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July 2004

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> WineCountry.com Redesign & Publication
Our New Web Look and Printed Publication!
> Cliff Lede Vineyards
Spectacular New Tasting Room Opens!
> Passport to Peterson 2005
Peterson Winery in Healdsburg
> Wine Country Featured Destination
Aurora Park Cottages in Calistoga
> Wine Country Recipe
Foothill House Sweet Dreams Cookies
> Wine Country Featured Event
19th Annual Sonoma Salute to the Arts
> WineCountry.com Drawing!
Win a “Spoil Yourself WineCountry Package”!


From all of us at FreeRun - Thank you for using our sites!
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Spotlight

Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery

Niebaum-Coppola Estate WineryFrancis and Eleanor Coppola invite you to visit one of the premiere California wineries, the Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery located on the historic Inglenook Estate. For more than 100 years, the Inglenook property in Rutherford has produced some of California's greatest vintages and charmed visitors with its timeless beauty. Francis Coppola, the director/producer of the Godfather trilogy and Apocalypse Now, bought a portion of the property in 1975 to make wine for his family and friends. Charmed by Inglenook and the Napa Valley landscape, Francis purchased the remainder of the historic property in 1995 and restored the Inglenook Chateau, which is once again bringing prestige to the landmark winery.

We have a lot more to offer than just great wine. Visit us in person at Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery in Rutherford or visit us online at www.niebaum-coppola.com. We're offering first-time web shoppers a 25% discount on all online purchases made from now until July 31, 2004. Simply enter the coupon code FRN33 before you begin your online shopping. Questions: service@niebaum-coppola.com

Niebaum~Coppola Estate, Vineyards & Winery
1991 St. Helena Highway
Rutherford, CA 94573


Spotlight

What's New At The Gallo of Sonoma
Tasting Room On The Healdsburg Plaza

At The Gallo of Sonoma Tasting Room
On The Healdsburg PlazaTours - Explore the beauty of the Gallo Family's breathtaking Barrelli Creek Vineyard! An intimate, hands-on vineyard experience where you will walk the land, touch the vines and taste the wines. Offered daily at 9:30 a.m. $35/pp includes tour, transportation, wines and surprises along the way. Minimum of two people and a maximum of six people per tour! Taste Gallo of Sonoma

Evening Hours - Stop by and relax with a glass of wine while listening to live music. Offered every Friday & Saturday evening from 6:00 to 10:00 pm. Enjoy a variety of wines by-the-glass including Estate selections, tasting room exclusives, and Port served with chocolate.

Wine Club - Join the family of savvy wine lovers in our Gallo of Sonoma wine club. Share the benefits of an exclusive membership and explore the diversity of our Sonoma County vineyards in the comfort of your home. www.gallosonoma.com

320 Center Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448.
For more information please call 707-433-2458


Spotlight

Robert Mondavi 35th Annual Summer Festival

Robert Mondavi 35th Annual Summer Festival Summer is here and there's no better way to enjoy a Napa Valley weekend than with friends and family at the 35th Annual Summer Festival at Robert Mondavi Winery. Enjoy your favorite artists under the stars beginning Saturday evening July 3rd and each following Saturday through August 14th.

Our 2004 line-up includes these talented artists -- Preservation Jazz Hall Band and fireworks display (July 3rd), Jose Feliciano (July 10th), Cassandra Wilson (July 17th), Groovin for Grover (July 24th), Dave Brubeck (July 31st), Robert Cray (August 7th) and Chaka Khan (August 14th). Gates open at 5:00 p.m and all concerts begin at 7:00 p.m.. We encourage you to bring a blanket, low beach chairs and a picnic to enjoy on the lawn. For complete concert information please visit our web site at http://www.robertmondaviwinery.com/summerfest.asp.

Tickets are on sale now and can be ordered by calling 1.888.RMW.JAZZ or through Tickets.com. All proceeds from the concerts are donated to the Napa Valley Symphony and Napa Valley Unified School District Music Programs. We look forward to sharing many great evenings of food, wine and music with you at Robert Mondavi Winery!

 

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WineCountry.com Redesign & Publication

WINECOUNTRY.com PublicationOur New Web Look and Printed Publication!

Time to celebrate! WineCountry.com, the premiere web portal for regional wine country destination and lifestyle information, has a newly designed website AND has launched an exciting new print publication. You’re invited to be one of the first to take a look with this offer of a complimentary first issue! Click here and you are on your way.

The WineCountry.com publication is the new voice on what’s new and what's hot in the wine country. Whether you are looking for insider tips on the top restaurants, places to stay, or events to attend while in the area, we give you all the juicy details, as well as ideas and tips on how to take a piece of what we enjoy about living in wine country home with you. Stunning images leap off every page as we showcase the splendor of the various wine regions like no other. We hope this will entice you to come back again and again either personally or virtually.

Both the website and the publication are designed to be explored interactively, with online content adding extra depth and up-to-the-minute information about what is going on in the many wine country regions of America.

WineCountry.com, Linking you to our Lifestyle. Cheers and Enjoy.

 


 

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Cliff Lede Vineyards

Spectacular New Tasting Room Opens!

Cliff Lede WineryCliff Lede Vineyards was established in 2002, when Canadian businessman Cliff Lede purchased S. Anderson Vineyard, a family-owned producer of still and sparkling wines established in 1971. Cliff Lede Vineyard's history is a testament to the owner's dedication to Bordeaux style wines and to the Napa Valley. In his late 20s Cliff Lede began hanging around at a local wine store and talking with its knowledgeable owner, who gave Cliff his first taste of good Bordeaux, a Ducru Beaucaillou. “I remember thinking, This is pretty good wine,” he says in typically understated fashion.

Many years later, Cliff still likes Bordeaux…OK, he’s crazy about it. He collects it (and has since the 1982 vintage). He reads everything about it. He buys futures of it. He looks for deals on it. If a restaurant wine list has a bottle of Mouton he’s missing from his vertical collection, he’ll try to strike a deal with the owner to obtain it. “Collecting became a passion,” he says. On one trip to the Bordeaux region, he remembers thinking, “Boy, wouldn’t it be great to have a little bit of this for my own?”

Cliff Lede Winery in the SpringThat bit of his own – once only a twinkle in his eye – is now Cliff Lede Vineyards. Set at the northern end of the Stags Leap District, the winery has 55 acres of estate vineyards planted with red Bordeaux varietals Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petite Verdot. In addition, a 15-acre estate vineyard on Mt. Veeder yields Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Chardonnay.

In an exciting development for the winery, its newly-renovated tasting room opened over the Fourth of July weekend. “We have created a state-of-the-art tasting room that will showcase our wines in an intimate, casual and fun environment making a complete sensory experience for our guests,” says General Manager Michael Updegraff. The new building is true to the original 1913 design,and boast a spacious new tasting room with high-beamed ceilings and floors crafted from refurbished oak. Cliff Lede Vineyards Tasting room will be open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with public tours at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The tours offer a walk through the vines to the stunning candelit caves, where soaring cathedral ceilings and natural stonewalls surround stacks of French-oak barrels filled with aging wine.

Cliff Lede Vineyards is located at 1473 Yountville Cross Road, in Yountville.

Open daily from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Public tours twice daily at 10:30am & 2:30pm
Private tours by appointment.

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Crane Canyon Great MourvedreEditors Pick — Noteworthy Wine

Great Mourvèdre isn't easy to find. This wine is made of exceptional fruit from Knight's Valley California, just to the west of Alexander Valley on the way to Calistoga. Here the fruit receives two to three weeks longer hang time on the vines than is typical, developing richer flavors thanks to this unique microclimate. This phenomenal, award-winning wine is exceptionally balanced and smooth, in part thanks to its perfect age in the bottle. Starting with its delectable nose, across the palate its leathery, tobacco flavors match beautifully with warm-weather eating...for snacking, try it with your stronger English or French cheeses. The Crane Canyon 2000 Mourvèdre is a wonderful example that lovers of this varietal, as well as newcomers, will love. To try or buy this wine, visit www.tastelocalwines.com or cranecanyon.com


Passport to Peterson 2005

Peterson Winery in Healdsburg

Peterson WineryPassport to Dry Creek is a unique and legendary event in Sonoma County wine culture. Granddaddy of the Russian River Wine Road, its focus is on the unique artisan wines and wineries of the Dry Creek Valley appellation. During an entire weekend, member wineries in this small, idyllic area open to offer awesome food, drink and fun. Great Merlots, Cabernet Sauvignons and other varietals flow along with the diverse stylistic array of Zinfandels that carry on the grand Italian winemaking tradition of this area, more popular today than ever before.

Held the last weekend in April, if you want the hard-to-get, single-price ticket, you will have to make a little effort now, but it is worth it! Your Passport, stamped as you visit each winery, allows you to tour for two days enjoying food, wine and the spirit of the people who make this valley unique. Directions on how to obtain your Passports are at the end of this story.

Peterson Winery offers the epitome of Dry Creek every day, but especially at this event. Winemaker Fred Peterson is friendly, casual, real, and a volunteer fireman in nearby Geyserville; he is the kind of guy who defines what the Dry Creek area is really about. Grower and winemaker, he maintains control of all the elements from start to finish as he creates wonderful wines and great values as well. His winemaking philosophy is Zero Manipulation, meaning he uses less manipulative winemaking techniques, allowing the unique flavors from each vintage to shine, rather than pushing a wine into a repetitious flavor profile.

As Fred often says, “I make too many different wines”, reflecting his true passion for the wines he makes. While he is best known for Zinfandel (he makes four—the pinotesqueBernier, the old-vine field blend Tradizionale, his blended Dry Creek and the rich Bradford Mountain), his winemaking also reflects the diversity of the Dry Creek with two Sangioveses, a Petite Sirah blend, Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot. He also sources fruit from other properties, making Anderson Valley Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and the Zero Manipulation Carignane red table wine and dry Rosé.

Peterson WineryEach year at Passport, those in the know flock to Peterson Winery for the legendary carnitas, delicious array of salsas and my favorite, the two styles of pork rinds (fresh from the same pig as the carnitas, prepared earlier in the week over an open fire). The rinds, or chicarrones, are especially good as you have your choice between regular and the more unusual ones with bits of meat attached. I said I would eat only one of the latter, and I was sorry in the end that I only had three!

A great expression of the Dry Creek spirit, this will be the last opportunity to enjoy Passport at the Peterson Big Red Barn…the winery will be moving shortly after the 2005 event. And of course, the other Dry Creek wineries, many open only for this event, pull out all the stops with theme parties, food and wine everywhere. The ticket price at $90 is a bargain…this is a weekend to focus on daytime eating and drinking, you won’t want big, expensive meals in the evening.

So here is how to try to get a ticket…the valley is so small, they have to limit congestion, so the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley hold a drawing. E-mail them at info@wdcv.com or call (707) 433-3031 to let them know you want to attend. In January, you will be contacted for your request for Passports, and shortly thereafter, you will be informed of the results of the random drawing. If you belong to a Wine Club of a winery member, they may be able to offer you tickets. Finally, if you don’t get tickets, and assuming you can make last minute plans, here’s something most people don’t know—there are quite a few tickets that become available at the last minute, as people return tickets when they can’t attend. Let them know if you can do this, it usually works!

Peterson WineryHere’s another special ticket, to Peterson Winery…the Annual Summer Open House and Party. This event is coming up Saturday July 24. Peterson wines are offered six days a week at Locals Tasting Room in nearby Geyserville, but the winery itself is open just six times a year for special events. The winery is open to the public, no charge, from 11-4 as it celebrates the release of the 2002 Zero Manipulation Carignane Red Table Wine, a great match for the Central American food offered, and your barbeque and casual food occasions any day!

The celebrated evening party is from 5 PM to Dark. Enjoy a warm evening in the Dry Creek with fun live entertainment, food and Peterson wines of course. Fajitas and Salvadorean delicacies will be matched by an incredible array of handmade salsas (the same recipes that match carnitas during Passport). Dessert will be the awesome handmade ice creams from Healdsburg’s amazing Downtown Bakery. The value at $35 per person can’t be beat. The party can sell out, and the deadline for tickets is July 14 (though you can again call for last minute tickets), so email friends@petersonwinery.com now, or call (707) 431-7568 if you want to enjoy this unique event of Dry Creek culture.

For general information on the Dry Creek area, the website at www.wdcv.com is very interesting. Whichever, whenever, summer or spring, Peterson and Passport, the easy-going people of the Dry Creek and their amazing wines await you!

Article contributed by Taylor Poff

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Crane Canyon Great MourvedreEditors Pick — Most Knowledgeable Concierge

Most Knowledgeable Healdsburg Concierge — Tegan Wilson
If you need information on where to wine, dine or just have fun in Northern Sonoma County make sure you talk to Tegan at the www.hotelhealdsburg.com to plan your days and nights. Reach Tegan at concierge@hotelhealdsburg.com



Wine Country Featured Destination

Aurora Park Cottages in Calistoga

Aurora Park CottagesIf you are looking for a quiet retreat with a bed and breakfast feeling, look no further! Joe Hensley and Celeste Ford at Aurora Park Cottages understand the need for privacy while simultaneously providing the attention and amenities of the finest lodging establishments in the Napa Valley.

Located in Calistoga, the charming spa capital of the Napa wine country, Aurora Park is conveniently located within walking distance of the town and is easy to find. A perfect choice as world-class restaurants, award winning wineries and first rate spas are within minutes of Aurora Park Cottages. Joe and Celeste will happily customize a tour based on your requests – just ask! From touring caves to experiencing a mud bath to an adventurous hot air balloon ride, Calistoga has it all.

Upon arrival we were warmly greeted and given a key to our cottage with an invitation to spend some time with Joe and Celeste prior to our evening out. With six cottages to choose from – one with handicapped access and fully equipped bathroom – they are painted a soft, inviting yellow with sweet landscaping lining the illuminated pathways. Each cottage is separate and has a cozy, private deck with a stylish table and chairs beckoning us to relax and enjoy the view of the Palisades Mountains. We opened the door to find a split of fabulous sparkling wine, a vase full of beautiful fresh flowers and a personal “Happy Birthday” message for my guest! The inside of our cottage was elegantly decorated with warm tones, natural wood and plenty of space for two. Right away it was obvious Aurora Park was certainly not your typical “cottage” where often times one feels cramped for space. Intelligently designed for ultimate comfort, we could have easily stayed a week! Amenities include luxurious down-filled beds, mini-fridge with complimentary water and juice, cable tv, a breakfast nook, a separate sitting area with oversized chairs perfect for cuddling up with a good book, coffee for the morning, huge shower, and the bed was...well...like sleeping on a cloud of feathers.

Aurora Park CottagesOnce settled, we ventured down to Joe and Celeste’s house to enjoy a glass of wine with our gracious hosts. We learned they bought the property in 2001 and gave it a complete, fabulous make-over. With the goal in mind to provide elegantly comfortable, private accommodations combined with a bed and breakfast feel, we would agree they accomplished just that. Natural hospitality exudes from Joe and Celeste, who gave us the impression they cared about each and every one of their guests’ experience. Be sure to check out their special packages and leave the planning to the experts. After a fabulous night out in friendly Calistoga, we found our way back to the cottages and felt like we had arrived at home as we sunk into our plush, down-filled beds.

The next day, it was a brisk, sunny morning so we decided to go for a jog and enjoyed the charming Victorian neighborhood as the sun came up. As promised, a fragrant breakfast basket was delivered in the morning containing a warm croissant and cinnamon roll, a bowl of bright mangoes, blueberries and strawberries adorned with a sprig of mint, and fresh squeezed orange juice. With a steaming hot cup of coffee and a delicious meal, this was the perfect way to start the day.

All too often one visits a website and is impressed with the photos and promises of a peaceful stay only to be disappointed with their experiences at the property. Joe and Celeste deliver everything they advertise...and much more! I can’t wait to go back.

Aurora Park Cottages 1807 Foothill Blvd, Calistoga Ca. 94515

email aurorapark@ix.netcom.com phone  877-942-7700 or 707-942-6733

 

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Wine Country Recipe

Foothill HouseFoothill House Sweet Dreams
(makes about 6 dozen)
space
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 and one-half cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 and one-half cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
one-half teaspoon salt
1 12oz package semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup powdered sugar
space
Cream butter using electric mixer. Beat in brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Blend into butter mixture. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts. Refrigerate until firm. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead)
space
Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease baking sheets. Break off small pieces of dough; roll between palms into 1-inch rounds. Dredge rounds in powdered sugar. Arrange rounds on prepared sheets, spacing at least 2 inches apart. Bake 10 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on sheets. Transfer to racks and cool. Store in airtight container.

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Wine Country Featured Event

Salute to the ArtsSonoma Salute to the Arts, the coolest place to be in July!

Now in its 19th year, Sonoma’s Salute to the Arts continues to knock the socks off its guests with a sumptuous spread of events. This year’s festival kicks off with the Salute to the Arts Visual Art Competition, featuring the best work of local artists. The festivities continue with a weekend-long showcase of culinary, winemaking, visual, performing, and literary arts in the historic Sonoma Plaza; wine and food tastings are also available, and live music will keep the mood lighthearted. The fifth annual Salute to the Arts Live Auction & Dinner, the icing on the cake, and will take place Saturday evening at the lovely Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. A perfect opportunity to experience the full spread of Sonoma’s bounty, the festival continues to be Sonoma’s premier summer event for locals and visitors alike.

A good time for a great cause, the Salute to the Arts donates the net of its proceeds to numerous non-profit arts, cultural, and educational organizations. Through the Salute to the Arts the Sonoma Valley Arts Alliance also funds scholarships for high school seniors interesting in pursuing careers in the arts, enology and viticulture. The ideal way to support a deserving cause, all while getting a taste of Sonoma wine country. When the fun is over, commemorate the fun with a gorgeous locally-designed poster - these posters have become cult collectors’ items over the years - the perfect way to remember what promises to be a magical weekend! Sonoma Salute to the Arts – the coolest place to be in July!

 

For a complete calendar of events by region, visit: Gold Country, Mendocino, Monterey,
Napa Valley
, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Sonoma County, Temecula, Virginia


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WineCountry.com Info

WineCountry.com Drawing:

Win a “Spoil Yourself WineCountry Package”!*

Experience the essence of relaxation to the infinite degree with a Mud or Mineral Bath with one hour Massage at Calistoga Oasis Spa for one person.  This spa specializes in giving quality spa treatments in a soothing and intimate atmosphere.  They focus on exceptional massage therapists and simple relaxation.  www.oasisspa.com

Afterwards, head over to Robert Mondavi Winery for a vineyard and winery tour and of course, WINE TASTING! www.robertmondavi.com

AND

If that is not enough, The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) will certainly delight as you take a tour of the premises and watch two different live cooking demonstrations that will include the recipe and tasting of the dish demonstrated.  Then, sit down for a scrumptious gourmet meal at the Greystone Restaurant*located within the CIA.

www.ciachef.edu/greystone/demonstrations/demos.html
www.ciachef.edu/greystone/spectator/index.html

(*some restrictions apply)

***No purchase necessary. Must be at least 21 years old to enter. Excludes alcohol & gratuity – not redeemable for cash . Calistoga Oasis Spa certificate expires 11/19/04. Only one entry per person permitted. Winner will be selected July 19, 2004 by random drawing. Winner will be notified by email. Employees of Freerun Technologies are ineligible. Void where prohibited by law.

Click here to enter this drawing! (Please note: If you are already subscribed to the newsletter, you are automatically entered in this drawing.)

The Winner of this Drawing will be announced on The Winner's Page after July 19.

 

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