As 101 winds north the changing scenery lets you know when farm country gives way to wine country. But a little more than an hour past the Golden Gate, a giant opportunity is tucked away to the west of all those distracting vines.
Take the River Road exit off 101 in Santa Rosa and head 15 miles or so to Guerneville. But instead of heading into town, hang a right on Armstrong Woods Road and explore Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve.
What does an eccentric Hungarian Count born 200 years ago and a charismatic modern-day Frenchman have in common? Oddly enough, a passion for making wine… in Sonoma. Last year, Jean-Charles Boisset of Boisset Family Estates, a negociant wine company based in Burgundy, purchased the oldest winery in California — Buena Vista, just outside the town square in Sonoma — and has set about painstakingly restoring the historic cellars.
Despite significant obstacles, there are new brick and mortar wineries popping up in Napa Valley, and we’ve found the latest and greatest. So take pleasure in knowing that you’ll be the first of your friends to hear about these hot new spots, and try them out!
If the very thought of Wine Country evokes images of stretch limos teeming with feather boa-draped bachelorette parties, hordes of Midwesterners bellied up at tasting room bars, and grapevine-swathed, cork and barrel everything, you wouldn’t be totally wrong. But off the beaten path, curious city folk may find tiny civilized hubs where the art and design are contemporary, the cuisine is cutting-edge, and the shopping is more Manolo Blahnik than The North Face. In other words, not so unlike San Francisco.
Tocai Friulano is one of the best and most popular white wines in the northern Italian region of Friuli. They’ve been growing the grape and making the wine for a long time. But in 2007, after Hungary joined the European Union, it was determined by that governing body that one of their wines, Tokaji (a sweet wine made from the grape furmint) could potentially, due to its similar pronunciation to Tocai Friulano confuse consumers into…what? Thinking they were the same wine? I guess so. So poor Tocai Friulano had to change its name to simply Friulano.
On Friday, August 6, corks flew and wine flowed freely as an army of eager employees gathered on the crushpad of Mumm Napa to welcome the arrival of Pinot Noir from the nearby Gamefarm Vineyard — the first fruit to arrive at the winery and the beginning of the 2012 harvest in Napa Valley.
On July 28, the Wine Women & Shoes Napa Valley event lit a spark of awareness and compassion for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, benefitting Napa Emergency Women’s Services. The event was an overwhelming success for NEWS. Over 300 guests celebrated and honored their support for NEWS during an amazing afternoon of wine, shoes, and fashion at Charles Krug Winery. The benefit raised over $80,000, all of which will be delivered directly to NEWS.
When the doors at 813 Main Street in downtown Napa open for business on Wednesday, August 8, it will be for the first time in nearly 40 years. The Thomas restaurant and its street-level Fagiani’s Bar are closing the circle on a piece of Napa history and ushering in a new era for the town.