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Sonoma County Events Newsletter
April, 2000

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  • Winemakers' Dinner at Madrona Manor
  • Bodega Bay Fisherman's Festival
  • Wine Country Cycling Classic
  • Apple Blossom Festival
  • Historic Homes Walking Tour
  • Easter Sunrise Mass at Cline Cellars
  • April in Carneros - Open House
  • More Events
  • Weather Forecasts
  • Allergens
  • Editor's Note - The Russians in Sonoma County
  • Past Newsletters

If you are visiting the Sonoma County area in April here is our recommendation of interesting things to see and do:teresting things to see and do:

April 6 -- Winemakers' Dinner at Madrona Manor
These food and wine extravaganzas are sure to satisfy the gourmand in you. Featuring Quivira Winery Location: Healdsburg.
Fee: $87.50 per person Time: 6:00pm Phone Number: (800) 258-4003, (707) 433-4231

April 8 - 9 -- Bodega Bay Fisherman's Festival
Annual children's Easter egg hunt at Beringer Vineyards, St. Helena.
Fee: Free. Time: 9:00 for 0-6 years, 10:30 at Vintage Hall at St. Helena High School.
Call Phone Number: (707) 963-4456, (707) 963-4812

April 15 - 16 -- Apple Blossom Festival
Family friendly celebration of Spring in the Winecountry. Parade Saturday A.M. kicks off two days of arts & crafts fair, live music on three stages, Sonoma grown food & wine pavilion, micro-brew garden. Ives Park, Sebastopol.
Fee: $5.00 Time: Call Phone Number: (707) 823-3032 or (877) 828-4748

April 16 -- Historic Homes Walking Tour
Presented by The Healdsburg Educational Legacy Partnership (H.E.L.P.) Foundation. Last year's tour featured Healdsburg homes built 1879 through 1929. Tour begins at the Healdsburg Museum. Tickets can be purchased at Toyon Books, 104 Matheson Street on the Healdsburg Plaza.
Fee: $20 in Advance, $25 at Door Time: 1pm - 4:30pm Phone Number: (707) 524-8747

April 23 -- Easter Sunrise Mass at Cline Cellars
Cline's Adobe Mission patio. Coffee, easter buns, etc. No Reservations necessary. Sonoma.
Fee: Call Time: Sunrise Phone Number: (707) 935-4310

April 29 - 30 -- April in Carneros - Open House Extavaganza
Cline's Adobe Mission patio. Coffee, easter buns, etc. No Reservations necessary. Sonoma.
Fee: Call Time: Sunrise Phone Number: (707) 935-4310

more events
For more events in the Sonoma County area for the rest of 2000 please look through our extensive Events Calendar:

For weather predictions, choose the San Francisco area:

If you are sensitive to trees, grasses, weeds and molds see what might be blooming here around the time of your visit by looking at the web site of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology :
Select "San Jose (Station 2)," it has more recent data. Use the graph feature at the bottom of that page, input today's date 1999 (i.e. 4-1-99)
and you'll get a graph of the last 12 month's activity. Click on a bar of the graph to see what was active on that date. Pack tissues ;-)

editors note
The Russians in Sonoma County

"An otter pelt brought four times the price of sable in the fur markets of Manchuria."(1)

After 59 years of hunting there were few otter left off the coasts of Alaska and Canada. In 1812, 25 Russians, along with 80 Aleut natives (who hunted the otter in seal-skin kayaks, one is on display at the Fort Ross Museum) established a year-round base on the northern coast of what would become Sonoma County at "Ross," an ancient term for Russia.

(As an aside, the otters you see along the coast of California today are descended from a small colony re-discovered in the Big Sur area around 1900

While Spain claimed this part of the West Coast, their military resources were insufficient to deter the Russians.

They traveled all over the county and made Rumiantsevof Bay their home, now known as Bodega Bay. (Incidentally, Bodega Bay is named after Lieutenant Juan Francisco Bodega y Cuadra who was looking for San Francisco Bay on October 3, 1775.)

When the otter population declined they took to farming; it was Russians that imported the first grapevines to Sonoma County from Peru in 1817, as well as pear, cherry and apple trees. They gave the state flower its botanical name: Eschscholtzia Californica, our California Poppy, after the visiting Russian naturalist Johan Eschscholz in 1816. They even named Mount Saint Helena after Princess Elena Gagarina, the wife of the final commondant of Ross, Alezander Rotchev.

If you are spending a day or two on the coast, Fort Ross is a very interesting place to visit (, plan to wander around looking at the exhibits and buildings for 3 hours (bring water and a sandwich). It's located 12 miles north of the town of Jenner - keep in mind it's 12 miles of spectacular ocean views on a narrow, curvy road. Pull over and look at the view, smell the salt air. Imagine yourself back in that era. Make a day of it. Book lodging on the coast: Don't plan to be someplace at a particular time (or you'll end up not driving safely and the nearest hospital is a long way away in Santa Rosa).

If you look carefully along the hills on the drive you will see an occasional Russian Orthodox chapel. If you can't get to Fort Ross this month here's a site that describes how to make the beautiful dyed eggs called pysanky, also known as Ukrainian Easter Eggs:

Here are some other resources for the coast:

1.) Unless otherwise noted by referring URLs, the facts for this article are from "Sonoma County The River of Time" by Simone Wilson, published by American Historical Press c.1999.

We encourage your feedback, please send your comments to our newsletter editor, Karla Noyes: Suggestions of topics you would like to see in future issues are welcome.

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