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Croquet and chardonnay.

Croquet and Chardonnay The civilized sport of croquet has its savage side (see the article on cutthroat croquet on page 86 of the July Sunset). August 14 through 17, you can see the game played at full intensity, when the U.S. Croquet Association holds its Western Regional Championships at Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards, between Santa Rosa and Healdsburg.

You're welcome to watch free (you sit on a stone wall), picnic, or stroll the grounds of this brand-new winery, open to the public for the first time on this occasion. You can pick up a free flyer here explaining fine points of the game. There'll be about a hundred competitors from all over the West; matches run from 7 to 7 Wednesday through Friday, with finals on Saturday at 1:30, followed by an exhibition by two of Australia's top players.

Each match lasts about 1-1/2 hours and will be played on the winery's level bent grass turf, manicured to a 1/8-inch height. Competitors will play a course of six wickets, using 1-pound composition balls and 36-inch mallets of lignum vitae wood. You'll see shots that Minnesota Fats would envy.

By reservation, you can join a guided tour of the winery, which produces Chardonnay exclusively; call (707) 528-1181.

To get there from U.S. 101 north of Santa Rosa, exit west on River Road. Drive 4 miles, then turn right on Slusser Road and continue to the winery.
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Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:U.S. Croquet Association holds its Western Regional Championships at Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards
Date:Aug 1, 1985
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