The Wine Country Online

June through September 2002, The Wine Country Online 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!

Summer Fun Issue

Zoie,the winery dog at Zahtila Vineyards, Calistoga

    This summer's issue of our magazine of California food and wine arts us a celebration of wine country fun and hospitality. Three cheers for the winery dogs!

Take a summer drive to the sea with Vanessa Barrington and friends in "Jimtown to the Tomales Bayshore Picnic."

Shore Report

    By the end of June, the coast of Northern California is regularly enveloped in a thick, cool fog that may or may not persist into the afternoon. It is not uncommon to find oneself driving from a fiercely hot inland valley into a dense afternoon fog that hangs like a damp sponge over the beach. This is great if you are seeking relief from the heat. But if it's the sun and sand you're after, we recommend you call our friends listed below for a weather report before you go.

    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

Wreck of the F/V Point Reyes at Inverness on Tomales Bay

    Fresh halibut openings will be from mid-May through June.

    The end of August through September is the time to come to the docks for fresh albacore tuna.

    Surf fish should be in through the end of June; then start looking for smelt.

    Rock fish should be in all summer, weather permitting.

    Local clams can be taken if you have your fishing license. Abalone season runs April through June and August through November. You are required to have a fishing license and abalone endorsement sticker.

    For up-to-date information on summer 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

Sonoma County Peaches

Another season's
Berry stains on wood table
Families at play

Zinnias are up!
Two leaves promise bold June hues
Snails are on parade.

At the river's edge
Dragonflies mating en masse
An orgy in blue

Baby buck and doe
Standing in tomato patch
A paradise found

Inhale time and space
Swimming toward the sun's hot breath
Melting all but soul.

The kiss of nectar
Plump cheeks yield and blush
Ephemeral apricots.

Sun clad innocence
Laughter wafts from river's edge
Sweet water, sweet sound

Searing heat sizzles
garden snails in their own shells
Part of nature's plan?

Tawny sunflowers
A colorful chorus line
Upstaging the rest.

An old ceiling fan
Beating away the white heat
High noon, midsummer

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

"This Way to Fine Fine"

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

Art Events are listed on our Sonoma County Arts Update

For late (between-issue) inclusions see our page!


    A month of color and long, warm days.

Good Rockin' at the Dry Creek Store & Bar


    The heart of summer, a time when picnicking really pays off. Reservations are recommended for everything.

    You might see the vineyard crews cutting fruit from the vines and tossing it onto the ground. This baffled us our first season in wine country. It's called thinning, and although seemingly wasteful, it's an essential movement to the farmer's dance, for it isn't the amount of fruit on the vine, but the quality of the remaining fruit that counts. Thinning helps concentrate flavors in the remaining grapes.

    The Sonoma Land Trust invites members and friends to Time on our Lands 2002 on Saturday, July 27, from 4:30-8:30 p.m. at Griffin Villa at Healdsburg's Hop Kiln Winery. The Trust provides beverages, dessert, music and river-related fun for guests, who bring their own picnic.

    Fourth of July Fireworks:
      Bodega Bay:707-875-3422
      Sonoma Town:  707-996-1090

    World Pillow Fighting Championships
    Loads of fun in Plaza Park, Kenwood.

    Healdsburg Harvest Century Bike Tour

    Sonoma County Fair
    Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa, 707-545-4200

    Living History Day
    At Forst Ross State Historic Park

    Saturday Concerts in the Plaza
    Healdsburg, 707-433-6935

    Sonoma County Showcase and Wine Auction
    A wonderful, fun event to benefit the Boys & Girls Club


    The month of wait-and-see: Cellar crews are busy preparing tanks and barrels for the coming crush.

    From Grape to Glass Tastings

    Gravenstein Apple Fair
    August 10 & 11, 2002
    Ragle Ranch Park in Sebastopol
    FarmTrails 707-571-8288

    Healdsburg Guitar Festival
    Villa Chanticleer, 707-433-6935 or 800-648-9922

    Street Dance on Healdsburg Avenue
    Healdsburg, 707-433-6935

    Healdsburg Farmers Market Zucchini Festival

    Accordion Festival
    Cotati, 707-664-0444
    Polka dance party in La Plaza Park.

    Sunday Concerts in the Plaza
    Healdsburg, 707-433-6935

    Bodega Bay Seafood, Art and Wine Festival

    Old Adobe Festival
    Petaluma, 707-762-4871
    Square dancing and Native American dance at Petaluma Old Adobe State Historic Park

    Wine Country Film Festival
    Sonoma, 707-996-2536

Iron Horse Vineyards, Sonoma County


    From late August to early October, experience the full-tilt excitement of the harvest. Norteño, Mariachi or Tejano music blasts from the boom boxes, according to each crew's tastes. The pickers race with lugs of fruit held overhead to the bins where the foreman records the tally. Everyone's on the run. It's the focal point of our year.

    Silver salmon season begins for offshore fishing and on the Russian River

    Harbor Seal Watch
    At the mouth of the Russian River
    Jenner, 707-875-3422

    Russian River Jazz Festival
    Gurneville, 707-869-9000

    Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival
    Downtown Sonoma, 707-996-2109
    Blessing of the grapes in Sonoma Plaza.

    Women's Weekend #2
    Gurneville, 707-869-9000

Janette, Jack and K.T. enjoy a summer picnic at Fife Vineyards, Mendocino County

For inclusion in the Calendar, please submit events prior to 3/1 (for April, May and June), 6/1 (for July, Aug. and Sept), 9/1 (for Oct., Nov. and Dec.), and 12/1 (for Jan., Feb. and March) to the editor. If you have image files to email, please send them separately to the webmaster. Thanks!