Monthly Archives: July 2018

Keefer Ranch: Highly Acclaimed Vineyard is on the Market for the First Time

Posted on July 11, 2018 by michelle_magnus

KEEFER RANCH

Highly Acclaimed Vineyard in Russian River AVA Sub-Appellation
24.92± Acres on 2 Parcels: 13.47± Acres Planted in Vineyard with a Spacious Estate Home

We are thrilled to announce that this highly acclaimed vineyard is on the market for the first time. This is a rare opportunity to acquire this well respected, top performing vineyard in Green Valley Sub-Appellation of the Russian River AVA in Sebastopol. Famous for its high quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, the Keefer Ranch vineyard is a top-producing, mature, professionally managed operation with fruit going into key designated wine programs. This offering includes 2 parcels, one of which can be lot-line adjusted for resale of the home only, which is 4149+/- sqft. with 3Bed/2.5Bath and includes frontage to Green Valley Creek. There is a creek-side apple orchard included in the sale.

Property Details:

Parcels: Keefer Ranch includes two, contiguous legal parcels of APN 105-050-027 of 17.77± acres and APN 104-050-029 of 7.15± acres
Acreage: 24.92± acres
Vineyards: 13.47± net acres of vineyard (76% Pinot Noir, 24% Chardonnay), and 11.45± acres of site and support land including the estate home area, riparian area along Green Valley Creek, property access and vineyard service roads, an irrigation reservoir, and a small apple orchard along the creek.
Residence: The larger westerly parcel includes the 4,149± SF Estate home, with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths
Additional Buildings: 3-car garage, plus several support structures (pump houses, equipment and general storage buildings)

VIEW THE LISTING: CLICK HERE

Insider Tips: Flawless Landscaping Features

Posted on July 10, 2018 by michelle_magnus

Discover our top five simple and easy landscaping tips for creating outdoor spaces that are inviting, beautiful and easy to maintain.

Path leading to backyard permeable patio with firepit and chairs with well mulched California native plants, Heath-Delaney garden

1. Plant Natives
Using native plants in your landscaping will reduce water usage and make maintenance easier. Plus native plants will attract beneficial insects, and provide habitat for birds and other wildlife. Select species that will provide year-round appeal―diverse plants that bloom at different times, or shrubs and trees that have interesting bark in the winter. There are great resources for choosing the natives that will do best in your yard. Check out calscape.org for inspiration.

2. Use Light
Whether you are adding simple solar lights or investing in a low voltage light system, adding lights to your landscaping will make your outdoor spaces ideal for evening gatherings and nighttime festivities. Start with lighting pathways and other hardscaped areas like patios and decks. Mini spotlights can be used to highlight certain features such as fountains or specimen trees. Use a selection of multiple dim lights (rather than fewer bright lights) to give your yard a magical glow.

3. Add Seating
Create spots to rest and enjoy your outdoor space. Outdoor living spaces can be used like a living or dining room―though a simple bench or chair in amongst the flowers can be a fantastic feature for all to enjoy.

4. Make a Water Feature
The sound of water is relaxing, and can make you feel cooler on hot days. Larger water features can also provide additional habitat for water plants and bird life.

5. Use Potted Plants
Outdoor planters add variety and interest throughout the year. Add splashes of color with bright patterns and textures to your pots and planter boxes. Potted plants can soften hardscapes like patio edges or concrete steps, creating a more lush and alive feel.

 

*Featured image from www.julieorrdesign.com
*Article image from Saxon Holt/PhotoBotanic

Veraison, Smoke Taint & Napa Vineyards

Posted on July 04, 2018 by michelle_magnus

© Daily Republic | The fire started in Yolo County and is already bigger than the Tubbs fire that ripped through Napa and Sonoma last year.

As most of you know, Napa is on fire.  Again.  And those in the “know” in regards to wine are busy postulating on the effects of smoke taint as it relates to “veraison.”  Is smoke taint becoming a thing with wine? Too early to tell and certainly interesting speculation for wine conversation.

Meanwhile, what is the meaning of the cryptic term “veraison?”  Veraison is defined this way:  “In viticulture (grape-growing), veraison is the onset of ripening. The term is originally French (véraison / veʀɛzɔ̃), but has been adopted into English use.” (Wikipedia).  Veraison has everything to do with the permeability of the grape skin.  Less ripened grapes have thicker skins, which suggests they are less susceptible to smoke taint.  That’s where we are right now, in the early part of the grape ripening season, so most likely smoke taint will not be a factor for the current fire.

Here’s more about the current fire affecting Napa County, courtesy of W. Blake Gray | Posted Tuesday, 03-Jul-2018:

Growers are keeping an anxious eye on two large fires in Wine Country

A huge wildfire has crossed over into Napa County, less than a year after the region was devastated by one of the worst fire outbreaks in northern California history.

The air was brown in San Francisco, about 60 miles south of Napa County, on Sunday morning from smoke from two Wine Country fires: the County Fire, which started in Yolo County east of Napa, and the Pawnee Fire in Lake County north of Napa.

The County Fire is growing like Godzilla: 60,000 acres as of Monday evening, with only 5 percent contained. It is already larger than the Tubbs Fire that last year devastated northern Napa Valley and neighboring Sonoma County, and it is growing at a faster rate – 33 percent on Monday alone. Cal Fire believes it started in dry vegetation; the cause is under investigation.

However, some of the news on the County Fire is so far, so good (cross fingers). CalFire says it threatens 700 structures – six times as many as 12 hours earlier – but so far has not destroyed any. At this point, no wineries are believed threatened, and we learned last year that vineyards are effective natural firebreaks.

“I’ve looked at the map many times here. It’s not anywhere in our grapegrowing vicinity,” Heidi Soldinger, marketing and communications manager for Napa Valley Grapegrowers, told Wine-Searcher. “At this time, we’re feeling like we’re pretty safe. But after what we experienced in October, I’m not going to make any predictions.”

For wineries, smoke taint is almost as big a concern as the fire itself. California wineries have had great interest in smoke taint research since last year’s wildfires.

Napa’s grapes have not yet gone through the process of veraison, where white grapes turn black, so they are less vulnerable to smoke taint than they will be soon. But that doesn’t exempt them from risk. In 2008, Anderson Valley Pinot Noir grapes were heavily smoke tainted by fires that occurred pre-veraison in June.

“We do not currently know exactly how much fresh smoke is needed for a real risk of smoke taint development in the wine,” Anita Oberholster, assistant cooperative extension specialist for UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology, told Wine-Searcher. “However, we do know that pre-veraison it will take more fresh smoke and longer exposure times for smoke taint risk compared to post-veraison grapes. The less ripe the grapes, the smaller the risk. Green hard berries have low risk whereas larger, softer, green berries have medium risk, with post-veraison grapes having the highest risk.”

Fortunately, though the County Fire has leapt into Napa County, it is still north and east of Napa Valley, and the wind in Napa County tends to blow from the ocean (west) to east. Winds can change, and fires can leap, but for now it’s a worry for wineries more than a threat.

To the north of Napa, however, the Pawnee Fire has already destroyed 22 structures in Lake County. It’s only one-third the size of the County Fire, and it was 75 percent contained as of Monday morning. The cause of this fire is also under investigation.

It’s possible this fire might have more impact on 2018 Napa Cabernets than the County Fire, because much of the Cabernet Sauvignon grown in Lake County finds its way into Napa Valley bottlings. A wine labeled as “Napa Valley”, or any other AVA, must contain at least 85 percent grapes from that AVA. Lake County Cabernet grapes fetched an average of $2500 per ton last year; for Napa County Cabernet, the average was $7500 per ton. It’s also possible that the great majority of Lake County grapes won’t be affected at all.

California usually has dry summers – that’s why the wine is so good – and is thus vulnerable to fires. This season they seem to be early. The state had below-average rainfall again last winter after a rainy winter in 2016-17 ended a five-year drought. But rain might not matter: in 2017, after that wet winter, more than 500,000 acres burned in California, more than double the destruction of dry 2016.

Wednesday July 4 is the biggest fireworks day of the year in the US. Not, however, after last year in wine country.

“In Napa County we’re not having any fireworks this year,” Soldinger said. “Everyone is very aware. Our thoughts go out to everyone in Yolo and Lake County. We know how that feels.”

Local Farmers Markets in Sonoma County

Posted on July 03, 2018 by michelle_magnus

Sonoma County has a ton of really great farmers markets that provide fun and easy access to seasonal bounty. Whether you visit a market for your weekly shop or hope to have fun and discover something new, our local farmers will not disappoint.

Buying directly from a producer is one of the best ways to support our farmers. We are surrounded by world-class growers and vintners of the wine industry ― and we also enjoy incredible agricultural diversity maintained by dedicated, intelligent farmers and ranchers. Our agricultural history is rooted in hops, potatoes, eggs & apples. To this day, our farmers grow a variety of veggies and fruits with plenty of organic and sustainable options. Ranchers generate world-renowned dairy products and sustainably raised meat.

The diverse farmland that we have here in Sonoma County is healthy, productive, and can weather natural and human changes that occur. Small growers discover what works best on their farms, and can select varieties that are unique to this region and their specific microclimate.

Our local farmers markets offer an amazing selection of fruit and vegetables, outstanding local artisanal foods, and the chance to meet dedicated farmers and artisans. Below are some of our favorites.

Healdsburg Farmers Market
Saturdays 8:30 am – noon, May 5 – November 24
Tuesdays 9 am – 1 pm, May 29 – August 28
The Healdsburg market happens twice a week, but there tends to be a better selection on Saturdays ― this usually means bigger crowds. Either day you will find fresh produce, prepared food, meat & dairy, and great crafts.

West End Farmers Market
Sundays 9:30 am – 2 pm, May 6 – October 28
Several farmers markets pop up all around Santa Rosa throughout the week, but the West End Market is our top pick. Located close to downtown, with a great neighborhood vibe, this market has plenty of vendors for all your shopping needs ― including a beer garden and live music for entertainment.

Occidental Bohemian Farmers Market
Fridays 4 pm – dusk, June 1 – October 26
This market takes over the town on Friday afternoons. In addition to the great selection of organic produce, prepared food, and crafters, live music accompanies the market every week. The last market of the year is a mini-festival that includes Taiko drumming, a cake walk, and Day of the Dead crafts. Find more info about Occidental here.

Sebastopol Farmers Market
Sundays 10 am – 1:30 pm, year-round
It can feel like most of Sebastopol comes out to shop at the farmers market, which is a testament to how good it is. There is a delicious selection of hot food at the market, great farms with beautiful produce, live music, and open lawns for picnicking and play.

Petaluma Farmers Market
Petaluma East-Side ― Tuesdays 10 am – 1:30 pm, year-round
Petaluma Walnut Park ― Saturdays 2 pm – 5:00 pm, May 12 – Nov 17
Petaluma Theatre District ― Wednesdays 4:30 pm – 8 pm, June 6 – August 29
With three excellent markets to choose from, Petaluma has you covered. All the markets have a great selection of fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy, fish, hot foods, and artisanal goods.

Discover more markets in Sonoma County: CLICK HERE

Images courtesy of:
www.sonomamag.com
www.sonomacounty.com