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Business Beat: 02/01/2014

Business Beat

Wine Truffle Boutique reopens

Libby Miller, left, and Regina Rolland of Wine Truffle Boutique at VJB.
After a hiatus and a remodel, Wine Truffle Boutique, next to the tasting room at VJB Cellars, is reopening. The handmade specialty chocolate and gelato gift shop was closed by a freezer fire in August 2013, almost a year to the day of its first opening in August 2012.

With more space and a new layout, the sweet shop is officially back in business, just in time for Valentine's Day.

At Wine Truffle Boutique, “handmade” is not just a buzzword, and Regina Rolland and her business partner Libby Miller can show you the four hands that make each and every chocolate and truffle. While they currently do it all at an offsite kitchen, future plans include an open workspace in the boutique where customers can watch the chocolates being made that day.

Truffles, infused with local wines and seasonal fruit, are their specialty. They also serve gelato, made from Strauss organic cream, delivered weekly from Berkeley's The Latest Scoop, and VJB wine-infused sorbet. You can get a scoop or a “pint to go.” Through the wintertime, gelato scoops are only $2 on Wednesdays.

Miller grew up in a family-owned candy store and many of the chocolates and sweets are created using Miller's family recipes. The boutique offers staples like pecan toffee or espresso, as well as new creations such as strawberry jalapeno, and wine truffles such as zinfandel, mimosa and port. Rolland said the number one seller is the caramel with sea salt truffle. Rolland and Miller said they change flavors seasonally and the wine truffles follow the release of VJB wines. Right now, they are offering a wine truffle infused with VJB's famous Montepulciano.

Miller and Rolland began by making chocolates for friends and family. Henry Belmonte, owner of VJB Cellars, lent Rolland and Miller some of his wine for their special wine truffles, and when he tasted the results, offered them a storefront in his newly remodeled marketplace on Shaw Avenue, which opened in 2012.

Wine Truffle Boutique also offers event catering, party favors, and gift boxes. The boutique is open daily 12 to 5 p.m. A full menu can be found online at, but it's probably more fun to go down to 60 Shaw Ave. and do a taste test for yourself.

Fridell elected as SVVGA president

Squire Fridell of Glen Ellen's GlenLyon Vineyards and Winery has been elected as 2014 president of the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance (SVVGA), a non-profit trade association representing over 100 wineries and 140 grape growers.

The SVVGA's mission is to promote awareness of Sonoma Valley's grapes, wine, terroir and history as the birthplace of the California wine industry. The organization has raised over $12 million for local Sonoma Valley charities through its Sonoma Wine Country Weekend and Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction.

Other SVVGA board officers elected include Danny Fay of Envolve Winery as vice-president, Cathleen Gorham of Rabobank, N.A. as treasurer, and Becky Jenkins of Madrone Vineyard Management as secretary. New 2014 directors are Gary Buffo of Pure Luxury Transportation, Richard Idell of Idell Family Vineyards, Jon Parker of Highway 12 Vineyards and Winery, Alan Ross of Ross Vineyard, and Dan Zepponi of Valley of the Moon Winery. Also on the board are Phil Coturri of Enterprise Vineyards, Bill Hooper of Kenwood Investments, Mike Pucci of Sangiacomo Family Vineyards, Eva Bertran of Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, and Rick Corcoran of Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.

Get to know your intuitive self

Catherine Young, Glen Ellen therapist, hypnotherapist and astrologer, is offering a new class in Glen Ellen: “Inner Knowing: Exploring our Intuitive and Psychic Selves”.

This class will focus on understanding and exploring our intuitive selves in fun, practical ways. All classes will include experiential activities as well as information and ideas. This class is great for those just starting to explore, as well as those who have been learning about their intuitive selves for some time.

The class will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays of the month, starting Feb. 19. It will be held at Young's office, 13606 Arnold Dr., Glen Ellen. Participants can come to their first class for free to check it out. Thereafter, classes are $12/class.

The February class is already filling. RSVP is highly recommended. To find out more, go to and click on 'personal growth classes,' or call Catherine at 241-6919.

Landmark releases 2012 Overlook Chardonnay

Landmark Vineyards recently released its 2012 Overlook Chardonnay. For over 20 years, Landmark has been producing this wine, which Robert Parker has called, “one of the best chardonnay values in the marketplace.”

The wine sells for $22.50 retail. There is a discount available if you order by Feb. 7. Go to to order.

Landmark Vineyards is located at 101 Adobe Canyon Road in Kenwood.

RE/MAX Leading Edge adds to sales team

Gail Johnson has joined the RE/Max Leading Edge team in Oakmont, bringing with her 20 years of experience in residential real estate.

“My clients are my first priority,” said Johnson. “Providing Santa Rosa homebuyers and sellers and investors with the opportunities the RE/MAX brand has to offer, as well as its abundant resources, and my experience in marketing and negotiating, is a huge benefit for them.”

RE/MAX has more than 90,000 associates in over 90 countries, and gives their sales personnel an advantage by offering on-demand real estate courses through an online platform that allows associates to access hundreds of full-length training programs on their own time.

Johnson also believes in giving back to the community. She is a founding member and past president of the Glen Ellen-Kenwood Rotary Club. She and her husband Don live in Oakmont.

To contact Johnson or RE/MAX Leading Edge, drop by the office at 6576 Oakmont Dr., Suite B, go to, or call Johnson at 292-9798.

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Community Calendar

Try your luck at Bingo
Symphony table game fundraiser at St. Patrick’s
Cal Alumni Club dinner features U.S. Capitol Fellow
Cal Club Dinner
Oakmont Farmers Market
Yoga Hike
Observatory open
Emmaus Inclusive Community service and potluck supper
Sons of Hermann German Club
Oakmont Kiwanis Club meets
Oakmont Farmers Market

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