New Summer at the Pond at Ram’s Gate Winery in Sonoma
Ram’s Gate Winery is always a popular spot for a Sonoma County picnic, thanks to its pretty pond and lawn next to the vineyards — and it’s an easy place to enjoy an al fresco feast, since the on-site chef prepares picnic baskets to savor alongside bottles of Ram’s Gate wines.
With the new “Summer at the Pond” celebration running through harvest season, picnics are as easy as walking in — no reservations are needed. Your host sets you up with a wicker basket packed with mouthwatering bites including four savory and sweet pairings crafted in by chef Taylr Behnam in the winery’s kitchen, Niman Ranch beef jerky, root vegetable chips, buttery Wagon Wheel cheese shortbread, and key lime meringue kisses. Then you select a bottle of Ram’s Gate Appellation Carneros Chardonnay or Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir wine.
Next, you stroll to the banks of the estate’s tree lined pond, spread out the winery-supplied woven cotton blanket, and relax, sip, and nibble. The $90 baskets also include a bottle of chilled sparkling water and wine glasses for two to four guests.
For even more fun, there’s music, and lawn games such as Connect Four, Giant Jenga, and Cornhole. The Pond package is offered Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., until it’s time to pick the grapes, which usually happens in October.
If you’re craving more than a picnic, you can purchase more food and drink at the winery to enjoy outdoors. Or, you can make reservations for another popular experience called Palate Play. For this, chef Behnam, prepares a tasting of five single-vineyard wines alongside hearty small plates in a seated tasting. It’s a good deal, too, since the $95 per person fee is waived if you join the wine club or purchase six-bottles. Tastings are Thursday through Monday at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Details: Ram’s Gate Winery, 28700 Arnold Drive, Sonoma.