Archives

2018 Wine Country Harvest Celebrations

Posted on September 18, 2018 by Admin

We are thrilled grape harvest is in full swing—full of anticipation for spectacular 2018 vintage. To celebrate the harvest and honor the hard work that goes into turning the excellent fruit of our region into world class wines, check out our favorite events in the area.

Valley of The Moon Vintage Festival
September 28 – 30, 2018
Cost: Varies

The oldest festival in California, this gathering offers a variety of events that appeal to all interests. Enjoy live music, dancing, local food and wines, grape stomping, a “light parade,” and various running races.

Kendall-Jackson
September 30, 2018, 11:00 – 4:00 PM
Cost: $150, $120 for wine club members

Join Kendall-Jackson for their second annual harvest celebration. Enjoy live music, exquisite wine and delicious food from local restaurants—including Single Thread and Two Birds/One Stone. Benefiting the UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County, this unmissable event offers educational seminars and demonstrations that highlight local food and the local wine industry.

Sonoma County Harvest Fair
October 5-7, 2018
Cost: $5 for Gate Admission, $60 for Grand Tasting, $125 for Harvest Fair Dinner

The Sonoma County Harvest Fair is an excellent showcase for some of the stunning products that are grown and made in Sonoma County. The multi-day event celebrates the region’s top winemakers, growers, microbrewers, and artisans—plus it includes opportunities to taste award winning wines, craft beer, and excellent regional cuisine.

Seghesio Home Ranch
October 6, 2018, 10 AM – 1 PM
Cost: $75 General Admission, $60 Wine Club Member

Begin your day with a guided hike through Seghesio’s 120 year old vines up to  Rattlesnake Hill overlooking the beautiful Anderson Valley. With the most delux views in the region, you will be treated to a lunch featuring wines exclusively from Seghesio’s Home Ranch Estate.

 

News This Week: Wine Country Charm and Environmental Leadership

Posted on September 14, 2018 by Admin

EACH WEEK WE COLLECT TOP LOCAL NEWS AND RECENT REAL ESTATE STORIES HOT OFF THE PRESS FOR YOUR WEEKEND CLICKING PLEASURE.

Short & Beautiful Ride to Small Vines Wines
Try this 7.5 mile bike ride around Sebastopol to taste some great wine, and take in some of West Sonoma County’s charm. READ MORE

Open Space Protected Forever!
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors have approved an agreement to protect nearly 1000 acres of land adjacent to Tolay Lake Regional Park. READ MORE

Kitchen Design Details
Small details can make all the difference in your kitchen design. This guide will help you turn your kitchen into a stunning success. READ MORE

Carbon Free California
Governor Jerry Brown has signed a new law committing California to a carbon-free power grid by the year 2045. The law is one of part of California’s ambitious plan to fight climate change. READ MORE

 

Late Summer Hikes in Sonoma County

Posted on September 12, 2018 by Admin

There aren’t very many days of summer left, but there are still plenty of hot days ahead in Sonoma County. Here are some hikes that will help get you outside and beat the heat.

Sonoma Coast

The Kortum, Pomo Canyon, and Red Hill trails are all located in the same area of the Sonoma Coast, each trail offers something unique. For an easier stroll, try the Kortum—the flat trail offers 8.9 miles of hiking on the bluff above the Pacific. For expansive views hike to the top of Red Hill. From the summit you can see Napa County as well as the Farallon Islands on a clear day. Pomo Canyon is a showcase of the cooler forest ecosystems that can be found in Sonoma County, with bay trees, redwoods, and hillside streams that provide refreshing contrast to the open coastal hills.

Santa Rosa

Annadel and Spring Lake have a variety of trails to suit different hiking levels. The trail around Spring Lake is paved and offers views of the lake and wetlands along its length. Spring Lake features a swimming lagoon, a boat ramp, and boat rentals. For the more ambitious, head up through Annadel to Lake Ilsanjo. Swimming in it’s water provides a haven for hot hikers and mountain bikers.


Forestville/Healdsburg

Located on Eastside Road amongst vineyards and wineries is Riverfront Regional Park. The park is located at site of a former gravel mine, and the two abandoned gravel pits are now large ponds. The trail that loops around the second pond is mostly shaded, and has plenty of access for those who want to try their luck fishing. The Russian River forms the western border of the park and has a several good swimming holes, perfect for cooling dips. A redwood grove near the parking area is a great place for shaded picnics.

*images courtesy of parks.ca.gov

Why the Tasting Room is Dead

Posted on September 11, 2018 by Admin

California’s traditional tasting rooms are pivoting to more “maker” spaces, nature immersions and places for all-day casual hangs.

The Prisoner Wine Company is scheduled to open its doors this October along Highway 29 in Napa Valley. When it does, it will make a statement.

A popular brand for nearly 20 years, The Prisoner is known for its namesake big, bold blend and iconic label art, as well as wines like The SnitchCuttings and Dérangé under the general California appellation.

But The Prisoner has never had a home open to the public. Owned by Constellation Brands since 2016, The Prisoner Tasting Lounge and The Makery will plant its roots in the heart of Napa Valley, where it will occupy the St. Helena tasting space formerly home to Franciscan Estate.

Prisoner Wine
Prisoner’s Makers’ Hall / Photo by Matt Morris

The Prisoner’s Makers’ Hall will have four studios, each occupied by a “maker in residence” whose expertise will include art, music, design and cuisine, an environment “specifically designed to…challenge the wine-country status quo,” according to the company. The first set of makers will be Soap CauldronWine Lover’s JellyBayview Pasta and Amanda Wright Pottery.

The brand claims on its website, “We’ve reimagined the traditional tasting room by creating a comfortable lounge experience free from pomp and circumstance…a lounge is where we can be ourselves.”

Many of Napa Valley’s 3.5 million yearly visitors appear to want different things out of a winery experience than in days of old: More sit-down tastings, food pairings and places to hang out and Instagram their day. That’s not to mention more of a sense of belonging.

Scribe Winery / Photo by Leo Patrone

Scribe Winery, just over the Sonoma county line, created a more immersive experience for visitors years ago, and it has legions of devoted fans to show for it.

“What attracts people to Scribe and other wineries and farms is that they get to connect to the natural world and to the landscape,” says co-owner Andrew Mariani.

Scribe offers a relaxed, natural setting that overlooks its vineyards, where visitors often picnic under the trees.

“We’re stripping away what a tasting room was to have a simple, transparent experience that connects people to a place,” says Mariani. “They’re tasting wines from vines growing out front, having snacks from the gardens here. [Through that], the story of a place is being expressed and shared. It’s a really simple idea.”

Up and Coming Areas in Sonoma County

Posted on August 08, 2018 by Admin

Sonoma County draws people from all over the world to celebrate the incredible wineries, food culture and outdoor pursuits. Every year, we see up and coming neighborhoods creating their own energy and vibe that sets them apart. Discover our favorite hidden gems in Sonoma County perfect for a day trip or your next real estate investment.

 

South of A Arts District in Santa Rosa (SOFA)
Situated near Julliard Park, the SOFA neighborhood is a hidden gem. Juilliard Park offers Bocce courts, live music, and a community garden. SOFA is located in the corner between Hwy 12 and 101, and is home to over thirty artists studios. To celebrate this high concentration of artists, there is an annual artwalk that showcases the incredible creativity that SOFA has to offer. And the creativity doesn’t stop there—the restaurants and shops in the neighborhood offer up interesting and delicious fare. Check out The Spinster Sisters, Criminal Baking Company, and Atlas Coffee Company.

 

Graton
Located between Sebastopol and Forestville, the small town of Graton is home to restaurants, tasting rooms, and eclectic shops. The Joe Rodota trail runs through town toward the wetlands of Atascadero creek all of the way to Forestville. With a population of about 1700, the small town community has plenty of charm and delicious dining options. Check out Willowwood Cafe, Underwood Bar & Bistro, and Mexico Lindo. Tasting rooms include Bowman Cellars, Paul Mathew Vineyards, and Red Car Wine Company. Be sure to peruse the artists collective Atelier One, the Graton Gallery, and Mr. Ryder & Company. Graton continues to grow, with the development of a community park, and rumours of a brewery and taproom.

 

Geyserville
Geyserville lies just north of Healdsburg, nestled below the geysers that give the town its name. The downtown of Geyserville spans a mere few blocks, but you will find plenty to explore. Restaurants include Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria, Geyserville Gun Club Bar & Lounge, and Catelli’s. For wine tasting, check out Meeker Vineyard Winery, Route 128 Winery, Mercury Geyserville, Ramazzotti Wines, or Locals Tasting Room. Other spots to explore are Isis Oasis, a retreat center and wildlife sanctuary that was opened in 1978,  Gin’Gilli’s Vintage Home, and Bosworth and Son General Merchandise.

Images courtesy of :
http://sonomastories.blogs.pressdemocrat.com/10083/walk-on-the-wild-side-art-alley/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graton,_California
http://www.kellielarson.com/geyserville/

 

Community Highlight: Bodega Bay

Posted on July 31, 2018 by Admin

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.

Dining

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.

Activities

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.


Events

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.