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Sonoma County Events Newsletter
May, 2000

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  • Vintners Inn and the John Ash & Company Restaurant
  • "Fiesta Wines"-First Weekend in Alexander Valley
  • Mother's Day Brunch at Gloria Ferrer
  • Annual Russian River Wine Road "Pick of the Vine"
  • Memorial Day Open House Weekend - Chateau St. Jean
  • More Events
  • More Events
  • Restaurant Review - Mariposa in Windsor
  • Weather Forecasts
  • Allergens
  • Editor's Note - Pomo Indian resources
  • Past Newsletters
  • Subscribe/Unsubscribe

This month I'm recommending the winery related events in Sonoma County (there are others!

It is truly spectacular this time of year: the south-facing hills are just beginning to turn a soft golden but the moist, shady places are still brilliant green. The vines have pushed their new leaves and sparkle in the sun. Great time to visit! Here's what we recommend:

The Vintners Inn and the John Ash & Company Restaurant Enjoy European-style lodging at Vintners Inn and fine dining at John Ash & Co. These jewels of Sonoma County are set amidst a 45-acre vineyard, a perfect retreat for both business and leisure travelers who want the best that Wine Country has to offer.;

May 6 - 7 -- "Fiesta Wines"-First Weekend in Alexander Valley
Come celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Alexander Valley with festive hospitality offered by de Lorimier Winery, Hanna Winery, and Kendall-Jackson Wine Country Store.
Fee: Free Time: 11am to 3pm Phone Number: (888) 289-4637

May 14 -- Mother's Day Brunch at Gloria Ferrer
The festivities begin with a sparkling wine reception and delicious appetizers, followed by a sumptuous brunch prepared by Wild Thyme, A Food Library. The perfect afternoon will conclude with a private winery tour. Location: Hwy. 121, Sonoma.
Fee: $45.00 per person ($35.00 under 21yrs) Time: 11:00 am to 2:00 pm Phone Number: (707) 933-1999 or 996-7256 #239

May 20 -- Annual Russian River Wine Road "Pick of the Vine"
Winetasting and silent auction featuring many local artists. Live music. Friedman Center, Santa Rosa.
Fee: Call Time: Call Phone Number: (707) 526-4108

May 27 - 29 -- Memorial Day Open House Weekend
A popular spring event at Chateau St. Jean. Sample new releases paired with great Wine County food. Music will fill the Chateau all weekend. Location: Kenwood.
Fee: Free Time: Fri.-Sun. 10am-5pm, Mon.-Thur. 10am-4:30 Phone Number: (707) 833-4134

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

Whenever I have a great experience I always feel like repeating it right away. But, like finding a great lover, one is not sure about telling all ones friends the details...

But consistent quality is so important and Mariposa Restaurant, located in the heart of the Russian River Valley and preparing wonderful seasonal French-American cuisine, certainly delivers that and much more.

Take last Saturday night's meal for example. I don't think I have had such perfectly prepared Atlantic Skate, served here with a green pea risotto and accompanied by rock shrimp butter and verjus, since leaving New York City for the beauty of Sonoma County. A glass of Cótes du Rhone Blanc, Château Saint Esteve D'Uchaux '98 proved the perfect pairing choice.

Add to that a nibble of my dining partners roasted Nieman Ranch Veal Loin, served with brown buttered spinach, truffled-mushrooms and Madeira 21, and I am already thinking about making my next reservation before I leave.

Maybe next time I will ask to be seated on the charming outdoor terrace and enjoy the balmy Sonoma evening while trying to lick my dessert plate clean without attracting too much attention. Ahhh............fresh strawberries poached in port and black pepper with a vanilla bean gelato.

Don't miss the experience when you visit Sonoma County. For more information visit Mariposa's website at, and if you decide to make a reservation please tell Shawn you heard about the restaurant through

Bon Appetit! The Gourmand

(This is not a paid for placement review.)

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
In previous issues I mentioned that I would say more about the native population before the Europeans arrived, for example, the native population of California is estimated to have been just under 400,000 before the Europeans arrived and 26,000 in 1900. Those numbers speak volumes.

What research I've done indicates a very large and interesting topic about which many books have been written, for example, "Contested Eden," Ramon A. Gutierrez, editor.

A couple of observations to date: we tend to think of native cultures as having been at their zenith at the time the European arrived. To paraphrase writer and publisher Malcolm Margolin: we don't expect Americans to wear powered wigs, speak like Ben Franklin and use a wooden plow in order to be considered authentic Americans. Why do we hold that native culture is in decline? In fact, it is currently experiencing a renaissance!

It is an absurdity to say that Europeans and Americans lacked cultural sensitive when they arrived. Horrible things happened to the native people, some unintentional, like disease, some intentional, short of genocide; hard to get your arms around atrocity.

Fortunately, elements of native cultures continue! And the web provides a glimpse of what's going on, I've provided a few links below. **We have much to learn**, for example:

"People frequently ask me what these ceremonial baskets hold. They did not have to hold anything, because the basket itself was all that was needed. The basket contained the prayers and the wonderful, good energy that made it a ceremonial basket." -- Susan Billy, Pomo, Elsie Allen's grand-niece and student. From:

In Sonoma County, with the passage of Proposition 1A where voters agreed to allow gambling on native owned land, the Dry Creek band of Pomo is proposing a casino on their land in the Alexander Valley area. The local, non-native residents are not very happy about the prospect, but there seems to be little they can do. It will be interesting watching the proposed casino evolve (or fester?) in the hearts and minds of local residents, native and not. More later...

If you have a moment please take a peek at these links about this Sonoma & Mendocino County tribe:

Pomo resourses:

Pomo baskets:

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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