June is Lavender Month in Sonoma Wine Country
Each June Sonoma County blossoms with lavender, and celebrates with lavender events, lavender sales, and lavender farm tours.
For many of Sonoma County's lavender businesses, their products may be available year-round online, but the harvest season is the only time they open their doors to the public.
In ancient times, lavender was a favorite of Mediterranean royalty. Today, the tiny purple blooms with their distinctive perfume are popular plants in Sonoma Wine Country. Their fine silver-gray stalks can be left wild and bushy, or trimmed into manicured curves. They grow wild and in gardens, and - along with the bees who adore their fragrant pollen - all we have to do is look around and see the explosion of colors.
That explosion of color couldn't be more apparent than at Monte-Bellaria di California (3518 Bloomfield Road, Sebastopol, CA, 707-829-2645), a farm lined with beautiful lavender in the Russian River Appellation. Book a self-guided walk now through their sprawling lavender fields, or enjoy a picnic on their grounds. Before leaving, stop into the farm store for products that come from the farm, such as cold-pressed olive oil and a number of different bee products.
Some of Sonoma County's most breathtaking lavender is found at Matanzas Creek Winery (6097 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa, 707-528-6464) in the Bennett Valley. The winery planted spectacular, terraced lavender gardens in 1991, and each June they provide visitors with a fragrant and gorgeous welcome to the winery. The beautiful lavender fields are farmed to preserve the essence of the local ecosystem. Once the lavender reaches full bloom, it is hand-cut and the entire plant is utilized in the production of the winery's bath, body, and home products.
Because of its exceptional taste, the pure, raw lavender honey from Lavender Bee Farm (764 Chapman Lane, Petaluma, 707-789-0554) sells out every year. With three varieties of lavender, more than 5,000 lavender plants, and multiple beehives, this family farm is chemical-free, using no pesticides or chemical fertilizers. It's lavender products include bouquets, sachets, and hydrosols (steam-distilled aromatic water). Their products are sold online all year round, but the farm is only open in harvest season (farm tours by appointment only).
Bees N Blooms (3883 Petaluma Hill Road, Santa Rosa, 707-293-8293) presents a Lavender Labyrinth, the largest in California. Stroll through the fragrant fields of eight different types of lavender and enjoy other flowers, as well. They have honeybees to visit, a tree nursery to peruse, and an organic vegetable garden.
And with more than two acres planted in lavender, Lynn's Lavender & Lotsmore (3335 Harrison Grade Road, Sebastopol, 707-874-9960) celebrates the beauty and fragrances of fresh lavender through personal care products, including lotion, body balm, shampoo, and conditioner. Visit the company's farm, production barn, and showroom outside of Sebastopol.
While the grape harvest might be more well-known, Sonoma County's lavender harvest each June is both beautiful and deliciously fragrant.