A virtual visit to wine country

Good reads during shelter-in-place

We can all agree that “Wine Country” in California pretty much applies to nearly everywhere that grapes are grown. No matter where you live in this great state, many wine tasting rooms are within easy reach, except right now. 

This pandemic has certainly put the kibosh on a favorite activity of many, which is to hang out with friends at their local wineries, sharing a glass, a picnic and some laughs. The world has changed, but not our desire to once again be part of it. 

For those who enjoy the luxurious escape of getting lost in a book—after all, there’s only so much Zoom you can handle—I’d like to recommend Wine Country Women of Sonoma County, by Michelle Mandro. Part biography, part cookbook, part photographic essay, it’s filled with stunning portraits of 40 women who call Sonoma home, and are all part of the hospitality industry. It shares their stories and features their favorite recipes, along with wine pairings. 

You’ll meet stars such as restaurateur Katina Connaughton of Michelin Three-Star SingleThread Farm in Healdsburg, Kate MacMurray of MacMurray Ranch (whose father, Fred MacMurray, starred in the 1970s hit TV series My Three Sons, which is ironic, because he had two daughters), and chefs and Food Network regulars, Duskie Estes and Crista Luedtke. Open the book and you’re immediately transported to the irresistible magic of wine country. It’s a follow-on to Mandro’s first book, Wine Country Women of Napa County, both available at winecountrywomen.com.

Those who miss sipping their favorite local wines can still do so during the shelter-in-place order. Many wineries in the Santa Clara Valley are offering delivery and curbside pickup of orders.

For information, visit santaclarawines.com.

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About Laura Ness
Laura Ness is an accomplished freelance writer offering travel tips and commentary on the California wine industry.