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Locals Who Inspire Us

Locals Who Inspire Us

There must be something about the soil in Sonoma Valley causing it to produce not just vines with awe-inspiring real estate but also some famous people. While our site is dedicated to all things interior design, one of our contributors had a lovely chat with realtor Ginger Martin and a business owner who shall remain nameless, over the aesthetic of their restaurant and how they wanted to incorporate bits and pieces of locals that have been impacted by the Sonoma Valley.

It brought up to our attention how many locals here are truly exceptional and we wanted to share with you some of their stories, while one isn’t born here they spent their life here and that counts as a local… Here are some of the prides of Sonoma Valley.

Brett Wallace
Born on August 26, 1986, Brent Wallace is a professional baseball player for San Diego Padres. He is playing as an infielder position in the Major League Baseball under San Diego Padres and Houston Astros. On March 23, 2014, he signed a deal with Baltimore Orioles. Then he moved to the Triple-A Norfolk before he got traded to the Blue Jays on July 14, 2014.

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Wallace displayed a remarkable performance on August 24, 2014 after clubbing a walk-off grand slam in the 12th inning to produce three home runs, six RBI game, and catapulted the Bisons to victory defeating Pawtucket Red Sox, 10-6. He joined the ranks of Fernando Martínez and Marco Scutaro as the only Bisons to produce walk-off grand slams.

George Worthing Yates
George Worthing Yates was an American screenwriter who became popular because of his works in the films with science fiction themes. He was born in August, 1901 in New York City and took his last breath in Sonoma Valley on June 6, 1975. He was the nephew of Herbert Yates, head of the Republic Pictures. His well-known works include Frankenstein 1970 (1958), War of the Colossal beast (1958), Tormented (1960) and King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962).

Bob Sessions
We can never get pass mentioning the famous people from Sonoma Valley without including any winemaker. Of course, the place is known for its vinery and wines so we must name a famous person from winery/brewery department. And that guy is Bob Sessions.

Surprisingly, Robert Session’s course during college has nothing to do with wines. He majored in English Literature from University of California in Berkeley in 1957. After graduation, he went to Europe and fell in love with wines there. He went back to the U.S and got married. His first working experience that has something to do with wine is at Mayacamas Vineyards from 1964 to 1971.

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Then he had a stint as production manager at Souverain after which he transferred to Stags Leap Wine Cellars where he is a part of the pioneering team. He got his first shot of fame in the international winemaking scene after helping Warren Winiarski blend and bottle the 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon that was blind tasted in the Judgement of Paris.

Still in 1973, he started working for Hanzell Vineyards in Sonoma as its general manager. Soon, the Sessions run Hanzell Vineyards, with Bob’s wife molly helping him manage the property and their son Ben is taking care of the hospitality department. It is in Hanzell where he created his signature wines that are still being revered up to now.

We are so lucky to live in such an extraordinary place! The colors of the vines, the soft hues of the changing night skies, the thick mustard flowers and intricate depths of green inspire me daily as I look around the Valley.