Sonoma County Tourism
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What's New: May 2018

SONOMA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA — It's official: May is Outdoor Recreation Month in Sonoma County. That's because Sonoma County is becoming a magnet for hikers, runners, cyclists, and all the folks who love to get outdoors and move. This includes kayaking, canoeing, fishing, horseback riding, hot-air balloon rides, zip lining through redwoods, and much more.

Of course, that's just one part of what's going on in this beautiful, diverse region, where there seems to be a new festival, tasting room, restaurant, boutique, and just about everything you can think of, wherever you look.

Here's a quick roundup of what's new in Sonoma County for May 2018.

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 or 800-576-6662. For a complete calendar of upcoming events, visit www.sonomacounty.com/sonoma-events.

FEATURED

Sun Country Airlines adds seasonal Santa Rosa-Las Vegas flights

Fly nonstop between the Charles M Schulz – Sonoma County Airport (STS) and the McCarran International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas on seasonal nonstop flights offered by Sun Country Airlines, Aug. 30 to Dec. 2, 2018.

The new flights will be on Sun Country's 737-800 aircraft, with 162 seats. Flights depart LAS on Sundays and STS on Thursdays starting Labor Day Weekend. Sun Country is also offering seasonal nonstop flights between STS and the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP) on Mondays and Fridays, June 29 to Aug. 27.

Sun Country Airlines is a privately held Minnesota company based in Minneapolis/St. Paul. It offers affordable flights and vacation packages to more than 40 popular destinations in the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Caribbean.

Located in the heart of the Sonoma Wine Country, the Charles M Schulz – Sonoma County Airport offers direct flights and airline service by Alaska Airlines, American Airlines/Sky West, and United Airlines.

Charles M Schulz-Sonoma County Airport
2290 Airport Blvd.
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
707-565-7240
sonomacountyairport.org

Media Contact
Vice President, Marketing, Sun Country Airlines
651-681-3900
[email protected]
www.suncountry.com

 

EVENTS

Schulz museum adds Friday night food, drink events
Grab some friends, work up an appetite, and head to the Charles M. Schulz for the new Friday night events filled with local food, drink, and fun in Santa Rosa in central Sonoma County.

The museum celebrates the life and work of beloved cartoonist Charles Schulz, creator of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the entire Peanuts gang. Known as “Sparky,' Schulz lived and worked in Santa Rosa from 1969 until his death in 2000. In addition to preserving, displaying, and interpreting Schulz' art, the museum works to build an understanding of cartoonists and cartoon art.

Held 6-9 p.m. monthly from May to July, the Friday Nights at the Schulz Museum series pairs Peanuts-themed food with local alcohol and fun activities, including cartooning and animation. Guests (age 21 or older) will enjoy access to the museum galleries, an outdoor fire pit, and delicious and creative pairings. May's theme is Breakfast and Brews (May 11); June is Tacos, Tequila, and Trivia! (June 29); and July is Pies and Pints (July 27).

Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center
2301 Hardies Lane
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
707-579-4452
www.schulzmuseum.org

Media Contact
Tracey Pugh, Marketing Director
707-579-4452 x268
[email protected]

Healdsburg hosts farmers markets on Tuesday, Saturday
Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the Healdsburg Certified Farmers market will be hosting two weekly events this year, on Tuesday and Saturday mornings.

The Tuesday market will open 9 a.m.-1 p.m., May 29-Aug. 28, in the central Healdsburg Plaza. The Saturday market runs from 8:30 a.m.-noon, May 5 to Nov. 24, in the West Plaza parking lot, at the corner of North and Vine streets, one block west of the plaza. 

One of California's original 22 farmers markets, the Healdsburg Farmers' Market opened in July 1978, at a time when the village and surrounding area were strictly agricultural. Back then, the market was a major weekly event that the whole town attended, either as a producer or a consumer, and almost everyone who sold at the market farmed or produced their goods within miles of it.

Today Healdsburg is a thriving little city, but its surroundings are still primarily agricultural. The market, now a nonprofit owned and run by the farmers themselves, is as much a cherished part of the community as it was when it began. It overflows with produce, almost all grown in the immediate area, and many of the other food and craft products are also produced locally.

Healdsburg Certified Farmers Markets
P.O. Box 2198
Healdsburg, CA 95448
707-824-8717
www.healdsburgfarmersmarket.org

Media Contact
Janet Ciel, Market Manager
707-529-4884
[email protected]

Sandman kicks off monthly Summer Nights series
Gather poolside for live music and good food at the Sandman roadside inn in Santa Rosa at its new monthly Sandman Summer Nights series, May 11, June 29, and Aug. 17. Each month will feature a different live band and food truck.

May 11 showcases stylish folk sounds by Two Lions and food by the Fig Rig, operated by the owners of the acclaimed The Girl & The Fig restaurant.

June 29 features high-energy acoustic music by Three for Silver, with meatball-themed dishes from the Got Balls Meatball Factory food truck.

On Aug. 29, it's festive global music by Pangea Futbol Club with California seasonal street food from The Bodega.

Admission to Sandman Summer Nights is free; RSVPs are requested at [email protected].

Designed to be fresh, airy, and full of warm colors and custom touches, the 135-room Sandman is a new incarnation of a roadside inn, bringing a warm and offbeat experience to weary travelers.

Sandman Summer Nights
3421 Cleveland Ave.
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
707-293-2100
www.sandmansantarosa.com

Wine Road adds Esprit du Rhône weekend
Sample Rhône varietals May 18 and 19, 2018, at the inaugural Esprit du Rhône weekend hosted by Wine Road, an association of wineries and lodgings in the Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River valleys in northern Sonoma County.

Rhône-style wines are typically blends made with the traditional winegrape varieties that have flourished for centuries in France's Rhône River Valley. This new Wine Road weekend celebrating the spirit of the Rhône begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 18, with a casual two-hour walk-around tasting featuring 20 winemakers at Longboard Vineyards in Healdsburg. Sample wine, enjoy appetizers and live music, and play some games.

And from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, 30 wineries throughout the Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River valleys will offer samples of their Rhône varietals. Friday's event is $40 per person and limited to 100 people; Saturday is $40 per person; or $65 for both days. Throughout the weekend, guests can share their adventures on Instagram #WineRoad #EspritduRhône; the favorite photo will win $100.

Esprit du Rhône
Wine Road
P.O. Box 46
Healdsburg, CA 95448
707-433-4335
www.wineroad.com/events/esprit-du-rhone

Media Contact
Beth Costa
707-433-4335
[email protected]

 

WINERIES

Sangiacomo Family releases first estate wines
After 50 years of growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes for some of the finest wineries in California, the Sangiacomo family recently released its own estate vineyards wines.

This is a third-generation effort. Vittorio and Maria Sangiacomo bought a 52-acre fruit tree ranch in Sonoma in 1927, and the next generation of Angelo, Buck, Lorraine, and Bob Sangiacomo converted to premium grape vineyards in the late 1960s. The operation has grown to 1,600 estate acres (all 100 percent certified sustainable) in Sonoma and Napa counties.

Now the third generation — Steve and Mike Sangiacomo and Mia Sangiacomo Pucci — are crafting their own wines under the Sangiacomo label, primarily sold direct-to-consumer and to a select few restaurant accounts.

They offer two limited signature appellation bottlings — Chardonnay Sonoma Coast and Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast — and four small-lot single-vineyard designate wines — Chardonnay Green Acres Vineyard Sonoma Coast, Chardonnay Home Ranch Carneros, Pinot Noir Roberts Road Vineyard Sonoma Coast, and Cabernet Sauvignon Oakview Vineyards Oakville Napa Valley.

Sangiacomo Family Wines
21543 Broadway
Sonoma, CA 95476
707-934-8445
www.sangiacomo-vineyards.com

Media Contact
Tony Lombardi, Lombardi Marketing
707-280-5917
[email protected]

Claypool Cellars moves into new tasting room
With construction complete, Claypool Cellars is now pouring its Pinot Noirs in its new Pachyderm Station tasting room on Gravenstein Highway North in Sebastopol, in western Sonoma County.

Claypool Cellars is the handiwork of world-renowned musician Les Claypool of the alternative rock band Primus and his wife, Chaney, Sonoma County residents since 1994. They founded the winery originally from a desire to fill their personal wine cache. Their first release was Purple Pachyderm Pinot Noir (with the name based on the Primus song “Southbound Pachyderm').

With the hiring of accomplished winemakers Ross Cobb and Katy Wilson, the focus of this boutique winery has moved toward the glorious fruit of the Sonoma Coast, resulting in wines that are leaner and more delicate than ever before. The family-friendly tasting room is open daily, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and includes a picnic area.

Claypool Cellars
Pachyderm Station
5425 Gravenstein Highway N.
Sebastopol, CA 95472
707-861-9358
claypoolcellars.com

Media Contact
Claypool Cellars
707-861-9358
[email protected]

Silver Oak adds tastings, tours in new Healdsburg winery
The new state-of-the-art Silver Oak Cellar winery is now open for walk-in tastings and guided tours, just 10 minutes east of downtown Healdsburg in northern Sonoma County.

Relax in the modern barn-inspired tasting room, next to the iconic Silver Oak water tower. As you taste, learn how sustainable vineyard management contributes to wine quality. The winery offers panoramic views of the Alexander Valley bench and the surrounding 113-acre estate and 75 acres of prime Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard.

Silver Oak began over a handshake between two friends with a bold vision: Focus on one varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon, aged exclusively in American oak and worthy of cellaring for decades to come.

The tasting room is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Food and wine pairing experiences are available by appointment only; for reservations call the winery's Hospitality Concierge at 707-942-7026 or email [email protected].

Silver Oak Cellars
7300 Highway 128
Healdsburg, CA 95448
707-942-7082
www.silveroak.com

Media Contact
Silver Oak Cellars
707-942-7082
[email protected]

Bowman Cellars pouring in Graton
Relax, sample fine wines, and nibble on delicious small bites at the new Bowman Cellars tasting room in the tiny town of Graton amid the rural beauty of western Sonoma County.

Founded in 2013 by the fifth-generation northern California Bowman family, Bowman Cellars strives to produce wines that express a sense of place from the stunning local wine regions. Alexander Bowman and his father, Doug, believe in growing their crops with a soft human touch, without interfering with nature, and source their fruit from local farmers with the same integrity and style.

In addition to Bowman Cellars wines, the tasting room offers a menu of delicious small bite food pairings, served from “The Winestream,' an adaptation of a classic Airstream trailer. Seating is available indoors and out, and the patio hosts a variety of activities, including live music and yoga sessions.

Bowman Cellars Tasting Room
9010 Graton Road
Graton, CA 95444
707-827-3391
bowmancellars.com

Media Contact
Bowman Cellars
707-827-3391
[email protected]

Rancho Maria opens Sonoma Plaza tasting lounge
Immerse yourself in “Old Sonoma' and learn to taste like a pro while sipping a lineup of unique wines at the new Rancho Maria tasting room on the historic Sonoma Plaza, in eastern Sonoma County.

Arranged to resemble a wine country living room, the tasting lounge offers a comfortable atmosphere to enjoy delicious wines that hold a unique sense of place. The lounge focuses on engaging guests in an in-depth wine conversation, for a one-of-a-kind, customer-focused experience.

As a bonus, there's a back patio space with a huge glass fire pit and eclectic rod iron furniture. This hidden gem can hold up to 40 people, but small enough to feel like your own back yard — the perfect place to enjoy a quiet glass of vino. The tasting room is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily; fees are $15 for five wines, or the Estate Vertical is $25 for four wines.

Rancho Maria
481 First St. W.
Sonoma CA 95476
707-215-5000
www.ranchomaria.com

Media Contact
Rancho Maria
707-215-5000
[email protected]

Deerfield's Robert Rex named Winemaker of the Year
At the 11th annual American Fine Wine Competition & Gala on May 5 in south Florida, Winemaker of the Year honors go to Robert Rex of Deerfield Ranch Winery in Sonoma County.

Certified organic, Deerfield produces 15,000 cases annually, specializing in blended wines. With associate winemaker Cecilia Valdivia and their team, Rex crafts small lots of handcrafted wine from more than 26 carefully selected Sonoma County vineyards. Deerfield wines are known for their brilliant colors, rich and wonderfully complex flavors, and a long finish.

A chemist, graphic designer, woodworker, and an accomplished gourmet cook, Rex has been making wine for 46 consecutive years. He is consulting winemaker for several small wineries that make their wine at Deerfield and teaches hands-on winemaking at Deerfield.

An influential wine event, the American Fine Wine Competition & Charity Wine Gala raises money for a variety of nonprofit groups. Its “invitation-only' judging accepts up to 850 of the finest wines nationwide.

Deerfield Ranch Winery
10200 Sonoma Highway
Kenwood, CA 95452
707-833-5215
www.deerfieldranch.com

Media Contact
Shari Gherman, American Fine Wine Competition
561-504-0206
[email protected]

 

DISTILLERIES

Young & Yonder opens Healdsburg tasting room
Sample handcrafted vodka and gin in the new Young & Yonder Spirits tasting room in downtown Healdsburg, in northern Sonoma County.

Sip on fine spirits while learning about the craft behind the final products. Based in Cloverdale (just a few minutes north of Healdsburg), Young & Yonder is a boutique craft distillery specializing in high-quality, small-batch spirits using local ingredients and proprietary recipes for all of its products.

Distillery co-founders John Opatz and Sarah Fiske pride themselves on their experimentation with a wide range of botanicals in their spirits. They consider it their mission, passion, and life's work to create premium, handcrafted spirits that stimulate the senses and satisfy the soul.

Young & Yonder Spirits
449 Allan Court
Healdsburg, CA 95448
707-473-8077
www.youngandyonder.com

Media Contact
Sarah Fiske
650-787-6086
[email protected]

 

BREWERIES, BEER PUBS & BARS

Old Possum Brewing goes hyper local in Santa Rosa
Using locally sourced ingredients, the new Old Possum Brewing Co. offers taproom-only brews and a non-traditional food menu in Santa Rosa, in central Sonoma County.

With Northern California grain from Admiral Maltings in Alameda and Sonoma County meats, veggies, and more, Old Possum works with its neighbors — farmers, ranchers, bakers, butchers, maltsters, and hop growers — to craft more genuine and hyper local products. Old Possum aims to produce 1,500 barrels annually; its beers are served only in the taproom and are not available in any retail locations.

Located in an industrial park just south of Santa Rosa city limits, the 49-seat taproom offers a relaxed and casual atmosphere, and a simple food menu with items like Mac 'n' Cheese Balls, Collards, Bratwurst, and a Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Wine is available by the glass.

Old Possum Brewing
357 Sutton Place
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
707-303-7177
www.oldpossumbrewing.com

Media Contact
Old Possum Brewing
707-303-7177
[email protected]

Local Barrel serves beer, wine, cider, fun
Enjoy local beers, wines, and ciders in a fun, welcoming atmosphere at the new Local Barrel taproom and bottle shop in Santa Rosa, in central Sonoma County.

Choose from more than 20 craft beers on tap, including a selection of great, undiscovered brews — the goal is to offer the most unique beer selection in Sonoma County.

The wine list showcases the best of small Sonoma County wineries, with four reds, three whites, and two varieties of bubbles. Plus, Local Barrel features cider from Golden State Cider Co., a small, organic farm and cidery located about 20 minutes from the pub in the western Sonoma County town of Sebastopol.

The pub displays work by local artists on a rotating basis and offers free live music on Sunday evenings. It also offers occasional beer dinners, featuring beer-and-food pairings, as well as pint nights with guest breweries. They also ship beer and wine.

Local Barrel
490 Mendocino Avenue, Suite 104
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
707-890-5433
www.facebook.com/TheLocalBarrel

Media Contact
Local Barrel
707-890-5433
[email protected]

 

RESTAURANTS & EATERIES

El Gallo Negro debuts in Windsor
Extensively remodeled and with a new menu showcasing authentic dishes of the Mexican state of Oaxaca, the owners of the former El Farolito restaurant have reinvented it as El Gallo Negro in Windsor, in northern Sonoma County.

This family-friendly eatery includes a full bar, with a collection of mescal from the remote villages of Oaxaca; the purest spirits from the agave fields in the town of Tequila and its surroundings in the state of Jalisco; a curated selection of wines; and beers from Mexico and Sonoma County.

House specialties include Mole Oaxaqueño, with a choice of chicken or carnitas (pork) smothered with rich mole sauce made with more than 20 fresh ingredients; Barbacoa (slow-cooked beef with chile guajillo, garlic, and onions); and Molcajete (grilled steak, chicken, and giant prawns sautéed with onions, and served with guacamole, salsa fresca, and chipotle sauce). That's in addition to the expected burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, nachos, and more.

El Gallo Negro
8465 Old Redwood Highway
Windsor, CA 95492
707-838-9511
www.elgallonegrowindsor.com

Media Contact
El Gallo Negro
707-838-9511
[email protected]

Pearl showcases Eastern Mediterranean-inspired cuisine in Petaluma
Experience beautifully prepared foods in a relaxed, unhurried setting at the new Pearl restaurant in Petaluma, in southern Sonoma County.

Tucked away on a cozy corner of downtown, Pearl offers Eastern Mediterranean-inspired food, unique touches, fine details, and old-world charm as a daytime café or for weekend brunch. Pearl is also available as an evening venue for intimate gatherings, private dinners, and special events.

The menu changes frequently, but you can typically choose from small plates like a fluffy Amaranth Waffle, an Israeli breakfast (labneh, za'atar pita, green humus, and fruit compote), or Wood Roasted Cauliflower with an herb marinade and za'atar spice.

Entrées might include a Turkish Frittata with baharat chard, Aleppo pepper, and feta bread; Persian Fish Stew with squid, clams, tamarind fenugreek broth, and a poached egg; a Lamb Burger; or Cassoulet with tarbais beans, Toulouse sausage, duck confit, and poached egg.

Pearl
500 First St.
Petaluma, CA 94952
707-559-5187
pearlpetaluma.com

Media Contact
Pearl
707-559-5187
[email protected]

Della Fattoria expands bakery, café in Petaluma
Renovations are complete and the Della Fattoria bakery and café can now seat up to 80 people in the old U.S Bakery building (circa 1860) in downtown Petaluma, in southern Sonoma County.

Renowned for its delicious artisan breads, Della Fattoria also served locally sourced meats, cheeses, and produce for breakfast and lunch in its café. When the space next door became available, cookbook author and owner Kathleen Weber jumped at the chance to expand.

The remodeling is finished, and the café now serves breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch, and special Friday night dinners (family style, with a prix-fixe menu) at 143 Petaluma Blvd. N. Next door, in addition to bread, pastries, desserts, and coffee, the bakery offers “grab & go' salads, soups, and sandwiches.

Della Fattoria Bakery
139 Petaluma Blvd. N.
Petaluma, CA 94952
707-763-0161
www.dellafattoria.com

Media Contact
Kathleen Weber
707-763-0161
[email protected]

 

LODGING

Relax and stay at Reis River Ranch
Spend the night — or several nights — on a 630-acre working cattle and horse ranch on a farm stay at Reis River Ranch in Petaluma, in southern Sonoma County.

During the day, explore the ranch operations visiting with the chickens, horses, and cows. Watch a cattle-working demonstration, take a ranch tour, go hiking on your own, or take a guided walk. Do some catch-and-release fishing on the Petaluma River, kayak on a ranch pond, or enjoy some amazing bird watching.

The property features peaceful rolling hills, sparkling lakes, forever-wild wetlands, a wildlife natural area, 100- to 200-year-old California heritage oak trees, and summer blackberry picking.

At night, stay in a three-story ranch home with four bedrooms, a full kitchen, and Wi-Fi. Your stay includes an evening local wine tasting with fruit and cheese, and a healthy breakfast in the morning.

Reis River Ranch
4871 Redwood Highway S.
Petaluma, CA 94952
707-781-7437
www.reisranch.com/clinics/farm-stay.html

Media Contact
Reis River Ranch
707-781-7437
[email protected]

 

TOURS

La Belle Vie offers private wine tours and more
Experience Wine Country on a private guided adventure with personal service along the way by the new La Belle Vie Tours, based in the town of Sonoma in eastern Sonoma County.

Plan a perfect day, choosing from visits to family owned boutique wineries, brewery stops, sparkling wine tours, vegan wine tours, wine-infused cupcakes, or other adventures in a region filled with amazing views, gorgeous vineyards, Michelin-rated restaurants, and cozy eateries.

Locally owned and operated, La Belle Vie Tours curates each tour to each group's desires, wine knowledge, and budget. Guests will be picked up in an air-conditioned Mercedes van or SUV at their hotel or other prearranged location.

Bottled water and snacks are included, and guests can pack a picnic, arrange to stop at a restaurant, or have a picnic provided. Tours typically last about five to six hours and can be customized to fit guests' needs.

La Belle Vie Tours
836 Fourth St. E.
Sonoma, CA 95476
707-338-5606
www.labellevietours.com

Media Contact
Michelle Rulmont
707-338-5606
[email protected]

 

SHOPPING

Soft Surroundings adds Santa Rosa location
Dedicated to helping women of all ages look and feel their best, Soft Surroundings brings its brand of apparel, beauty, gift, and home décor products to its first California store in Santa Rosa, in central Sonoma County.

Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Soft Surroundings designs the majority of its fashion and bedding in that city. The apparel is known for globally inspired designs and extremely soft fabrics. The beauty area offers easy-to-navigate one-stop-shopping for skincare and makeup, with complimentary consultations and makeovers a well as regular beauty events.

The goal is to remind busy women to put themselves at the top of their “to do' list, by soothing themselves with soft, comforting clothes and fine linens. Their philosophy is that putting themselves first, women can take better care of friends and family, and live a happier, more fulfilling life.

Soft Surroundings
Montgomery Village
720 Farmers Lane
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
707-710-7638
www.softsurroundings.com

Media Contact
Jim Manno, public relations manager
314-812-6180
[email protected]

Zizi casual clothing opens Santa Rosa store
After several years providing creative casual clothing for women in Healdsburg, Zizi has expanded, adding a store in Santa Rosa, in central Sonoma County.

The stores feature apparel by Lil P, Cut Loose, Margaret O'Leary, Johnny Was, Pete, Three Dots, REWS, Prairie U., Porto, XCVI, and more, with jewelry by Zina Kao, Ayala Bar, and Audrey Daniels.

The new store is in Santa Rosa's Montgomery Village, an open-air lifestyle shopping center presenting local, regional, and national retailers in a setting with beautiful landscaping and innovative “Town and Country' architecture.

Zizi Santa Rosa
2409 Magowan Drive
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
707-521-9037
www.zizihealdsburg.com

Media Contact
Zizi Healdsburg
707-431-2209
[email protected]

# # #

Find your passion in Sonoma County, located only 30 miles north of San Francisco and featuring more than 425 wineries, 100-plus organic farms, and 50 miles of stunning Pacific Ocean coastline.

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.

Birgitt Vaughan
Public Relations Manager
Sonoma County Tourism
400 Aviation Blvd., Suite 500
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
707-522-5826
[email protected]

EDITORS: To request high-resolution photos to go with your Sonoma County article, please fill out the request form, www.sonomacounty.com/media/media-photo-request.