5 Things to Do in Wine Country in September


A major art installation at HALL, a harvest grape stomp at design icon Clos Pegase, Alexander Valley like you’ve never seen it before at Jordan Winery and new openings, all happening in Wine Country this month.

Leave your mark on a major art installation at HALL Wines

North Carolina artist Patrick Dougherty is known around the world for his Stickwork sculptures, large scale environmental works woven from tree saplings that would otherwise be cleared for slated development. Dougherty creates his latest Stickwork project at HALL Wines for its new Visitor’s Center in St. Helena. 

Dougherty’s designs are inspired by the local setting, and come to life with communal spirit. Locals and visitors of all ages are invited to participate in the creative process for any period between September 2 – 13 and 16 – 20. The unforgettable experience includes collecting, cleaning and finally weaving the saplings into an eye-popping sculpture and no prior experience is required.  Details and forms are on the website.

The completion of the work leads up to the “Les Bon Temps” release party of the 2010 Kathryn Hall Cabernet on September 21 which will be held on the new lawn of the restored Bergfeld Winery.  It’s a great opportunity to get a bird’s eye view of the stunning new Visitor’s Center across the way which is nearing completion.  401 St. Helena Highway South, St. Helena


The new Vista Point Pavilion. Photo courtesy Jordan Winery

A summit estate tour and tasting at Jordan Winery in Alexander Valley

Jordan offers the complete Alexander Valley wine experience with a new 3-hour excursion tour through the rolling hills of the owners’ stunning 1,200 acre estate. The tour includes visits to their one-acre culinary garden, vineyards and beautiful wildlife areas with sojourns for select food and wine pairings featuring Jordan’s Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The experience culminates at their newly constructed, glass-enclosed hilltop pavilion where guests enjoy 360 degree views, a surprisingly comfortable breeze even on the warmest days and a sheltered, elegant room in which to relax and taste.


Simplicity of garden escabeche (left) with “nigiri” of peach served in natural stone bowls

Executive Chef Todd Knoll elevates the traditional food pairing experience to Zen level with exquisite dishes inspired by the classic Kaiseki art of preparing food in its purest form and presenting it in the most beautiful way. The tours are by appointment beginning September 5 and start at 10 a.m. Cost $120 pp. 1474 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg

Photo Clos Pegase

A Modern Harvest Bacchanal at Clos Pegase

Napa Valley’s original temple to wine and art, Clos Pegase is named after the mythological winged stallion Pegasus, whose mighty hooves unleashed a magical spring that watered the vines and inspired the Muses. What better way to celebrate harvest and pay homage to the retiring Shrems and their magnificent art collection than with a modern Bacchanal amidst great wine and art. The event takes place Saturday, September 21 from approximately 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and includes a reception, grape stomp, lunch in the Cave Theater and vineyard walk. Cost $110 pp, check the website for details. 1060 Dunaweal Lane, Calistoga


The “Pino” sign was a flea market find and a nod to their signature cool-climate Pinot Noir wines

Wine meets design at Banshee Wines new tasting room in Healdsburg

Banshee Co-founders Noah Dorrance, Baron Ziegler and Steve Graf are modern, creative “guys” who live in the moment whether whipping out dishes, dancing on tabletops or diving into the nearest swimming hole.  They recreate that spontaneity with an eclectic, interactive space at their new tasting room off Healdsburg Plaza, designed by Noah’s wife Kelly and Lisa Steinkamp.

The look is “Sonoma heritage”, a mix of comfortable leather seating and repurposed fixtures – like the swinging shop doors and hardware bins turned wine rack – updated with mid-century pieces for pops of style and color.  The look is unified against the warm backdrop of reclaimed wood floors and walls, and a large communal table highlighted by Thomas O’Brian pendant lamps.  And if you like the look, most pieces are available for sale.  Open daily between 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., 325 Center Street, Healdsburg.

Prepping the candy bar for the launch party last Friday

Feeling pretty at Tallulah Boutique’s new location on Healdsburg Plaza

The former dim, L-shaped shop down the street really didn’t do justice to Tallulah’s darling home decor and personal accessories. In a prize new location on the north side of Healdsburg Plaza, designer Denise Trefry’s exuberant love of color is unleashed in a bright white gallery space with high ceilings that’s made more inviting with charming courtyard space.


Campomaggi rivet and stud handbags and belts at Tallulah

In addition to her signature jewelry and posh pillows, look for new products such as featherweight cashmere infinity scarves by Botto Giuseppe – in a multitude of colors of course – and handmade Campomaggi bags finished with studs and rivets. Open daily except Tuesday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.  331 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg.

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