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Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is the unofficial closer to the summer in Sonoma, though all of us who have been there after Labor Day know that the weather remains absolutely gorgeous, and there’s some sort of fun event happening all the time.

We didn’t purposely book our Healdsburg trip for Wine Country Weekend, but we ended up there at the same time and decided to take advantage of one of the many winemaker lunches happening in the county. On our first full day we headed to Healdsburg for lunch with Zazu Kitchen and Farm at Davis Family Vineyards

Davis Family Vineyards

Davis is right on the Russian River, not far from where we picked up our canoe trip, and their space is marked by a beautiful garden area and outdoor dining pavilion, perfect for a winemaker lunch.

It was a warm and humid day, and we were excited to try Davis Family Vineyards wine, so we were thrilled when we were welcomed with their  2012 Russian River Valley Chardonnay.

Davis Family Vineyards Chardonnay

We fell in love with this wine in a sip. Apple pie and lemon notes presented themselves first and faded into a warm, caramel-y richness that comes from being aged in French oak. We had time to take our wine and wander the gardens before being seated, and I was pretty much in heaven.

Davis Family Vineyards Chardonnay

Davis Family Vineyards garden

Our chef for the day was from Zazu; we loved their old restaurant in Santa Rosa and they have taken off since, moving to The Barlow in Sebastapol.   Zazu is known for their snout to tail approach to food, and their meats are always exquisite.

winemakers lunch with Zazu

Lunch was served at long communal tables, and we had such a fun group of neighbors! By the end of lunch, we had exchanged business cards, along with lots of wine country stories. I love sharing food, wine, and laughs with good people!

winemaker lunch at Davis Family Vineyards

When we weren’t chatting, we were served some pretty incredible food and wine and warmth from both the winery and Zazu. It just kept coming!

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{Macbryde Peach + Star Anise Pork Belly Salad}

Guy Davis

{Winemaker Guy Davis}

Somewhere during the meal, owner and winemaker Guy Davis stood up and talked a little bit about the winery, harvest, which had just started, and the lunch wines we were thoroughly enjoying.

Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

{Davis Family Vineyards 2012 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir}

 

Davis Family wine

Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

{Davis Family Vineyards 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir}

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{Liberty Duck Sausage, Bean + Farro Salad, Fennel Confit}

Davis Family Vineyards

fruit cobbler

{Plum + Blackberry Cobbler, Ginger Gelato}

The winery was beyond generous with the wines they shared with us, and I was so a bad blogger, so busy having fun that I didn’t photograph all of them. But I do remember them, especially their incredible Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and the Cuvee Luke, a blend of Marsanne, Rousanne, and Viognier. The Cuvee Luke is my kind of white wine; nice body and slightly heavy mouthfeel, floral notes leading into rich baked peach and pear notes with some minerals on the finish, a wine that stays with you for a long time. I did my best to sample and pour out some of the wines, but the Cuvee Luke, I definitely finished.

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend can be crowded at times, but we did not see that at all. Our choice of this lunch was perfect; it combined beautiful outdoor dining with delicious food from one of our favorite Sonoma County restaurants, and new-to-us wines that we loved. It was perfect.

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Tags: events, gardens, Healdsburg, Sonoma County, Travel, travel blog, vineyard, wine, wine blog, wine blogger, wine country, wine lunch, wine tasting, winemaker, winery

Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and it is definitely a time to treat mom, grandma, or another special woman in your life. Our new home’s yard has been teeming with all sorts of flowers and plants since it started to get warmer, and every time something new pops up in the garden, I call or text my mom to see what it is. She and my nana, who is with me in spirit, taught me so much about gardening growing up, yet I still have SO much to learn. Still, I marvel at the colorful life popping up all over, and it makes me feel closer all the time to two women who I love more than anything.

When Uncommon Goods reached out to me to see if I was interested in sampling one of their products in the lead up to Mother’s Day, it was hard to decide what to choose. From wining and dining to gardening, they have so many incredible, unique, and quality items. Since I am currently obsessed with readying our garden for Summer, I chose a beautiful blown glass Solar Light Garden Stake.

solar glass globe

The light is so beautiful. both by ay and by night. It appears to be a delicate, blown glass globe but in actuality is very sturdy and is standing up to the elements. By day, the sun glimmers off of the fun colors, and by night, it’s a little fairy lantern lighting the side of our garden bed. Assembly was super easy; it came in just a few pieces that popped together.

Items like this globe and the may other gift ideas that Uncommon Goods has to offer are perfect for a Mother’s Day gift or for a housewarming, shower, or other occasion. To check out the full line of beautiful gift ideas available at Uncommon Goods, please visit their website.

Uncommon Goods isn’t just for Mother’s Day; they have plenty of gifts for other occasoins:

http://www.uncommongoods.com/gifts/by-recipient/gifts-for-women

http://www.uncommongoods.com/for-her/gifts-for-her/gifts-for-mom

Uncommon Goods is a company that’s easy to love. I seriously covet much of their website, and their representative was a delight to work with. Here’s a bit more about Uncommon Goods.

Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, UncommonGoods is a privately-owned retailer that endeavors to feature unique designs and handcrafted gifts created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people. We run all our operations out of the historic Brooklyn Army Terminal, including our warehouse where the lowest-paid seasonal worker starts at 50% above the minimum wage. We make it our mission to support and provide a platform for artists and designers; in fact, half of what we sell is made by hand. Most of the products we carry are created right here in the USA, and about one-third of our entire collection incorporates recycled and/or upcycled materials. At the core of our company is a great respect for the integrity of the creative individual and the belief that it is our responsibility to use our business to impact the world in a positive way.

Highlights:

• B Corp: B Corporations use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. We are proud to be a founding B Corp since the B seal means that we meet a rigorous standard on a wide range of issues, including wage levels, environmental impact, and giving back to our community.

• Studio Tours: An exclusive look inside the workspaces and minds of our uncommon artists and designers. Find the faces and inspiration behind some of our customer’s favorite products. You can even take a step inside our own creative studio!

• Design Challenges: Get your work out there and join our community by participating in our product design and art challenges.

• How to Make It Events: Our panel series connects local artists and designers and empowers creative professionals to improve and develop their businesses. Past topics have included Scaling up your creative business, Implementing green practices in your designs, and Collaborating, networking, and the influence of your social network.

• Voting Tool: Get a first look at our newest arrivals and help our buyers decide which products will become the next UncommonGoods!

• Uncommon Knowledge: Is your DNA unique? Where does the growler get its strange name? Did Washington chop down a cherry tree? Find the answers plus dozens of other surprising stories and curious facts on our blog!

• Better to Give: As an independently-owned business, we have the freedom to support causes we believe in and to impact

the world in a positive way. With every purchase you make, we’re proud to donate $1 to the non-profit of your choice. Since we started the Better to Give program 12 years ago, we’ve donated over $700,000 to charities around the world!

Our Non-profits:

• RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN carries out programs to prevent sexual violence,  help survivors, and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.

• American Forests protects and restores forests worldwide, helping to preserve the health of our planet for the benefit

of its inhabitants.

• Women for Women International provides women survivors of war with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-su ciency.

• City Harvest strives to end hunger in communities throughout New York City through food rescue, distribution, and education.

 

I received this product from Uncommon Goods for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

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Tags: gardening, gardens, gifts, home and garden, lifestyle, Mother's Day, product review

Bliss

What a weekend! I kind of still can’t believe how beautiful it was. We had  a fabulous weekend, and I hope you did too. I started mine with a terrible, horrible, no-good 22 mile run. It was raining, which normally doesn’t bother me, but I was just achy all over. My knees and hips hurt the worst, and I was a little bummed, feeling like my body wasn’t ready. That is, until I ran up the three flights of stairs to our condo and saw my training shoes outside the door where I left them after my last run. I looked down at my feet and realized I was wearing really old running shoes, which completely explains all the pain. It didn’t make it any better for that run, but it made me feel a lot better about my fitness level. Crazy how much running shoes affect every single part of your body. My spine hurt that night!

Saturday we were up and at ‘em to watch Ireland lose to England in rugby, had a family barbeque, went grocery shopping and had an early night re-watching Shutter Island. And Sunday we spent the day with my father-in-law. He’s visiting from Ireland, and we celebrated his birthday at Alma Nove yesterday afternoon. It was delightful.

It’s my birthday week, so I am feelin’ pretty good today. The big day is tomorrow, and even though I am going to be 32, I still really love birthdays. Getting older is a gift that not everyone gets, and I have had it pretty good in life. I will be celebrating all week!

It’s no secret that I love Northern California, and I hope you all aren’t tired of posts about Sonoma and Napa. I have a recipe coming tomorrow, I promise.

But, for now, I am going to take you to Sonoma on our journey from San Francisco International Airport. We rented our car, quickly made our way through Golden Gate Park, and were on the majestic Golden Gate Bridge before we knew it.

Golden Gate Bridge

Sonoma isn’t far at all from San Francisco, and we have come to know the drive very well over the years. We toyed with the idea of stopping for lunch right outside of San Francisco, but we wanted to be in Sonoma as quickly as possible so we kept going. One amazing sign of spring in wine country, fields of mustard, paint the whole valley yellow.

field of mustard

Our first stop was one of our wine country favorites, Gloria Ferrer, It’s one of the first wineries you encounter on your way, and the sparkling wine and views are pure bliss. Below was the view from our place on the patio.

Sonoma

Gloria Ferrer produces a range of sparkling and still wines, and I love them all, but I love bubbly the most. I went with a glass of their Anniversary Cuvee which offers that lovely, toasty brioche nose I love, with flavors of lemon and lots of bubbles.

We made some new friends from the Bay Area while we sipped, and the heat and lack of food caught up with me pretty quickly. Our tablemates suggested that we head across the street to Cornerstone Sonoma to grab a bite since it was the closest place to buy food. I was grateful for their advice; when I get hungry it gets ugly pretty quickly!

Gloria Ferrer

Cornerstone is a complex that combines wine, food, and art with relaxing indoor and outdoor seating areas. Meadowcroft tasting room greets you to one side as you arrive. We skipped tasting because food was my #1 priority.

Meadowcroft Wines

Cornerstone was pretty empty, and we got to order and sit down in the shade with water pretty quickly.

Cornerstone Sonoma

Since we had dinner plans in Napa a couple of hours later, we split a pulled pork sandwich with pickles and cole slaw and a side of potato salad. Paired with a Blue Bottle iced coffee and lots of water, it woke me right up and made my hunger pains go away.

pulled pork

Lunch gave us renewed energy to explore Cornerstone’s sculpture gardens. They’re free to the public, and you can spend hours there checking out the various pieces of outdoor art work, in addition to indoor galleries.

Cornerstone

Cornerstone Sonoma

Cornerstone Sonoma

Wine country was everywhere, from the surrounding mountains to the fences covered in grape vines.

Cornerstone Sonoma

The art was really fun, but I was kind of in vacation mode and didn’t take any notes on the artists.

Cornerstone Sonoma

One of the parts I loved the most was the actual garden, food as art

Cornerstone Sonoma

This area represents Tomato Mania. I love the idea of crops as art; they’re always changing, you have little control over them, and they can yield something beautiful and nourishing.

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The sculpture garden also featured a children’s area with brightly colored bird houses, their very own grape vines, and play houses. It was really hands on and a fun way to be able to expose kids to art.

Cornerstone Sonoma

I loved these “rain clouds”; aren’t they pretty?

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Cornerstone Sonoma

We really enjoyed our walk around Cornerstone Sonoma. After a long flight and lunch it was nice to stretch our legs out, take a little break from wine tasting, and to take in something new and fun. It made for a blissful afternoon!

 

How are you enjoying this blissful weather we are having?

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Tags: art, California, Food, gardens, Sonoma, Travel

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