Sarah Amador

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Journalism: News, Features, Editorials, Columns and more!

 

 

 

My new article for Green Schoolyards America! So excited to be part of this important movement!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where the River Meets the Waves

By Sarah Amador

Link to the Sonoma County Gazette 

(This article is also printed on page 37 of the August issue of the Sonoma County Gazette.)

It's summer, and time to get outdoors. Looking for something new? Wish to have fun and leave a light carbon footprint at the same time? Then visit one of Sonoma County’s hidden gems, the Russian River Estuary, and paddle through it in a kayak.

Some say there’s more wildlife here than anywhere on the Russian River, due to the dynamic mix of sea and river wildlife. Snowy Egrets, Great Blue Herons, osprey, red-tailed hawks, and even bald eagles call this piece of heaven home. River otters, fox, deer, harbor seals, and sea lions also share this address. In late summer, bioluminescent plankton bloom and glow. 

WaterTreks EcoTours offers an easy paddle around Penny Island. After pushing off from Jenner’s Visitor Center into the estuary, you’ll paddle to the island and explore the flora and fauna, as well as the ruins of a dairy farm. Next, you’ll kayak to Goat Rock Beach and climb the sand dunes. Most kayakers choose to picnic here, breathe in the salty air and watch the waves strike the shore. On your return trip, you’ll pass by the harbor seal colony. Often, seals will swim up to you, pushing their noses out of the water to regard you with big soulful eyes.

If you’ve never paddled a kayak before, have no fear. Recently, a group of women from the California chapter of Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) paddled from the estuary to Willow Creek. Several had never kayaked before. They were worried about safety, about tipping over, and wanted plenty of instruction before venturing out.

“Our organization offers a safe place for women to come learn outdoor skills,” BOW, CA president Susan Herrgesell said. “These women are investing in themselves, stepping outside their comfort zone for the first time. At the end of a workshop, they’re transformed.”

When the kayak trip was over, one woman grabbed Herrgesell by the shoulders and said, “Best day ever!”

The women reported that river otters came out to play with the kayaks, swimming alongside and darting in front. No one tipped over. It was spectacular, they said.

For more adventures, WaterTreks provides shuttles upstream, from Forestville to Willow Creek. (707) 865-2249 www.watertreks.com  


 

Heroes of Our State Parks

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Amador-Rusnak  

Link to the article on the 101 Things To Do / Wine Country website

(This article is also printed in the Spring/Summer 2013 edition of 101 Things To Do / Sonoma & Napa Counties.) 

Broadway Under the Stars contributed $27,000 to help keep Jack London State Park open for business. photo bt Ryan Daffurn

Broadway Under the Stars contributed $27,000 to help keep Jack London State Park open for business.

photo by Ryan Daffurn

There is a new hero in the area, a hero whose mission is to save Jack London State Park, strengthen our sense of community and bring Broadway to Wine Country.

Who is this hero? It is Transcendence Theatre Company, a professional company made up of top Broadway and Hollywood talent. And in just one year, they have accomplished their mission.

Last year, Jack London State Park was slated to close due to lack of funds. The same week the officials made the announcement, the theater company discovered the winery ruins in the park and decided it would be the perfect venue for their open air concerts, Broadway Under the Stars. It was serendipitous.

In 2012, more than 7,500 people attended their inaugural season. With the theater company’sgenerous donation of $27,000 from ticket sales, the park was saved.

Not only has the company helped save the history of our community, but it has also formed a partnership with the park, bringing more people to the park to enjoy it. With more visitors, revenue increases, as do shared experiences of community.

The Transcendence Theatre Company transcends the usual limits of performance. During the summer, they offer four themed concerts amidst the ruins of Jack London State Park, under the stars, complete with winery views. In 2012, they were awarded Broadway World San Francisco Award for Best Special Theater Event.

This year the season runs from June 28 -August 31, and will include four separate themed concerts (Fly Me To The Moon, Fantastical Family Night, Dancing Through Life Gala Celebration Concert), totaling 14 nights of performances.

Looking for a unique night? Wish to expand your experience of wine country? A nature enthusiast? Or wish to donate to the park? At the Broadway Under the Stars concert, two events are offered, a pre-show and chance to picnic, as well as the opportunity to sample wines from local Sonoma county wineries, as well as food from vendors. After that, the variety show begins.

When you attend one of these concerts, expect the extraordinary. You might just witness a performer singing “Memory” from Cats, hitting a high note at the same time a meteor shower cascades through the sky. You might listen to a performer sing “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” from atop a horse on the stage or to a song from Young Frankenstein sung from under a full moon.

Broadway-Vineyard-8inch-Photo-By-Ryan-Daffurn

photo by Ryan Daffurn

“It’s the perfect combination of history, art, nature and community. It’s bringing everyone together in an enjoyable space,” Amy Miller, Artistic Director of Transcendence Theatre Company, said. Miller has had a career performing on Broadway and in television and film.

Last year songs were performed from 42nd Street to Mama Mia and Chicago, Young Frankenstein and Wicked.

The Theatre Company’s roots lie in Pato Banton, a town in Mexico in which the company first formed to bring art to the community, and found ways to strengthen the community. True to their mission, the Transcendence Theatre Company continues to give back. Through Skits Under the Stars, held on summer nights at the Benzinger Winery, locals have a chance to perform at the open mike with Broadway talent.

At the kid’s camp, kids ages 8-18 get to perform under the stars with Broadway actors, singing numbers from shows such as Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, and Hairspray. It culminates in a Fantastical Family Night. The kids also sing at the pre-show picnic.

“We want to use our art to make a difference in people’s lives,” Miller said. “We are so happy this is coming true.”

Transcendence Theatre Company’s service to our community does not stop there. They also unite non-profits together, such as La Luz and the Boys and Girls Club. Last year, the Broadway actors taught children a dance routine, improvisation, writing, acting, singing and dancing.

Jack London was a big dreamer and adventurer. So are members of the Transcendence Theatre Company. “Transcendence is about empowering people to go after their dreams. To give back to their community,” Miller said.

“It’s a wonderful match,” Miller added. “We’re so excited our Big Dream is coming true.”

Welcome, Transcendence Dance Company, to our community! And thank you.

For more information, visit www.transcendencetheatre.org or call (877) 424-1414.  

 

 

 

Anaba Wines… Wind Powered Wine!

Story by Sarah Amador-Rusnak 

101 Things To Do / Wine Country

(This article is also printed in the Fall/Winter 2012 edition of 101 Things To Do / Sonoma & Napa Counties.)  

Anaba Winery 

Named for the rising winds that flow through its vineyards, Anaba Winery is itself on the rise. In 2010 and 2011, the winery was voted Sonoma Valley’s Best Boutique Winery by BEST OF Napa and Sonoma Valley’s magazine. Situated in Sonoma’s famous Carneros region, the winery has received gold medals for its Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and Rhone-style Blends. According to owner John Sweazey, the winery’s anabatic winds cause the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly, creating robust flavors and distinctive varietal characters.

The winery also leads the way with its use of alternative energy. In 2009, Anaba Wines installed a 45-foot Skystream 3.7 wind turbine and became the first winery in Northern California to utilize wind power. The turbine harnesses the anabatic winds and generates electricity for Anaba’s office operations, irrigation pumps, wine storage and tasting room. In 2010, the winery received the Sustainable North Bay Award from Assemblymember Jared Huffman. In 2013, the winery will install two more wind turbines and solar panels to support the creation of a new wine-making facility on the property. You can sample Anaba’s award-winning wines at their tasting room in the renovated 100-year-old farmhouse. Bring a picnic, enjoy the view or take some time to sit at the laptop that tracks the energy generated by the anabatic winds. Open seven days a week, from 10:30am to 5:30pm at 60 Bonneau Road, Sonoma. Buses, limousines and large groups (6 or more people), please call in advance. (707) 996-4188 •AnabaWines.com

 

 

 

 

 

O’Brien Estate Winery… A Love Story

Story by Sarah Amador-Rusnak

101 Things To Do / Wine Country

(This article is also printed in the Fall/Winter 2012 edition of 101 Things To Do / Sonoma & Napa Counties.)  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bart O’Brien recites the poetry written on the back of each bottle. 

 

The winery began as a love story. More than 25 years ago, Bart and Barb visited Napa Valley. It was their third date. They fell in love with each other, as well as with the dream of living in Napa Valley. One year later, they married. In 2000, they bought a winery and vineyards adjacent to the Hanna vineyard made famous with the top-rated Chateau Montelena Chardonnay in the 1976 Judgement of Paris.Are you a romantic at heart? If so, be sure to visit the O’Brien Estate Winery. While hot air balloons sail overhead, you can sip a glass of Unrestrained Reserve and picnic on the lawn. Need more inspiration? On the back label of the bottle you will find romantic poetry penned by winery owners Bart and Barb O’Brien.

In 2010, the O’Briens sent their wines to Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate to be tasted on his trip to Napa Valley. “Impossible to resist,” Parker said of the 2008 Unrestrained Reserve, a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Parker rated this wine 93+ points.

Parker liked the 2007 Unrestrained Reserve even more, rating it 94+ points. “Terrific intensity, purity and texture,” he wrote. “Inky purple, with hints of plum, Asian spice, black currants, jammy blackberries, the wine has fabulous richness, full-bodied power.” He also gave the 2008 Merlot Reserve and both the 2007 and 2008 Seduction Bordeaux Blend a rating of 94 points. Made from grapes grown on its 33 acres without use of pesticides or herbicides, all O’Brien Estate wines are created on-site using original Bordeaux winemaking practices and French oak barrels. Poetry is printed on the back of the Romantic wine labels. With names like Passion of the Soul and Seduction, these wines may stir your soul.

Open seven days a week, Monday through Saturday 10am to 5pm, and Sunday from 11am to 5pm. Please call or email in advance for an appointment. (707) 252-8463 / davidc@obrienestate.com. 1200 Orchard Avenue, Napa. •obrienestate.com (Dog friendly!)

 

 

Story by Sarah Amador-Rusnak

101 Things To Do / Wine Country

(This article is also printed in the Fall/Winter 2012 edition of 101 Things To Do / Sonoma & Napa Counties.)   

Only two wineries in Northern California utilize the labor-intensive technique of soutirage traditionnel, and Twomey Cellars is one of them. Developed in the 19th century in France before the invention of electricity, this technique involves the decanting of wine from barrel to barrel, using gravity rather than a pump. Soutirage traditionnel clarifies red wine, softens its tannins and infuses it with aromas that explode the moment it is poured. At Twomey, this decanting is completed six times during the 18 months of aging their Merlot.

The winery’s dedication seems to have paid off, as the Twomey Cellars 2007 Napa Valley Merlot was nominated for the 2012 People’s Voice Wine Awards. It can be described as having an enticing nose of black cherries, violets, nutmeg and dark chocolate.

Twomey’s Pinot Noir has also received accolades. The 2009 Twomey Russian River Valley Pinot Noir was named Runner-Up at the Pinot Cup competition as part of Chef Charlie Palmer’s “Pigs and Pinot” Healdsburg event in which 60 hand-picked Pinot Noirs competed in a blind-tasting. The Prince of Pinot, Rusty Gaffney, MD, claims the 2009 Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir is “a love letter from heaven.” In addition to Merlot, Twomey produces a Sauvignon Blanc and four Pinot Noirs from top California appellations (Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley, Anderson Valley and Santa Maria Valley). It is the goal of winemaking team Daniel Baron, Ben Cane and world-renowned winemaker Jean-Claude Berrouet to create food-friendly wines delicious upon release.

Taste Twomey wines at either Calistoga or Healdsburg locations. Calistoga: 1183 Dunaweal Lane, Calistoga, 707-942-2489. Healdsburg: 3000 Westside Road, 707-942-7122. Open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 5 pm, and Sundays from 11am to 5 pm. Tours of wineries are available by appointment. Please call 800-505-4850 in advance or email tours@twomey.com. •twomey.com


 

 

Story by Sarah Amador-Rusnak

101 Things To Do / Wine Country

(This article is also printed in the Fall/Winter 2012 edition of 101 Things To Do / Sonoma & Napa Counties.)  

If you walk through downtown Petaluma and smell the savory scent of pie, it probably is coming from the Petaluma Pie Company. Dedicated members of GoLocal Sonoma County, owners Lina Hoshino and Angelo Sacerdote buy ingredients from local businesses such as Cowgirl Creamery and Spring Hill Creamery. All eggs and meat are bought locally, as well as much of the dairy and produce. All fruits in their 9” and 5” pies are organic or unsprayed. The pie menu changes with the seasons with Gravenstein apple in the summer and blackberry in the spring and early autumn. Pumpkin and sweet potato in the the fall. Coffee, tea, wine, beer and salads are served. Just reading the menu can make your mouth water. Chocolate cream and peanut butter. Savory hand pies such as mushroom and goat gouda or beef empanada. Taking a bite out of one comes close to heaven.

Open seven days a week, Monday through Thursday 10am to 7pm, Friday through Saturday 10am to 9pm, and Sunday 10am to 6pm. 125 Petaluma Blvd. N., Ste. D, Petaluma. (707)766-6743,  •petalumapie.com

Mom’s Apple Pie, located on Gravenstein Highway (Highway 116) between Sebastopol and Forestville, has been offering pies to West Sonoma County since 1979, after purchasing a roadside fruit stand and converting it into a homestyle deli. Five years later she opened Mom’s Apple Pie and the locals have been frequenting her establishment ever since. Betty Carr (Mom) believes the main ingredient to her success is locally-grown apples. You can’t get any closer to the source than the 8-acre Gravenstein Apple orchard that Mom’s resides on. From November to July, her apple pies will consist of Granny Smith Apples. Of course patrons are also wild about her Double-crust Cherry, Raspberry, Rhubarb, Pumpkin, Chocolate Cream and Lemon Meringue pies. With tables inside and out, bicyclers traveling the West County Trail also find her deli sandwiches and homemade potato salad to be well worth the stop. Find out for yourself why Mom’s Apple Pie has been written up in both Via Magazine and Departures Magazine, and featured on Bay Area Backroads.

4550 Gravenstein Hwy. North, Sebastopol, CA 95472. 707-823-8330 •momsapplepieusa.com

 

          Sunset in Jenner, photo by George Zastrow 

Story by Sarah Amador-Rusnak

101 Things To Do / Wine Country 

(This article is also printed in the Fall/Winter 2012 edition of 101 Things To Do / Sonoma & Napa Counties.)   

Imagine seeing harbor seals, blue herons and an ancient singing stone in one day. Depending on the season, when you charter an adventuyou might see gray whales, white pelicans or bald eagles. In late summer, bioluminescent plankton attach to the fish and you can watch fish dart like fireworks under your kayak. Where does all this wonder occur? It is where the river meets the waves, and WaterTreks EcoTours knows the special spots. Trained guides share Russian River Estuary history, such as Penny Island’s dairy or the Skywatcher, a Kashaya Pomo singing stone. Descendent from a long line of Kashaya who lived on the island, owner Suki Waters herself studied in the schoolhouse once on that island. WaterTrek’s Living Classrooms project helps students of all ages discover science and history firsthand. Open seven days a week, you will find their booth across from Café Aquatica in Jenner. All reservations by phone: (707) 865-2249


 

Big Green Help Club

November 2012

By Sarah Amador-Rusnak 

Link to the Sonoma County Gazette

Since he was a second grader, Niko Amaya has been encouraging others to clean the environment. In 2010, he was president of the Big Green Help Club, as part of the Monte Rio Elementary School After School Program. Now he’s in fourth grade, and has 40 children from the Stars Preschool and Monte Rio Elementary School signed up for the club.

 “I want to make the world greener,” Amaya said. “We should stop making pollution.”

The mission of the club has been to clean up the environment by picking up trash on campus and encouraging others to pick up after themselves. This year, the club’s goals also include helping plants grow and educating kids about recycling.

 “Trash kills plants,” Third-grader Vice President Jessiah Hale said. “If there’s some disgusting stuff next to a tree, it’s going to make it sick.”

 “Lots of trash goes to the middle of the ocean,” Amaya added. “There’s a giant pile! It’s poison for the animals. They die when they eat it. And the plastic (that holds six-packs of soda cans together) gets around bird’s necks and kills them.” This giant pile is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a collection of trash the size of Texas swirling in the ocean. Some estimates show that a million birds die each year from ingesting this trash.

 “I want to make the earth greener,” Fourth-grader Secretary Lily Mitchell said. “And more colorful by planting plants.”

This year, the club has already led two clean-ups on campus. Club officers have brought children to the garden and taught them what plants need to grow. They have held a team competition about what belongs in the recycle bin versus the landfill bin. The club meets Wednesdays at the school amphitheater at 12:10 pm.

Monte Rio Elementary School already exceeds the statewide requirement of at least 50% of waste being recycled. According to Head Custodian Norm Sween and Food Service Director Kathleen Sheridan, at least 70% or more of the school’s waste is recycled. That means the school has nearly met the statewide goal set forth in AB341 for 75% waste diversion by 2020. The school also composts. The compost from school lunches is delivered to their garden, which then helps grow food that students prepare and eat as part of their Environmental Education Program. 

 

 

Colliers Falls Winery

October 2012

By Sarah Amador-Rusnak 

 Link to 101 Things Wine Country Magazine

 What Are We Sending to the Landfill?

October 2012

Link to The Sonoma County Gazzette

 

 

It's the Law

August 2012

Link to the article at The Sonoma County Gazzette     (This story made front page!)  

 

By Sarah Amador-Rusnak

Effective July 1, 2012, Assembly Bill (AB) 341 requires all California businesses generating four or more cubic yards each week of commercial solid waste to recycle. That means cruise ships, municipal and military facilities, multi-family dwellings, schools, school districts, community colleges, universities, airports and strip malls.

By signing Assembly Bill (AB) 341, Governor Jerry Brown set a statewide goal of 75% disposal reduction by the year 2020. Part of the Global Warming Solutions Act AB 32, the new recycle bill has been referred to as the one of the most ambitious bills in the country. Florida is the only other state with a goal of 75% waste diversion rate by 2020.

CalRecycle, the agency in charge of ensuring that California meets its recycling goals, shows that California already diverts 65% of its waste stream.

Even so, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that about 80% of what Americans throw away is recyclable. Every hour, Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles. Every year, more than 28 billion glass bottles and jars end up in landfills. Every year, the commercial sector and multi-family dwellings send 15 million tons of recyclables to landfills. Less than 10% of the commercial sector recycles.

CalRecycle estimates 470,000 businesses and multi-family complexes of five units or more will have to take specific actions to comply with the regulations.

Since February of 2012, Sonoma County Water Management Agency has sent representatives to canvass our towns and cities about the new law. Representatives distributed free recycling literature printed on recycled paper, available in Spanish and English, and held site interviews with a thousand businesses.

According to Waste Management Specialist Patrick Carter of the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency, affordable hotels and multi-dwelling family units will need the most support in complying with the recycling law. In order to help them, the agency will provide site visits, distribute literature and offer internal recycling bins where funding allows.

Here is what is new to the recycling world:

Soda bottles: The cap can stay on! (Even glass or metal tin caps.)

Plastic bags: Just take one of your clear plastic bags, stuff the rest of the plastic bags inside and knot the top.

Rigid plastic: Deciding what to do with a broken toy or laundry basket? Recycle it!

Vegetative food waste, or compost, is also accepted. For most of Sonoma county residents, the yard debris cart can double as a compost bin. “Where service is available, the green bin is included,” Carter explained. “If the customer does not have a green bin, they can call their hauler to request it.”

Using a veggie bin can greatly reduce the amount of material sent to landfills and production of greenhouse gases. Mulches and compost collected are used to rebuild Sonoma County soils, conserve water and protect topsoil from erosion.

“The compost produced from our yard debris bins in Sonoma County is taken to the Central Compost Site, operated by Sonoma Compost Company. Their composts are listed under OMRI (Organics Materials Review Institute) and the CA Department of Food and Agriculture’s organics program,” Carter said.

Although the new AB 341 law does not provide a way to enforce recycling compliance, businesses that do not comply will be reported to the state. Communities can also implement their own commercial recycling ordinances. Sacramento, Rancho Cordova and Chula Visa have already done so.

Responsible for spearheading AB 341, Assembly Member Wesley Chesbro claims that California’s commitment to recycling has already created 120,000 jobs and this new law is expected to create 60,000 more jobs.

 

Sonoma County Artists Abound

July 2012

 

 

Kids Learn Estuary Science from Jenner Native

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Link to the article at The Sonoma County Gazzette


Lucky Kids Learn 
River Estuary Science 
with Penny Island Native

By Sarah Amador
“It’s like a scene from a movie,” Kobi Calhoun said, dipping her kayak paddle in the waters of the Russian River Estuary.

“There’s two, there’s three!” classmate Christina Fortenberry said, pointing to harbor seals.

Kobi and Christina, 6th graders from St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Oakland, were not the only ones making new discoveries in Jenner’s Estuary last month. Nearly 200 students were educated in October through WaterTreks EcoTours, a kayak company based in Jenner. Naturalist Suki Waters and her team of environmental educators guided students through the estuary to Penny Island to the Pacific Ocean, using the environment as a living classroom.

For many students, it was their first time on kayaks. When 7th graders from Willowside Charter School visited, their teacher Debbie Grima-Lowe loaded kayaks with field boxes, clipboards, and waterproof science observation worksheets. Following her lesson plans, students identified and drew pictures of plants, vertebrates, and invertebrates. They learned about water quality, salinity, biotic and abiotic factors.

“Use your eyes to discover things,” Waters said. “Look for signs of animals, tracks.”
On most days, students observe wildlife such as blue herons, harbor seals, snowy egrets, cormorants, seagulls, pelicans, garter snakes. On lucky days, students witness grey whales breaching.

“It’s been wonderful,” said Christina’s mother, Xina Loveall. “All the senses are engaged. And to have a guide like Suki, added bonus! There’s history.” Waters has a unique, personal connection to the land. Her ancestors were part of a Native American tribe that made Penny Island and Jenner their home.

“My grandmother was born there,” Waters said, pointing to the beach directly across from the island. Raised by her grandmother, Waters helped take care of Penny Island, its gardens, and its cows.

Grima-Lowe has brought more than three hundred students to WaterTreks. “It’s important for me to give students memorable, new experiences, in and out of the classroom,” Grima-Lowe said. “It’s these experiences that give them a foundation to learn from. I try to teach them science is about discovery and connections. Connections to the natural and cultural environment, of which they are a part.”

In the eco-tour offered by WaterTreks, the environment and wildlife were protected because no gas was used. Kayaking is a zero emission form of transportation. Students collected trash, such as a tennis shoe turned by nature into a silverweed planter. At the estuary’s Visitor Center, students examined a boat made from trash and learned how plastic kills animals.

On one trip, Susan Porter, 6th grade math and science teacher from St. Paul’s, brought plaster for track castings. On the beach where Waters’ grandmother was born, students found tracks. They prepared the plaster and poured it.

Darious Wetworth, a St. Paul’s 6th grader, explained why he liked living classrooms. “This is the real track. You can see if it was made by a deer or raccoon. It’s not just a picture in a book.”

Affiliated with EcoRingStewards of the Coast & Redwoods,American Outdoors Association, and other nonprofits, WaterTreks is in process of becoming a nonprofit organization.

Sarah Amador is a freelance writer and can be reached at:www.sarahamador.com

 

 

Anaba Winery

Named for the rising winds that flow through its vineyards, Anaba Winery is itself on the rise. In 2010 and 2011, the winery was voted Sonoma Valley’s Best Boutique Winery by BEST OF Napa and Sonoma Valley’s magazine. Situated in Sonoma’s famous Carneros region, the winery has received gold medals for its Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and Rhone-style Blends. According to owner John Sweazey, the winery’s anabatic winds cause the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly, creating robust flavors and distinctive varietal characters.

The winery also leads the way with its use of alternative energy. In 2009, Anaba Wines installed a 45-foot Skystream 3.7 wind turbine and became the first winery in Northern California to utilize wind power. The turbine harnesses the anabatic winds and generates electricity for Anaba’s office operations, irrigation pumps, wine storage and tasting room. In 2010, the winery received the Sustainable North Bay Award from Assemblymember Jared Huffman. In 2013, the winery will install two more wind turbines and solar panels to support the creation of a new wine-making facility on the property. You can sample Anaba’s award-winning wines at their tasting room in the renovated 100-year-old farmhouse. Bring a picnic, enjoy the view or take some time to sit at the laptop that tracks the energy generated by the anabatic winds. Open seven days a week, from 10:30am to 5:30pm at 60 Bonneau Road, Sonoma. Buses, limousines and large groups (6 or more people), please call in advance. (707) 996-4188 •AnabaWines.com

 Story by Sarah Amador-Rusnak
 

Anaba Winery

Named for the rising winds that flow through its vineyards, Anaba Winery is itself on the rise. In 2010 and 2011, the winery was voted Sonoma Valley’s Best Boutique Winery by BEST OF Napa and Sonoma Valley’s magazine. Situated in Sonoma’s famous Carneros region, the winery has received gold medals for its Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and Rhone-style Blends. According to owner John Sweazey, the winery’s anabatic winds cause the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly, creating robust flavors and distinctive varietal characters.

The winery also leads the way with its use of alternative energy. In 2009, Anaba Wines installed a 45-foot Skystream 3.7 wind turbine and became the first winery in Northern California to utilize wind power. The turbine harnesses the anabatic winds and generates electricity for Anaba’s office operations, irrigation pumps, wine storage and tasting room. In 2010, the winery received the Sustainable North Bay Award from Assemblymember Jared Huffman. In 2013, the winery will install two more wind turbines and solar panels to support the creation of a new wine-making facility on the property. You can sample Anaba’s award-winning wines at their tasting room in the renovated 100-year-old farmhouse. Bring a picnic, enjoy the view or take some time to sit at the laptop that tracks the energy generated by the anabatic winds. Open seven days a week, from 10:30am to 5:30pm at 60 Bonneau Road, Sonoma. Buses, limousines and large groups (6 or more people), please call in advance. (707) 996-4188 •AnabaWines.com

 Story by Sarah Amador-Rusnak

Journalism from Hawaii

 

Here are a few articles from Hawaii. If you're interested, I would be happy to share with you my full portfolio. I've also included a few samples from my column, Everyday Angels.

The Sound of Aloha. (6/29/06)

 

Lesson of Love and War. (7/6/06)

 

Sakadas Celebrated. (8/17/06)

 

EveryDay Angels

 

 

 

  

     

 

 

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