Introducing – Your Source For The #Petaluma Wine Industry

sojourn barrel with wine glassesTo celebrate Petaluma’s growth in the wine industry, we decided it was time to have a dedicated place (website) focused on it. was created by our team to increase our viticulture footprint in the digital world.  We want people to easily find and learn to love the wines produced by our local vintners and winemakers.  We want to generate some excitement over the Petaluma Gap region so wine lovers will want to stop in Petaluma as part of their wine country experience.

In addition to the website we will be supporting social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest, and Flipboard Magazine.  Thanks in advance for the follows, “Like”s, and sharing.

girl and wine glassIn the near future the website will have maps and listings of wineries, vineyards and tasting rooms.  We will also feature Petaluma restaurants and chefs who regularly offer Petaluma or Petaluma Gap wines on their wine lists and can recommend pairings with their menus.  In the future we will also be adding links to local stores who carry Petaluma wines and any wine clubs.

We hope that you like the logo and think that it well represents our industry incorporating a leghorn rooster with wine glass and egg basket full of bottled wine on a Petaluma Gap backdrop.

Thank you for sharing this new website on your timeline.

Petaluma: A History of Winegrowing, and a Look to the Future

When most people hear Petaluma, they think of butter and eggs. Over the last few years, the fortunes of the wine coming from this area have risen. But while this recent surge in grapes and wine has added to the area’s notoriety, this is by no means recent. The Petaluma region has been involved in quality grape and wine production for decades.

In the beginning…

Bihler Ranch House 1828
Bihler Ranch House 1828, Photo From Sonoma County Library Archives

Today’s grape growers and winemakers in the Petaluma area can trace a long lineage in this vinous endeavor. The area around Petaluma had many thriving vineyards in the mid-1800s. John Staedler had vineyards near the town in the 1860s. William Bihler planted vines on the banks of Petaluma Creek, on the hillsides, then out in the Lakeville area by the late 1870s. Many others, including James Fair, as well as immigrants from Germany, Italy, France and Switzerland, planted vineyards of various sizes during this time.

In 1884, G.V. Fischer established the first winery in Petaluma; James Fair started on in the Lakeville area shortly after. Fair’s winery soon had a 600,000 gallons capacity – one of the largest 8575024694_1d225d51c6_min the state at the time. Along with the problems in the French winegrowing industry at around this time (due to phylloxera), many areas in California, including Petaluma, established more vineyards, to meet the demand for wine for a global market. Around the turn of the 29th Century, the area had a bit more than 1,000 acres under vine. Of course, there were changes in the wind: Phylloxera and Prohibition. Because of the devastation of the vineyards by the former, and the lack of need for grapes caused by the latter, many vineyards simply changed to other agriculture.

A New Hope

bihler ranch house 2
Bihler Ranch House, Photo By Positively Petaluma

But, luckily, by the early 1990s, growers were looking for places that could grow top-quality grapes, and many started looking at the Petaluma area as a source.ove the last quarter century, vineyard acreage has grown to around 4,000 acres. The predominant grape during this resurgence has been Pinot Noir. Approximately 75% of the acreage in the area is this wonderful, if sometimes fickle, variety. The next two varieties are Chardonnay and Syrah (nearly equal), with less than 1% comprised of some exciting varieties, such as Tempranillo, Viognier and Pinot Gris.

Bihler Ranch House Today
Bihler Ranch House Today, Photo By Positively Petaluma

While the soils and contours of the land are special in shaping the vineyards, what gives the grapes in the Petaluma Gap (as it is called) their distinctness is the weather – mainly the fog and wind. The fog brings cooling, in the early morning and late afternoon to the area, and helps the vines and grapes “relax” after a day of growing. The wind not only brings additional cooling, but helps the skins of the grapes toughen up, to withstand the barrage of the gusts. This toughening, especially in the red grapes, 9325607743_bedc86355d_zhelps them achieve more color and flavors, which yield wines of deeper color, aromas and tastes. The Gap stretches from Bodega Bay and Dillon Beach on the coast, eastward through southern Sonoma and northern Marin Counties, through the Petaluma area, and finally sweeping south east, down the Petaluma River and out to San Pablo Bay. The winds are pulled through this area at much higher speed than the surrounding areas, giving the grapes there toughness, flavor and distinct characters that have become the hallmark of wines from the Petaluma Gap. All of this has lead for the application for American Viticultural Area status with the federal government. While still in its early stages, all signs are pointing toward establishing the Petaluma Gap as a new AVA.

With a long history of quality grape growing and winemaking, the Petaluma area is poised to keep advancing forward – in quality, in recognition, and of enjoyment of its wines.

Want To Advertise Your Business To Thousands Locally? Special Offer For July!

Ad Zones For Positively Petaluma 2When someone sees your local banner advertisement on the Positively Petaluma website you can rest assure that your brand will be anchored with positive information. Thousands visit our site monthly, and because Positively Petaluma is organically grown, your business is going to be seen by consumers who actually live in the area.  When you advertise on our site, you will also be supporting locally and Positively Petaluma’s efforts to flood the web with positive information and news stories about our great city.  If you are reading this and you don’t have a business to advertise, but you know someone who does we thank you in advance for forwarding this post to them.

For the month of July we will be running a special promotion 50% off on all of our ad zones you see on this site.  They are on a first come first serve basis, and you can lock up the top spots for as long as 90 days.

It’s easy to place you ad.  Simply go to our advertising page and it is as simple as 1-2-3.

1. Complete the short online form and upload your artwork (If you do not have artwork YourBizFootprint can help you create it.)

2. Submit the form and your payment (on 2Checkout or Paypal). When checking out add promo code POSITIVE to get the 50% discount.

3. When we approve your ad content it shows live immediately.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Thank you in advance for supporting us and helping to spread the good news and information about Petaluma.


What’s Going On In Petaluma This Week? July 3rd through July 10th

Petaluma City Proclomation of Annual Bell RingingFourth of July Breakfast – Sat., 8am-Noon:  At the Veterans Memorial Building, 1094 Petaluma Blvd. South.  $6 Adults;  $5 kids & under. 773-3610.

Annual Bell-Ringing Ceremony– Sat. 10:30 am: A Petaluma tradition with the Boy Scouts Color Guard, Mayor’s Proclamation and the history of the bell. Stay for cookies & lemonade in the garden court. Petaluma Historical Museum, 20 Fourth St.  778-4398.

Penngrove’s “Biggest Little Parade” Sun., 11am: Parade, Barbeque and pancake breakfast. For more info: 795-6011.

Photo by Beth Schlanker, Press Democrat
Photo by Beth Schlanker, Press Democrat

Saturday Farmer’s Market in Walnut Park – Sat., 2-5:30 pm: Over 60 booths selling farm-fresh produce and local products. Live entertainment & activities in Walnut Park. . 415-999-5635.

Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration – Sat., 5pm-10ish: Includes live music, food, beer, wine, games & lots of activities for kids. Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds, 175 Fairgrounds Dr. Call 824-8717 for details.

Boating at the Barn – Sun., 10am-1pm: Free kayak and row boat rides at the River Heritage Center in Steamer Landing Park. 769-0910.

Abigail MarkwynEast-Side Farmers’ MarketTuesdays, 10am-1:30 pm: Year-round, rain or shine! New Location: Deer Creek Shopping Center (Friedman’s) 429 No. McDowell.  415-999-5635.

Wednesday Evening Farmers Market – Wed., 4:30-8 pm:  Two blocks of vendors, music & fun in Theatre District.  Second, B & C Streets.

Lecture by Abigail M. Markwyn – Fri. (7/10), 7:30pm: Author of “Empress San Francisco: The Pacific Rim, the Great West and California at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.” Petaluma Museum, 20 Fourth St. 778-4398.

Jimmy Kimmel Gives Quasi Modo a MakeOver

Recently we reported on the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma in Breaking News: Quasi Modo winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest!  Today Jimmy Kimmel wanted to do something special for Quasi Modo, the winner of this year’s Petaluma’s World’s Ugliest Dog Competition. So he reached out to celebrity stylist Carson Kressley and his team of hair, makeup and fashion experts to give the World’s Ugliest Dog a full celebrity makeover.  Only after one day of posting it, as of this morning, it has already been viewed over 75,000 times.

To see the winner of last year, Peanut, get a makeover see our post Video: #Petaluma’s Ugliest Dog Gets Makeover on Jimmy Kimmel Show.

If you like this post, please share it with friends on your timeline using the social media icons below.

VIDEO: Robin Trower’s Encore Performance at #Petaluma Mystic Theater

Petaluma has great live music venues and we have listed places below where you can find great live music.  In our daily searches for good news in Petaluma, we often run into homemade videos of live music performances that are so bad in quality they are not worth sharing.  Also in the past when we ask musicians to video them they often will decline because you cannot come close to studio quality sound in a live or outdoor venue.  However, we ran across this video created by David Reed who did a great job capturing  Robin Trower’s classic song Too Rolling Stoned recently performed at the Petaluma Mystic Theater.  If you are a classic rock and roll fan we thought you might enjoy this encore performance.

To find the excellent live music venues in Petaluma here is a list of places that have live entertainment. Check their websites for more information.

Aqus Café:

The Big Easy:

Brixx Pizzeria:

The Buckhorn Tavern:

Corkscrew Wine Bar:

Graffiti Restaurant:

Jamison’s Roaring Donkey:

Lagunitas Brewing Co.:

Maquire’s Pub:

Mystic Theatre:

Phoenix Theater:

Pongo’s Kitchen &

Pub Republic:

Ray’s Tavern:

Willowbrook Ale House: 3600 Petaluma Blvd. No.



Positively Petaluma Welcomes Petaluma Wine! Contributor David Sandri, CSW, WLS, WSET Certified Advanced

McEvoy RanchLast week we introduced you to Sherrie Perkovich as a new Petaluma Wine! contributor and she did an awesome job with her first post Wind to Wine: the #Petaluma Gap story.  This week we are pleased to announce our second wine contributor, David Sandri.   David is a veteran in the wine industry for over 25 years and has earned the title of Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) from the Society of Wine Educators, Advanced Certification with Wines & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), and is a Wine Location Specialist (WLS).  He has 10-years experience in wine judging throughout the United States and is published internationally.  He regularly lectures in the Sonoma State University Wine program on various topics, and helped in the development of wine appreciation courses through College of Marin.

With David and Sherrie contributing to Positively Petaluma there will be no other local source or publication as focused on creating content around Petaluma’s wine industry.  We are very excited to have two very experienced wine contributors on our team who will help put Petaluma Wines on the map.


#Petaluma Becomes First City in Sonoma County to Earn “HeartSafe Community” Designation

Photo Golden Hearts (from left to right): Back row: David Kahn, Petaluma Fire Department Battalion Chief; Mike Dolcini, Survivor; Paul Dolcini, Rescuer; Jeff Olufs, Rescuer; Jeff Schach, Petaluma Fire Department Battalion Chief Front row: Koko Stephens-Jackson, Rescuer; Tena Jackson, Survivor; Emmy Stephens-Jackson, Rescuer

City Council Declaration Recognizes the Success of Petaluma Health Care District in Preparing Residents for Cardiac Emergencies

PETALUMA, Calif., June 17, 2015 Petaluma Health Care District (PHCD) is pleased to announce that the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and Petaluma City Council have designated Petaluma a HeartSafe Community, formally celebrating PHCD’s efforts to address heart health education and provide life-saving CPR trainings to combat Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) outside of hospital walls through its HeartSafe Community initiative (HSC). Petaluma is Sonoma County’s first city to receive the designation.

“The collaborative success, and our community leaders’ recognition, of the HeartSafe Community initiative once again demonstrate that Southern Sonoma County is prioritizing health and wellness as a critical component to a thriving community,” said PHCD CEO Ramona Faith. “PHCD sees total health as more than just illness prevention and we are ecstatic to see the strides local leaders and community members are taking to help us address these issues.”

Knowing that more than 300,000 Americans are victims of SCA each year, PHCD launched HSC in 2013 to strengthen Southern Sonoma County’s response to cardiac emergencies through cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) trainings, strategic AED installation, maintenance and registration, and heart health education. The initiative is led by PHCD in collaboration with the Petaluma Fire Department, Coastal Valleys Emergency Medical Services, Petaluma Valley Hospital, St. Joseph Health System, Arrow Benefits Group, Rancho Adobe Fire District, Petaluma City Schools, Petaluma Save A Life, Save Lives Sonoma and the American Heart Association (AHA). HSC is managed by Healthquest CPR, an authorized AHA training center.

HSC Designation - Group Photo

Group photo (from left to right): Back row: Wayne Van Patten Jr.; Petaluma Save-A-Life; John Furrer, Petaluma Save-A-Life; Ted Williams, Save Lives Sonoma; Apryl Lopez, PHCD Healthquest Instructor; Tina Deason, PHCD Healthquest Coordinator and Instructor; Wendi Thomas, Petaluma Valley Hospital ER Manager; Jody Pater-Bradley, REDCOM 911 Dispatch; Maria Larsen, PHCD Healthquest Manager; Joetta Furrer, Petaluma Save-a-Life; Teresa Scott, St. Joseph Health Front row: Ramona Faith, PHCD CEO; Tami Bender, PHCD Healthquest Instructor and HeartSafe Community Lead Role

To earn the HeartSafe Community designation, PHCD and the HeartSafe Community Advisory Committee developed and implemented an action plan to meet criteria that demonstrate a strengthening of the “chain of survival” as described by the AHA. This includes widespread CPR/AED trainings; public access to AEDs; community education on signs and symptoms of heart attack and activating 9-1-1; and ongoing evaluation of the action plan to sustain the community’s HeartSafe designation. In recognition of HSC’s success, four “Golden Heart Awards” were presented at the City Council meeting to residents of the community who were trained through the program and used the skills they learned to save a life. Petaluma Fire Department Battalion Chiefs David Kahn and Jeff Schach presented Emmy Stephens-Jackson and Koko Stephens-Jackson with a certificate for their efforts that contributed to the saving of their mother Tena Jackson, Paul Dolcini for saving his brother Mike Dolcini, and John Olufs for saving a Petaluma resident. Several other instances of community members using HSC CPR or AED training have also been reported.

“We are extremely proud of all the work our team here at PHCD, along with our dedicated partners, have put into not only meeting – and, actually exceeding – the criteria to receive HeartSafe designation, but to make heart health and rescue preparedness a top priority in our community,” continued Faith. “Simply put, we know that the HeartSafe Community initiative has saved lives and will continue to do so as we bring CPR/AED training to more individuals, businesses and schools with this designation behind us.”

In honor of Petaluma’s designation and June being CPR/AED Awareness Month, PHCD is inviting businesses and community members to take advantage of special discounts on CPR and AED training, AED purchases, and heart health education. To learn more about the discounts or how you can support HSC, call Healthquest CPR at 707-766-9226 or email [email protected]. Discounts will go through August 1, 2015, and participating businesses will receive special recognition in the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce Directory.

About Petaluma Health Care District

The Petaluma Health Care District (PHCD) is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the Southern Sonoma County community through leadership, advocacy, support, partnerships and education. Its vision is to foster a healthier community, a thriving hospital and local access to comprehensive health and wellness services. PHCD has served the health and wellness needs of the community for more than 65 years and is a public agency managed by the community for the community. For more information, please visit