What’s New in Sonoma County April 2021
After hitting pause on world travel for a whole year, the rolling hills of Sonoma County burst with color and wildflowers emerge with a revitalized energy. Local orchards and vineyards beckon with rejuvenating farm tours and vineyard hikes, new experiences abound and new restaurants are popping up around the region. It’s a perfect time to get out and celebrate how Life Opens Up and show nature some love this Earth Day with the arrival of spring.
Baby goats are waiting to cuddle at local farm tours, the Healdsburg Certified Farmers’ Markets returns, a Really Goode Job with free rent is getting a lot of buzz, the Museum of Sonoma County and the Charles M. Schulz Museum reopens, , and this month’s new experiences and openings are as vibrant as the floral hues carpeting Sonoma County’s hills and valleys.
Note: Sonoma County is in the Red Tier and visitors and residents are asked to continue to wear face coverings in public, practice physical distancing, and follow the public health authorities’ recommendations. Please be sure to review The Safe Travels Promise and our Coronavirus Updates before visiting.
WINERIES & WINE TOURS
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards Celebrates 50 Years with New Experiences
Mark a half-century legacy with the Kopf family’s wines at St. Francis in Kenwood, where guests will explore the rich Sonoma County heritage through anniversary-themed tasting flights, food-accompanied estate pairings, and award-winning wine and food pairings. Members will be presented with a one-of-a-kind, behind-the-scenes look at the winery’s sustainable viticulture practices.
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards President & CEO, Rick Bonitati, expressed his appreciation for this year’s new offerings as they chart a path for the future of the winery and the industry as a whole. “We are proud and honored to celebrate fifty years in Sonoma Valley and recognize the contributions of so many who helped us to become who we are today. While we work diligently to perform at the highest level of excellence with our current programs, it is the ingenuity of our dedicated staff that truly makes anything possible for the future,” stated Mr. Bonitati.
The 50th Anniversary wine is St. Francis Winery’s first ever sparkling wine, a vintage Blanc de Noir, crafted and bottled by winemaker Chris Louton.
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards
100 Pythian Road
Santa Rosa, CA
Drink, Eat, Be Merry at Croix Estate
Treat yourself to a tasting of Kirk P. Venge’s single vineyard, terrior-driven Sonoma County wines at Croix Estate’s idyllic property vineyards and tasting room. As a private and appointment-only winery, guests can sit back, relax, and enjoy a privately hosted tasting flight of their limited production Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, a GSM, and an Estate Zinfandel.
Existing clients of the Croix allocation list will be able to relish in Venge's newest explorations of Sonoma County's winemaking regions and gain access to new estate experiences. The newest installation at Croix is the Drink, Eat, Be Merry program, which highlights the estate's serene vineyard views, embellished with alluring garden flora. Allocation guests on Croix Estate's allocation list can now bring their own lunch to enjoy at the al fresco garden tables to pair with a bottle of their wines or a customized flight of choice. A beverage cart will be provided at each reserved table for a contactless experience, including biodegradable utensils and plateware, water glasses, an extra set of wine glasses, disposable napkins, chilled filtered water, and self-serve wine service in mini-decanter format. So treat yourself to Croix Estate's beautiful wines and wine country views.
Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
Friday Bubbly Hour and Breakfast at Breathless Wines
Take pleasure in the return of live music at Breathless Wines Tasting Room, where Friday evenings are now reserved for a pairing of refreshing sparkling or still wines with light snacks to kick off the weekend. Add a cheese and charcuterie box to the reservation and relish in delicious local treats while enjoying the glamorous art décor style adorning the tasting room built from reclaimed shipping containers. Make it a celebration with a Caviar Picnic option, where guests can enjoy a bottle of Blanc de Noirs with Caviar, Crème Fraiche and their famous potato chips. Let the music of local artists melt away the stresses of the week every Friday from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
On the last Sunday of each month between April and October, guests can now reserve a French-inspired breakfast at the rustically lavish garden tasting space, located just a short walk from the Healdsburg town square. Pair a sweet or savory French Crepe with a delicious glass of bubbles. Reservations available from 9:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
499 Moore Lane
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Taste through Drive Wines at Locals Tasting Room
Discover some of Sonoma County’s newest small-lot wines at Locals Tasting Room in Geyserville, with a tasting of newcomer Drive Wines award-winning boutique wines. From aspiring winemakers John Musto and Tom Young, the 2021 release of Rosé of Pinot Noir and Sonoma Coast Syrah will tantalize taste buds for the curious wine lover. Dedicated to the craft of premium boutique wines, Drive Wines demonstrates the commitment to quality through single vineyard wine production.
“We started Drive in 2017 as a way to prove that we could build a small self-funded wine business from scratch.” says Drive Wines Co-Owner and Winemaker John Musto. “With the odds stacked against us, we’ve continued to persevere, and that ethos has really resonated with folks. Moving into a space like Locals will allow us to take the next step in sharing our story with the wine world”.
Enjoy tastings of 75 wines at Locals Tasting room, including Drive Wines, in charming downtown Geyserville, where historic buildings and vintage chic aesthetics offer the kindness of an older time paired with modern culinary indulgences.
Private and Join-in Group Tours with Sonoma Wine Rides
Take your “travel pod” on the ultimate Sonoma County experience with Sonoma Wine Rides’ private tours, where custom crafted itineraries can include wine tastings, beer and cider tours, coastal excursions, ziplining through the redwoods, world-class dining and anything in between.
Take a Sonoma County Wine Tasting Tour with your smaller group and visit three wineries with complimentary water and charcuterie boxes. Explore different wine regions and book consecutive days with Sonoma Wine Rides for a worry-free getaway.
Sonoma Wine Rides
Sonoma County, CA
Lasseter Family Wines offers new Library Tasting Experiences
Journey through Lasseter Family Wine’s library vintages from the past into the present, discovering the estate-grown Rhone and Bordeaux blends in this newly unveiled tasting experience. Surrounded by sweeping views of Sonoma Valley, Lasseter Family Wines invites guests into an open-air garden patio inside the majestic gates. Enjoy a sighting of the Lasseter family dogs, Frank and Chocolate Mousse, while sipping on their organically farmed wines.
The Lasseter Family Estate has developed a natural eco-system with beehives, owl boxes and insectaries to provide homes for beneficial insects and predators. Blending naturally into a landscape of native plants, enjoy the equilibrium and harmony that plays out in the vineyards and the balanced wines.
Lasseter Family Wines
1 Vintage Lane
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
YOGA & WELLNESS
Yoga & Brunch at Bricoleur Vineyards, powered by The Yoga Van
Join Vinita Laroia, a first=generation Indian-American living in Sonoma County, for a refreshing Sunday morning yin yoga class overlooking the vineyards. With over 20 years of yoga and meditation practice under her belt, Vinita’s soothing voice is joined by the chirping birds to guide visitors through 90 minutes of pure bliss. Sometimes, she’ll gift her students with a surprise sound healing experience with traditional singing bowls during savasana. When your eyes flutter open, prepare for a nourishing, uplifting brunch and tasting flight as you savor the beautiful scenery. Dishes are prepared with ingredients freshly harvested from the estate gardens and local purveyors, paired perfectly with Bricoleur’s wines on their Russian River Valley estate. Flow, sip and savor every Sunday at 9:00 a.m.
On Saturday mornings at 9:00 a.m., internationally-recognized and Danish-born yoga teacher Nina Jarnum leads the dynamic “Vinyasa Core Flow” class at Bricoleur for a strengthening and rejuvenating 75-minute class. Catch the sunset over the estate every Friday at 5:00 p.m. with Deacon Carpenter’s “Zen, then Zin” class, followed by a socially-distanced glass of wine. Get your Monday boost with Mia Revelle at 10:00 a.m. for hatha yoga, flowing right into your week.
The Yoga Van @ Bricoleur Vineyards
7394 Starr Road
Windsor, CA 95492
Wildhaven Sonoma brings yoga to glamping
Enjoy a totally immersive glamping getaway at Wildhaven Sonoma, where guests can now unwind with a soothing yoga class every Saturday afternoon in April on the grassy bluff overlooking the Russian River. Led by local Healdsburg artist and yoga instructor Sarah Ammons, this class recharges the mind and body before making time for guests to enjoy an evening of culinary exploration at nearby restaurants and eateries.
2411 Alexander Valley Rd.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Pampering in downtown Guerneville at June Bug Skin & Body
Escape into the redwoods, towering over the majestic Russian River, and treat yourself to a spa day at June Bug Skin & Body to make you feel pampered and well cared for. For those looking to try unique facials, the Celluma LED Light Therapy is a great add-on to any facial for strong, healthy skin. Unwind with a holistic approach to skin nourishment, where natural ingredients are used for reinvigorating treatments. Enjoy a therapeutic and healing massage with add-ons like aromatherapy, cupping, CBD, meditation, and Chakra work to melt away tension and stress.
June Bug is Western Sonoma County’s premier beauty boutique, with a beautiful new location offering personalized salon and spa services. This newly opened location is a celebration of 10 years being in business for founder and lead esthetician Heidi Schulte.
June Bug Skin & Body
14034 Armstrong Woods Road
Guerneville, CA 95446
Charlie’s Acres presents Goat Yoga and Animal Assisted Therapy with Rescued Animals
This April, join the rescued animal residents of Charlie’s Acres Farm Animal Sanctuary for a fun filled yoga class with the occasional friendly goat (or sheep) distraction. Led by yoga instructor Sheila Martin, who is a health and wellness enthusiast, this class will invite guests to recharge with a centering practice and rediscover how to find balance with ever-shifting environments. They are offering two special classes this April at the farm, where yoga mats will be provided and placed in socially-distanced spaces.
This joyful farm filled with incredible animals is also offering animal assisted therapy services for at-risk youth through virtual and in-person sessions. Support the program with a Pay-it-Forward donation, which will harness the power of animal connection to strengthen the mental health of our community.
Charlie’s Acres Farm Animal Sanctuary
3201 Napa Road
Sonoma, CA 95476
Tours & Picnics with Well Trained Horses at Icssoma Farm
Groom a horse, tour the ranch, see a professional demonstration of different horse training and healing techniques, and bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in your own decorated horse stall at Well Trained Horses in Sebastopol. Connect with these compassionate rescued animals and feel reinvigorated while bonding with all that nature has to offer on the 3-acre Icssoma Farm.
This nonprofit organization is dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and re-homing horses, while offering low-cost education. Recently, a mostly blind horse named Futura started going under saddle, and found new confidence on the ground and while being ridden. Visit Monday through Friday and by appointment on the weekends.
Well Trained Horses
11114 Falstaff Road
Sebastopol, CA 95472
RESTAURANTS & EATERIES
Jam's Joy Bungalow
Grab a mouthful of pickled carrots, barbecued meat, cilantro, and jalapeños, all served on a crunchy baguette in the Bahn Mi at Jam's Joy Bungalow’s new restaurant on the Sebastopol Square. This popular sandwich isn’t the only thing on the menu that features French and Vietnamese culinary influence. There’s also a Vietnamese Ice Coffee served with locally brewed Bella Rosa and condensed milk.
Jamilah Nixon-Mathis’ take on Southeast Asian flavors at her new brick and mortar is a blend of cultures celebrating the fresh ingredients abundantly available in Sonoma County. Her food truck still operates as a catering option for private events, showing up around town as a high-spirited bright neon pink truck and serving up street food with street cred. Hints of Jamilah’s time spent cooking in Thailand emerges from each bite as it swirls around with the kind of fresh ingredients that the region is known for. Open Thursday through Monday from 11:30 a.m. through 2:00 p.m.
Enjoy a special pop-up here from SubHuman Sandwich Shop, featuring a Crabby Boi filled with earthy pea shoots, a heaping amount of sweet Dungeness crab hinted with sesame oil, and topped with a light grapefruit turmeric vinaigrette on a toasted potato roll. The Chicken Parm Vodka Bomb sando is another indulgent selection with creamy vodka sauce, spicy arugula, and burrata atop a fried chicken cutlet in a bun.
Jam's Joy Bungalow & Subhuman Sandwich Pop-Up
150 Weeks Way
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Miracle Plum Kitchen adds flowers to everything
Taste the freshness of springtime in Sonoma County with the new “Flower Power” edible garnishes added to everything at Miracle Plum Kitchen, including salads, cookies and scones. Order breakfast and lunch from their ever-changing online menu, with specials like a housemade focaccia sandwich filled with lemony smashed chickpeas, chermoula, roasted carrots, feta, arugula and Flower Power. To honor the revitalizing energy of the season, this pantry product is now available in the shop for takeaway.
Committed to food equity, this women-owned commissary kitchen offers a small scholarship for qualified folks identifying as women, BIPOC, and immigrants. Check their website for pop-up food events, like the Boro Baba modern Persian food experience on April 3rd, featuring a saffron and yogurt-marinated chicken tender Joojeh Kabob and a gluten-free Saffron-Rose Rice Krispie Treat.
Miracle Plum Kitchen
600 Wilson Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Bodega Bay Oyster Company Opens Bodega Cellars Winebar
Indulge in freshly shucked Miyagi and Kumamoto oysters on the half-shell with the Bay-To-Bottle pairing flight experience at Bodega Cellars, complimented by a tasting of wines or ciders. Adjacent to the shellfish shop, this wine bar offers expansive views of grasslands over a relaxing glass of wine. Stay awhile and slowly savor the bounty of local ingredients with a bowl of seafood chowder, smoked salmon on a half bagel, or platters of fresh raw oysters on the half-shell.
Bodega Bay Oyster Company has been family owned and operated since 1985, featuring sustainably-farmed oysters in the plankton-rich waters of Bodega Bay. The oysters, clams, and mussels are sold daily alongside a carefully curated selection of local goods.
Bodega Cellars at Bodega Bay Oyster Company
12830 Valley Ford Road
Petaluma, CA 94952
Jared Reeves is appointed the new Executive Chef at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
Recognized as the 2020 Leader of the Year at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, Chef Jared Reeves has been named the Executive Chef for this iconic destination.
“I enjoy bringing my passion, creativity, innovation and high energy to the kitchen every day. I have an eye toward sustainable produce and love working with local purveyors. Along with my talented team, we provide a thoughtful dining experience for our guests that is modern yet humble and focused on the amazing flavors in Sonoma’s bountiful harvest. I’m overwhelmed by all that Sonoma has to offer, from the abundance of fruits and vegetables at roadside stands or the Dungeness crab and wild salmon from the Pacific. Local cheesemakers provide the perfect accompaniment to Sonoma’s greatest produce, its stunning wines. Sonoma is a chef’s dream locale and I’m proud to call this area my home,” shares Chef Reeves.
Dine at the 38° North Wine Bar and lounge nightly for signature Sonoma County seasonal fare paired with wines selected from an extensive wine list. Enjoy outdoor dining on the restaurant patio of Santé Kitchen for a menu boasting California fusion with a Sonoma passion for breakfast or dinner. The resort also features poolside dining at the Water Tower Bar and spa-side meals at the Spa Cafè by the iconic Willow Stream Hot Springs Spa.
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
100 Boyes Blvd.
Sonoma, CA 95476
ATTRACTIONS & SHOPPING
Quarryhill transforms into Sonoma Botanical Gardens
Along with a new rebranding and repositioning, Sonoma Botanical Garden has also been treated with a complete makeover. The ponds received a facial and a duckweed extraction, making way for a perfectly picturesque spot on the wooden bridge overlooking a garden view with glistening reflections on the water. The historic stone walls were restored, facility buildings were renovated, and more improvements continue to be made as this internationally recognized wild Asian woodland garden.
Visitors will also spot the familiar and beloved Meyer Lemon plant, a hybrid citrus fruit native to China, along with a variety of other citrus plants with Asian origins. Efforts to expand the deliciously refreshing citrus collection are in motion, including the cultivation of Kumquats, Buddha’s hand, and more. Visit Wednesday through Monday from 9:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m.
Sonoma Botanical Gardens
12841 Sonoma Hwy
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
In downtown Santa Rosa, pedestrians are beginning to carry enviously beautiful houseplants in their arms as they return to their cars. Follow the trail to Botany Zhi, an eclectically chic jungle lifestyle shop featuring the prized collection of Lewis Deng’s coveted, exotic, and even rare houseplants. Every month, the window displays will adorn different rarities, like the Dragon Scale that is always in high demand. Many of these plants for sale are products of Lewis’ own green thumb in his personal greenhouse, inspired by a passion for the beauty and well-being benefits of turning your home into a jungle. Lewis and his husband will also switch up the interior décor with a little furniture rearrangement and plant repositioning, inspiring guests to do the same.
A bright orange modern sofa sits across from the mid-century modern television/record player that doubles as a plant shelf for snake plants, small monsteras, and unique fuzzy ferns, while the ceilings are draped with chandeliers emitting warm hues from its grow lights to the exposed brick walls. Every piece of furnishing is thrifted from local shops and sellers, creating an inviting and stylish home for these living pieces of décor. A prized 30-year-old Philodendron spreads its massive leaves, and it is surrounded by approachable houseplants, each individually selected by Lewis’ expert eye. DM @botanyzhi anytime for follow-up care questions, because every plant that leaves the shop is given a generous guarantee. Lewis empowers new houseplant owners to learn, adapt, and become lifelong purveyors of specialty indoor greenery.
Botany Zhi restocks every Thursday and provides guests with sweet complimentary takeaways so that we can all have the tools to keep a more vibrant and more green indoor space.
311 D Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Modern Exhibits at new Legion Projects Gallery
Marvel at the beautifully illustrated Something To Look Forward To inaugural art show at Legion Project gallery’s new home in Sonoma County, showcasing five very different female artists from around the country. This show explores the mindset of this past year at home in an uplifting exhibition of paintings, offering glimmers of hope and happiness, and feelings of determination and achievement.
Legion Projects represents up-and-coming artists, curated art shows, and provides curatorial services for interior designers and home stagers in a beautifully sun-lit space in Healdsburg. Currently open by appointment Monday – Saturday from 12:00 p.m. through 5:00 p.m.
711A Healdsburg Ave.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Hazel Atelier Opens in Guerneville
Shop ethically in a new collaborative retail space that has opened in downtown Guerneville, and discover sustainably crafted apparel, home décor, and furnishings. The motto at Hazel Atelier is “everything art,” from traditional canvas to custom guitar casings to wearable art. Discover how owners John and Elee celebrates life and art while holding space for healing and purpose in their new shop. Peruse through the handmade products, vintage finds, unique art and sounds during your day on the Russian River.
Some of the canvas and sculptural art is created by John’s son, Peter, portraying the line where light and darkness merge in a way words could never express. Born in the midst of a pandemic, this inspirational shop is built to capture the best of humankind while fighting for all humans.
14045 Armstrong Woods Road
Guerneville, CA 95446
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Experience Sonoma County, where Life Opens Up. Just as wine “opens up” when it’s allowed to breathe, Sonoma County inspires visitors to open up to new experiences. Just 30 miles north of San Francisco, Sonoma County is one of California’s top food and wine destinations, home to more than 425 wineries ranging from rustic to regal. Hike among towering redwoods, cruise along rugged Pacific coastline, and get to know inviting small towns. Or just sit back and take it all in. Because here, you’re free to go your own way. Sonoma County was named Wine Enthusiast magazine’s Wine Region of the Year. Discover why by visiting it yourself. Start planning today at www.sonomacounty.com or call 707-522-5800.
Public Relations Manager
Sonoma County Tourism