Cline news, hires and promotions, asset sales and more

What Uber is doing to insert itself into the wine business... and more, in this week’s business news.|

Job search help: A new online tool at the library, JobNow, offers free live online help for job seekers, including live job coaching, a resume lab and eParachute ― a self-assessment tool to discover a career or academic path that best suits you.

An example of a Free People storefront.
An example of a Free People storefront.

Fashionistas rejoice: A Free People retail store is readying to open on First Street in Napa, next to the Lululemon store. The specialty women's clothing store could open as soon as this spring at 1214 First St.

Cline news: The Cline family has launched a new wine label called Gust. The wine is the brainchild of Cline siblings Megan, Hilary and Tom, from Cline vineyards in Sonoma County’s newest wine appellation, the Petaluma Gap. Learn more at

Retirement: John Peterson is retiring as executive director of Audubon Canyon Ranch on April 1 after 35 years of service with ACR.

Move: Las Diablitas Taco Truck has moved and you will no longer see it on Highway 12, just north of McDonald’s. Its new location is 19050 Bay St. The truck sells quesabirrias, mulitas, burritos and more, and is open from 5 to 10 p.m. on weekdays and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The restaurant storefront on Highway 12 has closed.

For lease: Around 1,000 to 2,800 square feet of commercial/office/warehouse space is available for lease by Compass at 19404 Sonoma Highway, near the bend of West Spain Street and Highway 12. One former tenant was Pilates Sonoma.

Cornerstone space available: A large office/retail space at 23562-23592 Arnold Drive in Cornerstone Sonoma is currently listed as available on LoopNet real estate site by LeFever Mattson. The space was formerly occupied by Keating Winery. The current wineries operating at Cornerstone are Meadowcroft and Obsidian.

Napa gets a dispensary: A new medicinal cannabis dispensary called Perfect Union will open on Industrial Way near Napa’s Whole Foods Market in May. The Sacramento-based Perfect Union has nine other stores in California and five in New Mexico.

New hire: Bartholomew Estate Winery has hired Keith LaVine as general manager. LaVine was most recently at Rutherford Wine Company, and previously with Artesa, Lynmar Estate and Sonoma Cutrer.

Big anniversary: Janie Raymond from Plain Jane’s Consignments is celebrating her store’s 25th year in its current location at 18495 Sonoma Highway in Boyes Hot Springs. Five presidents later, the store still specializes in resale home decorating items as well as things for the garden. “With the shelter in place rules, everyone seems to be fixing up their homes,” said Raymond. “Thankfully, our business is as good as ever.”

Uber Drinks: The drinks delivery app Drizly was purchased last week by Uber for $1.1 billion. Drizly’s premise is that it will deliver beer, wine and liquor to customers in under 60 minutes. What this will mean for the wine business is a subject of some debate. Learn more at

Raceway news: Nick Bublitz has been named Sonoma Raceway’s drag strip manager. He will oversee day-to-day operations as well as the weekly Wednesday Night Drags program, which kicks off March 17. He takes the reins from Kyle Seipel, who has been the drag racing manager at Sonoma Raceway since 2017 after stepping in for his mother, Georgia, upon her retirement after 30 years at the raceway.

Wine sales: The main trade group for California wineries has launched a $10 million marketing campaign to boost exports from North Coast wineries. The Wine Institute’s goal is to increase California wine exports to $2.5 billion in value over the next 10 years, up from the $1.36 billion that was sold outside the country in 2019.

Asset sales: Becoming Independent, which supports adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has sold one of its two Santa Rosa campus buildings to Burbank Housing. Becoming Independent acquired 1425 Corporate Center Parkway almost 20 years ago. The nonprofit will use the proceeds to ensure it ongoing operations.

A 14-by-14 inch pet portrait by Joan Stagnaro.
A 14-by-14 inch pet portrait by Joan Stagnaro.

Pet portraits: Sonoma artist Joan Stagnaro has combined her love of animals and painting abilities into a new, successful business painting custom pet portraits in acrylic gallery quality canvas with a wrapped edge. Learn more at or email

Contact Lorna at

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