Summer Fun in California’s Wine Country

Summer Fun in California’s Wine Country

Less than two weeks into the summer season and it seems that there is no shortage of exciting things to do, taste and see around here. It’s summer fun in California’s Wine Country and I am grateful I get to take part in some of it!

Although technically Bill and I celebrated his birthday at the coast in the RV several days ago, he was under the weather the entire time so we didn’t enjoy it the way we would have liked.

Once he was back to 100%, Tori and I took him over to Napa Valley for a belated birthday dinner. First we stopped off at Brix to enjoy a cold drink during their fantastic Happy Hour.

Brix Napa

They have a lovely lawn and garden behind the restaurant with several conversation areas. It’s surrounded by rose bushes, rows of vines and an expansive culinary garden. I love this time of year when the grapes start filling out.

green wine grapes napa

Since it was weekday, the crowds were few. We were the only people in the garden and had a nice time enjoying the summer sunshine.

brix napa roses

The birthday boy enjoyed himself and even posed for a photo.

Bill and Adrienne at Brix

(Outfit details: Wide-legged pants from Old Navy, purple off- the-shoulder top, Kate Spade bag, Sam Edelman flat sandals, hat from Montecristi Panama Hats of Napa Valley).

Normally we would have eaten dinner at Brix as their food is wonderful. But Bill really loves the French Dip sandwiches at Rutherford Grill and had been talking about how he hadn’t had one in a long time. So we drove a few miles up the valley and had dinner there, finishing dinner up by sharing birthday ice cream cookie sandwiches among the three of us.

ice cream cookie rutherford grill

It was a terrific summer evening and I am so glad the three of us could finally go out and celebrate Bill’s birthday properly. On our drive home over the hill, we pulled over to take some photos of the gorgeous sunset overlooking Sonoma Valley. Breathtaking!

sunset sonoma valley

Also last week, on June 29th, The Rich Life turned 6 years old. It’s hard to believe I’ve stuck with the blog this long and I am so glad I have.

I mentioned that fact to Bill in passing when he got home from work. To my surprise and delight, he promptly told me to put down the pots and pans, hang up my apron and get dressed for dinner. We went out to celebrate the occasion with an al fresco dinner at one of our favorite Wine Country restaurants, Aventine in Glen Ellen. What a sweetheart he is!

aventine glen ellen

Last Thursday I attended Sharon Santoni’s book signing at Chateau Sonoma. Susan of Une Femme told me a few weeks ago that Sharon would be signing her latest book, My Stylish French Girlfriends, in Sonoma. So I made a point of going. I went with my friend Michelle and we each bought Sharon’s book for her to sign.

my stylish french girlfriends book

I had the lovely surprise of seeing Elizabeth of The Vintage Contessa at the event and meeting her friend Shireen.

lace off the shoulder top 1

I also saw friend and professional photographer, Sarah Deragon, who took a couple of photos of me. Thank you, Sarah!

lace off the shoulder top 2

(Outfit details: Lace off-the-shoulder topGap jeans, Kate Spade handbag (similar), vintage earrings bought in an antique shop in Santa Rosa). 

After the book signing, Michelle and I headed over to the newest and hottest restaurant in Sonoma, Tasca Tasca. We have been there a few times since it opened and always order the shishito peppers with sausage, fingerling potatoes and beet salad. This time we tried the escargot (in the small cast-iron skillet) and kale salad. They are both must-have-agains!

tasca tasca

Sunday, July 3rd, Bill and I attended the Spirit of ’76 party, a special anniversary celebration at Iron Horse Vineyards, known around the world for their wonderful sparking wines.

iron horse celebration

Spirit of ’76 celebrated the 40th anniversary of when Audrey and Barry Sterling founded the winery. They were both present at the event, along with their gracious and welcoming daughter, Joy Sterling.

A special sparking wine, Spirit of ’76, was made just for the event and only in magnums. It was delicious!

iron horse spirit of 76

It’s such a special treat to spend time at Iron Horse, especially at the home of Barry and Audrey. I love to walk around their colorful garden, which even has a bed!

iron horse spirit of 76 party outfit

Bill and I had the pleasure of attending another fantastic event there last year, celebrating Earth Day. You can read about that event here.

More photos from their gardens…

iron horse vineyards

sunflowers bee

iron horse view

A reception at the Sterling’s home on the property, which was built in 1876, was followed by marching band, the Hubbub Club, leading us to the Corral for lobster rolls, bison sliders, corn on the cob, watermelon, cherry pie and, of course, bubbles!

iron horse spirit of 76 party 2

hubbub club band

The fried chicken and bison sliders were so delicious. And I loved the seersucker napkins!

corn and sliders

What a fun and festive celebration! Bill and I saw some of our friends while we were there too, which made the event even more special.

iron horse party with friends

From left to right: Shana Bull, Amy Lieberfarb, me, Sarah Stierch, Lauren Parkhill

(Outfit details: Wide-legged pants from Old Navy, Gap off-the-shoulder top, red leather choker from Large Leather in Sonoma, beaded bracelelts by Kay and Star)

On July 4th, we attended a pool party in Sonoma at the gorgeous home of some friends.

july 4 pool party

Michelle’s boyfriend and our friend, “Sonoma Bill”, my husband, “Kenwood Bill”, and our friends’ darling poodle Simon, taking a break from swimming

It was so relaxing and easy, just what we wanted after an active week. We were in our pajamas watching the news when most everyone else was out watching the fireworks. I hope, if you celebrated, you had a wonderful Independence Day too!summer wine country collage

I am so excited about this month as it will continue to be full of fun events. This Friday I am heading to Healdsburg with three of my girlfriends to experience a special package offered by 235 Luxury Suites and several other Healdsburg businesses.

This fabulous Girlfriends’ Getaway Special includes two nights accommodations, a $300 dinner credit at at Café Lucia, tickets for 6 to the Savor Healdsburg Food Tours, wine tasting at Portalupi,  and a tea tasting and green tea spa experience at The Taste of Tea. We are all so thrilled and can hardly wait to head to Healdsburg!

The Girlfriends’ Getaway Special is available September 23 – 25th. It’s an amazing deal and a great reason to plan that Wine Country weekend with your girlfriends you’ve been wanting to take! Get your friends together – up to 6 – and reserve your space now. Packages are going fast!

You can follow our adventure along on Instagram (@therichlifeinwinecountry).

One more thing!

July’s How I Wear My is next week and the theme is TUNIC.

How I Wear My Badge

Show us how you style a tunic top or tunic dress. Whether it’s long or short sleeved, with a collar or without, and includes lace, embroidery, embellishment or is a solid color, we can’t wait to see how you’ll style your tunic!

Send a photo of you wearing your tunic to by July 11, 2016 and be sure to tell us a bit about your outfit.

Make it a rich day!




  1. July 6, 2016 / 8:39 am

    I AM headed to BRIX this FRIDAY to CELEBRATE a BIRTHDAY of a dear friend!We go there every year!LOVE THAT PLACE!
    I was SO HAPPY to see you at CHATEAU SONOMA!!The CONNECTIONS are SO fun from this BLOGGING WORLD!
    I had to laugh……….I was in bed sound asleep by the time FIREWORKS STARTED this year!!
    ME the DOGS and my visiting GRANDPIGGY!!!!!!!!
    CONGRATULATIONS on SIX YEARS……………….I have lost track.I started as a way to sell things to my customers from my shop and after that closed well…………HERE I AM CHATTING about ME MYSELF and I.I have made NEW friends……..SHIREEN!I have connected with old friends….I have found MY TRIBE so to say.It has been a FUN thing to do in my 50’s!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      July 7, 2016 / 9:28 am

      Have fun at Brix! I love that place too.
      What a fun surprise to see you last week. I hope we can get together again one of these days!
      Many hugs to you!

  2. July 6, 2016 / 4:34 pm

    So wonderful that you met The Contessa at the book signing…I love Sharon’s book and hope you will too…I keep it out to peruse when I have tea in the afternoon.
    You are looking fabulous these days…vibrant and healthy.
    I enjoyed your story about your engagement too!

    Happy Anniversary to you both.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      July 7, 2016 / 9:27 am

      It’s a lovely book, looks beautiful sitting on our coffee table. I will very much enjoy reading it.
      Thank you for stopping by! You must be around your six year mark, yes? Maybe longer?

  3. Kathy
    July 6, 2016 / 5:21 pm

    I love that there are so many outdoor restaurants and events in your area, I would love more of that in Los Angeles. You look beautiful at all of them, and it seems like it would feel like a perpetual vacation during the summer. I’m starting to think about prepping dinner and the food looks so good on this post too – makes me very hungry! Congratulations on your 6 year anniversary and what a nice surprise from Bill.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      July 7, 2016 / 9:26 am

      It really does feel like a perpetual vacation sometimes. There is never a lack of things to do around here, especially from about May to October.
      I have to make sure I balance all the going out and socializing with alone time and quiet. That’s where the books come in! xo

  4. Shireen
    July 6, 2016 / 11:13 pm

    Wow! Great to meet you at the book signing Adrienne! Love your blog!!! Congratulations on the anniversary!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      July 7, 2016 / 9:23 am

      Great to meet you too, Shireen! Hope to see you again sometime.

  5. Jeanne
    July 7, 2016 / 7:37 am

    Congratulations on blogging for 6 years! Even though I usually do not comment I have enjoyed your blog for almost all of that time. Someday I will visit Wine Country and know that I can find great information from reading your travel and wine country section.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      July 7, 2016 / 9:22 am

      Thank you, Jeanne! So very kind of you to leave a comment. I really can’t believe it’s been 6 years!

      I do hope you visit Wine Country someday…it’s lovely here and I’m grateful to have landed in such a beautiful place.

      Have a wonderful rest of your week!

  6. July 7, 2016 / 11:21 am

    It seems like you have been having lots of fun in the beautiful place you call home.
    Congrats also to your blogging anniversary (I think I was one of your first followers??)
    Here’s to many more Adrienne and congrats on your wonderful “blogging journey”.

  7. July 8, 2016 / 8:56 am

    I love all your beautiful pictures and outfits. You make living in wine country look very inviting. Peace! Cheryl

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