From the Board

As we usher in autumn, it’s time to look at our fall line-up of BATW meetings. You’ll want to save the dates for these big events – all in person and carefully planned to keep us safe as we find new travel stories in the great outdoors.

First, thanks to the organizational efforts of Ed Walsh, our September 29 meeting is a luncheon, tasting and tour of the unique Hanson of Sonoma Distillery and Tasting Room in the Carneros region. We’ll meet the family that produces vodka made from grapes…and infused with hand cut, certified organic fruits and vegetables. This event is limited to 35 members only (guests are being kept on a separate list and will be allowed if space available).

Another tasty offering is slated for October 25, when we meet at the Straus Home Ranch in Marshall CA on the banks of beautiful Tomales Bay. This premier event has been organized by member Rosie Cohan, a non-board member who we’d love to see run for election in the fall.

Here’s the back story from Rosie: Pushing back against housing and commercial development pressures in West Marin, Ellen Straus envisioned a land trust that would guarantee that farmers could keep farming. Ellen’s big idea turned into the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (, which has now saved over 90 farms from development, securing those lands in agricultural production in perpetuity. Without MALT, sustainable agriculture and artisan cheese making in West Marin may not have developed.

Ellen’s daughter and MALT board member, Vivien Straus will be our host at her family home, Straus Home Ranch which she, her brother Michael and sister Miriam, operate as a vacation rental and educational, retreat and special event venue, while still hosting heifers in the pastures. Vivien, a board member of Marin Agricultural Land Trust, will discuss MALT’s purpose and achievements. Vivien also created the California Cheese Trail which will be available to help you later explore on your own.

A delicious cheese and wine tasting will be led by Sue Conley, co-founder of Cowgirl Creamery.  Sue was instrumental in creating the artisan cheese movement in the United States and is enthusiastic about the culinary talent that continues to evolve in our area.  Throughout the tasting, Sue will explain the magic, the art and craft of making cheese and its role in sustainable agriculture in West Marin, while we will indulge in tasting award-winning cheeses.

On November 3, BATW will be announcing the win, place and show, and the honorable mentions for the first-ever Lee Foster Photography Awards. Board member Alec Scott has been coordinating the 5-7 pm event to be held at Oakland’s new Moxy Hotel, along with a Zoom event — a virtual and live presentation.

Other fall splashes of color include a virtual marketplace for corporate members in October and November, and our annual December holiday party. Thanks again to everyone involved in making BATW the premier regional organization for the travel industry.   – Exec. Dir. Ginny Prior



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2 Responses

  1. We are such a creative and active group! Thanks, Ginny for reminding us of the exciting offerings we have on hand