Monthly Archives: March 2016

April in Carneros – Wine, Food and Entertainment

Springtime is a fabulous season to visit wine country; there are lots of classic events including ‘April in Carneros.’ 

Carneros is where the San Francisco Bay meets Napa Valley and Sonoma County to produce the some of the finest cool-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sparkling wines in Northern California. But the Carneros wine region is becoming even more with new forages into Grenache, Merlot and Petite Syrah wines that are expanding Carneros fans everyday.

During April in Carneros various wineries in Sonoma County and Napa Valley will be showcasing their wines with food pairings and music. The Carneros Wine Alliance, the organizer for this event bills it as “Where Everyone’s a VIP!”

For incredible views, two of my favorite wineries are Gloria Ferrer and Schug Carneros Estate.  Both of these wineries feature elevated views of the Carneros wine region.  Gloria Ferrer is scheduled to be featuring sliders from Black Bean BBQ and acoustic pop music from No Buenos. Schug Carneros Estate is slated to serve Greek Lentil Salad and Asian Noodle Salad from Oliver’s Market to the sounds of The Movers

To visit families that embody the Mexican heritage that has dominated viticulture in both Sonoma County and Napa Valley for generations stop by Ceja Vineyards and Robledo Family Winery. Ceja Vineyards is an ultra premium Latino family owned winery founded by Amelia, Pedro, Armando and Martha Ceja producing a diverse range of award-winning varietal and blended wines from their estate grown grapes. Or experience a true “American Dream” at Robledo Family Winery and visit the first tasting room in the United States established by a former Mexican migrant vineyard worker and his family. Both of these wineries are scheduled to showcase their heritage in food and music. These wineries make you feel like family.

Carneros is also a great location for local history with locations like Larson Family Winery, once the home the largest rodeo in Northern California, its barn turned tasting room is still full of memorabilia. This fun-loving, country-easy, family-style winery is a great place to kick off your boots and relax with a great glass of wine.

For more history, visit the sister wineries of Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Family Vineyards. Cline Cellars produces rich, distinctive Rhône-style wines and intense Zinfandels served in an 1850’s style farm house tasting room with a California Missions Museum. Across the road, Jacuzzi Family Vineyards’ tasting room houses a premiere event venue and is named for founding Jacuzzi brothers (famous for the bath and spa products that bear their name). The winery is noted for its Italian varietals that showcase the Jacuzzi heritage.

The Bonneau family has been farming the Carneros region since the 1920’s originally a dairy farm and country store with vineyards replacing the dairy over the years. Since 2002 Bonneau Wines has produced their own label Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. 

There are many other great finds in Carneros from one-man wineries like Homewood Winery; to the boutique wineries in the beautiful Cornerstone Sonoma facility including Keating WinesMeadowcroft Wines and Poseidon Vineyard / Obsidian Ridge Winery; and wineries serving chocolate like Ty Caton.  In addition to the Sonoma County side of Carneros, Starmont Winery will be pouring on Sunday from their Napa Valley Tasting Room.

Tickets are available through many of the winery’s websites as well as the Carneros Wine Alliance

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Bubbles and Blooms

Do you love to entertain, plant a vegetable garden or make beautiful floral arrangements? Don’t miss the First Annual Bubbles and Blooms Festival at Gloria Ferrer Winery on April 9, 2016.

Image solving your entertaining DIY projects while enjoying a glass of Gloria Ferrer’s award-winning sparkling wine and tidbits from local chef, Beth Sogaard. Beth will be preparing Lobster Stuffed Mini Potatoes, Duck and Gingered Vegetable “Springrolls”, Scallop Skewers, Curry Station, Samosas Deconstructed and much more.  I can’t wait to try pairing these morsels with Gloria Ferrer Sparkling Wines to find new options for my next party.

Flower Magazine, the nation’s only floral lifestyle publication, inspires, educates, and entertains readers with a point of view that stems from seeing the world through a botanical lens.  The Flower Magazine experts will be on hand to demostrate creative floral arranging, displays, wreaths, and more.  In one of their recent articles, Flower Magazine author, Bobby McApline talks about how he integrates houses within landscape and a garden’s role in architecture. They always inspire me to incorporate my garden into entertaining plans whether it is for an indoor floral arrangement or planning a garden party.


At Bubbles and Bloom Festival there will be a Floral Arranging Presentation with Kiana Underwood of Tulipina and Flower Magazine Editor-in-Chief, Margot Shaw. Kiana Underwood, one of the most sought-after floral designers in the United States, will tell her story on how she became the distinguished floral artist and inspiration she is today. Join with Ms. Underwood and Ms. Shaw to learn how to create the most stunning floral arrangements with their insider tips.

Sunset Magazine Senior Garden Editor, Johanna Silver, will reveal Sunset Magazines’ new Test Garden. Get the inside scoop on this inpirational space that will soon be the roadmap for gardens around the country. Stay for a little Q&A to discuss tips on best practices, design shortcuts and so much more. 

Local experts will also be on hand to steer you in the right direction for spring flower/vegetable gardens and outdoor living spaces that consider the Northern California climate and soils. These experts know Northern California and can turn that knowledge into practical advice. Deborah Thomas from Sonoma Mission Gardens will delight you with her humorous approach to planting and demonstrate how to create gorgeous flower filled baskets and containers in her container gardening seminar.  Additional local experts will cover topics from seed planting techniques to wreaths and leis.

Still need more inspiration, then peruse the on-site garden market for plants and fresh arrangements to get you started enhancing your home. You can look like a professional with minimum effort.

Listen to live music by Ragtime Sullivan Duo while you enjoy another glass of Gloria Ferrer sparkling wine. Have a little fun at the Photo Selfie Station, feast your eyes on one of a kind Floral Art Showpieces, make your own wine cork succulent magnets, ask any garden related questions at the Garden Expert booth, and get a chance to win glorious Raffle Prizes.

This is a not-to-be-missed event. Cheers to Spring!

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