Summer and autumn in Sonoma County is all about weddings,
wine and wicked-yummy food!
Now is when the fields are burgeoning with fresh produce that will end up on your plate tonight. Grapes in the vineyards are climbing toward the end of their cycle, with harvest set to start late summer and go into autumn. Brides are planning to walk down a petal-strewn path amidst the vines.
Join in the celebration of love, laughter and life with your own Sonoma County vacation. Visit www.sonomacounty.com to start planning your adventure today.
Barefoot to Boufant - Brides reign in Sonoma Wedding Country
The Wedding of Your Dreams:
Runaway Brides provide elopement, vow renewal and commitment ceremonies in wine country. This one-stop wedding shop uses local venues and vendors to help even the most discriminating bride have the day of her dreams.
All-inclusive packages are unbeatable in detail, services and price. There are more than 10 venues, with more signing up. The focus is on the bride and making that special day memorable. Their motto is "Your Day, Your Way."
Elopements at Trentadue Winery:
A wedding or elopement at Trentadue Winery, in Geyserville, the heart of the prestigious Alexander Valley, is the perfect way to begin a marriage. This beautiful, Tuscany-style venue with breathtaking views of lush green vineyards and surrounding mountains is a romantic location for elopements and small weddings with up to 50 guests.
To receive more information about weddings in Sonoma's wine country, visit www.sonomacounty.com/weddings.
It's Time for Sonoma County Wine:
Valley of the Moon has launched a food and wine pairing experience at the winery, "Valley of the Moon Epicurean Experience." This private tasting features distinctive varietals paired perfectly with contemporary cuisine that is sure to please any palate. The pairing is $25 a person and is offered Friday through Sunday at 11 a.m., 12:30 and 2 p.m. Reservations are recommended, (707) 939-4510.
In related news, on Aug.1, Lake Sonoma Winery will be relocating its Healdsburg Tasting Room to the Valley of the Moon Winery.
Merriam Vineyards Opens New Tasting Room:
Merriam Vineyards opened a new winery and tasting room on the warmest edge of the Russian River Valley. With easy access from Highway 101, the Merriam Vineyards tasting room in Healdsburg offers a new perspective on Russian River Valley winegrowing, inviting visitors to cross cultures as they taste California-crafted Bordeaux-style wines in a tasting room designed to reflect the comfort and warmth of a New England-style home.
Merriam Vineyards Tasting Room
11650 Los Amigos Road
Benziger Family Winery Launches Biodynamic Discovery Trail:
Benziger Family Winery launched its Biodynamic Discovery Trail this spring. The first-ever educational display devoted to biodynamics in North America, the Biodynamic Discovery Trail on Benzigers Glen Ellen estate illustrates how this regenerative method of farming paves the way for healthier vines and more interesting, site specific wines.
The self-guided trail takes visitors from the early history of biodynamics to its application in the surrounding vineyards. Educational displays include samples of the homeopathic remedies cultivated and applied to the vines on the 85-acre estate.
Benziger Family Winery
1883 London Ranch Road
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
Celebrate Late at Sebastiani:
Sebastiani Winery and Vineyards is now open late every Friday night, through October, with live music every other weekend. The concert series may extend to every Friday if it proves popular enough. The music runs from 7 to 9 p.m. and there is no cover.
Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery
389 4th Street East
Sonoma, CA 95476
A Veritable Feast for Foodies
Wine Country's First Bacon of the Month Club:
John Stewart and Duskie Estes, of Zazu Restaurant, are at it again. John's fame as a salumist led to creating Black Pig Meats - bacon and salumi made from antibiotic- and hormone-free pork, boar, lamb and more - has sparked another gem: Sonoma County's first-ever Bacon of the Month club.
For $110 a year, you'll receive a package of Black Pig bacon each month. For $130, you'll accept your monthly shipment wearing the stylish Black Pig t-shirt. (That's one shirt and 12 months of bacon.) A two-year membership is $199. Not ready to sign up yet? Individual packages of bacon are $10.
Zazu Restaurant & Farm
3535 Guerneville Road
boon eat + drink - A Chic Addition to Guerneville:
boon hotel + spa's commitment to sustainability now includes a restaurant and bar. The atmosphere is chic, minimalistic and modern with a menu influenced by local farmers. Selections vary from a cheese tray consisting of local cheeses to salads of local ingredients and grilled local, free-range meats. Their wine list features only Russian River wines along with beers from regional microbreweries.
It's OK to have Martinis for Breakfast:
The Glen Ellen Inn Oyster Grill & Martini Bar is now offering a weekend brunch! Brunch from 10:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday (and even holiday Mondays). Brunch includes delicious dishes like a Baby Benny (a single poached egg, Canadian bacon, rustic potatoes and fresh fruit), a Kobe Supreme Benedict, (Kobe beef patty, poached egg, and hollandaise on a house-made scone, with fresh fruit and rustic potatoes), caramelized apple french toast, among other items. Also available is a full bar serving pomegranate-lychee mimosas and Bloody Marys and, of course, martinis!
Glen Ellen Inn
13670 Arnold Drive
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
Sonoma County is Spa-licious in Summer
Spa & Pool Packages at Hyatt Vineyard Creek :
You want to book a treatment at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek and you want to make an afternoon of it. So, book a mini-treatment. At $49, it includes a full-body lavender and chamomile scrub. Or, for $79, you get a 50-minute full-body massage. Book either of these packages at the spa; you get the use of the pool, sauna and spa locker room. Get pampered, get hydrated and get relaxed. While you're at it, enjoy some mojitos by the pool.
Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel & Spa
170 Railroad Street
Santa Rosa, CA 9540
Celebrations, Tours, Service and New Places:
Armstrong Redwoods Celebrates 75 Years as a State Park
Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve, an 805-acre park featuring a magnificent grove of ancient redwoods, a large outdoor amphitheater, self-guided nature trails and a variety of picnic facilities, turns 75 years old this year. A number of celebrations are planned to celebrate this historic landmark. To find out more about upcoming event, please visit www.stewardsofthecoastandredwoods.org.
Stewards of the Coast & Redwoods
P.O. Box 2
Duncans Mills, CA 95430
Embrace Your Wild Child at the Fall Wine Safari:
Ever wondered how a Pinot pairs with a Rhino? A new 2009 Fall Wine Safari package slated September through November, Safari West welcomes wine country visitors by offering an exclusive, post-winery adventure. Bring your favorite wines purchased at a local winery to enjoy a unique afternoon escape on a private safari for up to 10 people. They’ll waive the corkage and even throw in snacks for everyone. A private wine safari makes your excursion intimate and personalized. Your private three-hour adventure is $650 for up to 10 people. Reservations are required.
'Cheesy' Tour Offered at Cowgirl Creamery:
The Cowgirl Creamery cheesemaking facility, in Petaluma, is offering an in-depth look at the cheesemaking process from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. You will see cheese being made, taste Mt. Tam, Cowgirl's popular cheese, at different ages and take home a generous sampler bag of Cowgirl Creamery cheese.
Backroads Sonoma Farm Tour:
From Farm to Table is adding a Sonoma Farm Tour to its burgeoning menu of culinary field trips. Groups traverse the bucolic backroads of Sonoma County, before arriving at an artisan farm or family vineyard for a private tour. After walking the land with the farmer or winegrower, guests settle in for a "farm-driven" dinner, prepared al fresco, by From Farm to Table's resident chef. Touting its mission as "leading small bands of roving foodies on excursions in good taste, and outings worth toasting," The Sonoma Farm Tour includes round-trip transportation, time spent with a local food or wine producer, and a chef-led meal paired with Sonoma wines.
Simi Fall Forage Kicks off Farm Trails Weekend:
Friday, Sept. 25, from 4 to 7 p.m. Evening kick-off celebration for “Sonoma County Weekend Along the Farm Trails” - Artisanal farmers from Sonoma County and Simi chefs will present a sampling of the bounty of Sonoma paired with a variety of Simi wines. Farmers from each Sonoma region will share history and highlights about farms that can be visited in their area. Price: $25 per person.
Saturday, Sept. 26, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Forage Workshop and Lunch - A hands-on cooking demonstration with foraged foods and how to pair the right foods/flavors with different wine varietals. Price: $75 per person.
6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Fall Forage Feast - A fabulous tasting menu composed of the abundance of Sonoma County artisan farmers paired with Simi wines and hosted by Simi's winemaking team. Price: $125 per person.
Proceeds from these events will benefit Sonoma County Farm Trails. Simi remains devoted to producing wines that carry the stamp of the land, while always reflecting the vineyards where they are grown and the care with which they are made. For information about Sonoma County Farm Trails, please visit www.farmtrails.org.
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn's Scott Chappell Awarded Membership Les Clefs d’Or:
Les Clefs d ‘Or USA has awarded Scott Chappell, Concierge at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa membership into the elite organization. He joins his colleague Judy Mendel as the only concierges in Sonoma County to receive such distinction.
Les Clefs d’Or (pronounced “lay clay door”) is French and literally translates as "keys of gold." Crossed gold keys displayed on hotel concierge lapels assure travelers they are dealing with a seasoned professional who is dedicated to serving their every need and who has fulfilled intense membership and service requirements.
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
(707) 939- 2477
New Bicycle Shop Pedals into Bodega Bay:
Bodega Bay Cycles has a large selection of rentals, including performance models, as well as parts and accessories for every cyclist. A mechanic is on duty everyday, except Tuesday. There are also a couple of great bike routes that are family friends and aren't on Hwy. 1. The routes start from the shop's front door and are a great way to see the bay without all the traffic.
Photos by Barbara L. Steinberg©