Kenwood Press

Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

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Business Beat: 05/01/2014

Business Beat

Kenwood Vineyards sold

Pernod Ricard, one of the major players in the international wine and spirits market, has entered into an agreement to purchase Kenwood Vineyards from F. Korbel & Bros. A selling price was not disclosed, and the deal is expected to close by June 30.

Bryan Fry, Chief Executive Officer of Pernod Ricard USA, said in a statement: “Thanks to its long heritage and premium positioning within the well-known Sonoma region, Kenwood offers a unique brand proposition that will strengthen the position of Pernod Ricard's wine business in the United States.”

Pernod Ricard has 19,000 employees spread over 80 countries, and owns multiple brands, such as Absolut vodka, Chivas Regal and Jameson Irish whiskies, Beefeater gin, and Kahlua liqueur. Its wine holdings include Brancott Estate in New Zealand, Graffigna in Argentina, and Campo Viejo in Spain. The company also owns G.M. Mumm and Perrier-Jouët champagnes.

Guerneville-based Korbel, owned by Gary Heck, bought Kenwood Vineyards in 1998 for $50 million from co-founders Mike Lee and John Sheela. Lee, his brother Marty, and brother-in-law Sheela had started Kenwood Vineyards in 1970, after purchasing the site that was the home of Pagani Winery. Korbel significantly increased Kenwood Vineyards production to over 500,000 cases a year.

In 2012, Korbel entered into a deal to sell Kenwood Vineyards to Banfi Vintners out of New York, but the sale was terminated.

Dress maker, seamstress, from Scotland to Glen Ellen

With more than 40 years experience as a dress designer, maker and seamstress, Janice McBride of Glen Ellen loves to make people look their best for a glamorous event.

McBride got started as a designer and seamstress in her native Scotland. Living in a very small town, there was only one dress shop where one could purchase anything nice for an event. “If you went to a party or a wedding, it looked like you were part of a formation team,” said McBride. In order to break the mold, she began to make her own clothes and dresses. It wasn't long before she was making things for friends, as well.

When she moved from Scotland to Philadelphia, McBride realized that people would pay good money for the work she had been giving away for free, and she began to build her clientele. “When life is tough, it makes you stronger, more resourceful,” said McBride. When she was first getting started, McBride found that she couldn't afford the sparkles and beads that adorned many of the wedding dresses she saw. However, she used leftover fabric and hand crafted flowers to decorate her dresses instead, which proved unique and popular with the wealthy of Philadelphia.

As a designer and dress maker, McBride was soon dressing the rich and famous for their special events. She was working consistently with a big-name wedding planner and McBride's dresses were featured multiple years in a row in various wedding magazines, even getting voted as Philadelphia's best.

After 25 years in Philadelphia, McBride moved once again and settled in Glen Ellen early last year. She's hoping to build her clientele here. McBride said she's open to collaboration and ideas to build up her business, much like she did in Philadelphia.

“What I do best is fit people and give them a really nice shape,” said McBride. McBride's specialty is formal dresses for weddings, proms, cocktail parties, holidays and other special events.

“I love it. I can't imagine doing anything else,” said McBride.

Janice McBride lives in Glen Ellen and can be reached for appointments at 721-6642.

Morton's opening in early May

Morton's Warm Springs Resort opens to the public on Saturday, May 3.

Morton's will be open weekends and holidays in May and September, and every day except Mondays during the summer months of June through August. Come join the fun from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Morton's Warm Springs, 1651 Warm Springs Road in Glen Ellen, is a 22-acre summer day resort offering warm springs swimming pools, BBQ and picnic sites, hiking trails and sport fields for families, friends and businesses.

Admission fees are $15 for adults, and $5 for children up to 12 years of age. General parking is $5, and preferred parking is $15.

Check out their website at for more information or call 833-5511.

Oak Hill Farm's Red Barn Store opens for season

The picturesque Red Barn Store, located at Oak Hill Farm in Glen Ellen, will re-open for the 2014 season on Thursday, May 8. The farm store at 15101 Sonoma Hwy. is a longtime favorite for farm-fresh produce, flowers, wreaths, gifts and more. Hours will be Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Red Barn Store is part of the 700-acre Oak Hill Farm, a Sonoma Land Trust-protected property nestled into the Mayacamas on the eastern side of the Valley of the Moon. All the vegetables, flowers, greenery, and fruit sold in the Red Barn are grown on the farm, where sustainable, chemical-free growing practices have been used for over 50 years. Free farm tours are offered the first Saturday of every month through October at 10 a.m.

The Red Barn opening will feature fresh produce such as strawberries, carrots, heirloom lettuces, leafy greens, beets, and fresh herbs. Spring posies of freshly picked flowers and bunches of agrostemma, sweet peas, larkspur, cornflower, stock, saponaria, greenery, and others will be available. The Red Barn also offers dried wreaths, handmade goods, local art, and unique gifts for the home.

Oak Hill Farm's produce and flowers can also be found year-round at the Sonoma Farmers' Market at Depot Park, every Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and starting May 6, at the Valley of the Moon Tuesday Night Market held in the Sonoma Plaza.

For more information visit or contact the office at, or 996-6643, ext. 1.

Assistance for Seniors opens in Oakmont

Denny Wright has worked with seniors for the last 30 years as a hairdresser in various retirement communities, including 13 years at the Oakmont Beauty Salon, and the last seven-plus years at an Emeritus assisted living facility in Fountaingrove.

During that time, she listened and learned.

“What I learned was that [people] had simple everyday needs that were not being met,” said Wright. “Many complained that unless they had someone with them they could not go outdoors for a simple walk.”

So Wright started Assistance for Seniors, to help people become more independent, if it be going shopping, to the theater, out to dinner, or being read to because of failing eyesight.

Wright is not a nurse or a caretaker. Assistance for Seniors was created to help people enjoy life to the fullest, said Wright. Now a senior herself, Wright understands the challenges life can bring, and wants to focus on helping others.

Assistance for Seniors is located at 6641 Oakmont Dr., and can be reached at 953-2704.

Senior Resources @ Home can help

Senior Resources @ Home is an innovative non-profit home care program located in Oakmont and serving seniors in Kenwood, Glen Ellen, and Oakmont. Their professional caregivers are compassionate, reliable, and clear communicators.

Some of the services Senior Resources @ Home provides include transportation to and from doctor's appointments, social outings, and errands; assistance with bathing, grooming, and dressing; light housekeeping and laundry; meal planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and clean up; transitioning home after discharge from the hospital or skilled nursing facility; assistance with exercises that encourage strength and balance; respite care for family members; and end of life support.

As a full service program, Senior Resources @ Home handles all employee taxes, workers compensation and liability insurance. Their employees are criminal background checked through the FBI and DOJ and also pass a pre-employment physical.

Senior Resources @ Home is an affiliate of Episcopal Senior Communities (ESC) which owns and operates Spring Lake Village (continuing care retirement community) and Jennings Court (an affordable housing community), both in Santa Rosa. ESC also offers many charitable community programs to Sonoma County seniors, such as Senior Center Without Walls, a free telephone program that offers activities, conversation and classes and support groups to homebound seniors. ESC also operates two senior produce markets in Sonoma County, and a program for seniors in need of additional community resources.

For a free home care assessment or to learn more about ESC's charitable community programs please call 539-9000 or drop by their office at 6637 Oakmont Drive in Oakmont.

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