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Wine Country

April 13, 2003 | Rosemary McClure, Times Staff Writer
Rev up your routine with fast cars and slow massages on a wine country race-and-retreat vacation. The program features a seat in the three-day racing techniques course at Jim Russell Racing Drivers School in Sonoma and three nights for two at the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa in Napa.
July 23, 1999 | From Staff and Wire Reports
Lance Armstrong is right where he wants to be. He stayed safely in the Tour de France pack on flat ground Thursday, finishing 51st but losing none of his commanding lead of 6 minutes 15 seconds in the Bordeaux wine country. Now, the 27-year-old Texan who has overcome testicular cancer faces only a flat stage today and a time trial Saturday. Then comes the final ride up the Champs-Elysees. The 17th stage was a 120-mile ride through pine forests and past vineyards.
August 2, 1996 | From Associated Press
A wildfire that threatened vineyards and homes in the Sonoma and Napa counties' wine country continued to burn out of control Thursday despite cooler weather and firefighting reinforcements from around the state. The blaze had scorched two homes, part of a winery and more than 2,000 acres by Thursday afternoon and was moving northeast, away from other houses but toward some vineyards.
December 5, 1988 | DAN BERGER, Times Staff Writer
A subsidiary of Chevron Corp will acquire Gauer Ranch, a 5,500-acre property in northern Sonoma County that includes 500 acres of top-quality vineyard land. A spokesman for Chevron confirmed that it acquired the land in a complex deal estimated to be worth $35 million. The buyer of the property is Huntington Beach Co., which holds and operates raw land for Chevron, mostly in Southern and Central California.
September 17, 2000 | JOHN McKINNEY
When Santa Barbarans say they are "going over to the valley," they mean crossing the Santa Ynez Mountains to the Santa Ynez Valley. Along with Santa Barbarans, legions of visitors from across the nation and around the world are going over to the valley these days. They come to sample Santa Barbara County's internationally acclaimed wines and to savor the stunning scenery of the valley, a rustic region of ranches and vineyards framed by mountains.
Vintners in the famed Napa Valley get giddy when they contemplate the growing cadre of customers like Suzanne Patmore. The entertainment industry executive used to spend no more than $10 for a bottle of wine. Yet there she was on a recent Friday night, clutching a wine magazine's list of recommendations as she strolled the aisles of a chic liquor shop in West Los Angeles, scrutinizing labels on bottles marked $20 and up.
The Central Coast Wine Festival, held in late August at San Luis Obispo, was such a success that the 1986 festival is assured. That's good news, but the discoveries I made that weekend are even better. There were so many fine wines and bargains in Chardonnays, Cabernets, Sauvignon Blancs and others that I can only offer notes about them here. The trip began with a Friday afternoon visit to Dick Langdon's Union Hotel in Los Alamos, where he had arranged a impromptu wine tasting in the garden.
April 14, 1996 | S. IRENE VIRBILA
When their tender shoots unfurl and grapevines race toward summer, a trip to Napa or Sonoma is the perfect spring jaunt. This year, I went north early and was delighted to find several new or noteworthy restaurants hitting their stride. With the promise of great food and even better weather to come, the time is right to plan a trip of your own.
November 22, 1987 | CHRISTOPHER P. BAKER, Baker is a free-lance writer living in Oakland
It's early December and a piquant aroma sweetens the warm afternoon air of the passing fall. You savor the heady bouquet. Pheasants stir as you wheel along the Silverado Trail past tiny, chateau-style wineries sprinkled upon the hills. Winter is approaching and the vines are emblazoned across the valley in a final fanfare of yellows, crimson and chrome. "How enchanting! I wouldn't have done this any other way." You coast to a stop, close your eyes and breath in the musty perfume.
It's downright insulting--a beer can pointing the way to wine country. Yet that's what marks the turnoff to Baja California's infant Napa, the Guadalupe Valley. The huge can stands where Mexico's Highway 3 cuts inland, just above Ensenada. The label says Tecate, because that's the name of the beer-making town to which Highway 3 leads. On the way, however, it also passes four of the six wineries that compose Mexico's leading wine region (the others are in Ensenada).
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