Posts Tagged 'Moshin Winery'

Preparing for the Holidays

ImageEvery time of the year I marvel at the beauty of Sonoma County.  The scenery is diverse and always stunning.  The picture above is taken on Occidental Road just east of High School Road outside of Sebastopol.  The lighting was so perfect that every driver with a camera was pulled to the side of road to take a snapshot.  Cold, foggy and flooding all disappeared with the serene beauty of the Laguna de Santa Rosa.

With the love of my local area at front of mind, I decided that my shopping for holiday gifts would be focused at home.  I shunned the Internet and headed to Bodega Bay for some shopping.  I hit the jackpot at East Shore Outfitters and Gourmet au Bay.  Sissy does a great job of selecting wonderful merchandise without the “tourist trap” prices.  I then headed to Occidental to the annual craft sale.  I must admit that I bought two sweaters for me – one from Wild n’ Wooley out of Mt. Shasta to keep me warm on those cold and windy mornings and a light weight one from another vendor that will be perfect in Hawaii.

Dec12 044The next day I ventured all the way to Sebastopol.  It was a Sunday and the Farmer’s Market was in full swing.  Today (Sunday) the rain is coming down and a thick fog has enveloped the garden.  I have built a fire to conserve on propane and I will be home long enough today to enjoy the ambiance.   But last Sunday the temperature was 70 degrees and I was thinking I might never wear the heavy knit hoodie that I had purchased the day before.  The Sebastopol Farmer’s Market is a year round event.  The number of stalls is less in the winter but the atmosphere is always Sebastopol.  I wandered Main Street and found a few more gifts and bopped into Whole Foods to see what the latest in food goodies they had to offer.  An absolutely spectacular day.

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My Christmas shopping was almost complete but yesterday I stopped by Forestville to visit Frame of Mind – the best framing shop in my overall experience of framing.   Leslie is not just a framer of great talent but a creative artist in her own right.  She doesn’t let a piece leave the shop that does not look spectacular. Then I dropped into Moshin Winery for  the best pinot noir along the Russian River.    I was blessed to have a lovely dinner at Cork’s outside of Forestville with dear friends on my way home.

P1020815The magical barn down the way on Joy Road is open for local artists the weekend after Thanksgiving weekend (does that make sense? 9 days after Thanksgiving.)  It is the closest shopping available with clever surprises for young and old.  If you live near or are visiting that time of year, you should put it on your calendar now for 2013 so that it isn’t missed.

It looks like I will have my shopping complete before I leave for the holidays and will not have purchased anything further than 12 miles from my secluded home.  The evening sunset through the redwoods on Joy Road is a frequent reminder of the magnificence and peace my world holds.  Wonderful community, great friends and local products abound in my life.  In case I do not have the opportunity to say it to you in this upcoming week, may your holidays and the coming year be your brightest.  Peace on earth to all.

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Amber Moshin – Artist Profile

Amber Moshin in the Tasting Room

Serendipity plays a huge role in many lives but there are those rare few that make their chances a true adventure.   Did Amber Cartwright ever imagine while working in her Orange County coffee shop that she would one day be traveling in Burgundy sampling the greatest wines in the world with her talented husband, Rick Moshin?  Did she picture that as she was establishing herself as a vital partner in one of the acclaimed wineries of Sonoma County, the building that housed her coffee shop would one day be a wine shop?  She certainly never planned to be a successful photographer of plants, landscape and architecture.

I met Amber Moshin when she first displayed her photographs at Moshin Winery on Westside Road outside of Forestville in December of 2009.  The images were lovely and needed to be shared with a broader audience than her husband and cats who were privileged to see them as they cycled on her computer screen.  Rick insisted that Amber’s photography be in the rotation of local art seen at the winery.  Once pictures were selected, The Lab in Santa Rosa did the printing, Rick made the frames from barn wood left over from the construction of the winery and Frame Of Mind in Forestville cut the glass  –  the finished product was displayed.  The response was encouraging and we now have the second show on display until July 8.

Amber was always looking for a creative outlet from an early age – ceramics, music, drawing, painting.  After high school she attended Fullerton College and received her AA in Liberal Studies with an emphasis on music and creative writing.  But she struggled to find a focus.  Her mother moved from Southern California to Sonoma County.  She stayed in Orange County searching for direction.  Each visit to with her mother in the north left her with a melancholy on her return.  As a mother, I am certain that missing her mother had something to do with the change in mood but in Amber’s thinking the major factor was overall experience of a calmer life and stunning beauty of Sonoma County.  In 1997 she packed up and made the move.   Here is Sonoma County, Amber found love in life and the focus for her creativity.  This is a column on artists – their art – not their love life so I will just mention that Amber Moshin appears to be very happy in her farmhouse that she shares with Rick Moshin.

Only in recent years has Amber discovered the medium of digital photography.  She acquired a digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera from a friend prior to a tour in Europe.  She took pictures and took pictures.  The experience was fascinating.  Upon her return to home, she enrolled in one of John Sappington’s classes at SRJC.   The pictures piled up in her computer.  When the winery opened in 2005, Amber took on responsibilities in advertising, marketing and labels.  Amber returned to SRJC to learn Photoshop.  The process of discovery continues.  The abundant talent that resides in Sonoma County is a treasure trove of ideas.  Two local photographers, Robert Janover and Peter Krohn, provide ongoing challenges to discover new techniques.  Many readers know Robert from his ever popular calendar of Sonoma County Landscape.  Amber became aware of Peter’s work when visiting Leslie Zumwalt at Frame Of Mind and seeing a photograph while it was being framed.  She knew that the photo was meant to be hers when it came up at a Face to Face auction at the Mary Agatha Furth Center.  The seed is planted to expand into scanart.

The future is full of excitement for Amber Moshin and her photography.  From her first show to the current exhibition, she has expanded into staging photographs instead of drawing solely on what nature provides.  She watches videos on the lives and work of photographers to glean nuggets of inspiration.  She studies cameras to know how to get every ounce of beauty from her efforts.  She is a woman with a mission and we are the benefiters.

Amber has displayed her photography at Bola Hair Salon in Occidental, Divine Affair in Healdsburg and Mosaic Restaurant (sadly no longer serving us wonderful food in a terrific setting) in Forestville.  Her show at Moshin Winery is available for viewing until July 8.  Her next venue is Rochioli Winery Tasting Room on Westside Road – another circle of life as this was the location of Amber’s first job in a winery.   Take advantage of these opportunities to taste some great local wines while feasting your eyes on beautiful photography.

This article was published in the Sonoma County Gazette, July 2011.

Wine Tasting in Dry Creek Valley

Tasting at Sunce Winery

Tasting at Sunce Winery

Fran at Porter Creek

Fran at Porter Creek

Today was a fun day of taking friends from Hawaii, Texas and Louisiana around our favorite wineries.  We covered the Russian River and Dry Creek appellations which are only minutes from our home in Forestville.  We focused on small, local wineries that give fabulous personal attention to tasters.  The day started with a visit to Sunce Winery.  The staff is fabulous in the tasting room and once they discovered that we had serious wine groupies in our group they took us into their barrel room.  The tasting continued with full explanations until I pointed out that there were other places to go and we had spent over an hour at our first winery.  The second stop was Porter Creek Winery which gives a new definition to “small”.  The tasting room is a very small, old barn behind the vintage family home.  The next venue was Armida Winery with fabulous views and great wines.  There is a wonderful deck shaded by oak trees where we had a picnic lunch. 

After lunch we stopped in at one of the great winery experiences ever – Preston Winery.  Preston is known for their organic vegetables, bread oven and olives as well as Rhone style wines.  It is always a favorite.  From casual farmstyle to Italian elegance we traveled to Ferrari-Carano Winery.  Meticulously groomed gardens and bronze statuary lead to one of  the best wine gift shops in Dry Creek.  Our final stop was at Moshin Winery with the welcoming hummingbird.  Moshin is known for pinot noir and they have a few other great offerings.

We finished the day with dinner at Zazu on Guerneville Road and Willowside Road west of Santa Rosa.  A fabulous time was had by all.


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