Discover Winter in the Wine Country

February 2004

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Wine Country Weddings
Planning Your "Big Day" in the Wine Country!
Mustard Festival's The Marketplace
Napa Valley Mustard Festival's Signature Event at COPIA
Wine Country Featured Dining
Latitude – An Exciting New Restaurant in Rohnert Park!
Wine Country Recipe
Cupid's Chocolate Cake
Wine Country Featured Event
Russian River Wine Road Barrel Tasting Drawing!
A Romantic Night and Adventurous Day - for Two!!

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Inman Family Perfects Russian River Pinot Gris

Use Header Text Here!Sonoma County's Russian River Valley has long been renowned for its exquisite Pinot Noirs. Now, a small family winery is putting the region on the map for a close relation: Pinot Gris.

Pinot Gris produces complex, richly flavored white whites in the Alsace region of France, Oregon, and California. The Inman family, who came to the Russian River Valley from England in 1998 and planted a 10-acre vineyard to Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, makes one of the best. Their maiden, 2002 vintage, described in Wine Enthusiast magazine as "a higher class of Pinot Gris," won numerous accolades, including a 93 score in the authoritative PinotReport. Released this month, Inman's 2003 Pinot Gris boasts fragrant pear, citrus, vanilla, and nutmeg aromas, with rich peach, nectarine, honey and spice flavors.

The Inmans make only 225 cases of their handcrafted Pinot Gris, which they sell exclusively through their mailing list and website. To purchase telephone (707) 395 0689 or visit


Rancho Santa Barbara Marriott
"At the gateway to the Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country"

Rancho Santa Barbara Marriott - At the gateway to the Santa Ynez Valley  Wine CountryCome explore the Santa Ynez Valley and over 60 local wineries, including Firestone Vineyards. The Rancho Santa Barbara Marriott offers you the convenient location to all the local vineyards, and many outdoor activities. After spending the day wine tasting, spend the evening dining in our outstanding Jockey Club Restaurant featuring steak and local seafood; and then the evening gaming at nearby Chumash Casino or catching one of 5 great new movies at the movie theatre next to the hotel.

The Rancho Santa Barbara Marriott offers you deluxe guest rooms and suites. Local vineyards have recently added artwork and named some of our 27 suites, with all profits going to the Children's Miracle Network.

Wine Tasting Packages starting at $139.00 a night. Our Wine Tasting Packages include deluxe accommodations for two, Gift Bottle of local wine upon arrival, special wine tasting passes to local vineyards, wine tour maps, and made to order hot breakfast for two the following morning.

Call 1-800-638-8882 to reserve your Wine Tasting Package today!


The Sonoma Valley Olive Festival
December 2003 - February 2004

Use Header Text Here!The third and final month of the Sonoma Valley Olive Festival has arrived! Throughout February enjoy the Olive Festival's Taste of the Olive events beginning on February 6; join more than 30 Sonoma Valley wineries at Signature Sonoma Valley, an intimate vintners and growers salon featuring fabulous wines and wine country cuisine, as well as, a silent auction.

"Olive" Carneros Chefs' Showcase takes place February 7-8 at Homewood, Sonoma Creek, Schug and Roche wineries. Each winery will host an olive cooking demonstration and will also offer special discounts. Then, on Valentines Day join Kunde Estate Winery for a romantic dinner and a screening of a Wine Country Film Festival movie at Dinner and a Movie.

Finally, the Olive Festival culminates on February 21-22 with the famous Artisan Market. This Must - attend event features a tented marketplace of olive-themed food, wine, art and entertainment all happening on the beautiful Sonoma Plaza.

For a complete calendar of events, plus lodging and spa specials, visit or contact the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau at 707-996-1090.

Wine Country Weddings

Planning Your "Big Day" in the Wine Country!


Silverado ResortThe California Wine Country is fast becoming the place for unforgettable and extraordinary weddings!   An entire spectrum of ceremonies can be accommodated in a variety of settings.   Whether you plan a small, intimate ceremony or a lavish festivity -- there are scores of picturesque settings and marriage venues available in Wine Country.

Several Wine Country establishments can orchestrate the entire event for you.   Napa Valley's Silverado Resort offers professional coordination and everything you need, from guestroom accommodations to specialty chocolate truffle wedding favors.   Select from Served Menus or the elegant Wedding Dinner Buffet, all splendidly presented amid glowing candles and fine linens.

Vintner's InnIf your wedding will have 50 to 125 guests, Vintner's Inn in Sonoma County may be the perfect ceremony milieu.   A personal consultation with the Executive Chef to fashion the perfect seasonal menu will ensure your wedding banquet is reminisced about at length by all in attendance.   Vintners Inn will make sure your wedding day dreams come true.

Sonoma Coast Villa, located on Sonoma's rugged coastline, is the "perfect storybook setting" for your extraordinary day.   As you begin your new life together, surrounded by dazzling views of the California hills and the Villa's beautiful gardens, memories are created that will remain vivid and spectacular.   Indulgence yourself and the wedding party with one of the Courtyard Spa's special treatments, certain to soothe any pre-wedding jitters.

Nestled amongst the Russian River Valley vineyards, the Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant provides a heavenly setting for weddings small and large alike. Lovely gardens, fountains, poolside patio, and antique rose gardens are just some of beauty awaiting the happy couple. Several wedding packages are available to suit parties of all sizes and styles. Massage and spa treatments are also offered at the Inn.

Elopements Tuscan StyleMayacamas Ranch in Calistoga offers a unique 80-acre resort wedding location for up to 120 guests. Lodging is available in meadow-view cottages for up to 56 overnight guests, as well as wedding coordination and dining services throughout an entire weekend affair. Experienced and friendly personnel are on hand to help make your wedding truly memorable.

If you are planning a small, intimate group for your wedding or commitment ceremony, consider an "all inclusive elopement package" with Elopements Tuscan Style.   The package includes professional photographer, ceremony, officient, and two very romantic nights at this secluded luxury villa located on a private, gated property in the hills of northern Napa Valley. Celebrate each anniversary by returning to this Mexican style hacienda with 1,000-acre views.

For a very personalized and customized ceremony, Traci Steuteville's event planning and wedding coordination services at Napa Valley Celebrations offers general consultation, vendor referrals, scheduling, rehearsal and wedding day coordination -- she takes care of it all. Ultimately, the goal is to end up with an extraordinary day to experience and wonderful memories for everyone involved.

Now all you need is a starting point!   For ideas and additional information on weddings in the Wine Country, please visit our new Wine Country Wedding Planner page at:

We wish you great success in the planning of your special day!

Mustard Festival's The Marketplace

The Napa Valley Mustard FestivalNapa Valley Mustard Festival's Signature Event at COPIA

Enjoy a sensational season of wine country events celebrating the food, wine, art, and culture of the Valley, at The Napa Valley Mustard Festival!  

On March 13th and 14th, discover and taste mustards from around the world at The Marketplace, the Napa Valley Mustard Festival's Signature Event at COPIA - The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts in Napa.   Mustards and an array of gourmet products will be showcased alongside sensational wine country cuisine, world famous wines, hearty craft brews, and fine arts and crafts. The Marketplace will provide you with the opportunity to explore the best of Napa Valley during the most beautiful time of year in the wine country, when the brilliant gold of mustard in bloom carpets hillsides, valleys and vineyards.

Tickets for the Marketplace are available at the gate, or at the Napa Valley Mustard Festival's website.

Check out the Napa Valley Mustard Festival merchandise, including beautiful posters (signed copies available) and winebags!

Come join us during the Mustard Season, when fields, vineyards, and hillsides are vibrant with wild mustard in bloom and celebrate the rich, unique agricultural and historical bounty of the Napa Valley.   The Season offers a full palette of food, wine, art, entertainment, and cultural activities staged throughout the world-famous grape growing region.



Featured Sponsor
Sutter Home - Harvesting the Dream in Napa Valley

BEST LOCATION: River Terrace Inn
3rd Night Free with 2 Night Stay & many Great Rates & Value Packages to Select at Arrive to your Private Whirlpool, Balcony & River View. Free High Speed Internet & DVD/CD. Walk to COPIA & Napa Valley Wine Train. Free Trolley: Restaurants, Art Galleries, Shopping & Nightlife. Indulge with the Private Spa, Cozy Fireplace & Wine Bar overlooking Café Terrace & Napa River.

Click here for more information.

Wine Country Featured Restaurant

Latitude — Finally, a Buzz In Rohnert Park!

Latitude — Finally, a Buzz In Rohnert Park!Maybe you're from out of the area or it hasn't reached you yet, but the buzz is building on an exciting dining experience in Rohnert Park named Latitude . This refreshing new bar and dining complex (conveniently located adjacent to the Doubletree Hotel at the north end of town) fills the formerly dark and staid Wine & Visitors Center with uncommon spirit and quality. The entire facility has been utterly transformed by the creators of some of the Northbay's most popular spots—Brannan's Grill, Flatiron Grill and Checkers—into the hottest new destination to come along for a long time in the Northbay area for food, spirits, fun and camaraderie.

On a winter Thursday evening visit, the café and bar were rockin' and the restaurant was full. As we entered, an energetic bar and spacious central hall was inviting. The flow of the shimmering waterfall behind the bar was background to the buzz of an energized crowd. The shorter café menu offered in the bar and café is packed with interesting starters, sandwiches and various small plates, ideal for a more casual visit. Quality spirits, beer and wine are offered too, they have it all at Latitude !

But we came for the main restaurant, where the presentations are divine yet not over-inflated or stuffy. Here, delicious New California French plates are right-sized, ample but not overwhelming, and designed to complement at least one great appetizer ahead of your entree…our big spiced Tiger Prawns were crunchy, the Duck Spring Rolls were delectable, and all served piping hot, yum! With my entrée, delicate veggies were ever so flavorful, and not overcooked…looking prettier than they would taste, but tasting better than that! The attention to details of enjoyment here is uncommon, and a wonderful thing to find on designed plates such as this.

Dessert should be considered a main course at Latitude …my Chocolate Devil's Food Cake with Milk Sherbet and Hot Chocolate Soup plate was divine on all counts! A dedicated dessert chef is on staff at Latitude, and it shows! Interesting flights of dessert wines are intriguing and satisfying. The wine list itself includes Sonoma County treasures alongside the staples, with a rich selection from beyond the county as well. The list of wines offered by half-bottle is impressive, and a nice treat if other stops await you after a Latitude lunch. Finally, the word on the Sunday Buffet Brunch from 10-2 is that it is an awesome spread…we'll be back to check that out!

When warmer seasons prevail, the rooms open to impressive patios overlooking a picturesque lake and views of the Sonoma hills. Fire pits will warm your party during Sonoma County's temperate evenings…we can't wait, dining al fresco anyone?

Latitude has raised the bar for Sonoma County dining. A fun spirit and fantastic food all work together…they get it at Latitude, which is unpretentious yet special, sophisticated but comprehensible, delivering quality and enjoyment for all. They prove that a restaurant can be family-friendly, yet not sacrifice distinctiveness, personality or spirit. Offering the staples of new California cuisine surrounded by inventive appetizers, luscious desserts and all the trimmings in a great setting, you'll find yourself thinking of coming back to Latitude again soon!

Article submitted by Taylor Poff


Featured Sponsor
Sutter Home - Harvesting the Dream in Napa Valley

Isn't It Romantic - A Sparkling Toast to Napa!
The Napa Valley Wine Auction is the world's largest charity wine event and is open to the general public. A limited number of day passes are available for Thursday and Saturday events, as well as individual tickets for the Gala Dinner. To get your invitation to the Napa Valley Wine Auction sign-up now!

Thursday, June 3, through Sunday, June 6, 2004. Click here for more information.

Wine Country Recipe

Cupid's Chocolate Cake

12-14 Serving

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup baking cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
4 cups buttercream frosting of your choice

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; add to the creamed mixture alternately with water.   Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.   For filling, in a mixing bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Beat in confectioners' sugar and remaining vanilla.   Place bottom cake layer on a serving plate; spread with half of the filling. Repeat. Place top layer on cake; frost top and sides of cake with buttercream frosting. Store in the refrigerator.

Reprinted by permission of Reiman Publications, LLC. © 2002. All rights reserved.


Featured Sponsor
Discover Winter in the Wine Country

Discover Winter in the Wine Country
Up to 50% off on lodging, free wine tasting, dining deals, spa specials, shopping discounts & more from Nov 1st thru March 31, 2004. Discounts only available with a Wine Country Gift Pack. $25 Gift packs include 2 logo wine glasses, ID card and more. Must show ID card to accesses discounts. Valid Nov 1, 2003 thru March 31, 2004. For listing of participants or to order, call 800-799-6456, 707-942-6333 or visit

Featured Sponsor
Sutter Home - Harvesting the Dream in Napa Valley

The Napa Valley Mustard Festival
The Mustard Season offers a full palette of food, wine, art, entertainment, and cultural activities staged throughout the world-famous grape growing region from Saturday, January 31, through Saturday, March 27 at the Napa Valley Mustard Festival. Mustard the condiment shares center stage with mustard in bloom throughout the season - appearing at events and in mustard recipes, from entrees to desserts.

Wine Country Featured Events

Things to Do in the Wine Country:

March 5 - 7 -- Russian River Wine Road, Barrel Tasting
Join nearly 100 wineries (Alexander, Dry Creek & Russian River Valleys) for this once a year trip into the cellar to sample wines directly from the barrel! This is your opportunity to meet winemakers, purchase "futures" of limited release wines and visit wineries that are seldom open to the public. There are no tickets required for Barrel Tasting Weekend, simply purchase a glass at your first winery for $5.00 and prepare to spend a GREAT weekend tasting wine. Complete program and list of participating wineries online soon.

Many wineries offer "futures" for sale this weekend too. Purchase “futures” then come back to the winery to pick up after the wine is bottled, about 12-18 months later. We look forward to seeing you along the Wine Road.

Fee: FREE - purchase glass for $5 Time: 11AM - 4 PM Phone Number: 800-723-6336

For a complete calendar of events by region, visit: Gold Country, Mendocino, Monterey,
Napa Valley
, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Sonoma County, Temecula, Virginia Info Drawing:

Win a Romantic Night and Adventurous Day for Two!

Enter to win a one night stay at The Carneros Inn, a luxurious new resort in the midst of Napa Valley's beautiful Carneros winegrowing region.   Surrounded by spectacularly picturesque vineyard landscapes, The Carneros Inn is " a place designed to make absolutely everything feel better."   Located an hour from San Francisco, and minutes from both Sonoma and Napa, the Carneros Inn offers a elegant comfort and all the modern conveniences.

Start your Day of Adventure with a 'Sip N' Cycle Tour' for two from Getaway Adventures.   Spend the day on a guided bike tour through Calistoga's beautiful quiet country roads, stopping to taste fine wine at several extraordinary wineries along the way.

After a day exploring wineries and beautiful countryside, sit back and enjoy dinner for two…an extraordinary five-course meal aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train. Open year-round, the magnificent Napa Valley Wine Train is an attraction you surely won't want to miss during your visit to the Wine Country. Treat a friend or loved one to world class wines, freshly prepared fine dining, and relaxed elegance.

***No purchase necessary. Must be at least 21 years old to enter. Carneros Inn & Getaway Adventures gift certificates must be used Sunday through Thursday. Only one entry per person permitted. Winner will be selected March 15, 2004 by random drawing. Winner will be notified by email. Employees of Freerun Technologies are ineligible. Void where prohibited by law.

Click here to enter this drawing! (Please note: If you are already subscribed to the newsletter, you are automatically entered in this drawing.)

The Carneros Inn :
Getaway Adventures :
Napa Valley Wine Train :

The Winner of this Drawing will be announced on The Winner's Page after March 15. Info...

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