Sonoma & Mendocino County: Local Attractions & Things to Do

Fun Things to do in Sonoma County for the Fourth

Posted on July 02, 2019 by michelle_magnus

Whether you’re looking for a small-town bike parade, a symphony concert or a spectacular fireworks show, there’s no better place to celebrate the Fourth of July than Sonoma County.

SATURDAY, July 2

Bodega Bay: Fireworks show over the bay starts at nightfall, Westside Regional Park, 2400 Westshore Rd. visitbodegabayca.com

Monte Rio: Big Rocky Games with inner tube, swimming, potato sack races, ice cream and watermelon eating contests, hula hoop and rock-skipping contests, canoe and kayak races, water balloon toss. Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m., Monte Rio Beach. Firehouse barbecue, Saturday noon to 5 p.m., Monte Rio Firehouse.

Guerneville: Uncle Sam’s River Dance on Main Street, 8 p.m. to midnight, will feature food trucks, wine, beer, craft cocktails, a DJ and a Fourth of July laser show. Suggested donation of $5.

Penngrove: Rancho Adobe Fire Department Pancake Breakfast, 7 to 11 a.m., Rancho Adobe Fires Station, 11000 Main St. All proceeds benefit the Rancho Adobe Fire District. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for kids. For more information, call 795-6011.

Clearlake: Lakeshore Parade presented by the Lions Club, 11 a.m. starting at Redbud Park and ending at Austin Park, where a car show, vendors and entertainment is planned. Fireworks show at nightfall.

What’s So Special About Anderson Valley?

Posted on June 11, 2019 by Mark Stevens

See our latest Anderson Valley vineyard listing…..

Still somewhat of a secret in the viticulture world, Anderson Valley is to Pinot Noir what Hog Island is to Sweetwater oysters. Meaning, its “terroir” is perfect for two continually trending grape varietals, namely Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Our newest offering for a 15+acre vineyard planted exclusively to Pinot Noir in the Anderson Valley AVA brings this popular varietal into sharp focus.

Like the Sweetwater oysters of Hog Island, not a lot of places can create a decent Pinot Noir, much less a great one. Because of its unique valley formation stretching from the inland 101 corridor to the Pacific coast and flanked on either side by mountains surrounding rolling to nearly level alluvial terraces, Anderson Valley is the perfect configuration for Pinot Noir vineyards. Elevations range from sea level to 2500 feet and annual precipitation ranges from 35-80 inches. The valley delivers the critical one-two punch of cool, ocean-tempered nights with heat-laden, sugar-forming days for fruit that is described as “elegant yet powerful.” As they say, Cabernet is the king of wines (nod to Napa) but Pinot makes kings. Most would agree that a great Pinot Noir can be confused for a nuanced Cabernet, and this is the type of fruit we are talking about here.

The Anderson Valley is 2,500 acres and home to approximately 88 individual vineyard plots and 49 winemaking operations. The valley runs along more of an east-west axis than the more typical north-south alignment. This orientation permits Pacific fog and breezes to penetrate further inland, making for an overall cooler microclimate. Grapes in Anderson Valley are on average three weeks behind grapes from most other California winemaking districts due to its proximity to the Pacific ocean. The Navarro River runs along the lower length of the valley, acting as a cooling influence for the hills on either side. Vineyards are seen at elevations approaching 2,500 feet, but most vines are planted in the low-lying foothills. It is not uncommon, especially in the more southerly half of the valley, to see vines planted right up to the edges of redwood groves. Because Redwood trees like to grow in cold soil it is thought to indicate soils that will grow premium Pinot Noir. Unlike Sonoma and Napa counties, if there is a heat event in the area the vines can easily and quickly recuperate, and the grapes will continue ripening steadily. This makes for a rare combination which produces Pinot Noir fruit that is unique. Hot days combined with a 40- to 50-degree drop in temperature at night results in concentrated fruit on top of elegant tannin structure that has both power and elegance.

Anderson Valley is roughly 16 miles long and for every mile from Boonville to Navarro an average of 1 degree in temperature is lost. As such, when it’s 85 in Boonville, it’s 70 in Navarro. Boonville makes for sassy, fruit-forward pinot. Five miles down the road in Philo the pinot is more piquant with darker fruit. At the end of the Valley–known as the “deep end” and closest to the Pacific–the fruit is herbaceous and spicy.

Anderson Valley’s soils vary but tend to be rich in loam, with differing amounts of rock and
gravel. A recent survey showed that of Anderson’s 2,500 acres, nearly 70% (1,700) were Pinot
Noir, with Chardonnay (559) second, followed by Gewürztraminer (103), Merlot (73), Pinot Gris
(41), and Riesling (22). The aromatic whites, especially those of Navarro, Handley, and Husch,
are often the best in the state. Though produced across a spectrum of sweetness, the most
successful are bone dry in style. Pinot Noir has long been the regional star and tends to land
somewhere between the more citric, high acid style that typifies the Sonoma Coast and the
soft, generous style associated with Carneros. Historically, Chardonnay has taken a backseat in
Anderson Valley but has recently been enjoying a sudden surge in quality.

Being somewhat new to Sonoma County by way of Colorado, I was exposed to this hidden gem of a place–Anderson Valley–through my work as a license real estate assistant for Mark Stevens, a realtor of 30-years who specializes in country estates, wineries and vineyards. It still surprises me how many Sonoma County residents know so little of Anderson Valley, and have actually not been to the valley. Some of the things I love about Anderson Valley is just how plain gorgeous it is, with grassy oak-dappled hills flanked by redwood forested mountains. The feeling is definitely country, with a good dose of farm-to-table gourmet offerings, and of course, amazing wineries and tasting rooms. There is good hiking and camping at Hendy Woods State Park, recreating on the Navarro river, and the promise of the ocean down the way.  Anderson Valley is a great secret worth discovering.

Check out our new listing, Philo Hillside Vineyard

Cheers, Michelle Magnus

June 2019

Michelle Magnus at Hendy Woods State Park in Philo, CA

22nd Annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival

Posted on April 16, 2019 by Mark Stevens

Come sip, sample and savor with us as we celebrate the 22nd annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival, May 17-19th, 2019! Taste Anderson Valley Pinot Noir (plus rose and sparkling wines) from more than 50 producers, enjoy mouth-watering food pairings by our best chefs and local caterers, and listen to live music while bidding on exquisite auction lots for local charity.

Events range from educational seminars to a BBQ, grand tasting, winemaker dinners and free winery open houses – all hosted amidst the spectacular beauty of Anderson Valley’s vineyards and towering redwood trees. Music lovers will be happy to learn about an added bonus – this year Camp Navarro will host a concert on Saturday evening. Our events are uncrowded and unpretentious, and the Pinots are spectacular, so reserve your tickets (and lodging) now!

Click here to learn more about the Festival…..

Click here to visit our amazing Open House in Anderson Valley during the Festival….Hilltop Beauty on 200+ Acres

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

News This Week: Coastal Getaway and 2019 Garden Goals

Posted on December 28, 2018 by Mark Stevens

DISCOVER THIS WEEKS  EXCITING LOCAL NEWS AND TOP REAL ESTATE STORIES

1) Sonoma and Mendocino Coast Weekend

Locals know that winter is one of the best times to enjoy the our coastline. This guide will give you the perfect itinerary for a weekend enjoying a few highlights that the Sonoma and Mendocino coast has to offer.READ MORE

2) Habitat for Humanity Plans Local Factory

Habitat for Humanity is planning to open a facility that will build components for prefab homes. The space will help the nonprofit to reach their goal of constructing 600 new homes in Sonoma County in the next eight years. READ MORE

3) Be The Best Gardener You Can in 2019

This list of ten garden goals for 2019 will get you inspired to get back outside. From going non-toxic to teaching kiddos to love to garden, these are some resolutions that we can get behind. READ MORE

4) Your Chance to Own an Amazing Treehouse.

o2 Treehouse, based in Oakland, built an amazing pinecone shaped getaway that could be yours for $150,000. With 64 windows in the 102 sq. ft. space, you will truly feel like a part of the forest. READ MORE