August 2009 Archives

Labor Day Weekend Alert!

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BayBridgePSA_largebox_082809.jpgIf you are visiting Wine Country for Labor Day Weekend and flying into the San Francisco Airport, please be aware that one of the major bridges (Bay Bridge) will be closed.

The Bay Bridge will close Thursday, September 3rd at 8:00pm and will not reopen until 5:00 am on Tuesday, September 8th.

There are still several ways to get where you're going. If you are planning a day in the city as part of your wine country trip, take public transportation like BART or ferry.  If absolutely necessary to drive by car, there are several detour routes available as well.

CLICK HERE for more information and trip planning resources.

28th Annual Livermore Valley Harvest Wine Celebration

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livermoreBarrellEvent.jpgExperience the Harvest in Livermore Valley Wine Country. Over 40 wineries' wines and their unique personalities during the peak of Harvest Season! 

New for 2009 is the Harvest Village at Robertson Park in Livermore, where 21 wineries will be pouring their wines and guests will enjoy live music on two stages, arts and crafts and food vendors. Another 19 wineries will be pouring at their wineries across Livermore Valley, each offering a unique experience.

On Sunday, festival guests can board a complimentary shuttle buses at Harvest Village that will transport them between wineries. Attendees will be the first wine festival guests ever to vote for their favorite winery experiences via text message.

Two-day tickets are $50 in advance and $75 at the event. Sunday-only tickets are $45 and Monday-only tickets are $40.  Non-drinking tickets (required for children over 12) are $10 and are  valid for both days. Tickets are available online at www.LVwine.org

Napa Valley Arts Week: August 26 - Sept. 1, 2009

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By Louisa Hufstader

Party time! Artists gather for Open Studios preview at Mumm

It's a big week for the visual arts in Napa: Aug. 28 marks the kickoff of the annual Open Studios event sponsored by Arts Council Napa Valley, which hosts a preview reception and benefit that evening at Mumm Napa Valley.

napariver.jpgBut first: The historic Napa Mill continues its Wednesday series "Locals Night at the Mill," with live music, wine tasting, $5 appetizers at the Napa General Store and specials from Vintage Sweet Shoppe, Amelia's Gifts, Angele and Sweetie Pies, along with a Riverwalk display of local fine artists who have been juried into the Open Studios tour. Napa River Inn Plaza, 500 Main Street, Napa, 5 to 9 p.m.; www.napariverinn.com.

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend

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sonomalogo[1].jpgWhere Wine, Food and Friends Meet

3 days.200 wineries and chefs. One unforgettable Sonoma experience.

This Labor Day Weekend, we invite you to an epicurean event like no other - Sonoma Wine Country Weekend.

Join us for three unforgettable days of our region's finest wine and food, including exclusive Winemaker Lunches and Dinners, the 30th Annual Showcase: Taste of Sonoma and the 17th Annual Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction presented by Trilogy Glass & Packaging. Come to one event, or make a long weekend out of it. The choice is yours!

Group Wine Tasting in Virginia Wine Country

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What better way to go wine tasting then with a group of friends! Most wineries are no stranger to large groups as many have partnered with various touring companies that accommodate as many as 50 folks in a group at a time. Of course you can also plan your own trip with just a group of friends and family. Arcady Vineyard who offers wine tasting tours in Virginia Wine Country gives folks inside tips for how to do group tasting.

Some of the tips include:
(1) Map out exactly where you are going (each winery stop) to avoid wasting time. You want to spend your time enjoying the wineries, not sitting in a  car or bus.

(2) After you have selected the wineries you want to visit, call ahead of time and give them notice. They might be able to set up the tasting for your group in an exclusive area of the winery.

CLICK HERE to read the full article online!

New In Napa: August 09

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EstateCave1_LargeWeb.JPGBy Courtney Cochran

Home to some 300 wineries, Napa Valley is the engine that drives California's booming wine industry. It's also a place where history, art, hospitality and a search for perfection collide to produce some of the most compelling products and experiences Wine Country has to offer. Read on for new developments in this "land of plenty" in our own backyard.

Napa Valley's Open Studios

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A Free, Self Guided Fine Art Discovery Tour

nvOpenStudiosSarahB.jpg
Every fall, when trucks bearing tons of grapes appear on the roads of Napa Valley, the sun-drenched trees begin to show their fall colors, and the hottest days of the year roll through the gorgeous valley, it's the season for artists to throw open their studio doors and welcome friends, neighbors, and visitors into their creative workspaces for the annual Open Studios tour. 

Arts Council Napa Valley's Open Studios is a free, self-guided fine art discovery tour that runs during the last two weekends of September.  The 2009 Open Studios Honorary Co-Chairs, Eleanor Coppola and Kathryn Hall, invite patrons to experience this year's tour, featuring 88 of the finest artists and craftspeople in the Napa Valley. 

Whether you are an avid collector or just curious about art, Open Studios is an incredible opportunity to peer into the creative spaces of Napa Valley painters, metal and stone sculptors, mosaicists, photographers, ceramists, printmakers, fiber artists, jewelry makers, glass artists and other fine craftspeople, and to buy local art right from the source.

Itinearary: Golf Swingin' in Monterey

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montereyGolf.jpgIt doesn't take a rocket scientist to know why Monterey ranks as one of the top golf destinations in the world. It's home to Pebble Beach and is a favorite for the U.S. Open Championship. In fact, it will be hosting the championship a fifth time in a row in 2010.

But with so many golf courses to choose from, let alone figuring out lodging and dining if you are planning a weekend getaway, where does one begin?

No worries. Monterey County CVB has it all worked out for you with a golf weekend itinerary. Each day by hour is completely detailed out for you. For full itinerary, CLICK HERE.

Monterey.Winecountry.com is your resource for more lodging and dining choices. And of course if you are traveling with the Mrs. or family in tow, be sure to check out other activities for them to do while you are golfing!


Wine Country Personality: Patty Field

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RaindanceSpa.PattyField.jpgRaindance Spa
at the Lodge at Sonoma


A long-time Sonoma Valley resident, Patty Field has been Spa Director at Raindance Spa at The Lodge at Sonoma for more than five years. Within this role, Field manages all day-to-day operations within its eleven treatment rooms, spa boutique, spa garden and soaking pools and oversees a staff of nearly 50 people. She has developed a concentrated menu of services meant to bring the mind, body and soul into balance and offers some of the most unique and innovative treatments and products from the Valley, including a series of energy-inspired mind and body therapies, eco-certified spa treatments as well as an exclusive line of skincare, Raindance Skincare.

Whether visiting from out of town or a resident of the Valley, Raindance Spa is a highly sought after retreat tucked away at The Lodge at Sonoma and is one of the most inspiring spa destinations in California Wine Country today.

Napa Valley Artist Profile - Sherrell Harper

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nvOpenStudiosSherrellHarper.jpgNapa Valley Open Studios

Sherrell Harper is a Napa Valley watercolor and acrylic artist known for intense color and strong highlights and specializes in still life featuring wine glasses, pairings, and food, exhibiting the essence of Napa.  Her passion for art started late in life after a career in technology and Napa has supported her adventure. She is deeply involved in the arts community and appreciates the gift of living and working in the Valley.

Artist Profile - Karen Winograde

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Napa Valley Open Studios

nvOpenStudiosKarenWinograde.jpgKaren Winograde is a longtime Napa Valley artist whose beautiful pottery is functional for the home and garden.  Her love of the land of Napa Valley extends to more than just the landscape.  "I love earth, dirt, getting dirty, love making things... and my love for it grows and grows and never gets old." 

Winograde first fell in love with pottery in the 60's when she watched clay being made, wedged, formed into pots and fired in a dung fired beehive kiln in Mexico.  "I said... I want to do that!"

A Tri-Valley, California Man-cation

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men_golf.jpegIt is possible to getaway with the guys for a few days this summer without dropping thousands of dollars in Vegas. For a more economical, and certainly tamer trip, try the Tri-Valley.  The perfect weekend plan for the boys of summer includes golf, wine tasting, vintage cars, custom motorcycles and more.

PLAY: Hit the links at one of the 11 Public Golf Courses in Tri-Valley, California. Affordable green fees, challenging course and spectacular views are the hallmarks of Tri-Valley golf. Start by playing Callippe Preserve Golf Course . Situated on the picturesque Pleasanton Ridge, the course offers 18 holes of small ridge terrain and bountiful amounts of wildlife habitat areas. Want to play among the vineyards? Then make a tee time at Poppy Ridge Golf Course. This 27-hole Scottish Heathland course boasts 3 nines and a full service golf shop.

A Family Vacation Spot For Less

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Grab the kids, gas up the car and head to Tri-Valley, California for an affordable and family-friendly vacation. Tri-Valley, California, is rich in family-friendly attractions and is an affordable, charming and unspoiled destination where families are welcomed to experience the beauties and highlights of the San Francisco Bay Area. While many visitors make Tri-Valley their "home base" while exploring the more touristy San Francisco spots, there is actually quite a bit to see right here in the Tri-Valley.

LEARN: Day One, 8 a.m. - Lasers!
Start the day with a visit to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Discovery Center which provides visitors with a window into its state-of-the-art research programs, computational capabilities, and experimental tools. Here kids can experience a broad-based display of science and technology, as well as highlights of the Laboratory's history. After learning about the science, take the kids to play a round of laser tag at Boomers.

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