Healdsburg Enterprises Join Together to offer Sonoma Locavore Experience

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First-of-its-kind tour package celebrates Sonoma County's sustainable farms and vineyards in the realms of cooking, mixology and winemaking. Visit organic and biodynamic vineyards and farms, cook and savor meals and cocktails that feature ingredients grown, raised or produced within thirty miles of the charming town of Healdsburg, and meet the people whose dedication to sustainability is a natural part of life in this bountiful and beautiful region.

The Grape Leaf Inn, in coordination with Relish Culinary Adventures and Scott Beattie Cocktails, is proud to announce the Sonoma Locavore Experience. This three-day tour package is the first to focus on the organic and biodynamic vineyards, family farms, local restaurants and other Sonoma County businesses that are dedicated to sustainability. The first tour is scheduled for August 25-27, 2008 with additional offerings on September 15-17 and 22-24, October 13-15 and 20-22, and November 17-19. The price per person based on double occupancy is $1812 or single occupancy $2212.

Locavore--a person who endeavors to eat only locally produced food--was selected as the 2007 word of the year by the Oxford American Dictionary who noted, "The word 'locavore' shows how food-lovers can enjoy what they eat while still appreciating the impact they have on the environment."

The Northern Sonoma County region of California is home to some of the world's premier wineries but has only recently been recognized as having an incredibly diverse agricultural landscape. Artisanal cheese makers, sustainable meat producers and dozens of small organic family farms have called this area home for decades and they collectively make this a foodie Mecca like no other. The Sonoma Locavore Experience celebrates local, organic ingredients and sustainable farms and related businesses through cooking, mixology and winemaking. Guests will visit organic and biodynamic vineyards and farms, cook and savor meals and cocktails that feature ingredients grown, raised or produced within thirty miles of Healdsburg, and meet the people whose dedication to sustainability is a natural part of life in this bountiful and beautiful region.

Sonoma Locavore Experience Package Details

The first evening begins at the award-winning Grape Leaf Inn with seasonal cocktails made with local ingredients by renowned mixologist Scott Beattie (think Thai Boxer cocktail with Charbay Vanilla Bean Rum, locally-grown Thai basil, cilantro, and spearmint) followed by an interactive winemaker dinner at the green-designed Relish Culinary Center, featuring Copain wines and a Locavore menu created by Mirepoix Restaurant. Chef Matthew Bousquet of Mirepoix and winemaker Wells Guthrie of Copain are friends who share a passion for fine food and wine, ensuring an extraordinary culinary experience.

The next day, guests will be transported in an Incredible Adventures biodiesel van to sustainable wineries and farms, including Quivira Vineyards, where they will learn about biodynamic farming; Dry Creek Peach and Produce, the last remaining fruit farm in the valley and the only dedicated, certified organic peach farm in the county; and Marimar Estate Winery for a VIP tour of its organic vineyards followed by a Spanish Tapas and wine pairing. In the evening, the group will return to the Relish Culinary Center for a hands-on cooking workshop with owner Donna del Rey, using seasonal ingredients--seafood, meat, cheese and produce--from sources no farther than thirty miles from Healdsburg.

The final day features a wine and cheese pairing seminar at the Grape Leaf Inn with local cheesemakers Eric Smith and Pascal Destandau of Pugs Leap Farm and Chris and John Mason of Emtu wines, a Russian River micro-winery dedicated to organic farming, great wine and improving lives in communities worldwide. Later that evening the group will gather one last time for a winemaker dinner featuring biodynamically-farmed Medlock Ames wines at Barndiva, a restaurant dedicated to using organic and seasonal ingredients. Mixologist Beattie will create another of his signature artisanal cocktails for the group as we toast the end of our time together.

Guests will stay at the Grape Leaf Inn, located within walking distance to the charming shops and notable restaurants around the Healdsburg town plaza. Proprietors Richard and Kae Rosenberg will share their unique perspective of Healdsburg as they start each day with brunch and more seasonal cocktails prepared by mixologist Beattie such as Ramos Fizzes made with local gin, cream and farm fresh eggs whites.

As with all things from the earth, the tour itinerary will change with the seasons. In August, guests will visit Dry Creek Peach, explore the Healdsburg Farmers Market and join the locals at an evening concert-in-the-plaza. After mid-September, peaches are replaced with olives as we visit Dry Creek Olive Company to see its authentic milling methods in action and taste the resulting artisan oils. Even the cocktails will change as we shift from Bellinis made from white Dry Creek peaches to Autumn Apple cocktails with local apple brandy and cider.

The Sonoma Locavore Experience tour package includes two nights lodging at the Grape Leaf Inn, two winemaker dinners with cocktails and wine, one cooking workshop with cocktails and wine, two morning brunches with seasonal cocktails, and touring snacks, plus private tour and bio-diesel van transportation costs. Lodging for additional nights is available.

For more information or to make a reservation, contact the Grape Leaf Inn at 866.433.8140 or visit http://www.grapeleafinn.com

About The Grape Leaf Inn

Formerly a rare 'three-dormer' Queen Victorian home, The Grape Leaf Inn is now a magnificently restored 108 year-old luxury inn with a total of 12 guest rooms and a wine cellar called 'The Speakeasy' appropriately hidden behind a secret bookcase. Guests at the inn enjoy a nightly gathering that features numerous hard-to-find boutique Sonoma County wines along with artisanal cheeses and local breads. In addition, the Grape Leaf also offers three luxurious cottages located in a ten-acre Old Vine Zinfandel Alexander Valley vineyard just 7 minutes from the main inn. The Grape Leaf Inn is the only inn in California to win NBC's 'Golden Grape Award as the Best Inn' for two consecutive years and most recently was voted by Conde Naste Johannsens as the "One of the Best Inn/B&B's in North America and Canada." For more information, visit http://www.grapeleafinn.com.

About Relish Culinary Adventures

Relish Culinary Adventures stands out as the only "roving" culinary program that brings together talented chefs and fabulous cuisine at a variety of captivating Sonoma County wine country locations, including the new Relish Culinary Center, to create one-of-a-kind hands-on and demonstration cooking experiences. Based in Healdsburg, California, Relish offers events on a wide range of topics from wine country cuisine to ethnic specialties, wine and spirits education to children's cooking workshops, all featuring local ingredients. In addition, Relish hosts events that bring people together in the kitchen such as private cooking parties and corporate team-building events. For more information, visit http://www.relishculinary.com.

About Scott Beattie Cocktails

Scott Beattie's cocktails have been featured in Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, GQ, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the San Francisco Chronicle and many other food and lifestyle publications. He is about to release his first cocktail book titled Artisanal Cocktails: Drinks Inspired by the Seasons from the Bar at Cyrus published by Ten Speed Press. This first-of-its-kind book focuses on creating cocktails strictly from local, seasonal produce and spirits born in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is a must-have for any person who appreciates a culinary approach to fine cocktails. Scott is now a full-time cocktail consultant and part-time educator based in Healdsburg, California. For more information, see http://www.scottbeattiecocktails.com.

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