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Welcome to the Sonoma County Gazette ARCHIVE of PAST EDITIONS. Our NEW WEBSITE is up and running, so GazExtra is serving as your path to archived articles. Thanks for being part of our Sonoma County community...stay in touch...e-mail me - VESTA

Monday, August 1, 2011

Occidental Oriented

West of West (WOW) Wine Festival
On Friday, August 5, through Sunday, August 7, West Sonoma Coast Vintners will launch its new wine festival featuring three days of seminars, tastings, barrel tastings, and dinners.

West Sonoma Coast Vintners is an association of wineries and growers who are passionate about farming wine grapes on the coastline of Sonoma County. They advocate wines with a clear identity that evoke the complexity of the region and the authenticity of its community -- wines with balance, integrity, character and nuance.

For more information and tickets, go to: To see the list of participating wineries (and there are some really great gems here), go to:

Just as an aside, for many years, there has been a bit of a kerfluffle in the local wine industry over what is “the true” Sonoma Coast. Officially, the sub appellation goes as far east as the far side of Petaluma in what many think should be re-classified as the Petaluma Wind Gap, but not be considered Sonoma Coast.

By contrast, the “true” Sonoma Coast, it is maintained, should be limited to a small number of miles from the ocean—to vineyards located in places like Bodega, Occidental, Freestone, Annapolis, etc. It certainly is beyond debate that the weather in these areas is very different from that east of downtown Petaluma.

Occidental Center for the Arts
Donkey Barn Reunion Show
Years ago, a group of artists used to meet in Elizabeth Ryder Sutton's donkey barn on Occidental Road, to draw, paint and work together. For six years, they became great friends, creating a large body of work, while they exchanged stories, philosophies, techniques, and generally encouraged each other at their weekly sessions. Now the Donkey Barn group, many of whom went on to fame and glory, are getting together again for a show at the Occidental Center for the Arts.

The public is invited to join the party on Sunday, August 7 from 3p.m.  to 6p.m. The show will reveal what the Donkey Barn group has been up to since those days of yore. About 20 artists will show their work in the OCA Gallery at 4008 Bohemian Highway in Occidental, at the old Harmony School, now Harmony Village. The Grey Street Band will play in the auditorium next door to the gallery and there is sure to be dancing.
The show runs from August 5 to September 4. The gallery is open during events and on Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 4p.m. It is also open by appointment by calling 874-9392.

The Donkey Barn artists showing work include Elizabeth Ryder Sutton, Diane Senia, Marylu Downing,  Allis Teegarden, Tamsen Donner, Elaine Vickery, Nancy Conkle, Joy Fibben, Susan Calaghy, Maggie Ballard, Judy Henderson, Jack Stuppin, Bill Wheeler, Charles Beck, Jerrold Ballaine, Richard Ernst, Don Bishop, Robin Johnson, Bernadette Howard, Dimitri Pavloff, Mary Baum, Inge Nevins, and  Elfi Chester (in memoriam).

Brazil comes to Occidental
OCA will be rocking Saturday, August  27 at 8 p.m., when Maria Jameau and Blue Brazil hit town. This Brazilian beat gets crowds dancing, and Jameau's exciting vocals lift the roof. Last year when OCA lured them to Occidental it was a sell-out crowd. Tickets are $15. Call 874-9392 for reservations.