Italy in Sonoma County @ DaVero

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Sonoma County’s climate and soil are the closest to that of Italy than any other area in the world. So, it’s no wonder we’re known for our fine food, wine and other unique libations. There are plenty of wineries and restaurants doing things “Italian,” but there is only one Farm+Winery that is truly living the “Italian Way,” and that’s DaVero in Healdsburg, CA.

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Ridgely Evers bought this gorgeous piece of land in 1982. It was mostly planted with vines at the time, but Ridge had bigger dreams. His partner, Colleen McGlynn, came on to the scene in 1993 with a passion for farming and culinary creativity passed down from her family. They wanted to produce the greatest olive oil Sonoma County had ever tasted, so they traveled to Italy and brought back cuttings from the best olive trees in the whole country. Before planting anything on the land, Ridge and Colleen discovered that the soil had been abused for many years, and they knew they needed to replenish the earth before they could plant the dream farm that they both had in mind. As a result of their soil amendment efforts, DaVero is now a certified biodynamic farm. Click here to learn more about the origin and definition of Biodynamics.

When referring to his land Ridge will say, “Look at what God has done here. She has done some amazing work. And if you’re wondering about the gender I have assigned to her, just look around. There’s no way a man could have created this beauty.”

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Ridge was kind enough to invite me, and staff and guests of Rosso Pizzeria + Wine Bar for a tour and tasting on July 2nd, 2015. We toured the property and ate fresh strawberries off the vine. I got to practice using my new camera to take some pretty cool pictures. After the tour, we sat at a long farm table under a trellis of recycled Wisteria vines and tasted their wines. Colleen served us plates of fresh veggies and dried fruits, all from the garden, as well as some incredible cheeses. Winemaker and cellarmaster, Evan LaNouette schooled us on traditional Italian winemaking while Ridge helped pour and tell stories.

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Evan and Ridge were destined to work together. Sagrantino is the wine that brought them together and they are making an amazing vintage of their own. My personal favorite was the 2011 Carignano from Testa Family Vineyard in Mendocino. I keep discovering that the wines I tend to love the most come from that area. I am a sucker for foggy climates and earthy undertones. You can learn more about their current releases here.

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The most enjoyable part of the whole experience was seeing the passion behind everyone who works there. Ridge and Colleen are living the dream in every aspect of the phrase. Winemaker, Evan came to Sonoma County to do one thing, make reputable Italian wines with people whose love, passion and drive met his, and that’s exactly what he found in Ridge and Colleen. Each person working on the farm is rocking a beautiful smile on their face. Even the ones making fertilizer are passionate.

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The Rosso Family is so proud to serve DaVero olive oil and wine in our restaurants. We are looking forward to hosting them this time for our Winemaker Wednesday event at 53 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa, CA on July 8th at 4:30pm. All are welcome to join us! We will be serving freshly picked ingredients from their garden, pouring DaVero wines and making Dry Creek peach lemonade prosecco cocktails. Gotta love summer!

Cheers!

Dress To Kill: Innovation Salon

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I am not a model. I do not get paid to wear clothes, rep brands, or take photos. I have, however, been blessed with opportunities to participate in fashion shows, films, TV shows, stage productions, concerts and photo shoots for fun and I love doing it!

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 I have the most creative and passionate community of friends and when we all bring our passions to the table together, we can make magical things happen. My friends are artists, musicians, stylists, designers, DJ’s, philanthropists, photographers, actors, producers, directors, and writers. When one of us needs the other for an event of any kind, we are all more than happy to participate. We support each other’s craft and have a deep understanding that when we help one another, we are helping ourselves.

On Friday, the Team at Innovation Salon threw and anniversary party and fashion show and asked me to be a model. I love doing this kind of stuff because it’s laid back, fun, I get to meet new people and wear amazing clothes that I wouldn’t normally pick out

for myself. The show featured designers and jewelers from San Francisco and Sonoma County. Wines were provided by Wilson Winery and our local start artist, Jared Powell did a live painting. Click Here to contact Jared about his art and availability.

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I am, in no way, a veteran of the catwalk, but it was not my first rodeo either. I’ve strutted my stuff before, and I’ve also been behind the scenes, helping models change and get ready. I’ve had my hair and makeup done by professionals countless times, and I’ve also been the stylist myself. As long as I get to be a part of the action in some way, I’m happy.

 What I love most about the fashion shows I’ve been apart of, are the range of ages, body types and cultures of the models I’ve worked with. A fashion show is supposed to highlight the designers’ vision and not every designer makes clothes for skinny, six-foot tall professional models. A lot of them are making clothes for people of all walks of life. Friday’s show included moms, teens, fashionistas, Harley riders, businesswomen, musicians and more.

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I got involved in this project through my dearest friend, stylist and hair+makeup genius, Nicolette LaFranchi. Her and I met years ago through the amazing community of talented folk we both belong to.

11010006_10153363747844680_1524201563524191691_oMutual friends of ours were throwing art shows and concerts together and we have been friends ever since. Nicolette and her mother Terri run Innovation Salon in Santa Rosa, Ca. Not only are they both cosmetology queens, they are killer businesswomen with more heart and drive than most people I know.

The first featured designer was Thilde Weems at Belle Neptune. Thilde’s prints are “original designs from the artist’s photography, as well as from Nasa, and are placed into the garment in such a way  to complement a woman’s anatomy. The original designs are eye catching and memorable.” Thilde was so easy to work with. She chose the perfect pieces for each of the models and assisted behind the scenes for all three other designers. What a team player! Click above to find out more about her designs and upcoming shows.

The second designer to grace the red carpet was Esther Jocelyne Fame of Fantabela. Esther’s line is inspired from her West African roots and upbringing in Camaroon. Fantabela is a fair trade company, and her goal is to provide artisans with a substantial source of income that will benefit them as well as the communities they live in.

LiveLoveModa was founded by Kiely Hernandez. Her mission behind the brand is to provide customers with an online fashion boutique where they can find trendy, versatile pieces at budget friendly prices.

Last but not least was Sheila Ash, Fashion Stylist and InnKeeper at Noe’s Nest. Meeting Sheila was an unforgettable experience because she is an unforgettable woman. Not only is she a vintage stylist, collector and event planner, she’s a writer and Innkeeper at Noe’s Nest in San Francisco. http://www.noesnest.com

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On top of the gorgeous clothes we got to wear, we also got to wear some killer jewels, provided by some more amazing women. Check out their jewels at:

SparklebyResh & Jam Jar

Thank you to all the Designers, to Terri and Nicolette for making us look beautiful and fierce, to the photographers and supporters that came!

Amazing photos taken by-Michael More-https://www.facebook.com/pureinfodesign

A Social Media Girl In A Wine Country World

It’s hard to talk about who I am and where I’m from without sounding like I’m bragging. That is not my intention. But I did grow up in the wine country, my parents are still happily married, I’ve been lucky enough to do a handful of traveling, I went to college for free, I have the love and devotion of a great man, and the coolest friends a girl could ask for.
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Now before you make the assumption that I am a spoiled, rich girl, dining at French Laundry and buying my groceries at Dean & Deluca, I can assure you that I have never been to a Thomas Kellar restaurant, and even though Dean & Deluca is around the corner from my parents’ house, we don’t shop there.

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I was born in Los Angeles, where my parents were raised. We made the move to the Napa Valley in the early 90’s when the housing market was affordable and their businesses were doing well. In our 20 years in the wine country, we have watched property value triple. It’s impossible to live in the wine country on an average American salary these days. I don’t know how I make it work, but I do because I couldn’t see myself living anywhere else.

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I’ve been a restaurant kid since I was 15. I started out as a hostess at a local brewery and worked my way up to bartender by 21 at several fine-dining restaurants all over Napa and Sonoma County. The restaurant industry gave me the freedom to do full time school and pursue my love for music. But as most restaurant industry people know, it’s harder to get out of it than it is to get into it. The flexible hours, the cash in your pocket every night, the free food, and of course the friendships that you form with your co-workers are often the strongest bonds.

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Nowadays, when I’m not waiting tables at THE BEST slow food movement restaurant in Sonoma County, I’m working on building my social media business, working for Spoiled To Perfection, a webseries about fermentation, working out, hanging with friends and family, watching the Giants, cooking, making music, playing dress up, drinking wine and exploring the most beautiful place to live in all of California, The Wine Country.

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I’m a loud, whiny, hyper, and passionate person with only child and little person syndrome. My friends and family are insane.

Our stories are so bazaar. I struggle on a daily basis with the decision to spend the day being a productive professional or a total weirdo, artistic maniac. I cry all the time, from laughing just as much as from sadness. I truly believe in my heart that almost any problem can be solved with tacos and Netflix.

My blog is all over the place, waiter rants, marketing, cooking experiments, reviews of my favorite places and products, funny stories and more. I try to stay as objective and appropriate as possible. (That’s a total lie) Follow me on IG and Twitter @emmysomple.

Cheers!