Monday, August 10, 2009

One Stop for Cheese, Chocolate, Olive Oil, and Wine

Jack London Village in Glen Ellen provides one stop for tasting artisan cheese, chocolate, olive oil, and wine.

Raymond & Co. Cheesemongers provides a unique opportunity to taste cheeses from around the world. Recently, guests sat down with owner John Raymond for an hour-long tasting of an array of delicious cheeses paired with a local wine. Shorter tastings are also available and, of course, you can just stop in to buy some cheese.

Figone's of California Olive Oil and Press always has a large array of olive oils and balsamic vinegars available for tasting. By prior appointment, you can tour the olive mill to learn how olive oil is made.

Wine Country Chocolates offers tastes of at least two ganaches used in their delicious truffles as well as samples of chocolate with varying percentages of cacao.

Finally, if you need some wine to ensure you taste all of the major food groups, you have two options. Jack London Vineyard has a small tasting counter inside of Figone's and Eric Ross Winery is directly across the street. I've not sampled Jack London Vineyard's wines but have enjoyed Eric Ross' Pinot Noir and Carignane.

If you would like to take a private Sonoma Valley tour that includes a stop at Jack London Village, please contact Blue Heron Custom Tours and Travel at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or I'd be happy to make appointments for you to taste cheese at Raymond & Co. and/or to tour Figone's mill.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

More Than Wine In Napa's Wine Country

The August edition of Blue Heron's quarterly newsletter, "Rick's Tips," covers fun things to do in the Napa Valley in addition to tasting wine. You can see the newsletter by clicking here. If you'd like to subscribe to "Rick's Tips," just send an e-mail to

If you'd like to take a private tour of the Napa Valley that includes some of the sights discussed in "Rick's Tips," contact Blue Heron Custom Tours and Travel at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or by clicking here.