The blooming flowers and bustling life of Spring make Sonoma County ripe for exploring. April is also Wine Month in Sonoma County and Earth Month. As the most sustainable wine region, discover new wines and special offerings in more than 425 wineries and over 60 varietals.

We partnered with health experts to shed light on the science of why wellbeing experiences and practices, along with setting intentions ahead of traveling, are critical for restorative and rejuvenating travel. The result is unique, science-based Sonoma County travel itineraries for those looking to uncover a fresh sense of adventure and return home truly relaxed and restored. With our stunning open spaces, wilderness and over 50 miles of rugged coastline, Sonoma County serves as the ideal background.

There’s no better time to take full advantage of your stay with our special Third Night Free promotion. With so much to eat, drink, and experience, an extra night in Sonoma County means countless extra memories to be made. Treat yourself to a well-deserved extended stay and see how life opens up for you.

Stewardship Milestones

Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport (STS) 100% solar powered

SCT partnered with ForeFront Power to develop a solar parking canopy comprising 2,010 solar modules that generate enough renewable electricity to offset 100% of the Airport’s annual electrical demand. The solar PV system will also provide valuable shade for vehicles in the parking lot. The Airport can store any excess energy produced by the system during periods of extended sunshine and tap these banked excess energy credits at night or on cloudy days, or whenever daily electricity demand exceeds the production by its solar energy system.

Jordan Winery Social Impact Summer Dinners

Celebrate with Jordan Winery as they commemorate the 10th anniversary of the John Jordan Foundation and the 50th anniversary of Jordan Winery with Social Impact Summer. Each of the four celebrations will highlight the heartfelt stories of local organizations and their lasting impact: Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Council of Aging, 10,000 Degrees, and Soi Dog Foundation. As always, proceeds from Jordan Winery event tickets and wine sales fund the John Jordan Foundation, which works to fight the negative effects of poverty through investments in education, health, and humanitarian causes.

Events and Specials – back on

Sip, savor and sightsee through Sonoma County with beloved local festivals and events – many of which are returning after a two-year hiatus. Epicurean events celebrating the region’s top farmers, growers, winemakers, and chefs include Blossom, Bees & Barnyard Babies (April30 – May 1),  the inaugural Healdsburg Wine & Food Experience (May 20-22) as well as annual North Coast Wine and Food Festival (June 18) and Taste of Sonoma (June 25). Visitors can also hone their palates at the Artisan Cheese Festival (May 7) featuring California’s award-winning artisan cheesemakers, and Beerfest – The Good One (June 11) offering craft brews, ciders, and more from more than 60 regional breweries.

Music fans are kicking off the season with live intimate performances at the vineyards at Gundlach Bundschu, California’s oldest family-owned winery, who will be hosting Huichica Music Festival from June 10 to 11. Northern California’s biggest Country Summer Music Festival returns to Santa Rosa June 17-19 and highlights more than 20 performers comprised of top artists and rising stars on two stages, while Rodney Strong brings back its 30th Annual Summer Concert Series on the Rodney Strong Vineyards Concert Green featuring a line-up of local favorites. And for a truly bespoke experience, check out the fun-for-all-ages 30th Annual Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic (June 4-5) which returns after two-years and features tethered balloon rides, food, drinks, live music, and entertainment.
 

New Restaurants

Easy Rider, Petaluma

Marin resident Dustin Sullivan and chef Jared Rogers, co-owners of Guesthouse in Kentfield, have ventured north to introduce a Southern-inspired menu to Sonoma County. Easy Rider is a contemporary Southern restaurant & cocktail bar embracing the bounty of Sonoma County, on the corner of Kentucky and Washington in downtown Petaluma.

The Branch Line, Santa Rosa

The Pharmacy Cafe owner, Kim Bourdet, opened a new plant-based restaurant and mercantile in the former Flying Goat Coffee space in Railroad Square. No meat or dairy food will be available at the restaurant. Instead, it will make its own nut-based milks and vegan “cheeses” and focus on local produce.

Wooden Petal Bakery, Santa Rosa

Starting in 2020 as a pop-up pretzel business, the bakery found forever home. The menu includes daily bread specials, braided sesame pretzel loaf, and homemade dips that can be ordered online and picked up at the bakery. The Kids Party Box includes “unicorn-style” (meaning with sprinkles) glazed pretzels, while the Salty Sweet Box stars cinnamon sugar and sea salt pretzels.

Lo and Behold, Healdsburg

Duke’s founders Laura Sanfilippo and Tara Heffernon have partnered with Chef Sean Raymond Kelley for a small-plates and cocktails lounge that range from the World’s best Vodka Soda to spirit free Guave-Cucumber Cooler. Seating options include a lush garden patio, cozy lounge, and a bar and dining room.

Maison Healdsburg, Healdsburg

Sommelier owned and operated by former SingleThread alums, this wine bar will prominently feature coastal CA wines, Burgundy, and Champagne, in addition to craft sake and beer. Numerous, weekly classes on a variety of rotating topics for novice drinkers and industry experts are planned. Opening soon.

Troubadour, Healdsburg

They did it again. Another former SingleThread alums, Melissa Yanc and Sean McGaughey of Quail & Condor in Healdsburg have opened a sandwich shop. Naturally fermented bread meets California-inspired and local-sourced ingredients.

Animo, Sonoma

New York’s, Mu Ramen owners, Josh Smookler and Heidi Hu are bringing Basque-Korean-inspired wood-fired fish, pork and beef to Sonoma County. Smookler expects to offer four or five fish dishes, three special cuts of Iberian pork and five cuts of beef, all while sneaking in Korean flavors with Basque.

Magdelena’s Savories and Sweets, Petaluma

A family-run business that offers locally sourced vegetarian eats. They specialize in hand-crafted Cinnamon Rolls, focaccia Pizza, and other, grab-and-go, delectable treats. Magdelena’s also offers a percentage of its monthly proceeds to community nonprofits.

Sol Food, Petaluma

The wildly popular San Rafael-based Puerto Rican restaurant has made its way to Sonoma County!

Soon-to-open Restaurants

Sonoma Pizza Co., Forestville

After last year’s popular pop-up pizza parties in the parking lot of their planned Forestville restaurant, this pizzeria, mercantile and wine bar is slated for a spring opening. Made with locally sourced produce, meats, flour, cheeses, wines & beers these hand-crafted pizzas come in multiple styles, including wood-fired Neapolitan, New York, Roman, Detroit, and even Sonoma style.

The Madrona Restaurant, Healdsburg

Long-time Executive Chef Jesse Mallgren’s unique perspective reflects the season and region, while drawing inspiration from global destinations to highlight the natural beauty of his ingredients using inventive cocktails, rare spirits, and an eclectic wine list. Opening date: April 22.

Little Saint, Healdsburg

From the owners of SingleThread Restaurant and Farm, comes a plant-based restaurant and café located inside the 10,000-square-foot space that previously housed SHED. Located in the heart of historic downtown Healdsburg, Little Saint is a farm-forward gathering place where food, music, art and conversations are good for the soul, the earth and our community. Opening date: April 22.

Canneti Roadhouse, Forestville

The Wisteria Lounge will open in June with an outdoor bar and grill. Tuscan and local wines, beers and a dedicated sparkling wine list that includes many local ‘hard to find’ sparkling, champagne and prosecco, and few rare Italian sparkling reds will be accompanied by small bites.

Oyster, Sebastopol

Chef Jake Rand will expand his footprint at the Barlow this summer by opening a new establishment just a few feet from his popular Japanese restaurant, Sushi Kosho. The focus at Rand’s new restaurant will be on sparkling wines from around the world, oysters and a curated seafood and shellfish menu, including moules-frites, scallops a la plancha and fried oyster po’ boys.

The Livery, Sebastopol

The Livery will curate the best of the area’s eat, drink and experiences in one multi-faceted location. The Livery is also home to the Farm to Coast Collective, a public benefit corporation with a mission to socially and economically empower local small businesses and create community gathering spaces that support local farmers, chefs, artists, performers and makers. Opening this fall.

Cyrus Restaurant, Geyserville

Top Chef Masters’ winner and Cyrus restaurant owner Douglas Keane is expected to open Cyrus this Fall. The multi-step experience will include a state-of-the-art kitchen, a bubble lounge with small bites, a formal dining room, and a large wine cellar.

New in Drinks

Brooks Note Winery, Petaluma

Founded in 2012, owner-operators Garry Brooks and Joanne (Note) Brooks is opening their first tasting room in downtown Petaluma. Brooks left a career in IT business management to pursue winemaking in 2004. His Pinot Noir passion turned Brooks to work with Kosta Browne and Dutton Goldfield. The airy, modern industrial space is home to the winery’s production facilities and offers casual wine tasting and wines by the glass.

Jolie-Laide, Healdsburg

The brand behind the foot-crushed, wild yeast fermented and neutral oak-aged wines from West Sonoma County, has moved in with fellow vintners Idlewild and Ruth Lewandowski in Healdsburg. These wines are famously difficult to procure — sold directly to the Jolie-Laide mailing list and a small roster of retailers and restaurants — but the lineup, featuring French varietals like Trousseau Gris, Gamay and Melon de Bourgogne, can now be tasted (by appointment) in person alongside French cheeses and charcuterie at Idlewild’s home on Healdsburg Plaza.

Story Wine Cellars, Healdsburg

Beloved wine brand (and its dog) finds a new home in Healdsburg. The true star of the Kickstarter-born Smith might be Lord Sandwich, founders Ali and Eric Story’s Instagram-famous Goldendoodle — 72,500 followers and counting — but the wines have generated just as much fanfare. They’ll now be more accessible as Smith Story has moved from Anderson Valley to open a tasting room at Mediterranean-inspired Healdsburg wine collective Bacchus Landing. Book a tasting to sample Smith Story’s Pinots, Sonoma Cabernet and even a red blend named after the pup, all sourced from sustainably tended vineyards.

The Setting Wines, Healdsburg

The Setting Wines has joined the Bacchus Landing tasting collective, set 1 mile from the Healdsburg Plaza and home to six other boutique wine brands. Specializing in high-end Cabernets from primo sites throughout Napa and Sonoma, the Setting is a project from three friends, including winemaker Jesse Katz, from Aperture Cellars. Two of the flights consist of a vertical of a single wine, enabling guests to discover how one wine can evolve over four consecutive vintages. Bacchus Landing also recently launched two new events series: Visitors can enjoy live music every Saturday and local food trucks every Sunday.

New App

California Cheese Trail Passport App

In partnership with the new BabbleBuy app, the California Cheese Trail’s new ‘passport’ program begins with 14 participating artisan cheesemakers in Marin & Sonoma counties. Soon, they’ll expand to cheesemakers state-wide.

Like many small businesses, cheesemakers have been pummeled by Covid-era shutdowns – from lost wholesale business due to restaurant closures, to the vast reduction in tourism and retail foot traffic.

The Adventure app is a free resource connecting artisan cheese lovers with cheesemakers, offering a fun way to discover great cheese, social share experiences, and even win some cheesy discounts & prizes.

New in Arts/Culture/Fitness

28 Foot Bear Sculpture Installed along Sonoma Highway

Ken Wilson has commissioned a third sculpture from local artist Bryan Tedrick. The 28’ tall grizzly bear makes its home in Sonoma Valley–the location of the Bear Flag Revolt of 1846, with the grizzly bear itself a symbolic icon of both Sonoma Valley and California. Fabricated in steel, the 15-ton bear sculpture will be installed at St. Anne’s Crossing Winery in Kenwood, taking its place among the largest sculptures in Sonoma County.

Session Climbing & Fitness Center

Big-wall climber Kevin Jorgeson’s new Santa Rosa gym Session, has 50-foot walls and a soaring mezzanine space for yoga and fitness classes. The 23,500-square-foot climbing and fitness emporium, located a mile south of Santa Rosa’s Courthouse Square, launches this May.

Visitors are encouraged to check out What to Expect When Visiting Sonoma County for travel safety information.

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About Sonoma County Tourism
Sonoma County Tourism is the region’s official Destination Stewardship Organization. Through a multi-channel sales and marketing program, the organization promotes Sonoma County as a global visitor and meetings destination, where diversity thrives, and everyone is welcome. Leveraging the region’s unmatched assets, wine, culinary, wellness and sustainability continue to define its character. Pre-pandemic, tourism generated $2.3 Billion in visitor spending, $194 Million in tax revenue and employed more than 23,000 Sonoma Countians. Post-pandemic, SCT will work with partner businesses to rebuild the tourism economy, regain critical revenue and re-establish a vibrant workforce. For more information, visit www.sonomacounty.com

Media contact:

Birgitt Vaughan, Director of Public Relations
[email protected]

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