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Art Amongst the Olives
di Rosa Preserve Art and Nature
The modern art facility of di Rosa Preserve is truly the marriage of art and nature. "The di Rosa Preserve exists for the public exhibition of the di Rosa art collection, and for the preservation of the historic residence, galleries and open spaces in which it is displayed.
The art collection consists of art produced in the greater San Francisco Bay Area during the latter part of the 20th Century and early 2ist Century. A wide range of styles, media and subject matter comprise a history lesson in the creative energies of the region."
WineCountry.com visited di Rosa Preserve and witnessed the magic firsthand. The two-hour outdoor tour began with hot mulled wine - the perfect compliment to the chilly but beautiful January morning. Four volunteers guided the tour group throughout the massive property sharing their personal perspectives and enjoyment on art pieces.
As the tour explores the preserve the stress of every day rushing around is left behind and the intrigue of "how did they do that?" sets in. One of the greatest features was a stack of 15 four-drawer file cabinets with each drawer containing specific milligrams of an old MG automobile. Other pieces included a three-piece sculpture each identical, but positioned differently making it nearly impossible to notice the likeness and the gutted VW Scirocco suspended from a tree made for more than just a conversation piece.
The tour ends with a boxed lunch amongst the 100-year-old olive tress and an opportunity to ask questions to the staff who are more than happy to answer questions and chat about the work. The tour provides a true sense of exploring art and preserving the beauty of nature - the mission behind di Rosa Preserve.
di Rosa Preserve is closed on Saturday afternoons and Sunday. This is an experience well worth planning into your wine country travels - making it all the more necessary to extend your visit into the week. Seeing these wonders firsthand and understanding how something so out of the ordinary can be so very extraordinary - an experience that will truly enrich your wine country visit.
Visit di Rosa Preserve: www.dirosapreserve.org
Olive Oil - Where to Get It
Looking for Fabulous Olive Oil - Here's Where to Go.
Aside from producing some of the world's best wine, the California wine country is also home to some of the best olive oils. With businesses such as Olivier Napa Valley and the St. Helena Olive Oil Company you can't go wrong with your oil and vinegar choices.
Olivier Napa Valley, is located 1224-A Adams Street in St. Helena, CA. Some may be familiar with Olivier as seen in the gourmet cookware chain, Williams-Sonoma. At Olivier you will find fabulous Napa Valley grown olive oils, vinegars, mustards and beautifully selected kitchen accessories - making every serving classy. Visit Olivier Napa Valley at www.oliviernapavalley.com and check out their Quick Order Store making it easier than ever to bring a slice of the Napa Valley home to you.
While driving through the Napa Valley on Highway 29, keep your eye out for the St. Helena Olive Oil Company, located conveniently along Hwy. 29 at 8576 St. Helena Highway in Rutherford, CA. St. Helena Olive Oil Company is truly authentic in that they bottle every product by hand at the St. Helena facility and use only the purest ingredients. Every product sold is free of added sugars, colors or artificial flavors. Aside from delicious oils and vinegars, you will find fantastic jams, honeys, salsas, as well as, beautiful kitchen linens and accessories. Visit St. Helena Olive Oil Company at www.sholiveoil.com and sneak a peek at their great recipe ideas.
Events For February
February 16 -- That's Amore Dinner Cabaret
February 23 - 24 -- Symphony of the Redwoods Winter Concert
February 1 - 28 -- Steinbeck's 100th Birthday Celebration
February 20 - 24 -- Masters of Food & Wine
February 9 - 10 -- A Weekend of Fine Art in Napa Valley
February 23 -- Premiere Napa Valley Barrel Auction
February 16 -- Pinot Lovers Symposium
February 27 - March 3 -- Santa Barbara International Film Festival
February 9 -- Migration Festival
February 26 -- Ultimate Winemakers' Dinner
February 14 - March 23 -- Amor-eh! and Dinner for Two...
February 14 -- St. Valentine's Day at the Duck Club Restaurant
Recipe of the Month
Pan Seared Halibut with Roasted Beet Vinaigrette
Compliments of St. Helena Olive Oil Company
Wash beets and roast covered in a 350 F oven for approximately 40 minutes. Cool, then peel and dice. Pan sear the halibut in 4 tablespoons of olive oil. When fully cooked, about 4 minutes per side turn off the heat and deglaze the pan with the broth. Add the vinegar to the broth then transfer to a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients except the beets and olive oil. Stir well. Slowly add the olive oil and when fully mixed, then add the beets. Season with salt and pepper and serve the halibut topped with the beet mixture. Makes about 4 servings.
Dining Recommendation: Carneros - Lodge at Sonoma
Dining with WineCountry.com
While visiting Sonoma look no further than Carneros Restaurant for quintessential wine country cuisine. From the first impression, it is obvious the restaurant has fine-tuned every detail. By paying close attention to superior stemware, flatware and linens, Carneros sets the stage for exceptional dining and service.
The menu is artisan-inspired with a Mediterranean flair and is full of variety. From the Starters menu the Red Kuri Squash Tortelloni with Sage Brown Butter, Black Walnuts and Shaved Parmesan, as well as the Seared Foie Gras with Roasted Pear, Blackberry-Zinfandel Gastrique and Warm Brioche are regular menu items and are served perfectly. The presentation is beautiful and each item is served at the appropriate temperature - emphasizing freshness. A current special, Pan Seared Diver Scallop, Winter Citrus Risotto with Kaffir Lime Beurre Blanc, was a WineCountry.com favorite and one of the highlights of the dining experience.
The ambiance is a unique combination of rustic and elegant. With high ceilings in the dining room and an open kitchen, the feel is very spacious, yet positioned for table intimacy. The wine list is extensive with a large variety featuring the best of the best throughout the wine country regions of California.
Chef de Cuisine, Michael Bilger, a former San Franciscan chef, prepared absolutely perfect Wood Oven Roasted Whole Dorade Royale with Salsa Verde and Heirloom Potatoes, and an equally delicious and beautifully presented Center Cut Pork Chop with Potato Latkes, Caraway raised Cabbage and Caramelized Apples. The entrees demonstrated Bilger's ability to blend flavors and textures making the dining experience interesting and satisfying.
The service at Carneros is second to none. During WineCountry.com's visit to the restaurant, each member of the Carneros service staff was "on" never missing a beat to insure the meal met every expectation. The staff maintains a manner of sophistication and intuition - never hesitating to provide their customers with additional information or suggestions to enhance their enjoyment.
The dessert menu is diverse and provides brilliant chocolate desserts, as well as equally rich and pleasing chocolate alternatives. The Dark Chocolate "Bacio" with Amaretti is almost to beautiful to eat - but to delicious not to! The Spiced Ginger Cake with Butterscotch Toffee Sauce and Forelle Pear Compote is the perfect chocolate alternative that is rich and satisfying, and the Tahitian Vanilla Crème Brulée with Fragrant Herbs & Lemon Drop Cookies is the flawless light dessert to finish off a hearty meal.
Carneros must be on your list of places to dine as you plan your next trip to the wine country. The food is incredible, the service inviting and the ambiance impeccable. WineCountry.com highly recommends Carneros Restaurant located in Sonoma, CA in association with The Lodge at Sonoma.
Tasting Room Recommendation
Tasting At Goosecross Cellars
With the attitude of maintaining tradition, simplicity and fine wine making, Goosecross Cellars is arguably one of the most honest and true to the trade wineries the Napa Valley has to offer. WineCountry.com recently had the opportunity to experience the tasting room at Goosecross Cellars and gain a new found appreciation for how quality Napa Valley wines are made.
While driving up the path to the Goosecross property it is obvious even then that the tradition of producing quality wine and the intimacy of family is priority one. The tasting room is quaint, but the warmth of the staff and the hearty welcome more than fill the room. Every member of the Goosecross team is more than willing to share their fabulous wine and the winery's great story.
The name Goosecross, which was derived from Gorsuch, the last name of the wine maker and vice president of operations, Geoff Gorsuch means, "where the goose crossed the stream." The winery was founded in 1978 by Patt and Rey Gorsuch and in 1993 Geoff Gorsuch and David Topper, president, CEO, and CFO acquired majority interest making Goosecross what it is today, an ultra-premium winery that provides a fun and detailed education for its consumers.
Goosecross Cellars is unique in the fact that they offer a regularly scheduled wine basics class that walks each participant through the many complex elements of tasting, serving and storing wine, without the pretense that is often found in other wine tasting workshops. The most unique feature of their Wine Basics class is that it is free. It is open to the public, although reservations are recommended - all are welcome.
The tasting room also offers visitors a wide range of wine and wine products available for purchase. Goosecross offers fabulous gift ideas such as chocolate covered wine bottles and etched wine bottles complete with a festive message perfect for a variety of celebrations. The specialty bottles are highlighted during holidays and specifically Valentine's Day, although featured yearlong. Another special aspect of the Goosecross tasting room is their Wild Alaskan Salmon. Once the French oak barrels that are used during the fermentation and aging process of Goosecross Chardonnay are saturated with the wine, they are no longer beneficial to the wine making process. The wood staves from the barrels are dried and used in the hot-smoked process of the fresh wild salmon. This process provides an incredible hearty flavor. If you are looking to have something sent to you, rest assured knowing that Goosecross is one of six wineries throughout the Napa/Sonoma area that is capable of shipping to nearly all 50 US states.
Goosecross Cellars is an ideal stop during your visit to the Napa Valley. Visiting Goosecross Cellars will not only allow you to taste fantastic wine, but also learn something that will enrich your wine knowledge and wine country experience.
Visit Goosecross Cellars at: www.goosecross.com
Lodging Recommendation: Hotel Healdsburg
Hotel Healdsburg, located in Healdsburg, CA - 67 miles north of San Francisco, is a new lodging facility in an area which can be thought of as the domain of three valleys, Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley and Alexander Valley. This location makes any guest's stay prime for quality wine tasting and ready for adventure.
The map directing you to the hotel is accurate and easy to follow. Once in the hotel you are greeted with a trendy, minimalist lobby that is furnished with plush sofas and clever conversation pieces. Upon entering the guestroom, in which WineCountry.com visited, it was obvious that detail was key and satisfaction a true priority. The beds are luxurious with down duvet covers and crisp 330 thread count custom made linens. The room is outfitted with amenities such as a French press for morning coffee, complimentary Pellegrino water and a morning newspaper. Also, a complimentary breakfast is brought to your door in the morning specified to your request from the evening prior.
Guest bathrooms at the hotel are large and spacious, complete with a six foot soaking tub and walk in shower. The toiletries are pampering products from THE SPA located in the hotel. Hotel Healdsburg also provides each room with an abundance of large plush towels and robes. The hotel features a 60-foot garden pool, ideal for laps and attended by staff paying close attention to insure warm towels and bathrobes are accessible. Other amenities include a fitness room, a grand lobby with grappa bar, fireplace and adjacent screen porch serving refreshments. THE SPA at Hotel Healdsburg offers a broad range of pampering skin and body treatments including massage, facials, and whirlpool, also a café and international newsstand.
A wonderful addition to the hotel is the Charlie Palmer Dry Creek Kitchen. This restaurant provided exceptional service, beautiful presentation and an exquisite tasting menu. The wine menu is very thorough, yet selective by featuring Sonoma County wines. The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner and reservations are recommended as the restaurant is very popular and fills quickly.
WineCountry.com highly suggests Hotel Healdsburg and dining at the Dry Creek Kitchen. Every staff member was exceptionally prompt, courteous, and eager to please. Hotel Healdsburg is a must see and essential to any wine country getaway.
Visit Hotel Healdsburg at: www.hotelhealdsburg.com
Visit Dry Creek Kitchen at: www.drycreekkitchen.com
Set Your Wild Side Free and Experience the WineCountry Like Never Before!
Escape from the ordinary Avoid the predictable Expect the unexpected!
On March 11, 2002 you could be selected to win a weekend getaway and tour for two to the exotic Safari West. The tent camp adventure at Safari West is a deluxe safari camping experience at a premiere safari park. Located in California's lush Sonoma County, it is the only accommodation of its kind in North America. Situated on 400 acres of breathtaking hillside in the heart of California's Wine Country, Safari West is home to over 300 exotic, endangered and extinct-in-the-wild African mammals and birds. The Tent Camp at Safari West is an African-style oasis, offering authentic safari accommodations, cuisine and wildlife tours for a complete safari experience, all within the boundaries of a unique wildlife reserve.
As an added bonus, you will also win a $100 gift certificate for a luxury dinner to the fabulous John Ash & Co. Restaurant located nearby in Santa Rosa, CA. At John Ash & Co. you will experience the incredible creations of Executive Chef Jeffrey Madura and the award winning wine list including some of the best Sonoma and Napa have to offer!
***NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Must be at least 21 years old to enter. Only one entry per person permitted. Winner will be selected March 11, 2002 by random drawing. Winner will be notified by email. Employees of FreeRun Technologies are ineligible. Void where prohibited by law. Your visit to Safari West is by reservation only and dependent upon availability, excludes holidays and cannot be combined with any other promotion.
Visit Safari West at -- www.safariwest.com
Check out John Ash & Co. at -- www.vintnersinn.com/dining/
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