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August 2004

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> Luther Burbank Center for the Arts
Bring the ARTS into your life!
> Harvest Inn
Diamond in the Heart of Napa Valley
> Wine Country Featured Destination
Villa Terra Bella in Windsor
> Wine Country Recipe
Brewery Gulch Inn Mediterranean Torta
> Wine Country Featured Event
Lake Tahoe’s 19th Annual Food and Wine Festival
> WineCountry.com Drawing!
Win a “Napa Wine Country Adventure ”!

From all of us at FreeRun - Thank you for using our sites!
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"The Essential Link to Our Lifestyle"

Want to Know What The Locals Know 
About Visiting Wine Country?WINECOUNTRY.com is the authority on providing local and insider information along with key visitor information to the Wine Country. WINECOUNTRY.com is on the beat on where to eat, where to shop, where to stay, where to play, who's coming to town, what's hot, and just what's happening in Wine Country!

Published in a unique large format (12" x 20") in full, four-color print on high-gloss paper stock, WINECOUNTRY.com is designed for the reader who wants more than the usual visitor's guide -- one who's looking for "local" information of what's new and what's going on. As essential as a map, WINECOUNTRY.com is the ultimate tool for planning a trip like an insider instead of as a tourist. WINECOUNTRY.com is for travelers visiting for the first time, or for connoisseurs who visit throughout the year -- anyone who wants to stay abreast on what's new in Wine Country.

WINECOUNTRY.com will be published six times a year. The premier issue was launched July 1, 2004. Subscribe now and receive a "free" issue!


How to Choose a Wedding Photographer
"Hints from a Professional"

How to Choose a Wedding PhotographerIf you are getting married in the Wine Country, you are in luck. There are more wedding photographers here than almost anywhere else in the United Stares. This means you will have lots of choices. On the other hand, this wealth of talent can make the process pretty overwhelming. Based on my experience of twenty years as a working photographer - shooting everything from annual reports, advertising, travel books, editorial work ...and yes, weddings, I have a few practical suggestions to make the process a little less daunting.

It is always a good idea to talk to people you know who were married fairly recently. Looking at photographers portfolios can be fascinating, but nothing beats really seeing the full range of images that a client received from the photographer, as well as getting the details of how everything went on the day itself. Another good place to begin is price. How much should you pay for wedding photography? I happen to believe that there is a good reasonable middle ground for what it makes sense to pay. It is worth paying the most that your budget will allow to get someone who is experienced, talented, and really knows what they are doing. . .

Click Here to read the full story!


Wine Country Real Estate
"Find Your Dream Home"

Wine Country Real Estate It's summer — the perfect time to drive through the golden, sun-draped Napa and Sonoma Valleys. And the perfect time to find your new Wine Country home. Buyers relocating to or within the Wine Country know the secret to the good life: location, location, location. Great food and wine, a vibrant cultural scene, gorgeous vistas and friendly people make locations throughout the Napa and Sonoma wine country some of the most sought after spots to live in the entire nation.

But finding your dream home can be challenging and, if you're relocating from another town, stressful for every member of the household — including the pets. A realtor can help make your search and eventual purchase as carefree and enjoyable as possible.

Click here for a list of Local Realtors: Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Mendocino County, Monterey County, Santa Barbara County, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz Mountains


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Luther Burbank Center for the Arts

Luther Burback Center for the ArtsBring the ARTS into your life!

Bring the arts into your life at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, affectionately known as LBC.  The LBC, a charitable non-profit organization, features world-class performing arts presentations in music, dance and theater, with more than 100 major performances and events presented each year.  A major visual arts museum also graces the center.  Enriching, educating and entertaining the North Bay community, their outstanding artistic, cultural and contemporary programming reaches hearts and minds of all ages. 

Located at the northern end of Santa Rosa, the 125,000 square foot LBC campus has festival grounds with a big-top tent, spacious auditoriums and intimate meeting rooms.  Award-winning Chef-to-the-Stars gourmet catering graces many of the events with food.  Speaking of stars, a steady stream of popular music rocks the center…highlight upcoming performances include Melissa Etheridge, Seal, Wynnona and Smokey Robinson.

Namesake Luther Burbank was one of Santa Rosa's most famous citizens.  A national hero for his accomplishments in plant breeding, he lived in Santa Rosa for 50 years until his death in 1926.  Many of the visitors to his home were painters, sculptors and writers who were inspired by him to express their own creativity. 

Luther Burback Center for the ArtsIn 1979, a group of leaders from three Santa Rosa Rotary Clubs formed the Luther Burbank Memorial Foundation.  Their aim was to find and develop a location for an arts center.  Local businessman and civic leader Henry Trione led a group of 12 community leaders in the $4.5 million purchase of the former Christian Life Center's facility and 53 surrounding acres.  (The church pews in the main theater were finally retired recently to much acclaim.)  This site became the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in October 1981.

Each year the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts presents a mixture of quality and diversity in programming.  Fine arts groups such as the acclaimed Santa Rosa Symphony, Actors' Theatre, Ballet California, and Santa Rosa Community Concerts offer cultural programs annually.  The LBC also brings the magical wonders of live theater to the family through their Family Show Series.  These shows consist of award-winning performances featuring music, comedy, dance and drama, reflecting global diversity, and sparking the imagination of youth.

LBC Educational Programs are specifically designed to create positive solutions with the arts to improve students' academic achievement.  The LBC promotes the strength that music, dance, theater and visual arts can provide, reaching students with an effective interdisciplinary curriculum.  Students actively participate in the arts and express their creativity instead of just being passive observers.

Another LBC sponsored program of great value is the ArtReach Program, which donates free tickets to families and organizations with limited income. The program encourages a family atmosphere and works extensively with children in group homes, foster care, hospitals and other institutions. Extensive networking is done within ethnic minority communities to foster strong connections.  Coordinators work with children and caregivers to provide a lively arts experience for economically disadvantaged communities.

Luther Burback Center for the ArtsYou will want to be sure to visit the Museum of Contemporary Arts (MOCA), which exhibits provocative and significant contemporary work by local, regional, national and international artists.  Originally developed as a volunteer-run gallery in 1981, this innovative, renowned museum is now the leading California presenter of contemporary art north of San Francisco. 

Four indoor galleries and four outdoor sculpture venues offer ten to twelve shows each year.  Current features include local artist Daniel Oberti's exhibit of new works in the Sculpture Courtyard, "Shadowplay at Groundplane", showcasing ceramic and ferro-cement from August 2004 through May 2005.  "Trinitas", on display through October 10, focuses on the captivating work of three artists using non-traditional means of working with paint, altering your expectations with unusual materials, boundaries and ideas.

The LBC's diverse cultural offerings and well-rounded programs contribute to the North Bay community's appreciation of the arts, improving the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.  Whether it's ballet or B.B. King, contemporary art or Children's Theater, everyone's imagination will be inspired by sharing in the beauty, mystery and thrill of the arts at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts!

Article contributed by Taylor Poff


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Harvest Inn

Harvest Inn of Napa ValleyDiamond in the Heart of Napa Valley!

Are you planning a visit to the beautiful Napa Valley region?   Do you dream of a long, peaceful week or weekend in the area tasting wine, perhaps attending a local festival or concert, and focusing your senses on the copious culinary temptations available?  Yet, with so many appealing lodging and accommodation choices available, you are wondering where you should stay…

Look no further than world-renowned Harvest Inn, your ultimate retreat for rest and relaxation.  The Inn, located in St. Helena in the heart of the Napa Valley, is the perfect setting for a vacation getaway or romantic trip for two.  Escape to paradise, embracing the lush beauty of Napa all in one location, with gorgeous views of Whitehall Lane Winery & Vineyards and the Mayacamas Mountains as the backdrop.  Redwood groves and eight acres of blossoming gardens make this tranquil setting complete.

The delightful ambience is only a prelude to the symphony that lays ahead, your home for the next few days.  Whisked away to your own spacious guestroom, nestled among the gardens, you are presented with lavish surroundings featuring a private vineyard-side terrace, a luxurious featherbed, a quaint and ornate brick fireplace, along with contemporary amenities such as TV, VCR and phone.  An intimate spa tub on the terrace offers a peaceful respite from the cares of the day, and a simple continental breakfast refreshes you each morning.  If you want to make your stay even more memorable, take advantage of special packages centred on wine, romance and food.  Depending on the package you choose, you will enjoy a special wine, spa treatments or dinner for two at the highly acclaimed Pinot Blanc in nearby St. Helena.

Harvest Inn of Napa ValleyIf you need assistance getting into your comfort zone, treat yourself to a rejuvenating massage or body treatment, which may be enjoyed along the full glory of the vineyards at the Harvest Inn's Garden Spa Sanctuary, or in the privacy of your own room.  Indulge in a treatment which lulls you into a peaceful state of mind, body and spirit…you will not be disappointed as you are physically refreshed and revived from head to toe.  In addition, there are two outdoor swimming pools, outdoor spas and mountain bikes, so that you may discover Napa Wine Country in completely new ways.

Harvest Inn invites you to venture forth into Napa Valley and beyond to taste palate-tempting wine and cuisine.  The Inn is conveniently located for easy day tripping to other wine country areas such as Sonoma, Healdsburg, Anderson Valley and the Russian River Valley.  A friendly concierge is happy to help with suggestions matched to fulfill every desire.  If you are looking for wine country adventure, exciting balloon rides, hiking, and bicycling beckon, and the helpful staff will customize an itinerary of winery visits to match.  Not to be missed either are the Inns' fireside wine tastings on Fridays and Saturdays, in front of the impressive English cobblestone hearth.  Guests may also sample several vintages from the Living Room Wine Bar each day until 11pm.  Calming views, comfortable sofas, a grand piano and backgammon tables complete the relaxing, carefree environment.

Enrich your next trip to Napa Valley by residing at Harvest Inn.  You'll be glad you decided to stay at such a special place that exudes country estate ambience and has a great central location.  Harvest Inn is the perfect escape to the California Wine Country you want to enjoy.

Harvest Inn  One Main Street, St. Helena CA 94574

Email:   mwood@harvestinn.com
Phone: 707. 963.9463

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Crane Canyon Great MourvedreHighlight

The Napa Valley Opera House, Jonathan Reinis Productions, Inc. and the Napa Valley Repertory Theatre present a celebrity production of Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues" at the Napa Valley Opera House August 12 - September 5, 2004. The rotating, star-studded cast includes Lisa de Bruin, Jill Eikenberry, Rita Moreno and Victoria Tennant. For tickets (707) 226-7372 or go to www.naparep.com

Wine Country Featured Destination

Villa Terra Bella in Windsor — Your Next Escape to the Wine Country

Villa Terra Bella in WindsorLocated in the heart of the Sonoma Wine Country, the drive to this quaint guest home is a treat in itself.  Villa Terra Bella is within minutes of local wineries, spas and hot springs, antique shopping, a gorgeous golf course, museums and rafting.  Although there are many activities to choose from in close proximity, we were there to relax and experience Villa Terra Bella to its fullest.  We found the country road leading to the estate and -- WOW -- were we blown away as we entered the property!  Nestled in the rolling hills of Windsor, we first noticed the giant palm tress lining the property combined with luscious grass everywhere.  Quite a unique site for wine country!  It truly has the European feel to it with Zinfandel vines, oak trees and ivy adding to the topography. 

Our gracious host, Darlene Walley, greeted us with a special bottle of their estate Zinfandel and proceeded to show us around.  To the left of the guest home is the heated pool and hot tub surrounded by beautiful masonry and vegetation.  The poolside is perfect for relaxing after a day of wine tasting or hosting an intimate party – Darlene has done it all!  Also available for small weddings, Villa Terra Bella provides a unique, dynamic setting for your special day. 

Villa Terra Bella in WindsorThe shingled cottage is located between towering palm trees to the left of the main house and has a porch with chairs to marvel at the landscaping.   A vase of fragrant estate roses welcomed us as we entered the bright, cheerful cottage.  With plenty of space Villa Terra Bella easily sleeps six people, with two bedrooms + a full sized fold out couch bed, a fully equipped kitchen complete with fresh ground coffee for the morning, satellite TV, a living room and breakfast nook.  The master bedroom contains French doors that open to the huge backyard perfect for a pet to run around (Darlene accepts animals as well for a small fee) or relax and bbq on the patio.  Villa Terra Bella is also children friendly with a cool playground on the property and, if that wasn't enough, childcare is available with advanced notice.  RV's and camping are welcome on the property as well. 

Darlene is happy to assist with picnic packages complete with information on all the wonderful wineries in the area.  The Sonoma Wine country is full of historic, award winning wineries where you can bring your gourmet lunch and learn about the wine. 

With reasonable rates, warm hospitality and awesome views, Villa Terra Bella is the ideal place to relax and experience all that the country has to offer.  For information or reservations call Darlene Walley at 707-838-3048 or email.


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The Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction WeekendThe Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction Weekend
September 2-5, 2004. Four days of outrageousness with the Sonoma Valley wine family that includes costumes, song and satire that has raised over $3 million for Somona Valley charities. This years events include Celebrity Golf Tournament, a Day in the Durell Vineyards, Vintners & Growers Picnic at Cline Cellars, Sonoma Valley Winemaker Dinners, and Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction at The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. Reserve your tickets by calling (707) 935-0803, visit www.sonomavalleywine.com or email us at info@sonomavalleywine.com.


Wine Country Recipe

Brewery Gulch Inn
Photo by Jay Graham

Brewery Gulch Inn Mediterranean Torta


Sun dried tomato pesto
Sweet basil pesto
Cambozola cheese
Olive tapenade

Note: At the Brewery Gulch Inn, individual tortas are made in 2 oz. metal sauce cups, but anything that can be used as a mold will work as well.  Make the torta as large as the occasion calls for. The tapenade and pestos can be purchased at a wine country gourmet food store, but you can also make them yourself from your favorite pesto recipes.

Line the inside of your mold with plastic film.  Place a thin layer of Cambozola cheese (about 1/4") in the bottom.  Next, place a layer of olive tapenade (again 1/4" layer), followed by another layer of Cambozola. Now, add a similar layer of sundried tomato pesto (sundried tomatoes, roasted garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, Cuisinart until spreadable). Add another layer of Cambozola. Now add a layer of sweet basil pesto, and, finally, one more layer of Cambozola.

Fold the sides of the film over the top and gently press down on it. Refrigerate overnight.

When ready to serve, flip it over, unwrap, and unmold.  Serve with assorted crackers and sliced Granny Smith apples.

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Editor's Pick -- Barndiva<
Editor's Pick — Barndiva

A cool new drinks lounge - a block off the plaza in down town Healdsburg. The see and be seen spot of the moment.


Wine Country Featured Event

Lale TahoeLake Tahoe’s 19th Annual Food and Wine Festival

Indulge your taste buds and savor fall’s most beautiful flavors at Lake Tahoe’s Autumn Food & Wine Festival, October 1-3. Soak up Tahoe’s vivid colors and crisp mountain air during this weekend celebration of tasting, learning and relaxing.

The event combines spectacular scenery with decadent wining and dining. Hone your culinary skills with classes from renowned chefs or taste signature cuisine at the Celebrity Chef’s dinner, featuring Lars Kronmark, Joseph Keller and Jacques Cornelis. Enjoy vertical tastings, Duckhorn Winery’s 25th Anniversary Luncheon or choose your favorite dish at the Mountain Chef Cook-off. Tour the picturesque towns of Truckee and Tahoe City with a Wine Walk and Shop tour or get your feet wet at the Village Grape Stomp. Top it all off with Sunday’s Grand Tasting and Culinary Competition. For tickets and lodging packages, please call 888-229-2193 or visit www.mytahoevacation.com/wwc



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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Editor's Pick -- Barndiva<
Editor's Pick — Bacara Resort

Look for the Wine Time Special at www.bacararesort.com available through August 31st, 2004. A luxurious, understated and intimate resort right on the beach. Indulge yourself.

WineCountry.com Info

WineCountry.com Drawing:

Win a “Napa Wine Country Adventure”!*

If you want to discover the beauty and intricacies of Napa Valley on your own, then the Napa Valley Expedition Guide is for you.  This unique combination of audio tour, guidebook and multimedia CD-Rom is a “self-guided driving tour of the history, wineries, and wines that have shaped the Napa Valley” that no visitor should be without. 

When you get tired of doing all the driving, let someone else create scenic and culinary adventures for you.   Enjoy a relaxing ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train for a scenic journey through the heart of Napa Valley’s picturesque vineyards and taste delicious gourmet entrees. 

No Napa Valley trip is complete without visiting one of their world-renowned restaurants.  This package does not disappoint as it sends you to the Greystone Restaurant for fine dining.  The Greystone Restaurant boasts spectacular views from its terrace and then sample cuisine prepared using local, seasonal ingredients from the agricultural bounty of California.  As noted by the restaurant itself “what better place to experience the mingling of food, wine, and friends than the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant, in the very heart of California’s wine country”.  We are sure you will agree as well.

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 September 19, 2004.

(*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.

WineCountry.com Info...

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For information on advertising in the WineCountry.com Lifestyle Newsletter, please contact Carolyn Lewis at carolyn@freerun.com or 707-857-4100.


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