OnLine Newsletter
Napa Valley Summer Musicals
Temecula Valley Travel Itinerary
Warm Days, Cool Wines in Southern California
A Taste of Redwood Valley
Enjoy a Genuine Northern California Wine Atmosphere
Wine Country Recipe
Rosemary Coffee Cake
Wine Country Featured Event
Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction Weekend Drawing
Newsletter Trivia Contest—Enter and Win!*
13th Annual Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction - September 2 - 4, 2005

Relive the golden age of Hollywood cinema at the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction. Experience A Day in the Vineyard. Be an insider at the Cult Cab Dinner. See the Phantom under the Big Tent.  Have grape stompin’ fun at Saturday’s Harvest Picnic. The Main Event has fabulous lots of everything from rare and coveted vintages to exotic overseas travel.  We will have you lifting your glass to toast California’s most historic wine destination. For tickets and information visit: or call (707) 935-0803

Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery

Niebaum-Coppola Estate WineryVisit one of the premier California wineries, the Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery, located on the historic Inglenook Estate. For more than 100 years, the Inglenook property in Rutherford has produced some of California's greatest vintages and charmed visitors with its timeless beauty. Francis Ford Coppola, the director/producer of the Godfather trilogy, bought a portion of the property in 1975 to make wine for his family and friends. He purchased the remainder of the historic property in 1995 and restored the Inglenook Chateau, which is once again bringing prestige to the landmark winery.

Now through July 31st, Niebaum-Coppola is offering free shipping on purchases made through the online store with no minimum purchase! Go to, add items to the shopping cart, click the "enter coupon" button and enter WSH2 to activate your shipping discount. You'll see a zero balance for shipping during the checkout process.

Niebaum~Coppola Estate Winery
1991 St. Helena Highway
Rutherford, CA 94573
(800) 575.9927

The Inn at the Tides

The Inn at the TidesEscape to The Inn at the Tides for a relaxing Sonoma wine country retreat. Elegant guest lodges are nestled among secluded, natural surroundings that overlook the bay and beyond to the Pacific Ocean. Let the power and allure of the rugged Sonoma Coast envelop you and give you peace of mind.

Guest rooms have all the modern comforts of home. The heated swimming pool and whirlpool will surely rejuvenate your mind, body and soul or try a massage, available in the privacy of your guest room. To add to your enjoyment, there are also several special packages such as the Stay and Play Golf Package, Horseback Riding Package, or Stay Awhile Package. For fine dining cuisine, look no further than The Bay View Restaurant & Lounge or The Tides Wharf Restaurant, both located onsite.

The Inn at the Tides ~ 800 Coast Highway One
Bodega Bay, California 94923
(800) 541.7788


MONDOVINO COMES TO DVD!"A Fahrenheit 9/11 for the grape." - MSNBC

The ultimate film about wine and wine culture, 'Mondovino' offers an unprecedented look into the conflicts, conspiracies and alliances of the wine trade. Filmed by award-winning director Jonathan Nossiter, 'Mondovino' has sparked controversy in its theatrical run among wine producers, distributors and consumers as it shed light on the esoteric world of wine. 'Mondovino' is an epic exploration into the modern world of wine spanning three continents and five languages, over a three-year period. Juxtaposing artisan wine growers with multi-national conglomerates, and peasants with billionaires, the film gives voice to those who create, critique and are involved in the commerce of wine. The feature length documentary had its world premiere and was an Official Selection at the 2004 Cannes International Film Festival and was seen for the first time in North America at the 2004 Toronto International Film Festival. Order your copy of 'Mondovino' today at or


Ennio at the Lincoln Theatre
Summer Musicals at Yountville's
Lincoln Theater

Attend the first annual Napa Valley Summer Musicals at Lincoln Theater at the California Veterans Home in Yountville from August 11th through September 4th. Lincoln Theater, with Reinis-Friedson Productions, will present three exciting and critically acclaimed shows - Neil Berg's "100 Years of Broadway," Ron Hawking's "His Way: A Tribute to the Man and His Music" and Ennio Marchetto's "ENNIO!" For tickets and more information visit


Enjoy A Genuine Northern California Wine Atmosphere

There is something truly special happening in Redwood Valley, a first class wine-producing area in northern Mendocino County, just northeast of Ukiah.  Here a small-town, old-California feel harkens to decades of wine enjoyment.  Located two hours north of San Francisco on US Highway 101, many of the folks in this friendly neighborhood have been supplying quality fruit to the venerable Mendocino Parducci and Fetzer brands, amongst others, for generations.

Nowadays, they are increasingly celebrating their own family winemaking traditions, bringing handcrafted wines to a somewhat larger audience, and with great success!  Small artisans dominate the area; there are no mega-winery projects here in the valley.  More and more, they celebrate their own winemaking along with lots of authentic hospitality, pouring the delicious fruit of dedicated labors.

With just a single day to spend at the area’s popular annual Father’s Day weekend event A Taste of Redwood Valley, our appetite was greatly enhanced to enjoy more of the outstanding wines that this picturesque area has to offer.  A few of these wineries with tasting rooms in Hopland to the south had their barns and winemaking facilities open for this event.  After one action-packed, enjoyable day, we had developed a far greater appreciation for the talent and accomplishment of the folks who make these Redwood Valley wines so special.

Redwood Valley - Barra of Mendocino
We started with the splendid wine tasting and hospitality facility at Redwood Valley Cellars, home to the all-organic Barra of Mendocino brand along with Braren Pauli.  A few years back two local families purchased the facility, the former showcase for Weibel Vineyards sparkling wines before it moved to Lodi.  Lovely gardens were in full bloom and pleasant picnic tables called to us while event activity bustled inside.  Situated right off the highway, thanks to the convenient hours and easy location we will stop here and enjoy ourselves again any time we are passing by.

As far as the wines go, the standouts for Barra are the Chianti-styled Sangiovese and a flavorsome Petite Sirah, and for Braren Pauli we especially liked the medium-bodied, food-friendly Cabernet Sauvignon.  For those who enjoy a tastefully sweet wine, the Barra 2003Muscat Canelli, with only 4% residual sugar, will be a real treat.  Great with brunch or served on ripe summer fruit, its resplendent nose is also a great value at $15.25 for a 750ml bottle.

Redwood Valley - Giuseppe Neese Vineyards

We next headed into the valley proper, and before long we arrived at Gabrielli Winery, which serves up an inspiring view from a hillside perch along with the wines.  In the cellar room, barrel samples were poured by friendly family members, and a sampling of tasty olive oils, marinades, and dressings complimented the food.  Gabrielli is definitely a great stop to remember for Italianate wines, like their Estate Sangiovese and a vineyard-designated Zinfandel from the area’s renowned Goforth property.

One of our special experiences was nearby at Giuseppe Neese Vineyards.  Here we enjoyed the epitome of traditional Cal-Italian hospitality.  Zinfandels flowed alongside an old-fashioned Italian spaghetti feed, which was accompanied by a tasty green salad so good that it brought back memories from childhood.  As our wineglasses ran dry, our charming septuagenarian pourer came to the table and made sure that we had plenty of good Zin to accompany our meal.  With best-buy Zinfandel wines for sure, the 2002 Merlot was also attractive, fruit-forward and very juicy.  Giuseppe Neese is conveniently located, but opens by appointment only until a new tasting room opens in 2006.

Redwood 		Valley - Elizabeth Vineyards

We next headed into the eastern part of the valley, weaving through country roads and wine country neighborhoods before finding Road D (for don’t miss it) and heading to a group of three wineries that we had heard a lot about.  Tiny Elizabeth Vineyards offered a picturesque sense of the valley’s expansive yet intimate topography, and its pretty pond was appealing as we passed it on our way in.  A friendly crowd of strangers mingled and shared stories and tips on their favorites of the area.  Guests cooed over plates filled with a plethora of taste treats, while Sauvignon Blanc impressed with its terrific value and Zinfandel with its big, rich fruit.

Back down Road D, Lolonis Winery continues one of the oldest winemaking traditions in Mendocino County.  Small ladybug appliqués were worn by attendees throughout the valley, evidence of appreciation for the Ladybug White and Red table wines. The Ladybug White Cuvee, the newest wine in Lolonis’ Mendocino roster, is a splendid blend of old-vine white grape varietals that include French Colombard, Semillon, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay.  Ladybug Red is also an old-vine red wine of great distinction and value.  Lolonis was an early pioneer of green agriculture in the 1950’s, and each year releases hundreds of thousands of ladybugs at a Wine Club event celebrating the wine, repopulating the organically grown vineyards through another harvest.

At the other end of Lolonis’ wide spectrum of offerings, the Heritage Vineyards wines explore fine winemaking as an art form.  The Eugenia late harvest Sauvignon Blanc is made in the classic style of the great wines of Sauternes and Barsac, aged entirely in oak barrels for 22 months.  The Orpheus Petite Sirah is a big wine with a gigantic following in restaurants around the country, and is one of the area’s most highly regarded wines.  Also renowned, the Petros Heritage Blend is dark, ripe, and complex, filled with rich berried fruit, chocolate and cherries, supple but with the tannic backbone expected in a wine to be cellared and enjoyed for many years to come.  A tasting room is slated for the future. In the meantime, e-mail the winery a few days ahead of your visit to make an appointment you won’t want to miss.

Redwood Valley - Oracle Oaks Winery

Though Oracle Oaks Winery has a tasting room to the south in Hopland, we had never tasted the wines.  A second Greek family has expanded its family enterprise to vineyards and a winemaking facility across the street from Lolonis, again, to great results.  The plein-air view framed by openings in a rustic barn where the wines were poured was priceless. Two brilliant vintages of the intriguing Rhone-varietal Valdiguié had guests hotly debating the merits of each.  The Wrestler Red Table Wine, as the name implies, was a good romp.  This “California Red Wine” was surprisingly fruit forward with lots of strawberry and raspberry jam.  With excellent concentration, 14.5% alcohol and at only $8, it was the value pick of the day!

To the west of Highway 101, two big names beckoned to finish our tour.  Ceágo Vinegarden, which recently opened its awesome new hospitality center on nearby Clear Lake to great acclaim, actually claims Redwood Valley as its home.  For this event, the crowd mingled in the barrel room with the illustrious Jim Fetzer, his charming daughter Katie, and all of the talented crew.  An enthusiastic crowd sampled Ceágo’s latest savory offerings based on pure, biodynamically produced fruit.

Redwood Valley - Graziano
            Family of Wines

We finished with a pouring guided by another area luminary, Greg Graziano of the Graziano Family of Wines.  Greg’s family has been working with wine grapes in the area since 1918.  We know his four brands—Enotria, Graziano, Saint Gregory and Monte Volpe—from the Hopland tasting room, but finally meeting Greg was a definite treat.  He is a fine winemaker who cultivates an authentic personality from every vineyard and varietal.  We closed our day tasting a selection from his stable full of nearly 50 wines, while he recounted stories and food-pairing ideas behind each.  Greg makes too many notable Italianate and other intriguing wines to fully recount; if you don’t know his wines yet, you should!

We were sorry we didn’t get to Fife Vineyards or Frey Vineyards as planned, and by the end of the day a consistent buzz in the crowd’s conversations had us interested in Cole Bailey Vineyards as well.  With so many choices of great wines and quality hospitality, we don’t need an excuse to plan another visit to the Redwood Valley again soon.

A useful map and collection of information on the impressive artisans of the Redwood Valley is available at the A Taste of Redwood Valley website.  Don’t wait until next year to visit, but we highly recommend putting the event on your calendar for next year now!

Travel ItineraryRedwood Valley Wine Country Recipe
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WineCountry Online Newsletter Editor: Carolyn Lewis

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