PF says it's hardy to zone 8 so you should be fine. We have an almost perfect climate for salvias here, there are a few less common species that may need zone 10, but the vast majority of salvias that you'll run across would be hardy here. http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/1836/index.html
S. discolor will do great in your zone and will show off its fabulous color. Try the spring plant sale at the Strybing Arboretum or any of the marvelous nurseries in your county and around Santa Rosa/Sebastopol. Annies Annuals (Richmond) doesn't list it but you might give them a call or try Digging Dog up there as well. Emerisa also has Salvias. You live in possibly one of the greatest areas for this genus outside of the state of Michoacan in Mexico.
Interesting discussion - I do grow Discolor in the greenhouse here in the UK, but have never tried it outside. It strikes extremely easily from cuttings, and will grow to a decent sized plant from cutting in one season. I will venture out with it this year and see how it fairs. Maybe a bit of mulch in the winter to assure its survival. My zauschnerias and grivelleas have been just fine this year - so fingers crossed.
I have Discolor planted in full sun, the greyer the leaf the more sun it can take, it is taking off like wildfire in the sun.
I dont go by zones I try them all, I have been told that 'certain' salvias wont grow here, try telling that to them. They are flowering & Flourishing, so if you can get hold of salvia seeds that you are wanting to try than it really doesnt hurt to try in my humble opinion.
The discolor was burned to the roots, unfortunately, ecrane, and I finally took it out. It was a fairly good sized one, too. I suspect it was dry and that just made things worse. Live and learn.
I have several things that did come back from sticks, though, and I usually leave things until I'm absolutely sure they are dead, dead, dead. We have a tiny little ash tree that is on its third year - no more than six inches high. Every year I've thought it was gone, but left the cage up to keep the squirrels and rabbits away from it. This year it is really showing signs of growing!
It's the fraxinus dipetala, Sherry, they're the ones that aren't so allergenic. We had three at first and this is the only one that made it - I'm still looking for more. It's on one of our south facing slopes and we've had probably a 70% mortality rate there. Even the fremontia don't want to grow.
We have one teeny east facing slope that is doing really good with salvias, ceanothus, and manzanitas. Everything struggles on the south slopes. Sometimes they start out good then just don't go anywhere. This lot was really cut and compacted so we could build on it, and we keep thinking that fact and the exposure are the sources of the problem (plus the gophers).The soil is actually pretty good - maybe it's recovering from all the rough handling. Since we're stuck with it, I'll take any excuse! What we do now is get a couple of new plants at a time and watch them closely to see what will grow there (not the 120 we did on the first go round).