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March 2007
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An American Tuscan Feast
By Andrew Nelson    Photo by Catherine Karnow
Photo: garden-fresh beets and carrots
Colby Eierman, director of gardens at COPIA, picks fresh beets and carrots.

The Napa-Sonoma-Mendocino area of northern California teems with what used to be called cottage industries: small entrepreneur- and family-created enterprises focusing on the production of artisanal wines and foods, many handcrafted with organic ingredients. Not surprisingly, many of these operations have Italian names, an homage to the passionate dedication of Italians to the best fresh ingredients and most "natural" production methods.

Here we have collected information for the enterprises mentioned in National Geographic Traveler's March 2007 feature story "American Tuscany," along with a listing of additional artisanal wine and food producers in the general Napa-Sonoma-Mendocino area. Buon appetito!

Alexander Valley Gourmet Fresh Pickles
Enjoy handcrafted, cold-processed, Manhattan-style pickles. Available at many retail stores. +1 707 473 0116.

Bella Winery
This family-owned winery specializes in Zinfandels and Syrahs from three vineyards. 9711 West Dry Creek Rd., Healdsburg; 866 572 3552.

Napa's American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts features exhibits and lectures centered around food, wine, and the arts. 500 First St., Napa; 888 512 6742. 

Cowgirl Creamery
A cheese operation in Tomales Bay, this women-run creamery specializes in cheese made from organic milks. Try the signature Mt. Tam cheese, a smooth triple-cream concoction. 80 Fourth St., Point Reyes Station; +1 415 663 9335; mail orders +1 866 433 7834.

Cyrus Restaurant 
Along with contemporary luxury cuisine, this restaurant specializes in top-quality Sonoma wines. 29 North St., Healdsburg; +1 707 433 3311. 

Boutique olive oils, wines, preserves, cosmetics, and more are available online and at the market in Healdsburg. 888 431 8008.

Della Fattoria Cafe and Bakery
Located in downtown Petaluma, this artsy café serves organic artisanal breads as well as fresh pastries. 141 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma; +1 707 763 0161.

Downtown Bakery and Creamery
Stop in for coffee and handmade organic breads; also pastries, lunch sandwiches, and desserts. 308 A Center St., Healdsburg; +1 707 431 2719.

Flying Goat Coffee
Wonderful coffee; if you want an extra kick, try the "goat herder," strong coffee fortified with a shot of espresso. Locations in Santa Rosa and Healdsburg; 800 675 3599.

Healdsburg Farmers' Market 
Fresh-from-the-farm produce is available April through November. +1 707 431 1956.

Hess Collection
Art lovers will enjoy the gallery, which includes pieces collected by Donald Hess since the early 1960s. The award-winning wine and lush scenery also attract visitors. The art gallery is at 4411 Redwood Rd., Napa; +1 707 255 1144.

Hog Island Oyster Farm 
Sit and slurp oysters farmed in Tomales Bay, near Point Reyes. 20215 Coast Hwy. One, Marshall; +1 415 663 9218, ext. 255.

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Ladera Vineyards 
Cabernet Sauvignon is the focus of this family-owned winery that sits on 480 acres near Mount Veeder. 150 White Cottage Rd. S., Angwin; +1 707 965 2445. 

Lynmar Winery
This Russian River Valley winery produces gorgeous Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. 3909 Frei Rd., Sebastopol; +1 707 829 3374.

McEvoy Ranch Olive Oil
 Located on a former dairy farm, this Petaluma business produces Tuscan-style extra-virgin olive oil, in this case a blend of six Tuscan olive varietals. P.O. Box 341, Petaluma; 866 617 6779.

Mosswood Market
Stop in for lunch at this quaint café or just a glass of wine and cheese plate. 14111 Hwy. 128, Boonville; +1 707 895 3635. 

Parallel Wines 
Eight friends and two professional winemakers operate this vineyard, which produces rich Cabernet Sauvignons. Winemaker Philippe Melka was named "Winemaker of the Year 2005" by Food & Wine. 2920 Spring Mountain Rd., Ste. A, St. Helena; +1 707 486 1100.

Pey-Marin Vineyards
This family-owned vineyard features "limited-production, handcrafted wines"—Riesling and Pinot Noir—made with "natural wine-growing techniques." P.O. Box 912, San Anselmo; +1 415 455 WINE (9463).

Pugs Leap Farm 
This Healdsburg micro-dairy specializes in goat cheese. Order online through Cowgirl Creamery or call +1 707 433 2923; e-mail

Rochioli Winery
 Known for its Pinot Noir, this winery in Dry Creek, Sonoma, has been making estate wines since the 1980s. 6192 Westside Dr., Healdsburg; +1 707 433 2305.

St. Helena Olive Oil Company 
Choose from a selection of handcrafted, hand-bottled olive oils, vinegars, tapenades, and more. 8576 Hwy. 29, Rutherford; +1 707 967 1003.

Sonoma Valley Film Festival
This festival celebrates film, food, and wine each spring. It even has its own sommelier. +1 707 933 2600.

Stella Cadente Olive Oil Company 
Buy award-winning oils, including citrus oils (olives and fruits), online and at oil bars in Napa. 800 305 1288. 

Stubbs Organic Vineyards
The owner is a very cool Brit, who grows organic grapes on 11 acres in West Marin and produces organic Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. Marin County; +1 707 773 3288.

Terra Sonoma
This ranch produces VerJus, an unfermented juice of semiripe wine grapes that acts as a flavor enhancer for all sorts of food preparations. P.O. Box 444, Geyserville; +1 707 431 1382.


For general information on the Napa-Sonoma-Mendocino region, log on to the three counties' visitors websites:
Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau
Mendocino County Alliance  

Napa Wine Merchants 
offers information on area wines and wineries. 1146 First St., Napa; +1 707 257 6796. 

Read more about Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino Counties in Andrew Nelson's "American Tuscany" in the March 2007 issue of National Geographic Traveler.

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