Posts tagged with "wineries"

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.

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.

Lego Illustration Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

LEGOLAND New York Resort Now Open

The Orange County Tourism & Film team is incredibly excited to share that LEGOLAND® New York Resort is officially open for fun. The 150-acre park is located in Goshen, New York.

“We are thrilled that LEGOLAND® New York Resort is officially open to all!” said Orange County Tourism Director Amanda Dana. “LEGOLAND® New York Resort will not only benefit Orange County, but it will have a tremendous economic benefit in the Hudson Valley region and the entirety of New York. I know I can’t wait to go explore LEGOLAND® New York Resort!”

After starting construction in 2018, LEGOLAND® New York Resort opened all seven of their themed lands to the general public on Friday morning. Attending the grand opening was Gov. Andrew Cuomo, joined by other elected officials and regional tourism partners who marked the opening of the theme park by flipping a power switch.

LEGOLAND® New York Resort features a theme park with seven uniquely themed worlds, filled with attractions for the whole family. The theme park also includes a variety of dining options, as well as stores to purchase your favorite LEGO® products. A 250-room resort accompanies the theme park, offering patrons the chance to stay in either pirate, kingdom, Lego Friends or LEGO® NINJAGO® themed rooms. The LEGOLAND® hotel will start accepting reservations on August 6.

The addition of LEGOLAND® New York Resort increases the number of major attractions in New York State that currently reside in Orange County. Sitting 50 miles away from New York City, Orange County provides recreational activities, history, shopping, arts and culture, dining and more for all ages. Enjoy a tasting at one of the numerous wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries or enjoy the outdoors, rafting down the Delaware River or hiking the Appalachian Trail. Orange County provides fun for all ages throughout the entire year, making the area a premier North East destination.

About Orange County Tourism & Film

Orange County Tourism, based in Goshen, N.Y., is the county’s tourism headquarters and a participant in the I LOVE NY program. A comprehensive listing of area attractions, lodging and events can be found at Orange County Tourism and Film. Like Orange County Tourism on Facebook for the latest news on local happenings.

 

Wine illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

California Wines × Down to Earth

California Wines Livestream & Video Series Celebrates Down to Earth Month in April

Facebook Live & Instagram Events Share Tips on Enjoying Sustainably Grown & Produced Wines

For “Down to Earth Month” in April, California Wines is celebrating the state’s global leadership in sustainable winegrowing with a series of fun and informative virtual events and videos on Facebook Live and Instagram. Throughout April, the free livestream events and videos will present a variety of discussions, cooking demonstrations, and virtual wine tastings focused on sustainability.

Hosts for the Facebook Live events include Napa Valley sommelier Amanda McCrossin of SommVivant and Aida Mollenkamp, Food Network personality and founder of Salt & Wind Travel.

Videos shared on the California Wines Instagram channel will demonstrate recipes, how to pair and enjoy California wines, and what makes a wine sustainable. Programs will feature food and beverage influencers, including Meg van der Kruik of This Mess Is Ours, Jerry James Stone of the Jerry James Stone blog, Britney Brown Chamberlain of Britney Breaks Bread, and Sarah Gim of The Delicious Life.

To view details on all Down to Earth Month events, visit California Wine’s website.

Facebook Live: Thursdays, 10 am PST

Livestream hosts Amanda McCrossin of SommVivant and Aida Mollenkamp of Salt & Wind taste and discuss sustainably grown and produced California wines. Event replays will be available on the site for later viewing.
 
April 1 – What Is Sustainable Wine?
It’s time to clear up the confusion around what defines sustainability! Participants will learn what sustainable winegrowing and winemaking practices are and get the inside story on California’s sustainable certification programs, including the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) program.
 
April 8 – What Are Biodynamic and Organic Wines, and How Are They Sustainable?
Explore the differences between organic and biodynamic practices and learn how they fit into the sustainability equation.
 
April 15 – Why Is There a Chicken in the Vineyard?
Chickens, sheep, and goats don’t just look adorable in California vineyards—each has an important job to do. Learn how animals are helping California vintners in their sustainable farming efforts.
 
April 22 – How to Look for Sustainable Wines
Finding sustainable wines is easy—if you know what to look for. Participants will learn about the sustainable certifications, logos, and terms to look for on wine labels.
 
April 29 – How California Is a Leader in Sustainable Wines & Sustainable Farming
California is not only a world leader in sustainable winemaking and winegrowing practices, but producers also embrace sustainability in dairy and other agricultural areas. Learn about California’s innovative farming practices and how the state leads in sustainable wine and food.

IGTV Videos: Tuesdays 10 am PST

Every Tuesday in April, videos from well-known food and beverage influencers will be shared on the California Wines Instagram channel, each demonstrating a recipe inspired by the Wine Country Table cookbook paired with sustainably made wines from California. Recipes and information about sustainability will be shared on each influencer’s website and social media platforms.
 
April 6 – Meg van der Kruik of This Mess Is Ours
 
April 13: – Jerry James Stone of the Jerry James Stone blog
 
April 20 – Britney Brown Chamberlain of Britney Breaks Bread
 
April 27 – Sarah Gim of The Delicious Life
 

Hotel illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Healing Through Hospitality

By Shannon Suess

There has been a lot of speculation in every industry about how today’s reality will affect tomorrow’s possibilities. In June, The New Yorker released an in-depth exploration of what the future of architecture could look like, with the roots of modernist design having grown from the sterile lines and quiet colors of Tuberculosis-era sanatoriums in days past. It paints a future full of pandemic-inspired changes, but the truth is, the evolution is already deep underway, even if we don’t realize or acknowledge it.

When it comes to the idea of traveling—of spending an extended period of time, for business or pleasure, in a hosted space outside our own homes—our psyches have subconsciously rewritten what is most important in order for us to not only feel comfortable with but actually enjoy our experience. 

For the hospitality industry, the emotional, physical, and psychological toll of a global pandemic will likely underpin travel trends that were already on the rise: biophilic designs rooted in nature, experiences rich in culture, and environments that promote both physical and mental health and wellness. But for brands looking at what’s next, there are numerous pieces of the puzzle that must come together to make guests truly feel comfortable with traveling once more.

FLEXIBILITY IS KEY TO RESILIENCE

Adopting the mentality of “one day at a time”, the ability to change and adapt spaces to fit present-day climates will be critical. With venturing outside of our own regions likely to remain difficult for the foreseeable future, travelers will instead seek out unique local destinations. They’ll gravitate toward dramatic hospitality spaces that can flex or change quickly in scale; the ability to easily flow from a multi-purpose, spacious area to a personal, private sanctuary will be paramount. 

Flexibility of this caliber will give way to opportunities for new, hybrid spaces, allowing hotels and resorts to consolidate, reimagine, and deeply personalize their offerings. Simultaneously, guests will have the opportunity to discover new experiences at various intervals during the day: Bars offering breakfast service for takeaway in the mornings gives way to an open-concept lounge or coworking space in the afternoon. By rotating “dual purpose” spaces, hosts naturally reduce footprints and create a natural time to clean and sanitize spaces.

LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY TO ELEVATE SAFETY

Technology integration into hospitality experiences is a fickle thing: With how swiftly electronics evolve, expensive hardware upgrades can often be out of date within months of being implemented. Entering a room filled with aging technology can be a visually stark reminder of just how many people have touched those devices. Instead of letting technology hinder our relaxing experience, how can we use it to subtly support guests in feeling comfortable and safe?

The all-inclusive ticket to enabling this experience could be the one device many can’t live without. Subsequently, it’s one that we’re familiar with, comfortable with, and most importantly, feel safe using: our smartphones. The integration of subtle push notifications—for example, confirmation of your room’s scheduled daily cleaning, when housekeeping is actively there, and when they’ve vacated the space—have the opportunity to set and continuously keep a guest’s mind at ease.

Concurrently, granting visitors a familiar “no-contact” medium through which requests can be made—empowering a more comfortable experience—opens up a world of possibilities. Guests could use their phones to order room service, request additional towels, reserve a socially distant seat by the pool, at the bar, or in a coworking pod. The list goes on and on.  And, the more guests utilize these digital services, the more in-depth their digital profile becomes, making loyalty programs more enticing through a safe yet personalized touch.

There is a double-edged sword here, though: designers cannot rely too heavily on technology as a substitute for, or complete replacement of, social interaction. Humans crave physical connection with one another, and hospitality experiences will still need to provide the option for us to embark on that journey if we so choose.

IMPERFECTION IS PERFECTION

It’s no surprise that, as we’ve found ourselves trapped indoors the past few months, our bodies are inherently drawn to the idea of becoming reacquainted with nature; not just for the fresh air and sunshine, but for the fundamental healing properties that simply being closer to nature provides us. 

By employing the concept of biophilic design, we focus on natural over synthetic as an overarching theme, tapping into the psychosocial wellbeing that humanity is currently craving the world over. Natural color palettes that seamlessly transition outdoor experiences inside create a continued sense of calm while indoors. The addition of plants throughout both cleans the air and provokes a sense of relaxation. Removing clutter to reveal clean lines, white space, and invoke a “less is luxury” mindset. Interior design is witnessing a return to these authentic, raw, and “imperfect” materials—ones where the hand of the maker is visible, they aid us in feeling more grounded, and reinforce a sense of place.

The question that hosts must ask themselves as they look toward the future, “How can I design my experience offering to reduce anxiety and make guests feel more naturally at ease?” Using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a guide, we have the opportunity to comfort guests holistically. The key to a reassured, tranquil mindset isn’t to simply coat everything in copper; designers will need to thoughtfully expand and go deeper to offer a sense of security and comfort beyond what’s on the surface.

A MULTIFACETED FOOD & BEVERAGE UPGRADE

One of the things we miss the most, undisputedly, is the ability to dine out and spend time with friends and family. We don’t just crave the energy and social activity, we long for the semblance of normalcy tied to the experience itself. 

While the industry has taken a hit to their traditional dine-in offerings, consumers are demanding more than ever before from the F&B industry: meal and cocktail kits, picnic baskets for outdoor excursions, easy curbside pickup, reliable room service, rapid and safe home delivery. 

There is ample opportunity to adapt existing room service and F&B experiences, which are anticipated to see not only a resurgence but a higher demand for gourmet-level quality. And, with a renewed focus on safety and convenience, offering grab-and-go contactless options in restaurants or lobbies that can digitally be charged to one’s room opens up new avenues for revenue and differentiation.

With an added focus on finding space outside of personal rooms that guests still feel safe in, how can restaurants take advantage of a rise in take-out by enabling positive, memorable moments? Establishing outdoor spaces that guests can retreat to for picnics or morning coffee in solitude; remodeling rooms to better allow for comfortable dining during a night in; hosts have the opportunity to allow guests to write their own stories defined by their comfort levels, and designers have the chance to enable that journey.

THE ROAD AHEAD

As brands and venues that offer hospitality experiences look toward the future, it won’t be about creating a compromised version of what we’ve known to be normal in the past, but cleverly designing and strategically implementing layers to more easily adapt for the unknowns that lie before us. 

Over the past century, the desire for machine-made perfection was palpable. Today, as we strive to become closer with nature in a primal effort to heal our bodies and minds, hosts that embrace the perfect imperfection of raw edges, materials, and palettes—as well as provide variable spaces both indoors and outside—can help guests maintain a fundamental sense of safety and comfort as they embark on their journeys.

People will not feel comfortable traveling unless they feel safe. Those who create hyper-personalized, dynamic, memorable spaces that guests can not only escape to, but ones where they can wholeheartedly focus on physical and mental rejuvenation, will come out on top. After all, isn’t that what vacation is for?

SHANNON SUESS is an award-winning interiors and hospitality designer who has dedicated over 25 years of her career to crafting world-class destinations. Working with clients around the globe, she seamlessly fuses interiors, exteriors, and the spaces in between to create memorable venues that harmonize local culture and brand. Shannon thrives on finding unique solutions to programming barriers and solving complex architectural challenges with holistic design.

An agile problem-solver dedicated to cultivating meaningful partnerships in order to bring out the best in projects, Shannon is often inspired by the music, art, and local traditions she encounters during her travels. She consistently fuses cutting-edge trends with timeless designs to sculpt extraordinary, one-of-a-kind experiences for hotels, residential, casinos, wineries, and everything in between.

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.

FAIRFIELD, CALIFORNIA

✏️By Alexandria Baiz & Vaughn Lowery

Fairfield, California the San Francisco Bay city famous for its fruit and local wineries that provide grapes to the Napa and other surrounding vineyards.

Welcome reception at the glorious Jelly Belly Candy Company, includes a self guided factory tour by the  staff. The marvelous Company is a family-owned business based in Fairfield with another factory in North Chicago. The Goelitz family started a confectionery business in Illinois in 1869, than a Candy Business in 1924 in California. Later the Candy Company would  expand a product line to include jelly beans. In 1965, the Mini Jelly Bean was developed. This was a small bean with a center of natural flavoring, different from traditional jelly beans in which only the outer shell was flavored. The company would become the infamous Jelly Belly Candy Company, with more than 50 varieties of flavors. Flavors traditional as cherry, exotic as buttered popcorn, and even inspired alcoholic drink flavors like blackberry brandy. Ronald Reagan while governor of California would quit smoking and turn to jelly beans as a substitute. The company also makes 100 different confections like gummies, candy corn, and chocolates. The tour is fun for the kids, but just as fun for the adults. This tour takes you through the process of making jelly beans, some stages include a video monitor explanation, while wearing a mandatory Jelly Belly paper hat. And, yes you get a free pack of Jelly Belly Beans at the end. There is also a  shop where you can purchase and a Chocolate Shoppe with a fudge bar available for tastings. The ground floor cafeteria is great for lunch with Jelly Bean shaped pizzas being a favorite. For adults, upstairs is a wine tasting room with six different Suisan or green Valley Wines to match the six different chocolates made by the Chocolate Shoppe.

Mankas Steakhouse, a full American steakhouse menu with a local California flavor was our dine for the night. Chef Peter at Mankas uses favorite Suisun Valley products. The local product in Wooden Valley Winery was our first visit the next day at 7am for a visit to watch wine harvest in process. The Suisun Valley and Solano Country American Viticultural Area(AVA) -which is a wine-grape growing region-includes more than 50 sub-appellations of the best known wines region. The Suisun Valley about 8 miles long and 3 miles wide, between the Blue Ridge of the Vaca Mountains on the east. One fifth of the valley is planted as a vineyard with more than 20 varieties of grapes, established in 1982. The Green Valley just west of Suisun Valley is 4 miles long and a mile wide. Also called the Solano County/ Green Valley, AVA was established in 1983.

For breakfast a visit to  Il Fiorello Olive Oil Company dedicated to growing and milling the “finest artisan olive oil” produced by owners Ann and Mark Sievers. Ann and her husband began with a harvest of 6 pounds of olives and 170 baby trees they planted in Green Valley. This turned  into more than 2000 trees in Green Valley and Suisun Valley. The Suisan groves have 12 single varietals from Italy, Spain, France, and Greece, with blends as well.  Il Fiorello offers in depth tours of their property, that concludes in an olive oil tasting and 13 balsamic vinegar reductions. Oil tastings are paired with seasonal bites of food including the classic Frantoio oil with steak.There are even cooking classes within the Fiorello’s Kitchen.  

A visit to the GV Cellars is just what we need for a glimpse into a simpler time. The tasting area on the second floor consist of a deck view of the vineyards and Vaca Mountains. The original property was an 80-acre fruit orchard which was replaced with grapes to produce wine under “Chateau de Leu”. In 2005, Bob Hager the current owner would acquire the winery and vineyards. Today, the Cellar grows within a 30-acre vineyard six distinct varietals:Sangiovese, Dolcetto, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc. The Dolcetto and Cabernet Franc are a house favorite.

Greeted by the  owner and winemaker Sal Glavan at his Galvan Family Cellars to taste his wines. Sal Glavan has been making wine in California since the 1990’s including a time working for GV Cellars. Galvan usually has a  focus on crafting from the Green Valley and Solano County vineyards, but also ‘high end’ wines from the Napa County vineyards. Producing about 3,500 cases a year depending upon the grapes available wines are exceptional with the signature Bordeaux-style blends or Cabernet Sauvignon-base. The cellars also hold the tasting room for rock Wren Winery, owner Dennis De Domenico has produced Green Valley grape wines since 2005. He is known for making his Frenchs style Syrah “in the classic French style”.

The Suisun Valley Co-op is a perfect tasting room that is cozy  but not crowded. Blacksmith Cellars, King Andrews Vineyards, and Sunset Cellars distribute their wine here. Matt Smith the owner and winemaker of Blacksmith Cellars started in 2003, with his release of his 2001 Alexander valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Smith starting as a chemist working in the lab at Beaulieu Vineyards in 1996. From that point he would work at various winecellars making a variety of familiar Suisun Valley wines. King Andrews is owned by Roger who is also the winemaker and Carol (Andrews) King. Sunset Cellars was established by Doug and Katsuko Sparks in 1977. Their speciality includes making small batches of  high quality red wines. There are many interesting wines to try like the Blacksmith Rose and Sunset Suisun Valley Charbono Sunset.

The Pacific Flyway, where more than a billion of birds follow the 10,000 mile stretch from South America to the Arctic on their annual migration, makes a stop in Fairfield. Suisun Marsh is one one of the significant stopover points where the birds rest, feed, and restore their energy for continuing on. The Pacific Flyway Center is an educational and conservation initiative. With goals to educate public about the Flyaway and restoring wetlands to keep the flyaway viable.

A drive to the Grizzly Waters Kayak in Suisun City, where we meet the owner James Berg and get set for kayaking Suisun Marsh. Suisun Marsh is part of the Bay Area Water Trail where you can go on trails and see local and migrating birds.

With greetings from Jennivive Soriano the supervisor of brewery experiences we explore the Anheuser-Busch Fairfield brewery. Opened in 1976, the Fairfield Brewery is the ‘greenest’ of the company’s breweries, which derives a third of its power from solar and wind energy. Brewery tours include  an hour of the Anheuser-Busch story and how their beers are produced. We took the tour of the brewery that includes the Flights of Fairfield. Fairfield is home to one of the Budweiser plants a famous attraction. The brewery is home to the one of a kind Budweiser Clydesdale (Horse) race events, tickets available online.

The Heretic Brewery Company  known for their inner heretic beers that push the boundaries of beer flavors. Owners Liz and Jamil Zainasheff started as homebrewers and in 2012 would open the Heretic Brewing Company. With a variety of 18 different beers on their menu they also have a bar menu of burgers, sandwiches, and appetizers.

The Vezér is a Suisun Valley winery, owned by Frank and Liz Vezér. The Vezérs came to Fairfield  more than 20 years ago and purchased 30 acres for vineyards, which has now spread to 60 acres. Originally selling  their grapes to other wineries but in 2001 established their own label. The family vineyards produce estate wines like their flagship, La Salette a blend of Petite Sirah and Zinfandel. There are two tasting rooms one on Mankas Corner Road and the other on Suisun Valley Road.

A visit to the Cal-Yee Farm Shop whom specializes in dried fruits and nuts. Founder Yee chew Yong fled from China to work as a laborer in California. In 1908, he rented 20 acres of farmland on Clayton Road where his son would purchase the land and his son would start the family’s dried fruit business.

The Wooden Valley winery started in 1933 after prohibition by Salvador and Manuel Brea.In 1944,  Mario Lanza would partner with Manuel and eventually become the sole owner. Third generation of Lanzas, four brothers manage the Winery today. This winery is the oldest in the Suisun Valley with a large variety of red and white wines. The Lanza wines have the authenticity of traditional Italian family wines.

Dinner at Favela’s Fusion an upscale Mexican tequileria. The menu includes signature dishes representing the flavors of different regions in Mexico. The owner  Veronica Favela-Diaz’s parents immigrated from Mexico and she grew up in Northern California. She and her father opened three restaurants in the 90’s emphasizing  affordable quality Mexican food. After Veronica and Husband Edgar traveled all over Mexico learning about the different regions foods they came up with Favelas Fusion. This fusion offers a combination of traditional authentic Mexican cuisine. The Fusion applies a mix of Mexico to obtain one of a kind dishes that are beautifully displayed like the Shrimp Fajitas burrito with cilantro infused with rice and black beans in a tomato tortilla.

A trip to the Mangels Family Vineyards to meet owner Gary Mangels and winemaker Gina Oberti. Gary Mangels is a fourth generation of a  California farming and ranching family. His great grandfather bought 240 acres of land in 1876 and the family has grown grapes, made and sold wine, and raised livestock since. In 1943, surviving through prohibition the family sold the winery operation, but maintained the vineyards. Eventually the family would purchase Suisun Valley land and partner with Gina Richmond to found the Mangels Vineyards. Gina makes a variety of red and white wines including, Pinot Grigio and Syrah.

Backroad owners Jeff and Judy Anselmo greet us inside the tasting room in  the kitchen of the house. Their wines are relatively young and maturting. As they find their style the plans for construction of the multimillion dollar tasting room will be completed in 2019. Backroad will be a neighbor to The Wagner family of wines -owner of famous Caymus Winery- new tasting room on Suisun Valley Road.  It will open in late 2018 with hopes to specialize in ‘grand durif’ and become the trademark wine for Suisun Valley.

Dinner at Chez Soul in downtown Fairfield a Louisiana style restaurant. With every Southern comfort food you can think of from Gumbo to Southern Fried chicken. “Beneath the heart is soul. The soul needs food.”. The owner Cheryl Reed runs the restaurant with her family her brother is the manager and her daughter is the cook. Cheryl’s vision for Chez Soul is good food in a welcoming place that feels like home.

The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering Weekly Preview

70 Years Of The Iconic Porsche 365:

The name Porsche has become synonymous over the decades with high performance sports cars and iconic design. Seven decades ago in the small village of Gmünd, Austria, the first car to bear the Porsche name was born. The Porsche 356/1 Roadster was powered by a 1.1-liter air-cooled flat-four engine from Volkswagen. The engine’s power was increased to 35 horsepower for the 356 which enabled a top speed of 83 mph.

In the years that followed, numerous iterations of the 356 would evolve into icons. From the Speedster to the Continental, the rear-engine rear-wheel-drive 356 gained a reputation for lively handling, dynamic capability, and revolutionary style. This year at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering more than 20 Porsche 356s will grace the lawn to celebrate 70 years of Ferry Porsche’s dream.

“I looked around and could not find quite the car I dreamed of. So I decided to build it myself.” – Ferry Porsche

Sir Jackie Stewart:

Sir Jackie Stewart will be attending The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering this year as a guest of Rolex. He won the Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco three times between 1966 and 1973. Nicknamed the “Flying Scot,” he is considered one of the greatest drivers ever to set foot in a Formula 1 car. Off the track, he became a passionate advocate of driver safety in motorsport.

“The Quail is very special. It’s intimate, it has style and the collection of cars is more diverse than even Pebble Beach,” said Stewart. “Every year I see cars that I have never seen before and in such a relaxed and spacious setting, you really are able to admire them up close alongside true motoring enthusiasts and specialists. Rolex’s involvement just adds to the event’s unique charm. Everybody wants to be here.”

Culinary Spotlight- Local Wine at The Quail:

In addition to the delicious culinary offerings at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering several local wineries will be offering their vintages to attendees. Talbott Vineyards was established in 1982 when Robb Talbott planted his original Diamond T Estate vineyard in the Carmel Valley. Talbott Logan Pinot Noir and Talbott Logan Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay will both be available at The Quail. Cambiata Pinot Noir and Albarino, J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay and Seven Oaks Cabernet, as well as offerings from Bernardus will be featured at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering.

VISIT × MENDOCINO COUNTY

Mendocino County Open for Business: Get your Glass up Here

MENDOCINO LAKE COMPLEX WILDFIRE CONTAINED; ALL MAJOR HIGHWAYS & TOURISM 

FACILITIES OPEN; MUSHROOM SEASON SPROUTS UP NOVEMBER 3-12



Just in time for fall fungi season, Mendocino County Tourism Commission reports containment of the Mendocino Lake Complex wildfire which was located east of Highway 101 in Redwood and Potter Valleys. A vibrant wine region, these two of the county’s 10 AVAs are now in recovery following losses suffered as the result of an October 8, 2017 blaze which consumed 37,000+ acres. Given the incident’s remote location, Mendocino’s legendary 90 miles of Pacific coastline, Anderson Valley wine region and key tourism areas of Fort Bragg, Mendocino, Little River and Point Arena Lighthouse remain untouched.

Scenic coastal Highway 1 and Mendocino County’s “Inspiration Highway” 101 are 100 percent fully operational and all tourism hotels and attractions remain unaffected, including 450+ hotel properties and 90+ wine tasting venues. Key visitor sites including the cities of Ukiah and Willits as well as the nearby attractions of the City of 10,000 Buddhas, Ridgewood Ranch (home of Seabiscuit), the Skunk Train, Vichy and Orr Hot Springs and the ancient redwood forests of Montgomery Woods State Reserve remain untouched.   

According to Mendocino County Air Quality Management District, the regional Air Quality Index is rated “Good” – the highest ranking available. In addition, fresh offshore winds and seasonal weather have tamped down ash residue. www.co.mendocino.ca.us/aqmd/advisories.html#advisory.

November marks Mendocino County’s famed mushroom season, with the 19th Annual Mushroom, Wine & Beer Fest running through November 3-12, 2017. The Northern Californian region is a magnet for fungi foragers and enthusiasts who fervently track the annual crop of coveted candy cap, chanterelle and porcini mushrooms. Mendocino is home to some 3,000 mushroom varieties, 500 which are edible. www.visitmendocino.com/event/mushroom-wine-and-beer-festival; 866.466.3636

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