At a public meeting a few weeks ago on the issue of wine tasting rooms in downtown Sonoma, the indication from members of the city council and the planning commission was that any new winery that wanted to join the club (26 and counting) would have to first get a use permit from the city. Not an arduous process, said many officials, including Mayor Tom Rouse. With Monday’s vote, though, the council decided that extra simple step would not be necessary – a tasting room is now the same as any other proposed business… A cap on tasting rooms was never considered, but the planning commission, at the council’s request seemingly a vintage ago, worked up a set of regulations, including limiting the size of such businesses and hours of operation. The council basically dumped all those into the spit bucket Monday night… The decision showed the naive side of small-town politics, says Larry Barnett.
A burglar made an extreme ATM withdrawal last week – he stole the entire cash machine. After hours at an Arnold Drive gas station, somebody broke into the store, pried the ATM out of the ground, humped it into a white van and took off. Everybody occasionally forgets their PIN number, but that is ridiculous.
The Belmonte family, owners of VJB Vineyards and Cellars of Kenwood, have purchased Wellington Vineyards and its 21+ acres of vineyards and production facility. The location and layout of the land and the proximity to our current location make it ideal for us,” said Vittorio Belmonte. As for Peter Wellington, he will continue to run the tasting room as part of a two-year lease agreement.
Best response in our ‘Best of’ poll, in the category of Best Secret Getaway: “If I told you, it wouldn’t be secret anymore.”