Monthly Archives: July 2018

Community Highlight: Bodega Bay

Posted on July 31, 2018 by michelle_magnus

Known for its rugged beauty, the Sonoma Coast boasts several communities that offer a unique mix of small town coastal charm and luxury. The largest of these towns, Bodega Bay, is Sonoma County’s gateway to the Pacific Ocean. Home to great restaurants, beaches, and the fishing fleet that provides the delicious Salmon and Dungeness Crab found in local restaurants—although it may be better know as one of the settings of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”—Bodega Bay has been highlighted in Sunset Magazineand Dwell. There are plenty of hotels and vacation rentals to choose from if you are visiting from out of the area. Discover some of our favorite spots while you are here.


The Birds Cafe– This sweet spot has outdoor seating that overlooks the Bodega Bay harbor. The menu is simple, with great fish and chips, and local beer.
Fishetarian Fish Market– Located next to the Lucas Wharf Restaurant, Fishetarian offers delicious fare in a casual environment. In addition to the great food, beer and wine, you can also buy fresh seafood to take home with you.
Terrapin Creek– It is no surprise that Terrapin Creek has been awarded a Michelin Star—the food is outstanding with a friendly atmosphere that reminds us of a welcoming neighborhood cafe.
Spud Point Crab Company– The clam chowder is not to be missed. Located across the street from the fishing fleet in Bodega Bay, Spud Point Crab Company boasts seafood fresh from the Pacific.


Bodega Head– Once the proposed site for a nuclear power plant, Bodega Head has the best view of the local coast. Get there by driving to the end of Westshore Rd. and then up the hill. This is a top choice for a short walk or whale watching.
Doran Beach– Located on the spit of land that encloses the Bodega Bay harbor, Doran is a long flat beach that is protected from the brunt of the Pacific Ocean’s power. There is camping available, but be sure to reserve your spot far in advance.
Kortum Trail– Located north of Bodega Bay proper, the Kortum trail offers 8.9 miles of hiking on the bluff above the Pacific.


Fisherman’s Festival– The Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival kicks of the opening of the salmon season in April with a blessing of the fleet. The festival offers food, music, wine and beer, and plenty of family fun.
Farmers Market– Hosted by the Bodega Bay Community Center, this market feature fine local fare on Sundays from 10am-2pm.

We love to check the current wind speed and weather at the coast before planning our day trips using the Bodega Marine Lab live update.

Other nearby communities worth visiting are Jenner, Bodega, and Valley Ford.


Pearl Jam & Pinot Noir

Posted on July 31, 2018 by michelle_magnus

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Wire Images/Getty Images

Well before it was considered rock ‘n’ roll to own a wine collection, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder proudly popped and partook of Pinot right there on stageduring concerts. And in the years since the band’s breakout 1991 album Ten, the Seattle area has become as famous for its winemaking scene as its grunge scene. No surprise then that the band has tuned up a new charity label with winemakers in Woodinville, Washington’s eno-punk Warehouse District to celebrate next month’s Home x Away concerts and raise money for the Vitalogy Foundation, Pearl Jam’s Seattle homelessness awareness and relief charity.

The Home x Away limited-edition box set of reds is a release from the Underground Wine Project, a collaboration between Washington winemakers Mark McNeilly of Mark Ryan Winery and Trey Busch of Slight of Hand Cellars; each bottle of the Idle Hands Syrah/Cabernet cuvée sports a label design by Pearl Jam depicting a retro-futuristic skyline silhouette of one of the four cities along the Home x Away tour kicking off next month, including Seattle, where the Aug. 8 and 10 “Home Shows” mark the band’s homecoming after five years since last playing Jet City—and, reportedly, the biggest concert series the city has seen in more than three decades.

“We have been longtime fans,” McNeilly told Unfiltered of the project. “Trey and I have met [Pearl Jam] band members over the years at different things, and we have worked with them a little bit with some of their charities, but it’s just fun to be pulled in a little bit closer for a great cause. I think that if we can work with Pearl Jam and find some new arenas to talk about philanthropy and talk about people’s responsibilities toward charity, you can kind of open people’s eyes and let them know everybody has a responsibility to help everybody else.”

All the proceeds of the 450 cases sold went to the Vitalogy Foundation. That’s right, the new wine, alas, has already sold out—within 15 minutes of the band announcing the project via its email newsletter. But for the homers in the Seattle area, 10 of chef Ethan Stowell’s restaurants that snapped up some of the wine will be selling it by the glass, with further proceeds going to charity, starting Aug. 1, in the lead-up to the Seattle gigs. Pearl Jam’s partnership with the Underground Wine Project is one of many surrounding the Home Shows with a goal of raising $960,000, with each donation made to the Vitalogy Foundation to be matched by the band.

–story courtesy of Wine Spectator

News This Week: Diverse Wines of California and Pepperwood Fire Recovery

Posted on July 27, 2018 by michelle_magnus


Farmers Markets are Modernizing
Farmers Markets are adapting to the times with new outreach programs, more locations, and support for low income shoppers. READ MORE.
*Read our article on top local farmers markets here.

California’s Expectation Defying Wines
California is renowned for it’s amazing wines, but there are still many surprising varietals and appellations to discover.  READ MORE

Pepperwood Preserve Recovering
Eight months after 90% of the Pepperwood Preserve was burned, signs of recovery are clear. “Fire is an agent of rebirth and recovery,” [Micheli] said, calling it a “critical part of the landscape.” READ MORE

Updating California’s Power Grid
California Governor Jerry Brown is pushing legislation to create a regional power grid. The proposal could be a boon to consumers by reducing costs. READ MORE

News This Week: Kosta Browne Sale and Wildfire Lawsuit

Posted on July 20, 2018 by michelle_magnus


Kosta Browne Sold
Duckhorn Wine Company purchased Sebastopol’s Kosta Browne Winery. The deal includes a tasting room in the Barlow, 170 acres of vineyards and inventory. READ MORE

Wine Storage for Everybody
Looking for better ways to store the wines you love? Here are some great ideas for how to create wine storage for a variety of homes. READ MORE

July Gardening Tips
Discover top tips for gardening in July―the perfect time to put in some extra work to keep gardens looking great for months to come. READ MORE

Santa Rosa Sues PG&E
The City of Santa Rosa is suing PG&E for financial damages caused by last year’s October wildfires. READ MORE

*Feature image courtesy of


Posted on July 16, 2018 by michelle_magnus

Article courtesy of SF Chronicle:

We are thrilled to see our listing, Balo Winery & Estate, featured in the SF Chronicle.

Balo could be a quick stop on your Anderson Valley itinerary, if you’re in a rush: Tastings are free, and are usually limited to about four wines. On the other hand, if you want to linger, Balo could be your entire afternoon. You could buy a bottle, order a plate of charcuterie and cheese and relax on one of the outdoor picnic tables, followed by a game of bocce.

The winery was founded in 2009, though vines had been planted here about 10 years earlier. Jason Drew, one of Mendocino County’s top winemakers, made the first five vintages of Balo wines. The winemaking remains solid focusing on Pinot Noir and aromatic white wines. If you’re feeling peckish but don’t want to order an entire block of cheese or roll of cured meat from Balo’s deli menu, don’t fret: Complimentary cheese and salami are always laid out at the tasting bar.

WHAT TO TRY: Balo does produce a rosé of Pinot Noir ($24), but more interesting is its blanc de noir-style Pinot ($32), a red wine presenting as a white. The grapes are taken off of their skin almost immediately after picking, so that they absorb almost no color. It’s a floral, fresh, bright wine, a nice alternative to a rosé. You’ll likely also taste a couple vintages of Pinot Noir ($38 to $45), which are balanced, quiet examples of the grape.

View the Balo Winery and Estate Listing: CLICK HERE


News This Week: Real Estate Technology & Homesteading Inspiration

Posted on July 13, 2018 by michelle_magnus


Technology and Sustainability
Discover how technology is helping to create more sustainable homes, and why it matters. “By ensuring that their home will be smart and sustainable, both from an ecological as well as an economic perspective, all parties are set up for success.” READ MORE

New Software Means More Homes
The permitting process for new development may be getting faster thanks to the San Ramon based company Accela. By moving the permitting process online, they seek to have the “permit process go from multiple months to two weeks.” READ MORE

Sonoma County to Get Help Detecting Wildfires
The Board of Supervisors is expected to approve a plan to install high definition cameras on local peaks to provide early detection of wildfires. Similar systems around Lake Tahoe and San Diego are already in place. READ MORE

Making Homestead Dreams a Reality
A homestead style farm provides both bounty and beauty, plus the opportunity to “grow the garden of your dreams.” READ MORE


*Featured image courtesy of