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June is Lavender Month in Sonoma Wine Country

Each June, Sonoma County blossoms with the vibrant color and fragrance of lavender ushering in local celebrations with lavender festivals, retail offerings and lavender-inspired dining.

The use of lavender has a long history, having been first recorded over 2,500 years ago. The fragrant flowers was prized by Mediterranean cultures, being primarily used as a perfume.  Ancient Greeks found medicinal uses for the vibrant flowers, using it as a cure for everything from insomnia and aching backs.  Ancient Romans used lavender as insect repellent, flavoring as well as perfume; the aromatic flower derives its current name from the Latin lavare, meaning, “to wash.”

Today, you can find lavender throughout Sonoma Wine Country. The popular plant retains its historic roots, being used as plantings, as well as an essential ingredient for wellness, culinary and beauty products.  Local farmers, vendors and retailers throughout the region use the full benefits of the vibrant plants which come to full bloom in June.

Sonoma Lavender in Kenwood is holding open house on the weekends of June 18-19 and 25-26, offering U-Cut fresh lavender as well as lavender products including hot/cold wraps, lavender bath & body, diffusers, candles, gifts, sachets and bouquets.  No food is offered but there are many wineries and restaurants nearby if you want to make a day of it.

On June 25, sip, smell and savor the beauty of Matanzas Creek’s exceptional wine portfolio and vibrant gardens at the Days of Wine & Lavender event.  Enjoy live music, delicious food and wine pairings, vineyard tours and open house at the Lavender Barn with sweeping views of gardens, vineyards and Taylor Mountain to the south.  This 20th Anniversary celebration is sure to be an afternoon you won’t soon forget. Must be 21 years or older to attend.  For more information visit their website.

Lavender season also keeps local retailers busy.  At Lavender Bee Farm in Petaluma, they open their farm for visits in season.  Amid the rolling hills of Sonoma County, the family honey farm plays host to over 5,000 lavender plants and multiple hives and is chemical-free for the health of the bees, plants, and you!  Shop for lavender bouquets, sachets, hydrosols and honey year-round on their website.

Lynn’s Lavender & Lotsmore in Sebastopol also offers a large range of lavender products for your home, garden, body and soul.

So get outdoors this June and enjoy the beauty and fragrance of lavenders in Sonoma Wine Country.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Experience Music in the Vineyards

Celebrate the summer season in Wine Country with fellow music lovers and some fine wines at the myriad of music in the vineyard events in the coming months. Peruse the list of upcoming local programs and purchase your tickets early:

Wednesdays thru October 26: Paradise Ridge Winery, 4545 Thomas Lake Harris Dr., Santa Rosa

The popular Wednesday Evening Wines & Sunsets have the makings of a seriously romantic midweek date night. Listen to festive live music playing while you sip wine and enjoy spectacular panoramic sunsets from the winery’s expansive veranda and beautiful poetry terrace.

Fridays thru September 30: Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery, 389 Fourth St. East, Sonoma

Each week during the Night Music Series features tunes from a different local band or artist in their courtyard or stunning tasting room. Wines by-the-glass or by-the-bottle will be available for purchase along with gourmet food. The last Friday of each month will be “Food Truck Friday” featuring an enticing line up of local gourmet food trucks selling tasty treats to pair with your music enjoyment.

Sundays thru October 30: B.R. Cohn, 15000 Sonoma Hwy., Glen Ellen

Summer Sundays at B.R. Cohn are a perfect way to cap your weekend. Sit back under our olive trees with fresh oysters prepared how you like, a favorite glass of wine and enjoy the live music from variety of talented local musical artists for you each weekend.

June 10-11: Gundlach Bundschu Winery, 2000 Denmark St., Sonoma

A carefully curated lineup of diverse bands is a hallmark of every Huichica Music Festival. Twenty-eight national and regional indie and folk acts will jam on three unique stages, including one in the winery cave. Must try:  GunBun’s made-for-summer white wine, Gewürztraminer.

Sunday, August 7: Chimney Rock, 5350 Silverado Trail, Napa

An MITV-commissioned work from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts highlights this program which includes Haydn’s tongue-in-cheek Master and the Pupil and Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet, winner of the Stalin Prize in 1941.

Friday, August 12: Silverado Vineyards, 6121 Silverado Trail, Napa

Masterworks of Haydn and Brahms bookend Martinu’s Czech-flavored Madrigals, a brilliant musical conversation for violin and viola, and Jessie Montgomery’s Strum, which is “Turbulent, wildly colorful and exploding with life…” per The Washington Post. Arrive early to hear the winners of our Solo Instrumental Competition!

Saturday, August 13: Silverado Vineyards, 6121 Silverado Trail, Napa

Derek Bermel’s Soul Garden is a remarkable mash-up; the solo viola brings the essence of gospel face-to-face with the European tradition. Boccherini’s cello quintet conjures the nightlife of Madrid and Ravel’s Violin Sonata pays tribute to the blues.

Sunday, August 14: Silverado Vineyards, 6121 Silverado Trail, Napa

The music of composer, conductor and pianist Johann Hummel—the remarkable triple threat of the post-Beethoven age, opens this program — followed by two cornerstone works of the repertoire: Smetana’s autobiographical quartet–written in total deafness, and Robert Schumann’s piano quintet.

Thursday, August 18: The Hess Collection, 4411 Redwood Road, Napa

The 16 String Quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven are considered the pinnacle achievement of the chamber music repertoire. Music in the Vineyards is proud to present the Pacifica Quartet, one of the pre-eminent interpreters of Beethoven, in this five night epic event.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Mayacama Member Wine Notes

Wine at Mayacama is a way of life.   Besides having one of the top rated golf courses in the country, we have a Vintner and Wine Program that is unique only to this property. We are located in the heart of Wine Country and our members take their wine as seriously as their golf.  The wine program features 35 Vintner Members, selected by our Vintner Committee, and each Vintner has to meet a strict set of standards.  Once on board, they make their wine available to members with special pricing through our offers and their wine clubs, they also host wine and food events, provide intimate tastings and help support our club events. Their wines are featured on our list along with other great wines from among our general membership and other wineries of interest to our members.

Jeff McCarthy, Wine Director at Mayacama shares some Wine Notes:

The All Vintner Pour is decidedly our most popular Mayacama Member wine event of the year! Our 2016 All Vintner Pour is scheduled for Saturday, May 14 at 4:00pm.  In our courtyard, all 35 Vintner Members feature their new releases at various wine stations. Their wines are available for purchase and our members and their guests have the chance to fill their wine lockers and cellars at home and purchase for friends and family.

12th Annual Mayacama Member All Vintner Pour
Saturday, May 14th from 4-7pm
– Meet Vintner Members & Winemakers
– 120 Limited Production Wines
– Member Pricing Opportunities for Members & Guests
– Bountiful Food Stations that include Oysters, Shrimp, Roasted Pig, and Desserts
– Passed Hors D’oeuvres
– Live Music
$150++ Per Member / Per Guest (Only Age 21+)
Register Online or call 707.569.2900

Register separately for additional family-friendly fun on the same weekend…
KIDS – Lego Star Wars Epic Battles! – May 14 (4:00 – 9:00 pm) 707 569 2908

Last year, we hosted 350 members and guests.  Weather was perfect, in the mid 70’s.  We expect great weather again as our guests dine on grilled New York, whole suckling pigs hand carved at our pork taco station, lamb chops grilled to order, fresh shucked Hog Island Oysters with lemon and “Hog Wash” and a buffet of assorted cold seafood, cheeses, charcuterie and other treats prepared by our culinary team.  To give you an idea of what our Chef and his culinary team prepared last year, they produced; 150 pounds of New York, 200 pounds of suckling pig, 60 pounds of shrimp, 70 whole racks of lamb, 25 pounds of cheese, over 3000 assorted canapés, 800 fresh oysters, 1000 mini desserts and 60 pizzas.  By the end of the event, there was nothing left!

The wines to be featured this year are off the charts.  Futures of incredible 2013 and 2014 Cabs will be available to taste for the first time along with wines from the outstanding 2012, 2013 and 2014 vintages.  Many of the wines are being previewed at the pour and our members will be the first to try these beautiful gems.  This year we will introduce three new Vintner Members at their “first pour” so be sure to drop by and enjoy their wines.

Live Brazilian jazz from Jive Samba will again be part of the festivities.  After the pour, everyone heads to the bar for a few hours of libations, homemade pizzas and truffle fries. The next day, the wine orders will begin to flow.  Come and join us and experience the best of the Wine Country.

Welcome New Vintner Members
Just in time for our 2016 Vintner Pour are the arrival of three new Vintner Members.  Please join us for a warm Mayacama Welcome for our three new Wineries.

Dutcher Crossing Winery

Dutcher Crossing Winery represents an authentic and enjoyable experience for wine-lovers who visit the beautiful Dry Creek Valley. The perfect blend of award-winning wines, gorgeous wine country views and warm hospitality await visitors.

Proprietor Debra Mathy can often be found welcoming guests with Dutchess, her Golden Lab, sidekick and official greeter. Winemaker Kerry Damskey’s small-lot, select vineyard approach to winemaking can be learned and enjoyed in the tasting room. In short, Dutcher Crossing offers the timeless qualities of an artisan approach to life.

The vintage high-wheel bicycle, a treasured gift from Debra’s father, represents Dutcher Crossing’s pursuit of quality small-lot winemaking, the guiding power of her father’s imagination and the journey that lies ahead.

With a magnificent view of the panoramic vineyards and hillside beauty of the Dry Creek Valley, our tasting room welcomes visitors with a sampling of some Dry Creek’s best wines. In an intimate setting, Dutcher Crossing Winery is the perfect place to spend the afternoon. Away from the crowds, just outside of Healdsburg, you will find a warm, friendly, and relaxed atmosphere here in our tasting room and winery.

Fisher Family Winery

The Family Winery…IS THE RESULT OF EXPERIENCE OVER MANY YEARS. The winery was founded in 1973, when Fred and Juelle purchased 100 acres in the Mayacamas Mountains on the western slope of Spring Mountain. There, they built a winery tucked in among the vines and Douglas Firs. The winery itself is a product of the estate, having been built from the timber that was cut and milled on-site and crafted into an award-winning facility by their good friend and architect, William Turnbull.

In 1976, the family found another 57 acres on the Silverado Trail in the Napa Valley. The property runs from the Napa River to the Eastern Vaca Range, adjacent to the famed Eisele Vineyard, and is the source of our Lamb Vineyard Cabernet, Coach Insignia Cabernet and Cameron, Bordeaux Blend.

Their commitment is to grow and produce wines of consistent, world-class quality that express their unique mountain or valley heritage in the truest sense of terroir; the resulting wines should pay tribute to the land we are fortunate to care for, as well as each member of our team, which together will yield classic balance and style that transcends time.

Founder Fred Fisher says;”We are small in size but great in scope with both mountain and valley estate vineyards. Our wines reflect the great care we have given these vineyards; those who drink the wines and those who write about the wines sing their praise, and we are grateful.”

Wilson Family Wineries

It is hard to open the Press Democrat around the beginning of October and not see results from the annual “Sonoma County Harvest Fair” dominated by the wines from the Wilson Winery Family portfolio. In the last five years they have earned 4 “Sweepstake” awards and slough of gold medals from a panel of professional wine judges. To say they are a local favorite would be an understatement.

For Mayacama Members, you will soon see the 19 acres around our entrance being transformed into vineyards and notice the old barn has been beautifully restored. Within the next 3-4 years, the Wilsons will be crafting wines from vineyards inside our outer gate. Not only will this add to the beauty of the property, but it will also give us a “Vineyard Laboratory” where we can share the secrets of viticulture with our members.

The Wilson Family Portfolio is distinguished not only by its outstanding wines, but by the twin pillars of family and tradition on which its reputation rests. The tradition pre-dates the winery’s founding in 1993 and is evident in the century-old tin barn that houses the Wilson’s facility. One of the oldest structures in the legendary Dry Creek Valley, the barn has been lovingly restored by Ken and Diane to provide a state-of-the-art venue for their award-winning winemaking while offering glimpses into both a storied past and a promising future.The Wilson portfolio of wineries includes; Wilson Winery, Mazzocco, Soda Rock, Matrix Winery, deLorimier, St. Anne’s Crossing, Pezzi King and Jaxon Key

Contact our Wine Director, Jeff McCarthy, at 707 569 2906 or jmccarty@mayacam.com regarding this new and exciting service.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Catch a Sonoma Event this April

For those that can tear themselves away from the course, courts or pool at Mayacama, outings in Wine Country offer exceptional ways to connect with the best of Sonoma County. Discover a few highlights of local activities in April:

Sonoma International Film Festival: runs through April 3, 2016

Enjoy world-class food and wine on the Historic Sonoma Plaza at the Sonoma International Film Festival, featuring over 90 hand-selected films screened in intimate venues within walking distance. Renowned filmmakers, industry leaders and celebrities such as Bruce Willis, Susan Sarandon, Mary-Louise Parker and Ray Liotta have enjoyed this unique event.

Mendocino Coast Whale & Jazz Festival: April -May, 2016

Presented by Gualala Arts and taking place during the Smithsonian Institute’s Jazz Appreciation Month of April, this highly regarded festival features live music, inspired, original jazz art work, whale education, jazz films, poetry plus an annual Chowder Challenge and tasting!

Fools for the River: April 1, 2016

At this annual riverside restaurant crawl, you can visit four of ten participating restaurants. Tickets are good from 7:30am when Water Street Bistro opens until midnight, when Graffiti closes. Share your ticket, purchase a few and visit all locations with friends as you please!

Orchids in Art: April 2-3, 2016

A weekend full of fun, education and beautiful blooming orchids! For two days the Santa Rosa Veterans building will be transformed into a spectacular world of dazzling exotic epiphytes and terrestrial plants from around the world. Visitors of all ages are invited to enjoy the largest family of flowering plants in spectacular full bloom and enjoy live music by The Carnelian Strings and Nicolette Rickles.

Battle of the Brews: April 9, 2016

Over 70 drafts and food vendors will fight for your vote at the 20th Annual Battle of the Brews. The Craft Cup is a VIP event featuring judged, premier micro-brews alongside the Sonoma County Sandwich Showdown that highlights delicious sandwiches from local chefs. All with great live music on stage, brewing demonstrations, and much more!

April in Carneros: April 16 -17, 2016

Enjoy one great event, 15 award winning wineries, 15 great wine country experiences and live entertainment for two full days throughout the Carneros Appellation.

Sebastopol Apple Blossom Festival and Parade: April 16, 2016

The 70th Annual Apple Blossom Festival begins with a parade on Saturday, followed by live music, food, crafts, games for the kids, an art show, wine and more! The fun carries on Sunday with the Festival and Jazz Explosion. Saturday, April 16, 10am to 6pm Sunday, April 17, 10am to 5pm.

Celebrate Earth Day at Lake Sonoma: April 22 – 23, 2016

Two celebrations of Earth Day will be held at Lake Sonoma. On Friday, April 22, a volunteer leader will meet participants at the Lone Rock parking area for a hike (3-4 miles, to be decided by attendees). On Saturday, April 23, it’s “Earth Day Family Fun” with art and craft projects for all ages. An easy, almost level family hike (1 mile or so) will step out from the Lone Rock parking area, as well as a second “moderate” hike (1.5 miles) at the Woodland Ridge trail marker, located near the Visitors Center.

Annual Butter and Eggs Day Parade & Festival: April 23, 2016

Celebrate the rich history of Petaluma and a look at its future with the arrival of the SMART Train in 2016. Over 100 groups and floats kick off the day marching through downtown Petaluma in costume, on horse-back and more. The day is family-friendly with craft booths, kids activities, live music, art – plus local food and drink booths.

Passport to Dry Creek Valley®: April 23, 2016

This is a beloved tradition among wine lovers who enjoy world-class tasting experiences with a modern twist, all within Sonoma’s idyllic Dry Creek Valley. Explore more than 45 wineries throughout the valley, each offering an exclusive pairing of exquisite wine, gourmet food and live entertainment. Each winery promises to be an unforgettable destination for returning guests and novices alike.

Petaluma’s 2016 Spring Antique Faire: April 24, 2016

“The Bay Area’s Premier Antique Center,” Historic Downtown Petaluma will transform into an antique marketplace. Amid the beautiful historic buildings, one of a kind stores, an incredible array of restaurants and cafes, guests can find an incomparable selection of antiques from over 180 dealers.

Day on the Green at the Village: April 30, 2016

Enjoy a day of art, music, and family fun at the annual arts show and sale. Live music starts with Sarah Baker and Mona Gnader of the “Wa Girls” opening the festival. There will also be live dance performances and artist demonstrations, free creative activities and henna paintings for kids of all ages. Beverage proceeds benefit Food for Thought.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Romantic Restaurants We Adore

There’s no better spot to share a romantic meal than Wine Country.  And certainly our location tops that list! Mayacama Members are invited to join us on Feb 13th for Chef Scott Pikey’s annual Valentine’s Day Dinner and Wine Pairing, which has become a sold-out event year after year – so be sure and contact the Concierge or make your reservation online. For those of you visiting that want to continue the romance in Wine Country, we have listed a few of our favorite nearby restaurants, known for their romantic setting and great food.

John Ash & Co.
Nestled next to Vintners Inn, John Ash & Co. was the first Sonoma County restaurant to introduce the concept of cooking with seasonal, local foods and produce while pairing exceptional recipes with wines from the region. John Ash & Co. is a local favorite, known for its wonderful setting and excellent food. Book your reservations early as this popular restaurant fills up quickly.

La Gare
Enjoy fresh local ingredients and an extensive Sonoma County wine selection at La Gare in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square, where for 30 years thousands of couples have shared their love of traditional French Cuisine in a quaint, dimly-lit, elegant and relaxed atmosphere.

Barndiva
Part restaurant, part cocktail lounge and part wine bar, Barndiva offers a hip and rustic Healdsburg setting coupled with some of the best food in the region. They also have an adjacent studio gallery with a variety of eclectic offerings you can peruse before your dinner. They are offering a prix fixe Valentine’s Eve menu which can be found here.

Willi’s Seafood and Raw Bar
If oysters and sparkling wine are your thing, just north of Mayacama in Healdsburg, Willi’s offers at least eight varieties of fresh oysters and tapas menus designed for sharing. The setting is vibrant, the seasonal cocktails are eclectic and the desserts are divine.

Santé Restaurant
Located in the historic Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, Santé Restaurant is a premier dining room known for its romantic setting and outstanding food. Recipient of the AAA Four Diamond Award and Michelin designations, Santé is amongst the top-rated restaurants in the region.  Again, a very popular dining spot so grab your reservation is there is space still available; you’ll be glad you did.

Depot Hotel Restaurant
The Depot Hotel Restaurant and Garden is located in a charming, historic stone building just two blocks from the Sonoma Plaza. Built in 1870, the Depot Hotel was originally the local hotel for 19th century passengers arriving by train from San Francisco. The original owners also opened an Italian restaurant and “saloon” here in 1890 to serve the townspeople of Sonoma and their visitors. The historic setting is now a popular hotel with great food and wonderful ambiance. Their Valentine’s Day menu looks amazing.

The Girl & the Fig
Located on the historic Sonoma Square, The Girl & the Fig is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Offering a warm and cozy atmosphere creates a relaxed, yet intimacy, environment. This popular restaurant features a wonderful antique bar with French aperitifs, unique and traditional cocktails, an award-winning Rhone-Alone winelist, a seasonal menu, cheese & charcuterie platters and outdoor garden patio seating. You may have to book a table in an off-hour as this restaurant is in very high demand.

Central Market
Central Market is a farm-to-table restaurant, housed in the 1918 Maclay building in the heart of downtown Petaluma. Our cuisine is rustic California-Mediterranean. We make everything in house, from scratch daily. Our bread comes out of our wood-fired oven fresh each morning. We want your visit to Central Market to feel like a visit to an old friend’s house, where you are welcomed warmly. We invite you to enjoy a fresh, local delicious meal, paired with a bottle from our carefully curated wine list, which features local and international selections.

Twisted 2
For those looking for a small, quaint setting with amazing food, look no further than Twisted 2 in Petaluma.   Twisted 2 is a labor of love for owners, Dick and Julie – a final realization of the couple’s passion for creating a dining experience that is memorable and honest. They serve up a farm-fresh prix fixe menus that keeps patrons coming back for more. Just take a look at the reviews on Yelp.

The Duck Club Restaurant
If your plans include a trip to the coast, may we suggest the award-winning Duck Club Restaurant, which highlights local, sustainably farmed produce, seafood, and meats. The Duck Club also offers an intimate setting with tables by the large stone fireplace and large windows with panoramic views of Bodega Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

We hope this short list of romantic dining options makes this a Valentine’s Day to remember for a lifetime. Make your reservations early as Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.