Food, wine and nature in Sonoma County - TravelMole

Food, wine and nature in Sonoma County

Friday, 19 Jan, 2024 0

Sonoma County’s wintertime allure guarantees a special experience for lovers of great food, wine and the great outdoors.

Whether unwinding or engaging in adventurous activities, these experiences connect people with the unique sense of place in Sonoma County. Discover top art, cultural happenings, incomparable food, wine and craft beers in Sonoma County

What’s new outdoors 

The Pottery of Margurite Wildenhain

Located just above Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve, Pond Farm Pottery joined a select group of noteworthy places that possess exceptional value in illustrating the history of the US. In December, U.S. Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland designated Pond Farm Pottery a new National Historic Landmark. Pond Farm is cooperatively managed by Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods and California State Parks, with Stewards providing onsite support and programming. There is an artist-in-residence program and docent-led tours. Pond Farm Pottery is significant for its association with the mid-twentieth century American Studio Pottery Movement. The Farm was founded by Margurite Wildenhain, the first woman to achieve the designation of Master Potter in Germany who brought her Bauhaus influenced pedagogy to Sonoma County. The Stewards will host a Margurite Wildenhain exhibit vernissage at the Agrella Art Gallery at the Santa Rosa Junior College. Following the opening there will be a screening of the documentary: ‘Marguerite: From the Bauhaus to Pond Farm’ and followed by a Q&A with Pond Farm students. 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm | February 8.


Blooming Now Guide – Jack London State Historic Park

Hikers, horseback riders, or nature lovers will delight in seeing blossoms along the trails of Jack London State Historic during peak wildflower season in February-August. To help visitors make the most of the natural splendor, the park provides a free online “Blooming Now” guide to the latest blossoms at the 1,570-acre park, with photos, names, and recently spotted locations.  Visitors can seek out a variety of flowers, with names like California Buttercup, Pacific Hounds Tongue, and Checker Lily. The “Blooming Now” guide will be updated every two weeks through August 31, 2024. The guide is easy to print or follow online for walkers and hikers as they seek and identify the blooms found along the park’s 29 miles of trails. In addition to the wildflowers, visitors can enjoy the park’s historic side and learn about the lives of famed author Jack London and his wife, Charmian.


Living Sculptures – The Art & Science of Bonsai – Sonoma Botanical Garden

Experience a world of beauty and intricate craftsmanship both indoors and outside, at Sonoma Botanical Garden’s new bonsai exhibit. Experience a fusion of modern and classic forms, with more than 20 amazing, tiny trees, meticulously nurtured and shaped by local artisans. Then stroll the Garden’s paths to see some of the full-sized species showcased in the exhibit. Through March 22.


New in experiences 

Olio Nuovo Exploration Tastings – Gold Ridge Organic Farms

Experience the outstanding 2023 olive harvest at Gold Ridge Organic Farms, where they present the freshest Olio Nuovo – a new olive oil crafted from their Estate Grown olives. Enjoy a selection of four unique blends, including citrus oils, during exclusive tastings held in January and February. Olio Nuovo, a luminous and verdant elixir, provides the initial taste of the season’s harvest. Pressed at Gold Ridge’s Estate Mill, it features vibrant hues and robust flavors. With the highest concentrations of polyphenols and antioxidants right after harvest, this limited-edition oil is exclusively available for a 12-week period. 11:00 am to 3:00 pm | Fridays and Saturdays.


The Brunch Flight – Abbots Passage Winery + Mercantile

Experience the newest seasonal offering at Abbots Passage Winery + Mercantile, the Brunch Flight, featuring a flight of three wines and pastry pairings from Les Pascals Glen Ellen Bakery. During the experience, the host will share stories of Katie Bundschu’s winemaking perspective. The Brunch Flight is offered on Sundays either inside the historic Abbot’s Passage tasting room or outside in the olive grove through the winter months.


Pinots for Paws – Dutton Estate Winery

A paw-some weekend where you can sip, savor, and support the Sonoma County Humane Society. Join the Dutton Estate Winery for any tasting experience. As you taste, representatives from the Sonoma County Humane Society will be on hand to share information about the organization and accept donations for a Pet Supply Drive. Bring food, blankets, leashes, and supplies to help furry friends in need. Don’t miss out on the adorable “Puppy Kissing Booth” where you can cuddle with lovable puppies.11:00 am – 4:00 pm | January 27-28.


I’ll Show You the Night – Celebrating the Night Sky, Queer Artistry

Sonoma County queer musician, Anne Carol Mitchell (Artist name Brightdarkdawn), is organizing a two-hour immersive music concert. This event incorporates songs, video elements, audience involvement, and storytelling to promote awareness about preserving the night skies of Sonoma County against the prevalence of artificial light. This unique experience delves into the theme of collective connection to the natural world through the mediums of music, audience-participatory poetry, and the use of telescopes provided by the Robert Ferguson Observatory (RFO). 6:30 pm | January 27.


Instagrammable Cheese & Charcuterie Boards – Crafted at Appellation

Join an exclusive class at The Setting Wines at Bacchus Landing for a journey into the world of aesthetically pleasing food presentation. Led by industry experts Pete Seghesio and Kuba Hemmerling, the class offers hands-on experience in crafting Instagrammable Cheese & Charcuterie Boards. Participants will learn the intricacies of selecting the perfect combination of cheeses and charcuterie, discover the secrets of pairing textures and flavors, and gain expert tips. Throughout the class, taste the goods from Journeyman Meat Co. and Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese. Each participant will leave with newfound knowledge, inspiration, and a selection of fine cheeses and meats. 1:00 pm | January 28.


Wildhaven Sonoma Glamping – Winter Warmer Package

Wildhaven Sonoma Glamping’s new cabins provide an ideal retreat with spacious 180-square-feet accommodation that integrates with nature. The cabins feature three windows, two skylights, and large glass doors that open like tent flaps, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the surrounding nature. Sleeping arrangements include a queen-sized bed with a memory foam mattress, quality linens, and a comforter. The well-furnished cabins also include nightstands, bedside lamps, and a bistro patio set for dining. Guests can conveniently charge their devices using bedside USB outlets. The cabins are equipped for year-round comfort with an AC unit and heater, and each unit boasts a six-feet covered front deck. Additionally, the front yard of each cabin offers a firepit with a cooking grill and picnic table. Wildhaven’s Winter Warmer Package features a complimentary bundle of firewood, S’mores kit, bottle of Pedroncelli wine, and two Wildhaven wine tumblers when reserving a two-night, Sunday-Thursday stay before February 29.


The Latest in Dry Tripping 

Pomme Cider Shop & Taproom

Pomme Cider Shop & Taproom is introducing visitors to the emerging world of cider. Located just off the Sonoma Plaza, this bright and airy space exudes a charming French ambiance. Serving as both a taproom and a bottle shop, Pomme Cider Shop & Taproom boasts a diverse selection of local ciders and imports from Spain and France, complemented by a range of French rosés and champagnes. The venue offers an immersive experience with 18 ciders on tap, available by the glass or in flights, showcasing the best flavors from the West Coast and beyond.


Citrus Shrub Drinks – Gold Ridge Organic Farms

Gold Ridge Organic Farms offers a delightful range of Citrus Shrub Drinks, also known as drinking vinegars. Rooted in 17th-century England and Colonial America, shrubs were originally used as preservatives for fruit. Lavender Lemonade, crafted from hand-picked Meyer Lemons, apple cider vinegar, and True English Lavender, present a refreshingly bright and floral flavor with a subtle sweet-tart balance. Another standout is the Mandarin-Kumquat, a hybrid citrus grown on the West County farm. blending the tartness of kumquats with the sweetness of Satsuma mandarin. These unique shrubs, along with all Gold Ridge Organic Farms’ apple cider vinegars, are handcrafted locally by Little Apple Treats in Sebastopol.


Lagunitas Brewing Company

Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma is known for its innovative and often irreverent approach to brewing. Their Petaluma brewery and taproom have a distinctive, laid-back atmosphere, and its beer labels often feature whimsical and humorous artwork. Lagunitas Brewing Company offers two options for those interested in alcohol-free or low ABV beverages: a Hoppy Refresher and an IPNA (non-alcoholic IPA). The Hoppy Refresher is a zero-alcohol, zero-calorie, zero-carbohydrate, extra-low-gluten beverage. The IPNA is a full-bodied, hoppy IPA with herbal, tea-like notes.


H20 Sonoma Soft Seltzer

H2O Sonoma Soft Seltzer 0.0% is a unique beverage that combines the purity of Sonoma County water with the essence of winegrapes. Infused with 100% California varietal winegrapes, premium dealcoholized wine, and natural flavor extracts, this refreshment is the first wine-infused drink with zero alcohol. Catering to those who enjoy the taste of wine but prefer an alcohol-free option, H2O contains potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B12, with only 30-60 calories per 16 oz. can. It is a sparkling soft seltzer crafted to showcase the fine wine varietals, offering a California wine-infused experience with 0.0% alcohol.

View the latest episode in the “What’s Happening in Sonoma County” video series 

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TravelMole Editorial Team

Editor for TravelMole North America and Asia pacific regions. Ray is a highly experienced (15+ years) skilled journalist and editor predominantly in travel, hospitality and lifestyle working with a huge number of major market-leading brands. He has also cover in-depth news, interviews and features in general business, finance, tech and geopolitical issues for a select few major news outlets and publishers.

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