Adopting a sustainable lifestyle means, among other things, eating healthy, locally-produced foods and using handcrafted local products created with a minimum of impact on the environment and the community — and you can find both foods and handcrafts in abundance in Sonoma County.
Besides the rich flavors and unparalleled freshness of straight-from-the-garden or –ranch ingredients, Sonoma-made foods are healthy for both our bodies and the earth. Prepared naturally, with respect for the environment and nutrition and the very animals involved, there is simply no finer way to feed ourselves.
And a multitude of artisans and craftspeople call Sonoma County home, producing wonderful and unique clothing, handicrafts, pottery, gift items, artwork, and more, all made with respect for the materials and for the earth. They’re beautiful to look at, and wonderful to use.
Anywhere you go in Sonoma County, you’ll find an opportunity to enjoy the bounty and richness of this special land. Here’s a quick list of some of the ways to shop sustainably in Sonoma Wine Country.
Farm Stands & Farmers Markets
As you round a bend on the scenic winding roadway, you spot a colorful display of the freshest fruits and vegetables. It’s a local farm stand, offering the bounty of the land to passers-by. Or, check the local calendar and watch the small-town community gather, relax, and shop at its weekly farmers market. Relaxed and casual, these outdoor markets feature fresh ingredients, prepared meals you can enjoy while people watching, and a wide variety of handcrafts. Most farmers markets offer live music and other entertainment. For more details, read Sonoma County Farmers Markets and check our listings of Farms & Farmers Markets.
Breweries, Distilleries & Cideries
Well known for its premium wines, Sonoma County also boasts a thriving (and delicious) artisan beverage community, with close to two dozen craft breweries, nine cider works, and more than a dozen distilleries. Visit a brewery, cider works, or distillery to learn about the traditions and techniques of these emerging boutique industries. You can also taste outstanding local handcrafted beers, ales, lagers, ciders, and spirits in local taverns, brew pubs, and bars. And if you prefer to leave the driving to others, there are guided craft beverage tours. To plan your ideal itinerary, use the interactive Sonoma County Beer, Cider & Spirits Map, or check our listings for Breweries, Distilleries & Cideries.
Sonoma County’s fertile soil and mild climate makes for wonderful dairy farmland, which in turn nourishes the community of artisan cheese makers. You’ll find award-winning local cheeses in grocery stores, farmers markets, and specialty cheese shops. Or, follow the Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail Map to visit the area’s nearly 30 cheese makers who craft cow, goat, sheep, and even water buffalo cheeses. Some are open to the public on a regular basis, while others are seasonal or by appointment only. For more options, check our listings of Cheese Producers.
Whether you’re seeking specialty meats, gourmet dressings and jams, incredibly delicious fresh-baked breads and pastries, fine chocolates, carefully crafted olive oils, tasty local honey, farm-fresh eggs, healthily delectable juices, or culinary goodies you haven’t even discovered yet, you’ll find it here. Sonoma County attracts folks who find their passion and balance creating locally sourced, sustainable culinary delights. To see the wide variety available, check our listings of Artisan Food Producers.
Stroll Sonoma County’s charming small towns and visit an intriguing variety of local shops, galleries, antique stores, and winery gift shops. Crafts people, artists, and artisans countywide create beautiful jewelry, clothing, artwork, and more. Whatever you seek, you’ll find it here. For details, read Shopping in Sonoma County and check our listings of Local Artisans and Shopping Opportunities.