WineCountry.com
28th Annual Virginia Wine Festival

August 2003

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Willits—Beyond Seabiscuit
Gateway to the Redwoods
Bungalow at Dry Creek
For the Discriminating Wine Country Traveler
Restaurant Recommendation
Café Andalusia in Sonoma
Wine Country Recipe
Sangria! by Cafe Andalusia
Wine Tasting Recommendation
Geyser Peak Winery
Wine Country Lodging Recommendation
Casa Del Mar in Santa Barbara
Wine Country Featured Event
Things to Do in the Wine Country
WineCountry.com Drawing
Fabulous Sonoma Wine Country Getaway!
Virginia Wine Festival
Virginia's Premier Wine Event!

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Spotlight

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

http://goosecross.com

- Click here for your complimentary tasting room coupon
and receive a
a complimentary tasting for two people. -


Spotlight

The Spa at Silverado

The Spa at SilveradoInspired by the serene sophistication of a classic Roman spa, The Spa at Silverado is the most comprehensive private resort Spa in California's famed Napa Valley. A luxury 16,000-square-foot complex, offering fitness, spa and salon services surrounded by garden courtyards. Amenities include an array of beauty and body treatments, full salon, steam room, sauna, whirlpool, fitness room and classes, lockers, and a 25-meter outdoor heated lap pool are available to enhance your Spa experience. Our philosophy is, quite simply, to create joy.

Our Spa Girl Package is now available all year long! Package includes a welcome gift, Silverado Canvas Tote, $10 Spa Retail Gift Certificate and a VIP tasting at William Hill Winery. Accommodations are in a luxurious suite with fireplace, a 50-minute Spa treatment of your choice and full use of the Spa. Breakfast and complimentary tennis is also included.

$249.00 per person - based on double or triple occupancy and $205.00 per person for a group of 4 will apply from March 16 through November 30, 2004. Prices include all taxes and gratuities.

Contact us at 1-800-532-0500 or email info@silveradospa.com for reservations and information.


Spotlight

The Yountville Inn
"Where expectations are quietly exceeded."

Yountville Inn entrance

The Yountville Inn, nestled into the lush landscape of Hopper Creek, provides visitors with a warm and welcoming experience that is indicative of wine country hospitality. The fieldstone exteriors with slate entryways, wood beamed vaulted ceilings and luxurious furnishings please the most seasoned traveler.

Situated at the South end of Yountville, the Inn is ideally located within walking distance of some of the most sought after restaurants, wineries and shops in Northern California. Just 9 miles North of Napa, the 51 room inn will be an ideal location for your exploration of the 13 wine growing regions in the Napa Valley.

Guestrooms of the Yountville Inn are appointed with king or queen beds, fieldstone fireplace, robes, refrigerator, honor bar, coffee maker, patio, balcony or high vaulted ceiling. Also, a complimentary California breakfast is served each morning in the lobby. A large heated pool and spa are open until midnight each day. In room massage is available, as well as nearby golf, bocci ball and spa services.

Please visit the Inn's website www.yountvilleinn.com for more information and for special promotions. For reservations please call 800-972-2293 or email info@yountvilleinn.com with any questions.

Willits—Beyond Seabiscuit

Gateway to the Redwoods

Bungalow at Dry CreekSeabiscuit remains Willits most renowned resident. Charles Howard, a magnate who had made a vast fortune introducing the automobile to the West, bought the massive 17,000 acre ranch just south of Willits in the 1920s. In the '30s, the Howards took to horse racing, eventually buying a troublesome colt at a bargain price. By the time this once lowly-rated colt finally came to the Howard's Ridgewood Ranch, Seabiscuit had already transformed into the most popular horse of the 20th century. Displaying blinding speed and a wellspring of competitive courage, he had already trounced all challengers including winning a match race against Triple Crown winner War Admiral, that many consider the horse race of the century.

But it was a broken horse who first arrived at Ridgewood. Seabiscuit had suffered a leg injury serious enough that it was deemed career ending. Only one prize had thus far eluded him, the Santa Anita hundred grander, the richest pursed race of the day. Seabiscuit had previously lost on two occasions by a mere nose, and his injury occurred before he could make his third attempt. During 1939 the horse, and his Jockey, Red Pollard, who had also suffered a very serious leg injury, recuperated on the ranch. Together they gradually lengthened their rides through the rolling hills of Ridgewood. By the midway point of the 1940 season, the Howards, and trainer Tom Smith felt that both horse and jockey had recovered sufficiently to make one last run at the Hundred Grander. In what is considered the comeback of the century by the horse of the century, Seabiscuit went on to win at Santa Anita.

Bungalow at Dry CreekSeabiscuit, by now the world's richest horse and having set a dozen speed records at six different distances, returned to Ridgewood for his retirement. After he died in 1947, he was buried under an oak tree at an undisclosed location on the ranch.

The recent popular book and movie have resulted in a desire by many to visit Ridgewood. The present owners have restored and maintained the ranch to its original condition. Walking tours that include visits to the Howard house, and the stud barn topped with a weather vane depicting Seabiscuit with Red Pollard aboard are arranged through the Willits Chamber of Commerce, 707-459-7910.

In the town of Willits, the Baechtel Creek Inn and Spa has put the finishing touches on a Seabiscuit Room. The County Museum has installed a Seabiscuit exhibit that includes memorabilia and films taken at the ranch during Seabiscuit's residency.

Bungalow at Dry CreekWillits, a 2 1/2 hour drive from San Francisco at the very center of Mendocino County, was at one time a lumber town hosting 35 mills. Today it is down to one, but still offers small town charm and is still considered the Gateway to the Redwoods. It serves as a terminus of the famous Skunk Train, which carries passengers through the coastal range to the coast.

Start the day with a hearty breakfast at the Country Skillet. If you like to golf, the Brookwood golf course is uniquely set among groves of towering redwoods. The Purple Thistle offers a tasty dinner menu. And famous wine growing regions of Mendocino County, including the Alexander, Redwood and Potter Valleys, are within easy driving distance. Willits has much to offer both the Seabiscuit fan and the Wine Country visitor.


Bungalow at Dry Creek

For the Discriminating Wine Country Traveler

Bungalow at Dry CreekIt was with great anticipation that we arrived in the late afternoon at the Bungalow at Dry Creek. We wanted to enjoy from the get-go, so had equipped ourselves with a summery self-catered dinner collected from our favorite Italian deli in Santa Rosa, along with a couple of wines from a great tasting room in nearby Geyserville. As we completed the easy drive from Highway 101 to the house, we saw quickly that we had made all the right choices.

On arrival, we noticed a huge valley oak sheltering the classic bungalow we had seen online. So inviting, and the city already seemed an eternity away. We explored the property enthusiastically, and our spirits rose further.

A big pool with a great diving board was classic like the house, with a unique shape and rows of grapevines running parallel to it. It was a breezy afternoon, yet it was still pleasant around the pool, and later that evening at twilight in the comfy hot tub. Throughout the property, every privacy concern had been addressed...a half-wall at the pool gives privacy while preserving a sweeping view of the gorgeous Dry Creek Valley.

Bungalow at Dry CreekSettling into the house, we noted that a smart addition had added a master bedroom which was graced with a great four-poster pillowtop bed, separately controlled reading lights, and French doors leading outside. Its bathroom with a walk-in shower and big tub rated A plus. The addition also provided a gourmet kitchen.

A formal dining room (adorned with a lovely centerpiece) glowed with warm natural light. It fills the center of the new house, and made us think of enjoying the house with a larger group. In the old living room, the original floor crackled under my steps, its smell reminding me of similar bungalows in my youth...the spirit of the house is completely intact.

Speaking of the kitchen, wow! Expansive, double ovens and sinks, equipped with spices, quality cookware and even silverware. Great lighting, day and night, like everywhere in the house. Fine eating in Geyserville and Healdsburg was an easy drive away, but this kitchen and property made us want to stay home and cook.

Bungalow at Dry CreekFrench doors connect an expansive terrace deck to the kitchen. To our delight we also discovered three other unique areas ready for our dining pleasure, including a spot under an arbor overlooking that jewel of a pool, vineyards and down the valley.

We woke to the rich light of the valley dispersed across exquisitely warm-colored walls and the faint whine of farm machinery. We got up, made coffee, and went out to the veranda to watch the sun rise over the gentle rolling hills leading up Dry Creek Valley to Lake Sonoma. A tree sheltered the sun from our eyes. We slowly took in the vineyards, the quiet road with only a few pedestrians and cars. We moved to the rocking chairs for our second cup of coffee.

Other highlights: Comfortably accommodates 3 couples, the other two bedrooms are special too. Walking distance to small artisan wineries. Stereo/TV/DVD provided IF you need them...we just enjoyed the CD's we brought along. Excellent laundry. I noted that the wisteria arbor and the big old camellias would be stupendous if we returned during the spring bloom.

When it was time to go, we felt fulfilled...our every desire had been imagined and anticipated. All had been provided in that respectful and energizing expansion of the old bungalow, updating it for our enjoyment in a new century. Like the wide Dry Creek Valley itself, we enjoyed drifting through this classic Bungalow and over the property again and again. Try it yourself, and enjoy quintessential California living at its best.

Article submitted by contributing writer Taylor Poff

 

Featured Sponsor
28th Annual Virginia Wine Festival

28th Annual Virginia Wine Festival
August 16 - 17, 2003, Great Meadow, The Plains, Virginia
With 45 fabulous wineries participating, the area's top restaurants and caterers to choose from, and continuous live music on two stages, the festival is sure to be the premier event of the summer! To learn how to win tickets to this event, visit: virginia.winecountry.com.


Restaurant Recommendation

Cafe Andalusia in SonomaTapas at Café Andalusia in Sonoma

Café Andalusia, located just off the Sonoma Square resembling a charming Spanish villa, specializes in Tapas with a California twist. Anne Thornton, the owner, fell in love with the cuisine of Southern Spain, specifically a region called Andalusia. Serving lunch and dinner until 9:00 pm, seven days a week, the Cafe also has a fabulous gourmet market available for take-out and specialty items.

You have your choice of dining inside or outside on the charming garden patio, adorned with fragrant blooming flowers and the gentle sound of a fountain. Or, if you prefer, cozy up to the wine bar and allow Adam Savin, of Savin Wine Merchant, to walk you through a plethora of Spanish and local wines. He hosts "Friday Night Flights" with three wines to taste, each strategically paired with Tapas. The cost is $10 per person and well worth it!

Cafe Andalusia in SonomaThe menu is a balance between Tapas and California cuisine expertly presented with generous portions. Share the "Mejillones," mussels with white wine, garlic and fennel for an incredible combination of flavors, followed by "Gambas al Ajillo," sizzling garlic shrimps in a cazuela (Mexican pot made of clay), and for the meat lover...try the traditional "Jomon Serrano and Salchichas," Serrano ham and sausages. The Asparagus Salad with chopped egg and vinaigrette on greens is a tasty, refreshing dish – perfect for two to share. End your meal as the Europeans do with "Tres Quesos," a trio of rich Spanish Cheeses with membrillo (a cross between an apple and a pear).

The house-made Sangria is not to be missed! A delicious balance between tart and sweet with fresh slices of lemons and oranges, pairs wonderfully with the Tapas menu. For an interesting twist, try "Fresh Lemonade Andalusia," served with a glass of ice, cold water, and containers of fresh lemon juice and liquid sugar. The idea is to create your unique glass of lemonade just how you like it!

 

Visit Café Andalusia...where you will enjoy live, Spanish acoustic guitar (on the weekends), sip on delicious Sangria and feast on Tapas. For more details please check out their web site at www.cafeandalusia.com


Featured Sponsor
Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival

Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival
September 26-28, 2003, Resort at Squaw Creek
The date is set, the chefs are lined up, the wineries are ready to pour, and you’re invited to the west’s most festive food and wine affair. Featuring a grape stomp, cooking classes, wine & tequila seminars, Grand Tasting of Tahoe’s finest restaurants with premium wineries. Click here for details and tickets or contact Lake Tahoe Central Reservations, 888-229-2193.

Wine Country Recipe

Sangria! by Café Andalusia

Cafe AndalusiaSangria Andalusia ~ A tasty summer treat!
This recipe courtsey of Café Andalusia, the new Spanish Tapas
Restaurant in Sonoma.

Pour 1 bottle of your favorite dry fruity red wine over
a dozen ice cubes and then add the following ingredients:

3 tablespoons of sugar (or to taste)
1/2 bottle of sparkling water (375ml)
1/2 bottle of sparkling wine (375ml)
Juice from 1/2 lemon, 1/2 lime, 1/2 orange

Mix well and garnish with thin slices of lemon, lime and orange.

Serve to 4 people on a hot summer day! Salud!


Featured Sponsor
The Napa Valley Opera House proudly presents: ENNIO!

The Napa Valley Opera House proudly presents:  ENNIO!
August 15 to August 31 - Starting at $15/person
Celebrated by critics everywhere! Theatre star Ennio created an amazing show that pokes fun at everything from the movie Titanic to The Three Tenors. Turning the art of origami into theatrical magic, you have to see this to believe it! For details visit: www.nvoh.org.

Wine Tasting Recommendation

Geyser Peak Winery: Stepping into the Heart of Alexander Valley

Geyser Peak WineyGeyser Peak Winery's roots in Sonoma County winemaking run deep. Founded in 1880 by Augustus Quitzow, one of Sonoma County's pioneer winemakers, the original winery was built in Geyserville in 1882. Perched on a hillside across from Geyser Peak Mountain, the winery claimed a view of the clouds of thermal steam that billowed from the mountain's summit.
Geyserville was a modest resort town, favored by tourists who traveled by railroad to stay in The Geysers, the sole hotel, to take advantage of the area's thermal baths and salubrious climate. The air of "easygoing informality" that was said to characterize The Geysers applies just as well to modern Geyserville, where you can still stop in at Bosworth's general store (est. 1909) and buy everything from livestock feed to overalls.

Like Geyserville itself, Geyser Peak Winery has evolved over the last century. In the early 1900's, Edward Walden & Co. had great success with a Geyser Peak brandy. Redwood Empire Wines, founded by the Bagnani family, owned the winery in the '30s and '40s. But the incarnation of the modern Geyser Peak Winery truly began in 1989, when Daryl Groom, the red winemaker for Australia's legendary Penfolds, joined Geyser Peak as its Winemaker. Groom embarked on an ambitious campaign to create a world-class winery whose wines expressed the essence of a unique – and uniquely varied – growing region.

Geyser Peak WineryGeyser Peak Winery is located in the Alexander Valley -- arguably one of the most celebrated winegrowing regions in the world, known for the quality of its Cabernet Sauvignon. Here, you can spend an afternoon with the winery's knowledgeable and friendly staff -- happy to pour samples from our portfolio of critically acclaimed wines. Geyser Peak Winery typically wins more than eighty – yes, that's eighty – Gold Medals in prestigious wine competitions each year. Enjoy a chilled glass of crisp and citrusy Sauvignon Blanc on the winery's flagstone terrace, or take your lunch across the road to the picnic grounds. Or, step up to the Reserve Tasting Room, where, for an additional fee, you can select from several flights of spectacular, limited-production wines, many of which are available only at the winery. Like the thermal hot springs which once drew visitors to Geyserville in another era, today, has become a compelling destination for visitors and a cause for renown in its own right.

Visit Geyser Peak Winery at www.geyserpeakwinery.com.

 

Wine Country Lodging Recommendation

Casa Del Mar in Santa Barbara

Casa Del Mar"Mediterranean Charm and the best deal in town" – Sunset Magazine

If you want to experience the feeling of a small Greek village in Southern California, spend a few nights at Casa Del Mar, your "House by the Sea," in Santa Barbara. Our WineCountry.com representative recently had the pleasure of staying there, and loved how each tile-roofed room was strategically situated with attention to privacy and beauty. Combining the intimacy of a bed-and-breakfast with the feel of a small hotel, Casa Del Mar is ideal for visitors of all types, from vacationing families to honey-mooners and business travelers.

Casa Del MarAmenities include a relaxing courtyard Jacuzzi and sun deck surrounded by lush gardens year round, an all-you-can-eat buffet-style "Continental-Plus" breakfast, and an evening wine & cheese social hour from 5 to 7 pm daily. Choose from a variety of accommodations, including the "Extended Stay Cottage," with all the charm of your own home and full usage of Casa Del Mar's amenities.

Casa Del Mar enjoys one of the best locations in Santa Barbara — close to all beach and waterfront activities and the city's main shopping and restaurant district. Less than a block away are sandy beaches and miles of palm-lined oceanfront paths for biking, jogging and skating. Walk to the harbor for sunset cruises, charter fishing and sailing, or whale-watching. Casa Del Mar

A knowledgeable and friendly staff member is always on hand to help select a restaurant, plan activities, or answer questions. While making your plans to visit don't forget to check out their website for Golf and Spa packages as well as periodic Internet Special offers!

Contact this fabulous getaway at 1.800.433.3097 or email at reservations@casadelmar.com.

18 Bath Street
Santa Barbara, California 93101


Wine Country Featured Events

Things to Do in the Wine Country:

August 28 - September 1 -- The 11th Annual Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction Sonoma, California
Sponsored by the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance, the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction includes a celebrity golf tournament at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa’s Sonoma Golf Club, a day in the vineyard at Sangiacomo Vineyards, a sit-down wine tasting focused upon Merlot, a festive vintner & grower picnic at Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery, sixteen winery dinners at winery estates and private homes, the Main Event Live Auction on Sunday, August 31, 2003 at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa’s Sonoma Golf Club and a lavish chef-studded Labor Day vineyard brunch finale at St. Francis Winery on Monday, September 1.

With a Mardi Gras! theme, the 2003 auction weekend will feature beads, doubloons, Mardi Gras masks and a bit of New Orleans flair. Join the five-day party to enjoy the region, to sip the wines, to indulge, to relax, to kick up your heels and dance, and to simply enjoy the best of Sonoma Valley in outrageous Mardi Gras-style. Event tickets, which sell out early, range in price from $60 to $250. To purchase tickets visit www.sonomavalleywine.com or call 707.935.0803.

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

WineCountry.com Info

WineCountry.com Drawing:

Win a Fabulous Sonoma Wine Country Getaway for Two!

Check into Hotel Healdsburg, a first-class hotel, perfectly located in the historic town plaza where one can enjoy some of the world's finest vineyards, restaurants and shops within minutes of the front steps. Beautifully appointed rooms, country gardens, pool and luxurious spa provide a tranquil setting for guests to relax in. Wake up to a delicious gourmet continental breakfast, courtesy of Hotel Healdsburg.

Start your tour of the pristine Sonoma wine country at Locals Tasting Room, just north of Healdsburg, where you will be treated to a Premium Tasting for two, including Reidel Locals Logo Glasses. Locals features 41 wines from 6 unique award-winning wineries. In one relaxing and spirited stop, visitors learn more than they usually do in an entire wine country vacation!

Delight your palate at Restaurant Charcuterie with a $150 gift certificate! Just steps away from your hotel, you will find great wine country fare with the focus on fresh and local foods. A favorite of local winemakers, the menu offers something for everyone.

***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/WineCountry.com 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 WineCountry.com Lifestyle Online newsletter. Employees of FreeRun Technologies are ineligible. Void where prohibited.

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