|Experience Sonoma County, where Life Opens Up. Just as wine “opens up” when it’s allowed to breathe, Sonoma County inspires visitors to open up to new experiences. |
Just 30 miles north of San Francisco, Sonoma County is one of California’s top food and wine destinations, home to more than 425 wineries ranging from rustic to regal. Hike among towering redwoods, cruise along rugged Pacific coastline, and get to know inviting small towns. Or, just sit back and take it all in. Because here, you’re free to go your own way.
Sonoma County was named Wine Enthusiast magazine’s Wine Region of the Year. Discover why by visiting it yourself. Start planning today at www.sonomacounty.com or call 707-522-5800.
November marks the beginning of the best parts of the season ahead: Festive celebrations, seasonal pop-ups and activities, the joy of giving, and lots of delicious ways to wine and dine with friends and family. ‘Tis the season to enjoy the spoils of autumn, from savoring cozy winery experiences to catching beautiful fall sunsets over colorful vineyards and the stunning Pacific Ocean. The night air is crisp and invites travelers to enjoy each other’s company under festive lights strung over al fresco experiences.
This month, we are delighted to announce all new places and ways to experience culinary delights, discover unique Sonoma County wines, and celebrate the spirit of the season.
Note: Visitors and residents are asked to continue to wear face coverings in public and practice physical distancing. Please be sure to make reservations (same-day reservations available) and review The Safe Travels Promise before visiting
WINERIES & BREWERIES
Gehricke Wines Tasting Room makes a home at the 3 Badge Beverage firehouse
Taste through the terroir-driven Gehricke wines at a historic, refurbished fire station in Sonoma. Explore the diversity of Sonoma County’s many AVAs with their tasting menu, featuring the Russian River Valley Chardonnay, the Los Carneros Rose, the Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, the Sonoma Valley Petite Sirah, and the Knights Valley Cabernet. These small lot wines are produced with minimal intervention, and made to enhance the little moments that become epic memories.
Gehricke is a tribute to the old dusty roads that led to forgotten vineyards and properties from fourth-generation vintner August Sebastiani’s childhood. The 3 Badge Beverage firehouse is named for his grandfather’s volunteer firefighting service badges. Tastings by appointment Fridays from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Gehricke Wines Tasting Room
32 Patten Street
Sonoma, CA 94954
Beresini Vineyards Opens Tasting Room in Glen Ellen
Experience the Beresini family’s meticulously-farmed Pinot Noirs and explore the different vintages at their new tasting room in the charming village of Glen Ellen. The unique tasting room at Beresini Winery features a large building-sized barrel, which was used for winemaking, circa 1885. Inside, the space is decorated with hard-edge abstract artwork from Edwin Forrest.
Steve Beresini, proprietor and winemaker, has been planting and managing vineyards for 50 years, and in 1988, turned a pear orchard into Black Dog Ranch, growing 7 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards. The family began producing their coveted Pinot Noir under the Beresini Vineyard label in 2011. During an intimate tasting of Beresini wines, find out why the Black Labradors of the ranch, each named after characters from The Godfather, rule the vineyards with their trademarked “The Nose Knows” slogan. Tastings of their new Rosé of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay will be available in Spring 2021.
Beresini Winery Tasting Room
14300 Arnold Drive
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
Lambert Bridge’s Dog Friendly Picnic in the Gardens
Savor a curated picnic basket with local cheeses, charcuterie and other provisions with Lambert Bridge’s new picnic experience, where picnic tables are tucked away in the foliage and carefully manicured gardens. Enjoy a bottle of their meticulously crafted wine to enjoy while in the gardens, where visitors are welcome to bring their dogs to this beautiful Dry Creek Valley property.
Complimentary picnic experiences are offered to first responders and firefighters, along with a self-guided tasting.
Picnic tables in the gardens are available by reservation at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. daily. Outdoor tastings are also available at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. by reservation, under covered tents, featuring a flight of wines paired with a local cheese plate.
4085 West Dry Creek Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Black Knight Vineyards Opens Petaluma Tasting Room
Taste small-lot estate Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sparkling wines at the new Black Knight Vineyards tasting room in Downtown Petaluma in southern Sonoma County.
This family-run winery is based on property with a rich tradition of grape growing. The first vines were planted in the 1880s, and the vineyards thrived up until prohibition. In 1980 the vineyards were re-planted in Chardonnay, Syrah, and Merlot, with the Black family buying the property in 2007.
Realizing the area’s potential for cool-climate varietals, the Black family turned half of the 15 producing acres into Pinot Noir. They have since added 32 total producing acres with multiple types of cool-climate Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and unique varietals of Gamay Noir and Ploussard. Vigneron Mitch Black and a small, dedicated crew manage the vineyards.
Black Knight Vineyards Tasting Room
155 Petaluma Blvd N
Petaluma, CA 94952
Miracle at Brewsters Beer Garden Returns through Early 2021
Get into the holiday spirit at Brewsters Beer Garden’s Miracle Christmas pop-up, featuring seasonal cocktails, kitschy décor, and an explosion of festive garb. This seasonal extravaganza transports visitors into a holiday wonderland filled with photo ops, and featuring a menu full of cocktails mixed with festive flavors like spiced apple cider, cinnamon fat-washed cognac, and brown butter. Cozy up under massive heat lamps while enjoying cocktails served in over-the-top glassware and mugs that are available for purchase. Visitors will also enjoy seasonally harvested produce on the holiday menu, with a seasonal soup of winter squash, the Brewsters Brisket, and house-made pickles, all served by staff wearing all sorts of holiday costumes. Make your reservations online, Monday November 23rd through early 2021.
Brewsters Beer Garden
229 Water St. North
Petaluma, CA 94952
Muscardini’s Winter Wonderland Tent
Enjoy magical tasting experiences under the winter tent at Muscardini Cellars, where visitors are surrounded by a dazzling display of 2,000 sparkling lights, stunning silver snowflakes and twinkling olive trees. Celebrate the holidays with the Muscardini family’s seasonal wine and sensory jar experience, a delicious wine and chocolate pairing from Master Chocolatier Chef Sebastian Beline of Paris, or try your hand at a blind tasting experience of Thanksgiving-perfect wines.
Located in Sonoma Valley, Muscardini Cellars offers Italian-style wine and fully immersive sensory experiences. The lighting ceremony and toast is on November 7th, 2020, and the Winter Wonderland Tent experience extends into the spring of next year.
9380 Sonoma Highway
Kenwood, CA 95452
RESTAURANTS & EATERIES
Hyper Local Craft Burgers and Beer at Scowley’s Burger joint
There are so many good reasons to grab a bite at Scowley’s Burgers – from the Lamb Gyro Sausage, with pickled red onions; to the Chili Cheese Dog with Lagunitas beer cheddar/jalapeno sauce; to the Grilled Beyond Sausage with a side of Sauerkraut, all on toasted buns. But all those are secondary to the burgers. The Scowley’s Burger is the flagship, which is the perfect vehicle for having your grilled andouille sausage while eating a double stacked burger too. The meats are sourced from 100% grass-fed beef and Petaluma’s own Yanni’s and Caggiano’s sausages. The veggies, craft beer and wine are all locally sourced, and the menu caters to vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets.
Bobby G had been making pizzas in Berkeley for 10 successful years before hanging up his pizza hat. With newfound excitement after making Sonoma County home, he is stacking up the most craveable versions of America’s pastime in downtown Petaluma at his new restaurant that’s named after a café from his hometown.
Before officially opening, his team made burgers and fries for evacuees and first responders. Taking local to a whole new level, Scowley’s features a mural by local artist Maxfield Bala, highlighting the farm-to-table focus in a bold display.
229 N McDowell Blvd.
Petaluma, CA 94954
Hand-crafted bottomless Bellinis and Mimosas at Café Bellini
Celebrate the joy of brunch any day of the week at the new Café Bellini, where bottomless Bellinis, Mimosas, and Bloody Marys are served daily until 2:00 p.m. Pair it with brunch favorites like eggs benedict, chorizo hash, orange ricotta pancakes with caramelized fig and pistachio, or the Crème Brulee French toast. Lunch and dinner is served with a thrilling menu of trendsetting mains, such as the short rib grilled cheese with caramelized onions, barbecue tri-tip sliders, pork tenderloin medallions, and a Sriracha buttermilk fried cauliflower.
With a spacious patio, Café Bellini is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a full bar and a juice bar, offering build-your-own Bellini, Mimosa and Bloody Mary options.
100 S. McDowell Blvd.
Petaluma, CA 94954
The Girl & The Fig opens Noodlespring Take Out
The fig girl has made her highly coveted, once-a-year ramen pop-up concept into a more permanent offering, cooking up take-home ramen kits, Asian comfort food, and a wide sake selection out of her famed Sonoma Plaza restaurant. Indulge in the Spicy Tan Tan Ramen made with chili broth and spicy ground pork or the coconut curry ramen with fried tofu and enoki mushrooms, both served with a 6-minute egg. Noisy slurping is encouraged in these soul warming dishes. The Karaage chicken is served with a chili aioli, and the duck fried rice is made with a duck confit and a fried duck egg. Add a side of kimchi and take home some cocktails for the perfect in-room or at-home meal.
At Noodlespring, the mouthwatering menu is drawn with fun embellishments with a nod to Japanese anime. There is an illustrated instruction sheet on how to prepare and eat the to-go ramen. Open every day from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for takeout from The Girl & The Fig.
110 West Spain Street
Sonoma, CA 95476
The Mill at Glen Ellen opens with enchanting patio dining at a historical building
Enjoy the classy comfort food at the newly opened The Mill at Glen Ellen, featuring Mediterranean-American dishes, beer and wine served in an enchanting outdoor patio space surrounded by gardens and woodlands. The chicken wings appetizers are served with a roused spicy-sweet chile sauce, and the Carolina barbecue pulled pork sliders are served with creamy, crunchy cabbage slaw. The wood-burning oven features pizza topped with delicious local produce, like sweet Italian sausage, peppers, mozzarella, and greens. The mains on the menu include vegan masala potato patties, tangy ricotta stuffed chicken breasts with wild mushrooms, a Wagyu Top Sirloin Steak with demi glacé, and seasonal specials like jerk chicken with coconut rice or chipotle-glazed Porterhouse pork chops with caramelized apples.
The restaurant lives in the 175-year-old former gristmill, where a 40-foot-tall gristmill waterwheel welcomes visitors into the tranquil spot overlooking Sonoma Creek. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The Mill at Glen Ellen
14301 Arnold Drive, Suite 32
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
Nimble & Finn’s comes to Santa Rosa
Indulge with dishes like the hearty grilled cheese made with pear and Cambozola cheese, caramelized onions, and kalamata tapenade, waffle dogs made with Zoe’s organic hot dogs served with house-made curry, or a double cream Brie and kale pistachio pesto on Goguette bread at Nimble & Finn’s new downtown Santa Rosa location. Following the savory meal, satisfy your sweet tooth with their popular handmade ice cream using organic dairy from Straus Creamery, seasonal produce, and house-made jams, cakes, cookies and candy. Invigorate your taste buds with unique flavors like coriander raspberry, Meyer lemon curd with hazelnut crumbles, and bourbon chocolate peanut munchies.
Available for takeout and pick-up Thursdays through Mondays beginning at 1:00 p.m.
Nimble & Finn’s
123 4th Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Single Thread awarded 2020 “Green Star” by Michelin Guide and is expanding the farm to a permanent location
The Michelin Guide announced a new category of stars this year, recognizing Single Thread with a Green Star. It’s an award presented to those who “have taken responsibility by preserving resources and embracing biodiversity, reducing food waste and reducing the consumption of non-renewable energy,” according to organizers.
Owners Kyle and Katina Connaughton of Single Thread, the three-Michelin starred restaurant in Healdsburg, tend a small farm outside of town where they source a unique variety of produce for their dishes. They have recently partnered with Bill Price of Price Family Vineyards to acquire a 24-acre farm site at 2836 Dry Creek Road to expand the farm operations, which will become the new permanent home for their working farm. It’ll be centered around sustainable agricultural techniques and farming additional vegetables for Sonoma Family Meal to fight food insecurity in Sonoma County. Their farm will include workshops with a floral design studio, mushroom production, retail sales, and collaborations with companies like Bay Area’s Botnia for growing botanicals and extracts for SingleThread.
“The site has incredible potential to amplify not only its agricultural focus but educational purposes as well,” states Katina. “My farming team and I are excited to share our knowledge of regenerative agricultural practices with other farmers, especially new farmers starting their careers. We envision a learning space for those who want to deepen their relationship with their food system and strengthen their craft.”
Single Thread Restaurant and Farm
131 North Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448
ART & ACTIVITIES
Modern Art West in Sonoma featuring Bay Area Fine Art
Immerse yourself in the paintings, sculptures and works on paper from modern and post-war periods at the new fine art gallery that has made a home in the former Frenchie shop on Broadway. Owned by David Keaton, husband of Sonoma Valley Museum of Art Executive Director Linda Keaton, the gallery’s focus is on the art of the San Francisco Bay Area from the 1940s to the 1970s with an emphasis on the teachers and students orbiting the major art schools in the area.
The gallery highlights some of the talented artists who may have slipped from public view, and works closely with several artists’ estates and major collections to bring visual arts that focus on historical California art movements. In particular it highlights Abstract Expressionism with a focus on women artists. Browse the works and exhibitions on display by appointment via email through the website.
Modern Art West
Sonoma, CA 95476
Spend a daycation at the Willow Stream Spa’s Cabanas at Fairmont Mission Inn & Spa
Indulge in a day of full relaxation with the geo-thermal mineral waters at Willow Stream Spa’s outdoor pools, located at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa in Boyes Hot Springs, Sonoma County. With an average temperature of 85 degrees, the Watsu pools can be enjoyed any time of year. Visitors who rent a Daycation Pool Cabana can enjoy poolside food and drink service from the Water Tower Bar, complimentary WiFi, complimentary self-parking, and a full day of lounging in a premium cabana equipped with a ceiling fan, personal safe, big screen TV, and refrigerator with bottled water.
Willow Stream Spa @ Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
100 Boyes Blvd
Sonoma, CA 95476
Relax by the Kenwood Inn & Spa pool in a luxurious Cabana
Enjoy a private lounging experience overlooking the pool, surrounded by vineyard views at the luxurious Cabana experiences at Kenwood Inn & Spa. The poolside experiences include a premium bottle of sparkling wine, an artisan cheese and charcuterie plate, a refrigerator stocked with bottled water and soft drinks, and personalized poolside service. Some cabanas feature a fireplace, and others feature a couples-only marble spa tub.
Kenwood Inn & Spa
10400 Sonoma Highway
Kenwood, CA 95452
Photo courtesy of Eric Wolfinger.