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Spring Festivals in Sonoma, Napa & Mendocino Counties

Posted on April 09, 2019 by Mark Stevens

The spring season is filled with opportunities to celebrate and savor the exquisite vintages, flavors and beauty of wine country. Discover a few of our favorite upcoming festivals and celebrations you won’t want to miss!

Sonoma County

Sebastopol: 72nd Annual Apple Blossom Festival, April 13 – 14

Sebastopol celebrates the coming of spring with a parade on Saturday and two days of festivities. Come see the diverse and colorful parade floats, complete with old cars and Dachshund troops. The festival includes delicious food and fun craft vendors, as well as microbrews and local wines. Two stages will feature nonstop music both days!

Petaluma: Butter and Egg Days Parade and Festival, April 27

This year’s festival celebrates the 100th anniversary of National Egg Day. Celebrate Petaluma’s rich agricultural history with a full day of contests and music, as well as a parade in the afternoon. There are plenty of food and craft vendors to explore, plus two beer gardens.

Santa Rosa: Luther Burbank Rose Parade and Festival, May 18

With a theme of “Celebrating 125 Years!” this years parade and festival is an opportunity to come together and celebrate the new season. The parade will open the day and a fun-filled festival will follow. Come out and join this resilient community for a day of fun and celebration!

Napa County

Bottlerock Napa Valley, May 24 – 26

With nearly 100 incredible bands featured this year, BottleRock has something for everyone. Enjoy a weekend in the sunny wine country with an abundance of wine, beer, food, and cocktails.

Mendocino County

Boonville: 22nd Annual Legendary Boonville Beer Festival, April 27

The Boonville Beer Festival will feature over 80 breweries, including Boonville’s iconic Anderson Valley Brewing Company. There will be tons of delicious food to soak up all that beer, and fun vendors to explore. Ages 21 and up.

Potter Valley: 72nd Annual Spring Festival & Rodeo, May 24 – May 27

Head to Potter Valley for a parade, sanctioned rodeo events, BBQ, axe throwing competitions, a raffle, and plenty of vendors that will keep you sated and happy.

The First Signs of Spring: Bud Break in Vineyards

Posted on April 02, 2019 by Mark Stevens

Celebrating Bud Break

First Signs of Spring in Sonoma, Napa & Mendocino Vineyards

If you’ve been out driving past vineyards in the North Bay, you may have noticed signs of Spring and the harbinger of the new season: Bud Break.

Though pruning crews have been out in the California North Coast’s prized vineyards since early this year prepping the plants, it’s at the first signs of new growth that the new growing season begins. And local growers Monday said “bud break” is upon us in the warmer areas of the region.

Growers often say that the outcome of the previous harvest sets the vines up physiologically for the next harvest. The official tally of the 2018 harvest is still a month away, but the North Coast haul is expected to be larger than 2017. The value of the North Coast wine grape harvest that year was $1.5 million.

“Buds on chardonnay in the Carneros AVA are swelling and bursting,” said Brittany Pederson, viticulturist at Renteria Vineyard Management, in Napa Valley Grapegrowers’ announcement of the new season that quotes several members of the trade group. “These are the first signs of bud break. In the weeks to come, when the weather gets consistently warmer, the sap will start flowing and the vines will be woken up. Bud break will really start to take off then.”

READ MORE at the North Bay Business Journal

 

*Article and image courtesy of the North Bay Business Journal

Real Estate Market Snapshot: April 2019

Posted on April 01, 2019 by Mark Stevens

 

READ ON MOBILE…

California Real Estate Trends

Tight Supply » Low Affordability » Outmigration

Outmigration continues to be a big concern for the California housing market. Caused by the state’s housing affordability issue, outmigration has resulted in about 800,000 people leaving California since 2010. As of the fourth quarter of 2018, only 28 percent of California households could afford to purchase the median-priced home. While this number is up from 27 percent in the third quarter of 2018, it is down from 29 percent one year ago. The high cost of housing is forcing Californians out of their current county or out of the state entirely.

Those who are leaving California are mostly middle class and almost entirely comprised of people who make less than $100,000. In 2017, the minimum income required to buy a median-priced home in California was $110,890, while the annual mean wage for a variety of professions, including Registered Nurse ($102,700), Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officer ($93,550), Elementary School Teacher ($77,990), and Firefighter ($73,860) was well below that minimum.

Outmigration is even more problematic in areas that have poor affordability, most notably the Bay Area. In San Francisco the minimum income required to buy a median-priced home reached $290,630 in 2017, while the income of those same professions did not even reach half the income requirement.

Outmigration is a direct consequence of tight inventory in the housing market in California. Home building has not kept pace with housing demand in the last 12 years. Between 2005 and 2016, California only added 270 units for every 1,000 new inhabitants, and the Golden State lagged other states in housing per capita by as much as 40 percent. The more California “underbuilds”, the higher prices grow, and the lower homeownership rate becomes. In fact, California is ranked the second lowest in homeownership across all states, out ranked by only New York.

Because of the state’s low housing affordability and its difficulty in achieving homeownership, Californians are leaving and headed to more affordable states such as Texas, Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon.

Businesses and jobs follow the California exodus as well, with companies such as Toyota, Jamba Juice, and Comcast leaving the state, resulting in fewer jobs for those still in the state, higher income inequality, and a reduction in the access of less skilled workers to high-wage labor markets.

That said, California is still a place where people want to live. Results from a recent poll of those who live in California show that 63 percent would not be willing to move out of California to achieve homeownership. In addition, 31 percent of home buyers surveyed in the California Association of REALTORS® 2018 Consumer Survey said they did consider purchasing a home in another state that met their needs but ultimately ended up staying in California because they like the city that they live in/like living in California as a whole (38%), didn’t want to leave their job or friends and family (20%), and California is either their home state or they have deep familiarity with the area (11%).

REAL ESTATE NEWS: Buyers Have Greater Negotiating Power Than Before

Posted on March 31, 2019 by Mark Stevens

CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE NEWS:

A More Balanced Market

*Article courtesy of car.org

 

According to California Association of Realtors, “California continued to move toward a more balanced market…”

“California continued to move toward a more balanced market as we see buyers having greater negotiating power and sellers making concessions to get their homes sold as inventory grows,” said C.A.R. President Jared Martin. “While interest rates have dropped down to the lowest point in 10 months, potential buyers are putting their homeownership plans on hold as they wait out further price adjustments.”

 

With this shift in the market, California home sales fall to lowest level in more than 10 years.

 

Here’s the article summary:

– Existing, single-family home sales totaled 357,730 in January on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, down 3.9 percent from December and down 12.6 percent from January 2018.

– January’s statewide median home price was $538,690, down 3.4 percent from December and up 2.1 percent from January 2018.

– Statewide active listings rose for the 10th straight month, increasing 27 percent from the previous year.

– The statewide Unsold Inventory Index was 4.6 months in January, up from 3.5 months in December.

 

READ MORE: CLICK HERE

 

Rare Wines Available For the First Time Ever at Sonoma County’s Barrel Auction

Posted on March 27, 2019 by Mark Stevens

Sonoma County Barrel Auction

Rare Vintages Available For the First Time

If you are in the wine trade, don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind experience…

Stay on top of this year’s Barrel tastings and discover rare vintages that are offered to the public for the first time… and will never be offered again! The invitation-only fifth annual Sonoma County Barrel Auction will be hosted at Mac Murray Estate vineyards on Friday, May 3rd. You can preview the action lots on the Sonoma County Barrel Auction website.

More from the North Bay Business Journal…

Trade and media guests are invited to the preview tastings. Hosting on May 2 will be the Petaluma Gap, Russian River Valley and West Sonoma Coast American Viticultural Areas at 11 a.m.–1 p.m., and at 2–4 p.m. Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Sonoma Valley AVAs. The tastings will feature participating wineries pouring barrel auction lots and current-release wines.

 

Discover Highlights Of The Auction Lots This Year…
Click Here

 

 

*Article & Images Courtesy of the North Bay Business Journal

A Taste of Mendo in San Fran

Posted on February 15, 2019 by Mark Stevens

A Rare Opportunity to Savor the Bounty of Mendocino County.

Join Taste Mendocino for an annual swirl through the region’s diverse showcase of fine wines, artisanal foods, enchanting destinations and unique experiences.  Take a deep dive into its epic Pinot Noirs, robust reds, crisp whites and bring-it-on bubbles.   Pack home a cache of collectibles at this intimate celebration of the people and products who define the Mendocino difference.

 

A discovery no palate can resist! Great wines and happy times!

PURCHASE TICKETS

 

 

More on Mendo:

Mendocino County is quickly becoming one of California’s top wine destinations. Featuring the famed Anderson Valley and highly acclaimed Pinot Noir wines, Mendocino is a beautiful mix of charming small towns and rugged nature.

Mendocino seems to have more than its share of natural beauty— the county is expansive, with many diverse regions, ranging from the expansive coast to the warm interior valleys. Defined by soaring redwoods, flowing rivers, an expansive coastline and, of course, lush vineyards, this county will not disappoint.

IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A PART OF MENDOCINO COUNTY YOUR OWN, CHECK OUT OUR GREAT LISTINGS IN THE AREA:

Take some time out in Mendocino and be sure to check out the following vineyards and resources as you plan your visit.

Balo Winery and Estate—This ultra-premium winery is located in the in the heart of Anderson Valley—far enough from the city to experience quiet country charm, yet close to the comforts and modern conveniences of town to attract plenty of wine enthusiasts.

Yorkville Highlands Vineyards—These vineyards represent approximately 30% of the entire Yorkville Highlands Viticulture Area. The property is comprised of eight parcels and offers numerous estate-building sites with spectacular views.

Bacchus Vineyards—103± acres of premium vineyards in Mendocino County. This property includes 2 homes, an irrigation pond, plus barns and staging area’s developed for amazing events.

TOWNS AND REGIONS

Check out this guide from VisitMendocino.com to you wrap your head around the various parts of the county. Explore the website to find a ton of useful articles and event listings as well.

“Mendocino County is not so much a place as a state of mind. Spectacular scenery, a sense of isolation, an aesthetic sensibility, and a strong sense of community are the standout highlights of a trip to Mendocino County.” READ MORE

 

APPELLATIONS

This article is a good overview of the various appellations in Mendocino County. In it you will find descriptions of the AVA’s and which notable producers call them home.

“The overarching “Mendocino County” appellation is home to a total of eleven American Viticultural Areas (AVAs).

One of them is named, simply, “Mendocino AVA” which largely nests together six smaller AVAs that you may be familiar with (Anderson Valley, Yorkville Highlands, McDowell Valley, Potter Valley, Redwood Valley, and America’s smallest AVA, Cole Ranch).

In addition, “Mendocino County” appellation also encompasses “Dos Rios” AVA, “Covelo” AVA, and “Mendocino Ridge” AVA.” READ MORE

 

This article from GuildSomm describes both the history of wine in Mendocino, as well as a detailed descriptions of the various AVA’s and their exceptional features.

Mendocino is a county with two faces. One face, the softer side, is well known. This is the coastal half that contains Anderson Valley, where delicate Pinot Noir and exceptional sparkling wines are enjoying increasing, and deserving, renown. The other face of Mendocino resides further east, in the cache of old vines that sprawl across the Redwood Valley appellation and surround the towns of Ukiah, Talmage, and Hopland. Here the vines have long labored without fanfare, their fruit blended into anonymity across county lines. But a growing number of vintners, both local and ex-county, are waking up to the remarkable quality contained within these venerable vineyards, and more attention is sure to follow. As exciting as the lacy creations of the coast may be, it’s time to turn our backs to the sea and our eyes toward the remarkably preserved historic legacy of inland Mendocino.” READ MORE