Instituto De Vino Wino Replaces Hands on Petaluma Clock Tower!

Feeling sorry for us folks in Petaluma having to endure a Clock Tower without hands…and therefore not knowing the time of day…

 Petaluma’s  Internationale Instituto De Vino Wino, after consuming several bottles of Vintage Plonk, negotiated a transfer of clock hands from the Empire Building Clock Tower in Santa Rosa…

You might say that they are lending a hand–two in fact…

Local Wine Institute reports CURE for POTUS Twitteritis Tweets

Officers & Staff of The Internationale Instituto De Vino Wino (La Centre de l’Experience du Vin de Petaluma) awaken from their collective Vin Ordinaire Slumber to release their first newsletter since November 2010.

Why after a Seven Year Hangover does the Instituto speak out?

They were aroused by the Instituto’s new Medical Director Dr. Donillo Drump to alert them as to a new disease, “POTUS MEDIA TRITTERITIS TWEET” spreading across the country on our screens, phones, and even in our dreams. People are all a twitter!!

Dr. Drump has come up with the perfect medical technique for coping with this new disease~ A glass a day of the Instituto’s Vin Ordinaire before breakfast…dscf9387web

In extreme cases Dr. Drump recommends doubling the dose and adding a glass of bourbon…


Dr. Drump guarantees that you will forget everything with this prescription! Insurance deductibles do apply however!


Photos by the Instituto’s famed Anvil Adams


Rivetti Estates Que Syra Syrah…Petaluma Gap

Anvil Adams, newly appointed Official Photographer for the Internationale Instituto De Vino Wino (Petaluma’s famous but fictional wine institute) recently completed his first photo assignment for the Instituto. *

Although a fictional photographer, Anvil crossed the misty border between the virtual and real worlds to photograph a real event–the recent early morning November grape harvest at the Rivetti Estates Que Syra Syrah Vineyards in Western Petaluma. The Instituto is pleased to present a few of his photos for your viewing pleasure.  The Instituto also thanks Frances Rivetti of Southern Sonoma Country Life for writing the photo titles and providing the “technical” vino text for much of this article.

____________Que Syra Syrah!____________

The Rivetti’s (Timo & Frances) are Vino Garagistes, producers of “Vins de garage“, a.k.a. “Garage wine”… members of a group of creative wine makers in the Petaluma Gap micro-region…

…Syrah, cool climate…

…Grapes picked, crushed, fermented, barrel aged for 20 months & hand bottled at the foot of the hill the grapes were grown on…

The grapes go ’round and around… Whoa-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho…

And they come out here…

* For details of Anvil’s appointment, go to  Camera Obscura Futura Lens…See the future

Camera Obscura Futura Lens…See the future

The Internationale Instituto De Vino Wino, Petaluma’s famous but fictional wine institute, is pleased to announce that Anvil Adams, notorious photographer, has joined our Instituto.

Anvil came to us as part of a work release program a few weeks ago.  We first tested his abilities by sending him out on an assignment to photograph the grape harvest at Petaluma’s Que Syra Garagiste Vineyards. He is now working on editing the photos of the grape harvest and we will report on them next week.

Anvil, however, has some very unusual camera gear! He has a special camera lens–a Camera Obscura Futura Lens to be precise.  While he has not perfected the focusing technique for looking into the future, he has produced some very interesting photos of our currency in the future.

We thought we should share his photos…

Officers & Staff  of The Internationale Instituto De Vino Wino

La Centre de l’Experience du Vin de Petaluma 

Chief Wino &  Solo Vine Manager (We have only one vine)–Frank

Official Photographer–Anvil Adams
First Secretary-Vinnie Parducci
Second Secretary- Guido Marcucci
Third Secretary-Gustav Von Da Vee
Treasurer-Minnie Da Moocher
Counsel–Horace Rumpole of Chateau Fleet Street Claret
Vat & Barrel Managers-Jay Gaulo
Restaurant Manager-Al Fresco
Food Director–Sushi Tira-Misu
Director, Financial Planning-Two Fingers (as in “a-one-a,” “a-two-a”) Sabastiani
Director of Protocol & Arbiter of Taste–Marthe Stuarda
Tour Director-Expresso Camino Freeway
Movie & Video Critic-Francois Fjord
Bouncer–Sumo Cum Laude “Big Fish” Sashimi
Chats du Vin Extraordinaire—Hannah Sue & Gracie Mae (The Claret Kitties)
Tristan E. Isolde-Director of Cheap & Trashy Personal Counseling
Enchy Latta—Director of Catering
Jerry Attrick–Senior Citizen Wine Consultant

Petaluma’s Wine Instituto Goes To A Party!


Labor Day Weekend was also Sonoma Wine Country Weekend. Many events were scheduled, including several “winemaker” lunches and dinners at various wineries as well as a charity wine auction. The wine auction is an important fundraiser for many local charities–the Redwood Empire Food Bank, Vineyard Worker Services, Hanna Boys Center, Community Health Center, and others.

For some unexplained reason–certainly a clerical error–the Internationale Instituo De Vino Wino (Petaluma’s famous but fictional wine institute) was invited to send two representatives to the winemaker dinner St. Francis Vineyard and Winery:

An evening spent at St. Francis Vineyard and Winery not only allows you a chance to mingle with our 2010 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Honorary Chairs, but also promises an unforgettable experience in the very heart of Sonoma Wine Country. Join Winemaker, Tom Mackey and President, Christopher Silva at “People’s Park,” a lovely location on the winery grounds with breathtaking views of the vineyard, for a luau-style feast prepared by Piper Johnson and paired with artisan series, small production and handcrafted wines.”

Needless to say, the invitation caused quite a stir at the Intituto! As the invitation was for only two people, there was quite a fight (fictional people are just as difficult to manage as real people) as to who would be allowed to attend. In addition, approval had to be obtained from the parole officers for those selected.

This is their story…

After considerable fuss, Food Director, Sushi Tira-Misu and Senior Citizen Wine Consultant, Jerry Attrick were chosen to attend as representatives of the Instituto.  To be perfectly candid, the primary reason for selecting these two was that they were deemed to be the most presentable.

Sushi and Jerry showed up on time (a rare achievement for them) armed with the tickets and e-mail from Chris Silva of St. Francis Vineyard & Winery:

“Welcome to Sonoma County, this unique place of farmers who make wine…We are honored to be selected as Honorary Chair for 2010.  Our dinner…will be our first official celebration as Chair. We’ll enjoy an imaginative menu paired with our favorite Artisan wines, all from 100% hand-picked, Sonoma County grapes, plus a guest list of friends both old and new—as well as a special guest or two to add to the many stories.  We will also offer several small, informal tours of our cellar and barrel room while you are here. “

Sushi & Jerry were extremely impressed with the beautiful setting… 

They also took note of the fact that St. Francis provided additional security given the presence of two fictional representatives of the Internationale Instituto De Vino Wino…

Security notwithstanding, the Instituto representatives fully enjoyed themselves…conversed with their fellow attendees… sampled the wine…and the food…Oh, the food…

For the record, the Instituto recruited Al Fresco, the Instituto’s Restaurant Manager to serve as the designated driver. Al had to stay with the car the entire evening comforted only with a thermos of coffee and a week old newspaper.

Jerry Attrick was particularly impressed with the St. Francis winery tour and noted that the operation was considerably larger than the Solo Vine facility at the Instituto…

After seeing this facility, Jerry is going to recommend that the Instituto plant a second vine!

Busting Up the Patio–Post Mortem…

…or should I say post modern?

We are still pinching ourselves as we wander through and around our newly precycled concrete patio.  In doing a little research on the Web, I discovered that reusing concrete for patios, walkways, and even driveways is not all that uncommon.  To be sure, the material requirements for a driveway are substantially different from a patio or a path. Better to leave that to the experts.

One web site rated a recycled patio project as “moderately easy” in terms of execution. Of course that assumes one knows something about design, layout, and heavy materials handling, not to mention installation. And…there is the small matter of having the right tools, experience, and physical strength.

A frequent question is what to put in the spaces between the new precycled concrete pavers. In our case we opted for wide spaces between each paver so as to permit the use of cobbles in certain places.  The top fill was mulch (to color coordinate with the rest of the area) although we could have opted for decorative pebbles.

My wife sought the advice of the Internationale Instituto De Vino Wino (Petaluma’s famous but fictional Wine Institute) as to whether or not a little color was needed in one of the few straight lines in the new patio. The Instituto agreed that a little splashy color was in order and suggested marbles.

Unfortunately, the staff and officers of the Instituto had lost their marbles long ago, so we came up with a few of our own…