Summer has officially arrived, where in Sonoma County long, warm summer days and cool nights await to the backdrop of golden rolling hills and lush vineyards. The weeks ahead are meant for us to connect with family and friends, express gratitude for others, and explore the beauty that lie outdoors in Sonoma County.
Dining al fresco and unique wine tasting experiences are expanding across Sonoma County, while outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and beachcombing are more beautiful than ever.Here’s a quick overview of what’s new in Sonoma County in July 2020.
Region debuts at The Barlow in Sebastopol
In a space as unique as the wine, Region showcases 25 Sonoma County wine producers across 14 appellations. Visitors can choose from 50 different wines at self-serve WineStation machines in one room, while in another room, visitors can enjoy traditional wine tasting experiences from the winemakers themselves. Every week, the wine tasting bar rotates to 1 of 25 wineries.
Region’s winemakers met through the Sonoma County community to make their dreams of a wine cooperative a reality. Bringing together small production winery partners with exceptional wines, Region brings the fun relaxed environment of a brewery to the wine world with an approachable experience. Visit Region in Sebastopol at the Barlow Wednesday through Sunday, and share the experience with friends and family – because it’s their friends and family who made it. Drink Your Region!
180 Morris St., #170
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Three Fat Guys Wines From Three NFLers
Stop by Three Fat Guys in Sonoma for a charming tasting room experience featuring outdoor seating, beautiful views of their chardonnay vineyard across the street, and a cornhole court surrounded by classic VW buses. Visitors can sip on small production high-end wines, such as their Rosé of Pinot Noir, while lounging in an Adirondack chair.
Three Fat Guys Wines was started by three former Green Bay Packers players and friends: Tony Moll, a fifth-generation Sonoma County native, Daryn Colledge, and Jason Spitz, all who share a passion for premium wines that deliver a big game. “We wanted to make a place that felt like you are hanging out in your best friend’s backyard,” said Tony Moll. Their first vintage was created in 2007, and their wines feature handpicked and hand-sorted Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Carneros AVA and Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford AVA.
Visit Three Fat Guys in Sonoma Thursday through Sunday.
Three Fat Guys
Sonoma, CA 95476
New Executive Chef at St. Francis Winery
Peter Janiak joins St. Francis Winery & Vineyards as the new Executive Chef, managing the estate pairings, winemaker dinners, private engagements, and its ever popular and nationally acclaimed food and wine pairings. Peter will also overlook the winery’s 2-acre organic vegetable and herb gardens, providing fresh and accessible ingredients to support these celebrated epicurean experiences at St. Francis.
Peter Janiak helms from the New England Culinary Institute, and has an illustrious background in the culinary arts with experience serving as Culinary Director at Crimson Wine Group and Executive Chef at San Francisco’s distinguished Presidio Social Club. Janiak is touted for influencing “a sense of place” in his cuisine, with a deep appreciation for sourcing ingredients locally and seasonally with local farmers and fishmongers.
“Not only will we continue to grow our own fruits and vegetables to pair with our wines, but we will become more scrupulous in selecting varieties that accentuate their elegance and structure. Everything we grow will be meticulously cared for just like our wine grapes.” – Chef Peter Janiak
St. Francis Winery
100 Pythian Road at Hwy 12
Santa Rosa, CA 95409
Sonoma County Wineries Win Big at Sunset International Wine Competition
Sip your way across Sonoma County, tasting the wines that took home the biggest awards at the distinguished 2020 Sunset International Wine Competition. This year’s competition saw a 10% increase in entries over last year, and was held in Santa Rosa the week of June 22 with a record 12 judging panels.
Stop by Gracianna Winery in the Russian River Valley, who is celebrating a Best of Show Overall win for their 2018 Westside Reserve Pinot Noir, out of 2,700 entries. Visit the historic Alexander Valley Vineyards for a tasting of their winning Rosé; Benzinger’s Biodynamically farmed estate for their 2016 Tribute; DeLoach for its Chardonnay; Bricoleur Vineyards to sip on their Rosé of Grenache; or Dry Creek Vineyard for their Cabernet Sauvignon; Ferrari-Carano Vineyards for their Bordeaux-style blend Tresor; or Dutcher Crossing’s 100 point winning Reserve Cabernet.
Taste wines from Sonoma County’s many AVA’s (American Viticultural Area) at wineries that took the top awards in their categories, including Flambeaux Wine, Foley Family Wines, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Furthermore Wines, Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery, Foppiano Winery, Gundlach Bundschu, Imagery Estate Winery, Hirsch Vineyards, Halleck Vineyard, Keller Estate, Korbel Winery, Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Matrix Winery, Mazzocco Sonoma Winery, Merriam Vineyards, Moshin Vineyards, Paradise Ridge Winery, Robert Young Vineyard, Rodney Strong, Russian River Vineyards, Schug Winery, Soda Rock Winery, Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards, St. Anne’s Crossing Winery, St. Francis, Three Fat Guys, Three Sticks Winery, Trattore Farms Winery, Wilson Winery, and more.
RESTAURANTS & EATERIES
Terrace Grill is now Wild Bird
Poolside dining with a mid-century flair now graces The Flamingo Resort as Wild Bird, serving up locally sourced, indulgent and delicious Cal Pacific comfort fare. Taste the uninhibited flavors of chefs Annie and Sal with ingredients like makrut lime and Korean chili flakes that lend way to the smokey tang in their crispy, organic fried chicken.
Wild Bird’s menu highlights a sandwich flock that includes the signature Wild Bird, the plant-based Veggie Bird, and the grilled and lettuce-wrapped Beach Bird. Pair them with frozen cocktails, the Thai Basil Iced Green Tea, or a Mango Arnold Palmer.
Wild Bird Poolside Dining & Tiki Bar
2777 Fourth Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
Quintessential All-American dining at Americana Restaurant
Enjoy all-day mimosas with classic American fare at Santa Rosa’s new Americana Restaurant at the historic Railroad Square. Try their Stemple Creek chicken fried steak with biscuits, amazing Huevos Rancheros, or tasty tuna melt on Red Bird Bakery sourdough. Their Twisted Horn Ranch Burger, made with grass-fed Longhorn cattle in nearby Bloomfield, is touted as one of the best burgers in Sonoma County.
From the owners of Valley Ford’s Estero Café, the family-owned and operated Americana Restaurant offers meals that are obsessively made from strictly local, organic and sustainable ingredients. Travelers to Sonoma County have likely driven by the farms that serve up the ingredients in these delightful dishes. Americana’s bakery is run by longtime Sonoma County baker Jenny Malicki, and features housemade granola, pies, cookies, loaves of Japanese milk bread, and her signature Cinnamon Rolls. Open Wednesday to Sunday.
205 Fifth Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Vegan Friendly Ambrosia Indian Cuisine packs flavor
Sonoma County’s bounty of local produce meets traditional Indian cooking methods at Petaluma’s new Ambrosia Indian Cuisine. Freshly chosen chilis are roasted and cooked with coconut milk and makrut lime in their Vegetable Kohhapuri, while other dishes include the Baingan Bharta, a flavorful combination of fire-roasted eggplant with peas and tomatoes. The ever-popular butter chicken is roasted in a rich tomato cashew almond sauce and served with aromatic long grained basmati rice that’s cooked with fresh green peas and saffron. The bread menu is graced with freshly baked breads cooked on a flat-top griddle, including garlic, olive, pesto, and ambrosia Naan stuffed with chopped chicken and herbs.
With a progressive menu that features a range of classic, non-vegetarian, and vegan dishes, Ambrosia serves up regional Indian flavors brought to life using fresh local produce. Enjoy Ambrosia’s dishes Wednesday through Monday in Petaluma.
Ambrosia Indian Cuisine
840 Petaluma Blvd. N.
Petaluma, CA 94952
April Pantry combines Californian comfort cuisine with organic farming
Taste the exciting flavors of Sonoma County’s local farms at April Pantry, featuring items like the pork belly buns with Hoisin balsamic sauce, fried bait fish with truffle aioli and Ponzu mirin sauce, and steamed mussels with a chorizo white wine sauce. The Tomahawk Rob Steak with garlic herb fries is a showstopper here, while local favorites include the fried chicken sandwich with lime cilantro slaw and the BBQ Korean pork sandwich with pickled carrots and chipotle aioli.
Wife and husband duo Aimee and Peter are committed to using as many organic ingredients as possible, believing that organic and biodynamic farming practices are healthier for the planet and for us. April Pantry’s dishes use produce that Peter has grown at a local ranch, along with other local organic farms. Discover even more options during weekend brunches at this darling Petaluma delight.
1000 Clegg St.
Petaluma, CA 94954
Wolf House Brewing Company opens in Cloverdale
The bay’s most northern brewery is now Wolf House Brewing Company, a family-run establishment brewing up finely crafted pilsners, ales, and IPAs based on local ingredients. Their Dutch Courage and Burning Daylight labels are both named after Jack London short stories. Enjoy with classic pub burgers, corn dogs, grilled cheese, and fries – all freshly made in their kitchen.
Popular offerings include their classic burger and the limited run of their Social Distancing IPA. Located in the small picturesque town of Cloverdale, Wolf House Brewing Company is inviting, laid back, and beautifully-designed, evidenced by their brand-new epoxy resin floor laid out by the owners themselves.
Wolf House Brewing Company
131 E. First St.
Cloverdale, CA 95425
Beverages that are as delicious as they are healthy, and stimulating for the mind, body, and soul. That’s the mission of Soul Fixx Elixirs, which specializes in chef-inspired Kombuchas. Founders Ruben and Erik bring years of hospitality and culinary experience to the table, which includes schooling that took place at the Culinary Institute of America for both of them, and work experience, like The French Laundry.
Their canned Kombucha flavors are inspired by the many cultures and international places they’ve traveled. The Tepache flavor, for example, is a nod to the brewmaster’s childhood in Mexico, drinking fermented pineapple juice by local street vendors. It features a unique combination of pineapple cores, cinnamon sticks, and that pucker of fermentation that’s so synonymous with Kombucha. Their latest flavor, a CBD Kombucha, uses an organic hemp isolate, with 10mg of CBD per can.
Soul Fixx Elixirs
36-A Mill Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448
35 Beers on Tap at Flagship Taproom Santa Rosa
From pilsners to sours and everything in between, there’s a lot to discover at Flagship Taproom with a variety of beer styles to suit ever palate. Enjoy small bites alongside the local beers, with twists on classics such as grilled cheese, warm soft pretzels, and the pork tenderloin sandwich.
The bar, featuring countertops made with beautiful Sonoma County redwood slabs, offers up to 35 rotating beers on tap daily. Flagship offers indoor seating with a hangout vibe and a dog-friendly outdoor patio option in a biergarten-style environment. Guests can opt for a tasting flight or simply order a pint.
Flagship Taproom Santa Rosa (second location)
446 B St.
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
TOURS & EXPERIENCES
Spend a night in the Redwoods Treehouses
The Sonoma Treehouses adventure is a two-day, one-night fully guided off-the-grid experience high up in the redwood tree canopies of Sonoma County. Adventurers will learn about the redwood forest in an interpretive forest hike, experience world-class ziplines, and spend the night in a rustic treehouse, all the while being treated with outstanding hospitality. The village includes five treehouses with breathtaking views of the redwoods and surrounding territory. Each treehouse has accommodations for up to four people with skywalks and ziplines for ascent and descent from the trees.
Guests will start their day with a Forest Flight zipline tour that leads them up to their treehouse for their overnight stay. With bathroom accommodations, snacks upon arrival, a full gourmet dinner, and a delicious breakfast, guests don’t even have to leave their treehouse. The following morning, guests will experience the Tree Tops zipline tour before completing their eco-tour. Opening August 3rd, 2020, taking reservations now.
Alliance Redwoods Sonoma Treehouses | Sonoma Canopy Tours
6250 Bohemian Highway
Occidental, CA 95465
Biking Made Easy With Pedego Electric Bike Tours
Race up hills and breeze through headwinds on a Pedego electric bike rental, which can be pedaled both manually and electrically, reaching speeds of 20 miles per hour. Experience the nearby trails, or discover Sonoma County’s quaint towns, cruising along rivers, farms and wineries, and breweries and eateries.
Pedego Electric Bikes offers stylish, user-friendly electric bikes that put people first, making the bike riding experience a smooth journey with customizable equipment for every ability. With a motto of “hello, fun”, riders can explore a range of terrains and choose between a variety of different bike models from electric beach cruisers to trail trackers. Self-guided Creek Trail Tours are available every day, and a guided Electric Brewery Tour is available on the weekends.
Pedego Santa Rosa
751 5th Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Experience wildlife on the Russian River with Sonomads
Escape the crowds and find your peace among the redwoods as you paddle across the calm waters of the Russian River in West Sonoma County. Sonomads Adventure Tours offers guided kayaking tours that will connect you to the diverse and precious ecosystem, which is home to an abundance of wildlife including river otters, harbor seals, Coho salmon, red-tailed hawks, and bald eagles.
Along the banks of the Russian River, from the towering redwood trees to the majestic Pacific Ocean, a diverse and precious ecosystem awaits. First timers are welcome, as the gentle waters of the Russian River offer a perfect sheltered environment for young kayakers, making this a perfect adventure for the whole family. Tour guides at Sonomads are extremely knowledgeable about local history and wildlife ecology, pointing out destinations, flora, and wildlife for explorers to experience a fun and relaxing day on the river. Tours are customizable and available every day.
Sonomads Adventure Tours
Sebastopol, CA 95472
History and art converge at Historic Town of Bodega Art Gallery
Explore the large number of local and international artwork showcased at the Historic Town of Bodega Art Gallery, located in the original blacksmith shop from the 1850s. Discover your creative self through an exploration of fine art, vintage art, sculptures, and Hitchcock memorabilia displayed at the gallery.
Often, Sonoma County wineries host wine tasting events for visitors to enjoy as guests peruse through the gorgeous gem, jewelry and painting collections ranging from sapphire to opal, photography to landscape art. The Historic Town of Bodega Art Gallery has been featuring and selling the many forms of art and centerpieces since 1967. Visit Monday through Sunday.
Historic Town of Bodega Art Gallery
17255 Bodega Highway
Bodega, CA 94922