OnLine Newsletter
Napa Valley Summer Musicals
Lake County Travel Itinerary
Around the Lake We Go!
Sabor de Napa
A Latino New Wave Gets Creative Juices Flowing for Community
Wine Country Recipe
Clear Lake Salad
Wine Country Featured Events
A Taste of Redwood Valley
Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction Weekend Drawing
Newsletter Trivia Contest—Enter and Win!*
A Taste of Redwood Valley- Mendocino County

FATHER'S DAY EVENT- June 18 & June 19th 2005, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

The 14th Annual “A Taste of Redwood Valley” invites you to enjoy a weekend of sensory experiences in the heart of Mendocino Wine Country. Taste award-winning wines, sample local gourmet foods and listen to live music as you tour through 13 wineries. Get a close look at vintage cars in their “Tour du Vin”, a classic car show traveling from winery to winery. Tickets are $25.00 and include a logo wine glass, wine tasting and food for two days, and entry into a drawing for wine prizes.  Purchase tickets at any participating winery.  For information, visit or call 1.800.760.3739 or email

Inn at Schoolhouse Creek

Inn at Schoolhouse Creek"Whereas most small inns located along the Mendocino coast have to make do with an acre or less, the Inn at Schoolhouse Creek has the luxury of spreading its nine private, immaculate cottages amidst 10 acres of beautiful flower gardens, lush meadows, and cypress groves. As a result, the instant you pull into the driveway you feel like you've gotten away from it all and entered a more tranquil environment." - Northern California, Best Places, 2001

Whether you are searching for a romantic weekend escape or a fun filled getaway with your family and pets, the Inn at Schoolhouse Creek has accommodations to fit every budget and taste. Our new Cliffside Cottages offer some of the best white water ocean views on the coast. Unwind, relax and enjoy life on the Mendocino Coast.

The Inn at Schoolhouse Creek ~ 7051 North Highway One
Little River, California 95456
(800) 731-5525

The Inn at the Tides

The Inn at the TidesThe Inn at the Tides invites you to visit one of the premier Sonoma Coast resorts. The six rolling acres encompass 86 bay view rooms, two onsite restaurants, fish market and gift shop. Relax in our heated swimming pool, whirlpool spa and Finnish sauna or rejuvenate yourself with an in-room therapeutic massage.

What better way to spend your evening then by sipping fine wines paired with sumptuous five course faire at our 20th Annual Dinner with the Winemaker Series in The Bay View Restaurant. Join us June 17th for the Wattle Creek Winemaker Dinner with host Michael Scholz. If you enjoy fine Italian cuisine, reserve a seat for our Big Night Gala June 24th for a family style Italian dinner featuring Ruffino winery. For reservations, please email or visit our website at to view additional winemaker dates and menu selections.

Grape Leaf Inn

Grape Leaf InnThe picturesque Grape Leaf Inn is a luxuriously restored Queen Anne Victorian. Located in Healdsburg, in the heart of the California wine country and only an hour from the Golden Gate Bridge, Sonoma County's Grape Leaf Inn has been warmly welcoming its guests for over two decades.

This award-winning bed and breakfast combines the gracious hospitality of a country inn with meticulous service, fine cuisine, and 12 luxurious accommodations. Stylish, contemporary decor paired with timeless antiques meld to create the best of California wine country style and luxury. The relaxing ambience, attentive staff, and its unmistakable romance have made this bed and breakfast one of the most sought after small luxury inns in the Sonoma wine country.

View Grape Leaf Inn's accommodations, check availability, and book on-line any time of day or night at "Leave the stress of everyday life behind and surrender to the allure of the wine country; Escape to the romance of the Grape Leaf Inn ".

Coveted White Sweepstakes Winner!

Brassfield Estate WineryBrassfield Estate Winery & Vineyards was recently honored with the prestigious White Sweepstakes award for its proprietary meritage, 2004 Serenity ($15.99) - a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Gewurztraminer. Brassfield Estate Winery invites you to experience this newly released wine with a 20% savings. Simply use promotional code: WCNOG to receive this limited offer through June 19, 2005.

The Carmel Bach Festival

The Carmel Bach FestivalThe Carmel Bach Festival welcomes international visitors and musicians from around the world (July 16 - August 6, 2005) to revel in the glorious music of Bach and Beyond. Join us this summer for sparkling performances of long-time favorites - the Mass in B Minor, the Brandenburg Concertos, Orchestral Suite No.2, and works by Hayden, Mozart and Beethoven indebted to Bach. Purchase tickets at or (831) 624.2046.


Around the Lake We Go!

Northern California's scenic Lake County is experiencing a nascent renaissance.  A new generation of growers, wineries and hospitality is remodeling old tourist destinations and building new ones that are state-of-the-art.  Indeed, things are changing fast in this attractive area, which is focused around the beautiful, recreation-oriented jewel of Clear Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake in California.  Whether you are enjoying a romantic getaway, or balancing family fun with wine country explorations, Lake County offers everything you need to enjoy a rich, exciting change of pace. 

As you explore the area, the focus is usually on Clear Lake's periphery, a leisurely circular drive.  Stellar vines and wines abound, and a plethora of water activities and nature.  There are three outstanding 18-hole golf courses; you can typically walk on and play even on a Saturday! In Middletown County Park, you might explore the 2005 Lake County Sculpture Walk, a stroll blending the work of nature and world-class art. And the litany of top-notch concerts of popular music at Konocti Harbor Resort draws thousands monthly to a unique Wine Country value-added destination! There is definitely a lot to do. 

A day trip from Napa County is an easy jaunt.  If your focus is already on Up Valley Napa, Calistoga or Pope Valley, then you are on your way.  Middletown, as the name implies, is less than 20 miles from downtown Calistoga and about the same distance from Clear Lake. 

Most of us will want to stay longer though, perhaps to enjoy hot summer days, cool water and refreshing nights, along with the diverse entertainment the area has to offer.  You can enter the circular Clear Lake Itinerary at any point around the lake.  Find your entry spot along the lake, and explore from there. 

A map that includes most of the wineries mentioned in this article is downloadable at the Lake County Winegrape Growers website, and the friendly volunteers at the Lake County Visitor Information Center in Lucerne on the eastern side of the lake between Shannon Ridge and Ceago wineries are exceptionally helpful. 

To Continue Reading the Lake County Itinerary Story, Click Here


Spend a day or two in San Francisco on your way in or out of Wine Country.

The easiest way to get to Napa and Sonoma wine country is to fly into one of the Bay Area airports, then drive the hour or so from there. Because San Francisco gets a lot of air traffic, fares tend to stay low and competitive from most U.S. departure cities. Whether you choose to explore the city on your way to your wine tasting adventure or on your way home, the Hotel Vitale, right across the street from the newly refurbished Ferry Building, is a great new addition to the San Francisco hotel scene. Ask the concierge for a complimentary copy of magazine and start planning your tasting adventure.


Sabor de Napa — A Latino New Wave Gets Creative Juices Flowing for Community

Napa Wine Country turned out in full force to support the sold-out Sabor de Napa (Flavor of Napa) event Saturday May 14th at Quintessa Winery.  This exclusive opportunity to enjoy and explore Latino wine culture behind the landmark curved rock wall of Quintessa benefited the Napa Solano Health Project, which serves those who are the backbone of our collective wine country experience.  The event, like the work of its beneficiary, was nothing less than a stellar experience.

In the last year, the NSHP has reached well over 3000 individuals in 65 different wineries, migrant labor camps and vineyards, enriching their quality of life with the added value of preventative health services.  NSHP offers a multitude of compassionate Spanish bilingual/bicultural services along with educational outreach on several preventative health issues.

The dramatic setting, with wine barrels and tanks towering above all heads, was the backdrop for an impressive exhibition of featured Latino artists from all walks—musical, visual, food and wine.  The turnout for the event expressed resounding appreciation for NSHP and its community, and the crowd was rewarded with a relevant and rich expression of Latino-influenced wine culture at every turn.  We also made a list of tasty wines to watch for that we will share with you a bit later.

Continue reading article


13th Annual Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine AuctionSeptember 2 - 4, 2005

Relive the golden age of Hollywood cinema at the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction. Experience A Day in the Vineyard. Be an insider at the Cult Cab Dinner. See the Phantom under the Big Tent.   Have grape stompin’ fun at Saturday’s Harvest Picnic. The Main Event has fabulous lots of everything from rare and coveted vintages to exotic overseas travel.  We will have you lifting your glass to toast California’s most historic wine destination. For tickets and information visit: or call (707) 935-0803


Clear Lake Salad

Pears and walnuts are two other agricultural specialties of the Clearlake area besides wine grapes.  Visiting with the friendly staff at Steele Winery in Kelseyville, home of the Steele and Shooting Star brands, this Clear Lake Salad recipe came up in conversation. 

The combination works well, and it expresses the casual quality of the area's food and wine culture. Paired with Shooting Star Sauvignon Blanc, whether served as appetizer or dessert, you will enjoy three famous flavors from the lake area, arranged together in perfect harmony.

Go to recipe


Shannon Ridge Vineyards 2003 Barbera

The 2003 Barbera ($19) from Shannon Ridge displays everything that is right about a Lake County red wine.  Bright and juicy, dense, lush and mouth-filling, its ripe fruit was harvested at about 30 brix, but resulted in only 14.3% alcohol and is balanced to its lush, deeply rounded flavors.

Barbera, an Italian varietal from Piedmont, ripens fully only late in the season, and a prolonged heat spell in 2003 allowed the fruit to hang on the vines to a slow, complete maturation. Sour cherry and sweet candied fruit combine with boysenberry and blueberry to tantalize your taste buds.  Only 20% new French oak was used to preserve a delicate fruit character.  Fruit-driven and elegant, you can enjoy now or cellar this wine for up to five years.

Naturally high in acid, this ultra-rich, 100% Barbera wine is a perfect match to a cool Caesar salad, and is also an ultimate pizza or pasta companion.  A recent Sweepstakes Winner at the Riverside International Wine Competition - don’t miss this artisan wine before it sells out!


Newsletter Trivia Contest—Enter and Win!*
Napa Food Gourmet Package!

The May Newsletter featured the culinary artistry of The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, CA. For those of you who would like to be chefs at home but need a few pointers, enter this drawing and receive four cooking demonstration tickets which include recipes and a tasting.  In addition, savor the delicious gourmet cuisine at the Greystone Restaurant as the winner of this contest will also receive 2 dinner gift certificates ($100 value).

You can enter to win by answering the following question from this Newsletter: What is the brand name of the innovative, faux-granite recycled material used to build the Ceago Estate Winery?

Click here to enter this drawing!**  The Winner of this Drawing will be announced on The Winner's Page after June 30, 2005.

*some restrictions apply
** No purchase necessary. Must be at least 21 years old to enter. Only one entry per person permitted. Winner will be selected June 30, 2005 by random drawing from the correct entries. Winner will be notified by email.  Employees of Freerun Technologies are ineligible. Void where prohibited by law.



Wine Country Attraction — Fetzer Fridays

Enjoy summer breezes and a casual picnic-style experience at Valley Oaks Ranch in Hopland this summer.  Chef Bridget Harrington will be grilling up food from around the world.  Wine country visitors might enjoy this stop on the way to the A Taste of Redwood Valley event. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the fun, music and wines by the glass. Many of the events will also include entertainment.

June 3 -- Southern BBQ, June 17 -- Indian Grill, July 8 -- Hawaiian Grill, July 22 -- Asian Grill, August 12 -- Mexican Grill, August 26 -- Mediterranean Grill, September 16 -- Cowboy Cooking

For more details, call Fetzer Winery in Hopland, (800)846-8637.
Time: 5 pm–8 pm
Meal: $8 - $10 per person
Wine: $4 - $6 a glass

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WineCountry Online Newsletter Editor: Carolyn Lewis

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