September Newsletter 2015

Historic Hopland
Milano Family Winery

If you’re headed to Hopland and looking to add a little history to your trip, don’t forget to stop by Milano Family Winery and explore a winery with deep historical roots and a fantastic story. The Milano Family Winery is located in Mendocino County and was the first of its kind to the beautiful area of Hopland, California.

This story starts with Vincenzo (Jimmy) Milone who immigrated from Italy to Hopland, and fell in love with the daughter of the winery’s owner Achilles Rosetti. Rosetti was the operator of the first winery in Hopland, until prohibition. Along with Rosetti’s son Frank, Milone farmed pears, prunes, grapes, and the ever so booming hops. Frank and Jimmy built a hop kiln and dried hops until 1954, a kiln that you can still see today, and is worth the visit, as it is the only one open to the public. With hops on the decline they turned their attention to grapes and so the Milano Family Winery was born.

The hop kiln was erected in the 1940’s to replace the original hop kiln that burned down in the 1930’s due to a bootlegger’s still.The hop kiln was used to dry and bale the hops before shipping them worldwide for beer brewing. Milano offers tours of this beautiful historic structure, just make sure you make an appointment. You can see how hops were originally processed, and of course, the current winemaking activities. The drying building of the hop kiln now houses their tank room filled with sleek stainless steel tanks used for fermentation and storage. The hop kiln’s original storage room is now the warm and rustic tasting room and one floor below is the barrel room where the wines age in French oak barrels.

Today all the wines are made on site in that very same hop kiln by winemaker Deanna Starr. Ted and Deanna Starr acquired the Milano Family winery in 2001.

Deanna, a nurse turned winemaker, along with her husband Ted, both grew up in Southern California. He started a software company specializing in medical research database. They met at the health facility in San Diego where Deanna was nursing director and he had become the IT director. They soon discovered they both loved animals and wine.

They married in 1993 and opened a pet store. He still has six giant tortoises you can see at the winery, along with a gaggle of geese, a llama, a pygmy goat, a sheep, and their charming dog Zeus.

Ted and Deanna made frequent wine tasting trips in Northern California, building up their private wine collection and exploring the world of wine. It was Hopland who found the Starrs when a winemaker from Sebastopol heard Milano was for sale and sent them a video he made of it. They headed north to see for themselves and purchased the seven acre parcel with the hop kiln from the Milone family.

As soon as they moved in Ted went to work redesigning the winery space so Deanna could make wine  herself. “There’s a parallel between nursing and winemaking,” she says. “A nurse assesses a patient’s symptoms just like a  winemaker assesses grapes. You create a treatment plan and watch for problems along the way, and like a patient each grape varietal has its own needs”.

She carefully crafts a variety of wines, each tended with love and care. Varietals of Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, plus some of the more unique varietals such as Carignane, Charbono, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Valdiguie, compose the portfolio. Deanna loves to make wine blends, with cheeky names like Big Ass Red, Big Ass Blonde, and Sunshine. Late-harvest Zinfandel and Ports are also a specialty. Fresh fruit, bold flavors, and intoxicating aromas are just a few things that add to the mystique of her wines.

Tasting room guests get to explore them all within the walls of the kiln, and enjoy the marvels of today’s winemaking. Be sure to ask for a tour of this beautiful historic structure (by appointment only) that was transformed into the modern day winemaking facility that is Milano Family Winery.

Come Visit Us At
Milano Family Winery
14594 South Highway 101
Hopland, CA 95449

Open Daily 10am to 5pm ~ Tasting Bar & Gift Boutique
Tours from our winemaker Deanna Starr by Appointment / 707-744-1396 /

September Events


Second Saturday

Special Discounts and Unique Pairings!

September 12, 2015  10:00 AM – 5:00PM

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for Hopland’s incredible second Saturday. Several Hopland area wineries will be offering delicious appetizers & wine specials! Come join us and don’t miss out on these great values while you taste, socialize, and shop.

Saracina  food pairings, including sunflower bread served with local Pennyroyal Laychee Goat Cheese, our estate Bee Good Honey, and our estate olive oil. Stop by to enjoy these and other tasty nibbles celebrating summer, sunflowers, and Saracina wines.

McFadden will pair their top awarded bubbly with an asparagus and avocado salad.

SIP! Mendocino Picnic on the Patio, Hopland opens their doors wide every 2nd Saturday, offering guests delicious food & wine pairings, music and lots of fun. Stop by SIP and enjoy a glass of our featured wine (a new & exciting arrival to the shop), and picnic on our gorgeous patio.

Graziano Family of Wines Serving aged cheeses, salami, olives and more to go with 4 distinct wines

Milano Winery will be participating in second Saturday in September serving appetizers and 2006 Petit Verdot by the bottle at 50% off.

Cesar Toxqui This second saturday is their wine pick up party featuring the release of their 2013 Merlot!

Sip! Mendocino
Wine Education Series:Wine & Spice
September 12, 2015
1:30 PM – 3:30 PM

$20/person (non-wine club members) | $16/person (wine club members)

Spicy food and wine can be a challenging match. Oftentimes the heat and intensity of the spice can overwhelm the delicate flavors and subtle nuances of wine. Educator Colleen Stewart will share a few simple guidelines to help you find an array of wines that pair well with spicy food. In this class we will discover wines that blend harmoniously with flavors of India, Thailand, Mexico, and Japan.

All tickets are available on 
or by calling 744-8375.

Winesong Charity
Wine Tasting & Auction 
September 12,2015 11:00 PM-2:00 PM

Stroll through the lush Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens while enjoying vintages poured by world-class wineries from Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, and beyond, and food from 50 of Mendocino County’s finest food purveyors (see list of wineries and food below). The tasting is accented by 9 different music groups performing a variety of styles including jazz, classical, big band, calypso and celtic folk.Various Hopland wineries will be participating, see you there! For more info click here.


Brutocao Cellars
Zin & Pizza
September 12, 2015
6:00 PM- 12:00 AM

Wine Club members & guests only. $30 per person
Taste a vertical of our award winning Zinfandel, each paired with a unique pizza prepared in our wood-fired oven.

Limited seating
RSVP (800) 433-3689

Hiking Hopland
September 12, 2015
10:00 AM-12:00 PM

HREC Director, Kim Rodrigues will reveal the mysteries of HREC during this 2 hour guided hike around part of their 5,300 acre oak woodland and chaparral site.This is the first of regular walks to be offered at the site and an opportunity for the community to get involved with our stewards program and become hike docents themselves.Meet at the Rod Shippey Hall at 10am. Wear clothing and footwear appropriate for hiking whatever the weather!

For more info please click here.

Jaxon Keys Winery 
Harvest Party
September 19, 2015
11:30 AM – 2:30 PM

Join us at Jaxon Keys Winery & Distillery on Saturday, September 19th for an epic fall harvest concert. This event is free to the public and sure to be a rockin’ good time for all. We will be featuring food from the “oyster gods” Sonoma Coast Shuckers & the amazing local food truck Good2Go! Bottles of wine will be available for purchase during the event  in the meadow. The entertainment will run from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30p.m. We are so excited to see everyone at the farmhouse for another amazing event. Cheers!

Cesar Toxqui Cellars
Annual Wine club Dinner
September 19, 2015  5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Venue: 13500 S Hwy 101 Hopland Ca 95449
At Cesar Toxqui Tasting Room

Wine Club Members – $45
Shuttle is available for $20 per person we will pick you up and drop off in Ukiah

We are looking forward to seeing you all!!!
This is a great time to meet the people who make CTC. Enjoy a 4 course meal paired with our award winning wines. Special Case Deals will be offered. For full menu or lodging deals check out our event on the Destination Hopland website. 

Questions? Please RSVP feel free to email Ruth at or call her directly at (707) 391-8412

Sip! Mendocino
Thirsty Thursdays
September 24, 2015
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM


$10/person (non-wine club members)

Join us for an exploration of the award-winning wines of Mendocino County, in celebration of September – California Wine Month. 2015 marked the 37th anniversary of the Mendocino County Fair Wine Competition, one of the oldest wine judgings in the state. Come taste the best of Mendocino in this special tasting.

All tickets are available on 
or by calling 744-8375.

Nelson Family Vineyards
Summer Concert Series Kingsborough
September 25, 2015
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM


Summer Concert Series with KINGSBOROUGH
Doors: 5:30 PM, Music 6PM
Admission: $20 at the Door,

$13 Online at Brown Paper Tickets
Children 5 and under are free

NOTE: Online ticketing closes at midnight on 9/24

We are extremely excited to announce our featured band for our September 25th Summer Concert Series Kingsborough!

Determined to help revive authentic, soulful rock music, KINGSBOROUGH has become one of the North Bay’s most entertaining and fastest rising acts. The band’s influences range from The Allman Brothers and Bill Withers to Rage Against the Machine and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, resulting in a beautiful hurricane of widely diverse original material. Armed with heart pounding rhythms, dazzling guitar solos and powerful vocal harmonies, this powerhouse 5 piece is living proof that rock n’ roll is still alive and well.

Some of the band’s favorite played venues include The Great American Music Hall, Slim’s, The Whisky A Go Go, The Hard Rock Cafe SF, and their hometown Russian River Brewing Company.

Members: Billy Kingsborough (guitar/vocals), Alex Leach (guitar/vocals), Ross Barbieri (guitar/vocals), Chris Mangione (bass), John Whitney (drums)

Dinner: Swine Country BBQ

Please no outside alcoholic beverages.
Blanket or low-back chairs OK. Please no pets.

The Redwood Grove at Nelson Family Vineyards
550 Nelson Ranch Road
Ukiah, CA
Click Here for Map


Mendocino College
Foundation Gala 2015

September 26, 2015 • 4:30 PM

The Mendocino College Foundation Gala is a fun, fabulous annual fundraiser featuring fine local wine, delectable appetizers, live music, dinner and dancing on the beautiful campus of Mendocino College in Ukiah. Thanks to the support of generous sponsors, 100% of the proceeds from the evening go to support the Foundation’s vision of being a major force in helping students turn their hopes and dreams into realities.

2012 McFadden Coro will be poured.

Don’t miss this fantastic event! Mark your calendars for Sept. 26, 2015, we’ll see you at 4:30 p.m.!

Info, tickets, and the latest details will always be on our website at

Milano Family Winery Zinfandel or Carignane? Each goes great with BBQ…why not try a bottle of both?

  • 1/2 cup ancho chili powder 
  • 2 tablespoons paprika 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin 
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard 
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt 
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne 
  • 1 trimmed brisket with a layer of fat at least 1/4-inch thick, about 5 to 6 pounds  …..Dark Beer Mop, recipe follows

Mix together the spices in a small bowl. Rub the entire brisket with the spice mixture, place on a baking sheet, cover and let stand in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours.

Prepare the smoker according to manufacturer’s directions. Place the brisket in the smoker, fat side up and smoke for 4 to 5 hours or until extremely tender. Baste with the mop every 30 minutes.

Dark Beer Mop:

  • 1 large red onion 
  • 4 cloves garlic 
  • 2 serrano chiles, chopped 
  • 4 bottles of dark beer 
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar 
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan, season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. 

Recipe from Milano Winery – submitted Monday, 08 January 2007


Destination Hopland