Sleep in the Barn?
Barns are generally best left to livestock, unless it is the barn at Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant in Forestville, recognized as a Top 10 Culinary Country Inn, by Bon Appétit magazine in 2008. To their luxury wine country inn and restaurant, siblings Catherine and Joe Bartolomei have recently added eight new deluxe guest rooms on the six-acre property. The modern yet rustic suites overlook the surrounding woodlands, with dual-sided indoor-outdoor fireplaces, private decks, and indulgent touches such as radiant-heated floors, luxurious bedding, steam showers and jetted tubs set against large windows. San Anselmo’s John Merten of Studio Green designed the contemporary landscape with a nod to the property’s history: “Since the grounds surround an old farmhouse, I aimed for authenticity.” Included in the stay is a breakfast at the Michelin-star-rated, on-property restaurant, Farmhouse. Make it a point to have dinner there too.

Solar Sips
Kudos to Sterling Vineyards in Napa Valley for its status as a Napa Valley Green Winery. Besides its new line of earth-friendly products, Sterling Vineyards Made With Organic Grapes, it has also made some changes facility-wise, including the addition of water conservation, energy conservation, pollution prevention, and solid waste reduction elements. Earlier this summer, Novato-based SolarCraft completed a 72-kW solar electric system, including a solar photovoltaic system that powers the famous aerial tram. The new system will spare the air nearly 64 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually.

Two Kids, Four Seasons
This year’s musical lineup for the fourth annual Napa Valley Festival del Sole promises to be memorable, especially the event at Castello de Amorosa on July 21. This evening will benefit the Redford Center and features the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, including 14-year-old wunderkind violinist Chad Hoopes, who will play Vivaldi’s Four Seasons as the Sundance Kid, aka Robert Redford, takes the stage to narrate the four sonnets Vivaldi wrote to accompany his famous works. The entire festival runs from July 17 through the 25.

Drivers Beware
The 2009 Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon is happening on July 19, starting in the vineyards at Cuvaison Carneros Estate Winery in Napa and finishing in front of City Hall in downtown Sonoma. Want to run next year? Sign up early; it sells out fast.