You might say the old grapevines look otherworldly. With their contorted limbs and thick trunks, these Zinfandel vines look more like squat alien-trees, twisting up out of a sandy 3-acre spit of land in southwest Lodi. “Look how this vine is growing here,” says Stuart Spencer, owner of St. Amant Winery. He’s standing in the dirt at nearby Marian’s Vineyard, pointing to a vine with a hole as big as a fist. “The vine just splits over time.”
The wine tasting room at Harmony Wynelands in Lodi was built with a far different purpose. Bob Hartzell, an aficionado of old-fashioned theater pipe organs and former president of the California Winegrape Growers Association, built the hall to house his pride and joy – a 1921 organ that was once installed in the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. The room’s acoustics are specially designed to show off the organ’s commanding sound.
In a makeshift distillery tucked into a Rancho Cordova business park, Greg Baughman mashes and ferments batches of his Wheel House American Dry Gin using a still he designed and built himself, a gleaming vision of stainless steel and copper. But actually sell you a bottle? For that he needs to hire a middleman due to regulatory hurdles dating back to Prohibition.
Bartenders around the region have provided us with their best bets for holiday cocktails featuring gin, rye and bourbon — spirits that are now being produced locally by craft distillers.
At the crush pad of a custom-built winery, the 6-foot-4 winemaker in tie-dye socks shuts off the forklift, realizing he missed a call.
“I didn’t hear my phone ring,” says Layne Montgomery, 55, general manager and founding partner of m2 Vintners Inc. in Acampo.
“It’s harvest,” jests one of his volunteers. “Who has time for a phone?”
Sacramento is America’s Farm-to Fork capital for many reasons: fresh, seasonal food available year-round, almost 8,000 acres of boutique farms, and the largest Certified Farmers’ Market in California. Last month, Slow Food Sacramento recognized seven local businesses for their commitment to providing products and services that use regionally grown seasonal produce, honoring them with the Snail of Approval award and decal.
Tis the season for sharing! In the spirit of the holiday season, tell us your office holiday party horror story (anonymously, of course). Next month we’ll share the most cringe-worthy as well as advice on damage control — in case anything goes awry this year.
Don’t be a Scrooge … You know you’ve got one.
Let me take a wild guess: You feel like you don’t get enough sleep. Too much to do, you’re stressed out and you think getting eight hours of sleep is about as realistic as keeping current on Oprah’s Book Club. Or maybe you’re annoyed that your body needs too much sleep? Think of all the workouts you could get in, books you could read and emails you could return with a few extra hours in each day. Wouldn’t we all love to train our bodies to require less sleep?
The sharing economy is a collaborative economic movement inspired by the efficiency of loaning and sharing existing resources on a fee-for-service model. It reduces environmental waste while supporting financial sustainability and building stronger communities, and it’s having a bigger impact than you might realize.
Linda Bottjer is not a psychic or paranormal expert. But through her research online and at the local historical society, she has become intimately familiar with the ghosts of Placerville. They are a mischievous lot, known for rearranging furniture and shattering wine glasses.
Pick your poison, find a pairing, and let us know your favorite local brewery in the Capital Region.
On hot summer weekends, a 20-barrel brewery west of Winters overflows with patrons. They flood the taproom and crowd around shaded picnic tables, sipping beer while soaking in live music. A few kids play baseball in the gravel lot. Others pull wooden blocks from an oversized Jenga set by the food truck. Some are locals, but many come from Davis, Sacramento and beyond to get a taste of whatever Berryessa Brewing Co. has on tap for the week.
The Sacramento Republic FC has bolstered its quest to become a Major League Soccer franchise. On Monday the team announced an impressive addition of more than a dozen new business leaders who will invest in the group, including Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter and local business owner Urijah Faber.
Following a big win last Saturday, Sacramento will host the championship match against the Harrisburg City Islanders this weekend.
A veritable who’s who of Sacramento’s business, philanthropic and arts communities came together to celebrate the marriage of David and Anna Sobon in grand style. The spectacular “Vegas Glam” wedding featured an Elvis officiating the nuptials, and the finest food, brew (Hoppy), wine (Sobon Estate), décor and entertainment one could possible hope for. Congrats to the happy bride and groom.
Pete Eckert envisioned himself as an architect, but a degenerative eye disease derailed his plan. He instead pursued his MBA and photography and now sells his art worldwide.
Few of the thousands of shoppers at Sacramento’s Sunday farmers market at 8th and W streets ever look up at the gray concrete ceiling looming above them. But by next spring, it may be tough to look at anything else.
Waylin Carpenter has been building custom, classical guitars in his home workshop in Sacramento since 2000. Carpenter makes 5-, 6- and 7-string guitars, and each can take 150 to 200 hours to complete. He is about to finish his 20th guitar.
The demolition now underway at the east end of Downtown Plaza, the site of the new Kings Arena, is a sidewalk superintendent’s dream.
Todo un poco means “a little bit of everything,” and that’s exactly how co-owner Marie Mertz describes her strategy. She runs the bistro’s operations, cooks, builds menus, chooses the daily specials, buys fresh produce, trains staff, handles community relations and hand-selects her wines. She’s proud of being in business for so many years, but “who’s counting when you’re having fun?” she says.