A trip to Northern California’s Wine Country isn’t all swirling, sniffing, and sipping wine. Look past your Merlot-filled wine glass to see a wealth of healthy, green and fun activities in Napa and Sonoma Counties. Kick off your tour with a stop at Ehlers Estate, which has been cultivating grapes since 1886 and pouring certified organic wine since 2008. Resist the temptation to fill up on handcrafted chocolates at Ehlers Estate, because you’re headed to Oenotri Restaurant in Napa for dinner. This Italian eatery embodies the farm-to-table ethos—Oenotri sources ingredients from local growers and even has its own garden on site. Learn to prepare farm-fresh food at Long Meadow Ranch’s Kitchen Workshop series. Get your hands dirty in the garden with local educators, then head to the kitchen where chefs guide you through preparing mouth-watering masterpieces.

But enough with the food! Put down the cheese platter and head out into the fresh air with Velo Vino cycling tours. Peddle your way through scenic Napa Valley before ending your bicycle tour with a wine and food pairing at Clif Family Winery. And don’t miss a step in your training at Wine Country CrossFit in Napa—just one of more than a half dozen CrossFit affiliate gyms dotting Wine Country. Now, we can raise a glass to that. Cheers!



Originally Posted to

California Wine Country Hot Spots: Organic Wine via Ehler Estate | Pizza with Garlic Cream and Nettles via Oenotri; image via Food & Wine | Kitchen Workshops via Long Meadow Ranch | Cycling Winery Tours via Velo Vino | Wine Country CrossFit in Napa, CA

Vineyard Style for


August 13, 2013

Warm afternoons shift into cool evenings as the sun sets over a Napa Valley vineyard.  Be inspired by the rich greens of grape vines and deep burgundies of Merlot as you plan a vineyard wedding.  Evoke the shades of irresistible wine: Bring deep purples and burgundies into watercolor-printed stationary and playful blooms in your bouquet.  Use cork-framed escort cards to guide guests to long wooden tables accented with bowls of purple artichokes.  Create your own table numbers by wrapping wine bottles with burlap and adding numbers with a little sparkle.  Then send your guests home with custom-made wine or provide baskets of soft scarves to warm your guests against Northern California’s evening chill.

Originally posted at by Ann Erling Gofus

Photo Credit: Table Centerpieces and Table Numbers: Inspired By This

Friday Round Up for


August 2, 2013

As we welcome the last phase of summer, we also say “aloha” to every cheese lover’s favorite month: National Goat Cheese Month, y’all!  Ring in a goat cheesy August with a creamy and delicious Blackberry, Honey and Goat Cheesecake—the perfect dish for a late summer potluck.  Shade your precious peepers from the hot August sun without leaving your air conditioned house—Warby Parker offers an easy online sunglasses shopping experience, and for every pair you buy one pair gets donated to someone in need.  Throw on your glamorous shades and head out to San Francisco’s Aloha Festival this weekend.  Hula your way through two days of Polynesian art, dance, and food, then sample 13 of the Bay Area’s tastiest hot doggeries.  After all this summer fun, detoxify your skin of sweat and grime with a gently exfoliating charcoal cleanser that acts like a magnet for impurities.


Originally posted on by Ann Erling Gofus

Photo compilation by Ann Erling Gofus

Photo Credits: 1. Charcoal Cleanser via Shamanuti  | 2. Jules Marbled Charcoal Sunglasses via Warby Parker | 3. Hottest Dogs in San Francisco via Eater; image viaBon Appetit  | 4. Aloha Festival via The Pacific Islanders’ Culturally Association | 5. Blackberry, Honey and Goat Cheesecake via Adventures in Cooking