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January 2001

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  • Editor's Note: Mendocino!!!
  • Wine Country Tips
  • January Events Calendar
  • The January Contest!

Editor's Note:Mendocino!

New to the network is our Mendocino portal: ( Mendocino County offers a wide range of geography. From the mountains to the east, through the inland and wine growing valleys, redwood forest, and one of the World's most renowned coastlines, visitors and residents are treated to idyllic locations and beautiful scenery. There are excellent restaurants, shops and lodging, plus wine tasting rooms in one of California's most prized wine growing regions.

The rugged, dramatic Mendocino coastal region features some of the most unique and beautiful inns to be found anywhere. "Perched on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean" is Agate Cove Inn ( surrounded by two acres of spectacular coastal gardens - the perfect setting for a memorable wedding or a reflective weekend getaway.

Dennen's Victorian Farmhouse ( was the subject of the painting, "Home is Where The Heart Is II" by artist Thomas Kinkade. Check out their Specials Page, including a Whale Watcher's Delight, Wine Tasters Weekends, and Mendocino Crab and Wine Days special.

"Travel back to California as it was 125 years ago," and stay at the John Dougherty House ( located in the heart of Mendocino's Historic District. Rooms are furnished with Early American antiques, and several have "jet tubs for two." The ocean view from the Raven and Osprey rooms is extraordinary!

Elegant Stanford Inn by the Sea ( has an on-grounds restaurant, "The Ravens," where you can dine on outstanding vegetarian cuisine. Stanford Inn has beautiful gardens and greenhouses - the inn's spa, sauna, and swimming pool are actually enclosed in a greenhouse, complete with orchids, bougainvillea, and hibiscus. An added bonus: Pets are welcome!

A short distance south of Mendocino, in Little River, is Glendeven Inn (, offering a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere. The inn is set back from the coast in a peaceful headland meadow, and hosts Partners Gallery (featuring the artwork, jewelry, and photography of local artists). In addition to the inn, Glendeven also has a vacation rental house, which is perfect for families or two couples traveling together.

Stevenswood Lodge ( combines Mendocino's natural beauty with contemporary, spacious suites. Executive Chef, Marc L. Dym, an honors graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, serves up world-class cuisine in the widely acclaimed Stevenswood restaurant. After dinner, slip out of your suite to relax in a private forest spa.

The coastal region is only part of Mendocino… Located in Hopland is the Thatcher Inn (, a historic Victorian inn that offers the elegance of a castle, the coziness of home, fine dining, and a multi-course gourmet breakfast (included). Innkeeper/Chefs, Don and Marlena Sacca, are members of the American Culinary Federation and the James Beard Foundation.

Ready for a relaxing visit to a historic hot springs resort? Soak in "champagne baths" at Vichy Springs (! Naturally carbonated and heated (92-degrees), these baths are especially relaxing and peaceful - no where else in North America can naturally carbonated mineral baths be found. Vichy Springs also has an Olympic-size swimming pool, a 104-degree hot pool, massage and facial services, and lodging accommodations on its 700-acre ranch.

The range of activities available to the Mendocino County visitor is as varied as its geography. You can wander a beach, forest, or through a shop featuring the works of local artisan's. You may take a chartered fishing trip, or visit one of the local museums.

Come discover the quiet seclusion and beauty of Mendocino!

We encourage your feedback! Please send your comments to our newsletter editor at Suggestions of topics you would like to see in future issues are welcome.

Wine Country Mendocino Tips

The best time to watch California Grey whales on their migration route from Alaska to Baja California in Mexico, is from late December to mid-February. There are a variety of excursions available on boats, but have you ever considered watching the whales from shore? How about from a winery?

Twelve miles north of Fort Bragg is the country's western-most winery - Pacific Star Winery (, where wines are "born and raised by the sea." The estate vineyards are planted at the edge of the Pacific Ocean, and the migrating whales can be seen from the winery. In addition to whale watching and picnics, Pacific Star invites customers to become part of the winemaking experience during crush.

When you're ready to move inland, be sure to visit Jepson Winery ( in Ukiah, where you can purchase fabulous estate grown still wines, champagne, and brandies. Jepson 1,240-acre estate is located in the hills and oak groves of Eastern Mendocino County. Check out their "What's New" page!

From ocean side to inland valleys - wonderful wines are to be found in Mendocino. Enjoy your search!

January 26 - February 4 -- Crab & Wine Days Festival
Up and down the Mendocino Coast, restaurants serve crab delicacies and Mendocino wineries pour their finest vintages...and the fishing fleet schedules "crab cruises"...and more! Call for additional information.
Fee: N/A
Phone:: (707) 462-7417 or (800) 726-2780

January 26 & 27 - Two-Day Cooking Retreat at Thatcher Inn - Northern Romanian Cuisine
A hands on culinary experience with Chefs Donald and Marlena Sacca. Includes double occupancy room, Friday reception prepared by Donald & Marlena, breakfasts for both days, and wine tasting. Hands-on cooking class, Romanian feast, and wine tasting on Saturday. Call for more information. Thatcher Inn (
Fee: $450 plus tax & gratuity
Time: Friday check-in 3:00pm
Phone: (800) 266-1891

January 29 -31 & February 1 - 4 -- AT&T Pebble Beach National PRO-AM Golf Tournament
A 72-hole PGA TOUR championship tournament played on Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, and Poppy Hills golf courses in Pebble Beach. See your favorite celebrities tee it up with the brightest stars on the PGA Tour as they play three of the world's most spectacular and challenging golf courses February 1 - 4. Practice rounds Jan. 29 - 31. Celebrity Challenge on Jan. 31 at 11am.
Fee: Several ticket packages available
Time:Tournament tee-off approx. 7am; practice rounds start at approx. 8am
Phone:(831) 649-1533 or (800) 541-9091

January 13 - March 4 -- "The Life and Legacy of Woody Guthrie" a "This Land is Your Land" Exhibit.
Rarely seen objects and film footage, original artifacts, folk art and illustrations reveal the complexity of a man who has been described as a poet, musician, protester, idealist, hobo, and folk legend. Organized by the Smithsonian Institution and The Woody Guthrie Archives. National Steinbeck Center (, One Main Street in historic Oldtown Salinas.
Fee: Museum Admission: $3.96/$5.95/$6.95/$7.95
Time: Open from 10am to 5pm, 7 days a week
Phone: (831) 775-4720

January 19 -- Vista Dome Vintners Luncheon
Excursion features special Guest Vintner, Far Niente Winery, 'joining forces' with award-winning Chef Finney to specially pair their unique wines with exciting culinary delights. Wine Educator, Brent Trojan shares his insights during a pre-boarding tasting. Napa Valley Wine Train (
Fee: $95.00 per person
Time: 10:30am check-in, 11:00am boarding
Phone: (707) 253-2111 or (800) 427-4124

January 26 -- Naked Vine
"Spend an evening with hunky vines and voluptuous wines", at the annual Wine Auction of the St. Helena Kiwanis Club. Silent & live auctions featuring Napa Valley wines. Enjoy live music; wine tasting; delicious food. Held at St. Supery Winery (, Rutherford.
Fee: $35 Advance, $40 at Door
Time: 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Phone: (707) 963-8770

January 19 -- "Dinner with the Winemaker" at Inn at the Tides
An enjoyable gourmet dinner and specially selected wines to complement each course in the Bay View Restaurant and Lounge at the Inn at the Tides, Bodega Bay. Featured Winery: Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery (
Fee: $68 per person, plus tax
Time: 6:30pm Reception, 7pm Dinner
Phone: (800) 541-7788

January 20 - 21 -- Russian River Winter Wineland
Russian River Wine Road weekend of tasting, tours, food pairings, entertainment and education at over 60 wineries in Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River valleys.
Fee: $25 per person ($35 after Jan. 10th & at the door)
Time: 11am - 4pm
Phone: (800) 723-6336

There are so many events to choose from -- we encourage you to pick your favorites from the full list at:

Enter Our Contest!!
We received many wonderful essays for the Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Bob Wine Country Gourmet Gift Basket - our staff had a great deal of fun "arguing" over which one was better and why!

We finally did get down to voting… and here is the winning essay:

"Are you kidding? Why wouldn't a mother of three teenagers from Pennsylvania want to win a taste of sunny California Wine Country? Why that it is the next best thing to flinging off my hat and coat, hopping a plane to San Francisco (where I left my heart!), and driving northward to the land of the gods! My husband and I often try to do just that sort of thing. We once planned a long weekend to Napa for a heavenly brunch at Mumm Napa Valley!

So if I must remain indoors for the long and cold dreary days of an east coast winter, at least help ensure my survival by awarding me this lovely Gourmet Gift Basket! At least my husband could open a bottle of Jarvis or Jordan, and we could close our eyes while sampling the goodies and pretend to be in wine country!"

Lorraine Kish, Pennsylvania

Congratulations Lorraine!! We hope you enjoyed your Gourmet Gift Basket!

This month we are offering a wonderful prize of Chocolate!! Mendocino Chocolate Company ( makes delicious and beautiful chocolates, and they're always working on something new! Get in a "Mendocino Mood" with this contest prize!

Tell us why you should win the Mendocino Chocolates, in 150 words or less. The winning story, to be selected by popular vote of FreeRun staff, will be published in February's Lifestyle News newsletter (Winning decision is final)! By submitting your story, you are granting FreeRun Technologies the right to use your story.

One entry per person, please. ***Deadline for response is Midnight (Pacific Standard Time) Sunday, January 7, 2001*** Due to shipping limitations this contest is open to US residents only.

We're sorry, we will not be able to respond to everyone - only the winner will be contacted.

The winning essay will be published in Lifestyle News, along with the writer's name and state of residence only (email address, physical address, or other personal identifying information will not be published).

Please note: In addition to being emailed to our Newsletter Subscribers, all of our newsletters are also displayed online at:


FreeRun employees or past employees are not eligible to enter this contest.

Good Luck!


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