Napa / Sonoma Chapter
Dear WINO’s---the purpose of this e-mail is to inform you all that our Dec. 9th celebration will be the final event of our WINO chapter administered by the fearsome foursome of Dennis & Olga & Rod & Rita. This will complete a full decade of efforts on behalf of our chapter, as we assumed the WINO mantle from Nancy Fisher at the start of 2008. It has been a satisfying ten years of wine and good fellowship. We find that the energy and enthusiasm with which we initially tackled the responsibilities of Chapter Directorship have been a bit on the wane for some time now, not that we don’t still thoroughly enjoy our quarterly interactions with all of you wonderful folks. It has become increasingly difficult to engage wineries and restaurants who welcome groups of our size while keeping a reasonable limit on our costs. More and more wineries have transitioned from family operations to corporate ventures, which complicates communications and flexibility.

That said, we dearly hope that as many of you as possible can join with the group in December for our “farewell tour”. We’ll be visiting wineries with tasting rooms on or near Sonoma Plaza, and lunching once again at the Depot Hotel restaurant. As in the past, we will draw on what surplus has accrued to subsidize the cost of the event for all of you. Full details of the celebration will reach you in several weeks’ time. Once we’ve settled all obligations after the December event, any remaining surplus on our books (there’s bound to be some) will be donated to an appropriate local North Bay charity for the benefit of the victims of the recent Wine Country Fires.

Despite our WINO “retirement”, we do currently expect to host a WINO chapter “reunion” next July, in the form of a pot-luck picnic up at Dennis and Olga’s Tall Grass Ranch digs in the hills above Sonoma. It will not involve any visitation of wineries; the wines will be only those of Dennis’ own production and any we bring ourselves; the lunch will be a shared responsibility of all attending. Our purpose is to reconnect, reminisce and celebrate, not replicate our past program formats. Once we have a date for this reunion, we’ll give you as much advance notice as possible.

Meanwhile, have a Happy Halloween, and remember: it’s OK to distribute treats to those costumed young opportunists at your door, but pouring them any of your favorite vintages is ill-advised. Peace.---Rod (for the 4)

The last Napa/Sonoma Chapter of WINO event will be: Saturday---December 9, 2017.


Happy Thanksgiving, WINO’s!---here’s the basic info regarding our gathering on Saturday, December 9.

We’ll be visiting two winery tasting rooms near the Sonoma Plaza. Because group size is a concern, we’ll meet as we did

last year, in front of the City Hall in the center of the Plaza no later than 10:15.  At that point, groups will be assigned

and you’ll head off to a 10:30 tasting at your first assigned stop; second assigned tasting will be at the opposite venue at

11:30. Lunch will again be at the Depot Hotel Restaurant at 1:00 p.m. A few practical notes: 1) as always for our

December events, no guests will be allowed due to size concerns; 2) if you finish at your first winery stop before 11:30,

please do NOT go early to your second stop; rather take the opportunity to check out the attractions in the immediate

vicinity around the Plaza, reporting to your second winery punctually at 11:30; 3) likewise, if you finish your second visit

early, mosey a bit and enjoy the Plaza area, heading over to the Depot just a little before 1 p.m. DO NOT SEND IN ANY



Our two wineries will be: Lake Sonoma Tasting Room (134 Church St., Sonoma—despite this official address, pedestrian

access is also from First St. West adjacent to the Sign of the Bear kitchenware store.) They are a sister winery to Valley

of the Moon Winery, sourcing grapes from around Sonoma County.  Their excellent wines include Chardonnay, Pinot

Noir, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Winery Sixteen 600 (589 First St. West, Sonoma, in the first block south of the Plaza) Owned by the well-known Coturri

Biodynamic-grape-growing family, they produce excellent Rhone style wines and a killer Zin.

The Depot Hotel Restaurant (241 First St. West, Sonoma) offers us first course choices of “Sonoma Salad” (organic baby

lettuces, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, in a sherry vinaigrette) or the Chef’s Seasonal Soup of the Day.  Main course

pasta choices: Ravioli al Funghi (mushroom/ricotta ravioli, green peas, lemon-sage sauce); Orecchiette con Gamberoni

(gulf shrimp, Chef’s seasonal presentation); Penne Bolognese (a traditional ragu).  Dessert will be limoncello cake with

mango sauce. Coffee/tea. Any wine at lunch will be your individual responsibility. We don’t need to order in advance, so

ponder your choices until we meet on the 9th.

When you do send in your reservations, if you wish to be included in the same group as other particular WINO’s, please

be sure you specify this to me.  Also note that your individual cost for the day will be subsidized a bit from our accrued

surplus, so that it may be pleasantly lower than you’d expect.  Once all accounting for the event is settled, any further

surplus will be donated to a local charity in support of the victims of the Wine Country Fires.

Looking forward to seeing you next month.---Rod


Dear WINO’s---your total cost per person for Dec. 9th is $65.00. Please make checks payable to Rodrick M. Arriaga and

mail to 1378 – 38th Ave., San Francisco, CA 94122 so as to arrive no later than Saturday, Dec. 2. Thanks.---Rod