Must-visit vintners of the 650: Your guide to the Peninsula’s wineries

Taste high-quality wine minus the drive to Napa. One more reason to love living on the Peninsula is the remoteness yet accessibility of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA (American Viticultural Area) wine region. And, unlike other wine regions where winery visits can feel like gimmicky shuttle stops, Peninsula wineries are forced to exist within the rugged landscape, not the other way around. Though most of the 70-plus wineries are within a one-hour drive between San Francisco and San Jose, they feel a world away. Keikilani McKay, executive director of Wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains, explains that “Unlike other wine AVAs, it’s not an easy stroll to visit these wineries, but their remoteness is what makes them so special. This is an inventor’s region, a place for discovery, and they attract like-minded people who are willing to drive through ridges and redwoods to find that great wine.”
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How to celebrate Fourth of July’s return to the Peninsula

Where to see fireworks, watch parades and eat around the 650. Events across the Peninsula will be taking place in person this year to mark Independence Day. From concerts to fireworks, there are a variety of ways to enjoy Fourth of July festivities over the course of the holiday weekend, with many events returning after a two-year absence due to the pandemic. Here’s our guide to Independence Day weekend in the Peninsula:
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How Stanford’s early professors brought extravagant Queen Anne architecture to Palo Alto

Ornate towers and turrets are still visible in the city’s oldest neighborhoods. Here’s where you can spot them. From the ornate Victorians to the early shingle-style Craftsman to the Spanish Colonial Revival look championed by homegrown architect Birge Clark in the 1920s to the mid-century modern Eichlers that began popping up in the 1950s, Palo Alto boasts a hodgepodge of architectural styles that span more than 100 years, as well as several notable local architects who helped define the area’s cityscape.

Steve Martin and Martin Short talk touring together and ‘Only Murders in the Building’

The comedic duo will perform in their show ‘You Won’t Believe What They Look Like Today!’ at Stanford’s Frost Amphitheater June 30. The old showbiz turn of phrase that a performer “needs no introduction” certainly applies to Steve Martin and Martin Short, who play Stanford’s Frost Amphitheater on June 30. It’s daunting even to begin to encapsulate their careers. Separately, each has a hugely successful background on the stage and screen as an actor, each has authored a memoir (Martin’s “Born Standing Up” and Short’s “I Must Say”), and each has collected endless awards and accolades.

12 can’t-miss items at Eataly Silicon Valley, according to an Italian food expert

From pizza to pasta, here’s your shopping list for Santa Clara’s new food hall. Eataly has finally opened its long-awaited, three-story food hall at Westfield Valley Fair. Spanning 45,000 square feet and housing a rooftop restaurant, Eataly Silicon Valley provides Italian food lovers with a chance to do their grocery shopping, browse specialty foods and enjoy wine, pizza and gelato all in one place.

Outdoors experts reveal their favorite Peninsula hikes

From moderate mountain treks to lakeside strolls, here’s what makes these excursions special. With schools out for summer and the longest day of the year approaching with the official start of summer next week, it’s an ideal time to explore Peninsula parks and open spaces. Searching for new spots to check out? We asked local outdoors and environmental experts to tell us their all-time favorite hikes in the area. Here’s what they shared.

From Dizzy Gillespie to Ray Brown: Stanford Jazz Workshop celebrates 50 years

Founder Jim Nadel recounts the organization’s rise from its humble beginnings as the Stanford Jazz Festival returns June 17-July 30. Back in 1972, when Jim Nadel was a recent graduate jamming with friends at the Stanford Community Coffee House, he had no inkling he was founding an organization that would become a presenter of jazz legends, an incubator for future greats, and still be going strong a half-century later. But this summer, the Stanford Jazz Workshop (SJW) is marking its golden anniversary and celebrating with more than 30 curated concerts, along with its beloved educational programs for youth and adults (with offerings both in person and online).

Why the owner of Burlingame’s Rasa gave up a Michelin star

Ajay Walia on his reasons for pivoting to a more casual concept and the ‘uphill battle for ethnic cuisine.’. Twenty years ago, Ajay Walia left the lucrative worlds of finance and tech to open a restaurant and spread awareness of the diversity of Indian cuisine. He wanted guests to forget images of steam-table buffets, and winning a Michelin star at his South Indian Burlingame restaurant Rasa in 2016 should have authoritatively proven his success. So why did Walia close down Rasa to reopen it as a second location of his more casual restaurant, Saffron?

Last call at The Old Pro in Palo Alto

The long-standing sports bar will close its doors June 19. Originally opening in 1964, The Old Pro has long served as Palo Alto’s classic sports bar, even as Silicon Valley sprung up around it. The walls are covered by vintage pennants showcasing now-defunct teams like the World Football League’s Philadelphia Bell and framed Sports Illustrated covers from an era when printing color photography required weeks of planning.

6 things we ate at the 2022 San Mateo County Fair

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos soft pretzels, tacos and lots of fried fare. The San Mateo County Fair has returned, bringing carnival rides and games, Alaskan pig races and concerts back to San Mateo through Sunday, June 12. Along with the traditional slate of activities, the fried fair foods people come to expect — plus some more unusual options — are part of the draw. Here’s what we ate on a visit to the fair:

New restaurants roundup: Mango, ube and grape sweets take over, local favorites expand and a French bistro arrives

The latest news on eateries opening throughout the Peninsula. Just in time for summer, cooling and colorful desserts are spreading throughout the Peninsula. From golden waffles topped with strawberries and ricotta cheese to dark purple grape bubble tea, there are plenty of new choices for lovers of sweets. Los Altos also gains a second location of one of the region’s only Georgian restaurants, and Francophiles can head down to Los Gatos to spend a sunny afternoon at a Parisian bistro.

Your complete guide to summer 2022 on the Peninsula

The festivals, fireworks and fairs are back in full swing for the first time since 2019. Cloudless skies and warm weather draw Peninsula residents and visitors in throngs to summertime festivals, fairs, concerts and other seasonal events centered around food, art and community. And with the last couple of summers of COVID canceling or limiting many events, many are looking forward to the return of signature summer festivities like Shoreline Ampitheatre’s Fourth of July fireworks show and the San Mateo County Fair. Check out our guide to summer fun to fill your calendar from June through September.

Beachside coffee caravan finds a fitting home inside a Menlo Park luxury hotel

Burlingame native Molly Welton brings California Kahve’s specialty drinks to the Peninsula. In 2021, you would have found Molly Welton serving coffee by the beach out of a converted 1960 Layton travel trailer. California Kahve marked the realization of Welton’s dream, a coffee stand where sand blew through her door. Now, you’ll also run into Welton at her first permanent coffee counter inside Menlo Park’s cowhide-walled Park James Hotel, a seemingly surprising departure from her business’ bohemian roots.

Back on the ranch: 10 Peninsula farms that are open to visitors

Meet animals, pick fruit off the vine and learn about farm life at these local spots. From fruit picking and other seasonal activities to hanging with barnyard animals, there are farms throughout the San Francisco Peninsula that allow you to visit and learn about life on the ranch, as well as purchase fresh produce, cheese, jams and more to take home. Here are 10 to explore.

Who killed Jane Stanford? A Peninsula man thinks he has the answer

A former Stanford history professor’s new book investigates the mystery and coverup behind the death of the university co-founder. It all sounds like a lesser-known Agatha Christie whodunit. In February 1905, Stanford University co-founder Jane Stanford died in Honolulu. Though initially recorded as a death by poisoning, the official...

Meet the man hunting down how Silicon Valley’s billionaires are spending every dollar

‘The wealthiest people in the Bay Area are using their assets to reshape the world in their image,’ says journalist Teddy Schleifer. Names like Musk, Gates and Bezos dominate headlines at a time when billionaires influence our schools’ curriculums, control the social media platforms we communicate on, elevate political candidates and shape the world of philanthropy. However, journalist Teddy Schleifer says that we still know way too little about how Silicon Valley’s wealthiest are sculpting our lives and politics.

How Stanford med student Grace D. Li is handling becoming a bestselling author overnight

Li’s fiction novel ‘Portrait of a Thief’ explores what achievement and success really mean for its Chinese American art bandits. Bestselling author Grace D. Li has guided many tour groups through the Cantor Arts Center‘s marble entryway. As a docent, Li kept a careful eye on museum security, brainstorming break-ins for her fictional heist novel “Portrait of a Thief” and thoughtfully examining each jade bowl and quartz snuff bottle. Her experiences on Stanford University’s campus have led her to explore the questions of who art is for and who art is taken from. However, the biggest dilemma Li currently faces is how to handle the rapid success that has transformed her from a full-time student into a television producer and author on a cross-country book tour.

Meet the Los Altos muralist who creates ‘peaceful things’ for Peninsula homes

Morgan Bricca, who’s behind several public pieces including the Cal. Ave. tunnel mural, has also been transforming residential walls into works of art for nearly 20 years. From sun-drenched Tuscan hillsides to playful penguins swimming alongside colorful fish, Los Altos muralist Morgan Bricca has been transforming blank walls into works of art in private homes throughout the Bay Area for nearly two decades.