SONOMA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA — The gently rolling hills are covered with green, and bright yellow blossoms of mustard fill the meadows and vineyards in Sonoma County. Winter is here, mild and beautiful, and filled with the region’s year-round bounty and abundance.
Plans are underway for a new vintage car race, a unique museum has a new home, a winery offers an exclusive cave tasting, and multiple new restaurants and eateries serve up local delights.
Here’s a quick overview of what’s new in Sonoma County in February 2019.
Sonoma Speed Festival debuts at Sonoma Raceway, May 30-June 2
Relive the golden days of car racing with an extraordinary group of historic vintage vehicles at the inaugural Sonoma Speed Festival May 30 to June 2, 2019, at Sonoma Raceway, in eastern Sonoma County.
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the track formerly known as Sears Point with flat-out wheel-to-wheel racing around the sweeping hills and curves of this classic Wine Country circuit. The layout allows viewers to observe almost the entire racetrack from several scenic vantage points. Each car is accepted to participate based on its authenticity, race provenance, and historical accuracy.
Racing cars from the Brass Era through current day machines, vintage dragsters, concepts, prototypes, and other special displays will be on hand all weekend long. Historic and cultural exhibits in the paddock will showcase an “evolution in speed.” Food, wine, beer, and coffee options from spectacular local restaurants will be available in the food park.
Sonoma Speed Festival
29355 Arnold Drive
Highways 121 & 37
Sonoma, CA 95476
Hand Fan Museum relocates within Healdsburg
The unique collection at the Hand Fan Museum has moved about one block to a new location just steps off the historic Healdsburg Plaza, in northern Sonoma County.
Every society has used a hand fan of some sort, from palm fronds or feathers to hand-painted or jewel-encrusted works of art. Fans were used in fashion, religion, battle, and ceremony. They tell the stories and histories of the cultures and individuals who used them.
Displaying both a permanent collection and a rotating exhibit, the museum and store is the first nationwide dedicated solely to hand fans. Admission is free, donations are welcome, and some fans are available for sale.
Hand Fan Museum
309 Healdsburg Ave.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Hand Fan Museum
Kunde Family Winery adds cave tasting
Enjoy an exclusive, intimate seated tasting experience in the aging caves at Kunde Family Winery in Kenwood, in eastern Sonoma County.
Tunneled through 5-million-year-old volcanic rock, the caves are tucked into a steep hillside just behind the winery. More than 32,000 square feet of authentic, working, wine-aging caves burrow 175 feet into the earth, filled with a deep perfume of aging wine and oak barrels.
Led by Kunde’s wine educators and offered twice weekly through March, the new 90-minute Cave Tasting includes a barrel sampling along with an in-depth tasting exploring Kunde wines. Learn about Kunde’s winemaking philosophy while tasting its exclusive and reserve tier wines. Reservations required.
For more than a century, five generations of the Kunde family have farmed their 1,850-acre estate, where they craft elegant, estate-grown, sustainably farmed wines with a sense of place. Free guided tours of the aging caves are offered daily (reservations required for groups of more than 10 people).
Kunde Family Winery
9825 Sonoma Highway 12
Kenwood, CA 95452
RESTAURANTS & EATERIES
Fern Bar debuts at The Barlow
Raise a glass and lift your spirits in the airy, plant-filled space that is the new Fern Bar, a bar-focused restaurant in The Barlow center in Sebastopol in western Sonoma County.
The menu of shareable small plates includes items like chicken liver mousse with winter squash, apple cider, and pistachio; bone marrow with watercress aioli, parmesan, veal reduction, masa cakes, and garlic confit; and fry bread with rabbit, chile, cotija, and Mexican herbs.
However, the main focus is on the house-made beer and spirit-free elixirs, locally sourced and small-production wines, and innovative garden-to-glass cocktails. The Whiskey For Breakfast cocktail includes Brown Butter bourbon, lemon, aged balsamic, maple syrup, and bacon.
Grandpa’s Coffee features whiskey infused with Retrograde coffee, Fern Bar nocino, Amaro Montenegro, and orange bitters. The Moscow Mule is made with Charbay vodka, local apple cider, rosemary, house-made ginger beer, and Angostura bitters, with the rosemary charred with a torch just before the drink is served, for a savory, rich aroma.
Live music is offered nightly. The Fern Bar is the creation of Lowell Sheldon and Natalie Goble, owners of two other successful Sebastopol restaurants, Handline and Lowell’s. Much of the Fern Bar’s produce comes from the duo’s nearby Two Belly Acre farm.
6780 Depot Street, Suite 120
Sebastopol, CA 95472
The Farmers Wife sets up shop in The Barlow
After 10 years of selling spectacular sandwiches at farmers markets and festivals, The Farmer’s Wife has found a home in The Barlow, a 12.5-acre culinary and arts center in Sebastopol, in Western Sonoma County.
With her crusty, delicious melts, owner Kendra Kolling has earned a loyal following for her popular farmers market stand at the Ferry Building in San Francisco and events around the region. A San Francisco food writer once claimed Kolling makes one of the best sandwiches in the Bay Area.
Kolling is now settled happily into her cozy new brick-and-mortar storefront, where she uses fresh, locally sourced, organic ingredients to craft a seasonal menu of intricately layered sandwiches, open-faced tartines, soups, salads, and cookies, as well as an all-day breakfast menu.
Food is also available for pickup; call to hear menu updates and daily specials. The Farmers Wife is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, with counter service and outdoor patio seating only.
The Farmers Wife
6760 McKinley St., #120
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Criminal Baking Co. moves to larger space
The creatively designed desserts and savory eats crafted by Criminal Baking Co. & Noshery are now being served in its new, larger location in the West End Historic District of Santa Rosa, in central Sonoma County.
In addition to an enticing variety of delicious pastries and desserts (including some that are vegan or gluten-free), the rotating seasonal breakfast and lunch menu includes house-made granola, waffles, sandwiches, soups, fresh salads, quiche, frittata, specials of the day, local coffee from Black Oak Roasters, a selection of black, green, and herbal teas, and house-made spritzers and syrups.
Criminal Baking Co & Noshery
808 Donahue St.
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Criminal Baking Co. & Noshery
Baked on the River brings delectable goodies to Guerneville
Enjoy breakfast or lunch at the new Baked on the River bake shop located on the Russian River in Guerneville, in western Sonoma County.
Baked on the River features fresh baked goods like cinnamon rolls, muffins, custard cardamom rolls, and apricot-vanilla custard cake, as well as soups, salads, cheese plates, espresso drinks, beer, and wine. The cozy, casual shop is the creation of chef Helena Gustavsson-Giesea of Helena’s Kitchen catering. Open 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday-Monday.
Baked on the River
17071 Highway 116
Guerneville, CA 95446
Noble Folk Ice Cream & Pie adds Santa Rosa store
Good news for pie and ice cream lovers: the folks behind Noble Folk Ice Cream & Pie Bar, known for their incredibly delicious house-made ice creams and pies, recently opened a second location in Santa Rosa, in central Sonoma County.
Sonoma County natives Ozvaldo Jimenez and Christian Sullberg opened Moustache Baked Goods in 2011, followed by Noble Folk Ice Cream and Pie in 2014, both in Healdsburg in northern Sonoma County. Their newest location is in Courthouse Square in downtown Santa Rosa.
Their small-batch ice cream is made in Healdsburg, using local ingredients. The style and taste come from the duo’s Scandinavian origins, with a strong Japanese influence. Sample flavors include almond matcha, Thai tea, and black sesame coconut; vegan options are available.
The pies are baked fresh every single day, and are entirely handmade, from crust to filling, with absolutely no preservatives or artificial flavors. The pie flavors rotate every few months to match the seasonality of what local farmers produce. Sample pie flavors include blood orange raspberry custard, strawberry blueberry ginger, and chocolate maple walnut.
Noble Folk Ice Cream & Pie Bar
568 Fourth St.
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Noble Folk Ice Cream & Pie Bar
KS Tian Yuen adds 2nd restaurant in Windsor
Enjoy dim sum and more at the newest location of KS Tian Yuen Asian Cuisine in Windsor, in central Sonoma County.
Owners Ming Cheng Kuo and Mei Jung Shih learned to know the flavors and fragrances of diverse Asian cuisines in their native Taiwan, the crossroads of many cultures. They opened their first KS Tian Yuen restaurant in Cloverdale in 2007 and have now expanded to Windsor.
They offer a diverse menu of fresh, healthy food in a blend of Wine Country and Asian ambiance. The Dim Sum menu in Windsor includes scallion pancakes, shrimp dumplings, chicken feet, special steamed dumplings, and more. They also offer clay pot dishes, salads, soups, and entrées like three cups chicken (san bei ji), Mongolian beef, pork spareribs, and kung pao squid.
KS Tian Yuen Restaurant
610 McClelland Drive
Windsor, CA 95492
KS Tian Yuen Restaurant Windsor
Tips Roadside adds monthly crawfish boil
Taste a bit of Louisiana in Sonoma County, at the new Crawfish Boil held the third Wednesday of each month at Tips Roadside in Kenwood, at the northern end of Sonoma Valley.
The New Orleans-style crawfish boil includes all-you-can-eat crawfish, peel-and-eat shrimp, Andouille sausage, corn on the cob, potatoes, and all the fixings, with beignets for dessert. The cost is $39 per person, with $4 draft beers and $20 beer pitchers.
Opened in summer 2018, Tips Roadside features farm-to-fork Wine Country comfort food inspired by southern cuisine. The family-friendly restaurant is the work of Andrew and Susie Pryfogle, who also own the two Tri Tip Trolleys that have been serving delicious tri tip sandwiches and other goodies at Sonoma County farmers markets and events since 2009.
8445 Sonoma Highway
Kenwood, CA 95452
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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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