July 2009 Archives

Music in the Vineyards Begins

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Chamber Music Festival Offers Concerts in Intimate Winery Venues

nvArts_MusicVineyards1.jpgBy Natasha Biasell

This August, 33 renowned musicians from around the world will travel to the Napa Valley to perform in Music in the Vineyards' 15th annual chamber music festival. The three-week festival showcases artists-in-residence performing in intimate winery settings with complimentary wine tastings at intermission.

The festival kicks off on Wednesday, August 5th in the Hudson House of the beautiful Beringer Vineyards where The Blue Baroque Band, an ensemble of recorder, violin, oboe, bassoon and harpsichord, will play seven classical works from the great musical centers of the 18th Century. The new festival venue this year is Cakebread Cellars, hosting a concert featuring a Dvorak Quintet for two violins, viola, cello and double bass on Saturday, August 8th.

Pure Mendo, Pure Fun

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Watermelon-Salad.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

Oenophiles looking for an excuse to experience the bounty Mendocino has to offer need wait no longer. The weekend of August 29 and 30, 2009 will see luminaries from the spot known as the greenest wine region in the country open their doors and uncork outstanding wines in support of Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County.  The event is called Pure Mendocino, and it's shaping up to be purely fantastic.
taste_nation2.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

This August 17, Napa's A-list in the culinary and vinous worlds (think celebrity chefs! vintners!) will gather to support Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation, a golf and gustatory-themed benefit being billed as the nation's premier culinary event. Festivities at the day-long event - which will take place that the tony Silverado Resort - kick off with a golf tourney and lunch and continue into the evening at the luxe grand tasting and live and silent auctions, which begin at 5pm.

Wine Country Personality: Erica Goodell

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wcPersonality_ArcadyVineyards.jpgI run Arcady Vineyard B&B and Arcady Vineyard Wine Tours with my husband Chris out of the Monticello Appellation of Virginia. Based just 2.5 miles from Jefferson's home Monticello, we have a wealth of wineries from which to select for tour routes.

Born in San Francisco, my family was transferred to Bonn, Germany when I was six, and three years later to Bern, Switzerland where we lived until around 1976. Since it was legal in Europe, I spent many enjoyable hours as a teen in the caf├ęs drinking local wine. (I could not afford American coca-cola which, as an import, was much more expensive!) It was a great way to learn to enjoy wine, devoid of the snobbery and attitude so prevalent today. This experience drives me to ensure my tour guests learn that wine is fun, to be enjoyed! No wine snobs need apply!

Soothe Your Cares Away: Hot Water Spots

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calistogaHotSprings.jpgIt's 90 to 100 degrees outside and one of the best ways to relax is in a pool, tub, or creek of hot water? I guess if you're inside with air-conditioning or doing a night-time soak when the air has cooled, then by all means INDULGE.

San Francisco Chronicle recently named 5 California places to attain such nirvana.


  1. Calistoga Spa Hot Springs - Calistoga
  2. Esalen Institute - Big Sur
  3. Vichy Springs - Ukiah
  4. Watercourse Way - Palo Alto
  5. Hot Creek - Eastern Sierra
Read the entire article here

Or start planning your trip at WineCountry.com that has a list of spas in wine regions across California. Napa Valley, in particular the town of Calistoga, is known for their hot mineral waters! 

Of Swings and Steaks

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Golf Getaways for Guys
by Robert P. Farmer


You'll get little argument that California's Wine Country is one of the most romantic spots you're likely to find in the US. The mere mention of a Wine Country Weekend conjures images of a handholding, shop-strolling, cracker-and-cheese nibbling, bubbly-sipping extravaganza. It's a Couple's Paradise.

But what about a foursome? Not talking here about double dating; talking instead about four guys looking for fun in Wine Country -- namely, the kind of fun that can only be found on 18 holes. In addition to the couple's thing and the girl's spa weekend, Wine Country is a great destination for a guy's getaway. In today's world of the metrosexual, the pampered guy is not unusual in these parts. There are dozens of places in the region where men can find their bliss, whether in the mud, the steam, or on the massage table.

Pet Friendly Places in Mendocino

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hairyPutter.jpgJust about everyone has a blog nowadays - folks regaling us with tales of the seemingly mundane to corporate folks trying to mask boastful claims of their oh so great products. Today, I came across a blog written by Hairy Putter.  Who's that you might ask?

Oh, just a roving canine reporter in Mendocino. He has been tasked with giving "first paw accounts of his experiences during visits to various establishments or locations that have advertised themselves as being 'Pet Friendly' " in the local area. 

With an adorable mug shot and detailed reviews, perhaps more of his buddies will join the reporter blog ranks and tell us pet friendly places in other wine areas!

Lincoln Theater Napa Valley: Presents Eclectic, Upbeat Arts for All

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lincolnTheater_Vereen.jpgBy Lisa Adams Walter

Good times and laughter are set to fill Lincoln Theater Napa Valley in Yountville when the Summer / Fall 2009 Season kicks off on Saturday, August 22 with an exclusive Northern California appearance by Tony Award-winning Broadway star Ben Vereen. An eclectic and upbeat slate of performances that will lift spirits follows with acts that range from the Glenn Miller Orchestra, to kid-friendly shows, to jazz with The Brubeck Brothers, to the iconic John Cleese. Tickets, which range from extreme values at $10 to the highest priced tickets at just $69 per seat, are on sale now.

"At Lincoln Theater Napa Valley, we have tried to concentrate on shows that are lighthearted and entertaining and that we can bring to the local community as well as wine country visitors at reasonable prices," said Richard Aldag, Lincoln Theater Napa Valley Executive Director. "We have emphasized comedy, upbeat music, family shows and nostalgia."

The Summer / Fall 2009 Season opens with an Intimate Evening of Broadway with the Tony Award-winning Ben Vereen, Saturday, August 22 at 8 p.m. Few entertainers are as accomplished and versatile as this incomparable Broadway and screen star, singer, dancer and actor.

An African Safari in Sonoma Wine Country?

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Always dreamed of going on an African Safari, but funds dictate otherwise? Don't fret; at Safari West in Sonoma Wine Country you can experience the wonder of exotic creatures like giraffes, gazellas, zebras and many other animals at a fraction of the cost. As their tagline appropriately says "the spirit of Africa in the heart of the Wine Country".

Your safari escape includes a three hour drive by jeep throughout the preserve and then a trek around the inner grounds. You can also spend the night in a Safari Tent (built on high wooden platforms with spacious decks) or in one of their two bedroom cottages.

Recently featured on ABC7 News as one of the most popular destinations in Northern California:



Safari West is also a great place to take the family and kids too.
CLICK HERE to read "The Kid Stays in the Picture"


Safari West
3115 Porter Creek Road, Santa Rosa
(707) 579-2551
www.safariwest.com

Conde Nast Traveler: Top Spas for 2009

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kenwoodSpaCopyright.jpg
Kenwood Inn and Spa - Top 3 Resort Spa in the United States
Conde Nast Traveler 2009 Readers' Poll

If you're planning a trip to wine country, one of the best ways to unwind and relax is with a spa treatment. Conde Nast Traveler released the poll results of readers' top picks for spas across the U.S. and even areas internationally. It's no surprise that many of the spas in Hawaii and California were heavily preferred by consumers.

Kenwood Inn and Spa in Sonoma, CA was one of the top 3 resort spas in the U.S. and received perfect scores of 100 for treatments, staff, service and design. Book a stay with them as they also boast lush surroundings, soothing pools, and elegant accommodations in a Tuscan setting.  Reserve online.

Wine Country Personality: Lynn Crescione

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solarlynn.jpg"At Creekside Inn and Resort we are not recent to stewardship of the beautiful environment that surrounds us in the Russian River Valley, and we reward our guests with discounts for thinking green as well."

As the owner and innkeeper of Creekside Inn and Resort, Lynn Crescione has been responsible for infusing the popular resort with her personal style for more than 25 years. That means, never settling for the status quo, never doing less than her personal best for her guests and always taking into consideration sustaining and promoting the beautiful Russian River that has been her home since coming to the area.

"We are not recent to stewardship of the beautiful environment that surrounds us in California's Russian River Valley, for us it is a way of life. When we first came to the inn, surrounded by towering redwoods on the banks of Pocket Canyon Creek and within sight and sound of the Russian River, we were instantly committed to leaving as little of a footprint on the native beauty of the land as possible," Crescione said. 

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