Dog hikes, checkerblooms and wine

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While it’s deplorable to spill your wine it’s laudable to spill the dirt about wine. And that’s what this column will do. We took a look at some of Sonoma Valley’s wineries to find out fun or interesting events they have planned. Here are a few to consider:

Kunde dog hike

Earn some tail wags from Fido by taking your dog on a hike at Kunde Family Winery, and support animal rescue groups at the same time.

Jeff Kunde, winemaker, and his dogs Cooper and Katie, will show you the way around their vineyards. The hike is moderately strenuous and lasts about four hours, and at the end a reward of wine tasting and wine country lunch will make it all worthwhile.

The hike starts along the Sonoma Valley floor and winds through oak woodlands, native grasslands and chapparal.

A portion of the fees will be donated to Dogwood Animal Rescue Project and Sonoma County Humane Society.

Pre-registration is required. Call 833-5501, ext. 334 or email

When: April 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Kunde Family Winery, 9825 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood

Cost: $90.

Checkerbloom at Deerfield Ranch

There are only two places where the Kenwood Marsh checkerboom plants exist and both are in Sonoma County, according to the Checkbloom Society. One of those places is at Deerfield Ranch Winery, which is holding its 14th Annual Checkerbloom Gala fundraiser that supports the restoration of the pretty little endangered flower and the Kenwood wetlands.

The theme for this year’s party is “On the Green” and it’s a garden party with a pétanque tournament, vault tasting with the winemaker, spa treatments by the pool, barbecue and a silent auction. Pétanque (pronounced pa-TANGK) is similar to bocce and harder to spell.

To make reservations contact: Bill Klein at 707-833-5215 x1003,, or

When: May 4 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: Deerfield Ranch, 131 Warm Springs Rd., Kenwood

Cost: $125 per person/$100 for wine club members.

Miles of pinots

Walt Wines will hold its “1,000 Miles of Pinot Party” where tasters will taste their way up and down 1,000 miles of California via the wine glass. Guests will sample 2017 Walt wines from the Central Coast where berries come from Santa Lucia Highlands or Santa Rita Hills, for example, through Los Carneros in Napa Valley, Gap’s Crown and Bob’s Ranch of the Sonoma Coast to Anderson Valley in Mendocino County.

Small bites from Sonoma’s Girl and the Fig will be offered to nibble on. Purchase tickets through the winery’s website at

When: May 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Walt Wines, 380 1st St. W., Sonoma

Cost: $85 per person.

Spring fling

Chateau St. Jean will hold a “Swing into Spring” event out on its Grand Lawn where performers from the Transcendence Theatre Company will perform on the Chateau Patio. Take a blanket or a chair and enjoy Chateau St. Jean wine – four tasting tickets can be used to customize your own flight – and grab a bite to eat from one of the gourmet food trucks that will be there. More wine by the glass or bottle can be purchased.

VIP guests get to sit on Adirondack chairs, have access to the winery’s reserve wines at a private wine station and bars, get vouchers for any of the food trucks, plus an extra wine tasting ticket.

Club members have access to the reserve wines, too.

When: May 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Chateau St. Jean, 8555 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood

Cost: $75 VIP/$60 VIP club member/$40 general admission/$32 general admission club member.

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