Week 250-251 - Sommer Ranches & Vineyard - 06-05-2011

Sommer Ranches & Vineyard

[Editor's Note: Sadly Sommers Ranches could not be granted a permit for RV parking, thus you are not able to visit stay here as we were.]

We met Steve and Candy Sommer playing in Pickleball tournaments in Southern California and Arizona.  They are great competitors and we've become good friends.  On our last day together Steve requested that we come to his home in Dry Creek Valley and create a website for their ranch.  As most of you probably know, we been creating our own websites since 1993 and sites for other companies for the last few years.  And we are always looking for quality businesses to work for.  Our specialty is Web Design at Your Location.  Our ideal clients have room to park the Mothership.  This puts us right at their location, making our web design the most efficient possible.

We learned that not only did they have room for our motorhome at Sommer Ranches, but they have full hookups next to their house. So we headed to Healdsburg, CA and then six more miles to their home.

This is the view from their driveway on Dry Creek Valley Road.  The valley is home to 60 vineyards.

1) Besides being fellow Pickleball fans, they also RV travelers in their beautiful Country Coach Intrigue.   2) A view of their vineyard just behind their house.

Steve and Candy have been involved in the vineyard and winery business for decades.  Their current vineyard covers 20 of their 70 acre property. They grow Zinfandel and Petite Sirah grapes.

This nicely covered patio area is their own little private space, but their share it when they host their gourmet barbecues.  Steve says that unless you are a great chef, you can't be a great winemaker. And tasting their meals and wine, we know that he is both.

There is just something beautiful about vineyards; they make you happy!

1) A few miles northwest of Sommer Ranches is Lake Sonoma.  It is a very nice lake with a fully equipped marina. Under this lake is the property when Candy and her family grew up.  2) This vineyard was called Sommer Vineyards when they operated it from 1984 to 1999.  They also owned the Alexander Fruit & Trading Company which received awards for its products and wine bottle labels.

Just six miles south on Dry Creek Valley road is Healdsburg; very chic, very "boutique-ee".

1) Things are very nice but pricey in Healdsburg.  This is the Hotel Healdsburg lobby. This baby will set you back about $500 to $600 per night. But, today, they have a Tuesday night special for only $335.  2) Also six miles from Healdsburg to the East is Alexander Valley RV Park (which has closed permanently).

There are very few places to park your motorhome in Sonoma County.  This is one of the reasons that Sommer Ranches is opening an "RV Boutique in the Vineyard".  Steve and Candy are also motorcycle enthusiasts.  This is their daughter's BMW R100s with the sidecar.  This little scooter is for sale, unless Ellen's brother Art already bought it.

1) Here is the entrance to your RV Boutique.  2) The sites back up to a portion of their vineyard and the foothills.

This is your view out the front window of your motorhome.  Come here for peace and quiet, enjoy a free vineyard tour and walk, narrated by the master winemaker himself, Steve Sommer.  Other activities available are winery tours, fine dining and shopping in Healdsburg, trips to San Francisco, Lake Sonoma and the Pacific Ocean. Or rent a motorcycle and Steve can take you on a guided tour for hundreds of miles on dozens of mountains roads, just perfect for two-wheelers.

Larger View

This is the website that we created for Sommer Ranches.  This typifies our ideal project: Schedule, Arrive, Setup, Interview, Photograph, Design, Write, Review and Implement the complete website. No waiting; no calling the vendor to find out where they're at with your project; just a few days from start to finish. 

As we travel, we are ready everyday to create or upgrade another beautiful and functional site. If you know of any company, with a safe and pleasant place to park us, please let us know.  You can see other sites we have created or upgraded at USA Motor Host.

Next week we bring you our trip to Feather Falls, reported to be the sixth highest waterfall in the United States.

Stay tuned for more fine travelogues.

Love, Pete and Ellen

This special edition travelogue was brought to you as there is nothing new in our travel.

Photos from Jun 2011

The Full Time Motorhome Living Guide

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