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BENNETT VALLEY APPELLATION COMES OUT

California is dotted with valleys and mountains that provide unique growing conditions for wine grapes, some little known outside local circles. One is Bennett Valley in the Sonoma Mountain chain between Santa Rosa and Glen Ellen.

The valley recently received approval as a distinct appellation or American Viticultural Area, and growers and wineries in the valley held a party to celebrate.


Matanzas Creek Winery

There are 36 growers with 700 acres of vines and three small wineries in the 8000-acre appellation, but the area is dominated by Matanzas Creek Winery owned by Jess Jackson and his wife Barbara Banke, who attended the event.

The valley is surprisingly cool because of its altitude, fog and openings to cold Pacific breezes, and cooler-climate grapes such as Merlot and Chardonnay are its most widely planted vines, though naturally Pinot Noir and even Syrah also do well.

Most vineyards are planted at 500 to 600 ft. and, in fact, it’s not really a valley but an alluvial bench rising from Matanzas Creek and surrounded on three sides by mountains. – PF
 


INTHEGARAGE

THE WINE GARAGE STORE owned by Todd and Joy Miller, is the newest wine bar & store in Napa Valley. Located in Calistoga right off Hwy 29, The Wine Garage has upwards of 200 different wines available, with a current inventory of over 3,000 bottles. The store's specialty is that Todd seeks out and personally visits small wineries throughout California (usually in rural, less-traveled areas such as Lodi, Paso Robles, Amador and Mendocino) whose wines are not commercially available outside their own areas. The Wine Garage is open Tuesday – Sunday.

THE WINE GARAGE | CALISTOGA
1020 FOOTHILL BLVD
707.942.5332


GALLERY BUZZ

Volakis Gallery

VOLAKIS GALLERY,the newest gallery in Yountville, focuses on contemporary black and white photography, sculpture, and mixed media work from artists throughout the United States and Europe. Gallery owner and photographer Emanuel Dimitiri Volakis opened the gallery to showcase a collection of world-renowned artists including Barbara Kilne, Brian Oglesbee, Misha Gordin and Jan Reich. The gallery is open Wednesday - Sunday and is a must see for contemporary art collectors.

VOLAKIS GALLERY | YOUNTVILLE
6730 Washington Street
707.945.1125


A PRIVATE
LUXURY RESORT

Honor Mansion is owned by Cathi and Steve Fowler who have taken a huge step in providing the ultimate luxury resort experience exclusively for their guests. Nowhere in the Wine Country will you find a professionally designed full-size croquet lawn, putting green, two bocce ball courts, tennis court, basketball court and swimming pool surrounded by beautiful gardens in a totally private setting.

HONOR MANSION | HEALDSBURG
14891 Grove Street
800.554.4667

Southwest Sonoma County
                  DINING ADVENTURES

The buzz is on about an exciting dining experience in Rohnert Park called LATITUDE. This refreshing new bar and dining complex fills the formerly dark and staid Wine & Visitors Center, adjacent to the Doubletree Hotel at the north end of town, with uncommon spirit and quality. Unpretentious yet special, sophisticated but comprehensible, the staples of California cuisine are surrounded by inventive appetizers and luscious desserts in a great setting. A family-friendly nature doesn't sacrifice distinctive personality, which your adult parties will enjoy as well. Enjoying wine or a cocktail outdoors on the picturesque lake and the awesome Sunday Buffet Brunch have also quickly become popular features of this new landmark.

The arrangement of high ceilings, wood ovens and pensive art at LUCY'S CAFÉ might suggest that you are in the big city, but the uncommon food elements coming together in this great atmosphere at the edge of Sebastopol Town Square make it a favorite Sebastopolian dining spot. The adventure begins with stellar organic bread baked on-premise, and continues across the dense menu built from seasonal treats…and don’t forget the pizza! After a change of hours, Lucy’s is open only for dinner, from 5-10pm (Fri/Sat until 11), but you should take note that they also serve delicious focaccia and other baked goods on Sundays at the Sebastopol Farmers Market in the adjacent Town Square. If you are celebrating a wine purchase or a special occasion, the reasonable corkage and cake fees of just $10 each will close the deal here.

Not far from the freeway just north of Petaluma, the WASHOE HOUSE has been fueling and re-fueling travelers on Stony Point Road for 145 years. Pull your 21st-century stagecoach into the lot and step up to the bar of the oldest roadhouse in the State of California. Tread creaky wooden floorboards, uneven and worn by thousands of bandits, prostitutes, cowboys and other diverse travelers like you. Consistent family ownership across more than 30 years has paid off here, where they offer the kind of authentic treat at this old stagecoach stop in business since 1859 that nowadays one doesn’t find often enough. A Washoe House favorite is the Buffalo Burger, so this is a great spot for an informal kind of healthy appetite…the kind of place where you are a fool if you don’t save room for pie. –TP

LATITUDE | 707.588.1800
5000 ROBERTS LAKE ROAD

LUCY’S CAFÉ | 707.829.9713
6948 SEBASTOPOL AVENUE

WASHOE HOUSE | 707.795.4544
CORNER OF STONY POINT ROAD & ROBLAR ROAD


PILAR BRINGS MORE FINE FOOD
TO DOWNTOWN NAPA

While once visitors to Napa Valley had to head up to Yountville or St. Helena for fine food, downtown Napa has become a new destination with many excellent restaurants.

The newest is Pilar, opened by Pilar Sanchez and her husband Didier Lenders, proven chefs who both formerly worked locally at Meadowood Resort. Pilar also headed the staff at the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant at The Culinary Institute of America.

Pilar features innovative dishes that change with the season and what is locally available. The wine list features both Napa wines and their foreign counterparts for interesting comparisons. –PF

PILAR | 807 MAIN ST., NAPA
OPEN FOR LUNCH AND DINNER MONDAY
THROUGH SATURDAY | 707.252.4474


JUST OPENED | JESSUP CELLARS

Jessup CellarsJESSUP CELLARS has opened a tasting room in the heart of Napa Valley in Yountville. Producing wine since 1996, Jessup Cellars has been a family owned and operated winery. Representing a family working together for a shared reward. Mark (winemaker) and Pamela Jessup started their wines with their commitment, love, inspiration and support that they have gained through their relationships with family and friends. Stop by their tasting room to get a better understanding of their wines, and most importantly, their family. The tasting room is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


JESSUP CELLARS
TASTING ROOM
| YOUNTVILLE
6740 Washington Street
(707) 944-8523


JULY/AUGUST 2004
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FEATURE ARTICLE
ON THE RADAR
- Pilar
- The Wine Garage
- Bennett Valley
- Jessup Cellars
- Hospitality Experiences
- Family Fun
SOCIAL TOAST
BITS & BITES
FOOD & WINE


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In California’s Gold Country
Nearly everyone has had a disappointing experience with supermarket-bought summer berries. You're doing your weekly grocery shopping and are tempted by the blueberry special – only $2.99! – so you buy a package or two and bring them home. The hammer falls, however, when you sprinkle them on your morning cereal the next day only to find that the berries are moldy.

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