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Wine Country

Win Tickets to This Weekend's Long Meadow Ranch's Slow Food Benefit Feast

Long Meadow Ranch Winery & Farmstead in St Helena is a country oasis that specializes in grass-fed beef, heirloom fruits and vegetables, eggs, artisan olive oils and award-winning wines. It's the ideal spot to host a benefit for Slow Food Napa Valley and they're doing so with the Long Meadow Ranch Corral Club Harvest Party this Saturday, September 18th.

Getting Excited for the New Francis Ford Coppola Winery Pool

You've probably heard a bit about the Rustic Francis' Favorites restaurant at Francis Ford Coppola's new Geyserville winery, but as the weather finally turns nice, it's the pool that's got us excited. It's unfortunately not slated to open until October (the date was pushed back from Labor Day), but here are some quick previews.

New e-Bike Touring Company Opens in Napa

A new e-bicycle touring company has opened in the Napa Valley. Change of Greenery, based at the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel and Spa, provides an eco-friendly option to the popular pasttime of winery-touring with its fleet of electric cycles. Yes, this means that pedalling is an option, for those who don't mind a little exercise with their wine, but there's also "throttle" mode, which means you can reach speeds of up to 18 mph without exerting one bit of leg effort (the 250-watt motor and lithium-ion battery do all the toiling for you).

Napa Wine Beats French Wine in Blind Tasting?

Must have been a slow news day up in Napa. Because when I saw this headline, I didn't know if I was reading the Onion or the Napa Valley Register. Might have just used the stock "Hometown Boy Makes Good," instead. I'm not complaining about the content of the headline--I have no horses in the Napa vs Bordeaux race--but more about the style of article.

Get Fancy: 'Moveable Feast' Offers Killer Yountville Deals

For those who think Yountville dining is reserved for the elite, here's a little holiday treat: The Michelin-starred town is gifting us with its Moveable Feast program, a tour de force of deals on  food, wine and hotels through February 28. The initiative includes 11 food-and-wine hotel packages and 12 restaurant deals (from killer three-course prix fixe offers to $1 oyster specials to 50 percent off VIP wine tastings).

There are countless offers and combinations on tap, so we took the liberty of throwing together a sample weekend itinerary of some of our favorites. So get your fancy on and take advantage!

Primal Napa: This Weekend, Fire it Up

If your lust for knives and blood-thirst wasn't quenched last Saturday, then this weekend, head up to Chase Cellars for Primal Napa where "fire cooking, meat and the art of butchering" will be celebrated. Not only will there be good food, but the guest chefs and butchers will be participating in a "group-butcher demonstration": breaking down a pig, goat, cow, and lamb in front of an audience. While the rest of the world apparently is riveted by Ultimate Fighting, the foodies gather around with their beer to watch live butcher demos.

On the chef roster?

The usual salumi suspects:

Darkening Skies: '09 Harvest Drawing to a Violent Close

California winemakers have always prided themselves—often arrogantly—on the fact that they can harvest whenever they want to. That is, unlike the wine regions of continental northern Europe, which have real seasons and are subject to the cold and rain that September often brings, California enjoys a long, warm, dry Indian summer lasting usually through to the end of October. Thus, European winemakers often find their (crucial) picking decisions dictated to them by rain storms, while California winemakers can choose to harvest their grapes whenever they please.

Valley High: A Quick Tour of What's New in the Wine Country

St. Helena

Love him or hate him, wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr. has made and broken many a winemaker. On Oct. 22, feel the power as he leads a tasting of the 2007 Châteuneuf-du-Pape at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. A sparkling wine reception follows (as it should when you’re shelling out $750). 2555 Main St., St. Helena, 707-967-2305, ciachef.edu

Grape Stomp: A Napa Harvest Experience

Anyone who knows I Love Lucy remembers the episode where Lucy wanders off to a vineyard and is ordered by forceful Italian women to crush grapes with her feet in a wine vat. Well, the clever, fun-loving family behind Schweiger Vineyards has recreated the side-splitting scene with this year's harvest experience. Sure, Crushpad may offer their version of a city crush camp, but we say go where the grapes grow for a truly authentic escapade. Make the trek up to the mountaintop vineyard and winery in St. Helena for a day of sampling, sugar testing, handpicking, de-stemming and good, old-fashioned stomping.

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