Category Archives: Travels

El Dorado County: Apples & Wine in the California Foothills

If you want to get away this holiday season, without a long trek, or crowded streets, then consider a drive up to the wine and apple farm region of El Dorado County. Just east of Sacramento this quaint foothill region, along historic Hwy 49 with legends of gold, can still stir up remembrances of times past.

(Photo credit Dianne Reber Hart)
(Photo credit Dianne Reber Hart)
This recent Press Democrat article Placerville’s Apple Hill Serves Up Tasty Fall Fun expounds the farm bounty and family activities to experience in the region!

Follow that up with an educational tour of the El Dorado Appellation that I wrote for Be sure to share your tasty foothill adventures with us all here!

Russian River Valley – Single Vineyard Night in SF – Weds, Nov 4th

Another excuse to sip RRV wines, join me next Wednesday, November 4th, for this event at the Golden Gate Club, in the Presidio, San Francisco.

Great vineyard selections from the dynamic sub-zones of Russian River Valley.
Great vineyard selections from the dynamic sub-zones of Russian River Valley.
Single Vineyard Night will be more than 30 winemakers and winegrowers will be pouring small-lot, single vineyard wines from the Russian River Valley, including premier Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc.

Guests will also be treated to small bites from the Spinster Sisters, including chili rubbed flank steak with avocado salsa and madras curry chicken puffs among other delectable tastes, plus exquisite cheeses from Freestone Artisan Cheese. There will also be a silent auction and instant cellar raffle (to win 4 cases of RRV wine).

See you there!

Luncheon & Wine Tasting at Historic Fort Ross, Sat Oct 17th

Driving home with my family along Hwy 1 a year ago, from a scenic Sea Ranch stay, we saw signage for an event I missed. This year, I am going! The Fort Ross-Seaview Wine Festival will be this Saturday, October 17, from 11am-4pm. It will be an exquisite way to take in breathtaking views, enjoy the lingering warmth of autumn, and experience  celebrations of the Russian, Alaska Native, and Native American history, that worked these lands two hundred years ago.

fortrossFrom 1-3pm is the Grand Luncheon: A four-course meal of seasonal fare expertly paired with wines from the area, prepared by renowned local chefs and served on a marine terrace overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Tickets are available by advance purchase only and will sell out. Purchase them hereASAP-only available until 9pm tonight!

An amazing array of wines will be poured by
Flowers Vineyard & Winery
Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery
Kutch Wines
Martinelli Winery
Precious Mountain Vineyard
RAEN Winery
Tin Barn Vineyards
Wayfarer Vineyard
Wild Hog Vineyard
Williams-Selyem Winery

See you there! Christopher

My Big Crush in Amador County, Oct 3 & 4

Finally getting a family trip away and you know there will be wine!  We will be trekking to beautiful Amador Wine Country just in time to experience Big Crush Harvest Festival on October 3 & 4.  It will include 42 Amador Wineries that open up their cellar doors and tasting rooms with ultimate hospitality paired with music, food and fun.  Presale tickets will be sold online until September 29.

amadorBC2015The BIG CRUSH is your ticket to the Shenandoah Valley and Fiddletown appellations, historic main streets of Sutter Creek, Amador City, Plymouth, and beyond!

Two days of bountiful cuisine, world-class wines, along with sounds of acoustic to rock & roll music wafting from every crush pad in the county.  Scenes of teeming vineyards, trudging tractors, bustling crush pads await!

Find me at a winery or follow my social media posts on Sunday Oct 4th to join in on the adventure!

Pure Luxury Transportation supporting Sonoma County Adventures

Just sending a shout out to Pure Luxury Transportation for their tenth year of partnership with the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Association!

What began in 1991 as a chauffeured ground transportation business with one vehicle, has blossomed into the premier Bay Area transportation provider with the 17th largest fleet in the United States. Gary and Jennifer Buffo, owners of Pure Luxury Transportation, have been consistently dedicated to our local community while their company continues to grow.

Pure Luxury Transportation is dedicated to supporting SVVGA’s programs so that we can continue to increase consumer and trade awareness and subsequently, the financial value of wine grown and made in Sonoma Valley. Not only is Gary Buffo serving as a Board Director, but Pure Luxury is proudly supporting many of the SVVGA programs such as the monthly Concierge Tours, Reserve Sonoma Valley and Sonoma Wine Country Weekend.

black-limoBest of all you can reserve your own personal Sommelier Tour, featuring myself, with Pure Luxury Transportation, offering explorations in various locations throughout wine country.  Schedule your adventure with me by calling 800.626.5466 today!

Casablanca @St. Francis Winery on July 16th

Casablanca will be the featured film this Thursday July 16th at St Francis Winery for the 6th Annual Outdoor Film Festival. While I will be tasting wines in Italy, imagine the amazing pairing you can enjoy with St Francis wines and Moroccan Chicken Tagine & Apricot-Almond Couscous!

The film begins at dusk, seating begins at 7pm, so you can enjoy the pre-show concert by The Atomic Lounge Show.

Admission is Free!

Outdoor Film Festival at St. Francis Winery begins July 9th!

It is time to dust off your picnic supplies for “stars under the stars” at the St. Francis Winery 6th Annual Outdoor Film Festival!

seattlesleepAs tradition holds I will be there for the inaugural evening Thursday July 9th at 7pm for the pre-show concert, the film begins at dusk. However as blog followers already know, I will be leaving the following week on a Mediterranean Wine Cruise with St. Francis President Chris Silva. So join me the first night for Sleepless In Seattle, then follow Chris and my social media to keep tabs on our upcoming European adventure. But don’t forget to catch the other exciting films on the venue!

Here is the schedule to mark calendars:
July 9 Sleepless In Seattle
July 16 Casablanca
July 23 Back To The Future

Lesson Plan: Catching up on the Mendocino Appellation!

After a wonderful weekend  at Andersen Valley Pinot Noir Festival, I think is it only fitting that my readers do a little Appellation homework!

Photo courtesy of John Cesano.

You can study your favorite wine regions at the site courtesy of contributions by myself and others.

Follow the windy road to Mendocino here!


 Cheers!  Christopher

“Zaca Mesa University” Santa Barbara Wine Seminar Spring 2015 – The Highlight Reel

I am sharing this highlight reel with you courtesy of the Crushed Grape Chronicles.  Zaca Mesa has turned out a plethora of amazing wine makers, my seminar led a discussion with 4 of the best!  Ken Brown, Jim Clendenen, Bob Lindquist & Eric Mohseni – read more in the CGC Article.

They will start releasing the full seminar in segments for you to enjoy on May 20th.  This will include the tasting with wine from each of these amazing winemakers.