Ram’s Gate is the first winery you see driving north into Sonoma. It’s just past the Sonoma Raceway. Roche Winery was formerly located on the site. Ram’s Gate opened in 2011 in a stunning facility designed by architect, Howard Backen. The building is contemporary, barn like in appearance but detailed like a 5 star hotel. Orlando Diaz-Azcuy is responsible for much of the interior. We had the pleasure … Continue reading A Destination Winery…….
We had the pleasure of visiting three of Sonoma’s oldest family vineyards on this trip – Mauritson’s, Gundlach Bundschu and Seghesio. In the Sonoma wine region these are the vineyards started by of the grandfathers and great grandfathers of the grape growers and winemakers of today. For generations they have farmed and made wine. In Mauritson’s case the winemaking is a recent addition. The … Continue reading Sonoma’s Old Guys…………
Summer vacation – Yes!! It was kind of a ying and yang trip. We spent a week or so on California’s northern Pacific Coast at a favorite place of ours – Sea Ranch and a second week inland around Healdsburg. Both are in Sonoma County but as different as night and day. Sea Ranch is a visual sensation of seascape views when the fog holds off, and … Continue reading The Two Sides of Sonoma……..
Our favorite visits are to family wineries. There appears to be an involvement by all family members, young and old, in these places that is visible and comfortable, making the visit so enjoyable. There almost always is a dog, often a winery cat, and sometimes an array of other animals meandering about. Photo courtesy of Isenhower cellars The conversations we have with our host or … Continue reading A family winery called Isenhower…….
The first winery you visit in a region can have a tremendous impact on your visit to a new area; it absolutely did for us in the Willamette Valley. We began with a 10 am appointment at Soter Vineyards, a sustainable producer of Pinot Noir and sparkling wines in the heart of the valley near Carlton. Their first vintage was produced in 2005. The vineyard … Continue reading Setting the stage……….
Driving along the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon to Walla Walla, Washington is an experience. The diversity of landscape is amazing. It’s a four hour trip with Mt. Hood looming to the south, forested mountains, desolate desert, gorges and rolling grasslands dotted with amazing green oases. Walla Walla appears as a big oasis in the southeastern corner of the state of Washington. The wine region … Continue reading Grasslands, desert and giant reds!
Oregon’s Willamette Valley is a huge region of rolling hills covered with majestic landscapes of farms and vineyards. The first pinot noir grapes were planted there in 1965 by David Lett, the Eyrie Vineyards. According to the Willamette AVA, today there are 316 wineries in the region stretching from Portland to Eugene. Our recent trip focused on the north region of the valley an hour … Continue reading The land of pinot’s………..
The day after Thanksgiving we took off driving north along Florida’s gulf coast to spend some time in the panhandle. We planned to stay in Carabelle the first night but the old hotel there was booked so we made our reservation to stay in Apalachicola. I will definitely plan a future road trip to Carabelle to experience what we missed – the Carabelle Hotel … Continue reading Road trip…………
August is a good time to depart Sarasota. The thought of experiencing a cooler climate becomes ever more enticing after two long months of hot and humid days and nights. John and I flew north to spend two weeks in some fantastic weather. Our first stop – Maine. On the drive from Portland to Blue Hill we stopped at Day’s for a lunch of lobster and … Continue reading Blue Hill to Sturgeon Bay…..
This August we had the pleasure of visiting Canada via Boston with a return through New York City. We planned an overnight in Boston to meet up with our daughter Sara who was heading back to Boise, ID in just a couple days. We stayed at The Park Plaza mostly for its convenient location but also because it is competitively priced, reliable and supporting historic … Continue reading Oh Canada!……….