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. Here’s a quick list of some of the ways to shop sustainably in Sonoma Wine Country.
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 to shop at its weekly farmers market. Relaxed and casual, these outdoor marketplaces feature fresh ingredients, prepared meals you can enjoy while people watching, and a wide variety of handcrafts. Most include live music and other entertainment. For more details, read Sonoma County Farmers Markets and check our listings of Farms & Farmers Markets.
Well known for its premium wines, Sonoma County also boasts a thriving (and delicious) artisan beverage community, with more than two dozen craft breweries, close to a dozen 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, take a guided craft beverage tour with On Tap Beer Tours or North Bay Brewery Tours, or take a guided Bike 'n Brew tour on two wheels in either Santa Rosa or Windsor with Ace It Bike Tours. To plan your own ideal itinerary, use the interactive Sonoma County Craft Beverage Map, or check our listings for Sonoma County Breweries & Cideries and Sonoma County Distilleries.
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 California 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.
Many Sonoma County residents find their passion and balance creating locally sourced, sustainably produced culinary delights. 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 in Sonoma County. 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. All the products in the Made Local Marketplace in downtown Santa Rosa are produced in San Francisco’s North Bay region, with a wide variety of items from more than 700 local artists, makers, producers, and manufacturers. Along the coast, the Artisans Co-Op in Bodega displays work by more than 50 local artisans, from watercolors to glass jewelry, footwear to pottery, scarves to baskets, and more. And many of the businesses at The Barlow, a 12.5-acre industrial park in Sebastopol, make the products they sell onsite. For more details, read Shopping in Sonoma County and check our listings of Local Artisans and Shopping Opportunities.