Gina Dallara: December 2009 Archives

2009 Napa Valley Holiday Openings

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Napa Valley will still be bustling with activity through the holidays. Several restaurants and a few wineries will be open Christmas Eve.  Only a handful will be open on Christmas Day, so plan accordingly. Celebrate New Year's Eve wine country style - gourmet dinners, wine tasting, and dancing to ring in the new year.

Find out what's happening on the Napa Valley Events Calendar.
xmastreewinetrail.jpegYour local Santa Cruz Mountains tree farms and wineries want to make it easier for you to do your holiday shopping without the crowds and parking hassles of those germ factories better known as Malls! Do your shopping in the great outdoors, filled with scenery and greenery, and great local wine. Come cut a Christmas tree, buy some wine, and enjoy lunch with a view.

Just minutes from downtown Los Gatos off highway 17, the Summit Road tree farms and wineries have created a "Christmas tree wine trail" for your holiday shopping pleasure. Select a holiday tree (or wreath) at one of the local tree farms, including Radonich Ranch, Frosty's Tree Farm and Patchen Christmas Tree Farm (two locations: on Old Summit Road & Melody Lane and on Old Santa Cruz Highway). Then, head to the participating wineries: Burrell School Vineyards. Generosa, Hunter Hill, Loma Prieta, Poetic Cellars, Regale and Vine Hill, for great local wine and unique gift ideas. Receive one free ornament per winery with a purchase of wine. Collect them all for a very festive tree, and purchase extra ornaments as stocking stuffers to accompany your very thoughtful gifts of wine. Don't forget those hostess gifts. What is better than a bottle of local wine that you personally hand-selected? Each winery has custom gift tags to make gift-giving simple and special.

Off The Beaten Track in Glen Ellen

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chocolateshop.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

Glen Ellen is just far enough off the main highway to ensure that its visitors and residents really want to be there. Although only a twenty minute drive from downtown Sonoma, it feels like another world entirely, with rustic country lanes, minimal development, and fantastic owner-operated businesses making the most of the area's appeal. Here are just a few suggestions for things to do (besides visit wineries, of course!) that hit on three of Glen Ellen's main draws: