Sonoma County Tourism Program

May 2003

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San Luis Obispo
The Hot Springs of San Luis Obispo
Hopland Inn
In Mendocino's Wine Country
Battle of the Appellations
Brannan's Grill Hosts the April BOA!
Wine Country Recipe
Porcini Crusted Rack of Lamb
Wine Tasting Recommendation
Rutherford Hill Winery
Wine Country Lodging Recommendation
Mill Rose Inn Bed and Breakfast
Wine Country Events
Things to Do in Wine Country Drawing
Win a Wine Country Getaway Adventure!

From all of us at FreeRun - Thank you for using our sites!
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Goosecross Cellars
"Voted one of the friendliest wineries in Napa Valley"

Goosecross Cellars - Voted one of the friendliest wineries in Napa Valley Intimidated by a limited knowledge of wine? There's no need to worry when you visit Goosecross Cellars, a friendly, family operated micro-winery in Yountville.

Goosecross is a fun and relaxed place to experience wine. Visitors to the Old English style estate can feel the soil, touch the vines, witness production and meet the friendly and knowledgeable family and staff.

Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel and more!

Visit our tasting room!
1119 State Lane - Yountville, CA

Open daily by prior appointment
10am - 4pm
(707) 944-1986



Raford House
"A Victorian Idyll" - San Francisco Magazine

Raford House - A Victorian Idyll as quoted by San Francisco Magazine Raford House Bed & Breakfast Inn, a Sonoma County Historical Landmark, is a place of quiet beauty that you are sure to enjoy. Come and relax on one of our splendid porches, as you overlook lush vineyards, towering palm trees, and lush flower gardens that play host to hummingbirds, orioles and swallows. Or take a pleasant 15-minute drive through the wineries to beautiful Healdsburg Square.

Begin your day at the Inn with a full breakfast personally prepared by your hosts. The Raford House blends turn-of-the-century ambiance with friendly but "non-invasive" inn keeping to provide good old-fashioned hospitality. At day's end, before dinner, meet the other guests to enjoy hors d'ouvers and a glass of Rutz Cellars wine. When it's time to retire for the night, enjoy one of our cozy guest rooms that are tastefully furnished with Victorian antiques, chocolates, and cognac. For more information please contact us at


Quality Inn-Petaluma
"Your Perfect Place to Base in the Wine Country!"

Quality Inn-Petaluma - Your Perfect Place to Base in the Wine Country The Quality Inn-Petaluma invites you to pack up the kids, bring the dog, and runaway for a week in the wine country! Located 38 miles north of San Francisco, we are the ideal base to explore the wineries, family farms, Pacific coast beaches, historic downtowns, redwoods, rivers, and endless activities that Sonoma County has to offer.

The charming inn has 110 recently renovated rooms and suites with a friendly, knowledgeable staff to welcome you. Our spacious guest rooms offer in-room coffee makers and small refrigerators, modem-friendly phones, free local calls, free "Primestar" TV plus Nintendo and "Pay For View" movies. Other guest amenities include a deluxe complimentary continental breakfast daily in our sunny lobby, on-site guest coin laundry, fitness room, outdoor heated pool and spa, dry heat sauna.

Reserve your getaway on-line or call 707-664-1155. Three-diamond AAA rated, Choice Hotels Gold Award Winner. Kid-friendly. Pet-friendly. Just plain friendly!

San Luis Obispo

The Hot Springs of San Luis Obispo

Sycamore Mineral Springs ResortJust one mile from the beaches of San Luis Obispo County, yet a world away, is Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort. Hidden away in the densely wooded hillsides of the Avila Valley is where you will find tranquility like you’ve never known. This is the perfect setting for a romantic getaway or some personal R&R.

Each room or suite on the property has a private outdoor mineral spa. The spacious suites each have a living room, bedroom, marble fireplace, mini-fridge and a host of other wonderful amenities. Some rooms have views of the living meadow, San Luis Creek and See Canyon Creek. Be sure the Cottage is not overlooked when making your plans. Set off from the rest of the resort, you’ll feel like you’ve escaped to your own special home away from home.

During the day you can enjoy a massage or facial spa treatment, followed by 30 minutes in the mineral spa. And, any time day or night, you can visit one of the twenty redwood hot tubs that are tucked throughout the wooded hillsides of Avila Valley. Each tub provides a secluded escape that you’re sure to remember for years to come.

Visit Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort at:

Paso Robles Inn & Hot SpringsThe historic Paso Robles Inn & Hot Springs has served travelers for over a century. Originally built in 1864 as the Paso Robles Hot Springs Hotel, it was located directly beside the natural artesian Hot Springs Well. Newly-remodeled, the Paso Robles Inn now has 100 fully appointed rooms with amenities such as in-room coffee, refrigerators, microwaves. Many rooms have fireplaces and thirty of them include hot springs mineral water spa tubs! The rooms surround a spectacular garden featuring several water treatments such as a live stream, waterfall and pond. Soon there will be a new full-service health spa that includes an indoor-outdoor mineral water plunge bath. This is sure to be a welcome retreat and a wonderful place to relax and renew. Located in the heart of downtown Paso Robles, the Paso Robles Inn is the perfect get-away. The Inn is conveniently located just a short walk from the many boutiques, antique shops and restaurants. Here you’ll find the best of everything!

Visit Paso Robles Inn & Hot Springs at:

Avila Valley Hot SpringsThe historic Avila Valley Hot Springs is located just eight miles from San Luis Obispo in a secluded coastal valley. This valley setting provides the perfect temperature for swimming and other outdoor activities. The fresh water pool is open year ‘round and kept at a constant 86 degrees. The kids will love the water slides! There is also a mineral pool that is filled each day by a natural artesian well which helps to maintain the pool's temperature at 105 degrees. Nearby you’ll find a shaded picnic area complete with barbecues and picnic tables available for use by overnight campers and pool customers alike. In addition to these outdoor facilities, Avila Valley Hot Springs also offers a spa and therapeutic massage facility where all your stress will be swept away. The Recreation Hall and Pizza Kitchen are a great places to hold your next special event, and the Arcade is not to be missed! The 75 RV facilities include 30 sites with full hook-ups, 20 sites with partial hook-ups, 25 tent camping sites and more!

There is something here for the whole family! Avila Valley Host Springs can be found on the internet at

Hopland Inn

In Mendocino's Wine CountryHopland Inn

The Hopland Inn has been the gateway to the Mendocino County Wine Country since the late 1800s. Situated in the heart of the town of Hopland, the Inn is central to shopping, dining and wineries. Although it is Hopland’s oldest building, it was newly renovated in late 2001. Taking care to not change the historic design and architecture, a group of Mendocino County residents are committed to completing this project step by step.

In the library you’ll find the walls lined from floor to ceiling with books. There are comfortable wingback chairs and cozy sofas where you can relax after a day of touring and wine tasting. There’s no better place to enjoy a nightcap and good conversation than in front of the roaring fire in this grand room.

The bar at the Hopland InnYou won’t be disappointed by the extensive list of Mendocino County wines and full selection of single malts, beers and ales available at the bar. On the weekend, grab a stool and listen to live jazz. Likewise, you’ll find the Bistro menu features delicious preparations of local Mendocino ingredients that change with the seasons. During winter, enjoy a hearty bowl of stew. In summer you’ll be amazed by all the wonderfully fresh vegetables, some just picked from the kitchen garden.

The 21 rooms at the Hopland Inn are decorated with period antiques. From the quilts on the beds to the traditional wallpaper, you’ll find the rooms warmly inviting. All rooms have private baths and some offer large sitting areas and King-sized beds.
Visit the Hopland Inn at 13401 South Highway 101, Hopland, or on the Internet at


Battle of the Appellations

Battle of the AppellationsBrannan's Grill hosts our April Battle of the Appellations!

Each quarter,'s editorial staff, plus invited guests, gather at a top restaurant to judge a group of wines matched with two dishes prepared by the restaurant's chef. Selected wineries are invited to submit two wines they think will best showcase the two dishes. The panel evaluates the pairings during two rounds of blind food-and-wine tastings, identifying the wines that pair best with each dish. A guest expert in food-and-wine pairing is on hand to comment on the various combinations.

The April 2003 Battle of the Appellations was hosted by Brannan's Grill in Calistoga, Napa Valley. Two exquisite dishes were prepared by Executive Chef Allen Routt: Katafi Wrapped Prawns with Forbidden Thai Rice & Coconut Broth, and the main entrèe of Porcini Crusted Rack of Lamb.

Battle of  the Appellations"Cheers" to Great wine, great food, and delicious competition!

Click here to read more about Battle of the Appellations and find out who won the April 2003 event!

Date: April 30, 2003

Location: Brannan's Grill, Calistoga, Ca

Featured Menu Items:
Appetizer: Katafi Wrapped Prawns with Forbidden Thai Rice & Coconut Broth
Entrèe: Porcini Crusted Rack of Lamb

Battle of the Appellations
Participating Wineries:   Appellation:
Beringer Vineyard   Napa Valley
Casa Nuestra   Napa Valley
Elkhorn Peak Cellars   Napa Valley
Gargiulo Vineyards   Oakville, Napa Valley
Greenwood Ridge   Mendocino Ridge
Lolonis Winery   Redwood Valley
Silversmith Vineyards   Redwood Valley
Summers Winery   Monterey / Knights Valley


Wine Country Recipe

Porcini Crusted Rack of Lamb
Recipe provided courtesy of Brannan’s Grill, Calistoga, Ca.

Ingredients: (12 people)  
4 racks of Sonoma Lamb   1/2 bunch mint
1/4 lb. dried Porcini, ground   1/2 bunch rosemary
8 oz. Arborio rice   4 Spanish Onions
1 G. Chicken stock   2 oz. Parmesan cheese
1 lb. English Peas, blanched and shocked   4 oz. butter
3 ea Roma tomatoes   1 bu parsley, chopped
1 bottle Napa Valley red wine, preferably Merlot   4 T extra virgin olive oil
4 Qt. Lamb stock   salt and pepper
2 cloves of garlic  

Method: Clean and season lamb liberally, then crust with ground porcini. In a heavy bottom, medium size saucepot warm 2 T of extra virgin olive oil. Add 1 chopped onion and sweat until translucent, approximately 3-5 min. Add rice and sweat until a nutty aroma develops, but without color. Add 1 pt. of chicken stock and stir until most of the stock has been absorbed, 6-8 min. Add second pt. of stock and cook stirring frequently for another ten minutes adding stock as needed. The total cooking time for the rice will be about 20 minutes.

Oven roasted tomatoes: Score and core the tomatoes, blanch them for 30 seconds in boiling water, then shock in an ice bath. Peel the tomatoes, split in half and remove the seeds. Place cut side down on a parchment lined sheet tray. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake at 200° for one hour.

Pea coulis: Method: Take 1 C of blanched peas and place them in the blender with just enough warm chicken stock to cover. Puree, strain, and adjust the consistency, season with salt, reserve.

For the Sauce: Heat 2 T extra virgin olive oil in a medium size heavy bottom saucepot. Add 3 onions, chopped and 2 cloves of garlic and caramelize. Add the mint and the rosemary. Deglaze with the red wine, reduce to sec, add the lamb stock and reduce to nappe. Finish with a knob of butter.

For the Lamb: Sear the porcini-crusted racks in a hot pan over high heat until golden brown. Roast at 300 for 6-8 min or until soft with some resistance to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to rest away from the roasting pan for 5-6 min.
While the meat is resting assemble the dish: finish the warm risotto by folding in English peas, parsley, butter, and parmesan. Place the rice in the center of your serving plate. Slice the lamb and fan it on the rice, dress the plate with the demi and the coulis.


Wine Tasting Recommendation

Rutherford Hill WineryRutherford Hill Winery

When visiting the Napa Valley take a crossroad off Highway 29 to the right and drive over to the road less traveled…The Historic Silverado Trail. While you are there, stop in and visit the exquisite Rutherford Hill Winery. This winery is truly a unique and fabulous experience.

A staff member recently visited Rutherford Hill for some wine tasting and a tour including a walk through the spectacular caves.

As you turn off the Silverado Trail and travel a short distance up a road lined with oak trees, you arrive at the beautiful wood winery garnished with lovely flowers and breathtaking views. There is a large picnic area overlooking the Rutherford region of the valley.

Rutherford Hill WineryRutherford Hill Winery is famous for its legendary Merlot and considers this to be their flagship wine. This is an impeccable Merlot full of luscious fruit flavors of cherry, dark plums and blackberries with a velvety finish. They also have excellent Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and many other varietals. Ask about the unique Michele Laroche, a Rutherford Hill Chardonnay…an excellent, innovative collaboration between notable French winemaker, Michael Laroche and Rutherford Hill Winery. This crisp Chardonnay is made from Napa Valley grown Chardonnay fruit that has been vinified in a Chablis style.

A distinctive aspect of the Rutherford Hill winery is the extensive cave system. This unique, natural environment enhances the wine-aging process and produces wines of consistent, notable character. It also makes for a very elegant venue for various events and dinner parties.

Rutherford Hill WineryThe tasting room is open 10-5 daily. Tasting fees are $5.00 for Current Releases and $10.00 for Reserve Tasting (for limited distribution and older vintage wines). A Rutherford Hill "logo glass" is included with the tasting fee. Tours of the winery and caves are available daily. Speak to a member of the visitor center staff to arrange for a pass to one of the three daily tours. There is also a picnic area available for Rutherford Hill visitors to enjoy a casual lunch. Forgot your lunch? Call in advance and they can arrange to provide lunch for you and your party. The wines were outstanding and the tasting room staff was fun and full of information.

Plan your event at Rutherford Hill Winery in the caves or out in the picnic grove. They can accommodate small or large groups.

Become a winemaker for a day and "Blend Your Own Merlot". This is an ongoing seminar available by appointment at the winery. Impress your friends with the wine you created!

Make sure you visit the beautiful winery and plan to stay awhile. The wines are outstanding and the location is breathtaking. To learn more about Rutherford Hill Winery, visit their website at

Wine Country Lodging Recommendation

The Mill Rose Inn Bed and Breakfast—Classic European Elegance by the Sea

The Mill Rose Inn B & B"The ideal English Country Inn" is how the New York Times describes this charming country bed and breakfast inn situated on close to a full acre of magnificent flower gardens. Located within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean as well as historic Old Town Half Moon Bay, and just 30-minutes from the San Francisco Bay Area, the Mill Rose Inn is the perfect romantic getaway.

Recently a representative visited the Inn. She was warmly welcomed by the Inn’s owners, Terry and Eva Baldwin. There is nothing they wouldn’t do to see that their guests are completely comfortable. All the conveniences of a world-class hotel and the charm of a small country inn are beautifully combined here in this Four-Diamond AAA award-winning establishment.

The Mill Rose Inn B & BThe Mill Rose Inn is also famous for its splendid breakfasts that include fresh juices, fresh fruit, homemade breads and pastries, crepes, omelets or quiche, and your choice of beverages. While you’re there, you can walk to any one of a dozen great restaurants, boutiques and galleries, bike along the beach or hike in a redwood forest. Explore the tide pools along the coast, or play a round of golf the Half Moon Bay Golf Links overlooking the ocean. In the evening enjoy your own private Jacuzzi spa enclosed in a garden gazebo, or luxuriate in you own in-room Jacuzzi. Each room comes with a mini-fridge packed with beer, wine and soft drinks, along with an elegant decanter of brandy that awaits you for a romantic nightcap in front of the fire after a truly delightful day in the wine country.

Mill Rose Inn Bed and Breakfast:

Wine Country Events

Things to Do in the Wine Country:

May 24 -- Folie à Deux Release Party 2000 Cabernet
2000 Napa Valley Cabernet Release Party! Rich Blackberries, cherries, plums and currants! From our St. Helena Estate, Oakville and Rutherford Bench. 4%Petite Verdot. Enjoy hors d'oeuvres, Library Tasting, Olive Oil and Balsamic Tasting and More! Complimentary Crystal Glass.
3070 North St. Helena Highway, St. Helena.
Fee: $10 - includes logo glass Time: 10:30 AM to 3:00 PM Phone Number: 800-473-4454

June 7 - 8 -- Taste of the Valley - Boogie on the Bayou
Bring your dancing shoes to the beautiful Chateau Souverain Winery as we celebrate the colorful heritage of New Orleans. Enjoy the sounds of Sonoma Counties hottest Cajun / Zydeco band, Gator Beat. Executive Chef Martin Courtman and the Cafe at the Winery will entice you with New Orleans-inspired delicacies paired with our sumptuous award-winning wines. 400 Souverain Road, Geyserville.
Fee: $35 In Advance; $45 At the Door Time: 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM Phone Number: 707-433-8281

June 14 - 15 -- A Taste of Redwood Valley
It's Father's Day weekend, so bring dad and all your friends to visit twelve separate wineries located in Mendocino County's Redwood Valley appellation. Participating wineries will all be open to the public offering wine tastings (including barrel samples), entertainment, and food and wine pairings. Admission fee includes a souvenir wine glass, map of wineries and two days of tasting and fun! Many wineries included are not generally open to the public. Call for additional details and ticket information.
Fee: $20 Prior to June 6th; $30 Thereafter Time: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM Phone Number: 800-760-3739

For a complete calendar of events by region, visit: Mendocino, Monterey,
Napa Valley
, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Sonoma County Info Sweepstakes:

Wine Country Getaway Adventure!

Spend a weekend in the Wine Country ….

Win a ‘Sip N' Cycle Tour’ for two from Getaway Adventures! Spend the day on a guided bike tour through Calistoga’s beautiful quiet country roads, stopping to taste fine wine at five extraordinary wineries along the way! Dine at the award-winning, Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant with your gift certificate valued at $100. Winner will also receive a Napa Valley Expedition Guide, complete with audio tour and guidebook with CD-Rom.

Visit Getaway Adventures at:
Visit Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant at:
Get your Napa Valley Expedition Guide at Travel Brains:

***No purchase necessary. To participate you must be 21 years of age or older. Only one entry per person permitted. Prize is same as cash, FreeRun Technologies, Inc/ is not responsible if lost or stolen. Winner will be selected by random drawing and will be contacted via email. Winner must claim prize within 10 days of email notification. Winner name and state of residence will be announced in a future issue of Lifestyle Online newsletter. Employees of FreeRun Technologies are ineligible. Void where prohibited. Info...

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