Kenwood Press

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Business Beat: 11/15/2016

Business Beat

Quarry asks for use permit extension

Nuns Canyon Rock, LLC, which operates a decorative rock quarry in Nuns Canyon, has filed a request with the county's Permit and Resource Management Department (PRMD) to extend its use permit for another 20 years. The Nuns Canyon quarry began operation in 1972. A quarry mining and reclamation plan was permitted by the county in 1981. Its current permit will expire on Dec. 31, 2017.

The new use permit would apply to current mining operations on previously approved and vested boundaries of a 19-acre portion of two parcels totaling more than 416 acres. The quarry operates on land owned by Gordenker Turkey Farms between Nuns Canyon Road and Trinity Road.

The quarry specifically mines rhyolite (used for crushed decorative rock). A production rate of a maximum of 32,500 cubic yards (CY) per year was approved by the county in 1981 and would carry over to the new use permit.

The quarry is typically open and processing rocks from April through October during regular business hours on weekdays. Blasting happens a maximum of five days during a six-month period between May 1 and Oct. 31, provided a blasting permit is obtained from the Sonoma County Sheriff. Advance notice is provided to adjacent property owners.

Under the new use permit, the company would like to revisit land previously mined and reclaim the salable rock left behind from previous mining as well as unmined rock left at various levels using new equipment and technology.

The company has also submitted a reclamation component after the mining project is completed, which is estimated to be 2037 (based on a permit start date of January 2018). The measures include protecting and preserving existing native trees and shrubs outside the mining limit lines, dismantling and removing most of the existing facilities on the property, stockpiling, placement, and re-contouring soils on the mined basin floor to achieve a landscape with functional components useful to wildlife, and revegetating the site with a variety of native plant species.

Questions and comments can be sent to project planner Nash Gonzalez at or 771-6092 by Nov. 29.

Pizza and wine pairings at Spann Vineyards

wine and pizza
Spann Vineyards Tasting Room in Kenwood is offering a pizza and wine pairing, featuring Palooza Gastropub’s wood-fired pizzas.
Spann Vineyards Tasting Room and Palooza Gastropub, neighbors in the Kenwood shopping center, have teamed up to offer a “Pizza and Wine Pairing Experience.”

Palooza creates four different pizzas in their outdoor pizza oven, which are paired with six different Spann Vineyards wines, served either outside or inside the tasting room, with descriptions and a wine and food pairing class lead by owner/winemaker Peter Spann.

Pairings are:

Veggie Pizza with Yin-Yang (Chardonnay/Viognier blend)

Salmon and Cream Cheese Pizza with Tempranillo and Syrah/Merlot

Meat Lovers Pizza with Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon

Fungi (exotic mushroom) Pizza with The Powerlifter (Petite Sirah blend)

This is available Thursday through Sunday by advance appointment. For more information call Peter Spann at 415-215-9540. Spann Vineyards Tasting Room is located at 8910 Sonoma Hwy.

Farm Bureau on the move

The Sonoma County Farm Bureau will be moving its office from its current location at 970 Piner Road to a new office building at 3589 Westwind Blvd. near the Sonoma County Airport. The Farm Bureau has been at its Piner Road location for almost 50 years, purchased by the bureau when it was then on the outskirts of Santa Rosa. The neighborhood has changed a lot in five decades, as has the zoning. The Farm Bureau had been discussing a potential move or remodel, but the current zoning would not allow an expansion of the building footprint to accommodate the bureau's needs. As part of the move, the Farm Bureau sold the Piner property and purchased the complex on Westwind. “This not only allows for us to immediately better accommodate our current staff with additional space but also allows more room for storage, meetings, and future growth if necessary,” wrote president John Azevedo in a press release. There are a total of six units at the new location and the Farm Bureau plans to rent five of them now, with the option to use them if necessary in the future if it needs the space. It plans to have the move completed by February.

The Farm Bureau offices will still be in close proximity to County offices and especially the Ag Commissioner's office, since they are located on Airport Boulevard. The offices of the Sonoma County Vintners, the Sonoma County Winegrowers, and Sonoma County Tourism are also located less than a mile away on Airport Blvd. “This is the first significant investment and change for our Farm Bureau in years and we are very excited that this investment will be one like our leaders made in the sixties when we moved to Piner Road. This will hopefully give us a strong foundation for decades to come and will help keep the Sonoma County Farm Bureau the voice of agriculture,” said Azevedo.

Toast the Holiday Season in Sonoma Valley

Join 19 Sonoma Valley wineries to officially kick off the holiday festivities during the Heart of Sonoma Valley Holiday Open House, Nov. 25 and 26. Enjoy wine tastings, meet winemakers, mingle in caves and cellars, stock up on your favorite wines for the holidays, or pick up some holiday gifts. This is a great way to spend the Thanksgiving weekend and to show visiting friends and family everything that wine country has to offer. Event runs 11 a.m.-4 p.m. both days.

Participating wineries in Kenwood are B Wise Vineyards Cellar, Chateau St. Jean Winery, Deerfield Ranch Winery, Kenwood Vineyards, La Rochelle Wines, Ledson Winery & Vineyards, Muscardini Cellars, Orpheus Wines, Spann Vineyards, St. Anne's Crossing Winery, St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, Sunce Winery & Vineyards, and Ty Caton Vineyards; and in Glen Ellen, Benziger Family Winery, Imagery Estate Winery, Loxton Cellars, Manzanita Creek Winery, Madrone Estate Winery, and Mayo Family Winery.

Tickets are $45 per person for a two-day pass (includes a souvenir wine glass and access to all participating wineries), $10 for Designated Driver passes (not tasting wine); or $55 at door and $15 for Designated Drivers.

Tickets are available in advance at

Randy Ruark among “10 Best in California For Client Satisfaction”

woman in profile
Randy Ruark
The American Institute of Real Estate Professionals (AIOREP) has recognized the exceptional performance of local real estate professional Randy Ruark as one of its “2016 10 Best Real Estate Professionals for Client Satisfaction.”

The American Institute of Real Estate Professionals is a third-party rating organization that publishes an annual list of the Top 10 Real Estate Professionals in each state. Professionals who are selected to the “10 Best” list must pass AIOREP's rigorous selection process, which is based on client and/or peer nominations, thorough research, and AIOREP's independent evaluation. AIOREP's annual list was created to be used as a resource for clients during the selection process.

One of the most significant aspects of the selection process involves professionals' relationships and reputation among his or her clients. As clients should be a professional's top priority, AIOREP places the utmost emphasis on selecting professionals who have achieved significant success in the field of Real Estate without sacrificing the service and support they provide. Selection criteria therefore focus on professionals who demonstrate the highest standards of client satisfaction.

Randy Ruark lives locally in Oakmont. You can contact her directly at 322-2482.

New marketing VP for Sonoma Raceway

woman face
Diana Brennan
Longtime Sonoma Raceway spokeswoman Diana Brennan has been promoted to the position of vice president of Communications and Marketing. Brennan, who has worked in the Sonoma Raceway Media Relations department for more than 15 years, will assume responsibility for all of the raceway's event marketing and promotions, including advertising, event entertainment, publications and digital media. She will continue to oversee all media communications, as well as the facility's community initiatives, including the local chapter of Speedway Children's Charities.

Brennan has worked full-time in the media relations department at Sonoma Raceway since 2001, most recently as vice president of Media and Community Relations; she was first hired as an intern in 1999. During her tenure, Brennan has played an integral role in developing new and creative media initiatives, as well as some of the raceway's most successful community events.

Gary Phillips, who headed the raceway's ticketing department from 2003-2013 before becoming vice president of marketing, will depart the raceway in January to pursue entrepreneurial aspirations and join the digital marketing agency, Blue Collar Digital.

WBI interviews local wine industry leaders

The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University has launched a new video interview series as part of its educational curriculum based on real-world case studies in leadership.

The first seven interviews concluded with Andy Beckstoffer of Beckstoffer Vineyards, Bill Phelps of Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Joel and Sarah Gott of Joel Gott Wines, Mike Grgich of Grgich Hills Estate, Mike Benziger of Benziger Family Winery, Frank Farella of Farella Braun + Martel, and Mark Couchman of Silverado Winegrowers. Confirmed interviews in 2017 include Bill Newlands of Constellation Brands, John Dyson of Williams Selyem, Dario Sattui of V. Sattui Winery, Bill Hatcher of A to Z Wineworks, Darioush Khaledi of Darioush Winery, and Charles Smith of K Vintners, among others.

“The Business of Wine” video series was developed by the Emmy Award-winning team of Dennis Scholl and Marlon Johnson, to provide a multifaceted look at top leaders in the global wine business. Demeter Group, the San Francisco investment bank to premium wine and spirits companies, is providing a $125,000 gift as Founding Sponsor of the project.

The individual 30-minute interviews will be edited for faculty to integrate with their teaching curriculum for the classroom, online learning, and broadcast in the Wine Spectator Learning Center, the new home of the Wine Business Institute set to open in 2017.

Find out more at

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Community Calendar

California Equestrian Park and Event Center proposal presentation
Spann to talk red wine at SIR #53
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