SONOMA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA — The new year brings a number of new enterprises to Sonoma County, including an inaugural festival celebrating craft distilleries, a chance to stay in a yurt on a sustainable farm, and a coffee house showcasing fresh-baked internationally inspired dishes and pastries. That’s just a quick sampling of Sonoma County’s abundance and diversity, with more to come.
Here’s a quick overview of what’s new in Sonoma County in January 2019.
American Airlines adding flights to Dallas and LA from Sonoma County
American Airlines is expanding its services at Charles M Schulz - Sonoma County Airport (STS), and tickets are on sale now for flights to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) that begin in May 2019 and flights to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) that start in June 2019.
The daily seasonal flights to DFW will be on American’s Embraer 175, a 76-seat jet aircraft operated by American Eagle on behalf of American Airlines. From DFW, the American Airlines network connects to more than 130 destinations worldwide. This opens up a myriad of travel opportunities for regional travelers heading east or Texans looking to visit Northern California Wine Country. And daily seasonal flights to LAX mean more expedited in-state travel for business or pleasure to and from STS.
The only airport offering scheduled air service into the North Bay region, STS provides a hassle-free experience with shorter lines, convenient ground transportation, and easy and affordable parking with electric vehicle charging stations.
Charles M. Schulz - Sonoma County Airport
2290 Airport Blvd.
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Jon G. Stout, Airport Manager
New Wine Country Distillery Festival kicks off Feb. 9
Dust off the winter blues by celebrating the craft of distilled spirits at the inaugural Wine Country Distillery Festival on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in Rohnert Park in central Sonoma County.
Sonoma County’s growing distilled spirits industry is drawing national attention. Presented by Poppy & Vine online hospitality magazine with MicroShiner craft spirits guide, this new event brings local distilleries together under one roof, to celebrate their craft and share their spirits.
Held from noon to 4 p.m. at Sally Tomatoes, a Rohnert Park restaurant and event venue, the afternoon includes distilled spirits, craft beverages, and local food bites, plus live music and a cocktail competition. The festival benefits the nonprofit Social Advocates for Youth (SAY), which provides support, opportunities, and hope to children, youth, and families in Sonoma County.
Wine Country Distillery Festival
1100 Valley House Drive
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Schermeister Winery opens Glen Ellen tasting room
Taste Schermeister Winery’s current releases in its new tasting room in the historic Jack London Village center in Glen Ellen, in Sonoma Valley in eastern Sonoma County.
This small family operation only produces about 600 cases per year, and its wines are only available direct from the winery. Owners Robert and Laura Schermeister are committed to crafting “really big” Pinots and other varietals. They use native fermentation — which means fermenting the fruit using only the yeasts that are already in the vineyard.
The new tasting room includes a complimentary aroma bar where you can explore the aromas found in wine. Open Wednesday by appointment only; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday to Sunday; and closed Monday and Tuesday.
Schermeister Winery Tasting Room
Jack London Village
14301 Arnold Drive, Suite 28
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
Chill at The Jade Room wine bar
Enjoy a date night or gather with friends in the cool, casual setting at The Jade Room, the new bubbles, wine, and small plates spot in Santa Rosa, in central Sonoma County.
Andrea Ballus, who founded Sift Dessert Bar in 2008 and took it to national fame on the Food Network, created The Jade Room with husband Jeff Ballus and managing partner Jeremy Vassey. It features local wines as well as a rotating selection of wines from around the world, a stellar champagne list, and six taps of craft beer.
The simple but elegant food menu by executive chef Ben Davies includes oysters, cheese and charcuterie trays, salads, other sharable items, and delicious desserts. Choose from three types of waffles — the Tater Tot with house cured trout, caviar, crème friache, and spiced greens; the Bacon with delicata squash, aioli, speck (smoked meat), and arugula; and the Corn Meal with bosc pear, cashew butter, pickled red onion, and San Andreas cheese.
The Jade Room
643 Fourth St.
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
RESTAURANTS & EATERIES
Lightwave Coffee and Kitchen features international baked goods
Fresh and delicious is the focus at the new Lightwave Coffee and Kitchen next to the skate park in Monte Rio, in Sonoma County’s beautiful Russian River Valley.
Owners Ori and Gal Ginzburg draw on their Israeli and American heritage as well as time spent in New York and California to create a cozy, comfortable spot for coffee, chai, pastries, soup, and more, with scenic views of the mountains and redwoods. A display of old radios contributes to the homey, welcoming setting.
The menu is a little bit Californian, a little bit Middle Eastern, and a little bit Sonoma County farm-to-table freshness. All the pastries are baked fresh in-house, from the cookies, scones, and mini apple pies, to the Burekas (savory Turkish breakfast pastries) and house-made pita bread.
Other options include bagels with house-cured lox, and Shakshuka, an Israeli breakfast dish with roasted vegetables and a poached egg. The evolving menu includes a soup of the day, stew, and rice bowls. Vegan choices are available, plus they make their own chai, and pickle everything themselves.
Lightwave Coffee and Kitchen
9725 Main St.
Monte Rio, CA 95462
Shanti Permaculture Farm offers agritourism farm stay
Stay in a yurt or cottage, feed the sheep and llama, and collect and sort freshly laid eggs on the farm stay program at Shanti Permaculture Farm two miles outside of the small town of Occidental in western Sonoma County.
Farm stay guests can also harvest fresh veggies in the gardens, pick Cape Gooseberries and other specialty berries, and enjoy a farm-to-table meal with the staff. Located just eight miles inland from the Pacific Ocean coastline and open year round, Shanti offers peace and quiet on 6.5 acres of redwood forest, pastureland, and a homestead.
“Shanti is the Sanskrit word for peace or peaceful,” said owner Elizabeth Medgyesy. “My goal is to bring peace of mind to my guests whose city lives may not afford adequate peace of mind.”
Shanti Permaculture Farm
16715 Coleman Valley Road
Occidental, CA 95465
Russian River Cycle Service moves to larger quarters
After four years in a cozy shop on the outskirts of Forestville, Russian River Cycle Service has relocated to a larger space in downtown Forestville, in western Sonoma County.
This full-service bicycle shop offers rentals, repairs, and sales, including wheel building and handmade bicycle frames. In addition to standard bicycle accessories, the store also features handmade bicycle-related paintings, sculptures, and jewelry.
Rental bicycles can be picked up at the shop or delivered to your location in the communities on the lower Russian River (Forestville, Guerneville, Rio Nido, Monte Rio, and Duncans Mills). Delivery outside of this area is available on request.
Russian River Cycle Service
6559 Front St.
Forestville, CA 95436
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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.
For a free visitors guide or information on hotels, wineries, events, spas, attractions, and dining in Sonoma County, visit www.sonomacounty.com or call 707-522-5800.
Director of Global Media Relations
Sonoma County Tourism
400 Aviation Blvd., Suite 500
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
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