Archive for the ‘Local favorites’ Category

Wine & Lavender Festival At Matanzas Creek Winery

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

 

 

This Saturday, June 26th, Matanzas Creek will have their 14th Annual Days of Wine and Lavender Festival from 1:00PM-4:00PM. This is a very special event that people from all over the country attend, and we highly recommend that you join the festival if you’ll be in wine country this weekend! If you love lavender as much as we do, this is the perfect event for you.

The weather will be warm and sunny on Saturday- the perfect setting to view the beautiful lavender fields and taste Matanzas Creek Winery’s delicious wine. There will be live music on Saturday, as well as food from the estate’s chef. There will also be jeep tours of their vineyards! There will be amazing products made with lavender, so it’ll be perfect if you’re looking for the perfect present for your friends or family members. Who doesn’t love lavender, right? Have fun!

Photos from the Twilight Parade

Friday, May 28th, 2010

We attended the Twilight Parade yesterday and had tons of fun! It rained the whole day and it stopped just before the parade! The parade lasted for about an hour and twenty minutes, and almost everyone in Healdsburg was there with their families and friends.  It was an amazing event, and we hope you can attend the Country Fair while you’re spending Memorial Day Weekend here in Healdsburg! Visit the Recreational Park, corner of Piper and University street- bring your family and spend a few hours looking at different animals!

Have fun!

Healdsburg Future Farmers Country Fair and Twilight Parade

Monday, May 24th, 2010

The Healdsburg Future Farmers Country Fair and Twilight Parade will take place this Thursday! This is a special event that’s special to everyone here in Healdsburg, and we sincerely hope you support this wonderful event and all the little ones who are participating! The event will start with a parade- the route runs west along Matheson Street, north along Center Street, east along Piper Street, south on Fitch street, and then east on Matheson street. The Parade will begin about 6:00PM, rain or shine!

This will be a wonderful experience for you and your family, and especially for your kids! Farming is so imporant and vital, and we hope to keep it alive for the future generations to come! We sincerely hope to see you there!

Have You Been To Quivira Winery?

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

If you haven’t, you really should. Quivira Winery is one of my favorite wineries of all time. I love their beliefs, and I love how they practice biodynamic farming. In their website, it says that the core of biodynamics is creating the healthiest soil possible. Following this farming discipline, the soil in our vineyards is closely (bordering on obsessively) monitored, ensuring that it is teaming with natural, healthy microbiotic life. Balance is essential: if we take something out, we put something back in. We feed the microbiotic life with natural, time-tested techniques. Everything we do in the vineyards is a testament to the fact that the earth under our feet is just as alive as the vines above ground.

They take care of their land and are very concerned about the environment. Not only do they make good wine, they have organic vegetables, too! In the mornings, when I pass by the winery on my way to work, I see people working on the vegetable garden as early as 6:30AM and all throughout the day. They also have chickens of different kinds, and they also have Ruby, their very cute, happy and adorable pig.

You just have to visit Quivira Winery when you’re in town- you’ll definitely be amazed! Their Rose, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Grenache is absolutely amazing- you can taste how much love was put into those grape- just simply delicate! And once you’ve tried it, I assure you you’ll be back for more.

Enjoy!

Delicious Jam

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

I came across Artisan Preserves at Quivira Winery during Passport To Dry Cry Valley. The owner, Elissa Rubin Mahon, had a table underneath an olive tree, with a basket of jam to the right, and small wooden spoons with beautiful, different colored jams carefully placed in the middle of the table for everyone to enjoy. I tried almost all the jams they had that day and left with a few bottles and I must say, they’re absolutely delicious! The jam is just so delicate, and you can just tell that they were made with so much love. I’ll definitely be getting my jam from her for now on- it’s that yummy! What I love about Elissa Rubin Mahon is that her fruit preserves and jellies strive to capture the vibrance of the fruit. They are therefore hand made in micro-batches and small quantities, so that the intimate interaction between the artisan and product are not lost. All fruits are procured from growers who believe in sustainable agriculture or gleaned from wild sources.

Making the best preserves requires using sustainably grown local fruit that is not frozen or refrigerated and is processed within a day of attaining ripeness. It is hand-cut and cooked by open kettle method without the addition of pectin, and is prepared in batches that contain no more than 7 pounds of perfectly ripened fruit. Each batch of Artisan Preserves is carefully prepared and adjusted to accommodate variation in fruit due to changing seasonal conditions. No batch of preserve can be identical because it is hand made and each picking of fruit has it’s own character. Pleasure of flavor as well as color, texture and clarity are the goal of my art. -Elissa Rubin Mahon

We highly recommend that you try Elissa’s jam. Her website is http://www.artisanpreserves.com. Happy eating!

Scenic Drive Cloverdale, CA – Mendocino, CA

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

This last week I took a scenic drive with my family to the Mendocino Coast from northern Sonoma County, Healdsburg/Cloverdale via Hwy 128.  I always forget how beautiful this drive is through Anderson Valley and the Redwoods and it only takes 1.5 hours to get to Mendocino, however it’s a beautiful day of relaxation and liesure if you treat it gently.

Begin at the Hamburger Ranch and Pasta Farm restaurant, where you can have breakfast to begin your day or a great bbq dinner on their patio to end your day.  It’s a reasonably priced, great place that’s been in business a long time, serving both locals and visitors alike.

Here you begin Hwy 128 East, heading to Yorkville Highlands.  This is a beautiful winding road, dotted with multiple wineries, gorgeous redwoods, apple orchards, vineyards, 2 state parks, a river and…you get it — a variety of settings and attractions.

Yorkville and Yorkville highlands are the first ‘civilization’ that you come to from leaving Cloverdale.  Yorkville consists of a store/deli and several wineries including Maple Creek, and Yorkville Cellars.  The store seems to be closed sometimes more than it’s open, but we’ve found that ‘regular’ hours are 9-3, M-F and longer on weekends.  Standard sandwiches and drinks can be purchased for a great picnic in upcoming Hendy Woods.  Each of these locations is attractive and offers tastings, things to do and can give you a great history of the area:

http://www.maplecreekwine.com

www.yorkvillecellars.com

www.meyerfamilycellars.com

Events in this area include 2010 Yorkville Highlands Festival on August 14, 2010, Mendocino Music Festival, Yorkville Highlands Wine Festival, Grape Stomp and BBQ on August 29th and the Mendocino County Fair in Booneville in September.

Now you’re moving on to Bonneville, which is a hub of Mendocino County and home to the fair in September.  There is a hotel, several restaurants, market and some great wineries.  My recommendation is the pinot noir,  which this area is known for, however I also love the Guwertzemeiner.   Staying as inexpensive as possible until we reach Mendocino, we like to stop at the Redwood Drive In, good for burgers and tacos, or get a sandwich at the market or deli.

Farmers Market on Saturdays

Located in the parking lot of the Boonville Hotel, in downtown Boonville, this is a good place to buy fresh fruit, vegetables, bread, plants and flowers. The market is open on Saturdays from 9:00 till noon, first part of May till the end of October.

The apple orchards and vineyards begin in ernest once you leave Booneville.  Wineries that I think have beautiful settings in addition to great wine are:

NAVARRO
5601 Hwy 128, Philo
707 895-3686

GREENWOOD RIDGE YARDS
5501 Hwy 128, Philo
707 895-2002

HUSCH
4400 Hwy 128, Philo
707 895-3216

Next is Philo.  A small town in and of itself, historically created for the beautiful redwood lumber in surrounding areas that was available.  Now it is an artsy town with a gallery or two, store, restaurant and wineries.

A great stop north of Philo is the Gowan Oak Tree Fruit stand.

Gowan’s Oak Tree
Philo, Ca
707 895-3353

This roadside garden and orchard is located 2.5 miles north of Philo on Highway 128. Open every day June-March 8 am – 6 pm, December-March 8:30 am – 5:30 pm. The Gowan’s and their ancesters, the Studebaker’s have been growing at this site for 120 years.  Jim and Jo Gowan (pictured above) are now in their mid seventies but you can still see them working at the stand. With the help of their children and grandchildren they farm 250 acres of apples and peaches plus a 25 acre vegetable garden. Here is a list of some of the fresh fruits and vegetables you will see at Gowan’s:

Fruits. Apples sixty varieties, Pears eight varieties, Peaches thirty eight varieties, apricots, berries, cherries, prunes, persimmons and plums.

Vegetables. Peas two kinds, Summer Squash six kinds, Tomatoes fourteen kinds, Cucumbers three kinds, Beans six kinds, Pototoes four kinds, Cabbage, Corn eight kinds, Peppers eight kinds, Eggplant, Winter Squash fifteen kinds, Pumpkins eight kinds.

Other items are: Indian corn, Ornamental Gourds, Strawberry Popcorn, Walnuts.

This is a year-round business but of course not all varieties are available at the same time however, fresh and frozen apple cider, fruit popsicles and dried fruit are available all year.

Now the great redwood trees begin.  There are several good camping spots if that’s your thing.  I love Paul Dimmick Campground for its swimming in the Navarro River, and beautiful campsites in the redwoods.  There’s nothing like the smell of a redwood forest for my money.  Also, beautiful though, especially to walk in, is Hendy Woods.  Nice summer camping, lots of area for kids to bike, hike and swim. This campground is about 1 hour from the coast. When the coast is fogged in lots of abalone divers camp here and commute to the coast. A nice campground in the summer heat because of the redwood canopy. Winter camping is very damp but tranquil and picturesque. The park gets 40 to 100 inches of precipitation per year creating a moist and lush environment. The Navarro River can rise dramatically to the edge of the park. Temps are mostly in the 40s to 50s. Lots of mushrooms and wildflowers.

Paul Dimmick — Located in the Navarro River Redwoods State Park at the 8 mile marker on Highway 128.
The camp has 27 sites in tall redwood trees, not much sun, but cool in the hot summer. The Navarro river is only a few feet away from all sites.
There is catch and release, in the Navarro river, with barbless hooks, during some water levels.
There is no wood gathering and no extra fee for dogs but they must be kept on a leash.
Pickup campers are OK but larger RVs will not make the turns and the parking areas are small. Take it from one who has tried, don’t take a trailer in there unless you are an expert backer and don’t mind getting a few dings in it.
There is some posion oak around so pay attention.
The flush toilets are closed during the winter but there are pit toilets all year.
Campsites are $10 in summer and $5 in winter. This includes two motor vehicles. $5 for additional motor vehicle. There is no day use fee.
This camp sometimes floods big time in wet winters. In fact it is sometimes 10 feet under water. If you plan on camping here during rainy weather keep a ear on the radio and be prepared to move. There are no picnic tables, running water and flush toilets during winter months.

Senior discount is $2 except for hike and bike sites

Next town is Navarro.  Just out of Philo you can see the Navarro River begin.  This river is beautiful!  Refreshing in summer (if you can find it — local secret — there is a great swimming hole off 128 with sandy beach.  The blue water, sand and redwood trees are striking against one another!!), good for fishing, or just sunning on the banks.  The town of Navarro has a store.  Big stands of redwoods continue until just before you reach the  coast and you can see where the big Navarro river exits to the ocean here.

Now you junction Hwy 1 where you can head south and visit Elk, Manchester, Irish Beach and Point Arena, or continue north to Albion, Little River, Mendocino and Fort Bragg.

EVENTS

*8 – 14th annual Boonville Beer Festival sponsored by the Anderson Valley Brewery. 53 or more micro brewies pour beer from 1 to 5 pm at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville. Tickets are $40 in advance, $50 at the gate and $5 for non-drinker. RV and tent camping is available at the fairgrounds, $12 for tents and or $30 for RV’s. For more information click the link or call 707 895-2337.

Anderson Valley Garden VIP tour with Extra Special Bonus Garden and wine reception. 12 pm – 6 pm. See entry below for details on the tour.

No one knows if they are doing it this year! Anderson Valley Garden Tour 10 am – 5 pm. Public tour of 5 gardens, some never before open to the public, located along the 128 corridor between Yorkville Highlands and Philo. The gardens are between 1 and 5 acres in size. They display water features, xeriscape planting, a living roof, a tree house for adults, a Laburnum Walk, a lavender field, vegetable gardens and small orchards including one featuring multi-grafted fruit trees with local heritage varieties, a large rose garden, and several with spectacular vistas. All tickets must be purchase prior to the event. Tickets may be purchased through the Botanical Gardens’ web site www.gardenbythesea.org or in the Botanical Garden’s store located 18220 North Highway 1, Fort Bragg, CA 95437. Tickets will go on sale the beginning of April. The tour is limited to the first 400 guests. The event has been held since 2004 and always sells out. Saturday Tour: $45 per person or 2 for $80. Friday VIP tickets $125 per person. Box lunches at $15 per person are optional and paid for when purchasing tickets. Lunch ticket holders are invited to eat and visit the garden and vineyard at Goldeneye Winery near Philo. Contact person is Ry Southard 707 964-5352 ext 11

*15-17 – 13th Annual Pinot Noir Festival sponsored by Anderson Valley Winegrowers. More than 40 wineries will pour Pinot at the Boonville Fairgrounds. Local wineries will have open houses for special tastings, seminars, food pairings. Tickets are limited and sells out each year.

*16 – Pinot Party and tasting at Brutocao Cellars, 7000 Highway 128 in Philo. Free pinot testing from the barrel, music, munches and elbow rubbing. 11-4

*23 – Philo Yacht Club Regatta under the bridge on Philo Greenwood Road just off high 128. Build or buy your boat and bring it to the river at high noon. Trophies for best and fastest boats. Bring your lunch and drinks and hang out and watch the boats float or sink. It’s free and fun.

*29 through 31 – The Anderson Valley Artists’ Guild is having it’s 8th annual Artist’s Open Studio Tour all week-end. Visit the studios and workshops of 20 local artist including painters, sculptures, jewelers, funiture makers, glass blowers, letterpress printers, ceramics, photographers, etc. The tour is 3 days 11-5. Studios will be highlighted by signboards on Highway 128 as well as waving yellow banners at each studio entrance. Brochures with maps to the studios will be available at All That Good Stuff in Boonville next to the ice cream store. And of course it’s free. For further information call 707 895-2717.

Memorial Day Flea Market. This is a fund raiser for the Senior Center. In the parking lot in front of the Senior Center.

*30 – Lions Club tri-tip BBQ dinner at the Boonville Fairgrounds. 4-7:30 benefits Anderson Valley Elder Home.

*28-29 – The Anderson Valley Theater Guild’s presents the comedy “Dearly Departed” at the Grange on Highway 128, half way between Boonville and Philo. Tickets are $10 in advance. Tickets at All that good stuff in Boonville and Lemon’s Market in Philo. Tickets at the door $12 and $10 for seniors and students. The play starts at 7 pm both Friday and Saturday nights. For further information call the director Rod Basehore,  707 895-3191. (See June 4-5 for different play dates)

June

*4-5 – The Anderson Valley Theater Guild’s presents the comedy “Dearly Departed ” at the Grange on Highway 128, half way between Boonville and Philo. Tickets are $10 in advance. Tickets at All that good stuff in Boonville and Lemon’s Market in Philo. Tickets at the door $12 and $10 for seniors and students. The play starts at 7 pm both Friday and Saturday nights. For further information call the director Rod Basehore,  707 895-3191. (See May 28-29 for different play dates)

Farmers Market at the Boonville Hotel 9:45 til Noon every Saturday.

*18-19-20 – Sierra Nevada World Music Festival. A 3 Day Music and Camping Festival Featuring the Best in Reggae and World Music. Mendocino County Fairgrounds in downtown Boonville. Three days of world music. Camping.

July

Farmers Market at the Boonville Hotel 9:45 til Noon every Saturday.

*4 – Fourth of July Celebration at the Boonville Fairgrounds sponsored by the AV Education Foundation. Kids costume parade, music, food, drink, chili cook-off, huckleberry pie, and clowns.

Woolgrower’s BBQ and Sheep Dog Trails at the fairgrounds in Boonville. BBQ and live music at the Navarro Store located on the Navarro curve west of Philo. The Subdudes, a 5 piece New Orleans light rock and blue grass band will play starting at 5pm. There is a rib, steak, chicken BBQ that starts eariler. For more information call Dave at 707 895-9445

*31 – Winetasting Championships at the Greenwood Ridge Winery in Philo. Wine tasting contest for beginners and professionals. Also chocolate and cheese tasting and munches. Information call 707 895-2002

August

Farmers Market at the Boonville Hotel 9:45 til Noon every Saturday.

*14 – Boonville Airport fly-in. Mostly old planes. Small and friendly.

Lyons Club BBQ. Tri-tip and silent auction. 4:40-7:30 at the fairgrounds in downtown Boonville. $15/person benifits the Anderson Valley Ambulance.

*29 – Yorkville Highlands Wine Festival – 2 pm-7 pm. Meyer Family Cellars, Highway 128 @ mile marker 34.2 just west of Yorkville. Wine tasting of local wines, boar burgers & lamb BBQ, games, live music, silent auction, grape stomp. Tickets $40 ($50 at the gate). 707-894-9177. Proceeds benefit the Yorkville Fire Station & the Non-profit Yorkville Highlands Growers & Vintners Association.

September

Labor Day Week-End Flea Market. This is a fund raiser for the Senior Center. Located in the parking lot in front of the Senior Center.

Farmers Market at the Boonville Hotel 9:45 till Noon every Saturday

*6 – Yorkville Ice Cream Social at the Yorkville fire station. 11-4. Ice cream floats, burgers, dogs, cake walk, rummage sale, raffles, BBQed oysters, fun and games. Benefits Yorkville Fire Station and community efforts.

*17-18-19 – Mendocino County Fair, Apple Show, Rodeo, Sheep Dog Trails, Classic Car Show, Carnival, and so on, at the fairgrounds in Boonville. Fri & Sat 8-midnight, Sun 9-midnight.

California Wool and Fiber Festial. Follow the thread from the animal to the fabric. This festival is part of the Mendocino County Fair listed above.

If you’re starting in Sonoma County Wine Country, Healdsburg Property Management/Sonoma County Vacations has several vacation rental homes that begin in Cloverdale, where you can jump off and explore the Anderson Valley.  You can find them on our web site at www.SonomaCountyVacations.com, click on Vacation Rentals, All Accommodations, or use the search feature on the home page.  The names are Starling’s Rest, Beaux Reves, Jimtown House, Geyerville Vineyard Lake House, and Walden Cottage.  Each of these homes are priced differently and range from budget to moderate, and accommodate from 4-8 guests.

I hope you enjoy this drive as much as I do.  It immediately begins to help with my stress, and the smells and sounds in the redwood forest just can’t be replicated.  For an interesting and very thorough site on Anderson Valley, please see:  http://www.andersonvalley.org  — the developer of this site has done an outstanding job.

If you go through to Mendocino, don’t miss the jam and mustard shop all the way at the end of Main Street, eat lunch at the Mendocino Hotel — great and Zagat rated, have coffee and cookies at the bakery (I think on Albion Street), and don’t miss walking or viewing the Mendocino Headlands at the end of Heeser Drive.  Caves, rock formations, and gorgeous colors of the water and waves can keep you occupied forever!  My husband dove here (it needs to be a calm day!) and the water drops to 100 feet offering beautiful walls and pinnacles full of scallops.  I fished here and didn’t caught a capazoni, great eating.  A little north is McKericher State Park, and right now the seals are thick in the cove at the end of the boardwalk and are fun to watch.

The Healdsburg Jazz Festival – Tickets On Sale Now!

Friday, March 26th, 2010

The Healdsburg Jazz Festival is one of the greatest events in town. It’s one of the events that everyone just absolutely loves! People from around the US (and not just from the Bay Area) make it up to Healdsburg just to watch these live performances. This year, Charlie Haden, Ravi Coltrane, Leny Andrade, Oscar Castro-Neves, Geri Allen, Jason Moran, Bill Frissel, and Esperanza Spalding will be performing during these 10 terrific days!

June is an awesome month to visit Healdsburg. This is the beginning of the Healdsburg Farmers Market which is held every Tuesday at the plaza and on Sundays at the parking lot behind Hotel Healdsburg. On Tuesdays, there is also live music in the plaza, and a lot of people bring their picnic blankets and lay on the grass with their friends, family, and even their dogs! There is a lot of dancing involved, too, and it’s just a lot of fun.

We highly encourage you to visit Healdsburg during this time! Please take a look at our vacation homes when you get the chance, and if you have any questions, feel free to give us a call and we’d love to help you out!

If you live in Healdsburg, now is the time to volunteer, become a sponsor, or become a supporter! You can find the details here.

Enjoy Breakfast Cooked With Local Products

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Did you know that Sonoma County was voted #1 as “The Happiest and Healthiest Place in California”? What better way to celebrate this than to have a wonderful breakfast made with fresh, local ingredients from different farmers and growers in the county?

Sonoma County Farm Trails will have an Early Bird Breakfast Club – Luscious breakfast using seasonal local products on Friday Morning, March 19th at 8:00AM. This will be held at Hampton Inn 8937 Brooks Road, Windsor, CA. Guest speaker for this event is Kenneth Fischang, President of the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau.

Farm Trail Members can attend this event for free, and for those who aren’t members, the breakfast will be $10 per person. There will be limited seating for this event, so please reserve as soon as possible! You may call (707) 837-8896.

See you there!

 

Discover Healdsburg’s Historic Homes

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

In our opinion, Healdsburg is one of the most beautiful towns in the North Bay. We’re biased, of course, but if you’ve never been to Healdsburg, we sincerely encourage you to come visit- even just for the weekend! There’s a lot of things to do in the town of Healdsburg. You can start by walking around Healdsburg Plaza- a great place to try local wine and great food. There are a lot of small boutiques as well, perfect for doing a little shopping. During summer, the plaza holds the farmers’ market every Tuesday, and after a certain hour, a live band plays great music and everyone joins in the middle for a little dancing. Definitely an activity worth experiencing if you’re in the area.

Healdsburg is also home to a number of beautiful historic homes. The best way to explore these historic homes is by foot. You can join the Healdsburg Walking Tour- they have 1 hour or 1.5 hours tours daily starting at 9:00AM. Or, you can go out and discover on your own. Healdsburg is a small town, and it’s fairly easy to find your way back to the plaza.

We assure you that you’ll fall in love with these homes as soon as you see some of them. So, what are you waiting for? Healdsburg is waiting for you!

To All The Yoghurt Lovers Out There

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

If you love yoghurt as much as we do, we strongly encourage you to visit Snow Bunny in Healdsburg. Snow Bunny is located right at the plaza, and they have the best organic yoghurt in the county and in the Bay Area!

They have original tart, vanilla, chocolate, and tons of yummy toppings. They also have weekly flavors depending on the fruits of the season. For the Christmas season, they had eggnog yoghurt, and just last week, they had bloog orange yoghurt!

Please visit Snow Bunny when you’re in town. You’ll definitely love this cozy yoghurt shop! If you haven’t visited Healdsburg and you aren’t too into wine tasting, Snow Bunny is a great reason to visit! We have a lot of vacation homes close to town, so feel free to view our homes if you ever decide to visit!

Hear from you soon!