ryan Lindecker pours a beer at the Bear Republic Brewpub in Healdsburg. Right: Roger Herpst of Bear Republic Brewing Co. reassembles a barrel for cleaning.

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he trio worked at a Domino’s Pizza together while attending high school, but after graduation Ron Holt moved to L.A. to become a consultant in the restaurant industry, which gave him a practical business education he brought home to their nascent business. Tired of their “day jobs” and with a desire to work in an industry they loved, they realized that while there were many wine tours, there were no beer tours in a region that is a leader in an increasingly profitable craft brewing industry and a major stop for traveling beer aficionados. “This is a craft beer Mecca, but public transportation is not great,” Watkins said. “Taxis are expensive and tours already exist for the wine industry.” So they saved and borrowed some seed money, starting with one reconditioned, used bus, and in three short years have expanded to the point where there are now seven buses and a car in the fleet and they are in the process of refurbishing a stretch limo to add to the mix. They have also been on a “hiring binge” that is creating jobs, contributing further to the local economy.

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“We decided we should make it a reality,” Ron said. “If we had $500,000 lying around, we would probably have opened our own brewery … This really is an ‘up by our bootstraps’ company.” The expansion of their company loosely mirrors the growth of the craft beer industry both in Sonoma County and nationwide.

Craft Beer Sales Rising The EDB reported that in 2012, craft beer sales rose by 15 percent nationwide and 41 percent in Sonoma County. There were 18 craft breweries in Sonoma County in 2013, with eight of those opening between 2011 and 2012. That number reportedly rose even more in 2013, so there are now more than 20 craft brewers and the EDB expects to do another study later this year. “Three of the top 20 beers in the world are made in Sonoma County and the industry continues to grow,” EDB Executive Director Ben Stone said. “It’s been happening here for 20 years, but in the past three to five it’s been really taking off and is part of a national trend.” The report also cites the yearly, two-week release of Pliny the Younger by the Russian River Brewing Company that generates an estimated $2.36 million in local economic

activity by approximately 12,500 visitors who swarm to Sonoma County for a taste of a beer that has been voted the unofficial best beer in the country by BeerAdvocate, an online beer rating site. Russian River was not on the menu the day I took my tour, but Petaluma-based Lagunitas Brewing Company, founded in 1992, which just completed a $15 million expansion in Chicago, was.

The Tour NBBT takes a broad approach to its tours, covering a range of breweries from the “flagship” breweries, such as Lagunitas and Bear Republic, to small production crafters such as Old Redwood Brewing Company in Windsor. There are also several types of tours, from a basic tour with a knowledgeable driver but basically “on your own” at the breweries, to all-inclusive VIP Tours, with lunch and a tour guide, as well as tastings and tours at three breweries. The bus even has a “kegerator” so that participants can drink craft beer along the way. There are other options as well as beer and food pairings and home-brewing workshops, along with a beer blog that features beer reviews and advice. One advantage to a tour


with NBBT is that they go to small breweries and bring their knowledge gleaned from years of research, i.e. beer drinking. “We’re not just another bus company,” Ron Holt said. “We offer a unique perspective on the industry on different levels.” I showed up half an hour early for my first tour, not sure what to expect, but expecting a large group of thirsty beer lovers lined up at the infamous kegerator. True to form, James Holt was the driver this day and new employee Trevor Mattingly was along for a training ride, while veteran tour guide Rich Clay was there to make sure everyone had a good time. Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout — a “breakfast beer” weighing in at 9.2 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) — was on tap and the first brewery on the tour was Lagunitas, where we would get a tasting of several beers, lunch and a lengthy tour of their large Petaluma facility. The bus filled up with a crew of 20-30-somethings from such far-flung places as Walnut Creek, Novato and Sacramento, and Clay played host, filling up plastic cups with beer and talking about what was in store for the day. Clay told us that he “cheated” to get the job by bringing in a sample of his own home brew after his wife told him about the job. “I brought in a sample and they said ‘you’re hired,’” he said. The Lagunitas Taproom in Petaluma has turned into something of a Sonoma County institution. On any given day, the large patio is packed with patrons drinking flights of fine craft beer and eating quality, local food. The patio is furnished with picnic tables and there is a bandstand where talent plays amid the din and chaos, while groups of people tour the brewing facility in the shadow of a dozen grain silos. Just one of those silos refills with 50,000 lbs of tworow malting barley every 18 hours. We spent an hour and a half at Lagunitas, where we enjoyed beer, food and hospitality in “the loft.” The group was treated to an oral history of Lagunitas and we heard the story of the infamous 2005 “St. Patrick’s Day Massacre,” where the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control sent undercover investigators to a large party on the premises and subsequently closed the brewery down for 20 days. Lagunitas used that period to expand and created Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale in memoriam. From there, the bus went to Old Redwood, a small operation that currently has only three barrels. Along the way, Holt and Clay talked about the history and growth of the homebrew movement in the U.S. Before the 1980s, homebrew was illegal in the wake of Prohibition. When the 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition in 1933, it failed to make home brewing legal, although winemaking was allowed. In October 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed H.R. 1337, creating a tax exemption for home-brewed beer, effectively making it legal, according to the American Homebrewers Association. As states regulate alcohol on an individual basis, legalization was spotty and the last two states to legalize home brewing were Mississippi and Alabama, just last year. The legalization of home brewing has led to an explosion of licensed breweries in the U.S.

North Bay Brewery Tours co-founder James Holt talks about beer during a tour. Below: Interior of the TapRoom at Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma

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“We’ve kind of gone to a preprohibition structure,” James Holt said. “Before Prohibition, there were about 2,000 breweries in the U.S. Afterward, there was a big consolidation but now there are a lot of breweries popping up all over.” According to the EDB report, there were 2,347 breweries in the U.S in 2012, the most in 125 years. At Old Redwood, which opened in June 2012, we found a small operation with a tasting room and beer that tasted closer to homebrew than the more established, larger breweries that produce in massive quantities. It is a labor-intensive operation, because the scale does not allow much automation.

NBBT tour, I set my sights on another flagship brewery for another round, or two, of “research.” My tour of Bear Republic was much more low-key, but equally beer-centric. For a tour of Bear Republic, all one has to do is call and, if there is a tour scheduled, show up at the famous brewpub in Healdsburg. On the Saturday morning I booked my tour, I arrived at 10 a.m. sharp and was greeted by longtime Bear Republic employee Ryan Lindecker, who gave a small handful of us a funny, informative — and sometimes irreverent — tour of another pioneering Sonoma County institution, beginning with the five of us sitting at the bar with a glass of beer “from

trendsetter,” Lindecker said. “People didn’t think we’d get those bittering units that high back then.” Bear Republic has an entire menu of about 90 specialty and semi-seasonal ales on tap and is in the midst of an expansion that could nearly double production, creating a “destination” brewery in Cloverdale. In addition to the high-powered ales, Bear Republic has been creating less hoppy, lower alcohol brews, such as El Oso Mexican Lager, which won a bronze in the Great American Beer Festival in 2008. “Up to 2008, people thought we can could only win with big ales,” Lindecker said. “Then came El Oso.”

North Bay Brewery Tours runs the gamut from large, established brewing facilities such as Lagunitas Brewing Company (left) to small craft brewers such as Redwood Brewing Company in Windsor (right). Pictured center: Employees at Fogbelt Brewing Company in Santa Rosa pour tastings at the tasting room on Cleveland Avenue.

The beer is available at the tasting room and fans can purchase a beer club membership, which ships three, six or 12 large bottles per month. We ended up at Fogbelt Brewing Company in Santa Rosa, which opened late last year. Fogbelt is attempting to use locally sourced ingredients as much as possible and hopes to eventually produce enough of its own hops to create a market for an historical Sonoma County crop that was the predecessor to the ubiquitous vineyards from the mid-1800s to the 1930s. “We’re seeing hops as a cash crop,” James Holt said. “There’s already starting to be a hops shortage.” After a successful completion of my

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the teat,” as Lindecker said. My four fellow tourists, Kevin and Kim Macare and Brian and Lisa Fleming, had come all the way from Orange County to visit “wine country” but found themselves on a beer tour in Healdsburg. “I’m not a big beer drinker, but we learned a lot and it was well worth it,” Kim Macare said. “And we wanted to make today for Brian, who is not a wine drinker.” With the likes of Red Rocket Ale and Racer 5 IPA, Bear Republic, established in 1995, picked up the torch from Lagunitas and ran with it, creating the hoppy, bitter India Pale Ales that have come to be known as the West Coast IPA. “Red Rocket put us on the map as a live craft beer and a

The Healdsburg facility has its grain silos refilled with 40,000 pounds of grain every two weeks, and it is milled locally. They use ingredients such as coriander, chocolate and molasses, before adding the yeast to “make magic.” “In our business, the ‘born on’ date for domestic American lagers is actually the day it dies,” Lindecker said, explaining that filtering and pasteurization kills the yeast. “We make living, craft beer.”

Contributions to the Community But it’s not just about beer for the larger producers. Lagunitas does not advertise, but relies on word-of-mouth, and in 2012


Windsor We’re more than just a hardware store!

Proudly serving the Windsor Community since 1995 Ace has always been the helpful place, and backed by Garrett’s deep rooted history and experience in the hardware store industry (125 years in Healdsburg), we guarantee quality products and knowledgable, friendly customer service. From Fishing/Hunting licenses to a newly added Paint Studio and our full service nursery, we are your se local one-stop-shop!

The TapRoom at Lagunitas Brewing Company, (right) hops growing outside Bear Republic Brewing Company

donated large amounts of beer or money to more than 2,000 nonprofit organizations for fundraising efforts, according to the EDB. Bear Republic, which donated $40,000 to $70,000 in 2012-13, has even worked with the city of Cloverdale to address water issues that city has faced, although they use less than 1 percent of the water in the city, according to Clay Grosskopf of Bear Republic. “We’ve been growing steadily since 2006 and we recently purchased the rest of the building in Cloverdale,” he said. “When we went to the city to apply for permits, they told us they didn’t have the water.” Hence, Bear Republic entered into a unique public/private partnership to help the city commence with a well project, which should see two new wells online in July 2014. The brewery will advance the city nearly $500,000 as an advance payment on future water capacity fees. One hundred percent of the brewery’s operational wastewater will be recycled through the new system and 25 percent of that will then be re-used by the brewery. When running at full capacity, the system could generate 50 percent of the company’s power needs. Bear Republic has already cut its water use to half the industry standard, using about three gallons of water per gallon of beer as opposed to the six or seven most breweries use. “Twenty years ago, it was a 15-1 (ratio),” Grosskopf said. “We have flow trackers on every hose in the facility that is tracked on a computerized system … We’re the first company in the U.S. to install this unit.” From the novice beer fan to the experienced beer enthusiast to homebrewers of all stripes, touring the local craft brewing facilities can be an educational, eye-opening and delicious experience.

Just be careful about having too many of those “breakfast beers.” SD Open 7 days a week to Serve You! 10540 Old Redwood Hwy in Windsor | 433-6590 www.garretthardware.com

CRAFT BEER HIGHLIGHTS Barley and Hops Tavern Occidental 874-9037 barleynhops.com Bear Republic Brewing Company Cloverdale and Healdsburg 894-2722 bearrepublic.com Fogbelt Brewing Company Santa Rosa 978-3400 fogbeltbrewing.com Lagunitas Brewing Company Petaluma 778-8776 lagunitas.com Old Redwood Brewing Company Windsor 657-7624 Petaluma Henhouse Petaluma henhousebrewing. com Ruth McGowan’s Brew Pub Cloverdale 894-9610 ruthmcgowansbrewpub.com

Russian River Brewing Company Santa Rosa 545-BEER russianriverbrewing. com St. Florian’s Brewery Windsor 838-BREW stfloriansbrewery. com Stumptown Brewery & Smokehouse Guerneville 869-0705 stumptown.com Third Street Aleworks Santa Rosa 523-3060 thirdstreetaleworks. com 101 North Brewing Company Petaluma 778-8384 101northbeer.com

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The Tasting Room Experience Bring the children: Cinematic-resort, working farm and creekside settings by Mary-Colleen Tinney

O

ne of the many advantages of living in Sonoma County is the easy access to the hundreds of wineries that dot our picturesque landscape. But when you (or your wine country visitors) have young children to entertain, many believe that wine tasting is firmly off the list of activity options. These days, though, that needn’t be the case. Sonoma County wineries are often family-friendly, and several not only welcome kids to their tasting rooms, they encourage and warmly embrace their visits. Wine is a social drink, one that is meant to be shared at mealtime with family and friends. And while the children can’t partake in the drink, they can partake in the experience, perhaps learning more about agriculture, food and culture along the way. For this story, we focused on tasting rooms that offer children a little something extra for their visit. These wineries provide amenities that will keep children as entertained as their adult minders, while allowing the adults to indulge in exploring the many ways Sonoma County is one of the best wine regions in the world. I’ll start with a short suggestion for a first stop: J Vineyards, which we covered extensively in our 2014 Spring edition, “Sparkling Wine.” The winery offers complimentary bottles of apple juice as well as animal crackers for their youngest guests, which could come in handy later while on the wine road.

photos by Sarah Bradbury

The picnic area at Preston of Dry Creek, poolside at Francis Ford Coppola Winery and creekside at Truett Hurst

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FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA WINERY

F

rancis Ford Coppola is one of cinema’s greatest achievers, and his eponymous winery is a striking homage to the Academy Award-winning director’s diverse career interests. The French-inspired Chateau in Geyserville was originally home to Chateau Souverain, but was reopened in 2010 as Coppola’s family-friendly “wine resort.” Complete with restaurants, swimming pools, a mini-museum of Coppola’s film career and a performing arts pavilion, the property was designed by Coppola’s longtime production designer, Dean Tavoularis. The collaboration between the two artists is evident in its breadth and detail, with much emphasis placed on presentation. Everything from water fountains to wine packaging is given a bit of visual flair. A family could easily spend a full day here, and they almost needn’t even go inside the winery building to do so. The outdoor space at the Chateau, reached via a pair of grand, twisting stone staircases, is dominated by the 3,600-square-foot, lifeguard-monitored swimming pools, a gazebo-like poolside café and an adjacent performing arts pavilion. A few steps away are four bocce courts, gaming tables and even a children’s lending library teepee, all overlooking the lush Anderson Valley landscape. Game equipment is available, for free, from the guest services concierge near the café. Because of the on-site restaurants, picnicking is discouraged. On weekends during the summer, the winery offers kids their own $1 smoothie tasting experience. Using freshly sourced fruits and veggies, the children can guess the ingredients and are taught how to

1948 Tucker Sedan in the main lobby, the winery’s dramatic entranceway

identify the different flavors and textures in their own delicious drinks. There are often other activities for the kids, too, from music or presentations at the pavilion to arts and crafts. Check the winery’s website for the latest schedule of events. Lining the edge of the pool deck are 28 green-and-white personal changing rooms, called cabines by the Italia-centric proprietor, available by advanced reservation only. While there are a limited number of daily pool passes available ($30 for adults, $15 for children and seniors), booking a cabine allows guests to use up to four of the dozens of bright blue chaise lounges and multi-colored cloth umbrellas surrounding the pool ($135-$180 per cabine, including two wine tastings). There are cancellations, though, so a waiting list is available. Reservations are available for weekday rentals throughout the summer. The pool is open daily, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., from May to September, and on weekends during spring and fall. Wine tasting is conducted inside the large chateau, where there are still plenty of things for curious kids and adults to see and do. The Francis Ford Coppola Winery portfolio includes 10 different brands and more than 40 different individual wines. There are a variety of tasting options, from the complimentary tastes of two Rosso and Bianco wines, to a $10 Family Flight of California wines and a $15 Neighbor’s Flight of Sonoma County wines. The individual wines in each flight are rotated each week, but on my visit I particularly enjoyed the off-dry 2011 Sofia Riesling and the savory

dark fruit notes on the 2012 Director’s Zinfandel. There is extensive retail space throughout the winery, interspersed with detailed exhibits about Coppola’s most famous films. While adults might be more inspired by Don Corleone’s desk from “The Godfather,” kids may delight in seeing the large-scale model ships from Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette” or the original Tucker car from “Tucker: The Man and His Dream.” The property also features an upscale restaurant, Rustic, and a separate full bar, called Francis’s Favorites. Dining is available from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. With all that Francis Ford Coppola Winery has to offer, it is a destination where a visit could range from an hour or an entire day, depending on the energy and budget of the kids and adults alike.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery 300 Via Archimedes Rd. Geyserville, CA. 707-857-1400 francisfordcoppolawinery.com. Open daily, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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fresh flowers, vegetables and fruits from the farm, comfy chairs and a colorful, child-sized bench for weary young visitors. Inside, the winery’s bright, airy tasting room and farm store have a warm, lived-in feel, with hardwood floors and vineyard-country furnishings, including retired wine barrels, wooden bookshelves, mismatched antique wooden tables and even an antique stove. The attached farm store offers owner Lou Preston’s famous fresh bread (baked daily, and you can occasionally see bakers preparing the bread through the tasting room’s windows into the

a standout, with subtle floral notes complemented by lush tropical flavors. The L. Preston red blend is equally complex, but their Petit Sirah, with its dark berry fruit flavors and rich mouthfeel, is another standout. Post-tasting, visitors are welcome to take a self-guided tour around the property. On weekdays, there are bocce courts available for use. Visitors can also explore the organic gardens and orchards, including pick-yourown strawberries. Overall, this is a relaxing, local’s favorite.

fun+

THE TASTING ROOM EXPERIENCE

PRESTON OF DRY CREEK

F

or those looking for an entirely different atmosphere for their tasting room visits, there is Preston of Dry Creek. Founded in the 1970s, this longtime family-owned Dry Creek Valley winery is known not only for its delicate, mostly-Rhone-varietal wines, but their commitment to being a sustainable, organic and biodynamic local food source. Visitors here will find not only a bucolic, friendly tasting room, but a real working farm. On the day we visited, we were greeted by a trio of lambs waiting to be taken to join the farm’s larger flock – the first time my three-year-old friend accompanying me that day had ever seen a sheep up close. If no farm animals are on-hand, several friendly cats also roam the farm. If you’re lucky, you might find one or two nestled on one of the well-worn wicker chairs on the tasting room homey deck. As with any animal, children should be careful with the cats, only interacting with them if they choose to welcome the attention. In the courtyard, there is a large grassy area with picnic tables (inquire in the tasting room for permission to picnic – they are more than happy to host, as long as the only alcohol consumed on the premises are Preston wines). Overlooking the courtyard is the tasting room’s long, well-worn deck. You will find

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Adults and children are welcome to browse around the farm store (above) or relax outside on picnic tables.

kitchen) as well as house-made olive oil and pickled olives. When available, there are also estate-grown fruits and vegetables. For kids, in the front corner of the tasting room, guests will find a corner bookcase and a comfortable chair. There are books for kids and adults of all ages to enjoy (including some in Spanish or in both Spanish and English). As long as the book is taken care of and put back before visitors leave, they are allowed to read the books anywhere on the property. For a $10 fee, wine-tasting adults are allowed to choose tastes from four of Preston’s wines. The available wines for the day are written on a chalkboard behind the marble-and-wainscoting tasting bar. Their Madam Preston white Rhone blend (of Viognier, Rousanne, Grenache Blanc and Marsanne) was

Preston of Dry Creek 9282 West Dry Creek Rd. Healdsburg 707-433-3372 prestonvineyards com. Open daily, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


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stablished in 1923 as the French American Bakery

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surrounding area, Costeaux worldclass breads and baked goods are internationally acclaimed and sought after by locals and visitors alike. The bakery café has earned numerous awards and is open daily serving breakfast and lunch.

FULL SERVICE BAKERY CAFÉ • CAKES • PASTRIES • CATERING • WHOLESALE costeaux.com • 707-433-1913 • 417 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg

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The winery grounds offer beautiful organic gardens and the opportunity to see farm animals that live on the property and, at times, salmon in Dry Creek.

THE TASTING ROOM EXPERIENCE

TRUETT HURST

F

ounded in 2007 by longtime wine industry veterans with a mission to make worldclass biodynamic wines, Truett Hurst is one of the newer wineries in Sonoma County. However, it has quickly emerged as a Healdsburg favorite. True to their environmentally friendly philosophy, Truett Hurst is centered around biodynamic farming practices. In very simple terms, biodynamics is described as a closed-loop ecosystem, with each part of the farm being used to contribute to the overall health of the property. For example, decorative wildflowers and cover crops could later be turned into vineyard compost treatments, and farm animals are used to both fertilize the land and eliminate weeds. The 26-acre estate is home to a tasting room that might be best described as a modern farmhouse. The building was constructed with eco-friendly materials, including salvaged walnut slabs and palm woods. The result is a light, airy room awash in warm yellow and reds with an exposed-beam vaulted ceiling completing the farmhouse look. Mid-century modern white couches and an abundance of natural light from the large windows and glass doors along one wall create an inviting tasting space. The venue is both child- and

dog-friendly, and on busy weekends children are likely to find playmates of both species. Meanwhile, adults will appreciate the well-appointed patio with ample seating for picnics or relaxing with a bottle of wine. Here, the attraction for children and adults alike are the winery grounds. Truett Hurst has given easy access to one of the hallmarks of their biodynamic farming practices: the sheep, goats and chickens that live on the property. There are also extensive, yet easy-to-navigate, organic gardens to explore. But perhaps the best and most unique feature of Truett Hurst is their creekside seating areas. There are three creekside terraces, where four or five red Adirondack chairs are clustered around a modified-barrel table alongside the water. Because the creek is home to protected coho and chinook salmon, swimming is not permitted. It does, however, give visitors the perfect (and peaceful) opportunity to do some fish spotting. The tasting room offers polarized-lens “fish glasses” to guests, which make the fish easier to see in the water. The winery encourages guests to enjoy the relaxing setting, offering picnic foods and drinks (along with wine, of course). On weekends, too, the winery has a variety of live music acts on the patio – check the website for the upcoming schedule. While the grounds and setting are beautiful, the wines cannot be overlooked. All the Truett Hurst wines are named for animals that can be found on the winery property – on a relaxed day, you can ask the hospitality

associate for stories about the personalities of the animals, as well. The bracing, citrusy and green Bluebird Sauvignon Blanc has the refreshing style that I love, while for the reds I preferred the spicy and fruity Luci Zinfandel. You are asked to choose five of the wines to taste, though if the tasting room isn’t busy, you may have the opportunity to taste more. Each tasting comes with a sampling of crackers and cheese as well. You can also ask your attendant about the winery’s continual move toward innovative packaging – they recently released a square bottle and paper-wrapped wines, and they are responsible for the pressed cardboard PaperBoy-branded bottles you may have seen recently in Safeway stores. Though those wines do not carry the Truett-Hurst name (the wines are not sourced from the Sonoma County estate), they are also crafted by Truett Hurst winemaker Virginia Marie Lambrix. SD

Truett Hurst 5610 Dry Creek Rd. Healdsburg 707-433-9545 truetthurst.com. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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eats+ photos by Sarah Bradbury

Out to Eat

3 Great Family-friendly Restaurants by Abby Bard

A World Famous Hamburger Ranch & Bar-B-Que 31195 N. Redwood Hwy Cloverdale 707-894-5616 Open daily: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. hamburger ranchandbbq.com Healdsburg Bar & Grill 245 Healdsburg Ave. Healdsburg 707-433-3333 Open daily: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. healdsburgbarandgrill.com Union Hotel at Occidental Family Dining, Pizzeria, Café, Saloon 3731 Main St Occidental 707-874-3555 Open daily: Bakery opens at 6 a.m. Restaurant open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Catering and Special Events unionhoteloccidental.com

Meatballs and spaghetti at the Union Hotel

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favorite childhood memory of mine is going to Peter Pan restaurant in rural Urbana, Maryland with my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, usually to celebrate an anniversary or Mother’s Day. The big old house, turned restaurant, had multiple dining rooms with dozens of tables. Some were made from old converted sewing machine tables, with the treadles still attached and movable by young restless feet. Some were big and round, with Lazy Susans filled with condiments in the center. You ordered fried chicken or steak and the rest of the food – vegetables, potatoes, soups, gravies and desserts – was served family-style in big platters and bowls. While we waited for our table to be ready, we kids could watch peacocks strutting around the lawn or sit in an antiquefilled parlor looking through old photos on stereoscopes (the precursors to slide shows and 3-D movies). That’s in the past, but the opportunity to create those types of memories is now. All that’s needed is a welcoming place, comforting food and your family. With summer upon us – long warm days, cool evenings and the kids out of school – it’s the perfect time for busy families to gather together and reconnect. While sharing a meal at home


Burger and onion rings and homemade butterscotch cream pie in a mason jar at Hamburger Ranch and Bar-B-Que

can be relaxing for some members of the family, someone has to do the work. Eating out at a restaurant insures that no one is stuck in the kitchen cooking or dealing with that huge pile of dirty dishes; then it’s a real treat for everyone. Organizing a meal for a multi-generational family – meeting the needs of all ages and tastes – can be a challenge as well as a joy. The three local restaurants featured here are aware of the details that make family dining a pleasure, including quick service, menus oriented to all ages, something to occupy the kids, high chairs and restroom-changing stations, and enough space for restless youngsters to spread out and relax. So, why not make your next family gathering a memorable experience for everyone?

An Early Dinner in Cloverdale The intoxicating aroma of fried onion rings greets you as you enter World Famous Hamburger Ranch and Bar-B-Que in Cloverdale, right on Highway 101. Red vinyl covers the chairs and chrome bar stools, table tops are washable wood, and the furniture looks indestructible. A half wall, with red-checked café curtains and low maintenance silk ivy plants, divides a large dining room from the cozy bar area, with booths upholstered in rolled-and-pleated mustard-colored Naugahyde. There’s a view of the kitchen and daily specials written on a board. Postcards from as far away as Finland, Thailand and Australia attest to World Fame; they cover practically every inch of wall space, and it’s fun to look at all the messages and foreign stamps. Scattered among them are holiday lights, award plaques, photos of family members and celebrity visitors like Sean Penn and Matt LeBlanc.

(Maybe yours is the table where Sean or Matt ate their burgers!) Outside, there’s a stone barbecue pit with ample seating on a large covered patio. The funky, eye-filling vibe of the rooms ended at the ladies restroom, which was spotless, skylit, seemed freshly painted and tiled. I arrived in the late afternoon with my friend Patricia and her 81/2-year-old grandson, Jonah. As Jonah has several siblings at home, it was a special time for him to connect to grandma, oneon-one. We were hungry and ready to experience a World Famous Burger. Our friendly waitress, Cindy, brought menus immediately and offered to brew up a fresh pot of decaf. Jonah’s Mug Root Beer was swiftly served in a large paper cup with straws. Along with soft drinks, juices and teas, there’s a good selection of local beers plus Margaritas, Mimosas, Bloody Marys and Screwdrivers – cocktails suitable for breakfast to dinner. Plenty of thick paper napkins and condiments, including three kinds of homemade barbecue sauce, are on each table. The menu is heavy on burgers (14) and barbecue (more than 20 choices) but includes vegetarian options, salads and sides, and kids’ meals. There was a broccoli soup special that day. We all ordered burgers (served on Costeaux buns) with onion rings and sweet potato fries on the side. While we waited for our meals, Jonah enjoyed reading all the postcards. Our burgers arrived shortly, perfectly cooked, juicy and crispy in all the right places. After finishing his burger, Jonah still had room for dessert. He chose the butterscotch cream pie and graciously let us have a taste. It was heavenly – creamy brown-sugar flavored

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The kids menu at the Healdsburg Bar and Grill features macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, mini corn dogs and fries.

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filling on a layer of graham-cracker crust, topped with whipped cream and a dusting of powdered sugar. Owner Joanne Krucker, who bought the restaurant 13 years ago with her husband Bob, makes her cream pies from scratch, cleverly serving them in individual ½-pint-sized mason jars, so if you’re full you can put a lid on it and take it home. Jonah said: “This is definitely a 4-star restaurant,” and gave it a thumbs-up. I’ll be back for more of that pie and to try that barbecue.

Saturday Lunch in Healdsburg When I called a few days ahead to reserve a table for six for Saturday lunch at Healdsburg Bar and Grill, I was told that they don’t take reservations but assured that they’d “wiggle us in.” We arrived at 11:30 on a warm sunny day and asked to eat outside. We were immediately escorted through the restaurant – with its rustic painted-wood tables and sturdy chairs and several TV screens for sports fans hung high on the walls above the windows and bar – past the kitchen and through double doors to the roomy outdoor patio, furnished with metal chairs and tables with red umbrellas for shade (and heat lamps for chill). Although it’s on a busy corner in downtown Healdsburg, just off the Plaza, the restaurant patio and grassy lawn are enclosed by a large metal gate facing Healdsburg Avenue, shaded by a huge old redwood and younger olive trees on

adjacent Matheson Street; and, with citrus shrubs and herbs planted along two other sides, it feels buffered from the bustle of traffic nearby. Special kids’ menus, secured to a clipboard, and cups of crayons were handed to the kids in our group. Patience, 4-1/2 years old, and her brother Malachy, age 6, set to work immediately coloring the line drawings on the back of their menus, allowing for a moment’s lull while their mother, grandmother and two family friends perused the adult menu. The kids’ menu offers a choice of mini corn dogs, grilled cheese sandwich or macaroni with butter and parmesan, served with fries, carrot sticks and fruit. Condiments, flatware and napkins are ready on each table. By the time our waitress, Sam, brought our food, barely 15 minutes later, the patio had filled with families (some with toddlers in highchairs, babies in carriers and older kids coloring away). Despite the many families and strollers on the patio, it never felt crowded. The menu has plenty of variety. Grandma Theresa chose tangy Chinese Chicken Salad with a Dark‘n’Stormy (a cocktail of rum, lime juice and ginger beer); Mom Alena selected the bacon-flavored HBG Mac ‘n’ Cheese, served with a green salad, and an Irish Coffee; family friend Molly had a generous basket of crisp and juicy batter-fried fish and chips with iced tea; and I ordered the Caesar salad


GEYSERVILLE

Alexander Valley Lodge Six bedroom, 5 bath lodge with pool, jacuzzi, waterfall, and tiki bar on 54 private acres with panoramic views of Geyser Peak and Alexander Valley. Only 5-10 min to downtown Healdsburg.

& Son Bosworth General Merchandise an old-fashioned store, rich in nostalgia and charm, yet meeting the needs of today’s townfolks and visitors. Mens Western apparel & work clothes Saddles and tack • Hardware • antiques

707 857-3463

707-756-2400 www.alexandervalleylodge.com

 

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Hand Painted Furniture Barn Fresh Collectibles Garden Decor, Rusty Relics‌

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bosworthandson.com 21060 Geyserville Avenue

featuring Ce Ce Caldwell Chalk & Clay Paints (707) 857-3509 21079 Geyserville Ave. www.vhcg.blogspot.com

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259 CENTER STREET | HEALDSBURG www.saintdhome.com 707.473.0980

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NORTH COUNTY PROPERTIES

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Complete Maintenance & Repair on Foreign & Domestic Cars & Trucks 707-857-3790 21310 Geyserville Ave., Geyserville

Residential • Ranches • Acreage Wineries • Vineyards IN DOWNTOWN GEYSERVILLE

707.857.1728 NorthCountyProperties-ncp.com

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OUT TO EAT

of crunchy romaine lettuce and garlicky croutons, dusted with Grana Padana and Pecorino, and The Sparkling Bartlett (spiced pear, orange essence and sparkling wine), one of more than a dozen intriguing house cocktails. Another visit is in order to try the real milk shakes made with Humboldt Creamery

by where they could all sit down together for dinner. They decided on the Union Hotel in nearby Occidental. Laura remembered going there as child 40 years ago, when her father would bring the family up from the East Bay to the Russian River for vacations that always included a meal at the Union Hotel. Traditions run deep at the restaurant.

Fair, and they have weekly specials, including a Monday Night Football menu, offered year-round, and pizza Tuesdays. The practiced staff has plenty of experience hosting generations of locals for intimate family-style dinners to very large gatherings and was unfazed when the group of eight, from toddler to grandmother,

Inside the Union Hotel, kids can step back in time and play in a small game room. Gienna Michel Gonnella arranges flowers in the Bocce Ballroom, where generations of families have dined.

Ice Cream and a decadent-sounding dish of lightly breaded, crispy bacon chips with chipotle aioli. Alena thought her mac ‘n’ cheese, served in its own little cast iron pan, was “amazing.” Malachy “liked how they made the food into little sections.” Patience, twirling happily around the edge of the patio in her ruffled dress, said her meal was “yummy, yummy in my tummy.”

Dinner in Occidental after a Day at the Coast. After a day spent relaxing at Doran Beach, Leah and Javier, their children, ages two, nine and 11; Leah’s mother, Laura; and her two nieces, ages 11 and 13, were ready to brush off the sand and find a restaurant close

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“The soul of the Occidental Union Hotel is family,” said Barbara (Pozzi) Gonnella, as we talked one afternoon on the brick patio, surrounded by ancient grape vines, roses and lilacs. She and her husband, Frank Gonnella, are both descended from families that emigrated from the Lake Como region of Italy, and they are the third generation in Frank’s family to run the restaurant. The “old world” ambiance, with traditional red-checked tablecloths, Chianti bottle candle holders and family-style meals, established by Frank’s grandparents, remains the same but the current generation has added some newer touches. In 1988, Barbara opened the bakery café, which has garnered many awards at the Sonoma County Harvest

arrived spontaneously after their day at the coast. Several adjoining wood-paneled rooms – The Dining Room, the Saloon, the Pizzeria and the largest, the Bocce Ballroom – surround a huge indoor kitchen and outdoor brick patio. “They put us in the big room,” said Leah. “None of the kids had been there before. It’s interesting – there’s history, photos on the wall – I like that kind of stuff.” They ordered family style: generous entrees of lasagna and pizza with salads, a big tureen of minestrone soup and freshly baked bread, followed by house-made cookies and ice cream for desert – and while they waited for their food to arrive, the kids were each provided with a ball of dough to


play with. “They played with that dough all evening,” said Laura. “I love it when the wait staff focuses on the kids; they took care of them right away. The kids could get up and move around, too. It makes them happy, and, as their grandma, it makes me happy. They loved the food and the music, too.” On weekend evenings, Barbara and Frank’s 21-year old daughter, Gienna Michel, plays current pop tunes on the grand piano in the Bocce Ballroom along with restaurant employee Anthony, on guitar, and diners can sing along. The duo plays on weekend evenings unless the place gets so busy that they need to help out in the dining rooms. A small game room, where kids can play vintage video games and put coins into arcade machines that dispense toys and fake tattoos and gumballs, provides kids with another diversion while waiting for their meal or while adults are enjoying a leisurely glass of wine. Sharing food with family and friends in a comfortable place – where the needs of each person are considered – these are the elements that provide for warm experiences and even warmer memories. Barbara Gonnella put it perfectly: “Everybody should enjoy a family dinner, affordable, yet special, with candles on the table. We all need that.” SD

JULY 26, 2014 11 AM - 2:30 PM

ESTATE VINEYARDS AND WINERY

Local vintners, fashion show, shopping, savory food bites, live and silent auctions, & more!

Be there. Be fabulous!

Everything for your home & more! Table top & Seasonal decor Bed & Table Linens Dishware & Glassware Kitchen Appliances & Accessories Spa Products & Candle Collections Furniture, Artwork, & much More!

HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION NORTHERN SONOMA COUNTY

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winewomenandshoes.com/hf • 707.473.0583 Presenting Sponsor

Hotel Healdsburg, Big John’s Market, Summit State Bank, Clover Stornetta Farms, Sonoma West Publishers, Inc., Napa Sonoma Magazine, The Press Democrat

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 their own portfolio o as Trione Trione Vineyards & Winery.

Trione Vineyards &Winery 19550 Geyserville Ave. Geyserville, Ca 95441 Our tasting room is open to the public. May-October: Thurs Thurs hu dayMonday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. November-April: Thurs ThursdayCedZWo, '&W$c$#+f$c$ 707-814-8100 www.trionewinery.com

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CAMPING WITH

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KIDS


MY BEST ADVICE: Just roll with it. By Kerrie Lindecker

MY HUSBAND AND I ARE CAMPERS. We always have been. We’ve camped at full-service campgrounds with hot showers and electric plug-ins for our tent trailer, and we’ve camped in remote places, with no running water or sewer lines.

The author, Kerrie Lindecker, gathers with family and friends during a birthday camping trip to Cloverdale KOA. Fouryear-olds Harper Herpst and Maya Lindecker, toddler Alexander Herpst and mom Briana Herpst climb out of a trailer and get ready to play. Cloverdale KOA has a swimming pool, a pond with ducks, cabins, and plenty of opportunities for fun for the whole family.

But four years ago, we had our first child. Then two years later came our second little girl. And while we have kept camping as a key part of our lives, our trips have changed dramatically. Instead of long games of backgammon with my husband, we chase the kids on their bikes. Instead of cozying in with a good book and a beer in front of the campfire, we’re making deliciously messy s’mores with hot chocolate. It took some time to get used to it, but camping with our kids has given our family some of our most favorite memories and taking unplugged time out has proven to be our best family time together. During a recent camping trip at the Casini Ranch Family Campground, I was reminded how life-changing the whole experience can be for kids, and for us. Without a television to turn to or walls to keep them safe, the kids used their imaginations and got dirty, while as parents, we encouraged them to run, ride their bikes, eat with their fingers and warm up next to the campfire. We counted rocks as our oldest daughter filled her rain boots with stones from the river, one by one. We watched as our toddler drew lines in the dirt with her fingers. And we’ve learned some invaluable lessons along the way. Here are our tips and tricks to an easy, enjoyable camping trip with your kids. PHOTOGRAPHY BY SARAH BRADBURY

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Mexican S’mores The perfect campfire treat Imagine your traditional ooey gooey s’more, with a southwestern twist. This easy, kid-friendly recipe will leave you begging for more. Ingredients Marshmallows Chocolate bars Tortillas Cinnamon 1. Roast the marshmallows. Yum. 2. Lay your tortilla flat and place a few pieces of chocolate down the center. (Think of it as a dessert burrito. Your ingredients are going to run down the center of the tortilla so it can be wrapped up burrito-style.)

The author’s daughters Maya and Molly enjoy the riverside Casini Ranch campground; hotdogs for a crowd.

WHERE TO GO Fortunately, Sonoma County has some incredible family campgrounds – and if you’re new to the game, or just getting back into the outdoors with your kids, stay close to home. Cloverdale KOA is a perfect weekend getaway. Nestled on Pine Mountain above Cloverdale, you feel like you’re far away, but since you’re not, you have the security of knowing that a trip gone terribly wrong can be quickly abandoned. The KOA is ideal for kids because it has countless fun activities to tire the kids out during the day, before a mellow campfire in the evening. The swimming pool, miniature golf course, pond and playsets will ease the family into the idea of camping. The general store is helpful as well, for forgotten hot dog buns or beach balls. And recently, we had a birthday party there for my daughter, Maya. I also highly recommend Casini Ranch Family Campground. It’s close to home, and close to the coast. Close enough to Guerneville if you need to run into town for a new fishing license, pair of sunglasses or ingredients for s’mores (all of which we have done). There’s also an incredibly good coffee shop just minutes away in Duncans Mills, so if your kettle left you with coffee grounds in your morning cup, relief is close by.

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Most importantly, of course, are the amenities for the kids. The Russian River runs past the campground and is the perfect place to safely play in the water. There are a few play structures for little kids with swings, slides and giant tires. There’s a pond with ducks and geese and for a quarter, you can buy a bag of duck food and feed them yourselves. It’s a perfectly flat campground for family bike rides and wiffle ball games — the things a true camping trip are made of. With hot showers and clean bathrooms, it’s an ideal spot to get your camping feet wet. Sonoma County Regional Parks has several perfect campgrounds for family trips. Doran Park and Gualala Point Park are two that we have camped in along the coast. In case you don’t know, kids can literally spend an entire day building sand castles. Add in some barbecued hot dogs and roasted marshmallows, and what else do you really need? There’s also camping at Sonoma Coast State Parks — Bodega Dunes and Wrights Beach. Salt Point State Park is beautiful as well. These are a good second or third trip option though, as the amenities are more natural. You get breathtaking views and the fresh smell of the ocean, but you’re not going to have a general store in the campground or swing set nearby. SD

3. Place the roasted marshmallows on top of the chocolate and smoosh the marshmallows a little so they are directly on top of the chocolate pieces. 4. Sprinkle a few shakes of cinnamon on top of the marshmallows. 5. Wrap the tortilla like a burrito. If you can fold both sides in, it helps to keep the gooey ingredients contained a bit. 6. Place the burrito in a cast iron pan and grill both sides for one minute to make sure the chocolate is a melty-mess. If you don’t have a pan, you can place the burrito on a BBQ, or you can put foil on the campfire grill grate and put the Mexican s’more on top of that. 7. Enjoy. (I have read that some people add peanut butter to the tortilla instead of the cinnamon. That sounds delicious, too.)


TOP 10 CAMPING TIPS 10. Baggies, garbage bags, paper towels. Everything is easier if you have plenty of these items. They’re good to pack food in for picnics, easy clean-up, and laundry hauling. What to bring To have a successful camping trip with your kids, the most important things to bring are weather-appropriate clothes, easy food options, and a tent with sleeping bags (or trailer if you have access). But, to make it even easier, I’ve compiled a Top 10 list of things to bring on your first family camping trip.

PLACES TO GO Cloverdale KOA 1166 Asti Ridge Road Cloverdale, CA 95425 Reserve: 800-562-4042 Info: 707-894-3337 Open all year Pool, spa, snack bar, fishing, bike rentals, mini golf, laundry, showers, RV hookups, tent camping and lodge rentals. winecountrykoa.com Casini Ranch Family Campground 22855 Moscow Road Duncans Mills, CA 95430 Reserve: 800-451-8400 Info: 800-451-8400 Open all year General store, laundry, showers, river play, watercraft rentals RV hookups, tent camping. casiniranch.com

Eleanor Kruger enjoys lunch; river pebbles fill a child’s boots; signs at the Cloverdale KOA.

9. Wet wipes. Need I say more? 8. Rain boots. It doesn’t matter if you’re camping in the middle of summer, we always bring rain boots for playing in the river, traipsing through trails with sticky weeds, or layering with several pairs of socks to keep your kids feet warm at night.

7. A backpack. We don’t bring lots of toys from home, but each kid gets to fill their backpack with a few. 6. Plastic bin with cooking gear. You don’t have to cook a lot while you’re camping with kids, but it’s good to have a pot, pan, plates, bowls, cups, utensils and water bottles. 5. Self-contained, easy food. Breakfasts like yogurt cups or cereal, granola bar and fruit for morning snacks, peanut butter and jelly for lunches. For dinner, it’s fun to get a little more creative on the grill or campfire, but ease is key. We also typically make a few items at home before leaving and pack them in a cooler for quick bites — cooked pasta with a jar of sauce can be heated in a pot over the fire, banana bread can be frozen at home and thawed for breakfast at camp. 4. Flashlights. Bring enough for everyone. We prefer headlamps, because they are hands-free. We got kid-sized headlamps for the girls. Most will have an automatic turn-off switch that activates after a certain period of time, so there’s still some battery power left when your kids leave it in their sleeping bag turned on all day.

3. Marshmallows for the campfire. Roasting sticks (or coat hangers work fine, too). You have to learn about heat and fire sometime.

2. Bikes, scooters, stroller. For our toddler, we bring a tricycle that has a parent steering bar in the back. She wears a bicycle helmet and gets to feel like a big kid, even though she can’t quite pedal it herself yet.

1. Grandparents (or other friends and relatives). The more, the merrier, is so true when you’re camping with your kids. More campfire songs, more exploring, more fun. My best advice: Just roll with it. Your kids are going to be dirty and probably smelly; things are going to get messy and wet. But when you’re packing up to leave and they beg you for one more day of camping, you’ll know they had an incredible experience — one that can’t be duplicated by their Xbox. summer 2014 +

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By Barry Dugan

WILDERNESS, HISTORY & HIKING in the Mayacamas Mountains Photography by Nevin Mahoney

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This page: A view of Healdsburg with Fitch Mountain in the top-left; right, clockwise: Digger Pine buds, shooting stars, baby-blue-eyes white atomaria variety and turkey-tail mushrooms on a burnt tree.


This landscape historically has been altered. Nature is pretty resilient. That’s what plants do … they come back.” Audubon Canyon Naturalist David Self

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mild spring rain was falling on an early Saturday morning in March as a group of 20 intrepid souls gathered at a meeting spot on the eastern edge of the Alexander Valley, anticipating a guided hike into one of the North County’s great wild places. Most of the assembled hikers had signed up for the event as soon as it was announced and a little rain was hardly going to dissuade them from the opportunity to visit a remote outpost where miners once sought their fortunes in quicksilver mines and visitors came from around the world for a wild stagecoach ride to the Geysers. The destination was the Modini Mayacamas Preserves, private 3,000-acre nature preserves that spread across the rugged mountains

and valleys are part of three watersheds, which all drain to the Russian River. As the carpools of hikers snaked their way up the narrow and twisting curves of Pine Flat Road, it was easy to imagine the sense of adventure – if not outright terror – passengers must have felt 140 years earlier as they careened through these same canyons in a stagecoach driven by the legendary Clark Foss. The road is narrow and in the beginning the drive is bounded by a steep canyon to the north, where Sausal Creek flows far below. “Of all the great and daring stage drivers of that day, none was more daring or so famous as Healdsburg’s own Clark Foss, who almost single-handedly put the stage route to the California Geysers

(Left) knobcome pinecone, David Self kneeling in center during hike and baby-blue-eyes blue integrifolia variety.

east of Healdsburg. Only the Mayacamas Mountains Sanctuary is open to visitors, and then only by permit. Entry to the Modini Ingalls Ecological Preserve is restricted; it is designated for preservation and scientific research. The preserves are managed by the Audubon Canyon Ranch (ACR), a conservation organization in Marin and Sonoma counties. The outing was organized by LandPaths, a Sonoma County non-profit that hosts public outings to open spaces that have been protected by the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District. One of ACR’s goals for the Mayacamas Mountain Sanctuary property is restoration of the natural habitat, which has been altered by human activities for the past 140 years and will take many years to rebound. These preserves are at the core of 12,000 acres of contiguous habitat in the Mayacamas Mountains that are protected under conservation easements with the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District. They feature biologically diverse habitats, including oak woodlands, pine forests, grasslands, chaparral, riparian forests, natural springs, wild streams and serpentine outcrops that support several rare plants. The area is home to deer, black bears, bobcats, badgers, mountain lions, coyotes, nesting golden eagles, the Northwestern Pond Turtle, and Foothill Yellow-legged Frog, as well as many birds. The peaks, ridges, ravines

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on the world’s map,” according to “Hannah Clayborn’s History of Healdsburg” (available on the Healdsburg Museum website). In her history, Clayborn cites an account from the “Boston Journal,” as reprinted in the “Russian River Flag,” on Sept. 23, 1869: “Glancing carefully at his load, and taking a swift but sure look at his tackling to see that all is secure, [Foss] cracks his whip, shouts to the horses and away we go down the steep mountain side. Trees fly past like the wind; bushes dash angrily against the wheels; the passengers hold on as if for dear life; the ladies shut their eyes and grasp the arm of some male passenger; and speed down the declivity with lightning rapidity, the horses on a live jump, and General Foss whip in hand, cracking it about their heads to urge them on. The effect at first is anything but pleasant. At every lurch of the coach one feels an instinctive dread of being tossed high in the air and landed far below in a gorge, or, perchance, spitted upon the top of a sharp pine. If a horse should stumble or misstep, or the tackle snap, away we should all go down the precipice.” The legend of Foss stands out in the historical record of Pine Flat, a mining town that sprang up quickly in the throes of the quicksilver rush of the 1870s and disappeared almost as quickly when the price of mercury fell and the mines shut down. At one time the town was inhabited by several thousand people, and supported lumber mills, mercury mines, saloons, brothels and a schoolhouse. It was


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a stopping point on stagecoach lines that went to the Geysers receive two dollars for their week of 12-hour days. Not many of resort, Healdsburg and Calistoga. the Pine Flat folks got rich in the mercury business, and only a As you rise out of Sausal Canyon, the landscape opens to few made a decent living selling goods and services.” The Native spectacular vistas, panoramic views of Mount Saint Helena, American Wappos were displaced soon after the miners arrived, Alexander Valley and the coast range. An occasional ranch is Evans notes. seen, but by and large this is a desolate place, with thousands of The demand for lumber and firewood during the town’s acres of open space stretching in every direction. By and large it heyday in the 1870s denuded the area of trees. Wood was needed is inhabited by non-humans. After driving about eight miles, you to construct mineshaft timbers, and large amounts of firewood arrive at Pine Flat. were needed for smelting quicksilver, in addition to cooking and Our group gathered at Schoolhouse Flat (site of the old Pine heating. Decades of livestock grazing nearly destroyed native Flat schoolhouse) to begin the hike. A small parking area, marked grasses. Non-native plants have taken hold and threaten natives. by a small sign and a crooked row of small boulders, is all that In 2004, a wildfire burned more than 12,000 acres, leaving stands remains of the school site. The rain had subsided, but a grey of charred tree trunks dotting the hillsides. cloud cover hovered over the treetops. But for all the destructive human activity and natural disasters ACR Naturalist David Self gave a brief history of the preserve Pine Flat has endured, nature has a resiliency that is evident on properties and how they came under the ownership of Audubon the slopes of the mountains. A decade after the Geysers fire, there Canyon Ranch. The 1,750-acre Modini property was bequeathed are hillsides crowded with young madrone trees. Another hillside to ACR by Jim and Shirley Modini, ranchers and conservationists is thick with young knob cone pines, a result of the forest fire’s who spent their lives caring for the property. The Mayacamas intense heat forcing open the trees’ cones and spreading seeds Mountains Sanctuary was acquired from the National Audubon on the forest floor. Overgrazed meadows are showing signs of Society. A portion of the sanctuary was formerly returning to their natural state. the McCord Ranch, which was owned by the late As we ascend along an access road, a hillside is Florence and Charles McCord, who bequeathed the dotted with areas of native bunch grasses that are land to the Healdsburg School District. Proceeds of slowly coming back. “This landscape historically Audubon Canyon Ranch and the the land’s sale are now used to fund scholarships for has been altered,” said Self. “Nature is pretty Mayacamas college students in the medical or musical fields. resilient. That’s what plants do … they come back.” Mountains The landscape of Pine Flat is an intriguing The hike itself is a guided tour of the fauna Sanctuary mix of grassland, oak woodland, stands of mixed and flora of Pine Flat. Self is a knowledgeable and egret.org conifer and charred trees amid rolling hills and rock entertaining guide with a passion for the world of outcroppings. The serpentine soils lend themselves nature; he can talk at length about wildflowers and LandPaths to certain plants and trees, such as manzanita and their history and the nocturnal habits of wildlife or landpaths.org rare wildflowers, such as the St. Helena fawn lily. wax nostalgic about the exploits of Clark Foss (he Friends of the Huge power lines dissect the preserve, bringing founded the village of Fossville in the southeastern Modini Mayacamas electric power from The Geysers steamfields to the end of Knights Valley, where he built a small hotel). Preserves: valley. The rain, fog and clouds contribute to a Self’s passion extends to restoring the natural For timely informapowerful quiet. landscape of Pine Flat, if only one small step at a tion about upcomIn his book, “Pine Flat, A Quicksilver time. “Native grasses have been grazed out and ing hikes, access Boomtown,” Robert Evans writes that 500 people we’re starting a native restoration project this and other activities at the Mayacamas lived in Pine Flat and another 1,500 claimed title to spring,” he said. “We’re looking for volunteers, Preserves, join the a series of mercury mines in the Pine Flat Mining folks who are interested in pulling invasive plants, Meetup or e-mail District: “They made regular use of the stores and folks who know about butterflies, wildlife, birds, preserve naturalist saloons and whorehouses of Pine Flat Village, and seeds and native inhabitants.” While there is not david.self@egret.org contemporary accounts portrayed a wild and noisy a formal schedule, the restoration efforts will be and ask to be added environment. The usual mix of whiskey, women ongoing. In the face of climate change, we need to to the monthly e-mail list. There and cards killed a few men, but the unusual hazards not only protect the native plants, but make sure are no facilities, of mining and processing mercury killed many they have a robust environment in which to thrive.” restrooms, restaumore.” Local wildlife, once rendered scarce by hungry rants or drinking Residents were either miners or entrepreneurs, miners and hunters, has also rebounded. There have water, so come Evans wrote, and racial equality was still decades been sightings of mountain lions, eagles and bears in prepared, and away. “White men earned five dollars per week in the preserves, but the extent of wildlife sightings on remember that the the mines,” he said. “Mexicans three to four dollars this day were a rabbit scurrying across the road and property is also steep and wild. per week, and Chinese employees were lucky to a newt that was moving somewhat less quickly.

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On this hike, Self has a rapt group of students. There are frequent stops as he points out a wildflower or when a member of the group discovers a mushroom growing in a tree trunk. The list of flower sightings is extensive: shooting star, butter cup, checker lily, trout lily, biscuit root, baby blue eyes, louse wort and goldfield, among others. There is a sighting of the rare St. Helena fawn lily, which is on the California Native Plant Society’s rare and endangered plants list and is found only in Sonoma, Napa and Lake counties. Among the non-natives, likely imported by miners, are Himalayan blackberry thriving alongside Little Sulphur Creek. One of the unique qualities of the Pine Flat area is the opportunity to see natural and man-made history side by side. As Self pointed out, “Here we have historic rangeland on one side of the road, and the possible remnants of berry-eating miners on the other.� The apex of the walk is atop a hill at an elevation of approximately 2,600 feet. Power lines straddle the hillside, but they don’t seem an impediment to the wild character of the place. To the east is the crest of the craggy Mayacamas, with Lake County just over the next ridge. Far below and to the west is the fertile floor of the Alexander Valley, barely visible though a break in the clouds. To the north and the south, miles and miles of wild terrain. The vistas afford one a sense of the immensity of this wilderness. It is a place that inspires a sense of solitude – not the sort that makes you feel alone – but provides a sense that one is part of something much larger, and worth protecting from the further ravages of human folly. Visitors were impressed with the day’s outing. “This is a gorgeous spot up here,� said Tom Crotty of Healdsburg. “I like the idea of trying to restore the native grasses and native plants. We like to go hiking and this is a great place.� Kate Wilson, a Santa Rosa resident, said, “Just to be able to have access to this place, that is what really attracted me to this. I think it’s just a beautiful natural area that we are privileged to have access to.� A requirement for access to the Mayacamas Mountains Sanctuary is to attend an orientation, which Self conducts after a guided hike. The purpose for the hike and orientation is to educate and inform the public and help protect the sanctuary. “We bring you up here to keep an eye on the place,� said Self. “It’s kind of like a neighborhood watch.� SD

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CALENDAR LIVE MUSIC + FOOD + WINE + ART + KID FUN + GARDENS + FIREWORKS + SONOMA FUN

May 30 - June 8 16TH ANNUAL HEALDSBURG JAZZ FESTIVAL his festival brings all genres and eras of jazz to a variety of Healdsburg area venues. Performers include Charlie Musselwhite, Joshua Redman, Ron Carter, Marc Cary, Poncho Sanchez, special guest Bobby Hutcherson, plus many more. Visit the website for the full schedule of concerts, special workshops and all event details. 433-4633; healdsburgjazzfestival.org.

T Poncho Sanchez

JUNE MAY 31 – JUNE 1 & JUNE 7 - 8

20th Annual Art at the Source JUNE 14

STUMPTOWN DAZE PARADE tumptown is Guerneville’s nickname from its early logging days and this annual parade down Main Street has lots of Old West flavor and theatrics. It’s followed by scrumptious BBQ specialties cooked up by the Russian River Firefighters. Free to attend. Parade at 11 a.m., BBQ runs until 6 p.m. Main St., Guerneville; 8699000; russianriver. com.

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This two-weekend, self-guided open studios event maps out nearly 100 locations where participating artists showcase paintings, photography, jewelry, ceramics, fiber art and more. Visit Sebastopol Center for the Arts for the preview exhibit, browse online, or call for a catalog. Free; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 282 S. High St., Sebastopol; 829-4797; artatthesource. org.

RUSSIAN RIVER RODEO & PARADE Whoop it up at the annual Russian River Rodeo. There’s youth steer riding, drill teams, clowning, horseshoe tournaments, a raffle, kids’ activities and BBQ. $12 adult, $5 child, $7 senior; discounts for pre-sale tickets. Parade starts at 10 a.m. in Guerneville; main performances start at 1 p.m. both days. Russian River Rodeo Grounds, Moscow Rd., Duncans Mills; 865-9854; russianriverrodeo.org.

JUNE 22

Hallberg Butterfly Gardens Celebration

Learn about the butterfly lifecycle, wildlife gardening and habitat preservation at the 17th annual open gardens event. Spot butterflies and birds and see wildflower displays on self-guided walks. Also: children’s activities, plant sale, crafts and books, too. Free to attend; donations greatly appreciated. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 8687 Oak Grove Rd., Sebastopol; 823-3420; hallbergbutterflygardens.org. JUNE 28

Art Off the Wall

This fundraising event for Gualala Arts features fine art, jewelry and experiences such as dining and entertainment. With a

MAY 31 – JUNE 1

Forestville Parade & Youth Park BBQ

Follow the Saturday parade from First and Front streets, along Mirabel Road to the Youth Park, where a carnival, live music, arts and crafts vendors, food and beverages provide support for this community gem. Free to attend. Sat. parade starts at 10 a.m.; carnival and BBQ run both days from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Forestville Youth Park, 7045 Mirabel Rd., Forestville; 887-9841; forestvilleyouthpark.org. JUNE 13 - 15

Resorts in Bloom

Explore and admire beautiful gardens, accommodations, spa settings and fine

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JUNE 21 - 22

dining options by taking advantage of exclusive access to 10 spectacular properties in western Sonoma County. $50 for VIP event ticket plus 1-day pass; $30 for one-day pass only. Benefits West County Health Centers. Tours run 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat. and Sun.; VIP reception on Fri., and VIP wine tasting event Sat., both from 5 to 7 p.m. 869-5977 x3313; resortsinbloom. com.

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JULY 3

WINDSOR KABOOM!

Enjoy an Independence Day celebration jam-packed with live music (The Boys of Summer, Brothers of Siren), food and beverages, a huge Kid Zone, and an amazing fireworks show. 4 to 10 p.m. See the website for admission prices and more information. Keiser Park, 700 Windsor Rd., Windsor; 838-1260; windsorkaboom.com.


ticket for the drawing, guests are guaranteed to leave with an art item worth at least $75. $30 for reception, food and drink; $70 ticket adds a piece of art. 5:30 p.m. Gualala Arts Center, 46501 Gualala Rd., Gualala; 8841138; gualalaarts.org. JUNE 27 - 29

Kate Wolf Music Festival

This commemorative music festival for Sonoma County legend Kate Wolf always features a bountiful lineup. Among the acts this year: Los Lobos, Joan Baez, Rodney Crowell, The Rhythm Rangers, Indigo Girls, and many more. Ticket prices vary. See website for ticket purchase, full schedule, plus lodging and camping information. Black Oak Ranch, Laytonville; 829-7067; katewolfmusicfestival.com.

JULY JULY 3

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The Tides Wharf Restaurant & Bar “Locals” Favorite for over 50 Years Focusing on Fresh Seafood Specialties Open Daily — Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner No Seats without a View of the Bay Children’s Menu Annual Crab Feeds and Beer Dinners Fish Market, Gift Shop, Snack Bar Large Groups Welcome

(707) 875-3652

Guerneville Independence Celebration

Fireworks light up the sky at dusk over the Russian River in Guerneville, but you can make a day of it here, starting with the Downtown Craft Fair in the plaza, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Then join Russian River Rotary for their BBQ at Lark’s parking lot (from noon into the evening). Kids’ activities accompany the community block party. Downtown Guerneville; 869-9000; russianriver.com.

www.InnattheTides.com 800 and 835 Highway One Bodega Bay

Sebastopol 3rd of July

The Sebastopol Kiwanis invite you to bring your blankets, pick a spot and enjoy live music, dancing, games, food, and the flag parade before the fireworks display. Admission fees charged; picnic coolers OK, but no alcohol or pets. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., bands start at 6 and fireworks go off at dark. Karlson Field, Analy High School, Sunset Ave. at Taft St., Sebastopol. JULY 4

Cloverdale Community Fireworks

The Lions Club presents its annual Independence Day display at the Cloverdale High School football field. Free to attend; food and beverages for purchase. 8 to 9:30 p.m. 509 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale; 894-4470; cloverdale.net. Healdsburg Fireworks

The Sotoyome Post 111 of the American Legion puts on its annual show of Independence Day fireworks for the community of Healdsburg. Cotton candy, hot dogs, sodas and ice cream sold from 6 p.m. until show time at dusk. Healdsburg High School, 1024 Prince Ave., Healdsburg. summer 2014 +

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CALENDAR JUNE 21-AUGUST 31 JULY 5

Fireworks Over Bodega Bay

Presented by the Bodega Bay Chamber of Commerce, the fireworks are shot off from Westside Park and can be viewed from all around the bay. Choose your locale, but if you’re outside, bring extra layers for the cool summer evenings at the shore. Free to attend; donations encouraged. Show starts at 9:30 p.m. 2400 Westshore Rd., Bodega Bay; 347-9645; bodegabayca.org. JULY 5

All-American Zin Day

A group of Dry Creek Valley wineries are celebrating the American spirit and the wine varietal for which this appellation is famous. Each winery is cooking up a tasty accompaniment to pair with Zinfandel or Primitivo (Italian Zinfandel grape). $35 pre-sale beginning June 1, $40 day of event at participating wineries, $15 designated drivers. 21 and over only. familywines.com JULY 5 - 6 AUGUST 1 - 3

WEST OF WEST WINE FESTIVAL celebration of acclaimed West Sonoma Coast varietals starts with welcome dinners hosted by member wineries on Friday night and evolves over the weekend into seminars, interviews, flight tastings, and two Grand Tastings. Choose one level of participation or immerse yourself with the weekend pass. The Barlow Event Center, 6771 Laguna Pkwy., Sebastopol; info@westsonomacoast.com; westsonomacoast.com.

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Monte Rio Fireworks & Games

On Saturday, have fun with Big Rocky Games, Firemen’s BBQ, the annual Water Carnival with a floating “Parade of Lites” and the projector-screen Water Curtain, followed by great fireworks over the river. Games continue on Sunday. The fun starts at 11 a.m. both days. Monte Rio Beach, junction of Hwy. 116 and Bohemian Hwy; 865-6100; monteriocentral.com.

RODNEY STRONG VINEYARDS SUMMER CONCERT SERIES ow in its 24th year, this annual concert series brings world-class musicians, fine food and wine to local fans and wine country visitors in a stunning vineyard setting. The sun is always shining for this annual music series, and the 2014 lineup features Chris Isaak on July 13, Chris Botti on August 16, and Tower of Power on August 31. A complete lineup and details can be found at omegaevents. com/rodneystrong.

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JULY 12

Art in the Park

Looking for more calendar events in the area? Visit our website for a complete listing of area events. sonomadiscoveries.com

AUGUST 9 - 10

GRAVENSTEIN APPLE FAIR e love our Gravensteins – and this fair devoted exclusively to the tart, sweet apple celebrates it annually under the shady trees of Ragle Ranch Park with Farm Trails in Sebastopol. Known as the “Sweetest Little Fair in Sonoma County,” you’ll find live music on two stages, farm animals, old-fashioned contests, lots of kids activities, arts and crafts, chef demos, farmto-table style food, wines and brews plus lots of heirloom apples to take home. A cheesemaker’s tent is new this year. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., ends Sunday at 5 p.m. Ragle Ranch Park, Sebastopol. 8273044, gravensteinapplefair.com.

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Chris Isaak

Enjoy a fine arts exhibition and sale, acoustic live music, food, wine and beer tasting under the shade of majestic redwoods. No admission fees except parking; shuttles provided. Noon to 5 p.m. Group Picnic Area, Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, 17000 Armstrong Woods Rd., Guerneville; 869-9177; stewardscr.org. JULY 13

Teriyaki Barbecue & Bazaar

This is the 60th annual fundraiser for the historic Sebastopol Enmanji Buddhist Temple. Order a barbecued teriyaki chicken plate with rice and locally renowned potato salad. See exhibits of bonsai, plant sales and handcrafts; enjoy live entertainment, games and a raffle. Can’t stay? Get BBQ to go from the drive-up window. Free to attend; lunch is $12. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 1200 Gravenstein Hwy South, Sebastopol; 823-2252; enmanji@sonic.net. JULY 17

Love of the Land

This year, Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens hosts the annual Sonoma Farm Bureau dinner honoring stewards of the land. Included is a pre-dinner tasting of Sonoma County wine and appetizers, the dinner itself, an awards presentation and a live auction. $65; reservations must be made by July 4. Tasting opens at 5 p.m. with dinner served at 7 p.m. 5007 Fulton Rd., Santa Rosa; 544-5575; sonomafb.org.


JULY 19 - 20

Civil War Days

Duncans Mills hosts a circa-1863 Civil War re-enactment each year with over a thousand participants in marches, color parades, battles and artillery demonstrations. See website for directions, schedule of battles, and highlights. Duncans Mills; 922-5901; civilwardays.net.

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AUGUST AUGUST 3

Bodega Big Event

The Bodega Volunteer Fire Department’s annual fundraiser begins with a big-hearted parade that marches through the historic town of Bodega. Enjoy live music and dancing outdoors, craft vendors and games, activities and a raffle. Free admission; BBQ chicken and tri-tip meals with all the fixings for purchase. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Downtown Bodega; 876-9438; bodegafire.org. AUGUST 10

Tour d’Organics Sebastopol

Choose from four scenic West County biking routes with local, organic bounty at every rest stop. Cyclists also sit down to a postride meal. Register online, or in person on 8/9 from 3 to 6 p.m. and 8/10 from 6 to 10 a.m. at the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center, 390 Morris St., Sebastopol; 8231511; seb.org. AUGUST 14 - 17

Art in the Redwoods

Held under the redwoods on Gualala Ridge since 1961, this arts festival has food, entertainment and extensive exhibits. A benefit dinner kicks it off on Thursday, 6 to 9 p.m. The Friday evening champagne preview ($10) runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Festival continues Saturday and Sunday with art, live entertainment, vendors, a quilt raffle, food, beer and wine. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sun. closes at 4 p.m. Gualala Arts Center, 46501 Gualala Rd., Gualala; 884-1138; gualalaarts. org. AUGUST 23 - 24

Bodega Seafood, Art & Wine Festival

The 20th annual celebration will pull out all the stops. Count on great music, juried art and crafts, games and contests, delicious seafood dishes from restaurants and catering companies, plus fine wines and microbrews. Festival benefits Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun. closes at 5 p.m. Watts Ranch, 16855 Bodega Hwy., Bodega; winecountryfestivals.com.

summer 2014 +

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CALENDAR

SUNDAY Sebastopol Certified Farmers Market Downtown Plaza, McKinley St. at Petaluma Ave.; 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., yearround; 522-9305; sebastopolfarmmarket.org. Windsor Certified Farmers Market Windsor Town Green, Market St.; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 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 Healdsburg Certified Farmers Market Purity/Cerri lot, North St., Healdsburg; 3:30 to 6 p.m., June through October; 431-1956; healdsburgfarmersmarket. org. 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; 415999-5635; 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.

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+ sonoma discoveries

ON STAGE NOW - JUNE 8

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

Written by locals Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, this irreverent take on collected bits and pieces of Shakespeare’s works is a dizzying ride with non-stop laughs. $15 general admission. Fri. and Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. matinees at 2 p.m. Pegasus Theater Company, Rio Nido Lodge, 4444 Wood Rd., Rio Nido; 583-2343; pegasustheater.com. JUNE 12 - 29

TIC (Trenchcoat in Common)

Over the summer, a teenage girl begins a blog about her apartment building and the strange characters who live there. Watch as this comedy gets more dark and dangerous the more she pries into the lives of her neighbors. $25 general, $20 seniors 65+, $15 under 30. Thurs. through Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 5 p.m. Main Stage West, 104 N. Main St., Sebastopol; 823-0177; mainstagewest. com. JUNE 13 - 22

Moonlight and Magnolias

This is a send-up of what might have happened if David O. Selznick’s film adaptation of “Gone with the Wind” careened off the rails with an awful screenplay and a clueless director, among other misfortunes. $18 general admission. Fri. and Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. matinees at 2 p.m. Cloverdale Performing Arts Center, 209 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale; 8942214; cloverdaleperformingarts.com. JUNE 26 - 29

Moonlight and Magnolias

The Cloverdale Performing Arts troupe gives encore performances of this play at the new Raven Theater Windsor. $20 general, $10 students w/ID. Thurs. through Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. matinees 2 p.m.; doors open one-half hour earlier. 195 Windsor River Rd., Windsor; 433-6335 x11; windsor@raventheater.org; raventheater. org.

THURSDAY Guerneville Evening Farmers Market Sonoma Nesting parking lot; next to Town Plaza; 3 to 7 p.m., May through September; 869-3865. Windsor Evening Farmers Market Windsor Town Green, Market St.; 5 to 8 p.m., June through August; 838-1320; windsorfarmersmarket.com.

JUNE 27 - JULY 20

Les Miserables

Two films and countless Broadway and London musical performances attest to the powerful popularity of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece and the enchanting songs devised to accompany it. Fri. and Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. matinees at 2 p.m.; doors open one-half hour earlier. Raven Players, Raven Performing Arts Theater, 115 North St., Healdsburg; 433-6335 x11; raventheater. org. JULY 18 - AUGUST 10

Boys in the Band

FRIDAY Cloverdale Certified Farmers Market North Cloverdale Blvd. btwn. 1st and E. 2nd streets; 5:30 p.m. to dusk; May 30 through August (except July 4); 8937211; cloverdalefarmersmarket.com.

Mart Crowley’s dark comedy is set in New York’s gay community of the late-1970s. The plot’s simple device of a group of friends trying to throw a birthday party is rich with laughter, heartbreak and insight. Fri. and Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. matinees at 2 p.m. Pegasus Theater Company, Rio Nido Lodge, 4444 Wood Rd., Rio Nido; 5832343; pegasustheater.com.

SATURDAY Healdsburg Certified Farmers Market North St. at Vine St., Healdsburg; 9 a.m. to noon, May through November; 431-1956; healdsburgfarmersmarket.org.

AUGUST 15 - 24

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 (outside), 1351 Maple Ave.; 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. year ‘round; 415-9995635; communityfarmersmarkets.com. Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., year ‘round; 522-8629; thesantarosafarmersmarket. com.

Completely Hollywood

This single show gives you the best of Hollywood, splicing and dicing through 186 films in a rapid-fire review of 100 years of movie history. 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. AUGUST 15, 16, 22 & 23

Rio Nido: the Musical

A ghost serves as the main character, assuming the role of historian for Rio Nido. When corporate invaders threaten to change the fun-loving hamlet into a shopping mall, the ghost joins up with antidevelopment forces to save the day. Pegasus Theater Company, Rio Nido Lodge, 4444 Wood Rd., Rio Nido; 583-2343; pegasustheater.com. TBA

SebShakes

Summer means Shakespeare al fresco, and Main Stage West will set the stage in Sebastopol’s Ives Park for one or more of the Bard’s plays. Program and details not available at press time. Main Stage West, 104 N. Main St., Sebastopol; 823-0177; mainstagewest.com.


©2014 Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards®

The wines of Sonoma-Cutrer express a partnership with nature, resulting in world class Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. Discover why Sonoma-Cutrer has been America's Most Requested Chardonnay 22 out of 24 years.* Visit our beautiful estate located within the heart of the Russian River Valley and sample our artisan craftsmanship in every glass.

Tours and Tastings available: Thursday-Monday 10-4. 4401 Slusser Road · Windsor, California Appointments are recommended. Book online at www.sonoma-cutrer.com or call us at 707-237-3489 Please Share the Cutrer Responsibly.

*Wine & Spirits Magazine, 24th Annual Restaurant Poll April 2013


Enjoy Live Music At Rodney Strong All Summer Long!

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JUNE 21 | JAZZ ATTACK

Presented By

SAT. JUNE 21 RICK BRAUN, PETER WHITE, EUGE GROOVE: JAZZ ATTACK

JULY 13 | CHRIS ISAAK

Chart-topping jazz tour featuring trumpeter Rick Braun, guitarist Peter White, and saxophonist Euge Groove.

SUN. JULY 13 CHRIS ISAAK

Singer and actor with several gold records, multiple Grammy awards, has hosted his own variety TV show, and appeared in award-winning �ilms.

SAT. JULY 26 MINDI ABAIR with special guest ELLIOT YAMIN, opener SPENCER DAY

SAT. AUG 16

JULY 26 | MINDI ABAIR

In a career that spans seven solo albums, saxophonist/vocalist Mindi Abair has made her mark on jazz, pop and R&B music, and is joined by Elliot Yamin from American Idol fame.

CHRIS BOTTI

Grammy Award winning trumpeter and composer with four albums reaching No. 1 on the Billboard jazz charts who �luidly blends jazz and pop music.

SUN. AUG 31 TOWER OF POWER

Horn-based R&B band originating from Oakland, CA best known for their funky soul sound and energetic songs.

opener JONATHAN BUTLER

South Africa born guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Butler has earned praise in the R&B, contemporary jazz and gospel genres.

DOORS 4 PM • SHOWS 5 PM AT RODNEY STRONG VINEYARDS SONOMA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

AUG 16 | CHRIS BOTTI © 2014 Rodney Strong Vineyards, Healdsburg, CA

AUG 31 | TOWER OF POWER

BOX OFFICE

707.869.1595

VIP tickets include a reserved seat in front of the stage and a complimentary glass of Rodney Strong wine. All artist dates are subject to change without notice.

www.rodneystrong.com/events P L A C E M A T T E R S.


New Season New Tastes Always Fresh Finest service deli, prepared meals to go, choice quality meats, fresh produce and gourmet grocery department plus an expansive selection of local wines & cheeses.

1345 Healdsburg Avenue at Dry Creek Road in Healdsburg (707) 433-7151 • www.bigjohnsmarket.com

Open Monday through Saturday 7am-9pm and Sunday 7am-8pm

Sonoma Discovers Summer 2014  

Discover all there is to know about Northwest Sonoma County inside Sonoma Discoveries magazine. The quarterly, full-color issues feature ar...

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