"Ancient Chinese wisdom makes me realize my modern education and intellect, although excellent, [are] not enough to understand the mystery of life," Victor Cheng explains. Coming from a highly educated medical professional, it's an astonishingly humble statement, but Victor and his wife, Sewon Kim, pride themselves on delving deep for answers when treating their patients.
Striving to deliver comprehensive and personalized treatment plans, Victor and Sewon specialize in traditional Chinese medicine such as acupressure and acupuncture. They also turn to Chinese herbs to treat myriad problems, from digestive issues to growing pains caused by an abnormally large pair of wings.
Six Sigma Ranch publishes a catalog of hand-sorted, gently crushed, and award-winning wines. Imbibers can grace their glasses with the bright-eyed and silky-tailed 2008 Michael’s Vineyard sauvignon blanc (a $20 value), awarded 90 points by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, and the spicily oaked 2006 cabernet sauvignon (a $42 value), which earned silver status at the San Francisco Chronicle wine competition last year. These two wines, along with a Bordeaux-style 2007 cuvée pique-nique, exhibiting coquettish red fruit layered with earthbound cabernet franc notes (an $18 value), join forces to create the well-balanced assortment included in today’s Groupon. Shipping is available for an extra charge, but buyers are welcome to pick up their purchase and enjoy a free tasting at the Stage Coach Stop tasting room, where erudite oenologists and sometimes-sippers gather to practice glass harmonica ditties and show off their macramé goblet holsters.
The Sonoma Passport gives members discounted tours, tastings, and bottles at some of the region's most recognized wineries, including Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Viszlay Vineyards. The bounty of offers always changes, but every deal is good for two people. Pass holders can add a second member to their card, or leave it open and bring a guest or of-age Nutcracker doll to each excursion.
At J Vineyards and Winery, no reservations are required; simply walk into the modern, art-laden tasting room and taste the winery's vast variety of fine wines, many of which hail from the Russian River Valley, an area known for its lush, fully matured grape trees. The five-wine tasting allows sippers to traverse the wine spectrum, dancing from reds to whites straight on through to the sparkling conclusion. In the event that a particular varietal or sparkling beverage catches your tongue's attention, feel free to purchase a bottle to bring home and raise as your very own.
Drawing on 30 years of winemaking experience?and a youthful spirit borne from surfing?Oded Shakked has built a portfolio of wines at Longboard Vineyards. Shakked studied winemaking at UC Davis and spent nearly two decades as the head winemaker for J Vineyards & Winery. Using this experience, along with his dual love for surfing, his vineyard came to fruition in 1998. Winemaking and surfing have a lot in common. Both activities thrive in the California sun. Both take years to master. And both require seeking out the perfect variable. The 11 acres of grapes at this vineyard transforms into syrahs, sparkling wines, and classic chardonnays. Visitors can not only sample Oded's wines in the tasting room?more aptly called a tasting lounge?but also kick back on a leather sofa, watch surf movies on a plasma TV, or even hang-ten, if they can manage to stand sideways on one of the surfboards mounted above.
Once owned by the mayor of Berkeley and family-owned for three generations, with current owner Reverend John Staten, Field Stone Winery has a long and varied history dating back to 1894, when petite sirah vines were planted in the estate vineyards. The wines created from the grapes of these vines continue to tantalize palates today with robust notes, rich color, and turn-of-the-century gossip. Buzzworthy libations also hail from the Old Block cabernet sauvignon vineyard, planted in 1968. The winery boasts sprawling Oak trees and a comfortable spot tucked into the hillside where renowned wine consultant Andre Tchelistcheff once worked, and the property's farmhouse was used in a Bartels and Jaymes wine cooler commercial in the 1980s. The manufacturers, winners of myriad awards, handcraft a Convivio companion wine culled from merlot and cabernet. They donate a portion of their profits to local nonprofit medical center Clinica Alianza.