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Saturday, 21 May 2016 15:13

Wineries of the Sierra Foothills

Wineries of the Sierra Foothills cover shot Picmonkey

By Barbara Keck

Photography by Johan Martin

 

2016 Range of Light Media Group

Tahoe City, CA

ISBN: 978-0-9966209-0-1

Soft Cover, 174 pages, $19.95

The Sierra Foothills is one of the world’s most interesting wine regions. Barbara Keck’s book gives it the respect it deserves and strikes a warm note without being gushy.

Monday, 04 November 2013 13:39

Five Top Wine Experiences in Sonoma County

 

Van and visitors at Jordan PicmonkeyVisitors enjoy day at Jordan Estate

by Dr. Liz Thach, MW

 

With over 350 wineries in Sonoma County open to the public, there are plenty of opportunities to stop by a tasting room and sample exquisite Pinot Noirs, dazzling Chardonnays, spicy Zinfandels, and many other varietals. However some wineries in Sonoma County are offering even more innovative experiences. Here are five “over the top” wine activities to check out the next time you’re in the area.

Sip & Swim - During the warmers months, head to Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Alexander Valley where you can enjoy their Pool Cabinet Package. Designed for four people, it allows you to lounge by the pool in a private cabana all day and sip wine flights ($125 for four people). If it’s raining, check out their amazing Hollywood Movie Museum on the second floor.

Luxury Nibbles With Wine - Sonoma County is not only a great wine destination, but is also known for its fresh vegetables, seafood, and artisan cheese and meats. Sample some of this bounty at the three great venues. J Winery’s Bubble Room treats visitors to a three-course food and wine pairing in an exquisitely decorated private room; St. Francis Winery delights customers with a five-course pairing that has been said to “rival Michelin star restaurants;” and Mayo Family Winery wows tourists with a seven-course pairing that has been praised by the Wall Street Journal.

Wine at The Top - Another exclusive experience that has recently opened to wine tourists is Jordan Winery’s Estate Tour & Tasting ($120). Here visitors spend three hours touring the 1200 acre estate, including tasting fruit and vegetables in the chef’s garden, a food and wine pairing at the fishing lake, forays in the various vineyards, and encounters with animals such Texas Longhorn cattle, donkeys, and chickens. The highlight of the tour is a second food and reserve wine pairing in a private pavilion at the very top of the Mayacamas Mountains with a 360-degree view of Sonoma County.

Wine & Tractors – A longtime favorite experience on Sonoma Mountain is Benziger Vineyards tractor tram tour through the vines. Here visitors learn about biodynamic and organic viticulture practices while riding on a tractor. The tour ends with a wine tasting in a private room at the winery. Another great biodynamic vineyard tour can be experienced at Quivera Vineyards and Winery in Dry Creek Valley.

Hiking & Wine – Probably one of the most unique experiences in Sonoma County is Kunde Family Estate’s hiking program. Located in the northern end of Sonoma Valley, the Kunde family escorts you on hiking trails through the vineyards and mountains. On some of the hikes, you are even encouraged to bring your dog. Another winery that features hiking and dogs is Bob Dog Winery in the new Pine Mountain AVA of Sonoma County.

About the Author: Dr. Liz Thach, MW is the Korbel Professor of Wine Business at Sonoma State University where she conducts research on wine tourism, marketing, consumer behavior, and strategy. She can be contacted at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Editor's note: If you're planning a visit to Sonoma's Wine Country, you might first check out the Resource Directory of Taste California Travel. In it you will find links to the websites of Wineries, as well as Lodging and Dining options.

Saturday, 05 October 2013 11:25

Vintage Wine Estates Purchases Viansa Winery

Viansa Duck Monument  Picmonkey Duck monument in Viansa courtyardSANTA ROSA, CA, October 4, 2013—Vintage Wine Estates announced today the purchase of Viansa Winery and Marketplace effective October 4, 2013. Another gem in the company’s rapidly expanding portfolio, the picturesque estate is situated upon a hilltop at the entrance to Sonoma Valley in Sonoma County, California. Viansa combines the joys of wine, cuisine and world-class hospitality, making it an attractive asset to acquire. “We are pleased to have Viansa Winery as part of the family and the gateway to our Napa and Sonoma properties,” said Pat Roney, President, Vintage Wine Estates. Included in the sale is the adjacent 168-acre estate vineyard, planted to Sangiovese, Primitivo, Vernaccia and Pinot Grigio and 113-acre wetland preserve.

Overlooking preserved wetlands—a wildlife haven—and the panoramic scenic beauty of Sonoma Valley, Viansa is well known for its prime location. Situated just 40 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge, it is also a popular choice to host weddings and special private or corporate events in an array of attractive settings. Since it’s opening in 1989, Viansa has become “the” destination for locals and visitors to enjoy classic California and Italian wines, sample gourmet foods and relax on the expansive grounds.

Significant investments are planned for the Viansa Marketplace, estate and event facilities to further enhance the natural beauty of the property and elevate Viansa to a world-class Wine County destination. In addition, Vintage Wine Estates will establish a partnership with Ducks Unlimited to initiate restoration of wetlands that are part of the property. The winery will continue to offer classic California and Italian wines made from estate fruit and other prized Sonoma County vineyards.

Lloyd Davis, Viansa president said: “I could not think of a better group to acquire Viansa. Vintage Wine Estates has all the resources to take Viansa to the next level.”

Editor's note: Links to the websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options in the San Francisco Bay Area and in the wine country of Sonoma and Napa Counties in Taste California Travel's Resource Directory. Also in the Directory are links to websites of all the wineries, as well as craft beer specialists.

The El Dorado Winery Association and its 35 wineries in the Sierra foothills has unveiled a new-look website to accommodate the region’s continually growing popularity and to match the area’s unique energy and acclaimed wines.

Madrona vineyardmountains PicmonkeyMadroña is at 3000 feet elevation

This latest step comes only a few weeks after the state Department of Food and Agriculture awarded the region a $179,000 Specialty Crop Block Grant to help build a complete marketing effort focused on making all of California and Northern Nevada, and particularly areas like Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, Reno and Carson City, more aware of what’s happening in this unique Sierra foothill region.

“The grant is California’s recognition that what we’re doing with our wine and our wineries is something the rest of the state should know about,” said Beth Jones EDWA President and co-owner of Lava Cap Winery. “We’re seeing wine lovers respond to what we do, and we’ve been working hard to get the word out. Our new website is another step in that direction.”

The group of family-owned, award-winning wineries has been revamping its look and communications efforts for the past year. That includes the new marketing campaign “Taste At A Higher Level,” which details the region’s increasing popularity among wine drinkers and critics, and tells the story of the high altitude vineyards ranging from 1,200 to 3,000 feet, and of a place where wine has been grown and made since the Gold Rush.

“It’s exciting to see people discover our foothills and our wine,” said Terrie Prod’hon, EDWA’s Public Relations and Marketing Committee Chair and owner of Mount Aukum Winery. “Our new site will help more people see why El Dorado wine country is such a special place.”

About El Dorado Winery Association

El Dorado’s wineries offer visitors a wide diversity of award winning wines, friendly tasting room staffs, and spectacular views of hillside vineyards, snow-capped mountains and oak-studded foothills. El Dorado County is in Gold Country about an hour from Sacramento or South Lake Tahoe and a little over two hours from Reno or the San Francisco area. For more information, visit www.eldoradowines.org.

 

Editor's note: Visiting wineries in Northern California? The Resource Directory of Taste California Travel has links to hundreds of Lodging and Dining options, all organized in an easy-to-use format. Also in the Resource Directory are links to the websites of all the state's wineries, as well as over 600 beer-centric restaurants and pubs.

 

E Fork Trinity River PicmonkeyE Fork Trinity River near China Creek junctureWine is rarely made, today, without electricity to power crushers, wine presses, pumps, bottling equipment and lighting. However, for one Northern California winery being off the grid comes naturally.

Alpen Cellars, in the Trinity Lakes grape-growing area of the vast Shasta Cascade region of northeast California, gets its power from China Creek, a stream that crosses its property on its course to the east fork of the Trinity River. The winery is located on a 300-acre ranch, ten miles from the nearest source of power. “Power lines ran out here a hundred years ago,” said Winemaker Keith Groves, “and after that ended, we started generating our own hydroelectric power.

“China Creek runs year round, providing reliable power, though the amount of electricity we generate varies according to runoff. At max, we get 3.5 kilowatts of power,” said Winemaker Keith Groves, who with his father, Mark; mother, B.J.; and wife, Bonnie; produce Chardonnay, white Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Merlot and Lemberger/Blaufrankisch varietals.

“We’re known for our Riesling which has scents of apricots and ripe peaches, though chardonnay is our best-selling wine. It represents about a third of the 5,000 cases we produce,” Groves said. Established in 1984, Alpen Cellars now distributes its varietal wines to shops from Eureka west to Burney Falls and from the Oregon border south to Corning; selections are sold in such well-known outlets as Costco and Safeway. “We’re also distributed from San Francisco south to Santa Cruz,” Groves added.

Many Alpen Cellars wines have won awards, including its Blaufrankisch which won double gold at the California State Fair. Described as Alpen Cellar’s “richest red,” Blaufrankisch is said to “start with crisp cherries and finish with ripe blueberries, lingering soft tannins coat the palate.”Alpen Cellars Vineyard PicmonkeyAlpen Cellars Vineyard at 2400-ft elevation

The 40-some wineries within the Shasta-Cascade Viticulture Association (Alpen Cellars among them) have won 67 international medals and awards in the past two years, which SCVA president Greg Butler says compares favorably with other California wine-making regions.

Estate wines are grown on 17 acres at Alpen Cellars with additional grapes coming from eight acres within Trinity County. One Maple Vineyard (Lewiston) and Alpen Cellars are the only winemakers within the Trinity Lakes AVA, one of two American Viticultural Areas in the Shasta Cascade region.

Renewable energy isn’t the only aspect of Alpen Cellars that’s sustainable. Groves said, “Most wineries chill their wines with a lot of refrigeration, we use ice-cold water from underground springs, instead.” Of all wineries in the vast Shasta Cascade region, Alpen Cellars is the only one that’s completely off the grid.

Alpen Cellars is open for public tastings from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day, and by appointment thereafter. Directions to the winery are found at www.alpencellars.com or call (530) 266-9513. Wine tasting can also be experienced throughout the Shasta Cascade region with concentrations of wineries near Manton, Oroville and Chico. Moseley Family Cellars offers tastings at their location in downtown Redding.

Editor's note: This article also appears in the Wine section of Taste California Travel.

 

Planning a trip anywhwere the beautiful Shasta-Cascade region? You'll find links to the websites of many Lodging and Dining opportunities, as well as links to wineries and craft beer purveyors at the Resource Directory of Taste California Travel.

E Fork Trinity River PicmonkeyE. Fork of Trinity River where China Creek joins.

 

Wine is rarely made, today, without electricity to power crushers, wine presses, pumps, bottling equipment and lighting. However, for one Northern California winery being off the grid comes naturally.

Alpen Cellars, in the Trinity Lakes grape-growing area of the vast Shasta Cascade region of northeast California, gets its power from China Creek, a stream that crosses its property on its course to the east fork of the Trinity River. The winery is located on a 300-acre ranch, ten miles from the nearest source of power. “Power lines ran out here a hundred years ago,” said Winemaker Keith Groves, “and after that ended, we started generating our own hydroelectric power.

“China Creek runs year round, providing reliable power, though the amount of electricity we generate varies according to runoff. At max, we get 3.5 kilowatts of power,” said Winemaker Keith Groves, who with his father, Mark; mother, B.J.; and wife, Bonnie; produce Chardonnay, white Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Merlot and Lemberger/Blaufrankisch varietals.

“We’re known for our Riesling which has scents of apricots and ripe peaches, though chardonnay is our best-selling wine. It represents about a third of the 5,000 cases we produce,” Groves said. Established in 1984, Alpen Cellars now distributes its varietal wines to shops from Eureka west to Burney Falls and from the Oregon border south to Corning; selections are sold in such well-known outlets as Costco and Safeway. “We’re also distributed from San Francisco south to Santa Cruz,” Groves added.

Many Alpen Cellars wines have won awards, including its Blaufrankisch which won double gold at the California State Fair. Described as Alpen Cellar’s “richest red,” Blaufrankisch is said to “start with crisp cherries and finish with ripe blueberries, lingering soft tannins coat the palate.”

The 40-some wineries within the Shasta-Cascade Viticulture Association (Alpen Cellars among them) have won 67 international medals and awards in the past two years, which SCVA president Greg Butler says compares favorably with other California wine-making regions.Alpen Cellars Vineyard PicmonkeyAlpen Cellars Vineyard at 2400-ft. elevation

Estate wines are grown on 17 acres at Alpen Cellars with additional grapes coming from eight acres within Trinity County. One Maple Vineyard (Lewiston) and Alpen Cellars are the only winemakers within the Trinity Lakes AVA, one of two American Viticultural Areas in the Shasta Cascade region.

Renewable energy isn’t the only aspect of Alpen Cellars that’s sustainable. Groves said, “Most wineries chill their wines with a lot of refrigeration, we use ice-cold water from underground springs, instead.” Of all wineries in the vast Shasta Cascade region, Alpen Cellars is the only one that’s completely off the grid.

Alpen Cellars is open for public tastings from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day, and by appointment thereafter. Directions to the winery are found at www.alpencellars.com or call (530) 266-9513. Wine tasting can also be experienced throughout the Shasta Cascade region with concentrations of wineries near Manton, Oroville and Chico. Moseley Family Cellars offers tastings at their location in downtown Redding.

 

Editor's note: This article also appears in the Drives and Destinations section of Taste California Travel.

 

Planning a trip anywhwere the beautiful Shasta-Cascade region? You'll find links to the websites of many Lodging and Dining opportunities, as well as links to wineries and craft beer purveyors at the Resource Directory of Taste California Travel.

Old Sugar Mill PicmonkeyEarly fall visitors taste at the Sugar Mill.The Old Sugar Mill wine mall has added two area wineries -- Due Vigne di Famiglia and The Dragon & Chicken, home of Draconis Wines by Matt Powell -- making a total of ten tasting rooms. "This makes us a major U.S. wine destination," according to John Beckman, General Manager of the Mill and president of the Clarksburg Wine Company. They join Carvalho Family Winery, Clarksburg Wine Company, Elevation Ten, Heringer Estates, Merlo Family Vineyards, Rendezvous Winery, Three Wine Company and Todd Taylor Wines.

Beckman said, “When Sacramentans think of wine and wine country, we want them to think of the Old Sugar Mill first. The addition of these two fine wineries just adds to the breadth and depth of our existing and outstanding offerings for our guests. And while we love when folks come out here to spend the day, we are so close to downtown and midtown, you can come out here at the spur of the moment – no advance planning required!”

Due Vigne di Famiglia wines are produced by two area families: the Mussos with a generation of growing Italian varietals in El Dorado County; and the Houle family, which uses Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and Malbec for classic Cabernet and Meritage bottlings. Musso family wines include the rare Dolcetto and Nebbiolo varieties, plus Primitivo, Barbera and Petite Syrah, a Clarksburg area specialty.Draconis Winery barrell sample Picmonkey Taking Draconis barrel sample.

Draconis by Matt Powell has its first public sales site at the Mill. According to Powell, Draconis has been an "underground winery -- known only to its mailing list -- and for its crafted, handmade wines in the old style" by its Burgundian-trained winemaker. Known for intense and silky smoothness, the wines are made in the "Reductionist" style, specializing in 100 percent Zinfandel, Petite Syrah and Syrah.Beckman added, "Matt Powell is pioneering the use of our large attractive campus by new wineries who will be moving in; it's the first winery not in the Gallery itself. We're seeing the kind of strolling that you find downtown."

The Old Sugar Mill has seen three years of increased traffic for events and winery sales, Beckman said. "We're a go-to site for everyone in the Sacramento area and are drawing from the Bay Area and throughout the state."

The Old Sugar Mill is located at 35265 Willow Avenue in the historic town of Clarksburg, fifteen minutes southwest of the Capitol building in Sacramento. Open seven days a week; individual wineries' hours vary. For further information on wineries and events visit www.oldsugarmill.com.

 

Sources at PRWeb contributed to this article.

 

Editor's note: Visiting wineries in California? Taste California Travel's Resource Directory contains links to the websites of all of the state's wineries, as well as links to thousands of Lodging and Dining options.

Land ho, Matey. After a rigorous journey on the waters of San Francisco Bay, America's Cup competitors and fans are invited to America's premier wine, spa, and coastal destination for a little R&R - Sonoma County style.Bodega Bay boats PicmonkeyCommercial fishing boats at Bodega Bay.

Known for its more than 350 wineries, miles of gorgeous Pacific Ocean coastline, and some of the most fertile earth in California, Sonoma County has been welcoming sailors and landlubbers alike since, well, since Sir Francis Drake landed in Northern California in 1579, beginning a long, rich maritime history.

Bunk down for the night

Reach back into history and experience a military-style R&R at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, in Sonoma Valley. The resort's rich wellness history stretches back hundreds of years, when Native Americans discovered the natural underground hot mineral waters. Developed as a resort in the late 1800s, the property underwent many ups and downs.

During World War II the hotel fell under the control of the Navy. It became an R&R site for sailors and marines until 1945. Various incarnations followed, including the use of the Inn by famous sports teams as a training headquarters.

Why should sailors and sailing fans choose Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn today? Simple - the Inn is the only full-service resort offering Michelin-star dining, an award-winning spa, and championship golf amenities to visitors with discerning tastes.

Details: Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, 100 Boyes Blvd., Sonoma, CA 95476, 707-938-9000, 866-540-4499, www.fairmont.com/sonoma

If you aren't quite ready to leave the sea behind, visit Sonoma County's western border - more than 55 miles of dramatic coastline. Bodega Bay Escapes vacation home rentals offer ocean-front homes.

These homes have some of the best views in the Bodega Bay area, and the proximity to the beach is second to none. Get a front-row seat to the Northern California coast in a cozy beach cottage. Each of the privately owned homes is uniquely appointed and equipped for comfort and leisure. Many homes have private outdoor hot tubs and free wireless internet service. All homes are furnished with full kitchens, linens, and no added cleaning fees. Choose from casual beach cottages along the Sonoma Coast, or distinctive golf course homes at The Links at Bodega Harbour.

Details: Bodega Bay Escapes, 707-875-2600, 877-809-7819, www.bodegabayescapes.com

Yo ho ho and a bottle of . . . red

Dry Creek Vinyd Fume label PicmonkeyVisiting famed wineries in Sonoma County doesn't mean you have to give up nautical ties. Dry Creek Vineyard patriarch, Dave Stare, combines his two passions: winemaking and sailing. Started in 1972, the winery was the first to plant Sauvignon Blanc in the Dry Creek Valley wine region and is renown for its efforts with that grape, bottled in the Fumé Blanc style, as well as when labeled Sauvignon Blanc.

Dry Creek Vineyard also offers a proprietary red blend appropriately named, The Mariner. The 2008 vintage was just released and has garnered numerous awards.

Stare's passion for sailing includes sharing it with others. In fact, Sonoma State University has a sailing team that was founded by Stare.

Details: Dry Creek Vineyard, 3770 Lambert Bridge Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448, 707-433-1000, www.drycreekvineyard.com

Sailors and winemakers share a strong sense of passion to take care of the environment. Helping the ocean, as well as the land, is Iron Horse Vineyards, which runs its Healthy Ocean Project with leading ocean conservation groups.

The winery produces its vintage Blanc de Blancs Ocean Reserve, created in partnership with National Geographic to help save the ocean. Iron Horse contributes $4 from each bottle sold to National Geographic's Ocean Initiative - establishing marine protected areas and reducing overfishing around the world. For more information, visit ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/i-am-the-ocean-wine.

Details: Iron Horse Vineyards, 9786 Ross Station Road, Sebastopol, CA 95472, 707-887-1507, www.ironhorsevineyards.com

While in Sonoma County, visit the home of America's favorite Chardonnay. Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates has been anchored in Sonoma County for nearly 30 years with the understanding that the cold Pacific Ocean allows the winemaking team to make superior quality wines.

Much like sailors on the sea, Kendall-Jackson's staff treasures what the ocean provides. That means the cool, maritime breezes and coastal fog that protect the grapes and coax the most intense and complex varietal flavors. Stop by Kendall-Jackson during your shore leave and experience a unique wine and food pairing adventure that will thrill even the most able-bodied sailor.

Details: Kendall-Jackson Wine Center, 5007 Fulton Road, Fulton, CA 95439, 707-571-8100, 866-287-9818, www.kj.com

Become a landlubber for the day: All aboard the Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley. One of the Bay Area's favorite modes of transportation now roams the quaint streets and vineyards of gorgeous Sonoma Valley, offering open-air views that allow guests to experience wine country like they never have before. Built from historic blueprints, the Sonoma Wine Trolley is a motorized replica of a late 1890s San Francisco cable car, the type that still runs on San Francisco's California Street cable car line.

Visitors can now choose from two routes. The new route begins at the historic Sonoma Plaza, meanders into Glen Ellen and Kenwood area, including stops at Benziger Family Winery, Imagery Winery, Paradise Ridge in Kenwood, and Deerfield Ranch Winery. The Trolley's original route includes stops at four boutique wineries located in and around the town of Sonoma. Both tours include a gourmet lunch catered by the acclaimed the girl & the fig restaurant.

The Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley experience begins with a daily passenger pickup at 10:30 a.m. from Sonoma Plaza. Arrangements for pickup at several Sonoma hotel locations can be made prior to 10:30 a.m.

Details: Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley, 707-938-2600, www.sonomavalleywinetrolley.com

Ports of Call

Sonoma County's southern border is San Pablo Bay, which leads into the San Francisco Bay. The influence on the region from the bays, rivers, and oceans can't be overstated, whether it was the possible landing of Sir Francis Drake in Bodega Bay in 1579, the arrival of the Russians from Alaska to establish Fort Ross in 1812, or the rechristening of the Petaluma Slough to the Petaluma River in 1959, making it eligible for federal dredging, and larger ship traffic.

Here are some spots to sail to, or in, Sonoma County:Spud Point Crab Co PicmonikeyThey also make the best clam chowder.

On the Pacific Coast, Spud Point Marina, in Bodega Bay, is located on the scenic Sonoma County coast less than 50 nautical miles from the center span of the Golden Gate Bridge. The quaint town is a perfect home base for sampling all that Sonoma County has to offer, from the rugged coastline to the inland vineyards. Local fishing fleets head out for Dungeness crab and salmon, and fishing boats and pleasure boats use the protected bay as a base for exploring the waters off the Sonoma coast. Insider tip - Spud Point Crab Company, located across the street and run by a long-time fishing famiy, has some of the best chowder in Sonoma County.

Details: Spud Point Marina, 1818 Westshore Road, Bodega Bay, CA 94923, 707-875-3535, www.spudpointmarina.org

Hey, why should the ocean get all the glory? Lake Sonoma, in northern Sonoma County, is a great spot for a sail, or a leisurely day spent exploring. Nestled in the beautiful coastal foothills, Lake Sonoma is surrounded by world-famous vineyards and land that is rich in history. Created by the construction of Warm Springs Dam in 1983, the lake provides for flood control, irrigation, and recreation. When full, the lake has a surface area of more than 2,700 acres and 50 miles of shoreline, forming the perfect setting for a wealth of recreational activities. Visit to hike, swim, ride, boat, camp, fish, or hunt at this beautiful lake.

Details: Lake Sonoma Visitors Center & Fish Hatchery, 3333 Skaggs Springs Road, Geyserville, CA 95441, 707-431-4533, www.spn.usace.army.mil/lake_sonoma/index.html

The waters of the Petaluma Marina are part of the Petaluma River, a channel that runs 14 miles from the north end of Petaluma into San Pablo Bay. With 167 slips, the Petaluma Marina offers many facilities and services to boaters and kayakers on the river including private restrooms and showers, full utilities, security gates, and kayak storage. The river is enjoyed for its excellent boating, fishing, and water skiing.

Details: Harbormaster Office, 781 Baywood Dr., Petaluma, CA 94954, 707-778-4489, cityofpetaluma.net/parksnrec/marina.html.

So, how about it, Sailor, ready to give Sonoma County a try? Located 10 leagues (30 miles for landlubbers) north of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, Sonoma County is America's premier wine, spa and coastal destination, featuring more than 350 wineries, 100-plus organic farms, and 55-plus miles of stunning Pacific coast.

For a free visitors guide or information on hotels, wineries, events, spas, attractions, and dining in Sonoma County, visit www.sonomacounty.com or call 800-576-6662 (+001-707-522-5800 for those across the seas...)

Editor's note: If you're planning a trip to the San Francisco Bay Area to attend the America's Cup in 2013 or coming at any other time, you can find a lot of good information at Taste California Travel's Resource Directory. In it you will find links to the websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options, as well as to the wineries in Sonoma and other nearby wine regions and to craft beer purveyors.

 

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