Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

JULY 4TH WEEK IS HOT HOT HOT IN WINE COUNTRY

Monday, July 1st, 2013

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Sonoma County is experiencing a series of 100+ degree days, expected to continue through the 4th. When the “Cool down” comes, it’s only supposed to drop to mid-nineties. We at Sonoma County Vacations would like to provide guests with a couple of items to help make their stays enjoyable.

1. If you have no pool at the home you’re renting, see about turning the hot tub down so you have a dipping pool of sorts;

2. Make sure to turn air conditioners off at night so they don’t freeze up (in which case you’ll have no air or you could break the system).

3. Most home air conditioners are not sized for industrial strength like hotels. When it’s this hot, they lose some functionality, and no matter how low you turn it, it’s not going to cool down. In fact, setting it below 75 could freeze it up. Be sure to give the A/C a break, especially between the hottest hours, 4-8 p.m., set it a little higher.

4. At night, after the sun goes down open all windows and doors which have a screen, and leave open until early morning, then shut everything, close drapes, blinds, etc to keep the house dark and cool.

Healdsburg Jazz Festival Canceled 2011

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

We’re very sad to hear the news about the Healdsburg Jazz Festival being canceled for 2011. We’ve got our fingers crossed that it’ll be back in 2012! Everyone loves the Healdsburg Jazz Festival, and people from all over the country visit Healdsburg yearly just to watch the artists perform.

Here’s the article from the Press Democrat.

The Healdsburg Jazz Festival will take a year off in 2011 and may undergo some changes in size and format before it returns.

The festival’s five-member board of directors decided Monday to put the event on hiatus and eliminate festival founder Jessica Felix’s position as director to cut costs, said board chairwoman Pat Templin.

Introduced by Felix in 1999, the festival has generated national acclaim and drawn as many as 5,000 fans to Healdsburg for up to 10 days of performances by big-name jazz stars, such as saxophonist Charles Lloyd, pianists Cedar Walton, McCoy Tyner and George Cables.

“The festival cannot assume any expenses now, except for very minimal administrative support,” Templin explained.

Felix, who also operates the Art and All That designer jewelry gallery in Healdsburg, declined comment on the board’s decision.

The festival has operated at a deficit of $30,000 a year for the past three years, Templin said. Surplus funds covered the deficit in 2008, but not in 2009 and 2010, Templin said.

“The economy has had a huge impact on us in terms of the money sponsors and individuals feel they can donate,” Templin said.

The one program that the festival definitely plans to continue next year is Operation Jazz Band, a week-long workshop that introduces fifth-graders at six schools to jazz music and ends in a public concert.

The festival, devoted to pure jazz rather than “smooth jazz” or other pop-music iterations, held its 12th annual event last June 4-13 at a variety of venues, including wineries, cafes, parks and the Raven Theater.

Templin said the board will survey the community and potential supporters to come up with a sustainable format for the festival in the future, but said the Healdsburg event wouldn’t imimate the Sonoma Jazz + fesival, which headlines rock and pop acts and very little jazz, if any.

“We will not use the Sonoma Jazz + model,” she said.

By DAN TAYLOR
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Friendly Reminders For Taste Alexander Valley

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Just a few tips for Taste Alexander Valley! Please take the time to read the following:

– No one under 21 is allowed in this event- Please be prepared to show your identification card and have it handy at all times.

– Healdsburg is a very dog friendly town, however, for this weekend, dogs and other pets will not be allowed in this event as there will be a lot of foot traffic, and most wineries will also be serving food.

– Carry identification.

– No fragrances- to enhance your enjoyment of the wines of Dry Creek Valley, they ask you to refrain from wearing perfume, colognes, aftershaves, or lotions. Fragrances can overwhelm the aromas and taste of the wine for you and the people around you.

– Drink responsibly.

– Drive carefully- most roads in Dry Creek and West Dry Creek Road are very narrow and have blind corners. West Dry Creek Road is extremely narrow, so please drive slow. We’ve noticed that a lot of people who visit the area have difficulty driving, or are simply oblivious to road rules and proper road courtesy. Driving in wine country is very different from driving in the city or the suburbs. Most of the roads are very narrow yet are two-lane. There are a lot of turns with blind corners, so we encourage you to stay on the right side of the road to avoid any accidents.

Remember, drive slow. Narrow roads usually have 15-25 speed limits. There are also a lot of cyclists on wine country roads, and we encourage you to drive even more carefully when cyclists are around. And remember, share the road. Cyclists are also expected to ride in single file and not side by side.

There is also a bridge in Healdsburg called Lambert Bridge that leads to West Dry Creek Road. We would like to remind you that this is a one lane bridge, and cars are to pass alternately, one car at a time. Please be reminded that you are to drive slowly, and you are required to stop a few yards away from the entry of the bridge, and whoever stops first gets to pass first. We have seen a lot of cars driving very fast without stopping whatsoever, leading to collisions.

Hope these tips would be of help! Please drive safe and have fun in wine country!

Looking For Fun Activities For Your Little Ones?

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

If you’re here in Healdsburg visiting, or if you plan to visit Healdsburg soon, there’s a fun activity for kids starting now till June! The Parks and Recreation Department is pleased to team up with the Healdsburg Jazz Festival to bring African drum and dance master Tacuma King back to Healdsburg this year.

Students will learn to play hand drums and other percussion instruments with an emphasis on learning rhythms, sons and dance from African Caribbean cultures. Beginners and advanced students welcome! Fee is $50 for this class, and it starts now, every Tuesday, from 3:30PM-5:00PM at the Healdsburg Community Center.

This’ll be a fun activity that your kids will surely enjoy. Have fun!

Looking For Things To Do In Calistoga?

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Calistoga has attracted visitors from all over the world, and it’s the only location that’s 30 minutes or less from famous places such as Chateau Montelena, Sterling Vineyards, Castello di Amorosa, the Old Faithful Geyser of California, and of course, the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.

There are so many things to do in Calistoga- hot air balloon rides, big name entertainment, Safari West wildlife preserve, the Petrified Forest, and so much more.  Calistoga is also known for its spa treatments with mud baths and natural springs. It’s the perfect place to have a romantic getaway, or have a girls weekend!

Outdoor Activities

  • The Calistoga Community Pool will re-open for the 2010 swimming season on May 15th and stays open to cool off the whole family through September 6. For more information, pleae call (707) 942-2846.
  • Golfers have several nearby options including Napa’s Silverado Country Club, which they’ll recognize from many nationally-televised professional golf tournaments, as well as Calistoga’s 9-hole Municipal Course.
  • Cycling enthusiasts flock to the area for its miles of country roads that wine through some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes. There are also bike paths along the Napa River and world-class mountain biking trails in the Palisade Mountains above Calistoga. For bike rentals and guided tours, you could visit Calistoga Bike Shop, Getaway Adventures, and LifeCyclie Adventures.
  • History and architecture buffs will find treausres on foot in Calistoga, from the 1874 Victorian known as the Elmsto the original Brannan Resort cottages built in 1862 which are sprinkled around town. Two other locations you shouldn’t miss: The Sharpsteen Museum, which displays beautiful and fascinating artifacts from Calistoga’s earliest days, including baskets made by the Wappo Indians, the area’s native people;and Pioneer Cemetery on Highway 29, the historic and peaceful resting place of many imporant Calistogans.

So we encourage you to visit Calistoga when you’re in the area! Have fun!

Passport To Dry Creek Valley

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Is just a few days away! I’m sure most of you are just as excited as we are. We are actually almost fully booked for this week, so if you’re still looking for a place to stay, feel free to give us a call and we’d love to help you out. The following vacation homes are still available for Passport Weekend.

Retreat At Dry Creek Valley

Calistoga Cottage

Chef’s Retreat

Starling’s Rest

Zen Breezes

Casa de la Luna

We have a few reminders for Passport weekend, so please take the time to read the following:

– No one under 21 is allowed in this event- Please be prepared to show your identification card and have it handy at all times.

– Healdsburg is a very dog friendly town, however, for this weekend, dogs and other pets will not be allowed in this event as there will be a lot of foot traffic, and most wineries will also be serving food.

– Passport activities start at 11:0AM and check-ins start at 10:45AM. Please do not arrive before 10:45AM.

– Attendees must pick up their Passports from their starting winery. Do not attempt to pick up Passports for attendees who are not present.

– Show Passports before entering Passport areas.

– Wear ID bracelets on wrist.

– Carry identification.

– The Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley reserves the right to revoke the Passports of any attendees who by their actions pose a danger to themselves, other attendees, winery personnel or property.

– Not all wineries can accomodate buses and limousines. Please check with every winery listing for restrictions.

Here’s a list of suggestions by the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley:

– No fragrances- to enhance your enjoyment of the wines of Dry Creek Valley, they ask you to refrain from wearing perfume, colognes, aftershaves, or lotions. Fragrances can overwhelm the aromas and taste of the wine for you and the people around you.

– Drink responsibly.

– Drive carefully- most roads in Dry Creek and West Dry Creek Road are very narrow and have blind corners. West Dry Creek Road is extremely narrow, so please drive slow. You can read more about wine country driving here.

Have fun and be safe!

Visit Quivira This Weekend!

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Quivira, located in West Dry Creek, is one of my favorite wineries here in Healdsburg. They will be serving their newest releases in the Tasting Room this weekend, April 17th and 18th from 11:00AM to 5:00PM and they will waive your tasting fee. Now is the best time to try these new vintages and stock up your cellar before they are gone!

2008 Grenache, Wine Creek Ranch $26/btl
2007 Zinfandel, Anderson Ranch $34/btl
2007 Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre, Wine Creek Ranch $28/btl
2007 Syrah, Wine Creek Ranch $28/btl

This is the perfect time to visit Quivira and explore their organic vegetable garden and see their chickens, and taste their amazing wine! This experience will indeed be memorable, so we highly encourage you to bring your friends and visit! For more information, please visit Quivira’s website.

See you there!

Tasty Tax Relief

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Join the Sonoma County Lodging Association on Thursday, April 15 at 5:30PM at the Vintners Inn Event Center in Santa Rosa for a unique event that partners high school students with local chefs for an entertaining evening of good value- with a tasty appetizer competition, amazing travel opportunities and down right good fun on Tax Day! A benefit for seven high school culinary arts programs, this year’s gastronomic adventure will also honor Sonoma County’s four Michelin Rated Restaurants- Cyrus, Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant, Madrona Manor, and Santé at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn.

Tired of all the talk about taxes and the economy? Come out and enjoy some Tasty Tax Relief. Each school has been paired with an executive ched and together they will conceive, source, prepare and serve delectable appetizers in hopes of winning the coveted “People’s Choice Award”. Guests will vote for their appetizer featuring local ingredients.

  • Casa Grande High and Sheraton/Tolay Chef Danny Mai
  • El Molino High and Village Inn Restaurant Chef John Crespo
  • Healdsburg High and Hotel Healdsburg/Dry Creek Kitchen Chef Justin Valette
  • Maria Carrillo High and Hilton/Nectar Restaurant Chef Rene Jakushak
  • Piner High and Hyatt Vineyard Creek/Brasserie Chef Richard Whipple
  • Sonoma Valley High and Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn/Santé Chef Robert Champagne and Bruno Tison
  •  Windsor High and Doubletree/Bacchus Restaurant Chef Dan Nolan

Following the appetizer reception, Vintners Inn Executive Chef Thomas Schmidt will put his wealth of knowledge to work and present you with a dinner that is sure to stimulate your taste buds!

Be sure to bring your low interest credit card or check book to take advantage of some of the best travel deals around. Chefs of Tomorrow offers live and silent auction items like no other auction- travel excursions, day trips, overnight stays, special bottles of wine and more. Can’t wait to attend the event? A sampling of the auction items will be offered online before the event for bidding and purchase at www.chefsoftomorrow.org

FIGHT BACK on Tax Day and Enjoy some Tasty Tax Relief! Advance ticket purchase required. Tickets are $70 each if purchased by April 1, and $80 after. Reserved tables for 10 are also available. With each ticket purchase enter to win a two night stay for two at the Hilton San Francisco. Buy tickets online at http://www.chefsoftomorrow.org. For more information or to be a sponsor, call (707) 523-3728.

One More Week Till Barrel Tasting!

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Guess what? 32nd Annual Barrel Tasting weekend is just a week away! Over 100 wineries will be joining this event, one of which just may be your favorite winery here in Healdsburg! There are a lot of great tips and reminders for this event, and you may visit this link for more information http://www.wineroad.com/annualevents/3 Barrel Tasting will take place on March 6-7 and March 13-14 from 11:00AM-4:00PM on both days.

Almost all our vacation homes are near wineries that are participating in this event, so we encourage you to look at our vacation homes to see if you’d like to stay with us.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Zinvitational at Amphora Winery

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

On Saturday, February 20th, Amphora Winery will have its very first annual Zinfandel tasting, from the barrel, bottle and from the library. This is going to be a fun event- free for wine club members, and only $10 per person for non-members, a very reasonable price!

Amphora Winery is located at 4791 Dry Creek Road in Healdsburg. For more information, please visit their website.

We have a few vacation homes on West Dry Creek- very convenient access to Amphora Winery! So if you’d like to book with us or if you need recommendations on where to eat after having all that Zin, feel free to give us a call! We’d love to help!

See you there!