April 2014 Archives

Wine Tasting Itinerary: Sweet Stops in Sonoma County

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By Wine Country Staff

If you have a preference for wines with residual sugar (sweet), port or dessert wines you can taste several within these Sonoma County wineries. Other members of your traveling party can still taste heavier, drier or more tannic wines with you! But, you stand your ground and taste what you love! Sweet wines rule! (*Tasting Fee Budget for the Day: $70 Per Couple)

Ledson Winery & Vineyards, 7335 California 12, Kenwood, CA 95409, (707) 537-3810
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  • Tasting Fee: $30 Per Couple - Taste 6 wines (Add 3 more tasting for the same price with WineCountry.com Mobile App)
  • Time: 10 AM - Allow One Hour
  • Sweet Wines: Knights Valley Primitivo Port, Mendocino County Orange Muscat, Russian River Valley Riesling Demi Sec
  • Reservations: Not Required
  • Directions to Next Stop:  (Allow 7 minutes) Turn L on Hwy 12 for 2.1 mi., L on Goff Rd, 1st R, Chateau St. Jean is in front of you

Chateau St. Jean, 8555 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood CA 95442, (877) 478-5326
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  • Tasting Fee: $15 Per Couple -Tasting in the Visitor Center (2 for 1 when you show the WineCountry.com Mobile App)
  • Time: 11 AM - Allow One Hour, 2 with lunch. Call ahead for box lunch menu and prices
  • Sweet Wines: Riesling Sonoma County, Belle Terre Late Harvest Riesling. Spend time in the Mediterranean inspired gardens!
  • Reservations: Not Required
  • Directions to Next Stop: (Allow 10 minutes) Turn L on Hwy 12 for 4.7 mi., turn L at Imagery


"Taste the Lighter Side of Summer" Wines on Mother's Day Weekend

NAPA, Calif. - The Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa has invited select California wineries to participate in its second annual First Blush event, including a special celebration that will allow guests to "Taste the Lighter Side of Summer." The tasting event will highlight California's lighter wines including Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Rieslings and sparkling wines, plus a few beers from Napa Smith Brewery, as the Napa Valley enters its summer season this Mother's Day Weekend, May 10-11, 2014. The tasting of more than 40 lighter California wines and local craft brews will be held on Saturday, May 10 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and a Mother's Day Brunch will be held on Sunday, May 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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The Taste the Lighter Side of Summer event will take place outside and in the shade on the Vineyard Terrace which overlooks the resort's Estate Cave, pool with private cabanas, nine acres of hillside vineyards, and Napa's iconic Grape Crusher Statue. As guests sample more than 40 lighter wines from throughout California and craft brews from Napa Smith Brewery, they will also taste a variety of culinary creations from the chefs of The Meritage Resort. Each guest will receive and get to keep a commemorative First Blush wine class.

Mothers will continue to be celebrated on Sunday with Siena's full Mother's Day Brunch. From an artisanal local farm fresh cheese selection to antipasti display, smoked salmon and seafood display, in addition to full entrees including everything from Crab Cake Benedict 'Oscar' to Butter Seared Fillet Mignon and Brioche Crème Brûlée French Toast, every mom will know they are special. Especially when paired with a California rosé or glass of pink bubbly.

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Super "Green" Wineries

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It seems to be trendy to be "green" and sustainable, but in actuality it is the best way to preserve mother earth to make great products for generations to come. The wineries on this itinerary (Matanzas Creek, Kendall Jackson, and La Crema) all have their own way of making the best wine possible along-side mother nature. Taste and experience the "green" side of wineries in Sonoma County.

Matanzas Creek Winery, 6097 Bennett Valley Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, (707) 528-6464
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  • Tasting Fee: $40 Per Couple, Exclusive Tour and Wine Tasting 
  • Time: 10 AM - Allow 1.5 Hours
  • Reservations: Required, Pre-Payment Required
  • Experience: They have two forms of aromatherapy at Matanzas Creek - the lavender and the wine! The vineyards of Matanzas Creek live in harmony with native grasses, delicate olive trees, exotic perennials and their famed lavender fields. Red wine lovers must try the Matanzas Creek Merlot. This wine is consistently a palate pleaser with just the right amount of fruit and a long finish.
  • Directions to Next Stop: ( Allow 20 minutes for travel and parking) W on Bennett Valley Rd towards Steele Rd for 2.7 mi., L to stay on Bennett Valley Rd for 1.8 mi., R on Farmers Lane for .3 mi., L on SR12 W ramp to Eureka. Merge onto CA 12 W for 1.1 mi., enter US 101 N towards Eureka for 5.1 mi., Exit River Road toward Guerneville and L on Mark West Springs Rd, continue to River Rd, R on Fulton Rd. KJWC on L.

Kendall Jackson Wine Center, 5007 Fulton Rd, Fulton, CA 95439, (707) 571-8100
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  • Tasting Fee: $50 Per Couple, Reserve Wine and Food Pairing ($10 off wine and food Pairing with WineCountry.com mobile App
  • Time: 10AM - Allow 1.5 Hours
  • Experience: Uses more than 18 different programs for sustainability including: Certified Winegrowers, green cleaning agents, using the least amount of water and energy, sustainable gardening and food programs. Experience their food pairing options, as the food is grown in their own gardens and is also sustainable! Sound delicious? The wines are also delicious because such care is taken to grow and make them alongside Mother Nature. Savor the Grand Reserve Pinot Noir. Amazing!
  • Reservations: Required for the food pairing
  • Directions to Next Stop: (Allow 35 minutes for travel and parking)  N on Fulton Rd for .4 mi., 1st L on Airport Blvd. for .2 mi., merge onto US 101 N for 8.2 mi., exit toward Central Healdsburg, slight L on Healdsburg Ave, destination on R  in .4 mi.

25th Annual Passport to Dry Creek Valley®

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dryCreekPassport1.jpgSince 1990, Passport to Dry Creek Valley has been the signature, annual event of the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley and is one of the longest-running wine events of its kind in California.

This weekend celebration of the region's viticultural and epicurean bounty takes place April 26 and 27, and is regularly attended by more than 5000 people from all over the country. Weekend passports are $120/pp and can be purchased here: www.wdcv.com.

With 50 participating wineries, Passport to Dry Creek Valley is an immersive experience for wine lovers. Each winery adopts a unique theme - Tuscany, Casino Night, Provencal Market, African Safari are among those used in recent years - and the food and live entertainment offerings transport guests to these and many other exotic locales, while the wine is a direct reflection of the valley itself.

With many wineries offering vineyard tours; barrel tastings; sips of limited production, library wines and new vintages; and a chance to interact with the winemakers themselves, Passport to Dry Creek Valley truly exemplifies the wine-growing heritage of this celebrated wine region.

The Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley define Passport to Dry Creek Valley as "a modern tradition with century old roots," which personifies not only the event but the region itself. From the establishment of the first winery in 1870, early recognition of the region's zinfandel in the 1890s, the preservation of the vineyards through Prohibition, a revival of wine-making in the 1970s, and the region's growth to 10,000 acres of vineyards and over 65 wineries today, Dry Creek Valley has a history as rich as the soil from which its world-class wines are born.

From the very first Passport to Dry Creek Valley to today, the event is a celebration of the farmers, vintners and families that are the roots of the Dry Creek Valley wine region. Hence, Passport to Dry Creek Valley has become a beloved tradition among wine lovers who enjoy a world-class tasting experience with a festive twist---all within the idyllic Dry Creek Valley.

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Easter Events in Wine Country

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LIVERMORE

April 19th - Spring Eggstravaganza at Emerald Glen Park
Features a "freestyle" egg hunt, carnival games, petting zoo, arts 'n crafts, interactive parent games, jumpers and more.

  • campArroyo_EasterEggHunt.jpgApril 19th - Easter Egg Hunt and Pancake Breakfast
  • You are invited to the third annual Egg Hunt and Pancake Breakfast brought to you by the YMCA at Camp Arroyo. Egg Hunts will be held every 30 minutes starting at 9:00, the last egg hunt will be at 11:00. Egg hunts are open to children 11 and under. Breakfast will be served from 8:30-11:15.


  • April 20th - Easter Brunch at the Wente Restaurant
  • Enjoy a delicious three course prix fixe menu prepared by Chef Matt Greco paired with our fresh Spring drinks. Menu items to include items like lamb pastrami with pickled onions, eggs Benedict, crispy estate beef brisket, mocha stout cheesecake, and more.

NAPA VALLEY

  • April 20th - Hunt for the Hare at Safari West
  • A fun-filled adventure that will have everyone (adults and kids alike) trying to find Mr. Hare, who has disappeared from Safari West's Savannah Café. Includes an Easter brunch, egg hunt and kids or those young at heart can get their face painted.

  • April 20th - Easter Egg Hunt at Meadowood Napa Valley
  • The Egg Hunt will begin at 10:00 am on the fairways. Families may also enjoy music, a petting zoo and a visit from the Easter Bunny. A photographer will be available for family pictures during the Egg Hunt. Sunday-best attire is encouraged!

  • April 20th - Easter Aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train
  • Spend this Easter collecting memories instead of Easter Eggs. The Train itself holds a special magic for children, and the luxurious environment, decadent cuisine and enchanting scenery makes it easy for adults to unwind and focus on the quality of the moment.

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  • April 20th - Easter Brunch at Ramekins
  • Enjoy a delectable spread on Easter Sunday. With a selection of freshly prepared delights, you will want to take your time hopping from one savory station to the next! Easter crafts and cookie decorating for the little one, a truly family friendly event.

  • April 20th - Easter Dining & Egg Hunt at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn
  • On Easter Sunday, between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm, the resort's Michelin Star rated signature dining room, Santé will be serving an extravagant Easter Sunday Buffet complemented by live entertainment. Back by popular demand.... Monsieur Easter Bunny will host a traditional children's Easter Egg Hunt at noon in addition to other family-friendly activities.

  • April 20th - Easter Egg Hunt at Sea Ranch Lodge
  • Kids can collect Easter Eggs and hunt for 2 special  Golden Easter Eggs in each section for a special gift from the Easter Bunny.  Other festivities include: Sea Ranch Sheep and Sea Ranch Wool Works in the barn, Sea Ranch Fire Truck, azzo Marco Gelato Cart, Flowers from Garden by the Sea, and Easter Bunny Photos and much more!

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Playing in Napa & Sonoma

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Photos by Eric Chazankin

Lucky Penny Productions' Dirty Rotten Scoundrels has been described as stylish, sexy, irreverent, and "Broadway musical comedy heaven." It's based on the Michael Caine-Steve Martin film of the same name from 1988 (based on the 1964 film "Bedtime Story" starring Marlon Brando, David Niven and Shirley Jones.)

Now playing at 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa through April 13th. Buy tickets online or call box office at 707.523.3544 ext 1  for availability.

Starting April 25th- May 4th, catch this highly entertaining affair at the newly renovated Napa Valey Opera House, now City Winery! Buy tickets online or call 707.260.1600;

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Ticket prices range from $25-$35 per show and are showing on the following dates at City Winery:
  • Friday, April 25th - 8pm
  • Saturday, April 26 - 8pm
  • Sunday, April 27th - 2pm
  • Friday, May 2nd - 8pm
  • Saturday, May 3rd - 8pm
  • Sunday, May 4th - 2pm
More About the Show:

Directed by Craig A. Miller
Based on the popular 1988 film, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels centers on two con men living on the French Riviera. Lawrence Jameson (Barry Martin) makes his lavish living by talking rich ladies out of their money. Freddy Benson (Rob Broadhurst) more humbly swindles women by waking their compassion with fabricated stories about his grandmother's failing health. After meeting on a train, they attempt to work together only to find that this small French town isn't big enough for the two of them. They agree on a settlement: the first one to extract $50,000 from a young female target, heiress Christine Colgate (Taylor Bartolucci) wins and the other must leave town. A hilarious battle of cons ensues that will keep audiences laughing, humming, and guessing to the end!


Wine Tasting Itinerary - Sonoma Wine Education

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For most people, a visit to a Sonoma County winery is a unique experience in itself. Not only will you experience the standard wine tasting, you will tour the facilities, get in the vineyard, soak in the views and taste wine right out of a barrel.

Benziger Family Winery
, 1883 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, (707) 935-3000
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  • Tasting Fee: $80 Per Couple - Benziger Partners Estate Vineyard Tour & Exclusive Wine Tasting
  • Time: 11:15 AM - Allow 1.5 Hours with tour. Arrive by 11 AM to access tour
  • Experience: Tour is a close-up look at the bio-dynamic and organic practices, as well as the wildlife sanctuary on site. Get in the vineyards and caves! This is a behind-the-scenes tour. Limited to groups of 10.
  • Reservations:  Required for the tour
  • Directions to Next Stop: (Allow 4 minutes for travel)  Drive E (Left) .4 mi. on London Ranch Road, turn L on Arnold for 1.9 miles, L into Glen Ellen Inn & Restaurant

Napa Valley Arts in April - 2014 Event Highlights

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  • April 3, 2014 - Chimney Rock Winery Artist Reception
    Visit the winery on Thursday, April 3 for a special reception from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Meet the artist and enjoy a complimentary wine tasting paired with light appetizers while Clifford creates his next work of art!  Not able to make it to this event? No worries! Visit Chimney Rock any time during the year.
  • April 3, 2014 - Napa Valley Collects Preview Party
  • Napa Valley Collects, honoring the region's private art collectors, is a three-month exhibition presented at the Napa Valley Museum, in partnership with Arts Council Napa Valley and Visit Napa Valley. Please join the collectors at the preview party on Thursday, April 3 from 6-9pm to enjoy live music, fine Napa Valley wines, and hors d'oeuvres by Auberge du Soleil.
  • April 6, 2014 - St. Supery with Artist Suong Yangchareon
  • Join artist, Suong Yangchareon, for artist-led tours of his artwork on display at St. Supéry. Yangchareon is a master of painting the urban landscapes of California with a special focus on the city of L.A. and vanishing movie theaters. Explore his works in intimate group tours followed by small bites and wine with the artist.
  • April 6, 2014 - Napa's Riverfront Chalk Festival
  • Napa's Riverfront Chalk Festival 2014 kicks off Napa's week-long festivities celebrating Arts in April. Bring the children to join in the fun at the Children's Chalk Walk area. Vote for your favorite chalk art and see who wins at the 2:30pm Awards ceremony.
  • April 10, 2014 - Artist Reception at Bardessono
  • In conjunction with Andrea Schwartz Gallery, Bardesssono and Lucy Restaurant and Bar invite you to join our artist reception and meet the local artists who show regularly at the property: John Belingheri, Barbara Kronlins, Tom Bolles, Tim Yankosky, Donald Bradford and John Bonick. Wine tastings will be served by Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley, and light fare will be provided by Lucy.
  • April 7-11, 2014 - Robert Mondavi Winery Art Collection Tour
  • guests are invited to enjoy a complimentary tour of the winery's permanent Beniamino Bufano collection once daily at 11:00 am. In addition, the paintings of artists Margrit Mondavi, Thomas Bartlett and Jim Evans will be on display in the winery's Vineyard Room. A wine tasting will be included in the tour.
  • April 12, 2014 - Napa Slow Art Day at Di Rosa Art Preserve
  • Slow Art Day is a worldwide celebration of art that encourages people to look at art slowly -- and thereby experience art in a new way. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own picnic  and enjoy the scenic views from our Olive Grove at di Rosa.
  • April 14-20, 2014 - Peju Province Winery Featuring Christopher Hill Gallery
  • Enjoy our art exhibit Monday, April 14th through the Sunday, April 20th between the hours of 1pm and 4pm daily where we'll be featuring contemporary art from The Christopher Hill Gallery in St. Helena. Enjoy a complimentary wine tasting while you browse our upstairs gallery featuring the artwork of well known artists Mario Garcia Miro, TS Harris, Marsha Taylor and Benjamin Anderson.
  • April 17, 2014 - A New Perspective on Napa Valley
  • Join winery members of the Napa Valley Vintners and art photographer Sam Aslanian for an evening of wine tasting, light bites and a private viewing of some of the art prints from "Perspective Napa Valley." Within the pages of this unique coffee table book are captured scenes of life in Napa Valley in both photographs and chapter essays: from culture, history and civic life to the bucolic towns and vintner community, as well as the geology, climate and geography that make this place so perfect for the growing of fine wine grapes.
  • April 19, 2014 - Beaulieu Vineyards: Art, Wine, Soiree & Silent Auction
  • Join Beaulieu Vineyards for a unique fusion of art and wine! Featuring local artist Penelope Moore, live music and afternoon hor d'oeuvres. Each of Penelope's paintings will be paired with a sinfully selected bottle of BV wine. During the event, guests will have the opportunity to bid on each pairing.
  • April 20, 2014 - Yountville Art, Sip & Stroll
  • This event features Public Art Walk artists Boback Emad, Gordon Huether, Lorenzo Mills and  Clayton Thiel. They will be joined at their sculptures by Yountville Appellation wineries pouring tastes of their wines, paired with a tasty sweet or savory bite from our local restaurants.


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