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September 2001

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


  • Newsletter Sponsors: Bonaventura Ballooning
  • New Wine Country Tips: Eat, Drink, Dine!
  • 20th Annual MacArthur Park Wine Festival
  • Wine Country Recipes: Easy Bruschetta
  • September Events Calendar
  • The September Newsletter Contest!

Newsletter Sponsor - Bonaventura Ballooning
"The Napa Valley Wine Country is one of the most perfect places on earth, not only for growing premium wine grapes, but also for soaring peacefully in colorful hot air balloons with Bonaventura Balloon Company. The sensation of ballooning is very gentle and its calming effect seems to put the world below into perspective. Lush vineyards and world-famous wineries drift into view, giving you the unmatched feeling of being above it all.

Bonaventura provides ballooning excursions par excellence over the most scenic Upper Valley. We limit reservations to allow personalized attention, a single magnificent flight per morning with each balloon, and quality instead of volume. A complimentary Champagne Celebration to toast your accomplishment and breakfast options follow flights. Most excursions last 3-4 hours, including preflight and post-flight activities, but there are several 1-8 day Getaways including lodging, spa packages and weddings.

Recommended by Forbes, NY Times, Frommers, Insiders Guide, Gourmet, Travel Holiday, Universal Studios, ABC-TV, BBC, PBS and more, Bonaventura is the balloon company with a difference! Our world-class reputation has attracted guests from around the globe, ranging from 5 to 100 years old.

Bonaventura offers a unique, exhilarating adventure for a few hours or more: unparalleled experiences in a legendary place, for those who are adventurous and those who simply want to relax with the world at their feet

Bonaventura Ballooning begins flights at sunrise in the most scenic "Heart of the Upper Napa Valley" (Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, Calistoga, depending on winds). Altitude, distance and timing vary according to the weather, and every flight is always a voyage of discovery! Most flights span about an hour. You'll be spellbound as we chart a new course, together with nature and your skilled pilot. The feeling of being as free as the wind. . . that is what ballooning is about!

  • Our pilots are all experienced, professional, and FAA commercially rated. They are familiar with the valley and dedicated to ensuring that your ballooning experience is safe, informative, memorable and fun!
  • Our balloons are FAA certified, beautiful and colorful and have been featured on covers of many magazines, from "Touring & Tasting" to "Victoria's Secret!"
  • Our guests may participate in the dramatic inflation if you wish, or watch and photograph! We choose to keep our groups small, usually from four to six persons per balloon or occasionally eight persons in our largest balloons.

We celebrate each flight with an award and complimentary fine local champagne. It's the final touch that recalls the two-century tradition that began with man's first flight in France, in a balloon! A sumptuous breakfast at Meadowood follows, unless you'd prefer to opt for the lighter breakfast, picnic or no-breakfast choices."

Bonaventua Ballooning!

New Wine Country Tips:

Eat, Drink, Dine!

The beginning of the year saw the launch of FreeRun Technology's first XML-based site, is one of the larger sites on the net with an estimated 16,000 pages and 78,000 links. This "wine and food pairing guide" is the culmination of a year's worth of effort, including the pairing genius of a Master Sommelier, programming, and design.

The end result? A guide to matching your wine with an appropriate dish or vice versa, and with 38 varietals and 491 foods, chances are good that you'll find what you're looking for! There are even special sections on herbs, spices, groceries, and serving suggestions.

Even though demonstrates a great new technology in action, you'll probably appreciate it more for its usefulness when you're just not quite sure what wine to have with your meal!

20th Annual MacArthur Park Wine Festival

Where can you enjoy a community event with over 200 varieties of wine, gourmet food, and live music by the Tee Fee Boogie Swamp Band? The MacArthur Park Wine Festival, of course! On Saturday, August 18, 2001 members of the staff had the privilege to attend the 20th Annual MacArthur Park Wine Festival, in Palo Alto, CA, where was a corporate sponsor. The event's proceeds benefited the American Red Cross Palo Alto Area Chapter.

The event kicked-off with a pre-celebration dinner on August 10, 2001 at the gourmet restaurant MacArthur Park. The dinner featured the delicious wines of Chalone Vineyard, coupled with a brief wine lesson and the witty banter of Dan Karlsen, Chalone's winemaker. The dinner was an excellent opportunity to socialize and mingle with other wine-passionate event attendees.

The event on Saturday was packed with attendance of over 70 California wineries, a diverse silent auction, and a unique charity fundraiser called a Balloon Opportunity. By purchasing and popping a balloon, the Balloon Opportunity proved to be a fun way to win gift certificates for lunches at local restaurants and shopping sprees at local community businesses.

The wine festival also featured a Vertical Tasting hosted by Beringer Wineries, which was complimented by hors d'oeuvres from the MacArthur Park Restaurant. The Vertical Tasting featured two sets of Beringer's Cabernet Sauvignon, the Private Reserve from years 1994-1997, and Knights Valley from years 1994-1997. Kim Caffrey, Beringer Vineyards senior tasting coordinator, and Mitch Preston, California region sales manager, led the tasting and discussed the aroma and flavor elements of each wine.

The 21st MacArthur Park Wine Festival should find its way onto your summer 2002 calendar, as the food, wine and music are sensational, and the late summer sun is perfect for a such a day trip.

We encourage your feedback! Please send your comments to our newsletter editor: Suggestions of topics that you would like to see in future issues are always welcome.

Wine Country Recipes - Surfer Submissions!

This month's recipe comes from Barbara Hart of Florida. She writes, "This is one of my favorite hor d'oeurve recipes - it's easy, delicious, and goes wonderfully with either champagne or big cabernet!"

Easy Bruschetta

Cut Italian or French loaf of bread into 1 inch thick slices, cut on the diagonal. Rub with a cut clove of garlic, then mist with olive oil. Broil until lightly browned.

In small bowl mix:
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
Splash of olive oil (I recommend extra virgin)
1-2 T good quality balsamic vinegar
5-6 leaves fresh basil, cut into ribbons

Let tomato mixture stand for 1-2 hours for flavors to blend. Top bruschetta slices with tomato mixture. You can also spread the bread with goat cheese first, then top with tomato mixture. Yummy!

Barb Hart

September 13 -- BBQ Cooking Class at Little River Inn
Little River Inn's Chef Silver Canul announces "The Thrill of the Grill" BBQ cooking class. Learn the grilling techniques of gas and wood...Fruits to fish, breads to vegetables...Grill the whole meal...Become familiar with rubs, soaks, sears, and marinades. At the Little River Inn, Little River, CA.
Time: 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Phone: 707-937-5942

September 15 -- Crushed Grape Family Day at Brutocao Cellars
Join the Brutocao family as they welcome the 2001 harvest with a day of fun in the sun. The entertainment will include a dunk tank, sack races, a grape stomp, face painting, hot dogs and popcorn.
Fee: Call for Reservations
Time: Call

September 8 -- An Afternoon with William Wiley
Join one of the greatest of the California pop artists for a film and lecture on his work. William Wiley's contribution to the pop art community is known throughout the world. At the National Steinbeck Center in the Salinas Room. Call for information on how to purchase tickets.
Fee:Members $15.00; Non-Members $20.00
Time: 2:00 PM

September 28 -- Harvest Wine Seminar
This magical evening is a celebration of harvest. Join the entire Chateau Julien team in an exemplary harvest tradition of working, eating and being together! Dinner in the cellar. Reservations required. Seating is limited. This event is always an early sell-out so call now for tickets. Chateau Julien Wine Estate, Carmel.
Fee: Call
Phone:(831) 624-2600

September 15 -- Harvest Party at Peju Province
An afternoon of wine barrel building, and an old fashioned grape stomp. Dinner featuring a free range Sonoma lamb grilled over an open fire pit and Dancing with the swing band Traces will be enjoyed under a Harvest Moon. Peju Province Winery, Rutherford.
Phone:(707) 963-3600

September 30 -- The Big Grape Circus, Food & Wine Extravaganza
The St. Helena Catholic School Encore Auction, 14th Annual Wine Auction and Food & Wine Extravaganza at Charles Krug Winery. Hard-to-find wines and special offerings by parent/winemaker Heidi Peterson Barrett. The proceeds from this auction provide funding for scholarships for needy students, educational materials, books, computer software, the school operating budget and our endowment fund. 2800 Main Street, St. Helena.
Time:1:00 PM - 6:00 PM

September 14 - 16 -- Danish Days in Solvang
A treasured celebration of Solvang's rich Danish heritage since 1936. The good life and simple pleasures are remembered with old world customs and pageantry. Danish folk dancing, music, parades, food and entertainment all weekend.
Fee:No Admission Fee
Time: Daily

September 22 -- Crush Party at Gainey Vineyard
Join us for a celebration of the Art of Winemaking! Enjoy grape-picking, cooking and barrel-building demonstrations and more. Tri-Tip and Chicken Santa Ynez-style BBQ. Enjoy live music and the "Lucy Look-A-Like Contest." 3950 East Highway 246, in Santa Ynez.
Time:11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Phone: 805-688-0558

September 9 -- Cigar-B-Q 2001
Join us for a fun-filled afternoon on the green at Rodney Strong Vineyards. Fine wines, hand-crafted brews,great food provided by Cafe Lolo,live music, and premium cigars. In cooperation with Cigar Aficionado. Wines participating include Rodney Strong, Jordan, Korbel, Germain-Robin. Beers include Sierra Nevada, Stella Artois, Fosters, Pilsner Urquell. 11455 Old Redwood Hwy, Healdsburg.
Fee: $75.00
Time: 1:00 - 5:00 PM
Phone:707- 887-2714

September 21 - 29 -- A Delicate Balance at Cinnabar Theater
A story of a couple adrift on the wreckage of their marriage. As the characters maintain a shaky balance between love and fear, sanity and madness, Albee beautifully blends humor and compassion in this stunning play the New York Times called "an evening of theatrical fireworks." Opening night includes a wine & dessert tasting at 7:00 PM. Performance dates are 09/21, 09/22, 09/28 & 09/29. 3333 Petaluma Blvd North, Petaluma.
Fee:$27.00, $24.00, $22.00
Time: 8:00 PM & 09/30 at 3:00 PM
Phone: 707-763-8920

There are so many events to choose from -- we encourage you to pick your favorites from the full list at:

Enter Our Contest!!
For this month's contest we will be drawing a name from email responses (see "To Enter This Contest" below).

This month - a Balloon Ride for one from Bonaventura Balloon Company, including breakfast at Meadowood (all inclusive, taxes & gratuities)!

To Enter This Contest:
2) in the body of the email type: "I want my balloon ride from Bonaventua Ballooning!!"

One entry per person, please. ***Deadline for response is 8:00 am (Pacific Daylight Saving Time) Monday, September 10, 2001***

We're sorry, we will not be able to respond to everyone - only the winner will be contacted.


FreeRun employees and their families are not eligible to enter this contest.

Good Luck!

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