FORESTVILLE: Corks honored for outdoor dining

Corks Restaurant at Russian River Vineyards is popping open the champagne. It was among 100 eateries honored with an Open-Table Diners' Choice Award for Top Outdoor Dining Restaurant in the U.S.

The award was based on more than 5 million reviews collected from OpenTable diners during one year, from May 2012 through April 2013. There were 15,000 restaurants in the running.

Corks Restaurant is the only winery-based restaurant in the Russian River Valley and offers dining on the patio outside a historic, 1890s farmhouse.

"We take pride in serving our guests exceptional food among the natural beauty of the Russian River Valley," managing partner Chris O'Neill said. "This acknowledgment from our diners means a great deal to us."

Corks Restaurant is open for lunch 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and brunch from 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Dinner is served from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and is open until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

The Russian River Vineyards tasting room is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. 5700 Highway 116 N. corks116.com.

SONOMA: Become a Spaniard at Gloria Ferrer event

Got a passport? At the Catalan Festival at Sonoma's Gloria Ferrer Vineyards on July 20 and 21, you'll taste sparkling and estate wines, Spanish cuisine and watch passionate flamenco dancing. There also will be a grape stomp and traditional folklore surprises at the event from noon to 4 p.m.

There will be tapas and paella, cooking demonstrations and educational seminars. Tickets are $65 per person. For more information, visit gloriaferrer.com, or call 933-1931. The winery is located at 23555 Carneros Hwy.

SANTA ROSA: Films under stars at St. Francis

If you're a film buff, pencil this in: St. Francis Winery kicks off its annual outdoor Summer Film Festival series on Thursday.

There will be a pre-show concert by Z & the Benders, and the featured film is "Dirty Dancing." Sommelier Christopher Sawyer pairs St. Francis wines each week with the night's movie, with featured wines sold by the glass. Guests are encouraged to bring a blanket and a picnic.

The free event is from 7 to 11:30 p.m. at the winery in Santa Rosa, 100 Pythian Road, with movies starting at dusk. For more information, visit stfranciswinery.com or call 888-675-WINE.

SONOMA: 'Midsummer Mozart' at Gundlach Bundschu

Heads up, Shakespeare fans. There will be "Midsummer Mozart" performances at Sonoma's Gundlach Bundschu Winery Saturday and July 27. The orchestra of Midsummer Mozart, conducted by George Cleve with young Japanese violinist, Mayuko Kamio, will play in the outdoor amphitheater. The winery is located at 2000 Denmark St. For more information, call 938-5277 or visit midsummermozart.org.

FORT BRAGG: Petti opens bar below restaurant

Nick Petti, chef/owner at Mendo Bistro in Fort Bragg, has opened a new late-night cocktail bar just below his restaurant in the old Company Store building.

Featuring comfy couches and an elegant bar, Barbelow offers a yummy array of signature cocktails such as the Cherry Smash, the Diamond Dog and the Green Genie.

Among Petti's most popular bar bites are the Chicken Wings and Northern Nachos (housemade potato chips with garlicky Parmesan cream, crumbled blue cheese, minced cornichons and green onions).

Barbelow is open 4 to 11 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday, and 4 to midnight on Friday and Saturday. Happy hour runs from 4 to 6 p.m. every day, offering $1 off well drinks, glasses of wine and pints of beer.

Mendo Bistro and Barbelow are located at 301 N. Main St., Fort Bragg, 964-4974.

NORTH BAY: Region's cheeses win at State Fair

The State Fair has announced the winners of its California Cheese Contest, chosen from 156 entries submitted from across the state. Here are a few of the North Bay cheeses that rose to the top:

Laura Chenel's Chevre "Cabecou" won Best of Show and Best of Division in the Soft Cheese Category (goat).

Cowgirl Creamery's "Wagon Wheel" won Best of Show and Best of Division in the Semi-Hard Cheese Category (cow).

Marin French Cheese Company's "Petite Creme" won Best of Division in the Semi-Soft Cheese Category (cow).

Redwood Hill Farm's "Terra" won Best of Division in the Semi-Soft Cheese Category (goat).

Rumiano Cheese Company's "Dry Monterey Jack" won Best of Division in the Hard Cheese Category (cow).

Nicasio Valley Cheese Company's "San Geronimo" won Best of Division in California Originals (cow).

Compiled by Staff Writer Diane Peterson, who can be reached at 521-5287 or diane.peterson@pressdemocrat.com, and Peg Melnik, who can be reached at 521-5310 or peg.melnik@ pressdemocrat.com.