Category Archives: Bay Area

24th Annual Holiday Open House: Sonoma Valley-Glenn Ellen-Kenwoods’ Best Value Festival


Every year since 1984, the Holiday Open House presents wineries from the Sonoma Valley region and “sweet and savory nibbles.” The festival runs Friday November 23 and Saturday November 24. This year’s addition will be one of the best yet with 20 wineries participating. The list includes:

Audelssa, Benzinger, Blackstone, Chateau St. Jean, Eric Ross, Imagery Estate, Kaz Winery, Kenwood, Kunde Estate, Landmark, Ledson, Loxton Cellars, Mayo Winery, Muscardini Cellars & Ty Caton, SL Cellars, The Wine Room, VJB Cellars, Valley of the Moon, and Wellington.

The real treat is the value this wonderful Holiday Open House represents. Here is what you get: Tastings at all 20 wineries of their best varietals and vintages; Open House style access to the grounds, expert service, AND small plate tapas style appetizers. To finish off your moving meal is chocolate tastings. All the wine, food, and chocolate you can devour for $30 per person. Now here is the real kicker. Your $30 ticket covers both days of the event.

I defy anyone to show me a better deal. A Festival with world class wineries like Chateau St.Jean, Landmark, and Eric Ross along with 17 of their winery neighbors serving all you can taste. Culinary offerings at every stop and as much chocolate as you can possibly find room for after all of the wine and food.

Mark this event on your calender; it is not to be missed.


Stonehedge 2003 Krupp Brother’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon: The Finest Value California Cabernet Under $15 You May Never Taste: A Where’s Waldo Debacle!

I began wine collecting with the 1986 vintage, a fine year for cabernet, when the prices for a bottle of California cabernet were in line with most consumer’s budgets. Since that time I have made it a point to buy ultra premium cabernets and very inexpensive “value” cabernets. I have yet to find a Cabernet, in my 20+years of drinking and buying, as fantastic a value and as rich and flavorful a wine as the Stonehedge 2003 Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. The best part is the price: $12.99 at my local Trader Joe’s!

Now here is the mystery aka the bad part of the story. This wine is impossible to find outside of Trader Joes and not all Trader Joe’s carry this cabernet. Why? Here is what we know to this point after looking online-for a frustrating night of hide and seek.

1. The wine is called Stonehedge Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet vintage is 2003.

2. It was bottled by Stonehedge Cellars of Santa Maria, California.

3. The wine has a black label all other Stonehedge wines have white labels

4. The Krupp Brothers are credited with making this wine. I can not find the Krupp Brothers on the Stonehedge site nor online for producing this wine.

5. The only black label wine by Stonehedge is the $50 per bottle “Signature Vines Stage Coach Vineyard” designated Cabernet with no mention of the Krupp Brothers.

If you can find it buy as much as your budget will allow. If you will please email me and let me know I want to buy more of this wine before it is gone. I have a feeling that this was a wine produced for Trader Joe’s or discounters only. Best of luck and if you find it- you will love it!