Kathleen Hill: Avocados are safe, Ravenswood is sold and more
Avocado crisis averted
So there were lots of predictions last week about a potential avocado shortage if President Trump carried through with his threat to close the U.S-Mexico border this week, which he did not. Instead he decided to stretch this one-week threat to one year, so avocados will continue to flow freely across the border.
We do have lots of California growers as well. Check out avocados from Visalia available at the Friday Farmers Market, sold by the pound. Meanwhile, several companies are making cutlery and straws from avocado seeds that biodegrade in 240 days.
Chocolate and wine tasting today
Cook Mercantile hosts a chocolate and wine pairing this afternoon, Friday, April 12. Look forward to tasting Arrowhead Mountain Vineyards and Bar None’s Canyon wines along with Philip Marks’ chocolates.
Bob and Ruth Elster of Arrowhead Mountain Vineyard will pour their estate red blend, while Kimberly Hughes of Bar None’s Canyon will pour her zinfandel. Kevin Turnbeaugh, chocolatier, will pair Philip Marks chocolates with the wines. Marks creates interesting chocolate combinations in his San Francisco plant. I met him and sampled his excellent chocolates when we were both exhibiting at what used to be Marin French Cheese’s annual cheese festival. Free. 1 to 3 p.m.
On Saturday, John Arends and David Cook will present a class in “All Grain Brewing” from 1 to 5 p.m. Free. 19626 Eighth St. E., Sonoma. Call 948-7917 or 948-7917 to sign up.
Altimira Plant Sale & Flea Market
Sonoma’s fabulous Altimira school garden presents a plant sale and flea market put on by middle school students this Saturday, April 13, in the middle school’s front parking lot. This will be a good one and helps the garden and other student projects at Altimira. Free admission. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. 17805 Arnold Drive.
Margie Brooke drops in and out of Sonoma
Margie Brooke, former owner and chef of her Community Café, breezed into town to ready her Fryer Creek Farm for sale.
Community Café was a delightfully healthy and informal place to dine on West Napa Street, along with her Annex Wine Bar; current owners hope to open a marijuana dispensary on the former restaurant property.
Sonoma Valley Rotary enjoyed an al fresco luncheon at Brooke’s Fryer Creek Farm just before she moved to Panama that included huge platters of colorful grilled vegetables and salads grown right there on the farm.
In a recent email Brooke commented, “I know it’s likely someone is just going to buy it and plunk a McMansion on it, but I still hold out hope for someone who will work the garden. It is so special, as is the 2-acre property with the creek running through it and the ancient oaks. You probably didn’t see it but at the back of the property on the other side of the creek we have the largest cork Oak in the valley, planted by General Vallejo.”
Ravenswood sold again
A onetime medical researcher and bacteriologist at Sonoma Valley Hospital, Joel Peterson started Ravenswood Winery with friend Reed Foster in 1976, eventually earning the dubbings of “Godfather of Zin” and “the Raven Maven,” all inspired by a raven. We remember his little winery on “Deadman’s Curve” on Broadway below Watmaugh Road — and a few wild parties there — and at “the new place” on Gehricke Road, where the tasting room was designed by Sonoma architect Adrian Martinez.