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August 2017 Senses

Driven to Drink

When Nick Lopedota wanted to host some out of town friends for a beer tasting tour, he realized there was a lack of brewery tour services here in Sonoma County. “ I spoke with my friends about the breweries and beer that they were interested in and I put together an itinerary.” He says. And that’s the start behind On Tap Beer Tours, a place where tourists and locals can join a bi-weekly shifting retinue of beer locations across the county, or even schedule and plan their own private tours, complete with luxury transportation, professional drivers and guides on request.

“We want to provide an educational, yet fun service for people who want to see the beauty of Sonoma County and the rest of the North Bay,” says Lopedota. A Certified Tourism Ambassador, Lopedota and his team go the whole nine yards to make the tours memorable. “When we get interest for a private tour, we listen to every detail, and make recommendations to plan their route,” he says. “From there, we create a personalized page through our website, and share the link with the clients. When they share the link with their friends, they can sign up as individuals; no waiting around for no-shows, individuals can make their own payments and they know exactly who is coming.”

From hop farm tours to breweries, wineries, cideries and dilstlaries across the Bay Area, Lopedota and his team is On Tap to bring an unforgettable experience.

Ode to Beautiful Skin

Look out chefs, olive oil isn’t just farm to table anymore, it’s farm to skin. McEvoy Ranch has been a trailblazer in the beauty industry, as one of the largest U.S. producers of estate-grown, certified organic early harvest extra virgin olive oil. Their new eco-luxe beauty line, ODE natural beauty (formerly known as 80 Acres), uses 100 percent early harvest certified organic olive oil and nutrient rich botanicals from their private, sustainably farmed ranch in western Marin County.

All ODE natural beauty products are paraben, phthalate and sulfate free as well as high in polyphenols and antioxidants, resulting in superior skin protection, daily hydration and the ultimate glow. “Our brand depicts our urban-influenced interpretation on sustainability-sophisticated products that are as eco-conscious as they are luxurious,” says General Manager Samantha Dorsey.

ODE natural beauty uses early harvest olives from their 80 acres of organic olive trees, producing a concentrated olive oil. Rich in antioxidant compounds, the oil provides protection from two major skin irritants: pollutant and the natural aging process.

Their products include hand and body lotion, olive oil moisture and recovery balm, olive oil soap and perfume oil, with scents inspired by the ranch’s own botanical and vegetable garden. For more information, go to

Taste the rEvolution

Few things today bring mankind back to their earliest civilized roots like bread. One of the first staple foods of the post-hunter-gatherer world, bread became the symbol of civilization. Over time, breadmaking has evolved; bread can be made in a factory, and mass-produced cheaply to feed the most mouths.

But some breadmakers cling to the old ways, and turn bread into art. Eli Colvin at Petaluma’s rEvolution Bread leverages his many years of experience baking in the North Bay, including positions at Bennett Valley Bakery and Model Bakery in Healdsburg, to manage his own location that supplies stone-milled, locally-sourced grain breads to farmers markets and restaurants around the county.

“Everything’s made on a whim,” says Colvin. “After working for so long at other bakeries, I am now working for myself, and the freedom to make what I want, with my own ingredients, feels wonderful.”

Colvin’s products can be found on Tuesdays at Healdsburg’s Shed, and the bakery’s Facebook page makes updates where the next hotspot to get a fresh loaf will be. Colvin also supplies bread to Crocodile French cuisine and Seared in Petaluma, as well as Brew and The Pharmacy in Santa Rosa.

When mass-produced and bland won’t do, look for rEvolution; their chewy, crunchy, nutrition packed works of art are sure to remind that old ways are sometimes better ways.


In this Issue

Growing Pains

On a windy Saturday afternoon, the once-bustling Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana is barren, the chairs against the wall sit empty. Two wipe boards show the dispensary’s limited offerings,...

Vineyards as Firebreaks

When the phone rang at 11 p.m. on October 8 last year, Lyall and Karen Fahden did not yet smell smoke. A friend from nearby Calistoga had called to warn them that a fast-moving fire was heading towa...

The Search for Seasonal Workers

The long days of midsummer are quiet in the vineyards and orchards. The winter pruning and spring suckering are long past, and now it’s nature’s turn to do its part. The next big round o...

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