Winter in Wine Country

Saturday, Jan 15, 2022 0

A wintery escape to Sonoma County is an intimate experience with new sights tastes to savour, and people to meet. The Pacific Ocean brings the lively whale migration and bounty of crab season, while the dormant vineyards are resplendent in yellow colours of wild mustard blooms after the rain, and new, dynamic experiences emerge to sate the appetite for curiosity. Check out what to expect when visiting Sonoma County winter.

 

Milestones in 2022

The Charles M. Schulz Museum is celebrating its 20th anniversary and Charles M. Schulz’s 100th birthday in November. The exhibition From Spark Plug to Snoopy: 100 Years of Schulz will kick off the centennial celebration (March 20-September 18, 2022). Check for special events and galleries to discover the universal appeal of Peanuts’ remarkably uplifting legacy

Jordan Winery is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and will announce a series of exceptional wine dinners, vineyard hikes and other exclusive events.

New food & drink

Sonoma County’s culinary establishments are welcoming sippers with new non-alcoholic beverages. Shrubs are free-spirited fruit and herb infusions crafted with ingredients from nearby gardens and farms, bringing vibrant colours and complex flavours.

Find a sparkling hibiscus tea, blood orange, and lemon drink at the Bird & The Bottle, a California star thistle honey soda at The Matheson, a dragon fruit lemonade and cucumber cooler mocktail at Blue Ridge Kitchen, a grapefruit, agave, and Fresno chili soda at, or huckleberry shrub at Wit & Wisdom Tavern.

Sonoma County is now home to more than 50 local breweries, cideries, and distilleries, earning a national reputation for craft beverages. Celebrate this February the return of Russian River Brewing Company’s coveted Pliny the Younger release and explore Santa Rosa’s brewing heritage during the 5th Annual FeBREWary.

On Mondays, Fridays, and select Saturdays at Old Possum Brewing in Santa Rosa, the Austin’s Southern Smoke BBQ pop-up dishes out slowly smoked, Texas-style barbecue made with Joe Matos heritage-raised beef in Santa Rosa and serves. To explore the specialty micro-distilleries in the region, grab a Sonoma County Distillery Pass and enjoy tasting flights of vodkas, whiskeys, ryes, and more.

New restaurant & bars

The chef/owner duo Stephanie Saint Louis and Steven Vargas, alums of popular Petaluma foodie spots Della Fattoria and The Shuckery, have found a new permanent home for Table Culture Provisions. Their new haute-cuisine-meets-comfort-food restaurant is serving hyper-seasonal California-French fare for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Try their wildly popular Delicata Squash Rings.

Chef Christian Caiazzo, former owner of the celebrated Osteria Stellina, has opened his new Italian inspired bakery-café with his wife, Katrina Fried, in Petaluma. The freshly baked morning buns, olive oil cakes, warm focaccia, and Italian sandwiches and salads are made with produce sourced from Green String Farm and local markets. Drink orders are filled with the espresso machine and foamed with Straus Family Creamer milk.

In the historic town of Petaluma, Michelin-Bib awarded Stockhome has been serving up Scandinavian food since 2018, and recently expanded their retail collection with kitchen goods, pantry items, and home goods made locally or by BIPOC and BIWOC artisans.

In Healdsburg, Melissa Yanc and Sean McGaughey’s new 2020 bakery, Quail and Condor has been the hot spot for Danish rye and olive champagne and pistachio croissants. The culinary couple has just debuted a new concept called Troubadour Sando, a sandwich shop specializing in their world-class breads.

Nearby, Laura Sanfilippo and Tara Heffernon of the original Duke’s Spirited Cocktails are opening Lo & Behold Bar + Kitchen at the southern end of Healdsburg, serving elevated mac n’ cheese with white miso and panko, steamed pork dumplings, smoked duck, and farm-to-glass cocktails.

A group of the Michelin-starred SingleThread Restaurant alums is opening a new modern wine bar named Maison Healdsburg, designed for the after-dinner sipper to enjoy from 2:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

Wellbeing

Visitors are asked to observe the region’s Leave No Trace principles when exploring the varied natural resources that serve as mecca for wellbeing.

Medlock Ames Winery offers guests the opportunity for a deeper look at critical elements of their organic farming and land preservation practices. Developed by local composer and sound artist Hugh Livingston, the 90-minute experience includes a self-guided audio tour exploring sights and sounds across the 340-acre Bell Mountain Ranch, followed by a guided tasting of six current release wines, paired with local, organic cheeses.

Cycling guide Steve Zavestoski founded Comova Cycling for those looking to embark on adventures into Sonoma County’s natural hidden gems on two wheels. Zavestoski curates custom, mixed terrain cycling tours that include accommodations under the stars, in Comova’s cabin with a hot tub, or at a 5-star hotel.

Sebastopol’s new Radiate Studio offers indoor and outdoor vinyasa flows and soothing balancing classes for every level of practitioner. Those looking for an extra dose of healing and relief can enjoy Gua Sha facials and massages from the studio’s experienced holistic healer.

Helen Putnam Regional Park, named after a former teacher and the first female mayor of Petaluma, covers 216 acres featuring trails for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. Visit the newly minted West Wind Trail, a multi-use trail for all fitness levels, from the park’s new parking lot on Windsor Drive. Climb the grassy hillside to see expansive views of the Petaluma Valley. Hikers might spot hares, foxes, and other wildlife that call these woodlands home.

Sonoma County Tourism is the region’s official Destination Stewardship Organization. Through a multi-channel sales and marketing program, the organization promotes Sonoma County as a global visitor and meetings destination. The region’s wine, culinary, wellness and sustainability continue to define its character.



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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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