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September 2003

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Hakusan Sake Gardens
A unique taste of the California Wine Country
Gualala Getaway
Escape to the Sonoma / Mendocino Coast
Restaurant Recommendation
FlatIron Grill in Calistoga
Wine Country Recipe
Artichoke Dip by FlatIron Grill
Wine Tasting Recommendation
Chrysalis Winery in the Virginia Piedmont
Wine Country Lodging Recommendation
Sycamore Mineral Springs in San Luis Obispo
Wine Country Featured Event
Things to Do in the Wine Country Drawing
Sonoma Wine Country Getaway for Two!

From all of us at FreeRun - Thank you for using our sites!
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Santa CruzSonomaWineCountrySan Luis Obispo
Gold CountryVirginia
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Goosecross Cellars
"Voted one of the friendliest wineries in Napa Valley"

Goosecross Cellars - Voted one of the friendliest wineries in Napa Valley Intimidated by a limited knowledge of wine? There's no need to worry when you visit Goosecross Cellars, a friendly, family operated micro-winery in Yountville.

Goosecross is a fun and relaxed place to experience wine. Visitors to the Old English style estate can feel the soil, touch the vines, witness production and meet the friendly and knowledgeable family and staff.

Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel and more!

- Click here for your complimentary tasting room coupon
and receive a
a complimentary tasting for two people. -

Two tasting room locations!
At the Winery:
1119 State Lane - Yountville, CA
Open daily by prior appointment
10am - 4pm
(707) 944-1986

In Downtown Napa:
Wineries of Napa Valley
1285 Napa Town Center - (Adjacent to the Visitors Center)
10am - 8pm Walk in anytime!
(707) 253-9450


Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites
"Come enjoy the SOUNDS OF SEPTEMBER!"

Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites - Sebastopol - Come enjoy the SOUNDS OF SEPTEMBER!

The Holiday Inn Express invites you to come play with us in September, when the Sonoma Wine Country is alive with the SOUND OF MUSIC! There's music for every taste from Jazz on the Russian River and in the vineyards to bamboo flutes at Osmosis to Welsh harp and Irish jig at the Celtic Festival in Sebastopol. And if you'd rather tantalize your taste buds, there's always the Tomato Festival at Kendall-Jackson or Corks & Forks at Korbel.

Our comfortable 82-room inn with original local artwork offers complimentary continental breakfast, in-room coffee makers and refrigerators, outdoor pool and spa, fitness room, free local calls and a friendly staff to accommodate you. It is the perfect place to begin and end your days! Conveniently located in Sebastopol, with its rolling orchard-covered hills and sunny vineyards.

Call (707)-829-6677 to reserve your room or reserve on line now. Rates range from $89-$139 Sun-Thurs; $113-$179 Fri-Sat.


The Yountville Inn
Visit the Napa Valley during Harvest Season!

Yountville Inn - Visit the Napa Valley during Harvest Season

Rooms at the Yountville Inn this September 7-11, 15, 16 and 22 are now available at a fantastic rate of only $200 per night! A bountiful California buffet breakfast is included with your room each morning too! Indulge yourself in the hotel s heated outdoor pool and spa after an exciting day exploring the Napa Valley during Crush! Rooms are limited, so please call soon for your reservation 800-972-2293.

Please view our September Harvest Specials!

Yountville Inn
6462 Washington Street
800.972.2293 - toll free

Hakusan Sake Gardens

Hakusan Sake GardensA different taste of the California Wine Country

Eastern Art, Western Passion

Hakusan’s tasting room, production facility, and peaceful Japanese Zen Gardens, located in Napa, California, are inspired by a vision to unite Eastern Art and Western Passion. Napa is internationally recognized for its beauty and diversity, complementing the unique cultural experience that Hakusan offers to their guests. The fresh mountain spring water and access to the very best short grain rice grown in the fertile fields of California’s Sacramento Valley has allowed Hakusan Sake Gardens to produce a brilliant portfolio of domestic sakes. Their skillful brew master uses the latest advancements in the sake making process, while maintaining a great respect for time honored tradition. At Hakusan, they strive for excellence, using only the highest quality ingredients and overseeing the art of sake making from start to finish.

Hakusan Sake GardensHakusan prides itself on offering the freshest, highest quality product to consumers and they work very closely with their distributors to achieve this goal. Hakusan Sake is available nation wide and distribution continues to expand, making it possible for everyone to experience their vision of Eastern Art and Western Passion.

Cooking with Hakusan Sake has been a tradition for many years! East meets West cooking recipes are available on the website for guests to experiment, and of course…enjoy! Pair any of these mouth-watering recipes with Hakusan’s Sake Cocktails, also located on the website.

Antony Dias Blue, Editor for Bon Appetit Magazine comments on Hakusan sake pairing, "...Hakusan produces several styles of sake in Napa. These include a delicate plum-flavored version and the full-flavored sweetish cooking sake known as mirin, which makes a great addition to sauces. My favorite is the Hakusan Premium, which offers fruity aromas, citrusy tones, and an off dry finish. Serve it with a plate of cracked crab for a Zenlike experience....."

Hakusan welcomes your visit to their state-of-the-art brewery and serene tasting room, open 7 days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Your visit will be a truly unique cultural experience. Not only will you taste their award winning Sake, you will learn about the history, tradition and the latest art in Sake Brewing. Click here for Half Price Sake Tasting!

Hakusan Sake GardensHakusan now offers their sake products for sale online. They ship domestically by UPS Ground service and ship to these reciprocal states only: California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin. For international shipments or express shipments, please call at (800) KOHNAN1 (564-6261) x 113 for further information.

Please review Hakusan’s website to learn more about the history of Hakusan Sake Gardens s, the sake making process, and their tasting room, where you can enjoy a pleasurable sake tasting experience.

Gualala Getaway

GualalaEscape to the Sonoma / Mendocino Coast

Immediately to the north of the Gualala River, which separates Sonoma and Mendocino counties, lies the small town of Gualala. Situated at the junction of the river mouth and an enchanted section of the California Coast, Gualala is a little off the beaten path. It lacks a direct major road inland. If you are coming from the South, you reach the coast at Jenner and proceed north along the winding coastal highway. From the north, access is via Boonville and Anchor Bay. Either of these routes will take the wine lover through some of California's top wine growing regions, the Russian River and Anderson Valley respectively.

GualalaReaching Gualala is well worth the effort. Lodging choices range from both public and private campgrounds to inns, but an exceptional way to stay is at a vacation rental. Coasting Home (formerly Kennedy Vacation Rentals) lists several rental properties along the coast and into the surrounding hills. Both Coasting Home and Sea Ranch Escape offer rental in Sea Ranch, directly to the south in Sonoma County. GualalaRental units typically include amenities kitchens and hot tubs, and range from the modestly priced to the luxurious.


With so much vacation lodging available, Gualala is a bustling community that belies its size. The Super Surf is a surprisingly sophisticated super market catering to the vacation visitor. Dining ranges from the Cafe Pacifico and Cypress Bar & Grill to the excellent St.Orres Dining Room.

Activities include kayaks and canoes on the Gualala River from Adventure Rents, plus walks along the scenic coast. The Gualala Art Center sponsors studio tours and gallery exhibits. Come escape to Gualala where the wildlife and nature of the idylic shore meet the expanse of the Pacific Ocean. To find our more, please visit and


Featured Sponsor
Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival

Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival
September 26-28, 2003, Resort at Squaw Creek
The date is set, the chefs are lined up, the wineries are ready to pour, and you’re invited to the west’s most festive food and wine affair. Featuring a grape stomp, cooking classes, wine & tequila seminars, Grand Tasting of Tahoe’s finest restaurants with premium wineries. Click here for details and tickets or contact Lake Tahoe Central Reservations, 888-229-2193.

Restaurant Recommendation

Flat Iron GrillFlatIron Grill in Calistoga

From the moment you step in the door at FlatIron Grill you know you’re in for a wonderful treat. Whether you’re seated at one of the spacious and comfortable suede-covered booths or at a table overlooking Lincoln Avenue in downtown Calistoga, you’ll find yourself in an elegant, but comfortable atmosphere. The walls that divide the restaurant into various seating areas are fitted with 100-year old glass panels. These walls help create semi-private spaces for intimate dinners or large group. And don’t miss artist Lowell Herrero’s cow paintings hung throughout the restaurant. You’re sure to find them quite entertaining!

Flat Iron GrillA visit to the Wine Bar would be a wonderful way to begin your evening. Choose from the extensive wine list and order by the glass, half bottle or full (750 ml) bottle. You’ll find the selections delightful and varied; something for every palate. And if you choose, you’re welcome to dine at the Wine Bar as well!

The menu at FlatIron Grill is equally as varied and delicious. A member of the staff recently visited FlatIron Grill and could not say enough wonderful things about the Grilled Salmon entrée. The salmon was grilled just enough to give the outside a nice crispy crunch while leaving the inside moist and tender, and was served with creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Sautéed Spinach. Paired with a smooth and buttery Chardonnay, this selection made for the perfect meal.

Flat Iron GrillThere are several other offerings on the menu ranging from Prime Rib or Pork Tenderloin to a Ground Steak Cheeseburger. Whatever you choose, you will not be disappointed!

FlatIron Grill can also assist you with your banquet needs and offers two or three-course lunches, and three and four-course dinner selections.

For additional information, visit, or call 707-942-1220.


Featured Sponsor
WineVision: American Wine in the 21st Century

WineVision: American Wine in the 21st Century
WineVision: American Wine in the 21st Century is conducting a nationwide wine consumption survey because it wants to hear from wine drinkers of all sorts-occasional, frequent or even those who rarely take a sip of Napa's finest. Filling out the survey means it could be your lucky day. Survey respondents can win up to $200 cash by filling out the online survey! Click here to access the survey: (check the scrollbar on the bottom left).

Wine Country Recipe

Artichoke Dip by FlatIron Grill

Flat Iron GrillIngredients:

2 Cups Artichoke hearts
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
3 Garlic Cloves

Preheat oven to 450°

In food processor combine 1 Cup artichoke hearts, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese and garlic cloves.

Chop the remaining artichoke hearts by hand, and fold into mixture. Place in an oven-safe dish and bake at 450° until golden brown.

Serve warm with toasted French bread crustini.


Wine Tasting Recommendation

Chrysalis VineyardsChrysalis Vineyards in the Virginia Piedmont

Located outside the village of Middleburg in the beautiful Virginia Piedmont, Chrysalis Vineyards is one of the newest and most innovative wineries on the East Coast. They have established sixty-two acres of rolling vineyards and in just a few short years have produced some of Virginia’s finest estate wines from unusual Spanish and French varietals (Albariño, Graciano, Tempranillo, Fer Servadou,Petit Manseng,PeiteVerdot), traditional varietals (Chardonnay , Viognier) and Norton, the Real American Grape!

Chrysalis VineyardsWhile touring Virginia wine country, or for a day trip while visiting the Washington D.C.area, be sure to stop by the Chrysalis tasting room and unwind on Sarah’s Patio looking out over the breathtaking Bull Run Mountains. In the meantime, they will continue to create unique wines that appeal not only to the tastes of fellow Virginians, but to wine lovers the world over. Since the colonial days of Thomas Jefferson, Virginia has enjoyed a reputation as one of the first producers of fine wines in North America. The tradition continues at Chrysalis Vineyards as they produce premium wines for you to enjoy:

Chrysalis VineyardsThe staff recently had the occasion to sample the Chrysalis 2002 Viognier. There was a sense of anticipation as the Voignier is a varietal for which Virginia, as of late, has received international recognition, and the Chrysalis 2001 was one of three Virginia Voigniers judged as outstanding. The 2002 did not disappoint, and perhaps eclipses the award winning 2001 vintage. This extraordinary Northern Rhóne varietal displayed wonderful citrus, tropical and pear aromas while retaining the classic dry quality of Viognier. Balance and intensity were excellent. This is a wine we highly recommend.

Visit Chrysalis Vineyards at

Wine Country Lodging Recommendation

Sycamore Mineral Springs in San Luis Obispo

Sycamore Mineral Springs"…where relaxation is a reality"

Tucked away in the wooded hillsides of the lush Avila Valley lies the Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort, an extraordinary setting for a romantic getaway or relaxing spa retreat, as well as a choice location for conferences, banquets, weddings, and receptions.

The therapeutic waters of Sycamore Mineral Springs were first harnessed in 1886, when two men drilling for oil were surprised by a spray of mineral water instead of oil. Naturally hot, the sulpher-based mineral waters of the "Oil Wells" (as Sycamore was then known) rapidly became a popular spa/resort and location for social gatherings in San Luis Obispo County. W.C. Fields visited here frequently, as did many bi-coastal travelers on the Pacific Coast Railway, which stopped directly across the street during the early 1900s, allowing weary travelers an opportunity to relax and enjoy their surroundings.

Sycamore Mineral SpringsIn the mid-1930s, new owners renamed the spa Sycamore Mineral Springs, and began to emphasize the therapeutic benefits of the mineral water. Now staffed with doctors and nurses, Sycamore attracted people anxious to "cure" their aches and pains. Later, in the 1970s, Sycamore Mineral Springs would again become a spa resort for tourists, attracting visitors from all along the coast.

These days, Sycamore Mineral Springs is a haven of relaxation, offering premium spa treatments as well as the traditional mineral soaks and hot tubs. Each of our twenty redwood hot tubs offer a secluded escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and have a two to six person capacity. Large groups are easily accommodated in our "Oasis" rock spa, an invigorating spa with cascading waterfalls and a tropical setting.

Sycamore Mineral SpringsSycamore Mineral Springs Resort’s naturally beautiful and relaxing environment has made us a popular location for weddings and receptions since the late 1890s. Our gazebo, courtyard, and spacious lawn and gardens are ideally suited to accommodating wedding parties, as well as other large gatherings.

The renowned cuisine of Ralph Fabula, Executive Chef at The Gardens of Avila Restaurant, "the Most Romantic Restaurant on the Central Coast," will further enhance your wedding or special event. Perfectly matched to the relaxed ambiance of Sycamore Mineral Springs, Mr. Fabula’s innovative blends of flavors from around the world will delight any palate.

Visit Sycamore Mineral Springs at

Wine Country Featured Events

Things to Do in the Wine Country:

September 19th to October 5th, Napa Valley Opera House, 1776
Stirring Musical Drama by Peter Stone and Sherman Edwards
During the hot, humid summer of 1776, an extraordinary group of men defy tyranny and change the world. Song by song, the story traces America's evolution from British colony to sovereign nation, and reminds us of the civil liberties our forefathers fought so hard to achieve. This surprisingly suspenseful yarn is one of the most intriguing and entertaining musicals ever conceived.

Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical, 1969, 1776 will be the first full-length musical presented at the new Napa Valley Opera House. Tickets are $20 - $38. Call the Napa Valley Repertory Theatre at 800-557-NVRT (6878).

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

Win a Fabulous Sonoma Wine Country Getaway for Two!

Check into Hotel Healdsburg, a first-class hotel, perfectly located in the historic town plaza where one can enjoy some of the world's finest vineyards, restaurants and shops within minutes of the front steps. Beautifully appointed rooms, country gardens, pool and luxurious spa provide a tranquil setting for guests to relax in. Wake up to a delicious gourmet continental breakfast, courtesy of Hotel Healdsburg.

Start your tour of the pristine Sonoma wine country at Locals Tasting Room, just north of Healdsburg, where you will be treated to a Premium Tasting for two, including Reidel Locals Logo Glasses. Locals features 41 wines from 6 unique award-winning wineries. In one relaxing and spirited stop, visitors learn more than they usually do in an entire wine country vacation!

Delight your palate at Restaurant Charcuterie with a $150 gift certificate! Just steps away from your hotel, you will find great wine country fare with the focus on fresh and local foods. A favorite of local winemakers, the menu offers something for everyone.

***No purchase necessary. To participate you must be 21 years of age or older. Only one entry per person permitted. Prize is same as cash, Freerun Technologies, Inc/ is not responsible if lost or stolen. Winner will be selected by random drawing and will be contacted via email. Winner must claim prize within 10 days of email notification. Winner name and state of residence will be announced in a future issue of Lifestyle Online newsletter. Employees of FreeRun Technologies are ineligible. Void where prohibited. Info...

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