Kenwood Press

Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

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Business Beat: 12/01/2011

Business Beat

Robert Janover releases new calendar, photo book

Kenwood resident and professional photographer Robert Janover has two new items available for sale, just in time for the holidays.

The first is the 18th edition of the Sonoma County Photo & Event Calendar, featuring 700 local events and a number of photographs featuring Sonoma County’s lush countryside and unique horizons, including numerous aerial views.

The second is his new Sonoma County hardcover picture book, a 104-page anthology showcasing 42 full page images of all areas of Sonoma County, as well as a photo spread of 95 of the county’s premier wineries. There are also personal quotes from local notables describing “What Sonoma County Means to Me.”

The calendar retails for $13.95, and the book for $26.95.

You can purchase Janover’s publications locally at Kunde Estate Winery, Kenwood Inn & Spa, Ty Caton Vineyards/Muscardini Cellars, Family Wineries of Sonoma Valley, Kenwood Farmhouse, Kenwood Village Market, Glen Ellen Village Market, and Eric Ross Winery. You can also purchase them at all Copperfield’s Books in Sonoma County. Or, go to

New restaurant to open in Glen Ellen

Glen Ellen Star will soon be the latest addition to the vibrant restaurant scene in northern Sonoma Valley, with plans to open in the spring in space that housed the former Saffron Restaurant, at the corner of Arnold Dr. and Warm Springs Rd.

A partnership featuring members of the Benziger Family has bought the property. Mike Benziger’s daughter, Erinn, and her chef husband Ari Weiswasser will run the operation.

Ari, currently working at the French Laundry in Yountville, has extensive culinary experience, having worked in a number of restaurants in New York City and his native Philadelphia. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, Ari’s resume includes stints at Picholine, Daniel, Gilt, and Corton in New York, and Pearl, Striped Bass and Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia.

Ari said the focus will be on “Farm to Table” local produce, and he plans to work with Oak Hill Farm in Glen Ellen, as well as other local farms. A wood-fire oven will be located in the center of the restaurant, and the menu will reflect the wood-fired grilling styles of Argentina. Three different kinds of pizzas will also be on tap, along with a variety of soups and salads. There will be an open kitchen with an eight-seat counter; the inside will have 32 seats, and a remodeled outside patio will seat 20.

Ari will remain at the French Laundry until the end of the year, and then focus on opening up Glen Ellen Star, hopefully in March or April. Ari and Erinn just had a baby daughter, Noa, in April, and live in Sonoma.

Holiday gifts at Wildwood Farm

Wildwood Farm Nursery & Sculpture Garden is offering a number of unique gift ideas for this holiday season.

In the nursery, check out unusual dwarf conifers in one gallon sizes from $35, or rare Japanese umbrella pines, also starting at $35.

In the art gallery are wind bells starting at $19.95, and original art priced between $100-$400. You can peruse fused glass panels with embedded images, including dragonfly panels and panels with leaf motifs. Ceramic bird baths are also on sale, and if you really want to splurge, think about purchasing “Flutterbye,” a kinetic sculpture by Glen Ellen artist Bryan Tedrick.

Wildwood Farm Nursery & Sculpture Garden is located at 10300 Sonoma Hwy. in Kenwood, and can be reached at 833-1161. Or visit the website,

Celebrate New Year’s Eve Basque-style at Vineyards Inn

Looking for something to do on New Year’s Eve? Vineyards Inn in Kenwood will be offering their Basque family dinner – seven courses served family style at one long table. A Flamenco guitarist will entertain as you enjoy your meal. The inside dining room will also be available for the Basque dinner for groups of 12 or more. The meal starts at 6:30 p.m. and reservations are required. Call 833-4500. For more information, go to

Sonoma Valley winery gingerbread competition

It’s time for the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance (SVVGA) 6th Annual Winery Gingerbread Competition, featuring edible replicas of the various winery buildings. Locally, the ladies of Kenwood Vineyards are working on a theme of “Christmas in the Vineyards.” Lori Ferguson is creating “A Tropical Paradise” (including Santa in a swimsuit) for Paradise Ridge Winery. Kelly Cleaver is taking on B.R. Cohn’s theme of Gold Records and Gold Ribbons featuring edible gold. And Chateau St. Jean’s colorful entry is based on a Classic Christmas Tale.

Visit all the participating wineries and cast your vote: B.R. Cohn, Chateau St. Jean, Gundlach Bundschu, Kenwood Vineyards, Larson Family Winery, Nicholson Ranch, Paradise Ridge Winery, and Roessler Cellars.

This signature event kicks off Holiday in the Vines, a calendar of Sonoma Valley winery events including open houses, winemaker dinners, visits from Santa, toy drives, and musical events. For the complete list of festivities, visit the events calendar at Throughout the month of December, visitors can pick up a map and a ballot at any of the participating wineries and vote for their favorite gingerbread creation. As an added bonus, each time voters cast a ballot either at the wineries or on the Sonoma Valley Grapes & Wine Facebook page, they’ll be entered into a raffle to win a case of Sonoma Valley wines.

Veterans aid seminar at Vintage Brush Creek

Vintage Brush Creek, an independent living and assisted care facility in Santa Rosa, will be hosting a veteran’s aid and benefits seminar on Saturday, Dec. 10, and Saturday, Jan. 21, 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Wartime veterans, and surviving spouses and their families are invited to attend a community service presentation with Mel Aguilar, a Veterans Administration pensions specialist with Design Benefits Financial.

Seating is limited, so call today, 584-6526.

Vintage Brush Creek is located at 4225 Wayvern Dr. in Santa Rosa. For more information, go to

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Community Calendar

34th annual Sonoma County Art Trails
Sugar Shuttle: Sugarloaf to Hood
Oakmont Sunday Symposium
Oakmont Caregivers Group meeting
Garden walk under the full moon at Quarryhill
Bingo, Bingo, Bingo!
Emergency Preparedness Forum and Fair
Jazz club features Larry Vuckovich
Fall Landscape Photography
Sugar Shuttle: Jack London to North Sonoma Mountain
Ghosts of Sugarloaf

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