As the holiday season approaches, our thoughts turn to gift giving, and here in Sonoma County, we love to shop local. Our Wine Country artisans are busy year-round, creating boutique foods and wines that are so special, all they need is a bow on top.
Here are some picks that will have all your recipients offering their sincere thanks for a long time to come.
The Petaluma Creamery crafts three lines of cheese—Spring Hill Jersey, Petaluma Creamery, and Petaluma Gold—and each one highlights different flavors, such as Sage Cheddar and Veggie Monterey Jack. The creamery also makes one-of-a-kind, long-churned butter and award-winning ice cream from its high quality, in-house cream. The menu at their creamery store includes coffee drinks, breakfast, sandwiches, barbecue, salads and sides, and ice cream. You can also taste cheeses, and buy cheeses, butters, ice cream, and build your own gift basket.
Details: Buy gift boxes online at springhillcheese.com
Take a look at vineyards in Wine Country and you’ll see plenty of olive trees growing alongside. That’s because the climate is perfect for winegrapes and for olives. In the Sonoma Valley, a visit to B.R. Cohn wouldn’t be complete without a stop in the gourmet shop to taste gourmet olive oils and barrel-aged, hand-crafted vinegars.
A limited edition extra virgin olive oil that’s delicate and buttery is perfect for baking, roasting fish, or crafting a delicate sauce. One that’s slightly stronger may taste nutty, or like ripe or green fruit, making it ideal for pesto, salads, and roasted vegetables. And the distinct taste of a robust and pungent olive oil is perfect for grilled meats, pasta sauces, and hearty soups. All are perfect as a gift or memento from Sonoma County.
Details: Find curated collections of olive oils and vinegars online at brcohn.com
Who doesn’t crave mouthwatering salumi, handcrafted and imbued with local herbs and/or cheeses? Winemaker and salumi artist Pete Seghesio invites you to join his Meat Guild salumi/meat club, and send memberships to your friends and family, too.
Each quarter, you’ll receive two limited-edition salumi, packaged with serving and wine pairing suggestions. That might mean Sonoma Rosso old-world style dry salame flecked with red wine, pepper, and fennel; black and white truffle salame; or other seasonal creations such as Fattoria, a Sicilian-style salame with paprika, orange peel, and chiles.
Details: Order gift boxes and more online at journeymanmeat.com
Surprise the home bartender with FloraLuna’s small batch craft elixir bitters and syrups. Inspired by old-world apothecaries and historic alchemists, FloraLuna’s products are handcrafted with organic and wild harvested botanicals and non-GMO ingredients, weaving unexpected flavors together in a heightened sensorial experience. Try the Coffee Cocoa Peppercorn Bitters, Cayenne Ginger Bitters, Tulip Magnolia Bitters, Pistachio Cherry Syrup, and more.
Details: Order bitters, syrups, or subscribe to the Tastemaker Social Club online at floralunaapothecary.com
Sebastopol shop owners John Stewart and Duskie Estes craft heritage-breed salumi and brown sugar-cured applewood-smoked bacon from rare heritage-breed pigs including European Mangalitsa, Mulefoot, or Red Wattle raised on a luxury organic diet. Stewart butchers the meat in his own USDA certified kitchen, cures it with brown sugar for up to 21 days and then finishes it with applewood smoking for about 12 hours. Yes, it’s as delicious as it sounds.
Creative gifts include bacon (of course), Swine Sweet peanut butter bacon cups, Rodeo Jax bacon caramel popcorn, Piggy Pop bacon toffee lollipops dipped in chocolate, and even bacon infused Lip Lardo lip balm.
Details: Purchase the savory goodness online at blackpigmeatco.com.
Open the sleek box and discover a treasure trove of locally made specialty goods from food-crafters, makers, farmers, and artists. Founder Pam Bell has poured her heart and soul into the creation of the varied collections, explaining that she loves to assemble gifts “to nourish the souls of people I love.”
Her 2021 Sonoma Love Box features:
- Fleur Sauvage Chocolates (Windsor)
- Eyrie Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil with a Twist of Lemon (Santa Rosa)
- Bella Rosa Coffee Co. Organic Four Seasons blend (Santa Rosa)
- Pentacle Herbs’ Hippocras, Mulling Spices for Wine, Cider, Shrubs, and Butters (Sonoma)
- Lala’s Urban Farmstand Pepper Jelly (Petaluma)
- Torn Ranch’s Pippa & Jack’s English Toffee, and Strawberry Pome Frais (Petaluma)
- Gipson’s Golden 100% Bee’s Wax Taper Candles, 2 oz. Wildflower Honey Bear, and Bee Friendly Flower Seed Packs (Santa Rosa)
- and a little secret something from Santa!
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