SONOMA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA — Whether you’re exploring the newest (and largest) regional park, sampling the delights at the latest eatery or wine tasting room, or selecting the perfect holiday gift box, you can create unique and lasting holiday memories in Sonoma County, California, where Life Opens Up. Here’s a quick overview of what’s new in Sonoma County in November 2018.
Tolay Lake Regional Park open to the public
After years of limited public access only on weekends, Sonoma County’s largest regional park is now open to all, daily.
Located southeast of the town of Petaluma, the 3,400-acre Tolay Lake Regional Park is a truly unique setting. The park includes much of the Tolay Creek watershed and provides habitat for a variety of animals and birds, especially raptors. It currently features 11 miles of trails crossing rolling grasslands and open ridges, which offer views of San Pablo Bay, the San Francisco skyline, and Bay Area peaks.
The park is named for the 200-acre seasonal lake that forms in the valley between its ridges – the largest natural freshwater lake in Sonoma County. Tolay was a spiritual center for the local Coast Miwok tribes as well as Native Americans from throughout California, making it one of the most significant Native American cultural areas in California, according to park planners.
The park was created as collaboration between Sonoma County Regional Parks, the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, Sonoma County Agricultural and Open Space District, and Sonoma Land Trust. The plan is to create a total of 30 miles of trails, hike-in campsites, a visitor center and bunkhouse, outdoor classrooms, equestrian amenities, and new picnic areas, restrooms, and parking.
Tolay Lake Regional Park
5869 Cannon Lane
Petaluma, CA 94954
Meda Freeman, Communications Manager
New holiday gift boxes showcase Sonoma County
Several Sonoma County businesses are highlighting the region’s bounty and abundance by crafting unique new holiday gift boxes.
This year, Sonoma Love Box partnered with Sonoma County Farm Trails to offer the Farm Trails Holiday Edition Sonoma Love Box – carefully curated gift boxes of locally made specialty goods for everyday use, with a little luxury tossed in for good measure. Designed to give a sense of place unique to Sonoma County, these limited-edition boxes (only 100 are being made) feature products created by members of Sonoma County Farm Trails. ($84.95, at sonomalovebox.com)
Give the gift of wellness with a gift box from Bounty + Bloom. These curated, artisanal wellness gifts, handcrafted by Sonoma County herbalists, are available seasonally. Using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, the team strives to connect people to their health, to each other, and to the land. ($85 at www.bountyandbloom.com)
And Red Car Wine created its first-ever Holiday Gift Guide, both in print and as an online catalog. Its wine gift boxes include cool-climate and limited-production Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah in two- or three-packs, plus handcrafted Rewined candles made from repurposed wine bottles, a Cards Against Humanity card game, or special Red Car Holiday Blend coffee from Oakland’s AKA coffee and mugs imprinted with the winery’s logo. (redcarwine.com/news/redcar-holiday-gift-guide-2018, [email protected], 707-829-8500)
Of course, this is just a sampling of Sonoma County’s rich abundance for holiday gift giving. For more ideas, visit sonomacounty.com/take-sonoma-home.
Sonoma County Tourism
400 Aviation Blvd., Suite 500
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Tina Luster, Communications Manager
Cloverdale follows its own Sculpture Trail
After several years collaborating on a sculpture trail with the nearby town of Geyserville, the northern Sonoma County town of Cloverdale is now organizing its own juried display of outdoor artwork, complete with an audio, self-guided walking tour app.
Geyserville is finalizing its plans for continuing sculpture exhibits in Geyserville. By mutual agreement, the two communities will work separately, yet will continue to collaborate and support each other.
Cloverdale has been displaying art in its downtown area since a major revamp of its central business district in 2003. Produced by the Cloverdale Historical Society, this year’s Cloverdale Sculpture Trail features 12 new sculptures selected by a jury, with awards for Best of Show, Honorable Mention, and People’s Choice.
An audio, self-guided tour by Octocast includes an interactive map of the Cloverdale Sculpture Trail, with descriptions and directions for wherever you are. Press play and listen to the artist talking about the sculpture you are looking at. To enjoy the audio guide, download the free Otocast app through Google Play or the Apple App Store.
Cloverdale Sculpture Trail
Joyce Mann, Cloverdale Sculpture Trail Coordinator
Sbragia Family Vineyards adds Sonoma tasting lounge
There are now two tasting rooms for Sbragia Family Vineyards, the original at its winery on Dry Creek Road in Geyersville in northern Sonoma County and its new tasting lounge in the town of Sonoma, on the eastern edge of Sonoma County.
The Sbragia family has been farming in the Dry Creek Valley since 1904, first with prune orchards and then switching to vineyards starting in the 1950s. Honoring a promise to his father, who made wine at home, Ed Sbragia founded Sbragia Family Vineyards after 32 years as winemaker at Beringer Vineyard in the Napa Valley. Ed’s son Adam now serves as winemaker at Sbragia Family Vineyards, producing wines that are intensely personal, and an expression of single-vineyard terroir and the history that runs through it all.
The new tasting lounge on the historic Sonoma Plaza offers a variety of experiences, including Family Favorites and a surprise Blind Flight. The lounge hosts events like weekday Vinyl Happy Hours, Wine Club parties, and monthly trivia nights. You can snack on freshly baked focaccia bread crafted by the estate chef, or preorder lunch from select local eateries to enjoy during your visit.
Sbragia Family Vineyards Sonoma Tasting Lounge
Sonoma, CA 95476
Scarlett Heffernan, Marketing Coordinator
New Coppola wine label links to rare videos about ‘Apocalypse Now’
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the film Apocalypse Now in 2019, Francis Ford Coppola Winery is releasing its collector’s edition 2015 Apocalypse Now Red Blend with innovative technology in the label.
Scanning the wine label with a mobile device unlocks a series of rare videos about the making of Apocalypse Now. The clips feature commentary by director Coppola and give unique insight into the grueling process of creating the iconic 1979 film. Each additional scan of the label reveals a total of four videos, including a deleted scene from the movie.
Created from a blend composed of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Malbec, the 2015 Apocalypse Now Red Blend offers intriguing wine with notes of pepper and toasted wood. Iconic artist Laurent Durieux designed the label. Located in Geyserville, in Sonoma County, the Francis Ford Coppola Winery is part of The Family Coppola company.
Francis Ford Coppola Winery
300 Via Archimedes
Geyserville, CA 95441
Kristin Thwaites, Communications Director
Golden State Cider announces new leadership team members
A new executive team is spearheading the ongoing expansion and growth at Golden State Cider, a pioneering, apple-driven dry cider maker in Sonoma County.
In 2018 GSC experienced sales growth of more than 65 percent, and in the next six months the company will be unveiling an online retail shop, opening its first tasting room (at The Barlow in Sebastopol), and installing high-speed canning machinery at its new cider production facility in Healdsburg. The three new executive team members come from some of the most influential brands in the beverage industry.
Promoted to chief executive officer, Chris Lacey was formerly GSC’s vice president of sales and marketing. He came to GSC with more than 13 years of experience in sales, marketing, and business development for wine, beer, and spirits. Gary Fleshman joins Golden State Cider as director of sales after 11 years at Rogue Ales, where he was director of international sales and marketing. And Natalie Naber joins GSC’s executive team as director of human resources and accounting from her previous position as GSC’s accounting and human resources manager. These three team members join Tim Godfrey, GSC’s head cider maker and director of production on the company’s new executive team.
Founded in 2012 by Hunter Wade and Jolie Devoto-Wade, the company uses post-modern cider-making techniques with 100 percent fresh-pressed apples and champagne yeast. GSC ciders are all vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and made with no concentrates.
Golden State Cider
P.O. Box 117
Sebastopol, CA 95473
Golden State Cider
RESTAURANTS & EATERIES
Urban Pizza features hand-tossed pizza
Dennis Milano brings 40 years of pizza-making experience to his new family-run Urban Pizza in downtown Santa Rosa, in central Sonoma County.
After a 34-year run as Milano’s Pizzeria in San Francisco, the family recently opened this small take-out and delivery restaurant featuring pizzas, piadinas (light and tasty Italian flatbread sandwiches), and salads. Everything is kept simple but delicious, with quality ingredients like whole milk mozzarella, homemade dough and sauces, and fresh produce.
Hand-tossing pizza is an art form that stretches the dough to the proper size while creating a thick crust around the edges. This manages the moisture so the dough comes out slightly drier outside and moist inside.
The Urban Combo signature pizza includes red sauce, mozzarella, salami, sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, onion and bell pepper. The Thai One On is topped with garlic, mozzarella, chicken breast, carrots, bell pepper, onion, and fresh cilantro with peanut sauce and a drizzle of sweet chili sauce, while the True Greek features red sauce, mozzarella, bell pepper, onion, black olive, and a sprinkle of oregano, plus cold feta, tomato, and cucumber.
500 Mission Blvd., Suite B
Santa Rosa, CA 95409
Sushi Koshō brings Japan to The Barlow
The emphasis is on food, local ingredients, and sustainability at Sushi Koshō, at modern Japanese and sushi restaurant at The Barlow in Sebastopol, in western Sonoma County.
Chef Jake Rand brings 20 years of experience to this new venture. He has traveled to many of the famous markets in Japan, gaining a vast knowledge of selecting top ingredients and the freshest fish.
The restaurant is named for a condiment commonly found in Japanese cuisine, Yuzu Koshō. Known for its spicy, acidic, and balanced nature, Yuzu Koshō appears throughout the menu in a variety of forms, including Meyer lemon, grapefruit, and Satsuma orange Koshō.
Choose from 12 seats around the sushi bar, where you can interact with the chef, or tables from groups of two to four people (and larger parties can be accommodated). In addition to sushi, the menu offers a variety of classic Japanese comfort food, including Okonomiyaki (omelet-like pancakes) and Wagyu beef short ribs with dry roasted baby vegetables, as well as items like Salmon Tartar Tacos (on a crispy wonton shell).
6750 McKinley St.
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Jake Rand, chef
Mint and Liberty offers modern twist on classic diner food
Celebrating freshness and choice, the new Mint and Liberty diner presents a Sonoma approach to regional American cuisine in the town of Sonoma, in eastern Sonoma County.
According to owners James and Mila Chanamè-Hahn, “mint” in the restaurant’s name represents freshness and farm-to-table ingredients, while “liberty” is for freedom of choice, where you can choose a sprouted lentil salad, or pork belly and Kim chi on top of your hamburger.
The menu by chef Michael Siegel includes items like braised Rancho Gordo beans with smoked mushrooms and kale (the vegan option skips the bacon), and an open-faced “ThanksGiving” turkey sandwich with creamy mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce. The San Francisco-style Cioppino (seafood stew) features crab, clams, mussels, and shrimp, and can feed a family of four (or perhaps two really hungry people).
Open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Mint and Liberty showcases fresh and local produce from Lola Sonoma Farms, Bee-Well Farms, and Sweetwater Farms. The Chanamè-Hahns also own two other Sonoma businesses, the Sunflower Caffé and the Honey and the Moon bakery.
Mint and Liberty
19101 Highway 12
Sonoma, CA 95476
Bay-ti offers modern rustic living with Moroccan style
Discover exclusive handmade and one-of-a-kind artifacts and home décor pieces at the new Bay-ti store in the historic downtown district of Petaluma, in southern Sonoma County.
“Bay-ti” means “my home” in Arabic, and the store offers modern rustic living at its finest, inspired by Moroccan design and architecture, which is known for its luxurious color and line, texture, and drama.
Beautifully curated by owner and Petaluma resident Rachid Ameziane Hassain, everything at Bay-ti celebrates Moroccan Berber and Tuareg ancient traditions. Pieces range from traditional Moroccan tabletops, poufs, and rugs, to large historical doors, couches, and art, as well as bed throws, jewelry, modern tabletop pieces, and up-cycled, reclaimed tables and lighting designed and made by Hassain. Bay-ti is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
1 Fourth St.
Petaluma, CA 94952
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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.
Public Relations Director
Sonoma County Tourism
400 Aviation Blvd., Suite 500
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
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