Activities: March 2009 Archives

Wine Country Personalities: Penny & Doug McKesson

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dougMckessonPersonality.jpgMoving from Southern California to Sonoma in the mid 70's, Penny & Doug McKesson never looked back.  Switching gears from running restaurants to owning a small town bike shop, Penny & Doug went to work immediately becoming an integral part of the community.  This culminated in Doug winning a seat on the Sonoma City Council in 2002 and becoming Mayor in 2006.  Over the past 34 years they have developed close friends and relationships which give them access to places in Sonoma that many locals are not even aware of.
By Courtney Cochran

What recession? At Meadowood - the Napa Valley resort known for its luxe accommodations and tucked-away ambiance - weekends just got a lot more interesting. Indeed, in honor of its 45th anniversary, the resort is putting variety - and unapologetic luxury - back into wine country travel with an impressive lineup of wine- and wine country-themed events known as its Wine-Inspired Weekend Series.

Wine Country Day Trip for Under $20

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Livermore_Valley Wine Trail-med.jpgSubmitted by the Tri-Valley, California  Convention & Visitors Bureau

Start your day in Pleasanton, CA at the farmers market on Main & Angela Street (Saturdays, 9 am - 1 pm). Browse the vendors and sample fresh fruit and specialty foods. Afterwards, take a stroll along Main street to check out the wonderful art galleries, shops and more.

For a special treat, stop at the Meadowlark Dairy, the only drive-through dairy for a soft serve ice cream cone.  It is only $1.75 for a small ice cream cone.

Then, Head to Tommie's Deli and Sandwich Shop on 2nd Street in Livermore and order the Lite-n-Tasty, a small sandwich with (Bread/meat (4.oz.)/cheese & stuff) for only $6. Armed with your sandwich and maybe a piece of fruit from Pleasanton's farmers market, you are ready to hit the wineries for complimentary wine tasting!
By Courtney Cochran

I can recall, with embarrassing clarity, buying Chuck Shaw by the caseload in the drearily cash-strapped era that followed my graduation from college.  And though I quickly "graduated" beyond the realm of such inexpensive sippers around the time of my first raise, today's tough economic times have many of us - yours truly included - contemplating a reunion with bargain sips like Mr. Shaw's and others of his ilk.

To be sure, the crisis thinking fueling these considerations isn't limited to wine consumption alone.  Wine country visitors, as well, are wondering where they can cut corners on visits in order to spend less while still enjoying their fair share of the pleasures wine country has to offer.  They're looking for easy, smart ways to extend their spending power at a time when all of us are getting by on less.   

And so, in a valiant effort to keep the good times - and the good drink - flowing, we're here to help you do just that.  Read on for our top suggestions on where to save and - as important - where to splurge in wine country this season.    Because if one thing is a constant no matter the economic clime, it's that we can all use a little affordable luxury every now and then to keep our spirits afloat.

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