R2 Wine Company takes its name from its founders, Roger and Richard Roessler, two brothers who combine their years of business and restaurant-industry experience to bottle up the rare and delicious tastes of Sonoma's sunny vineyards. With the aid of expert viticulturist and winemaker Drew Huffine, the two brothers show their love for the noble grape with a wealth of original vintages, such as the complex Rhapsody rhone that epitomizes the cool, bright terroir of the Santa Ynez Valley, or the Red Birds pinot noir, which celebrates the brothers love for their hometown team. Curious guests congregate for vino-sipping soirees at the earthy-hued tasting room off the Sonoma Plaza, or join the wine club for regular deliveries of mouthwatering vintages and invitations to members-only events and tastings.
The history of Ceja Vineyards dates back the 1950s, when Pablo Ceja, then working in St. Helena vineyards, dreamed of owning his own land where his ever-expanding family could grow their own grapes and make their own wine. Fueled by this dream for a better life for his children, Pablo moved his family from Mexico to the Napa Valley in 1967. Fortunately, 2 of his 10 children, Pedro and Armando, inherited his passion for wine and belief in hard work. When they were old enough, Pedro and Armando planted their first pinot-noir grapes in 1986 and, 13 years later, officially founded Ceja Vineyards with their wives and children. Today, the Cejas' operation boasts 113 producing acres and a chic wine-tasting salon where guests can enjoy sips of the vineyard’s red and white varietals, artisan cheeses, gourmet food items, and featured works from local artists.
In good Ceja tradition, Pedro and Armando’s kids are now beginning to purple their feet in the family business as well. Pablo’s family has undoubtedly made him proud; they’ve done much since their humble beginnings in St. Helena. The family hopes their story of hope and determination surfaces in every sip of their lovingly cultivated wines.
"Rustic, yet refined" can describe both Social Club Restaurant & Bar’s ambiance, characterized by wooden beams, hanging chandeliers, and large windows, and its offerings on various menus, crafted with care by executive chef Bob Simontacchi. As Bob's kitchen staff prepares salt-cod fritters, smoked-gouda mac 'n' cheese, and their special fried chicken, bartenders pour single-malt scotches and selections from more than 50 bottled craft beers. On Sundays, the restaurant buzzes with conversation fueled by sangria and bellinis at brunch and live music after 6 p.m.
Tamber Bey Vineyards' Barry Waitte and his expert staff take advantage of the surrounding valley’s cooler climate to yield a crop of grapes that lend their signature tastes to a menu of 100% estate-grown wines. The team forges these cabernets, merlots, petit verdots, and chardonnays from within two Napa Valley vineyards—one in Oakville and one in Yountville, both adjacent to the Napa River—and distributes more then 3,500 cases across the US, Canada, and Denmark. Those visiting the Tamber Bey tasting room in person or through astral projection can sample these selections at a copper-top bar or in a private suite housing a 100-year-old barn-wood table.
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.
Whether seated in Servino Ristorante's waterfront dining room or on its second-story patio, diners can feast their eyes on San Francisco's skyline and watch sailboats meander past Angel Island. The restaurant's inspiration, however, comes from a distant location: southern Italy. The resemblance is evident in everything from its rustic cuisine to the staff's hospitality.
Light from a wood-burning brick oven flickers in one corner of the kitchen, roasting pizzas topped with combinations such as cremini mushrooms and white-truffle oil or buffalo mozzarella and green garlic. Homemade pasta dishes and hearty seafood entrees round out the menu of trans-Atlantic comfort foods, which are complemented by wine or cocktails.
Though Servino Ristorante takes its inspiration from abroad, the spot keep things closer to home when it comes to sourcing. Chefs source the majority of their organic produce and humanely raised meats from sustainable suppliers in the area. In addition to accolades for its locally sourced cuisine, Servino received recognition from the California Green Business Program, which honored the eatery for its commitment to ecofriendly practices and energy-conservation efforts.