Business news: Week of Aug. 6, 2012


Gracianna Winery announced that it has opened its long-anticipated tasting room on the Miracle Mile on Westside Road in Healdsburg. One highlight of the tasting room will be its Mercedes Riverblock vineyard, where the vines "wear" medallions featuring the names of the Amador family and friends and Medallion Wine Club members. The Medallion program will be part of the offerings of the Gracianna wine club, which also launched with the opening of the tasting room. Gracianna's winemaker is 27-year-old Trini Amador, one of the nation's youngest up-and-coming winemakers. The business is run by Trini's sister, Ashley, and their parents, Trini and Lisa, are also involved in the winery.Technology

San Rafael-based software developer City Chatter announced the launch of its mobile social network, which combines social discovery and real-time chat. The hyper-local app lets you discover other City Chatter members in your local coffee shop, or in your neighborhood, without saying a word. Available on the iPhone, iPod touch and coming soon to Android, City Chatter is the first app that combines social discovery, real-time group chat, and private chat to ignite one-on-one relationships. City Chatter is available immediately as a free download from the iTunes App Store, and can be used anywhere in the country.

Novato-based Biosearch Technologies, Inc. a leading supplier of sophisticated oligonucleotide components to the rapidly growing molecular diagnostics industry, announced that the company has launched catalogued assays for Stellaris RNA FISH. These assays fall into three groups – well characterized RNA targets (“foundation genes”) suitable for use as positive controls, oncogenes, and key mRNAs in the hypusine pathway. Scientists can use these products to pursue research using RNA FISH and combine them into multiplexed assays with probes targeting other RNA transcripts or even protein targets.Hospitality

Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary in Freestone completed its Kyoto-style Meditation Garden 10 years ago in September. In the decade since its inauguration, the Meditation Garden has become the heart of Northern California’s premier vitality center. In celebration of this milestone, Osmosis will offer a month of special meditation classes, tours, and music performances in the garden. Throughout the month-long celebration, a variety of guest Dharma teachers will visit, including Anam Thubten Rinpoche, an authentic representative of Tibetan Buddhism who was born and raised in Eastern Tibet and educated by esteemed spiritual masters.

Calistoga was found to be the third most expensive destination in the United States in terms of hotel costs in a new survey by The survey compared hotel rates for all destinations in the USA for the period of June through August 2012. The rankings were determined based on the cost of each location's cheapest available double room. As such, it reflects the minimum amount travelers will have to spend to stay at a certain destination, with only such hotels having a two-star rating or higher being considered. Newport, R.I.  was the most expensive destination. An average stay in Calistoga cost $285, with a stay in Newport costing $319. Wailea, Hawaii, was10th on the list, at $197. The full survey is available at


The Napa Sanitation District received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for fiscal year 2010--11. The association is a nonprofit professional group serving approximately 17,500 government finance professionals with offices in Chicago, Ill., and Washington, D.C. This marks the first time the district has prepared a comprehensive report; in the past, the district simply prepared audited financial statements as required by law. In addition to the audited statements, the CAFR also contains a discussion and analysis of the District’s financial performance during the previous fiscal year, and statistical information about the District. This additional information is designed to make it easier for the general public to read and understand the financial statements.

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