Building on an idea that first fruited in the Burgundy and Bordeaux regions of France, Mountain View Winery became one of California's first négociant wineries in 1978, its winemakers concocting vintages by curating, blending, and aging a harvest of grapes from rigorously vetted vineyards. Owner Angelo Pera strives to deliver a compelling product by partnering with organic growers and packaging companies and indoctrinates new or interested customers during spirit-sampling symposiums. Throughout tastings, visitors glean each grape's origin, method of production, and propensity for carpet staining.
In its four-decade history, Bananas at Large has provided production equipment and instruments to musical acts including the Grateful Dead, Carlos Santana, and Poison. At both the business' locations, soon-to-be superstars can stock up on their own equipment from well known and specialty brand names. Musicians just learning to tickle guitars till they cry melodies meet with dedicated teachers, many of whom studied music in school or have played professionally for years. In classes, the teachers draw upon their backgrounds in genres from funk to classical to lead 30- to 45-minute classes on instruments including the guitar, keyboard, and drums.
After consulting with customers and getting a feel for their decorative style, the experts at Marin Frames preserve small and large pieces using custom-selected mat and frame choices. The staffers specialize in works on paper, painted canvases, and inkjet prints, but they can arrange all manner of pieces thanks to a full stock of classic frames, thick frames, and sleek, contemporary shadowboxes. The Marin Frames team also offers delivery and hanging services for people with abnormally tall walls and shrunken arms.
With more than 30 years of renewable energy experience, Real Goods ushers homeowners through every solar-powered step of its detailed installation process. After answering initial questions over the phone, Real Goods' solar-powered staff will complete an in-home consultation to glean site-specific factors including shading, roof slope, and the number of suns in orbit around your home. NABCEP-certified installers and in-house engineers will craft a solar schematic to suit your home's specific architecture and provide a custom line drawing of the intended system.
For nearly 30 years, Sun First! Solar has freed abodes from fossil-fuel dependence with hand-picked solar power equipment. Manufactured by green-energy titan SunPower, these durable photon slurpers can remain effective for up to 40 years, shaving down utility bills for decades to come.
Green-certified Jackson's Hardware, named Marin County's Best Hardware Store by Pacific Sun in 2011, buzzes with home-improvement experts who help visitors accessorize and maintain their domiciles with functional pieces and handyman tools. New showerheads ($3.95+) douse vertical bathers in smooth, aqueous streams, and door locks ($13.95+) and window screens ($9.95+) protect them from becoming horror-movie clichés. A new smoke detector senses the first waft of smog and alarms homeowners to ensure a quick evacuation ($7.99+). When finished flexing home-improvement prowess, follow the trail of sawdust crumbs leading to a trash can where construction carnage lays to rest ($22.99+). Invest in a hammer ($9.99+) to expand DIY capabilities, such as hanging up shelves or paint-by-number portraits of Charles Martel.