Bachelor Ben, DaVero, Pizza and other bits

Bachelor Ben, DaVero, Pizza and other bits

Saturday was all about getting the hot tub up and running. It was ready to use Saturday night, but it had way too much chlorine – so much so it bleached Tori’s bikini. I smartly opted to wait until Sunday morning before sinking into the tub. It wasn’t as hot as I’d like at 96 degrees, but still comfortable and my bikini didn’t bleach.

We are really enjoying the old gal, even if she is temperamental and has a leak.

 Since Saturday was all about chores and work, we decided Sunday would be fun-filled and chore-free. So Bill and I put the two troublemakers in their car seat and headed out to a new-to-us winery in the Dry Creek Valley.

Davero is not your typical winery. They offer much more than wine. Most notably, they make their own olive oils from olive trees grown from clippings of an 800 year old olive trees the owner had transported from Italy in 1988.

The tasting is unlike any other I’ve had. In between tasting wines, we tasted three different olive oils, we also tried their balsamic vinegar, and six different flavors of jam.

Since we are currently up to our eyeballs in oils and vinegars, we passed buying any. But we did select a jar of blackberry jam and a jar of plum. The plum is my favorite.

Aren’t the striped labels darling? I am making a boule of no-knead bread as I type this – can’t wait to slather it with some plum jam.

I also bought a tin of hand balm made with olive oil, coconut oil and shea butter. It’s scented with lemongrass essential oil and makes my hands feel very soft and supple.

They also sell tapers, soaps and room spray – all handmade by local artisans using flowers, herbs and other materials from the DaVero property.

Oh, and we purchased some wine while we were there, too.

The rosato is perfect for warm days,
which we will be having all week.

We picked up a new wine cap to help keep leftover wine from spoiling. We are reformed bottle finishers now, so this cap will come in very handy.

After we tasted and tried and sipped, we took Coco and Daisy for a walk around the property.

Bill and I would love to do something like this with our backyard.

The property has loads of tomato plants, some artichokes,

corn, sunflowers….

and rows and rows of bonsai trees and olive starts contained in green houses.

Look at these bonsai pomegranate trees with tiny fruit on them.

DaVero is my new favorite winery. I can’t wait to visit again soon. Who wants to go with me?

When we left DaVero, we had the choice of going home or going for a drive. Sometimes it’s fun to see where the car goes.

We soon found ourselves on an unfamiliar road peppered with vineyards and farms. When we crested a hill, we came upon a group of people on the side of the road with walky talkies and a big tripod. I guessed they were shooting a commercial. We drove passed the group a few more yards and off to the side of the road was a man in a restored cherry red Bronco without a top. And who was sitting inside but Ben of The Bachelor!

Ben Flajnik of The Bachlorette and The Bachelor

Bill pulled over, rolled down the window and we had a chat with him as if we’d known him for years. What a kind and approachable young man he is. And much better looking in person. He has a great smile. Ben told us he was on his way to the very first rose ceremony. What a fun life he leads!

My friend Susan met him last week in Sonoma where they were also filming. Susan smartly got a photo with him, something I regret not doing myself.

He was in some kind of Robin Hood costume that day.

We were homeward bound after meeting Ben as it was getting late in the afternoon and somewhat time consuming homemade pizza was on the menu for dinner. We used this recipe for the crust as I wanted to use up some of my Caputo tipo 00 flour. We made a vegetarian….

and an Italian meat favorite for Bill (and me) of prosciutto and salami.

Then we tried to take a hot tub but this time the hot tub was too hot at 112. Ouch! We’ll get it right one of these days 🙂

And that…was our Sunday.
How was yours?



  1. September 26, 2011 / 8:43 am

    Sounds like a great Sunday! My Sunday was much more boring than yours, all I did was study for an exam that I have today.

  2. September 26, 2011 / 9:31 am

    Sounds like a perfect Sunday to me! I’m going to put this on our list of places to go when we spend Thanksgiving in your area. I do love the stripe labels on the jam. Great photos all around!

  3. Anonymous
    September 26, 2011 / 9:37 am

    Hi Adrienne!!
    You are right!! Ben was so kind and approachable!! When I met him in the Sonoma Square on Friday, and he was talking with me, he made me feel as if I was the only person who exsisted!! Even though, just to my right, were four VERY pretty and VERY young Bachlorettes!! Of one, he could be handing the final rose to and slipping a ring on her finger!! *sigh*
    Oh to be young again!!
    I know I must be getting older, because to me, the best picture on today’s blog are those PIZZA’S!!! Not the picture of Ben and I!! *Double sigh* 😉
    Glad you had a wonderful weekend!! Living in Sonoma County is the best! Wouldn’t you say??
    xoxo, Susan
    Valley of the Moon Nail Spa

  4. September 26, 2011 / 9:37 am

    @Suburban Princess It has been an excited last couple of days. Lots of fun! The pizza was and still is very tasty – we have tons of leftovers.

  5. September 26, 2011 / 9:38 am

    @Michelle P We often have rather dull weekends..and Tori was in the same boat as you, Michelle…she had so, so much homework it was crazy. How she would have loved to meet Ben too, but the books were beckoning.

  6. September 26, 2011 / 9:40 am

    @annie It’s kind of far from Sonoma in Healdsburg – about 45 minutes or more, but I think it may be worth the drive if you have the time. I look forward to getting to meet you while you’re here – I hope (fingers crossed!).

  7. September 26, 2011 / 9:42 am

    @Anonymous You are so funny….I thought the pizza was pretty great too – it was right up there with meeting Ben. xo

  8. September 26, 2011 / 9:53 am

    Oh Ben was my favourite bachelor last season.
    He is a wine maker too and I thought you were going to tell us that you had stumbled on his vineyard. They must be filming the bachelor segments.

  9. September 26, 2011 / 10:00 am

    @hostess of the humble bungalow You are correct hostess! He was coming back from Puma Springs, a vineyard near Healdsburg where he buys his grapes, as does the Benziger family (where I used to work, that was our icebreaker). They were filming him “at work”…I want his job! (not really – too scientific and agricultural for me).

    He really is a doll…I hope he finds a good woman to be with.

  10. September 26, 2011 / 10:01 am


    Your posts are so inspiring! What a great Sunday! I know this is off topic but can you tell me where you got your black shirt in the vineyard photo? It is so cute and looks like a shirt that would get a lot of wear in my wardrobe—Thanks!


  11. September 26, 2011 / 10:08 am

    @Debbie Thank you Debbie! I bought that shirt years ago at Gap – it’s a fitted shirt with a little stretch in it. I had to buy it big because of my long arms and bust – then have it taken in. The color has really held up well over the years. And it was very reasonably priced – can’t recall for sure, but I think it was under $40.

  12. September 26, 2011 / 10:29 am

    Isn’t celebrity spotting fun? The winery looks wonderful, and those pizzas are divine. I want that veggie one for dinner :).

  13. September 26, 2011 / 10:50 am

    That’s great you got to meet Ben! I’m a sucker for the Bachelor/Bachelorette shows, of course I watched Ashley’s season when Ben was on — looking forward to his season as the Bachelor!

    Glad you had a fun weekend! Oh and about the hot tub….Hubs and I have one and we are still figuring out how much chemicals to add to maintain it. Thankfully we have a place where we can have a water sample tested, otherwise we would not have a clue!

  14. September 26, 2011 / 11:14 am

    @Susan Tiner Celebrity sightings are fun. I had one last week too when I spotted Tommy Smothers at our local post office (he lives here in Kenwood).

    The veggie one is very good…and the crust stays crispy even when cold! I was so surprised it was crunchy today when I had it for lunch.

    Congratulations on your daughter’s engagement. That is very good news!

  15. September 26, 2011 / 11:16 am

    @LR @ Magnificent or Egregious I’m looking forward to seeing all the fun stuff they’re doing in Sonoma county.

    I don’t get the whole chemical thing with the hot tub. I’m letting Bill work all of that out…I can smell when it’s overly chlorinated then I stay away to save my bikini and my skin!

  16. September 26, 2011 / 11:37 am

    What a fun weekend! I don’t think we have ever been to Davero. We’ll have to check it out after the baby is here. Ben was my favorite on the Bachelorette. I hope he finds love this time.

  17. September 26, 2011 / 11:56 am

    Sounds like a wonderful Sunday. I’ll go to DaVero with you! Enjoy your hot tub. I like it hot, but I come out looking like a lobster (probably not good for me). The plum jam sounds delicious. Glad you enjoyed your weekend. xo

  18. September 26, 2011 / 12:00 pm

    What a great day you had! You always find something fun to do.

    We went to a few wineries in the Dry Creek area in 2002 but sadly this time we never made it that far.

    Too funny about meeting Ben! Where exactly are they filming the Bachelor? I’m out of the loop, I didn’t know that they picked him for the next one.

    Yesterday we took the dog up to Mt. Helix where I walk frequently since it’s so close to our house. She loved going somewhere new and for once she was in the lead pulling with excitement. The views are incredible up there, you can see all over San Diego.

    The rest of the day was just chores, boring stuff.

    Cute pic in the jacuzzi of you two!



  19. September 26, 2011 / 12:00 pm

    I wanna go to DaVero next time you go! Each and every thing they produce sounds lovely / scrumptious / gorgeous / delicious… I may have to venture into the NE Georgia mountains and peruse some of the wineries thereabouts.

    Your Sunday sounded exquisite – we made a pilgrimage to the Duluth (GA) Fall Festival where I acquired a rather darling dichroic glass pendant and sterling silver chain. Later we hazarded a visit to Toys R Us to let our eldest son spend his birthday money (nearly four months after the fact) on a new Lego Ninjago Ice Dragon. Mommy even got to help with the assembly! All in all, a rather nice day.

  20. September 26, 2011 / 12:15 pm

    @Jen-uinely Inspired DaVero is only a year old…I hadn’t heard of it either until I read about it online.

    It’s located right across the road from Madrone Manor, by the way.

    I rooted for Ben too. I hope he find someone very down to earth and kind like he is.

  21. September 26, 2011 / 12:18 pm

    @what’s her bucket You would love DaVero – it’s so peaceful and full of lots of pretty things to touch and smell and eat and drink. One of these days you are going to have to come up for visit.

    I like the hot tub hot too – but 112 was getting into scalding territory. It was about 107 or 108 this morning when we went in. I could only get in up to my waist. And had to get out after about 5 minutes. It kind of made me nauseous first thing in the morning with a cup of hot tea on board.

    The plum jam is so good….it’s got a great fruity tartness that I love.

    Hope your weekend was fun and/or relaxing. xo, A

  22. September 26, 2011 / 1:20 pm


    What a nice weekend! I love the idea of having a hot tub.

    When are you having surgery? I’ll be thinking about you.

    Also wanted to comment on your previous post when you were at the nursing home. I just know you are greatly enhancing their lives, and I am so very happy that you have chosen to do this.


  23. September 26, 2011 / 1:21 pm

    Darn it! But now I know what to look for! You certainly have gotten your money’s worth out of that shirt if it still looks that good. Thank you!

  24. September 26, 2011 / 1:55 pm

    You had me at the photo of your dogs…that is priceless!

  25. beader
    September 26, 2011 / 2:31 pm

    When you saw Ben were any of his ladies with him? Just wondering if it was a group date or if they were just filming him.

  26. September 26, 2011 / 2:36 pm

    Happy hot-tubbing! I’m wondering if olive trees come in a bonsai version. The winery sounds like a lovely place with some nice specimens of the male species.

  27. September 26, 2011 / 3:04 pm

    @LRS4AMANDA Bill and I were saying yesterday how lucky we are that we can visit wineries or drive country roads when we are looking for something to do.

    DaVero wasn’t open back in ’02, they’ve only had a tasting room for a year. But there are some other great wineries that we love out in that area of Sonoma county.

    They are filming all over the county, I guess. My friend Susan saw him in the park in Sonoma where the square is and he was with all the contestants. They picked him several weeks ago…it was newsworthy around here so I’ve known for a while.

    How fun to hike up a mountain with your dog. We have lots of hiking around here, but none of it is pet friendly 🙁 Good for her for being so enthusiastic!

    Chores are often boring…in fact, right now I am supposed to be sewing Bill’s uniform jacket, but I am on the internet instead. Why? Because it’s boring!

    I was reluctant to post that photo – no makeup, bad hair – but I thought it was sort of cute that the two of us were hot tubbing it up.

    Hope all is well down south. xo, A

  28. September 26, 2011 / 3:26 pm

    @Michelle Roebuck Hi Michelle, I was just thinking about you this morning. It sounds like you’ve been very busy! Your new pendant sounds lovely.

    I wonder what kind of wine grapes are grown in Georgia. Do you happen to know?

    Anytime you want to come out, I would be happy to take you to lots of wineries. xo, A

  29. September 26, 2011 / 3:28 pm

    @Julia My surgery is Thursday morning. I should be home by lunchtime, I hope.

    It’s interesting, because they enhance my life more than I think I enhance theirs. It’s a win/win. I really adore it. xo, A

  30. September 26, 2011 / 3:29 pm

    @Debbie Have you checked Gap and Banana R. to see if they have any black button downs? If I see any I will try to let you know.

  31. September 26, 2011 / 3:30 pm

    @Melissa Blake Aren’t they the cutest things? I never tire of them…thank you for stopping by!

  32. September 26, 2011 / 3:31 pm

    @beader Ben was alone in his cute Bronco. My friend, who is with him in the photo on my post, said that all the contestants were in the square in Sonoma with him last Thursday. I would love to know where they are all staying! It must be one of the huge vineyard homes around here somewhere!

  33. September 26, 2011 / 3:32 pm

    @Terri The olive trees do come in bonsai and they had bonsai apple trees too…isn’t that cool?

  34. September 26, 2011 / 5:14 pm

    I LOVE that photo of your dogs in the car. Too too cute! You certainly make Sonoma seem very enticing! I’m tempted to start planning a holiday to San Fran to visit my brother & sister-in-law just so I can experience the wonders of Sonoma! Hmmm…I have $60 in my holiday savings fund so far…maybe next year.

  35. September 26, 2011 / 5:30 pm

    Pictures of your dogs always make me smile. : )

    My Sunday was a blur of over 100 people coming and going and touring my house…more on that later. xxBliss

  36. September 26, 2011 / 5:38 pm

    What a gorgeous Sunday!!! Mine pales by comparison. Thanks for sharing your lovely day:)


  37. September 26, 2011 / 5:45 pm

    @stuffialmostbought I do hope you come out for a visit someday…it really is a fantastic place. I would love to show you around! Sounds like the savings might need to be beefed up a bit first 🙂

  38. September 26, 2011 / 5:46 pm

    @steppingmywaytobliss That’s right! I forgot about your house tour being this weekend….can’t wait to hear all about it. Sounds kinda stressful, but fun too. xo

  39. September 26, 2011 / 5:47 pm

    @Karen at French Skinny Weekends like this last one are rare…usually it’s chores and home projects that occupy our weekends. Thanks for stopping by Karen! xo

  40. September 26, 2011 / 9:58 pm

    Oh Adrienne, this sounds like a perfect way to spend your Sunday!!! I’m nuts about “home made” authentic olive oil, and to think that they brought the trees all the way from Italy!
    My husbands family home in Greece is on 50 acres of Olive grove and the oil the trees produce is amazing…I can totally appreciate how much fun visiting the winery must have been!

  41. September 26, 2011 / 11:26 pm

    The jam jars are so pretty, it’s years since I’ve bought jam.
    I wish I could drink wine but even Chateau Petrus leaves me cold.

  42. September 27, 2011 / 4:37 am

    Adrienne – Here’s what I hijacked from the Winegrowers Association of Georgia:

    “Our soil composition is very much like that of Italy’s Piedmont region, which produces some of the most prestigious wines in the world. Come taste what happens when Georgia sunshine and mountain soils meet Viognier and Merlot grapes…we’re certain that you’ll be smiling, too.”

    And one would be remiss if one were to omit a local treasure: muscadine wine. I’ve not had the pleasure myself – I hear it’s usually quite sweet.

    I like the logo for this place (which, for me, is as good a reason as any to give the wine a go):

    A trip to Sonoma would be like a dream come true – I’ve never been to any other part of California than LAX.

  43. September 27, 2011 / 7:05 am

    What a fun and exciting day!! Isn’t homemade olive oil the best? Dip with a little bread and you’ve got yourself a treat!

  44. September 27, 2011 / 10:59 am

    You two look so cute in the hot tub…like two mermaids.(-: Sounds like a great weekend, with all kinds of wonderful adventures.

    I am not surprised that you have the same dishes from your Mother…that’s where mine came from. I have always liked their rich color ~ they are perfect for Thanksgiving dinner!

  45. September 27, 2011 / 12:52 pm

    So, a couple of things…
    That has to be the cutest darn picture of Daisy and Coco! Those girls are so photogenic.
    That winery sounds fantastic. The only thing that could make wine tasting better is to serve food with it!
    Your pizza looks really good – Wilzie is on a grilled pizza kick right now and we are having at least a couple/week. But we cheat on the crust…

  46. September 27, 2011 / 4:02 pm

    What a great way to spend the week-end.. and your Sunday sounds fabulous… wine, olive oil, yummy treats … those labels are fantastic! The troublemakers look absolutely adorable!! each time you share photos of the two together .. I think Dolce really needs a sister! Paws and licks to Daisy and Coco from Dolce, he would just love a play date of running in the park with them.

    Wishing you a great week! xo HHL

  47. September 27, 2011 / 4:47 pm

    Love the dogs in their car seats. Fun Filled day. Your area is so neat. The pizza looked great, too.

    And, of course, I loved your outfit.

  48. September 28, 2011 / 3:50 pm

    Fun! A celebrity sighting, beautiful property and a hot tub! Wish I could get my husband to fix the motor on ours so we could hot tub again! I’ve been waiting for four years now and am ready to get rid of it if he wont fix it! The upcoming cooler weather will make it so delicious to soak in! Lucky you!

  49. October 3, 2011 / 8:42 am

    That’s very cool you got to meet Ben! And right before his first rose ceremony, too!

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