Posts Tagged ‘healdsburg’

“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!

Put Yourself in Someone Else’ Shoes

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

It’s not uncommon today to be quick to judge, complain, and voice our opinions of the lack of service we feel we should get.

Please take a moment to put yourself in someone else’s  shoes.  In the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People written by Stephen Covey, he talks about a story of a man taking the bus home with his 2 children.  The children are becoming more and more noisey, and in fact become quite a nuisance.  Finally a man speaks up to him and says “can’t you do something about your kids?”  The father says “Yes, I suppose I should, but their mother just passed away.  We’re coming back from the hospital and they don’t know how to take it.”

Doesn’t this story put a whole different perspective on an inconvenience?

We just experienced someone who ‘yelped’ one of our staff because of what they felt to be a lack of professionalism or service.  In fact this employee is very genuine, good hearted and patient.  This employee can get confused when presented with too many options, or when a potential guest or tenant doesn’t know what they want and are needing a deep level of service.  This person tries very hard, and processes information slower than average.

We expect people to be ‘right on the ball’ and move as quickly as we do, and when it doesn’t happen we get impatient and angry.

Remember that the person with whom you’re dealing may have had head injury, trauma from the war, or just a very bad day.  Let’s try and remember we’re all part of this together, and have a little patience when the car in front of you, driven by an older couple, doesn’t go as fast as you think they should.  Isn’t life too short for all that anger?

Sonoma County Vacation Regulations

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

This is one of several updates to all guests in all areas considering vacation rental stays in Sonoma County.  The PRMD department (permits) is making moves to make vacation rentals restricted and we believe eventually illegal in Sonoma County.  This means a traveler’s choice is limited to B & B’s, hotels, campgrounds and RV parks — no more houses — a real limitation for families.

At the root of this movement is Sonoma Valley, which has two sensative areas, one on Hoff Road and the other in Sobre Vista.  Apparently the noise and complaints were so out of hand that Supervisor Valerie Brown was called at night with complaints from the neighbors.  Upon looking into this further, however you will find hyper sensitive neighbors, blocking driveways, screaming at guests, and even installing security cameras to ‘catch’ illegal activity (not drugs mind your or not noisey parties, but things like excess vehicles, swimming in the pool after 10 p.m. and other ‘offenses’ along this venue).  One neighbor even complained to the Board of Supervisors about a wedding coming up in a month with 100 people and invited them to come look.  It turned out that the wedding was an owners best friend, not even a vacation rental guest.

The Press Democrat published an article on vacation rentals which sung the praises of these complaints, and painted a picture of out of control parties, weddings, events, thievery, etc.  This simply isn’t true.  Of over 800 noise complaints in all of Sonoma County (not just vacation rentals, but ALL noise complaints), only 30 were in sonoma valley, and almost none in the coastal or river areas.  That’s for a whole year mind you, and of those, a handful were for vacation rental.

Homes that are managed well either by a mangement company like Healsburg Property Management or Sonoma County Vacations, or a single homeowner who is actively involved with their rental typically do not have the problem, rather it’s the owner who throws up their product on VRBO and let it rip!

We are working with the board of supervisors and the tot board, and the PRMD and have established a code of conduct for both vacation rental guests and owners, to respect quiet time, neighbors, cars parked in the area, trash pick up, etc.  In the 20 years I’ve been doing this, I’ve never had theft at the home or in the area, and our guests have quieted down when called.  Generally it’s first night excitement in being all together, not to be unruley or difficult to neighbors.

It’s further been discussed that folks come from out of the area and don’t give a damn what they do when they’re here.  That’s simply not true.  As a rule of thumb we’ve not only had respectful guests, but they’ve often participated in charity events, come to live here, helped support our communities financially and even bought a 2nd home themselves.

Please write the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and explain how you’ve handled yourselves during past stays, taken care of the home, been respectful of the neighbors, etc.  If you don’t want to see vacation rentals go away, it’s very important!!!  The Supervisors do listen!

Talk about a job!

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Here’s what property managers have to do on occasion.  We have a property coming vacant and need to get the listing posted online per our owner contract and advertising agreement, however the current tenant has changed locks, and doesn’t want any showings.  So the locksmith is called, notice needs to be posted, just to get into the owner’s own home.  Even taking a photo is a challenge sometimes, as Marissa Giampaoli can tell you, squeezing in between bushes to get just the right angle, trying her best not to interfere with the tenants!  Geez!  Great to work in California sometimes, isn’t it?

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!

Farmers Market has started in Healdsburg!!

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Don’t forget to stop by the plaza on Tuesdays 4pm to 6:30pm, and Saturday’s 9am to 12pm noon.  This wonderful farmers market offers a wide variety of stands that will definitely keep you busy and entertained.  ;Just to name a few, there are fresh fruits, vegetables, organic vegetables, cheese, coffee beans, antiques, plants, flowers, clothes, jewelry, most especially local products!  Starts in May and goes until November.  Hope to bump into you there at the plaza!  Thank you very much for supporting the community.

Animals in hot weather

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

I’ll never forget when I was a little girl I thought I would give my little rabbit pet a break from the shade and confines of it’ cage.  Blackberry was her name.  She would follow me around the house, jump on my bed at night and sit in my lap.  During the day when I was at school,she stayed in a large wooden cage  my dad had built  which gave her a home of about 4 feet wide and 5 feet long.  Lots of room, with fresh bedding every night.  One day I thought how nice it would be to give her some air, and so I created a small enclosure in the sun for her and a small bowl of water.  Thinking everything was grand I left to play and 2 hours later I came back to find she had died.  It took a long time to get over it.

The next few days is supposed to be a heater, approaching 100 degrees.  Regardless of the temperature, pets, especially rabbits,  can overheat easily.  Make sure there is shade, and plenty of water for your pets.

The 11th Annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival 5/29 to 6/7/09

Saturday, May 9th, 2009
The Healdsburg Jazz Festival is an event you have to experience if you’re visiting Sonoma County! The spectacular organization has been around for 11 years, and it continues to gain recognition and popularity as the years go by. It’s a refreshing experience to be around people, young and old, come together and simply live life through music!
The Healdsburg Jazz Festival is a 10-day festival comprised of highly gifted and renowned jazz musicians who each bring their own flavor to the event. This wonderful experience will be held in  a few boutique restaurants and wineries, the Raven Theater and Hotel Healdsburg. The best thing about this festival is that it is open to the public!
The 11th Annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival begins on May 29 through June 07, 2009.
For more information or to show support for this non-profit organization, please visit

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!