CEO of Santa Rosa's Canine Companions resigns; other North Bay business news

Paul Mundell, CEO of Canine Companions for Independence, has resigned after 28 years of service, the Santa Rosa-based nonprofit announced.

Kay Marquet will serve as interim CEO of Canine Companions. Marquet is the former president and CEO of Community Foundation Sonoma County, and she currently consults with numerous nonprofit organizations.

Founded in 1975, Canine Companions for Independence created the concept of assistance dogs for people with physical disabilities and has placed over 5,500 assistance dog teams.


Enartis USA, formerly known as Vinquiry, will offer training Friday to winery workers to help them determine their sensory threshold to the chemical that triggers “cork taint”: 2,4,6-trichloroanisole, more commonly known as TCA.

The company said the 45-minute sessions will provide cellar crews and tasting room staff the opportunity to see how well they can identify TCA-tainted wines.

The fee is $100 per person. It will be held at the company's facility located at 7975 Cameron Drive, Building 1800, in Windsor.


One week before Thanksgiving, Redwood Empire Food Bank of Santa Rosa will accept its largest single poultry donation ever (18,000 pounds of holiday turkey and 40,000 pounds of Foster Farms poultry products) along with a cash donation of $100,000 from Northern California poultry producer Foster Farms. This season it is making a special effort to help communities displaced by the Northern California wildfires.

Organizers stated the donated turkeys will be distributed to families via the food bank's Emergency Station 3990, which serves neighbors affected by the fires.


Nearly 50 women attended a Women's Health Night event at Queen of the Valley Medical Center on Nov. 2.

The event was an opportunity for women to gather to learn more about recent advancements in women's health. Susana Gonzalez, an obstetrician–gynecologist, spoke about minimally-invasive robotic surgery for pelvic prolapse repair, fibroid removal and hysterectomy, and radiologist David Goller spoke about the hospital's new 3-D mammography machines for breast cancer screening. A patient of Gonzalez's, Daralyn Christensen, shared her story.

Obstetrician–gynecologist Amy Herold, chief medical officer, and Chief Nursing Officer Kim Brown Sims, R.N. co-emceed the event.


Drake Terrace, a senior living facility in San Rafael, has received the Excellence in Action award from NRC Health. The company stated the customer satisfaction award recognizes organizations that achieve the highest overall resident satisfaction scores in the NRC Health database–the largest source of long-term care and senior-living satisfaction metrics in the nation.

“We want our residents to feel comfortable and stress free while they live here,” said Erik Flatt, executive director of Drake Terrace. “This award is reputable and we are so thankful to be a recipient of it.”


Several North Coast wineries made San Francisco Magazine's Best of Wine Country 2017 list this year.

Founded in 1987, MacRostie Winery & Vineyards won two awards this year: Best Overall Winery, tied with Schramsberg Vineyards in Napa Valley, and Best Tasting Room. Producing chardonnay and pinot noir, MacRostie opened its new Russian River Valley tasting room, deemed the "Estate House" in 2015.

Historic sparkling wine house Schramsberg offers appointment-only tours ($70) that educate guests on not only the history of the property, which has been producing sparkling wine since the 19th-century, but also on the sparkling winemaking processes. Tours include a visit to the caves followed by a tasting of sparkling, with still wine and food pairing options.

Palmaz Vineyards of Napa won Best Wine Cave. It has an 18-story wine cave designed in the Bauhaus architectural style. A self-described "subterranean winery," Palmaz makes cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, riesling and other wines through an eco-friendly gravity-flow method in the caves. Tastings start at $100 and are appointment only.

Blackbird Vineyards of Napa won Best Label Design. The labels feature blackbirds flying into the sky. The label for signature Bordeaux blend Arise shows blackbirds on a line representing the first vocal notes of the iconic Beatles song "Blackbird."

Benziger Family Winery of Glen Ellen won Most Environmentally Friendly. In 2000, the winery became certified Biodynamic, a system with stringent requirements for green-farming practices. Guests explore the property on a 45-minute tram tour, learning about eco-friendly winemaking practices followed by a tasting. Tastings start at $20.

Raymond Vineyards in St. Helena won Most Instagram Friendly. The property has goats in the educational Theater of Nature, a sexy-themed Red Room and an outdoor living room, complete with plastic furniture and selfie-friendly photo frames.

Jackson Family Wines's Lokoya near St. Helena won Best New Winery. The brand was launched in 1995, but the Spring Mountain winery opened in November 2016. The appointment-only tasting room is located in a 50-year-old stone and concrete building that has been renovated with contemporary lighting, design and an outdoor patio. Lokoya wines average $375 a bottle.

Chappellet Winery by St. Helena won Best Winery Tour. By-appointment tours of the Pritchard Hill estate Pritchard Hill estate include visiting to the pyramid-shaped winery, walking the estate vineyards with views of Lake Hennessey, and tasting in the barrel room, starting at $40.

St. Supery Estate Vineyards & Winery near Rutherford won Best Pet Friendly Winery, thanks to CEO Emma Swain's love for dogs. The tasting room offers dog treats and sells winery-branded bandanas to outfit your pups. Tastings start at $35.

Alan Arnopole at Rutherford's Peju Province Winery won Best Wine Educator. Also known as the "Yodel Meister," the multitalented Arnopole entertains guests with Monty Python-esque wine-themed humor, songs, jokes and rapping. He started at Peju in 1995, at age 48.

Hamel Family Wines of Sonoma won Best Wine & Food Pairing. Various levels of tastings are offered, including an estate experience with wines paired with small bites, or a custom experience which includes a multicourse, meal worthy pairing created by the estate chef. The food is sourced locally and seasonally, including using produce from the onsite, organic and Biodynamic farm.

Not all the winners were wineries.

Pure Luxury Transportation of Petaluma won Best Transportation Company. The fleet includes limousines, sedans, buses and vans. Trips in Napa and Sonoma counties kick off with a bottle of bubbles en route to the first winery.

BottleRock Napa Valley in Napa won Best Festival. The three-day festival features international music acts paired with local foods, wine, beer and spa treatments. On the culinary stage, attendees can watch celebrity chefs team up with musicians to prepare gourmet food.

-adapted from Sonoma Magazine

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