Sonoma Valley Events for March 24-28

Since I am late getting the events schedule out, I will include some events for early next week instead of just the weekend. More events and full details available at

Saturday, March 24th: Community Day: Free admission to A.R.T.S. (Art Rewards the Student) Sixth annual exhibition showcases the works of local fourth and fifth graders, curated by local high school students. Sonoma Valley Museum of Art on Broadway. Live performances and art activities

11:30am – 1:30pm EZ Kewl performs at the Boyes Springs Barking Dog Coffee Shop, 18133 Sonoma Hwy Across from Sonoma Mission Inn 707.939.1905

Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvienent Truth plays at the Sonoma Community Center

6:00 Reception in Andrews Hall
6:30 pm: Opening Ceremony of Environmental Commitment championing healthier lives and sustainable communities.
7:00 pm: Movie screening
Afterwards an open discussion on ways for Sonoma Valley to move toward sustainability with Claudia Reed.
Sunday, March 25th:

All Faiths Group, 10:30am

These circles open with a 15-minute reading or sound recording about
mindfulness, gratitude or forgiveness (sources are drawn from all
faiths). Followed by 15-minute silent prayer or meditation. Closes
with a guided forgiveness or gratitude meditation. Free. 996-8787

“True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by A. Wolf”
Performed by puppeteer Paul Mesner
Sonoma Community Center, Andrews Hall
March 25, 2007

Monday, March 26th:

Homestretch with JJ – Homestretch is simple and easy basic stretching. Stretching without straining and having fun. You feel more energized with an increased sense of well being. Contact JJ Crow to reserve your place at 707-996-8845

Painting studio and duplicate bridge club meets at the Vintage House on Mondays. 264 First Street E, 707-996-0311,

Tuesday, March 27th:

Free introduction to Love, Intimacy & Sexuality with the Human Awareness Institute (HAI) at 634 Napa Rd. in Sonoma. HAI can teach you skills to enhance your relationships, whether you’re coupled or single, gay or straight. More information at 1-800-800-4117 or 7:15 pm

Tuesday, March 27, 7:30 p.m. Nischala Joy Devi, author of “The Secret Power of Yoga: A Woman’s Guide to the Heart and Spirit of the Yoga Sutras,” and Janice Gates, author of “Yogini: The Power of Women in Yoga.” will be at Readers’ Books, 130 E. Napa St., Sonoma. For more information, call 707-939-1779.

WhyNot Entertainment will be doing weekly karaoke Tuesday nights at Little Switzerland starting at 9 pm! Dance floor and tons of songs to choose from. 19080 Riverside Dr, Sonoma

Wednesday, March 28th:

Channeling with Eloheim and Veronica, 7:00pm, by donation, Call Joseph at 694-0652 for directions and more information. Listen to audio clips and read quotes from Eloheim at

Here is an invitation from Eloheim:
Gathering in a group and sharing the journey together maximizes opportunities for spiritual growth. We invite you to experience group transformation as we learn the skills necessary to navigate the shifting energies and vibrations of the present, evolving moment.

Learn about Spinal Health at Adams Chiropractic. 100 years of application has resulted in a remarkable American success story. Learn more about chiropractic on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays. FREE, all are welcome Reserve a space by calling 707-996-4535. Adams Chiropractic, 101 Andrieux Street, Sonoma
Further details and more events at If you are having an event, please add it to the calendar. It is free!

Sonoma Valley Events for March 16-18

Big weekend in Sonoma Valley. More events and full details available at

Friday, March 16th:

6:00 pm Manzanita plays at the Boyes Hot Springs Barking Dog Coffee Shop

8:00 pm Cullan’s Hounds play the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art

All weekend, Savor Sonoma Valley, A Barrel Tasting & Culinary Experience at 19 Sonoma Valley Wineries. See interview about this event at This Link (

All weekend, Jewelry Making Workshop at the Sonoma Community Center

All weekend, Michael Holland Exhibit at Bartholomew Park Winery

All weekend, Free admission to A.R.T.S. (Art Rewards the Student) Sixth annual exhibition showcases the works of local fourth and fifth graders, curated by local high school students. Sonoma Valley Museum of Art on Broadway.

Saturday, March 17th:

Public Solar and Night viewing at the Robert Ferguson Observatory. See interview about this facility at This link (

Move and Relax at Nia Saturday Spa Day – Combine elements of Dance, Martial Arts & Yoga. Sonoma Mission Inn.

The party is always amazing at Murphy’s Irish Pub on St. Patrick’s Day. Live music by the Spiral Mystics. The event takes up the entire alley and is a local favorite. Not to be missed if you are in town on Saturday night. NO COVER CHARGE. Music starts at 6:30pm.

Sunday, March 18th:

Chris Elms offers a Feldenkrais introduction at the Community Center beginning at noon.

Further details at

Savor Sonoma Valley Barrel Tasting Event this Weekend – March 17-18

There is a big wine tasting event in the Valley this weekend. Which, of course, necessitates a check in with Phillip Torres of Epicure Wine Tours:

I heard you had a great time at the last barrel tasting event we talked about, I heard something about Mr. Plastic getting his exercise, did you find some nice wines to purchase?

I did, in spite of the fact, that I have a relatively large wine collection I can never resist adding to it at events like this.

We have another barrel tasting event this weekend!

For those of you who thought that Russian River/Healdsburg area was too far of a drive, this is a PERFECT opportunity to stay closer to home and still experience the combination of culinary delights and barrel tasting simultaneously.

I know this is a two day event, still, 19 wineries sounds like a lot to try and visit (see list at the bottom of this post)….

Those 19 wineries are the epitome of what Sonoma Valley has to offer. It really is the Heart of the Valley. This is the one event where this group of wineries pulls out all of the stops. It is truly a delight to see how each winery matches up their appetizers with their wines to truly give you ideas on what you could do to create that same “WOW” effect when you are serving these wines at home.

I attended this event about 6 years ago and it WAS a good time, however, 19 still sounds like more than you can hit in one weekend….

Since you have five hours each day, plan on one hour at each winery so that you have time to taste the wines and food sensibility and be able to enjoy it. You have to bear in mind that most of these wineries will have 4-5 current releases that they will be pouring IN ADDITION TO THE barrel tasting opportunities.

Going to five wineries may mean that you taste up to 20 or more wines in one day, and that is plenty for anybody. Many of these wineries are very close together so travel time will be kept to a minimum.

This differs substantially from Napa Valley wine tasting events because these wineries are all so close together. That’s what makes in Sonoma Valley wine tasting so special.

Here is a little quiz for you. One of the wineries which is not listed on the program but who will be participating is Sullivan, can you find it? If you can’t find Sullivan, contact me and I will let you know where it is!

Since the wineries are so close together, do they offer any sort of public transportation for participants. Like a shuttle? I know that parking and traffic can be difficult on normal weekends, special weekends like this must be a challenge?

Not that I am aware of. Perhaps one of our larger limo companies could consider offering this next year.

Any last comments?

Here is a barrel tasting foot note – Don’t expect the wines from the barrel to taste anything like the current releases. The whole point of barrel tasting is for you to be able to experience the wines as they are developing their flavors in the barrel. This is NOT the finished product. (But, some of them are SO GOOD that you would think they are the finished product!)

Another quick quiz before we go:

If you can find Henry Belmonte’s winery (it is on the list) stop in for a special treat. They make a specific type of port that is only made by a few wineries in the world.

Savor Sonoma Valley

A Barrel Tasting & Culinary Experience

Dates: March 17, 2007 — March 18, 2007
Time: 11 AM – 4 PM
Cost: $55.00 per person

The 17th Annual Savor Sonoma Valley – A Barrel Tasting & Culinary Experience happens March 17 & 18! (Barrel Tasting Weekend!)


Join 19 Wineries throughout Sonoma Valley this March for a Barrel Tasting & Culinary Experience!

Wineries will be showcasing 2006 vintage wines straight from the barrels, sampling new releases, and offering award-winning wines paired perfectly with culinary creations prepared by local chefs and restaurants.

Meet winemakers, mingle with wine lovers behind-the-scenes, peruse art from local artists and listen to live music. Experience the best that Sonoma Valley has to offer!

Ticket Options & Prices:
*SUNDAY-ONLY PASS: $40 per person

Participating Wineries Include:
Benziger Family Winery, Blackstone Winery, B.R. Cohn Winery, Chateau St. Jean, Eric Ross Winery, Imagery Estate Winery, Kenwood Vineyards, Kunde Estate Winery & Vineyards, Landmark Vineyards, Ledson Winery, Loxton Cellars, Mayo Family Winery, Audelssa Estate/Navillus Birney Winery & Vineyards, St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, SL Cellars, The Wine Room, VJB Vineyards & Cellars, Valley of the Moon Winery and Wellington Vineyards.

Exciting Day the Sonoma Garden Park with the Bees PHOTOS

Received via email from

Tiona Gundy
Sonoma Garden Park Coordinator
Sonoma Ecology Center

Hello everyone:

It was a special time for everyone working at the Sonoma Garden Park  last Saturday, March 3.  Our feral bee colony living in a bird box  swarmed right before our eyes!  In the time span of about five minutes,  the sky was filled with tens of thousands of bees.  About fives minutes  later, the bees chose to land in the plum tree in front of our bee  yard, about three feet above ground.  This location was fortunate to  us, as Roger and Denise Fortain and I easily captured this swarm and  hived it directly into one of our empty bee boxes (see attached  photos).  As we set up our bee box, the swarm cluster continued to  grow.  Normally, a large swarm would be about the size of a football.   This was the largest landed swarm that I have ever seen.  It’s hard to  imagine that they all lived inside this bird box.

Swarming is a natural occurrence with honeybees.  This is the means of  expansion of their species.  As they outgrow their space, about 70-80%  of the bees will leave to find a new home.   The queen bee also leaves  with the swarm.  Before swarming, the bees will raise a new replacement  queen, which will hatch shortly after the colony swarms.

My plans last Saturday were to assess the condition and size of our  feral colony and at the next nice weekend afternoon, open the bird box  to hive the bees and comb into one of our boxes.  Now my plans have  changed.  We will wait about three weeks for the new queen and the bees  remaining in the bird box to expand their colony, and then we will open  the bird box to hive the remaining bees.

We want to move the remaining bees into a bee box so we may inspect  them to monitor their health and colony size.  As the colony continues  to grow, we can give them more space.  If we were to leave the colony  alone in the bird box, they would eventually swarm again.

About Swarms
Beekeepers do not look at the calendar to tell them when spring begins.   They know the start of spring when they either witness or hear about  the first swarm of the New Year.  Spring is the time when bees will  naturally expand their colonies by swarming.  There are techniques that  beekeepers use to prevent swarming with their own hives.

Before bees swarm, they gorge themselves on honey in preparation for  going without food for some time until they find a new home, build  honeycomb, and build up new foodstores.  As soon as swarm, they are  full of honey and a bit demoralized, as they have no home.  Therefore,  they are usually relatively gentle, and will cooperate when we hive  them.

If you see a swarm on your property, never spray them with water or  spray chemicals on them.  While they are clustered, scout bees are  actively looking for a permanent home.  When they find a new home, the  scouts will signal to the others to follow them to their new home.  A  swarm cluster will usually find a new home within three days.  Often,  homeowners will call the fire or police department to ask them to  remove the swarm cluster.  These agencies will refer to a list of  beekeepers that are willing to remove swarms.  Some beekeepers charge a  fee for their services, and some do not.  You can access this list of  beekeepers yourself by going online to  This is the  website of the Sonoma County Beekeepers Association.

If you see a landed swarm on your property, you may call me to capture  the swarm.  My phone number is listed below, and I am also on the swarm  list of the Sonoma County Beekeepers Association.  I’ll bring the bees  to the Garden to expand our program here.  We could use some more bees.   Our bees produced 140 jars of honey last year.  We sold them all at  $6.00 per jar, and we could have sold many more!  Imagine our demand as  word gets out that we have top quality local honey from hives that we  manage without the use of chemicals in our hives.


Bill Wiebalk
321-6645 cell

Click on photos to expand:

Bees preparing to swarm

Swarm in Plum Tree

Preparing to capture the swarm

Most of the bees are in the box

Bees coming out to examine their new home

A selection of Sonoma Valley Events for March 8-11

A selection of Sonoma Valley Events for March 8-11. Full details and more events at Interviews and insights about Sonoma Valley Events at

Thursday, March 8th:

Women’s Health Forum, Thursday, March 8, at the First Congregational Church, 252 West Spain Street, beginning at 3:30 p.m. The featured speaker will be well-known surgeon Dr. Charles Elboim, widely recognized as a leader in the detection and treatment of breast cancer.

Investment club meeting every 2nd Thursday of the month at Arts Guild of Sonoma, 140 East Napa Street, Sonoma from 6:30~9:00.

Local author Eliot Fintushel will be at Readers’ Books on Thursday, March 8th for a reception at 7:00 p.m. to celebrate the publication of his mystical science fiction adventure, “Breakfast with the Ones You Love,” He will be reading at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 9th:

The work of acclaimed landscape artist Michael Holland will be on display in the winery museum. Guests are invited to meet the artist at a welcome reception, Friday April 13th, where light nibbles and a taste of Bartholomew Park wine will be served. March 7th – May 4th, 2007

March 9 – April 1 A.R.T.S. (Art Rewards the Student)
Sixth annual exhibition showcases the works of local fourth and fifth graders, curated by local high school students. Free admission everyday: Wednesday through Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm. Sonoma Valley Museum of Art

Knowing Our Real Self AND the Work of Byron Katie One the one hand: our endless story and our misery. On the other: inquiry, the truth and a chance to live in the space before and underneath our suffering. Wonderful for relationship, for old “issues,” for life clarity. $25 per meeting first person in your “family.” $5 each additional person. Every 2nd and 4th Friday Of Each Month

Nora Gallagher, author of “Changing Light,” a story of Los Alamos in 1945, will be at Readers’ Books on Friday, March 9th at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 10th:

Volunteer at the Sonoma Garden Park every Wednesday and Saturday from 10am – 1pm. Join in a variety of organic gardening activities. No experience necessary. Wear sturdy shoes, bring a water bottle and sun protection. The Sonoma Garden Park is located at 19990 Seventh St. East, in Sonoma, just north of Denmark St.

Puppets in Action Workshop for ages 5-11
Instructors: Michael and Valerie Nelson of Magical Moonshine Theater
Saturday, March 10, 2007 2:00-4:30 pm Sonoma Community Center

Instrumental and vocal jazz ensembles plus blues, Brazilian and Americana musicians performing in the hippest, hottest listening lounge in the North Bay-The Lodge at Sonoma, 1325 Broadway, Sonoma. Call The Sonoma Valley Jazz Society at (707)373-0700 for more info. No Cover. Food and drinks for purchase. Free parking. This is every Fri. and Sat. night from 7-10 p.m.

Sunday, March 11th:

EAA Young Eagles. In order to promote the pleasures of flying to our youth, the local chapter of the EAA, Sonoma SkyCrafters, fly children free at Sonoma Skypark Airport, ages 8-17. Come between 9:30 AM and noon on the second Sunday of every month except December, weather permitting, to get your free flight. Adult permission is required.

Sonoma Valley Chorale Performance Classically American Concert
March 11, 2007 @ 4:00 pm, ST Francis Solano Church, 469 Third Street West Sonoma, California Sunday only. Admission is free. Free-will offering accepted.

Steve Balich Band 5 pm. $10
American Ballroom/Polka 707-938-9990 Little Switzerland 19080 Riverside, Sonoma, Ca 95476

Puppet Performance: Magical Moonshine Theater’s production of “Coyote Sings” Performed by puppeteers Valerie and Michael Nelson
Sonoma Community Center, Andrews Hall Sunday, March 11, 2007 2:00 pm

Full details and more events at