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Business Beat: 12/15/2020

2020 in a nutshell

With COVID-19 restrictions still hitting local businesses hard, your humble Business Beat editor encourages all of you to keep patronizing our restaurants, wineries, shops, grocery stores, etc. as best you can. No doubt they are struggling and have worked incredibly hard to stay open amidst the many shifting rules and regulations.

Let's help them get over the finish line to where things can be back to business as usual.

There have been lots of changes in the local business community in 2020. Here's a synopsis of the year's comings and goings:

The Garden Court Café had to temporarily close due to a major remodel of the building they occupied at the corner of Arnold Drive and Carquinez Avenue in Glen Ellen. McCormick's Mercantile, also in the building, moved across the street temporarily. Work at the soon-to-be two-story mixed-use building is coming along, so look for a reopening of those two businesses early next year… Gundlach Bundschu bought Valley of the Moon Winery on Madrone Road, did some remodeling, and reopened as Abbot's Passage Winery & Mercantile, run by sixth-generation vintner Katie Bundschu… Jack London Village got some new additions in 2020, including The Mill at Glen Ellen restaurant with owners Sanjeev Singh and Dana Jaffe. Lauren Kershner and her Goodness Gracious Catering moved into space at the village, as did real estate company Urban Relocation Specialists with agents Lewise Salvadori and Lorene Campi. One more addition was Michael Dickinson's glass-blowing studio, Dickinson Glass… Across the street from Jack London Village on Arnold Drive, Beresini Winery opened up a tasting room. The winery is owned by Debra and Steve Beresini… Chef Justin Horn opened a pop-up restaurant, Alton, at the Jack London Saloon… Dan Whalen and Katie Honey bought Annadel Estate Winery from Dean and Abigail Bordigioni… Sushimotos Catering & Chef Services opened in the Skyhawk Village shopping center for pick-up and delivery of a variety of sushi platters… After 30 years, Kenwood restaurant landmark Café Citti and its proprietors Luca and Linda Citti moved to Santa Rosa, to 2792 Fourth St. As of press time, the location is being remodeled so check the eatery's website for an opening date… Iconic Wildwood Nursery in Kenwood closed after 45 years of the Monte family selling Japanese maples, dogwoods, and more. The new owners of the property run Manzanita Grove Vineyard in the Moon Mountain AVA. This fall, a public notice indicated the owners have applied for a California Alcoholic Beverage Control winery license… Indian Springs Ranch in Kenwood,former home to MacLeod Family Vineyard, was sold to Graeme Martin Currie and his family… Sunce Winery closed its tasting room in Kenwood, as did Paradise RidgeKivelstadt Cellars in Glen Ellen moved its tasting room to Sonoma and opened a restaurant, with their space then filled by another Glen Ellen Winery, Laurel Glen Vineyard, who moved from their previous space on Carquinez Avenue.

Wow, that was a lot of changes in 2020. What's next?

In other business news:

Award for Garden Court and McCormick's Mercantile building

The construction project at 13647 Arnold Dr. and Warms Springs Road was recently recognized as a North Bay Business Journal Top Project. Stephen Sorkin of Abraham's Farms, LLC, as the developer, will accept the award on behalf of Castor Architecture, and the consulting engineers for the project at a virtual award ceremony via Zoom on Dec. 17.

The development project is nearing completion, with full renovation and modernization of the Garden Court Cafe restaurant and McCormick's Mercantile, and conversion of two apartments and two vacant commercial spaces into six one-bedroom apartments and two three-bedroom apartments. The project involved nearly full demolition of the former restaurant and retail spaces.

There will also be outdoor dining space, plenty of parking, two L2 electric car charging stations and one DC fast charging station.

Ledson wines win prestigious awards

Kenwood based Ledson Winery & Vineyards was recently awarded the Andre Tchelistcheff Winemaker of the Year award at the 2020 San Francisco International Wine Competition.

The award is bestowed on the winemaking team with the most impressive portfolio of wine entries.

“This is evidence of the high quality of wines coming from this winery. Steve Ledson is an amazing winemaker and winning these awards is very impressive,” said competition organizer and wine critic Anthony Dias Blue.

In addition to the Winemaker Award the Ledson team won four additional awards.

To learn more about Ledson Winery, go to

Palooza holiday giveaway

Do you feel like a winner? Come to Palooza Brewery & Gastropub during December and you can enter its $10,000 Holiday Giveaway.

Staff will give you a red envelope that you need to hold onto. Bring it back (unopened) in January for a chance to win a free beverage, free appetizer, $100 gift card, a case of wine for $1, 10 percent off an entrée, or a free dessert.

The envelope must be opened in front of a Palooza employee to be valid, so no peeking!

Palooza is located in the Kenwood shopping center, and can be reached at 833-4000.

TIPS Family Holiday Meal to go

TIPS Roadside in Kenwood is offering a Family Holiday meal to go.

To be picked up on Dec. 24 from 12-3 p.m., the meal serves four and consists of a spiral ham or prime rib; scalloped potatoes; mushroom, bacon and green bean casserole; roasted carrots and shallots, cranberry walnut salad; dinner rolls; and add on Grandma Lila's cheesecake or triple berry pie.

Cost is $199. Dessert is an additional $34. You can also order bottles of wine at extra cost.

Delivery available.

To order, call 509-0078, or go to

Sign up for wine industry seminar, trade show

The Sonoma County Winegrowers annual Dollars & $ense Seminar and Trade Show will take place virtually on Thursday, Jan. 14, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.

This year's theme is a 2020 recap - “Under Pressure, and a Look Ahead to 2021.”

This year the virtual format creates an all access pass to some of the best experts in the business - Ray Isle, Executive Wine Editor from Food & Wine magazine, Glenn Proctor from Ciatti Co., a marketplace sales and consumer update, and a conversation with Congressman Mike Thompson.

There's also a special 'choose your topic' path focused on key grower issues such as smoke exposure, crop insurance, contracts and more.

Visit your favorite vendor in the virtual tradeshow, and don't miss the presentation of the Sonoma County Winegrowers and Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation marketing and strategic plan. Learn how your grower dollars are being invested to support agriculture and the Sonoma County brand.

Registration required. Go to

Any questions? Call Alisha Basich at 522-5867 or email

Do you have business news? Share it with the Kenwood Press by calling 833-5155, or emailing

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