March 2008 Archives

Cinematic Highs In Sonoma

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filmfest.jpgThe eleventh annual Sonoma Valley Film Festival ( kicks off April 9th on the plaza in downtown award - and thousands of festival attendees will gather to eat, drink and take in a full roster of independent and mainstream films against the backdrop of wine country.

What did you dream of experiencing when you grew up?

When she was young, most little girls she knew dreamed of becoming an actress or dancer. She dreamed of traveling the globe on exciting adventures.

When she grew up, she became an aviator and world traveler.

When he was a small boy, most his friends dreamed of becoming doctors or baseball players. Growing up he spent countless hours pouring over maps of the world imagining visiting these exotic far away places, from the jungles of the Amazon to the snowy peaks of Asia

When he grew up, he became a pilot.

But not just any pilot.

Top Ten Must-Sees On a Maiden Napa Voyage

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by Courtney Cochran


For most wine fans, a first trip to Napa kindles the kind of giddy excitement most kids feel on a first visit to Disneyland. And while the pursuits in this storied wine region are of a decidedly adult nature, they've been known to inspire the kind of sheer enjoyment that's nothing short of ageless. Read on for the lowdown on the top spots and activities we think any first timer should experience on a maiden voyage to Napa.

We've even included a fairy tale castle for good measure.

Lodi's Grape Expectations

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By Robert Farmer

lodivineyard.jpgIt had been some time since I visited Lodi. And so it was on a recent drive through the once-slumbering farm town that I was truly amazed to see the growth. But it wasn't just the growth of the town itself that caught my eye - complete neighborhoods now stand where I recall from previous visits only open fields and farmland. No, I was also quite impressed to see the incredible amount of vineyards seemingly everywhere I looked.

Note: The 2008 Mustard Festival concludes this Saturday, March 29, 2008, with the Photo Finish & Grand Finale, 7 to 10:30pm at Mumm Napa in Rutherford.  $90 in advance, $125 at the door. For more information, go to

mustard picture.jpgHow do I love thee, Napa Valley? Let me count the (many) ways. If you think Napa Valley is a love-fest during harvest, you're right on one count. But my favorite time of year is actually spring - when the hills are emerald green and the wild mustard is in full bloom.

Mustard is a natural complement to grapevines, a nitrogen-boosting cover crop that replenishes the soil while vines are dormant. The Napa Valley Mustard Festival celebrates all that is glorious about Wine Country in a typically quiet time of year. There are many festival events to choose from every January, February and March, and in keeping with our region's first-class reputation most of them involve food, wine and art.

Wither Wine Country Weddings?

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By Courtney Cochran

The first part of the story is familiar:  Boy meets girl, boy buys ring, boy pops the question. Fanfare and general bliss come next, followed quickly by the other big question - where should we get hitched?

And while this new question can give rise to a dizzying set of considerations for any couple, those inclined to a wine country wedding are faced with their own unique set of sometimes overwhelming options. Will any wine region do, or is there a special area we're set on? Will our guests be up for a destination wedding, and - if so - is there adequate lodging nearby to house everyone? And, of course, How much does a wine country wedding cost? Will it amount to more or less than getting hitched somewhere else?

We here at want to know how couples sort through these sorts of questions en route to planning their own unforgettable wine country weddings. If you have an experience, resource or tip you'd like to share, please post it here as a comment.

Not only will your feedback help visitors to the site - many of whom visit us for guidance in wine country wedding planning - it will also give us valuable insights into how we can improve our own wedding planning content. Cheers to that.