Posts tagged with "wine country"

Downtown Napa via 360 Magazine

Downtown Napa

New Arts and Entertainment, Wine Tasting Rooms, Food and Drink

Downtown Napa, which has been dubbed The Wine Tasting Room Capital of the World, is the premier Napa Valley experience. This fall, discover new outdoor recreation, entertainment, tasting rooms, restaurants and more in wine country’s most walkable destination. Here’s what’s new in Downtown Napa this fall: 

New Outdoor Recreation 

  • Napa Valley Bike Tours has a new e-bike tour that starts and finishes from the Wine & Brews E-Bike Cruise location in Downtown Napa. The cruise includes stops at a local winery for a tasting and picnic lunch and a unique winery and brewery tasting room experience. 

New Wine Tasting Rooms: 

  • Ox & the Fox Wine Bar received its liquor license and is now serving cocktails among its existing beer and wine selection. The front of the building has also been expanded to welcome more guests in to enjoy the expanding menu. 
  • Wine Girl, a Scottsdale-based wine bar, is opening a location at 1321 First St. next to Anette’s Chocolates, making for a perfect bachelorette and girls’ holiday location in Downtown Napa.

New Shopping:

  • Maison Verbena, a San Francisco-based store, opened the doors to a new location in First Street Napa. It is a young yet dynamic business passion about innovation with a goal to inspire and bring the idea of “fashion marketing” to the US. 
  • State & First moved to a beautiful new space and updated its hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. State & First is exquisitely curated for the Napa Valley lifestyle, offering unique women’s and men’s clothing selections, jewelry and accessories that can’t be found anywhere else in the valley.
  • Color Theory recently moved to Main Street at Caymus. Color Theory carries a wide variety of name brand paints, mediums, papers and drawing utensils for artists of all skill levels. 

New Arts & Entertainment:

  • On Sept. 20 at 7 p.m., Napa Valley Music Associates will host the 2022 series of Napa Valley Guitar Festival: Yuri Liberzon.The festival, hosted by Churchill Manor, will include music by contemporary Konstantiin Vassillev whose music synthesizes several styles including jazz, Russian Folk music and contemporary western traditions. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors/students. 
  • Open Studios Napa Valley, a self-guided art discovery tour, will take place Sept. 17 to 18 and Sept. 24 to 25 from 10 a.m. to. 5 p.m. each day. Seventy local artists will showcase their work throughout Napa Valley. To view and print the Open Studios catalog and map, visit acnv.org. 
  • Napa Drunken History Tour is a walking tour around Napa that takes visitors back in time to the origins of the city of Napa and the people who founded it. The tour, which has spots available Sept. 23 to Sept. 24 and Oct. 27 to Oct. 28, includes three stops at local establishments with local microbrew, boutique wine tasting and distilled spirits tasting.
  • The CIA at Copia/American Bounty at CIA Copia presents Southwestern Cuisine with Edgar Rico. Join Edgar Rico – 2022 James Beard Award winner for Best Emerging Chef and owner/chef at Nixta Taqueria in Austin, TX – and co-owner, Sara Maranbigi, for an adventure through the cuisine and culture of the southwest Sept. 24 to Sept.  25. 
  • Uptown Theatre Napa, Downtown Napa’s ultimate destination for live entertainment, has a variety of upcoming shows this summer and fall. Headliners include “Weird Al” Yankovic with Emo Philips, UB40, Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen and more. 
  • The Cabernet Classic returns to The Meritage Resort and Spa for the second year from Nov. 4 to Nov. 6 in Downtown Napa. This experience features over 20 expert-led tastings featuring hundreds of wines, chef-curated dining experiences and playful events among the resort’s Napa Valley vineyards.

New Food & Drink: 

  • The Meritage Resort and Spa opened The Village Bistro, a French-influenced pop-up dining experience with a wine country twist based on family style dining. The bistro features traditional French dishes in shareable plates, main courses, desserts and an extensive wine list. 
  • Osha Thai now offers lunch special menus with choice of main course and an appetizer or salad for $25 from Tuesday to Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors can choose from spicy basil chicken, garlic pepper pork, yellow curry, pad Thai, drunken noodles, beer braised chicken or beef cashew nuts. 
  • Kitchen Door is now fully operating in its new space and has released its Pool Bar menu, served from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday, featuring delicious eats like potato bravas with smoked paprika and garlic aioli, deviled eggs with crispy pepperoni and picked red onions, beef carpaccio crushed with Himalayan truffle, chives, arugula, crispy potato, truffle aioli, and more. 
  • Napa Yard, a new beer garden located across from CIA at Copia, has opened. It features a micro distillery café, bar, wine tasting area, gardens and event space. The bar will serve cocktails from garden-to-glass Concordia spirits infused on site. 
  • Entrecôt, owned by Argentine-born proprietors Gonzalo Barrado and Maia Antonella Tesio, is now open on the Napa River in the Riverfront Complex, bringing Argentine cuisine to the Riverfront 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The menu includes tapas such as empanadas, ham and cheese croquettes, fried polenta with tomato sauce and cheeses and charcuterie with starters like gazpacho, vitello tonnato, and more. 
  • Sky & Vine, tucked on the rooftop of Archer Hotel Napa, opened its Whiskey Bar. This reservation-only experience features a 100+ list of unique and rare whiskeys. It includes a small vintage collection and rounds out with a range of approachable selections, private barrel flights, specialty cocktails, and more. 

For more information about Downtown Napa, including lodging, dining, wine tastings, shopping and things to do, visit donapa.com.  

ABOUT NAPA TOURISM IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT

Created in 2010, the Napa Tourism Improvement District (TID) is the official destination marketing organization for Downtown Napa/City of Napa. With a mission to increase overnight visitation and improve the local economy, the Napa TID promotes nearly 45+hotels and bed and breakfast properties, premier dining, wine tasting, shopping and local entertainment. The Napa TID utilizes its website (DoNapa.com), participates in the creation of local events and develops targeted marketing programs that drive overnight stays during the off-season and mid-week occupancy throughout the year.

Wine bottles illustration Via 360 Magazine

MURA IN MIAMI

Downtown Miami’s upcoming sophisticated venue for wine and spirits is slated to open this Fall at 333 SE 3rd Avenue. Maison MURA will serve and offer for sale an extensive selection of premium wine and spirits, as well as a refined food menu, all carefully curated by owners and long-time friends Matthieu Yamoum, the former Wine Director of New York’s Baccarat Hotel, and Philippe Vasilescu, the former Brand Ambassador for the prestigious LOUIS XIII Cognac de Remy Martin. Both share extensive and complementary experiences in the fine wine and spirits industry and have been working for over 2 years on this project to bring this bespoke experience to Miami.

“At Maison MURA, we love what we do and are excited to offer our guests in Miami a comprehensive wine list and menu that is thoughtful and provides a tailored and memorable experience whatever the occasion is! We will always strive to offer truly personalized service and consistently propose the finest expertise available to all of our clients,” says Vasilescu. “Our passion is meant to be shared every day and the only missing part of all our current ventures was to have our very own place instead of always hosting at different places! From the moment you enter Maison MURA, we want you to feel at home” said Yamoum.

With burgeoning shelves full of a few thousand top wines and spirits, an inviting and comfortable lounge offering all-day delicacies, and a 12-person private tasting room available for every occasion, guests can sit back and savor Maison MURA’s fare in casual opulence. Translated from French to English as “house,” Maison MURA offers something for everyone, from the one-time shopper to wine amateur to aficionados and collectors – a new way to discover, learn, acquire and share their wines and spirits with a like-minded community. The new venue will offer a catering service as well.

Although open to all, Maison MURA also offers a membership limited to 150 clients who get priority access to exclusive events, tastings with the world’s top winemakers, and invitations to special events and experiences—not only in Miami but all over the world. Other perks include early access to pre-sold and “en primeur” wines that are nearly impossible to secure, priority reservations of the private room to host events, and priority storage at their upcoming warehouse of any wines and spirits that you will buy through the shop. Membership can only be secured through Matthieu or Philippe.

Vaughn lowery featured in Winery and vineyard list for 360 MAGAZINE

Notable Wineries

There’s a reason California wine country is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Besides offering some of the best wines, Oenophiles are given the opportunity to experience the true terroir of the unique places where wines are grown, harvested, and transformed into magic in a bottle. With countless estates and tasting rooms to visit, the folks at Vintage Wine Estates have assembled the ultimate visitor’s guide to Wine Country featuring some of the most popular wineries throughout Napa, Sonoma, and the Central Coast:

Napa Valley

Napa may be the most visited area of California wine country and is home to some truly exceptional estates. Why not start at the less-traveled northernmost top of Napa Valley in Calistoga, known for its hot springs, mineral pools, and destination winery Clos Pegase. Renowned for its award-winning Michael Graves architecture, the estate boasts 20,000 square feet of caves and is situated beneath a volcanic knoll. The property features a stunning, drought-resistant gardenand a long-time commitment to estate-grown Napa Valley wines, Clos Pegase has a forty-year winegrowing heritage, producing Bordeaux and Burgundian varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

Girard Winery, located just across the lane from Clos Pegase, has been making exclusive and small-lot high quality Bordeaux varietal wines since 1975. Not long ago, Girard completed a stunning new winery featuring a state-of-the-art production facility and cellar. Most people elect to enjoy their wine and the perfect weather on the expansive veranda overlooking the estate vineyards.

But it doesn’t end there—peaceful Sonoma Valley is just west over the mountains.

Sonoma

Located between the Mayacamas range which separates Napa from Sonoma and Sonoma Mountain to the west is Sonoma Valley. Here, the stop is B.R. Cohn Winery, founded by Bruce Cohn, long time manager of The Doobie Brothers in 1994. A direct reflection of the quality of its vineyards, the wines include standout Olive Hill Estate, named for the nearly five hundred 160-year-old olive trees on the estate.

Up the road from B.R. Cohn is the century-old, five-generation, 1850-acre Kunde Family Winery, known for its acclaimed iron-rich, ancient red volcanic soils. Kunde is family-owned and operated with a hands-on team of 4th and 5th generation family members who remain committed to innovation while maintaining a deep, personal commitment to certified sustainable winegrowing and preserving the land for future generations. The mountaintop tasting high above the valley floor is the ideal place to sip wine and gaze out over the unforgettable vista.

Featuring a Tuscan-inspired tasting room and marketplace, the best stop to find you very own “house red” is Viansa Winery, which crafts wines to be enjoyed every day. Viansa is located at the southern entrance to Sonoma Valley and perched high above the wetlands of San Francisco Bay. Guests can taste wine and experience the view from one of the cozy outlooks or enjoy wood-oven pizza or a snack from the marketplace.

Central Coast

Heading south along the dramatic California Coast is the beach town of Arroyo Grande. It’s also a wine region overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Here the grand dame is Laetitia Vineyard & Winery. Founded by an established French Champagne house known for mėthode champenoise sparkling wines, the winery also produces still wines made from the traditional Champagne varieties, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Laetitia is proud to be a SIP Certified Winery (Sustainability in Practice). A favorite site in the vineyards are herds of sheep and goats who keep the weeds down naturally.

Please let me know if you are interested in running a summer travel guide piece on wine country. We would love for you to consider the Vintage Wine Estates wineries mentioned above which is also a partner of Travel + Leisure Wine Club. In addition to offering exclusive wine selections, members are given the choice between two exclusive wine clubs that offer unparalleled in-person estate experiences at any of the estates we’ve mentioned.

Wine art graphic via Allison Christensen for use by 360 Magazine

CHRISTIAN OJEDA NAMED LUCIA RESTAURANT & BAR EXECUTIVE CHEF

Christian Ojeda heads to the California coastline on February 1, 2022, to serve as the latest executive chef of Lucia Restaurant & Bar. The search for the perfect, new executive chef ends as Ojeda is set to join the withstanding Bernardus culinary team. Ojeda comes from Montage Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, where he, too, was named executive chef.

Bernardus Lodge & Spa is known for its lavish lodging sporting 73- rooms in California. Adding Ojeda to the team is sure to introduce even more luxury to the estate. With 20+ years in the culinary industry, Ojeda originally graduated from the Art Institute of Denver with a Bachelor of Arts degree in hospitality management. He has worked in an array of European kitchens, along with Joël Robuchon and Hubert Keller’s notorious Fleur de Lys in Las Vegas. He has worked in other esteemed kitchens such as the Auberge Resort Collection’s Calistoga Ranch, Sky Lodge, Utah and his most recent executive role at the Montage Deer Valley Resort, Utah’s single Five-Star, Five Diamond hotel acreage.

The Chilean-rooted chef Christian Ojeda has mastered European culinary practices that set him apart. Combined with his superb style and flavor methodology, Ojeda is sure to enhance Lucia Restaurant & Bar only further. Sean Damery, vice president and manager of Bernardus Lodge & Spa, expresses his excitement for Ojeda joining the culinary team. He states, “We’re extremely proud of Lucia’s legacy and look forward to chef Christian taking the dining experience to the next level. His depth in flavor-forward techniques and presentation are a perfect fit for Lucia. Given the rich local resources in Monterey County – from land to sea – his style and creativity will have no boundaries.”

LUCIA RESTAURANT & BAR

Set amongst lush orchards and vineyards, the 90-seat Lucia Restaurant & Bar sports 2,300 sq. ft. with a heated dining terrace and opulent main dining room. The structuring and design of the dining room will have you in awe; adorned with white Italian leather, French floors, chandeliers and exterior fireplaces that engulf you in the remarkable culinary experience. Selections of private dining venues ranging from the Cooper’s Den to the 12-seat Wine Cellar, the five-seat Chef’s Table to the 15-seat Magnum Room, Lucia Restaurant & Bar offers a truly exceptional dining experience with menus assisted by a 15,000-bottle wine cellar.

ABOUT BERNARDUS LODGE & SPA

If you’re in search of a relaxing, true wine country retreat; look no more. Blending opulence with modern style, Bernardus Lodge & Spa is the perfect wine country vacation destination. Esteemed as a Forbes Travel Guide Four Star property, Bernardus Lodge & Spa reopened in 2015 as a fully refurbished resort. The estate is set on 28 Carmel Valley acres overflowing with vineyards, sporting 73 guestrooms, suites/ villas, the celebrated Spa at Bernardus, the one and only Lucia Restaurant & Bar and so much more. Bernardus Lodge & Spa is located on the Monterey Peninsula, 120 mi./193 km, south of San Francisco and 330 mi./531 km., north of Los Angeles. For information, contact Bernardus Lodge & Spa at 831-658-3400 or visit www.bernarduslodge.com.

Downtown Napa image provided by Olga Verkhotina and the Augustine Agency for use by 360 MAGAZINE

Sustainable Practices In Downtown Napa

Downtown Napa is home to more than 40 tasting rooms, 80 eateries, 60 boutiques and shops and a variety of lively art displays all within walking distance of one another. Aside from convenience, Downtown Napa also gives travelers an opportunity to minimize their carbon footprint. Here are some ways local hospitality businesses offer sustainable practices for visitors.

Car-Free Travel:

Not only is Downtown Napa wine country’s most walkable destination, but visitors don’t even need a car to get here in the first place – an ideal way to reduce overall environmental impact. The Napa Valley Wine Train offers a car-free San Francisco Bay Area connection with the San Francisco Bay Ferry, so travelers can hop on, sit back and enjoy a traffic-free scenic ride to the train station in Downtown Napa.

Attractions and Lodging:

To eliminate plastic water bottles, Andaz Napa provides guests with reusable, BPA-free aluminum PathWater bottles that can be refilled at the property’s filtered water stations. The hotel also continues to focus on purchasing local and sustainable products for its food and beverage offerings. Additionally, the housekeeping staff is always on a mission to turn off electric devices in each unattended guest room.

Archer Hotel Napa provides access to local and regional wines and produce through its in-house sustainable food guidelines. The hotel follows low water consumption measures, recycling and reusing practices, utilizing an eco-friendly dry-cleaning service and more. The property also has an ongoing partnership with One Tree Planted, a non-profit organization with a focus on global reforestation, and Proud Source Water, a Certified B Corporation spring water provider.

As the first Northern California bed-and-breakfast to be certified by the California Green Lodging Program, The Inn on First uses low-flow water sources, composts kitchen and garden waste, provides stainless steel water bottles and reusable glassware for guests. To reduce packaging and shipping, all food is also made from scratch. Each room features a personal air conditioning unit with an occupancy sensor, thermostat-controlled heat source and ceiling fans, among other eco-friendly amenities.

Napa River Inn located within the Historic Napa Mill is the original green building in town, which opted to build upon its historic roots keeping the original structure intact. Additionally, the bricks that make up much of the building were formed with clay from the Napa River. Embracing an eco-friendly way of life, Napa River Inn also sources bath amenities locally, recycles cooking oil into bio-diesel and offers charging pumps for electric vehicles on-site.

The Westin Verasa Napa is part of the California Green Business network and features oxidizers in rooms, low flow showerheads, composting, food dehydrating practices and sustainable purchasing. They’ve also eliminated plastic straws and implemented bio-fuel recycling, repurposing of linens, LED high-efficiency lighting, recycling training and more.

Recently revealed Napa Valley Welcome Center at First Street Napa features lights operated on timers, a water-saving toilet and sinks. All information provided to tourists is now fully digital. Additionally, the mercantile shop makes an effort to source local, handmade items. 

Food and Drink:

Angèle Restaurant & Bar attempts to only use local purveyors and farms to create its delicious French dishes. To eliminate plastics, the restaurant switched to paper and corn straws, as well as wooden or corn silverware. Additionally, the restaurant composts all food and paper waste.

The Dutch Door is a zero-plastic takeout cafe, dedicated to compostable containers, flatware and cups. The Dutch Door strives for zero food waste, choosing to sell out of items daily instead of discarding them. About half of the cafe’s menu is vegan, and they also order local produce and source meat from no-feed farms.

Gran Eléctrica utilizes bio-fuel recycling and partners with Napa Valley Recycling to properly compartmentalize all waste for maximum sustainability. The restaurant only uses recycled items including paper straws, paper hand towels, to-go containers and printed menus, all of which are fully compostable. Whenever possible, Gran Eléctrica only sources food items from local farms. The restaurant also grows peppers, squash, cilantro, mint, edible flowers and various herbs on-site to reduce the need to purchase additional produce. Additionally, staff is trained to never waste food, but instead tasked with pickling and dehydrating certain items. The owners also encourage their employees to carpool or bike to work.

Monday Bakery serves its treats and drinks in compostable packaging and also offers compost, recycle and garbage bins within the shop for customer use. The company was awarded the JD Fullner Recycling Leadership Award in 2019 by the City of Napa.

Oenotri maintains a 5-acre culinary garden just a few miles from the restaurant where 80 percent of the menu is sourced during peak season. In addition to fresh produce, Oenotri serves more than 20 types of house-made salami, daily house-made bread, an array of handmade fresh and dry pasta and olive oil sourced exclusively from Napa Valley.

Oxbow Public Market and its merchants use compostable containers and food ware. The market employs an industry-leading recycling program which has received special recognition from local, state and U.S. governments for outstanding green business practices through its recycling efforts.

Stone Brewing Napa donates its brewery wastewater to the Napa Sanitation District wastewater system. The brewery’s spent grain and hops also go to a local farmer in the region to feed the cattle. Stone Brewing is another City of Napa JD Fullner Recycling Leadership Award recipient.

Retail:

Betty’s Girl Napa has been a green business since its launch in 2003 and offers 100 percent upcycled fashion, such as dresses made from vintage and recycled fabrics.

Napa Running Company is committed to keeping fitness environmentally friendly by offering green products such as Hydro Flask water bottles as well as recycled shoe packaging. Recently, the store introduced a new eco-friendly brand, Girlfriend Collective, whose products are made from recycled polyester and post-consumer recycled water bottles.

For more information about Downtown Napa, including lodging, dining, wine tastings, shopping and things to do, visit donapa.com.

ABOUT NAPA TOURISM IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT

Created in 2010, the Napa Tourism Improvement District (TID) is the official destination marketing organization for Downtown Napa/City of Napa. With a mission to increase overnight visitation and improve the local economy, the Napa TID promotes nearly 45 hotels and bed and breakfast properties, premier dining, wine tasting, shopping and local entertainment. The Napa TID utilizes its website (DoNapa.com), participates in the creation of local events and develops targeted marketing programs that drive overnight stays during the off-season and mid-week occupancy throughout the year.

California Wildfire illustration by Heather Skovlund

Windsor Vineyards × California Wildfires

HOLLYWOOD CELEBS RAISE MONEY TO SUPPORT VICTIMS OF CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

Windsor Vineyards Wine Magnums featuring Celebrity-Designed Wine Labels To be auctioned on eBay starting at $10,000 bottle

This year marks the first anniversary of the 9,639 wildfires that affected over 10,000 California residents and businesses in 2020 — from wine country in the north down south to the Hollywood Hills. As the 2021 wildfire season fast approaches, celebrities are showing support and solidarity by partnering with Windsor Vineyards and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) to auction exclusive wines, with 100% of proceeds benefiting wildfire victims throughout the great state of California.

Windsor Vineyards and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy — recently featured during the 14th Annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute — have enlisted stars including Zooey Deschanel, Jeff Bridges, Kim Basinger, Fran Drescher, Melissa Joan Hart, Ryan Guzman, Kevin O’Leary, Denise Richards, Sydney Sweeney, Sahara Ray, Corbin Bernsen, Jean Smart, Alison Sweeney, Camille Grammar, Josie Canesco, and Camilla Belle to design one-of-a-kind wine labels to adorn magnums of Windsor Vineyards award-winning wines.

“The wildfires and the pandemic compounded to devastating effect for many Californians in 2020,” said Patricia McIlreavy, president and CEO of CDP. “It is an honor to partner with Windsor Vineyards in bringing together two items quintessentially Californian -creative artists and wine – in support of the state’s recovery.”

“As a Sonoma-based wine company, we feel a great affinity to the local community that was, and continues to be, affected by wildfires,” said Jessica Kogan, Chief Digital Officer of Vintage Wine Estates, owner of Windsor Vineyards. “Given Windsor’s 60-year history of producing the most exciting custom wine labels and bottle etches, a charity auction celebrating the creativity of today’s most inspiring generational stars felt right. It’s a perfect way for us to help make a real difference and support a cause that quite literally hits close to home.”

The limited-edition, celebrity-designed wine magnums will be available for purchase on eBay beginning May 4th, 2021 and will be auctioned June 1st through June 8th, 2021 with 100% of proceeds benefiting the CDP California Wildfire Recovery Fund. Donations to The Fund will support communities across the state as they prepare, rebuild and recover from wildfires.

About the CDP California Wildfire Recovery Fund:

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s mission is to leverage the power of philanthropy to mobilize a full range of resources that strengthen the ability of communities to withstand disasters and recover equitably when they occur. In addition to providing expertise, CDP manages domestic and international Disaster Funds on behalf of corporations, foundations and individuals through targeted, holistic and localized grantmaking. For more information, visit: Disaster Philanthropy website and Twitter

About Windsor Vineyards:

Windsor Vineyards is one of top three most awarded American wineries for the past 60 years. Windsor was founded by legendary winemaker Rodney Strong in 1959 to support customer requests for custom wine labels for his wines. Windsor Vineyards continues to be dedicated to producing great wine, personalized wine labels and custom-etched bottles for private and corporate customers and gift recipients in the United States and abroad. For more information visit Windsor Vineyards.

ferris wheel, 360 MAGAZINE

Festival Napa Valley

Festival Napa Valley, California Wine Country’s flagship music festival, is pleased to announce “One Night, Many Voices,” a free, global, virtual concert featuring original performances by some of today’s most renowned artists. The star-studded lineup includes violinist Joshua Bell with soprano Larisa Martínez, pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, soprano Nadine Sierra, tenor Michael Fabiano, and the sensational Young People’s Chorus of New York City.  The concert will culminate with a swinging jazz performance headlined by Cuban pianist Aldo López-Gavilán and his band, direct from Havana.

“We are thrilled to bring together some Festival favorites for a special night to celebrate the healing
power of music,” said Richard Walker, President & CEO of Festival Napa Valley. “We hope this concert
will provide connection, hope, and inspiration to music lovers everywhere.” To add to the evening, Festival Napa Valley is partnering with local Napa restaurants to produce curated to-go menus, as well as their Partner Wineries to provide special offers on select bottles. Revenue from purchases will go directly to the restaurants and wineries. For more information and to RSVP to the one-night-only event on Saturday, July 25, 2020, please visit HERE:

About Festival Napa Valley:

Blending the beauty and bounty of Napa Valley with the very finest performing arts, Festival Napa Valley offers programs that enrich the economic and cultural vitality of the region and make the arts accessible to all. The Festival presents world-class performances staged in iconic venues and inspiring educational programs offered at Napa County public schools year-round. It is presented by Napa Valley Festival Association, a nonprofit organization governed by a board of prominent vintners and local leaders. More than 200 artists, wineries, resorts, theaters, restaurants, chefs and vintners participate each year. Festival Napa Valley’s 15th Anniversary Season will take place on July 16-25, 2021.

Allison Christensen, 360 MAGAZINE, WINE, SPIRITS

Santa Barbara Wine Country Opens

Santa Barbara Wine Country welcomes guests back into wineries and tasting rooms with dine-in services and safety measures to keep guests safe as they sip the latest vintages and soak in the beautiful surroundings.

Located less than two hours from Los Angeles, Santa Barbara Wine Country is a beautiful wine country escape. Over 200 wineries are part of the picturesque wine region known for producing highly rated, internationally
recognized wines. Given its close proximity to LA, Santa Barbara Wine Country is an ideal day trip for SoCal wine lovers ready for a relaxing, outdoor getaway now that the County has opened back up.

For lockdown-weary Angelinos, Santa Barbara Wine Country is an easy, two-hour drive where they can escape to rolling vineyards and enjoy exceptional wines. Wineries and tasting rooms are partnering with food trucks, local caterers, and restaurants. The re-opening is a rare opportunity for restaurants and caterers to show off their farm-to-table offerings aside the County’s award-winning wine. Guests will find sit-down meals with wines by the glass, flight, or bottle.

“People are so excited to get out and explore again. They’ve been enjoying wine at home, but nothing compares to a wandering day-trip to see the vineyards, rest your eyes on the gorgeous landscape, and engage with the dynamic people behind the wines,” said CEO of Santa Barbara Vintners, Alison Laslett. “Our wine region is a stone’s throw from Los Angeles, but it feels like a world away. We can offer guests the break they’ve been craving, and with all our outdoor space, our Wine Country has some of the safest social activities people can engage in right now.”

To help ensure the health and safety of visitors and staff, Santa Barbara County wineries and tasting rooms are implementing the following protocols:

  • Strict adherence to CDC health and safety guidelines: sanitization, hygiene, face coverings for staff and for guests when not consuming food or wine
  • Use of outdoor space and other social distancing practices
  • Daily employee wellness screenings and temperature checks
  • Reservation systems to manage the number of guests

The Santa Barbara wine region is best known for two things: the exceptional quality of the wines and the laid-back community vibe. From signature Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs worthy of Burgundy to sought-after Rhone and Bordeaux style varietals, there is a wine for every palate with over 50 varietals grown throughout the region. The welcoming laid-back vibe comes from the spirit of the tight-knit wine community. Winemakers are often found behind the counter in tasting rooms, pouring their wines and sharing anecdotes about the latest vintage. Wineries are located within a 30-mile radius throughout the valley and additional boutique tasting rooms are found in downtown Santa Barbara.

*For updated information on winery re-openings, click HERE*

About Santa Barbara Vintners

Santa Barbara Vintners (Santa Barbara County Vintners Association) is a non-profit 501(c)6 organization founded in 1983 to support and promote Santa Barbara County as a world-class wine-producing and wine grape growing region. The association includes winery members whose annual production is at least 75% Santa Barbara County (or sub-AVA) labeled, winery associates, vineyards, vineyard management companies, hospitality, and industry associate members. The association produces festivals and wine country weekends; educational seminars and tastings; provides information to consumers, trade, and media; and advocates for the Santa Barbara County wine and grape industry.

Follow: @santabarbarawinecountry on Facebook & Instagram and @sbcwines on Twitter.

Red Wine via 360 MAGAZINE

CHEF CHARLIE PALMER IS CULINARY ADVISORY AT WING & BARREL RANCH, SONOMA’S NEWEST WINE COUNTRY EXPERIENCE

James Beard Award-winning chef to create the ultimate taste of Sonoma 
in conjunction with club’s extensive wine list and natural bounty

Set amid the beauty of Northern California’s Wine Country, Wing & Barrel Ranch — an exclusive members-only sporting club for the discerning outdoor and wine enthusiast — is excited to announce that James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur Charlie Palmer is leading its menu creation and concept as Culinary Advisor.

Chef Palmer brings his signature “Progressive American Cooking” to the Ranch’s rustic elegance. Owner of 13 acclaimed restaurants across the United States, Palmer has chosen Sonoma County as his home, designing a full-service menu for Wing & Barrel Ranch that emphasizes the fresh, seasonal foods that reflect the bounty of the land he knows so well. 

Located on a superb parcel totaling nearly 1,000 acres, Wing & Barrel Ranch is hailed as “the best of the best” by the San Francisco Chronicle and “an outstanding club” by Cigar Aficionado. The Ranch is currently building a new clubhouse that will offer a luxurious dining experience to members and their guests. Similar to other private clubs in that memberships are non-equity, inheritable, and transferable, Wing & Barrel Ranch has just a few memberships remaining.

In addition to Chef Palmer’s outstanding dining program, Wing & Barrel Ranch amenities include seasonal bird hunting, year-round sporting clays, Vintner Member gatherings, customized shooting instruction, travel programs, dog training and boarding, and an exclusive cigar program. Paired with world-class wines from our Vintner Members, year-round member activities showcase the most exceptional culinary bounty and wines from this region. 

“I’m delighted to pair my love of robust flavors and straightforward classic cooking with the outstanding outdoor experience that Wing & Barrel Ranch offers,” says Chef Palmer. “Growing up in rural New York, time spent outdoors was an integral part of my family’s life, including hunting and fishing. As an avid outdoorsman, I really appreciate how food and wine complement the pleasures of a good day spent in nature.”

Wing & Barrel Ranch co-founder and CEO Darius Anderson is delighted to welcome Chef Palmer. “I’m proud to be able to share this amazing land with a chef and restaurateur of Charlie’s stature and abilities,” Anderson says. “Adding his level of fine dining to the opportunity to shoot with renowned local Vintners makes for a magical mix for Wing & Barrel Ranch members.”

The new Clubhouse at Wing & Barrel Ranch is slated to open in the summer of 2020, serving as the heart of all member activities and as a gathering place for family and friends. Limited memberships remain and are expected to sell out quickly. For more information, please visitwingandbarrelranch.com/membership.

About Wing & Barrel Ranch

Wing & Barrel Ranch was founded in 2013, with improvements to the facility lasting through 2016. In June 2019, an additional phase of development began with the building of a formidable clubhouse, complete with The Trap Bar, an elegant dining room, premiere shooters’ pro shop, private meeting rooms, locker facilities, enclosed cigar room, and an expansive deck overlooking Sonoma Creek. While the clubhouse project is underway, an interim clubhouse is currently being utilized. The property consists of nearly one thousand acres of agricultural land in Sonoma, and is located off of Highway 37.

Travel California Wine Country’s Back Roads This Summer

California’s northern Central Coast, extending from the San Francisco Bay to Monterey County, is the focus this month as part of Wine Institute’s Wine Country Back Roads series. California is home to dozens of distinct wine regions, including some of the world’s most famous destinations. But hidden among even the high-profile appellations are the wine roads less traveled. These welcoming regions feature stunning rural scenery, delicious wines and, often, fewer visitors. There’s still plenty of time this summer to discover off-the-beaten path wine roads and regions, and the Central Coast is a great place to do it.

The entire Central Coast wine region and Santa Cruz Mountains stretches roughly 250 miles along the California coastline, extending from San Francisco County to Santa Barbara County. Grapes there are among the oldest in the state, planted by Franciscan monks in the late 18th century as they made their way north on El Camino Real (known today as Highway 101). Now hosting thousands of acres of vineyards and hundreds of wineries, California’s Central Coast and Santa Cruz Mountains are home to 14 percent of the state’s winegrapes.

TASTE: Not far from San Francisco, with its famously steep hills and Victorian architecture, you’ll find several hospitable wineries near the East Bay cities of Moraga, Oakland, Berkeley as well as Treasure Island to help you kick off your Central Coast adventure.

Nearby Livermore Valley, 35 miles east of San Francisco, is the one of the state’s oldest wine regions and the genetic source of 80 percent of California’s Chardonnay vines. Along with its iconic Chardonnay, Livermore is known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as Italian, Rhone and Spanish varieties. Discover the region’s rolling hills and scenic canyons along the Burgundy Wine Trail, or enjoy mountain vistas on the Red Trail.

The Santa Clara Valley, also known today as Silicon Valley, includes more than 30 wineries, many clustered near Gilroy and San Martin. The Santa Cruz Mountains, west of Santa Clara Valley, was among the first American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) to be defined by its steep mountain topography. The area played a pivotal role in California’s winemaking history with viticultural roots going back more than a century. Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot predominate on the warmer eastern inland side of the AVA, while Pinot Noir thrives on the coastal side and ridge tops. The region boasts more than 60 wineries. For a scenic overview, try the Silicon Valley Wine Trail in the hillsides above Silicon Valley, or the coastal Corralitos Wine Trail, at the sunny, southern portion of the AVA.

San Benito County, set in an idyllic valley about 75 miles southeast of Santa Cruz, has been growing winegrapes since the mid-1800s, planted by French and German immigrants. The region grows a wide variety of grapes but is best known for Pinot Noir and Syrah. Find wineries near the towns of Hollister and San Juan Bautista.

Heading back to the coast, Monterey County is known or having one of California’s longest growing seasons, thanks to cool marine air that blows in from Monterey Bay. Franciscan friars introduced winegrapes to the area more than 200 years ago, and over 40 varieties are planted there today—including more Chardonnay than in any other county in America. Monterey is also well known for its cool-climate Pinot Noir. With eight distinctive AVAs within its borders and 82 wineries, Monterey offers an array of tasting opportunities. The River Road Wine Trail, set among the canyons and slopes of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, highlights Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, along with northern Rhône varieties such as Syrah. Beautiful Carmel Valley is renowned for producing rich, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

TOUR: The Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Passport event on July 20 includes special tastings at more than 40 participating wineries. (As a bonus, passport experiences can be redeemed for a full year after the event.) The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk amusement park is nearby with its multiple attractions. Livermore Valley hosts Taste Our Terroir July 25-28, a four-day food and wine affair offering wine tasting adventures, garden tours, food pairing events, seminars, falcon demonstrations and more. Music in the vineyards is a Santa Clara specialty, with performances scheduled at individual wineries throughout the summer. While visiting San Benito County, take a hike among towering rock spires and observe falcons and golden eagles in flight at Pinnacles National Monument, formed by ancient volcanos. On Monterey’s Cannery Row, sample local wines at A Taste of Monterey and visit the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium or John Steinbeck Museum.

For more information on lodging, dining and upcoming events, see San Francisco Travel, Livermore Valley Wine Country, Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association, Discover San Benito County and Monterey Wine Country.
For all of the wine regions included in this series, use the discovercaliforniawines.com interactive map to search wineries by amenities such as tours, gardens and picnic areas, and view winery events around the state.

To see Wine Institute’s Back Roads guides to other California wine regions, visit http://discovercaliforniawines.com/media-trade/news.