The Wine Country Online

April through June 2001

    The on-line magazine is an outgrowth of and continuing update to the recently published Sonoma Picnic, a California Wine Country Travel Companion. Scroll on for highlights excerpted and updated from this handy little book!

The Bees, Beekeeping, and Honey Edition

    It is the season of renewal, with bees buzzing in the garden and fresh green leaves out in the vineyards. Every living creature seems possessed of good spirit. The birds are busy with their nests,the pastures are lively with new babies, and the frogs sing all night for love out in the wet places.

    It is a great time to be out and about in the wine country!

Spring Oyster Feast at Hog Island Oysters on Tomales Bay

Shore Report

    You can expect cool mornings and evenings along with some rain in the month of April. By June we will be into a summer pattern of clear hot days and morning fog along the coast.

    The whole county is blazing with wildflowers, but some of the most interesting and dramatic displays can be found along the coast. The broad headlands of Marin, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties are thick with wind- and salt-stunted flowers of every description.

    Spring is a favorite time for coastal picnics and whale-watching as the northbound migration of California Greys coincides with the season of fresh strawberries, asparagus, artichokes and cool water local oysters.

    Check out our friends at the Tides Wharf Fish Shop or call them for current information on locally landed fish.

    The Tides Wharf
    835 Hwy 1
    Bodega Bay

    For up-to-date information on ocean fishing or bird- and whale-watching trips, you might give our friends at Bodega Bay Sport Fishing Center a call at 707-875-3344.

    Call the good folks at our local surf shack for up-to-date shore conditions.

Hot links to Local Events:

Select! Sonoma County

Sonoma County Wineries Association

Russian River Wine Road

Consorzio Cal-Italia

Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods:
Supporting Volunteers in the State Parks

"Dark Sensations" (Clark Hill Road)

A petal whirlpool
Lassos shoppers in the streets
Trees celebrating spring

Awaiting bud break
Dark vines are the last to show
Vineyard sleepyheads

Flycatchers in the backyard
Fly pear tree to willow branch
Love in the garden

Earth warming quickly
Shovels flail in still moist dirt
Bare legs, forearms, smiles.

Baby greens break ground
Sonoma county gardens
Slow a hurried world

"Spring Haiku" by Penelope La Montagne
(Morning Haiku, 5:58 a.m. on
KRCB 91.1 FM)

Old Vines and Mustard in Dry Creek Valley

Spring Events by Month:
Please call the phone numbers listed for details


    New green grass spreads over the hills, the tulips come out, and the vines begin to awaken.

    Russian River Wine Road Barrel Tasting

    Heart of the Valley Barrel Tasting
    Kenwood Area Wineries, 707-833-5891

    Sonoma County Folk Festival
    Luther Burbank Center for the Arts
    Santa Rosa, 707-546-3600

    Prime whale watching on the coast as the northbound migration starts.

A Note on the Weather from a Spring Past
by Jack Burton

Healdsburg, April 5th, 1998

We are well into our first month of spring, and on this day after Easter Sunday I wake to find it is big winter pouring down rain. The street is turned a river and the wind howls in the fir trees and through the wires like a thing possessed. Rough going for all the trees in bloom: ornamental cherries and plums, the quince and crabapples and magnolias.

Our local crows, normally carrying on out in the ballfield across the street at this hour, are absent. I imagine they are still on the roost up in the fir trees and hunching, snug up against the trunks in the lee of this morning's bluster.


It's a great season to get out and explore! See "A SPRINGTIME DRIVE: Exploring Scenic and Tasty Highway 128 through Sonoma and Napa Counties."

    "Bud break"   everyone looks forward to the first green on the vines as winter gives way to spring. The crews you see out in the freshly prepared fields are planting root stock for new vineyards. The wild iris and lupine are in bloom.

    Spring Thing
    Gurneville, 707-869-9000

    Fitch Mountain Footrace and Walk

    Fisherman Festival
    Bodega Bay, 707-875-3422
    Bathtub races and the blessing of the fleet.

    Historic Home Tour
    Healdsburg, 707-433-6935

    Sebastopol Apple Blossom Festival

    April in Carneros Open House Weekend
    Carneros Area Wineries, 707-939-9363

Future Farmers Memorial Day Parade in Healdsburg


    The vineyards are flush with new growth. The crews are out thinning the leaves and training the vines to the wires of the trellising system.

    Saturday, May 5th is opening day for the 2001 Season Healdsburg Farmers Market. 9 a.m. to noon in the parking lot, just west of the downtown plaza. 707-431-1956.

    The Third Annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival runs May 30 to June 3 this year and offers three shows indoors (in theaters) and three outside (at wineries) featuring two dozen artists and including two films. Call the C of C (707 433-4633) for info or see for a detailed description.

    Also in May:

    Russian River Women's Weekend #1
    Gurneville, 707-869-9000

    Future Farmers Country Fair and Twilight Parade
    Healdsburg, 707-433-6935

    Memorial Day Weekend Antique Fair
    On the Plaza in Healdsburg, 707-433-6935

    Cinco de Mayo Celebration
    Sonoma Plaza, 707-938-4626

"Visiting Dignitaries," Healdsburg Future Farmers Parade


    A month of color and warm, long days.

    Tuesday Afternoon Farmers Market in Healdsburg begins on June 5th. 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. on the Plaza. 707-431-1956.

    Ninth Annual "Taste of the Redwood Valley," June 17-18 (Father's Day weekend). Tour nine lovely wineries in the heart of Mendocino County. Call 1-800-760-3739 or visit for details.

    Sonoma Lavender Festival. Saturday & Sunday, June 23 & 24, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tour a lavender farm in full bloom and visit a lavender products marketplace. At the Sonoma Lavender Barn in Kenwood (707-833-1330).

    Also in June:

    Russian River Blues Festival
    Gurneville, 707-869-9000

    Russian River Rodeo
    Gurneville, 707-869-9000
    Parade and barbecue.

    Art and Artisan Show
    Sonoma Plaza, 707-996-1090

    Ox Roast
    Sonoma Plaza, 707-996-1090