The Wine Country Online

Sonoma County

December through March

The Makahmo Pomo Year
(Rotated to show winter at the top)*

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

Walnuts and old vines at sunrise   West Dry Creek Road

    The seagulls have come in from the coast to share space in the ballfield with our neighborhood crows. In November, they are harbingers of winter, flying in to shelter in advance of rough weather over the coast. When we see them massing for a westbound flight, we can pretty much figure on a pleasant day over at the beach.

   A Special Tip from the Editor

Intended as a resource for journalists and other public broadcasting stations, the "Pressroom" section of San Francisco's KQED Web site serves up details on the impressive menu of KQED's radio and television productions.

Shore Report

    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:

Sonoma County Wineries Association

Russian River Wine Road

Consorzio Cal-Italia

Culinary Institute of America
Greystone Campus in Napa Valley

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

Late Winter Mustard Meadow in Knights Valley

RED Toyon berries
kindling for the mind's eye and spirit body
on a shriveling December morning.
Ideas enough to span the Serengeti
spawn inside of me.
All from a dither of red
in a ransacked plantation of green.

Red so deep it ferrets behind my eyes--
rounding up my neurons
branding my synapses
and saying

   Wake up! I am the essence of being alive.

I am the satin lining of your joy pocket
I am the bass note in a sunshine symphony
I attract hummingbirds to your garden,
and your lips
I am the liquid rhapsody in your veins
I gloss your infant body at birth

I am red
ruby red, garnet red
crimson red, pomegranate,
scarlet and betelnut.

Now my eye discerns red just coming on,
red at its ZENITH
red just past its time . . . fading
Finally, red making land fall and
sailing into the UN-visible.
And my eyes rest again, quiet--
zinging with the memory.

The rev of red cannot be sustained
But please,
scatter her berries throughout my days.

© 1999 by Penelope La Montagne
("Morning Haiku," 5:58 a.m. on KRCB 91.1 FM)

Oak Tree from Red Barn Road in Alexander Valley

Fire   Wood-fueled warmth for wintry weather

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

Art Events are listed on our Sonoma County Arts Update

For late inclusions see our page!


    Olive harvest continues. The vines sleep while the field crews prune away the summer's canes.

    Healdsburg Antique Dealers Open House

    Historic Tree Walk
    Downtown Healdsburg, 707-431-3301

    Christmas at the Sonoma Mission

    Gray whale migration reaches its southbound peak in mid-month

Winter at Navarro Winery in Mendocino County


    A year in the wine country starts with pruning of the vines. Look for the pruning crews in their yellow rain slickers working their way through the rows.

    Russian River Winter Wineland
    A weekend of tasting and education

    The ZAP Tasting
    Annual Zinfandel barrel tasting at Ford Mason Center
    San Francisco, 530-274-4900

    Old-Time Fiddle Contest
    Cloverdale Citrus Fairgrounds, 707-894-3992

Winter Chilies, Preston Vineyards in Dry Creek Valley


    The daffodils and acadia are in bloom, and pruning continues.

    Winter Wine and Food Series

    Citrus Fair
    Cloverdale Citrus Fairgrounds, 707-894-3992

The Forno in Winter, Preston Family Farm


    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

*Figure 4a, p. 58, "The Makahmo Pomo, an ethnographic survey of the Cloverdale (Makahmo) Pomo," Peri, Patterson, McMurry (1985, Sonoma State Univ. Academic Foundation, Inc., for the US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento Dist.)