Posts Tagged ‘sonoma county vacations’

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

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 For more information or to be a sponsor, call (707) 523-3728.

A Few Friendly Reminders for Barrel Tasting 2010

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Here are a few friendly reminders for Barrel Tasting weekends of March 6th-7th and March 13th-14th. Be sure to read these tips before you attend these events! This is a great opportunity for you to beautiful Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys.

To those who are new to this event, we’d like to remind you that you will need to purchase the Barrel Tasting ticket to taste at any of the participating wineries, and tickets are good for one weekend only. If you do not have time to purchase tickets right now, you can purchase your entry on the Friday of each weekend at the wineries participating in this event and you will be able to enjoy three full days of Barrel Tasting.  Tickets are good for all three days of the weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) at any winery that indicates they are Barrel Tasting on Friday. Also, keep in mind that you have to wear your wristband at all times during these days. 

Absolutely no one under 21 years of age, including infants and young children. Also, please do not bring your pet dogs (or any pets) during Barrel Tasting Weekends. Wine Road requests that you please taste responsibly. You must have a designated driver at all times, no matter what happens. Wineries cannot continue to serve anyone that appears intoxicated.

Also keep in mind that Barrel Tasting is not a food or themed event. Many wineries offer “futures” on their barrel samples. This is a chance to purchase wine now, often at a discount, then come back to the winery when the wine is bottled, typically 12-18 months from now. Many wines are so limited, buying futures is your only chance to purchase them.

For the fist time, all wineries will be limited to 150 people, per weekend, for check-in. This is only for check-in. Once you check-in at the winery, you select when you place your ticket order, you can then go to any participating wineries you want. This will help spread the crowd out for check-in, rather than overwhelming a few wineries and causing long lines at check-in. Every winery would like to have an equal number of folks at check-in.

Once a winery has sold 150 tickets (per weekend) their name will be removed from the ticket order page. If you are attending with a group of people – make sure you all order at the same time, or you may not be able to all check-in at the same location. Again – once a winery reaches 150 tickets (per weekend) their name will be removed and you will not be able to select them for check-in.

When buying at the door, each person in the party must be present. The winery staff will need to check each person’s ID to confirm they are at least 21 years old, then attach your event wristband. Wristbands and glasses are not handed out to one person buying for the group. In the rare case that you break your wine glass, they would gladly it, but lost or misplaced glasses are $5.00 to replace.

Almost all our vacation homes are very near the wineries participating in this event, so we encourage you to please take a look at our website.

For more information on Barrel Tasting Event 2010, please visit this Wine Road. Have fun, be safe, and be responsible! Thank you very much!

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 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!

Say Hello To All The Babies At Safari West

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

You’ll find Safari West right in the heart of California’s wine country, in the field of wheat-colored grass, slopes of rolling green hills is where you will find the essence and spirit of Africa. On their website, Safari West is described as, Not a zoo…not a drive through park…this is the home of Nancy and Peter Lang.Come through our gate and be transported into an exotic, new world. A captivating tapestry of raw sounds and earthy smells; a magic place with the sights and sounds of the Serengeti where the air is filled with melodious chirps from the aviary, squawking calls from gregarious parrots, and a occasional lemur screech. An African style oasis where guests experience a rare sense of freedom and gain renewed inspiration.

Spring is just around the corner, and Safari West has been blessed with a lot of new babies! This is the most magical and perfect time to visit them, especially if you go with your family. They will have a special lodging rate of $150 for double occupancy on most Sundays through Thursdays in March and April excluding holidays. You will have the chance to stay in a luxury safari tent and dine on Sonoma Serengeti.

We have a number of vacation homes near Safari West such as Kenwood Hillside Estate, Sonoma Siesta, Mark West Retreat, Casa de la Luna and a lot more.

For more information, please visit Safari West’s website. Have fun!

Sonoma County Restaurant Week Starts Today!

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Sonoma County Restaurant begins today! This is the perfect opportunity to try different restaurants at an affordable price. Restaurants participating in this event will have a three course dinner for $19, $29, or $39. If you’ll be in Healdsburg this week, we’d like to share with you the menus of participating restaurants.

For $19

  • Affronti Wine Bar & Restaurant will be serving seasonal soup or mixed greens salad for first course. Second course, a choice of local fish en papiote or house-made sausage. Third course, a sundae with Cabernet chocolate sauce and cinnamon pine nuts.
  • Bovolo’s first course will be black pig salumi antipasti. Second course, Johnny’s hand thrown pizza. Third  course, housemade gelato.
  • Healdsburg Bar & Grill first course will be a choice of roast beet salad or cup of soup. Choices for second couse- burger, falafel, chicken sandwich, or pulled pork sandwich. Third course is a choice of apple bread pudding or chocolate brownie surprise.

For $29

  • Barndiva will be serving butter leaf lettuce salad for their first course. Second course will be a choice of Sonoma County cripsy leg duck confit or roasted hen of the woods mushroom. Third course will be a warm gingerbread spiced cake, caramel ice cream, frosted cranberries and candied ginger.
  • A Divine Affair will be serving a choice of dueling goat cheese, housemade cheve, archadinha’s capricious, or arugula and cranberry bean salad. Second course is a choice of chicken and dumplings or hand cut tagliatelle pasta. Third course will be a choice of chocolate and coconut pot de crème or warm persimmon bread pudding.
  • Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar first choice will be a choice of hearts of romaine, tuna tartar, or flash fried calamari. Second course will be a choice of uni and bay scallop ‘macaroni’, marinated chicken skewer or almond crusted market fish. Third course will be a chocie of warm chocolate cake, lemon pudding cake, or warm chocolate chunk banana bread pudding.
  • Zin Restaurant & Wine Bar will be serving a eastside farm deviled egg with zin bacon prior to the first course. First course will be a choice of soup de jour or mixed greens. Second course will be a choice of nightly blue plate special, 1/2 herb roasted rocky jr. chicken & barley risotto, or tripoline pasta. Third course will be a choice of old fashioned chocolate and peanut butter layer cake, sweet potato pecan pie with bourbon crème fraiche, or a trio of housemade ice cream.

For $39

  • Dry Creek Kitchen’s first course is a choice of local organic Sonoma County greens or roasted red beet soup. Second course will be a choice of mushroom crusted trip tip steak or a crispy skinned pacific red snapper. Third course will be chocolate fondant or citrus napoleon.
  • Relish Culinary will be serving dukka for first course. Second course will be pork leg cooked in three ways. Third course will be blue cheese panna cotta.

We hope you have a lot of fun dining out with your friends and family! Do let us know which restaurants you’ve tried! For a list of restaurants in Sonoma County participating in Sonoma County Restaurant Week, please visit this website.


Cheese, Chocolate, and Cabernet

Friday, February 19th, 2010

It can’t get any better than that! Come celebrate decadent cheese, chocolate, and cabernet at Lambert Bridge on Saturday, March 27th! Lambert Bridge is a beautiful winery in West Dry Creek Road with a wonderful picnic area. The sun should be out in March, so this will be the perfect opportunity to experience wine country with family and friends.

A beautiful selection of artisan cheeses and a decadent selection of chocolates are flawlessly paired with Lambert Bridge’s signature Cabernet Sauvignon. They will showcase their 2005 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, and their new 2006 Limited Release Cabernet Sauvignon.

For more information on this event, please visit or call 707-431-4670.

32nd Annual Barrel Tasting

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

This year’s 32nd Annual Barrel Tasting weekend is just a few weeks away! Barrel Tasting will take place on March 6-7 and March 13-14 from 11:00AM-4:00PM on both days.

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

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

Please don’t hestitate to give us a call if you have any questions on where to eat and other activities to do during these two weekends! We’re here to help you!

A Great Article From The Press Democrat

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Hi everyone! We just wanted to share with you a wonderful article from The Press Democrat that explains why you should visit Sonoma County!

Happiest place in California
Study: Sonoma County ranks first in state, fifth in nation for well-being


Do you have a smile on your face and a little extra pep in your step? Well, so does your neighbor.

A massive study released Monday determined that people in Sonoma County are happier and healthier than anywhere else in California — and ranked fifth overall in the nation.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, based on interviews with more than 353,000 Americans during 2009, asked people to assess their jobs, finances, health habits, mental attitudes and communities.

People in Sonoma County assessed themselves as having especially healthy behavior: meaning they ate healthy, consumed fruits and vegetables every week, exercised weekly and didn’t smoke.

The Boulder, Colo., area ranked first in the nation overall. Also ranking higher than Santa Rosa overall were Grand Haven, Mich., Honolulu, and Provo, Utah.

Three other California areas ranked in the top 10: Santa Barbara, San Jose and Thousand Oaks.
At the bottom of the list was the area of Huntington, W. Va. Overall, the Southern states ranked worse than other regions.

Gallup surveyed 753 people in Sonoma County. The survey consisted of 42 questions that indexed results into five categories: life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behavior, and basic access to things such as clean water, safe neighborhoods, fruits and vegeta-bles, and health care.

Sonoma County ranked fifth overall in healthy behavior and 16th in work experience, which measures job satisfaction. It ranked 32nd in physical health and 33rd in emotional health.
You can reach Staff Writer Nathan Halverson at 703-1577 or


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!

Cloverdale Citrus Fair

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

If you’re in Sonoma County, please don’t forget to stop by the Cloverdale Citrus Fair! February 12th to the 15th! For more information, please visit this website.