Walk, Wine, Woof

Kunde Winery and the Sonoma County Humane Society team up for a great outdoor wine experience that you can share with the one you love.


2016-04-30 11.38.49.jpgFor the second time, I have taken my dogs over to Kunde Winery for a guided wine tasting hike through the vineyards.  The hikes vary in length and route.   They seem be  4 miles +/- and last about 3 hours.

The hikes take place on Saturday mornings.  The number of hikers and dogs is limited so advance registration is required.  Hikers and their dogs meet at the Kunde tasting room, 9825 Sonoma Hwy Kenwood, at 9:00 am. for a pre-hike check in and to get a wine glass for each human over 21.  The hikes are $60 (2016 price).  A portion of the proceeds are donated to the Sonoma County Humane Society, and Canine Companions.

We departed for the vineyard with our guide, Jeff Kunde and his dog cooper at about 9:20.  We were able to take the dogs off leash as soon as we crested the first hill.    For the rest of the hike, the dogs were able to remain off leash, and were allowed to run free through the vineyard and play in the many irrigation ponds.


Could this be an adoption in the making?

Our first tasting of wine came within 15 minutes, a Sauvignon Blanc.  A perfect choice at 9:45 am.  Later tastings were Chardonnay, Old Vine Zinfandel, and blend or two.  Of course there were strategically placed dog watering stations so nobody had to go thirsty.

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At the completion of the hike we were served a buffet lunch with an endless supply of wines to taste.  Doggy treats and flavored water  (bacon, mojito, and of course garden hose) for the dogs.


If you want to try something different with your best friend, check out one of these hikes.  Here is a link to the 2016 schedule: Schedule .  You can also call the hospitality desk at 707.833.5501 ext 334.  As of this writing, more hikes are scheduled in July, and in October.

Historic Quarries hike in Annadel Friday

Friday May 13th join park historians for a hike to old basalt quarries in Annadel State Park

Melitta quarryStone quarries in Annadel provided stonemasons with the material to build most of the historic buildings that are still standing in Railroad square today. The stones were also shipped to SF after the 1906 earthquake to help rebuild the city. On Friday May 13th, you can accompany a state historical volunteer on a 5 mile hike in Annadel State Park to see the historic quarries that helped build Santa Rosa and the north bay.

The hike meets at 9 a.m. at the North Burma trailhead on Channel Drive in Rincon Valley. The cost is $7 per car to enter the park. People who do not mind walking a bit, can park for free outside the park on Channel Drive in a dirt pullout. Beware, car burglaries are common so hide your valuables or bring them with you. No reservation needed.

Wear comfortable hiking clothes and bring plenty of water. This is a moderate hike with a 900’ gain in elevation. No dogs are allowed in the park.

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Montgomery Village Free Saturday Concerts 2015


A few years ago I saw that Montgomery Village was hosting free concerts at the shopping center on Saturday afternoons.  I dismissed it as a publicity stunt to steal customers away from the big mall downtown,  and to get more people out shopping at the Village. DSCN0572

Last Saturday I happened to find myself at Montgomery Village and heard a live band doing a really good cover of the Tom Petty song I Wont Back Down.  I realized it was probably that very publicity stunt designed to get me shopping, but since I love Tom Petty songs, I decided to check it out.

I found the Petty Theft band hard at work playing most of Tom Petty’s  hits, and playing them VERY WELL.  I hung out for awhile and enjoyed the music with a beer I bought at the hospitality booth.  There was a crowd of people sitting at tables, some standing, and some dancing in front of the stage.  I plan to be back next week.

The shows are free, with all proceeds from alcohol sales going to local charities.  That’s a cause I don’t mind drinking for.

Here are the details:

Every Saturday noon – 3 pm Montgomery Village Shopping Center in the Village Court.  Food and beverages available for sale.

Ends October 10th

2015 summer lineup:

June 6 – Pop Fiction (70’s, 80’s, 90’s dance)

June 13 – Notorious (80’s dance)

June 20 – Paperback Writer (Beatles tribute)

June 21 (SUNDAY) – Catch a Wave (Beach music tribute)

June 27 – Garratt Wilkin & The Parrotheads (Jimmy Buffet tribute)

July 4 (SUNDAY) – Sh-Boom (rock’n roll oldies)

July 11 – Johnny Vegas & The High Rollers (rock’n soul revue)

July 18 – Summer of Love/Big Bad Boogie Rock (super charged 70’s & 80’s)

July 25 – Nathan Owens & Legends of Motown ( Motown tribute)

Aug 1 – Super Diamond (Neil Diamond tribute)

Aug 8 – Tainted Love (80’s tribute)

\Aug 22 – California Beach Boys (Beach Boys tribute)

Aug 29 – Foreverland (Michael Jackson tribute)

Sep 5 – Caravanserai (Santana tribute)

Sep 6 (SUNDAY) – Rick Lenzi & Roustabout (Elvis tribute)

Sep 12 – Mustache Harbor (Soft rock)

Sept 19 – Sun Kings (Beatles tribute)

Sep 26 – Chicago Tribute Authority (Chicago tribute)

Oct 3 –  Rebel Yell (80’s tribute)

Oct 10 – Pride and Joy (Motown)

If you know of a free event in or around RIncon Valley that you’d like to share, let me know in the comments section below.  I’ll check it out, and write a post about it.

Friday Night Live Free Concerts in Cloverdale

DSCN0620Generally I write about free events in or close to Rincon Valley, but Cloverdale has really done a great job hosting free concerts in their town plaza during their farmers market on Friday evenings.

Cloverdale kicked their summer concert series off with the Tommy Castro Band which really packed in a crowd.  Plenty of seating is available on the lawn, with standing room along the perimeter of the plaza.  Running concurrently with the concert is the town’s farmers market.  Not only can you buy fresh fruits and vegetables, but plenty of food venders are on hand to provide a nice selection of dinner options.  Beer and wine is available for sale.


Cloverdale’s Friday Night Live is definitely worth the drive !


Every Friday evening through Sept 4th, 7pm – 9pm

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Cloverdale Plaza

2015 Line up:

June 19 – JP Harris & The Tough Choices (country)

June 26 – Big Sandy & His Fly-RIte Boys (western swing)

July 3 – Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds (modern soul)

July 10 – El Radio Fantastique (art pop)DSCN0635

July 17 – The Stone Foxes (rock & roll)

July 24 – Las Cafeterias (afro-mexican)

July 31 – Orgone (heavy funk)

Aug 7 – The Mother Hips (folk)

Aug 14 – Con Brio (soul)

Aug 21 – Patrick Sweany (blues rock)

Aug 28 – Dustbowl Revival (americana swing)

Sept 4 – Charlie Musselwhite (blues harmonica)

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$1 Oyster Happy Hour in Kenwood

Kenwood RestaurantLooking for an inexpensive light snack on a weekend afternoon?  Head over to the Kenwood Restaurant (9000 Sonoma Hwy) Saturday or Sunday between 3 & 5pm for $1 oyster happy hour.

My girlfriend and I were driving through Kenwood recently when a sandwich board sign in front of the Kenwood Restaurant caught our attention: $1 Oyster Happy Hour. 3-5.  We pulled the car in and headed into the restaurant to see what else was on the menu.

$1 oysters

We found a delightful bar menu of appetizers and small plates in addition to an unlimited supply of $1 oysters.  We had a salad, cheese plate, wine, beer and 24 oysters for under $50.

IMG_2904The restaurant had recently been remodeled, and a young enthusiastic staff was waiting on us.  Years ago I had been the restaurant, and found it to be a bit boring with an older crowd.  Apparently under new ownership, the restaurant is now fun and lively.  There is a beautiful patio in the back with pond, bocce ball court, and incredible landscaping.

Kenwood Restaurant  9000 Sonoma Hwy

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Do you know of a local business that you’d like me to profile,  send me a note and I”ll look into it.

Santa Rosa Free Thursday Night Concerts Under the Stars at Montgomery Village

Montgomery Village kicked off it’s Thursday Night Concerts Under the Stars with a Bay Area favorite, Pride and Joy.   Pride and Joy really packed in a crowd.  There were tables set up with ample seating for 6 per table but  Thursday night was standing room only.  The front of the stage was shoulder to shoulder dancing to Pride and Joy’s mix of cover songs including your favorite 70’s and 80’s pop and soul. Pride and Joy Montgomery Village CourtThe bi-weekly concerts take place in the open air Village Court (see map below). VIP tables up front can be reserved for $50, with proceeds benefiting different local charities.  Tables a bit farther from the stage are first come first serve.  Food is available for purchase from Monti’s outdoor grill, and beer and wine are available from the guest services booth.  All alcohol proceeds also benefit local charities. The summer line up includes:DSCN0538 June 11th – Journey revisited June 25th – David Martin’s House Party July 9th – Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot         Skillet Lickers (Swing) July 23rd – Wonderbread 5 (Rock and Roll) July 30th – SuperHuey (Huey Lewis & The News tribute) Aug 6th – Kalimba (Earth Wind, & Fire tribute) Aug 20th – Nicolas Bearde (Jazz)


(Beer and wine sales)

Sep 10th – Tainted Love (80’s tribute) Sep 17th – Slim Man (Jazz) Sep 24th – Unauthorized Rolling Stones Oct 8th – Sinatra Tribute Band

The series continues every other Thursday evening through October 8th.  Shows start at 5:30 ending at 8pm. For more information, visit: http://www.mvshops.com Leave a remark below if you know of a free or cheap event in Santa Rosa that you want to share.

Healdsburg Free Tuesday Night Concert Series

Looking to get out for a few hours after work on a Tuesday night?  Head to Healdsburg and enjoy a free concert and mingle with friends.

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Every Tuesday evening through August 25th, the City of Healdsburg is hosting a concert in the town plaza.  Food booths, beer and wine line the perimeter of the square, or you can bring your own food and beverage.  Set up a full picnic or just grab a burger and hang out by the band, you’ll have a good time.

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Concerts are 6pm – 8.

Line up:

June 2 – Ritmos Unidos (Jazz)

June 9 – Le Jazz Hot (Gypsy Jazz)

June 16 – Johnny Tsunami (American Roots Rock)

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June 23 – The Wild Catahoulas (Cajun)

June 30 – Johnny Rawls (Blues)

July 7  – Derik Irving (Rock/Rockabilly)

July 14 – The Crux  (Folk)

July 21 – The B-Stars (Western Boogie)

July 28  – Frankie Boots (Folk/Americana)

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Aug 4 –  Highway Poets (American Rock)

Aug 11 Boys & Girls (Rock/Pop)

Aug 18 – Ashleigh Flynn (Blues)

Aug 25 – Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings

For more information:  www.ci.Healdsburg.ca.us
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