What’s New in Sonoma County May 2021
The sun is out, bees are all abuzz, flowers are blooming, and Sonoma County is celebrating its resilience over the past year with the return of outdoor events IRL (in real life), new winery experiences, artistic expressions of human connection, unique adventures, and other ways to engage with our senses.
We unveiled our new interactive digital Spring/Summer 2021 Inspiration Guide, a more environmentally friendly alternative to the printed Visitors Guide for those planning their Sonoma County getaway.
Sonoma County recently welcomed the inaugural Avelo Airlines flight from Burbank Airport to Charles M. Schulz Airport in Santa Rosa, introducing a convenient flight that places Los Angeles visitors within minutes from nearby wineries. Additionally, the Airport Express is now resuming routes to and from SFO and OAK to the heart of Sonoma County in Santa Rosa with industry leading cleanliness and reduced capacity.
Note: 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 & TASTING ROOMS
Gracianna Winery debuts short film “Grateful” Today
Immerse yourself in the very best of Sonoma County’s environment and majesty with a touching short film that focuses on “wines for those with something to be grateful for,” which is Gracianna Winery’s brand promise. The promotional film kicks off the Amador family’s season as they once again open their tasting room to wine lovers. “Grateful” commemorates everyday gratitude and graciousness for those cherished moments spent with friends and family. Created by Brooklyn-based cinematographer and documentary filmmaker Elliot deBruyn, this beautifully captured short has been submitted into various film festivals including Cannes, Tribeca, and Manhattan Film Festival.
6914 Westside Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Be a Wine Club Member for “8 Days in May”
Enjoy the exclusive benefits of being a part of a wine club in Sonoma County with the Wine Road’s first event since the pandemic, kicking off the bright prospects of summertime. “8 Days in May” will feature experiences at more than 40 participating wineries that include personalized outdoor tastings and online benefits from May 24th to May 31st. Additionally, the Wine Road is presenting an Instagram coloring contest to capture the vibrancy of Sonoma County wine tasting experiences. Winners will receive a Wine Road swag bag. Space is limited, tastings are by reservation, and more information can be found on their website.
1437 Grove Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Murphy Goode opens new tasting room in Healdsburg
Serious and casual wine drinkers alike can now experience Murphy Goode’s unique portfolio and a representation of Sonoma County roots with a tasting flight in their new tasting room. Located just 20 steps off the historic Healdsburg Plaza, Murphy Goode will give guests the opportunity to explore the brand’s latest releases as well as some old favorites that capture the essence of the Sonoma County lifestyle. The new tasting room opening follows Murphy Goode’s sensational job search, which will give one lucky person the chance to work rent-free with a $10,000 monthly salary.
Founded in 1985 by good friends Tim Murphy, Dale Goode and Dave Ready, Murphy Good pioneered Alexander Valley by bringing wire trellising, broad scale drip irrigation and leaf pulling to this rural agricultural haven. Visit the tasting room Thursdays through Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. with reservations.
Murphy Goode Tasting Room
241 Healdsburg Ave.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Ron Noble Wines opens up Tasting Experience
Experience a unique exploration of wines at the Ron Noble estate home and vineyards, where guests are greeted with a glass of Pinot Noir, followed by a vineyard stroll between the undulating rows of grape vines. Following the walk, a selection of current Ron Noble wines are poured for a seated tasting, which is then complimented by a reserve tasting paired with nibbles and casual conversation. Wine lovers can also enjoy leisurely time spent by the estate pool while savoring their Petaluma Gap wines.
Ron Noble Wines
2420 Mountain Ranch Road
Petaluma, CA 94954
William Henry Wineworks offers tasting experiences
Enjoy a selection of high-quality, handcrafted, small production wines at the William Henry Wineworks tasting room, a collaborative studio created by independent Sonoma County winemakers. Experience an immersion into the world of winemaking at this Sebastopol facility, where winemakers produce world-class Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and other varietals. Visitors can now explore both private and public wine tastings in a place where winemakers can establish and grow their trade. Open daily between 10:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
William Henry Wineworks
870 Gravenstein Hwy N
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Russian River Vineyards offers Happy Hour Thursday evenings under the redwood trees
Embrace the beautiful, relaxing redwoods of Sonoma County with a sunset experience at Russian River Vineyards on Thursday evenings. Savor the opportunity to reconnect with friends and family while sipping on wines by the glass, local craft brews, and a menu of appetizers and small bites freshly prepared by estate chef Lea Scheimer. Special treats like fish tacos, Mac n’ Cheese poppers and scrumptious sliders are the perfect snackable pairing to conversations shared at the outdoor tasting area, where live music will be provided by local musicians. From 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., guests will enjoy special pricing with reservations that can be made on the website.
Russian River Vineyards
5700 Hwy. 116 N
Forestville, CA 95436
Coursey Graves mountaintop estate experience
Savor one of Sonoma Valley’s most dramatic views and enjoy a guided exploration of the Coursey Graves Estate wine portfolio atop the steep, rocky slopes of Bennett Mountain. The immersive vertical experience includes a tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon blends and limited releases of Chardonnay and Syrah paired with selections from local bakeries and creameries. The sustainably and organically farmed wines crafted by winemaker Cabell Coursey are grown in cool weather and rocky soils that mimic the austere conditions of Bordeaux. This unique estate tasting experience sits on the western edge of the Mayacamas range, with 18 acres to take in with the expressive flavors.
Coursey Graves Winery and Estate Vineyard
6860 Serenity Way
Santa Rosa, CA 95476
ARTS & CULTURE
Sonoma Valley Museum of Art presents A Delicate Balance exhibition on the Sonoma Plaza
Marvel at the large-scale public sculptures installed at the Sonoma Plaza, which features abstract and representational sculptures using metal, granite, and plexiglass. The exhibition, titled A Delicate Balance, is an exploration of the balance between nature and technology, fragile and the solid, and humankind and science. From four outstanding artists of diverse backgrounds, Bruce Beasley, Catherine Daley, Peter Hassen and Jun Kaneko reminds visitors of the delicate balance of life, as we consider how our world has changed over the past year. Made possible through a partnership between Sonoma Valley Museum of Art (SVMA) and the City of Sonoma, this exhibit will run through October 2021. Visitors can also enjoy the SVMA, located a half block up from the historic plaza, for free during the month of May.
Sonoma Valley Museum of Art
Sonoma, CA 95476
Santa Rosa Symphony Presents concerts on YouTube and KRCB
Tune into the harmonic sounds of Santa Rosa Symphony’s concert series that evoke emotions resembling resiliency, recovery, and triumph, which streams on YouTube and Bay Area’s NPR television station KRCB.
The Youth Orchestra’s remotely recorded “Wanderlust” concert on May 11 will debut a locally made redwood violin and celebrate the students’ return to live concerts in the fall. "This concert celebrates our students’ triumphs through one of the most difficult educational years in our lifetime,” says conductor Bobby Rogers.
On May 16, symphony joins Bay Area pianist Elizabeth Dorman and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s Peanuts® Gallery in a concert that features a reprise of Santa Rosa native Paul Dooley's Sonoma Strong.
The Family Concert is a musical adventure for all-age audiences, providing a closer look at the musicians with their instruments, as well as a look into the diverse group of composers on May 29.
Santa Rosa Symphony
50 Santa Rosa Ave, Suite 410
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
ADVENTURE & WELLNESS
Captivating views and unique experiences with Sonoma Ballooning
Delight in the world-renowned vineyards of Sonoma County with Sonoma Ballooning, where visitors experience panoramic views of Sonoma Valley, historic downtown Sonoma, the rolling hills of Petaluma, the famed Carneros winemaking region, and outlying views of the Bay Area. With decades of combined experience in hot air ballooning, outdoor recreation, customer service and hospitality, Sonoma Ballooning's team creates captivating experiences that can be customized, including wedding ceremonies in the sky, private group flights, and intimate VIP flights.
Among their hot air balloon packages is the Balloon, Charlie’s Acres, Vegan Wine Tour, which takes guests on a breathtaking adventure in the sky followed by a post-flight champagne toast, a visit to Charlie’s Acres Farm Animal Sanctuary, two local vegan wineries and a locally sourced lunch. For those looking to take their wine experiences to new heights, the Balloon & Blending tour pairs the flight with a unique wine blending experience where guests can bring home a bottle of their own creation.
21870 8th Street E
Sonoma, CA 95476
Wine tasting on electric trikes Pushpak Motors wine tours
Discover a new way to taste wines and explore Sonoma with Pushpak Motors, offering the fun-filled experience on a two- or three-person e-trike. These safe and reliable micro mobility vehicles have a tight turning radius and allow for easy navigation through small spaces. With under seat storage and baskets to store your wine or cheese purchases, these e-trikes are also ADA compliant and an environmentally friendly way to traverse through the undulating vineyards of Sonoma Valley. Pushpak Motors offers 2-hour guided tours, and for those looking to explore on their own, rentals are available for 2, 4, or 8 hours.
414 First St. E
Curate Sonoma County offers personalized travel experiences
Create the perfect dream getaway to Sonoma County with local entrepreneurs Jennifer West and Rhita Baldwin, who have exclusive partnerships to procure local goods, services, and unique experiences. Their new concierge service is high-touch and personalized, offering visitors the local inside scoop on exciting adventures. Whether guests want to surprise a loved one with a hot air balloon ride or curated picnic on the Sonoma Coast, or want the best late-night taco spot, a luxurious business retreat, or a rejuvenating getaway with friends, Curate Sonoma County is “your friend in the area,” planning the best way to spend a well-earned vacation.
Curate Sonoma County
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
Rhita L. Baldwin
SHOPPING & DINING
Johnny Doughnuts grand opening in Santa Rosa
Satisfy those cravings for sweet treats with gourmet doughnuts at Johnny Doughnut’s newest location in Santa Rosa. Discover why Hollywood’s biggest stars have lined up for these wholesomely made sweet treats, which were first introduced in the bustling Bay Area food truck scene in 2012. Founder Craig Blum emphasizes the importance of local and organic ingredients in handcrafting these visually stunning and delicious doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, frittahs and other offerings.
Using a recipe from the 1920s that uses mashed potatoes to create an insatiable texture and bite, the pristine display case showcases the sought-after vegan doughnut made with sweet potato, a wheat-free “Frittah Thang” made with real fruit and rice flours, a color variety of classic and glazed treats, and a promise that all their products come from a nut-free facility. For the doughnut enthusiast, The Bismarks stuffed with handmade jams and custards are considered the holy grail of doughnuts and may require a napkin. The Crodough crosses a croissant with a doughnut, savoring the best of both worlds. The light and fluffy Raised doughnut is topped with glazes like chocolate, lime poppy, brown butter, and other seasonal favorites. Pair with a cup of organic Equator coffee or tea before heading out for your wine country adventure. Grand Opening is on May 8 with Mother’s Day ready “Mom vibes” mugs and takeaway boxes.
1200 4th Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
BaBoo opens showroom pop-up at The Barlow
Peruse through the carefully curated collection of handcrafted objects from artisans around the world, showcasing a love for design, people, raw materials, and craftmanship. The whimsical home design store is popping up at The Barlow in Sebastopol, bringing a happy strain of high-style furnishings and collection of fine jewelry and accessories that uncovers a lifestyle that is both beautiful and fun. Enjoy the shop’s felted river rock poufs that provide relaxed seating and are shaped like river rocks made by South African fiber designer Ron’el Jordaan. Take a gander at the stools shaped like animals or consider adding an indoor swing to brighten up the home. All visitors are welcomed with world music and chocolates.
BaBoo at The Barlow
6770 McKinley Street, Suite 130
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Fluffy Little Pancakes adds poffertjes to the event scene
Treat your guests to some delightfully spongy poffertjes at your next Sonoma County destination celebration or event. This traditional Dutch batter treat resembles fluffy little pancakes and can be covered in powdered sugar or served with sauces, spreads, toppings, fruits and God Seasonings. Fluffy Little Pancakes is offering event hospitality services, bringing a fun street snack that is light and spongy. A Fluffy Trailer will soon open to the public, offering their menu of warm, sweet delights throughout Sonoma County as they partner with restaurants, coffee shops, and other venues.
Fluffy Little Pancakes
Sonoma County, CA
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Sonoma County Tourism is the official destination stewardship organization dedicated to creating and supporting a sustainable hospitality economy in Sonoma County, California. This is done through marketing, promotions and sales of the region for leisure travel, trade, meetings and groups, as well as the Travel Kindly Pledge. The Sonoma County hospitality and tourism industry makes up 10 percent of jobs in communities largely composed of small businesses. Down-to-earth charm is found within the destination’s diverse offerings, including family-owned wineries, redwood forests, the Pacific coastline, and an assortment of well-being experiences. For more information, visit www.sonomacounty.com