Posts Tagged ‘Dry Creek Valley’

The Vineman

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

About 2,000 athletes participated in the Vineman, which included a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run last weekend July 19, 2009

It was an extremely warm day, with runners talking about being ‘cooked’, and marred by a falling oak tree which injured some cyclists.  The event is huge, drawing participants from all areas of the state and country.  For entry form and info, see:

For those interested in the course, please see below, and if you need lodging for next year, please see for some great choices.

Race Course

Swim Course Details:

The Vineman Ironman 70.3 swim is staged at Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville, California. The swim takes place in the Russian River. Groups of 75-150 swimmers at a time will start in 8 minute intervals beginning at 6:30 A.M. Water temperatures should be between 72 and 74 degrees; wetsuits will be allowed as this falls within USA Triathlon guidelines.

The swim course is an out & back course which starts in front of the dam at Johnson’s Beach and proceeds upstream stream to the turn-around point. Swimmers will keep the swim buoys on their left-hand side for the entire swim. A neutral area, which is marked with buoys, where there are no swimmers will separate the swimmers on the outbound and return legs of the swim. The swim course, which averages between 4 and 7 feet in depth, will be monitored by lifeguards in kayaks. The swim course will remain open for one hour and 15 minutes after the last wave of swimmers begins. Click here for the course map.

Between the Russian River being dammed in a number of locations near Guerneville and the fact that it almost never rains in Sonoma County between June 1st and October 15th, there is very little current in the river during this time period. Under typical conditions, a 25-minute mile swimmer should expect it to take about one minute longer to make it to the turn-around point (swimming against the stream) than it would to return back to the swim finish from the turn-around (swimming with the current.)

The dam at Johnson’s Beach is a seasonal dam which is up only in the summer months. The dam is scheduled to be in place by June 20th and will remain in the river until after Labor Day.

Johnson’s Beach has been a favorite summertime spot in Sonoma County for decades. The beauty of the redwoods which line the banks of the Russian River, the serenity of the flowing river, and the down-to-earth people who run Johnson’s Beach and Resort make it a truly special place. The concession stand at Johnson’s Beach is open daily and is famous for its giant draft beers and its fresh grilled hamburgers.

Bike Course Details:

The bike portion of the Vineman Ironman 70.3 is simply a great course. It is challenging, but not too difficult. Its many rolling hills and curves are technically demanding. It has 1600 feet of climbing, a 385 foot climb on Chalk Hill, which is enough of a challenge because of the location. Its comes at 45 miles into the ride to keep you honest in your training and rave pacing. But most of all the course is extremely beautiful, passing endless miles of vineyards and dozens of wineries.

The bike begins at Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville and finishes at Windsor High School (approximately 15 miles away from its starting point). Aid stations are located at mile 18, 29, 40 and will be serving water, Gatorade Endurance Formula, and PowerBars. NOTE: Gatorade Endurance Formula contains a unique five-electrolyte blend including nearly twice the sodium (200mg) and three times the potassium (90mg) of Gatorade Thirst Quencher as well as calcium, magnesium, and chloride to help you better replace what you lose in sweat during longer and more intense active occasions.

The gently rolling hills are challenging, but not overwhelming. The roads are lightly traveled and will be intensely marshaled by USAT officials.

Air temperatures generally range from the low-to-mid 50s early in the morning to daytime highs between 80 and 95 degrees.

Bike Course Turn by Turn Description:

Click here for the course map

Cyclists leave Guerneville on River Road heading east (toward Highway 101) and proceed 5 miles to Sunset Avenue
– RIGHT on to Sunset & underneath River Road
– RIGHT on to Westside Road
– LEFT on to Kinley Road
– LEFT on to Dry Creek Road
– RIGHT on to Canyon Road
– RIGHT on to CA 128 into Geyserville
– LEFT to stay on CA 128 in Geyserville
– RIGHT on to Chalk Hill Road
– LEFT on to Pleasant Road which turns into Faught Road
– RIGHT on to Shiloh Rd
– LEFT on to Old Redwood HWY
– RIGHT on to Fulton Rd
– RIGHT on to Airpoort Boulevard
– RIGHT on to Skylane Boulevard
– LEFT on to Shiloh Road
– RIGHT on to Windsor Road to Windsor High School
Cyclists will TURN LEFT to enter the south parking lot at Windsor High School to finish the bike portion of the event. The transition area will be located on the grassy field behind the school.

Run Course Details:

The Vineman Ironman 70.3 13.1 mile run course starts and finishes at Windsor High School. Aid stations are located approximately each mile on the run course and will be serving: Gatorade Endurance Formula, water, cola, PowerBar Gel, assorted fruit, & cookies

The run course starts at Windsor High School and takes athletes to the La Crema Winery on an out and back course. The run course will be open for eight hours after the last wave of swimmers begins.

Run Course Turn by Turn Directions:

This is an out and back course. The run will start behind Windsor High School and exit the school at the south entrance turning:
RIGHT on Windsor Rd.
RIGHT on Reiman Rd.
LEFT on Starr Road
LEFT on to Markwest Station Road
RIGHT on to Slusser Road
LEFT on to Laughlin Road which you will follow to the entrance of the La Crema Winery where you will enter the La Crema winery and complete a loop on their property. From this point the runners will follow the same course back to the High School. The finish line is located behind the school on the large grassy field.
The swim takes place in the Russian River, the • A falling oak tree injured three riders, including one man who broke his back, delaying the race for at least 15 minutes.
• Some areas of Sonoma County topped 100 degrees Sunday. One participant said of the final leg: “The run just cooked you.”


Thursday, July 16th, 2009

This is for vacation rental guests, or those guests considering vacation rental.

A vacation rental home is not a place to hold an event, such as wedding, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, after reception get together, bachelor/bachelorette party, et cetera.  A home is just that — a place to sleep, eat, talk, sit, play and congregate for the, and this is important — FOR THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE THE HOME ACCOMMODATES on an overnight basis.

It’s precisely the abuse of this definition that has the Sonoma County Planning, Permit and Resources Department considering language to restrict vacation rentals.  The Board of supervisors have heard, loud and very clearly, from neighbors who are tired of the excess # of cars, trash and noise in their neighborhoods from the abuse of vacation rental accommodations.

When you rent a vacation home:

1.  Only the # of guests that the home accommodates are allowed on the premises.  Any excess, without prior written consent of either the management or owner is a violation and illegal.  You could be asked to immediately vacate the premises,  and lose any security deposit that you have;

2.  Most homes have neighbors, and whether the neighbors are 50 feet away or 5 acres away, sound carries.  Be respectful that you are renting a home in an area that they live full time.  They don’t come home to relax on the weekend to have to put up with excessive noise and nuisance.  Again, this can and should result in loss of security deposit and your vacating the premises.

3.  Trash is to be put in garbage cans.  If you have excessive trash, it needs to be bagged and kept in a garage or inside the gates/fence so that it’s not an eyesore and that animals don’t get into it — most homes are in the country and exposed to opossums, raccoons, rats, and other critters that love to tear into garbage.

4.  Cars — Our contracts stipulate that only the # of cars registered to the overnight guests shall be allowed at the property.  Again, if there are more, this is a violation.  Please be considerate of neighbors’ right of way!  They have to go back and forth from and to their homes — they’re not on vacation.  You wouldn’t like them clogging up your neighborhood with their friends, please give them the same consideration.

Ex-winery manager starts wine, golf tour company

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

By D. Ashley Furness, Business Journal Staff Reporter

Greg Anderson, former Kendall Jackson project manager, launched a wine and golf specialty tours concept called Golf Vino.  Wine infused golf tours offers customized trips of 10-15 people, including visits to exclusive golf clubs in Sonoma and Napa, and behind the scenes tours of one, several of all of Golf Vino’s nine winery partners.  Private Vineyard tours include those with Matanzas Creek, Verite, Arrowood, Atalon, Stonestreet, Freemark Abbey, Cardinale, Hartford Family and Kendall-Jackson.

“Dry Creek Valley Wineries”

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

“Dry Creek Valley Wineries”

There are wineries in the Dry Creek Valley that are hidden treasures. Wilson Winery, Mauritson, Amista, Dry Creek Winery, Passalacqua, Michel-Schlumberger, Lambert Bridge and Quivira are definitely worth visiting if you’re in town! These wineries are gaining even more recognition over the years, and spending a weekend driving along Dry Creek Road in Healdsburg for wine tasting (with a designated driver, of course) will definitely be fun and memorable. Do bring your camera for this trip because the views of the valley are absolutely stunning! You will always remember Dry Creek Valley after this trip!

Also, if you get hungry and decide to take a break from wine tasting, you can stop by the Dry Creek General Store for drinks, chips, sandwiches, and salads. It’s a great store with a unique atmosphere, and is often frequented by a lot of people during weekends. It also has picnic tables in the front area for you to enjoy, just before you move on to your next destination.

Have fun discovering Dry Creek Valley!

Loving Lavender

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

“Loving Lavender”

Did you know that Sonoma County is also known for its vast and beautiful lavender fields? Yup, that’s right! Lavender flowers and its oil have been widely used over the years– from potpourri, confetti, herbalism and in food– and there are a number of lavender gardens here that you will surely enjoy!

And, if you love wine and lavender, why not enjoy both in one day? Matanzas Creek Winery will be holding its 13th Annual Days of Wine and Lavender on June 27th, 2009 from 1:00PM-4:00PM. This event will have a live band and a bocce ball court waiting for you and your friends, and of course, food and wine pairing!  Please visit for more information. See you there!

Lunch or Last Minute Picnic on the Run?!

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

If you are in Healdsburg, you are in the perfect place for a last minute picnic!  There are over a dozens tasting rooms within the plaza area that you can taste, then buy a bottle of wine to go.  Your best bets for a delicious gourmet sandwich, salad, even cheese would be to stop by either the Oakville Grocery (plaza area), Costeaux’s French Bakery (plaza area), the Dry Creek General Store (dry creek road, at lambert bridge), or the Jimtown Store (hwy 128, hbg).  There are several wineries that have picnic tables for you to use at your convenience.  Some even will allow you to bring along your four legged best friend!  Feel free to ask any of us in the office for advice on where to go or what we recommend.  Of course we can provide directions and maps to help guide you there safely.  So don’t be shy and feel free to ask us, we can definitely find the perfect spot for your picnic in the wine country!

Very Dog-Friendly, Sonoma County

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Will you be visiting Sonoma County soon, and you don’t want to leave your four-legged best friend behind? No problem!

Various establishments in Sonoma County understand you and your dog’s needs, and there are plenty of activities within the county that are dog friendly. I certainly understand how hard it is to leave your pet dog home alone, as I am a dog owner as well. I understand how important it is to be able to include your pet dog in your plans, and we’d like to share a few options you might like to consider as you head up to Sonoma County…

There are a number of dog-friendly wineries. A few wineries out here have canine companions to greet guests with a big smile as they arrive! These friendly creatures will charm you with their cute and friendly demeanor, and all they ask is that you enjoy your stay at their humble abode! If you will be in the Healdsburg area, we highly recommend that you visit Foppiano Vineyards, Forth Vineyards, Mutt Lynch Winery and Lambert Bridge Winery. There’s a wonderful picnic area with umbrellas at Lambert Bridge Winery, so don’t forget to bring food and a few treats for your doggy!

If you would like to dine at Healdsburg Plaza, there are a few restaurants that will allow you to bring your pet dog with you as long as you dine in their outdoor area. Sitting at the outdoor area is ideal when it’s sunny, and it’s a great way to experience and appreciate the beauty of this small town. There are always a lot of people walking their dogs at the plaza, so your pet will surely make a friend or two.

If you would just like to take your dog to the park, The Sonoma County Regional Parks Department allows dogs in all the county’s parks, excluding Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach, Spring Lake Regional Park and the hiking trails at Shiloh Regional Park. Just a reminder, your pets must always be on a leash for safety, and please don’t forget to pick up after them as well.

Lastly, we do have several vacation home rentals that can accommodate your pet, so please check with our Healdsburg Property Mgmt. and/or Sonoma County Vacations reservations/sales team for more information and details.


Hope to see you all soon…Enjoy!


Hot Air Balloon over the Wine Country

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Create a lifetime memory on a Hot Air Balloon over the Wine Country!

Perfect for proposals, anniversaries, weddings, or the ultimate birthday adventure!  Up and Away Ballooning is FAA-certified.  They can accommodate families, groups, even just couples.  Flights last about one hour and can range from 3 to 10 miles depending on wind currents.  The balloon ride is just half of your special morning because all fares include and incredible gourmet champagne brunch nearby at the Kendall-Jackson Winery.  After brunch, a hearty toast is made to all new aeronauts, a personalized flight certificate, and a cloisonné pin of the balloon in which you flew.  Reserved passengers and crew meet at the Sonoma County Airport in Windsor.

For more info: call 707-836-0171 or toll free 800-711-2998.  Their website is

Spring is creeping up on us here in Healdsburg!

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

The weather has been beautiful the last few days warm and the spring breeze is blowing. It is perfect outdoor weather for Driving especially through the vineyards where the mustard flowers are blooming and it is a vibrant yellow against the lush green from the winter rains. We have wonderful weather for the spring some rainy days but plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures!

Biking Healdsburg

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

A great bicycle route in the Healdsburg countryside begins in the Dry Creek Valley.  You can start on either side, West Dry Creek Road, or Dry Creek Road, or in the middle for a shorter loop at Lambert Bridge.  There are multiple wineries along the way, Farm Trails, picnic and view spots, and Dry Creek Store where you can pick up fabulous lunch or breakfast delights.  At the start of Dry Creek Road is Big John’s supermarket offering fresh product, cheese, meats, deli, and more. About 2 miles in begins the route in earnest where Lytton Springs can take you in another direction entirely, and wineries such as Wilson, Nalle, Mauritson, Dry Creek offer their hospitality to our visitors.  Now either cut over Lambert Bridge and back toward town on West Dry Creek Road, and pass by Lambert Bridge, Everett Ridge and Alderbrook, or continue to Yoakim Bridge Road and cut over to West Dry Creek Road.  This route takes you passed Preston, Bella Wine Caves, Quivara, Rafanelli, Raymond Burr, and many more.  You might even meet a new friend along the way, as there are many bike enthusiasts who love this route.  It’s a winner!