What's New Fall 2022

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WHAT’S NEW IN SONOMA COUNTY FALL 2022

Sonoma County, CA (September 1, 2022) During glorious late summer and early fall in Sonoma County, art comes alive and culinary delights take center stage. From the first glimmer of dawn to the slow swirl of an evening Pinot Noir, harvest season invites you to savor the bounty of our beautiful destination where life opens up. Here’s what’s new in Sonoma County in Fall 2022:

Recent Sonoma County Accolades

  • The San Francisco World Spirits Competition, featuring entries from around the globe, awarded Petaluma-based Barber Lee Spirits Absinthe Blanche “Best of Class” at its 2022 awards gala held at the Ritz Carlton San Francisco in June.
  • Healdsburg’s SingleThread Farm Restaurant & Inn was the only California restaurant to make this year’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list at a live announcement ceremony held in London in July.
  • Windsor’s Bricoleur Vineyards was a winner in the 2022 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest for Best New Winery in America in August.
  • Sonoma County Tourism was the winner of the U.S. Travel Association’s 2022 Destiny Award, taking top honors in the digital marketing campaign category at the annual ESTO (Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations) conference, which took place August 6-9 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Awards were presented for excellence in local and regional destination marketing and inspiring visitation, a critical component to the continued recovery of the travel industry.
  • Sonoma County Tourism won the PRism Award for Media Relations - Consumer Products and Services for “Life Opens Up” in Sonoma County: Immersive Press Trip and another PRism Award for Integrated Communications: Reawakening the Spirit of Travel in Sonoma County. PRism Awards honor exceptional public relations activities from a diverse mix of businesses, industries, and backgrounds.  
  • Sonoma County Tourism was a finalist for the prestigious Visit California 2022 Poppy Award for Best Public Relations Campaign. The award considers what destination puts storytelling front and center and supports marketing initiatives with invaluable earned media. The category recognizes the best use of earned media and media activations to draw attention to destinations, businesses, and special events. Fellow California destination nominees included Travel Paso and Visit Eureka.
  • Sonoma County Tourism took home two 2022 Silver Adrian Awards – for Digital Marketing: as well as for the organization’s Recovery Campaign. The Adrian Awards, presented by Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), recognizes excellence in travel marketing, including advertising, digital, public relations/communications, and integrated campaigns. 

New in Airline Service

Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport (STS) will add a desert destination to the markets it serves this fall. On Nov. 11, Avelo Airlines will launch nonstop flights between the STS and Palm Springs. The flights will operate twice weekly, on Fridays and Mondays. Palm Springs will become the third market for Avelo at the Sonoma County airport. The carrier made its debut at the facility in April 2021 with its inaugural route to its Burbank hub, then five months later added a Las Vegas route.

New in Restaurants

Farmstand - Forestville

The Farmhouse Inn, nestled among the vineyards of the Russian River Valley, has long been a favorite getaway for publicity-weary celebrities and well-heeled visitors. Besides the luxury accommodations, part of the allure has been the Michelin-rated restaurant. With a newly redesigned kitchen and the installation of Chef de Cuisine Shawn Jackson Clark overseeing a revamped fine dining program and Executive Chef Trevor Anderson is spearheading a newly reimagined casual restaurant experience called Farmstand. Featuring primarily outdoor dining, with bubbly Neapolitan pizzas, wood-fired cooking and shareable plates, the concept was inspired by a previous foray into all-day dining at the Forestville Inn. The new concept takes advantage of the property’s woodsy charm. The Farmstand menu is entirely a la carte, with fresh vegetable dishes with many from co-owner Joe Bartolomei’s garden. Farmhouse and Farmstand dining experiences are both open to the public.

Cyrus - Geyserville

With its reopening, Cyrus introduces an unprecedented approach to the fine dining experience with panoramic views of Alexander Valley. Born out of the confining stasis of traditional multi-course meals served at a single table and lasting hours at a time, an inspiration occurred: Eating as journey; dining as journey. Chef Douglas Keane’s distinctive “dining journey" is a progressive tasting menu that moves guests through a series of spaces and experiences accentuated by architect Tom Kundig’s high concept design. With three seatings each night and space for 36 guests, the Cyrus team delivers warm, personalized hospitality among the vines in Geyserville.

L’Oro Di Napoli – Santa Rosa

Lovers of thin and crispy pizza have a new go-to spot in Sonoma County. L’Oro Di Napoli on 4th Street in Downtown Santa Rosa offers Neapolitan-style pizzas that feature thin centers and signature charred crusts that need little more than a few toppings. Highlights include the simple Margherita with San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, Parmesan, olive oil and basil. The Caprese Salad with a hefty ball of creamy burrata, tomatoes and basil drizzled with olive oil.

New in Cocktails

The Lounge at Little Saint - Healdsburg

The upstairs music and performance venue at Little Saint has opened, with free live music every Thursday night and ticketed events throughout the week. The expansive second floor at the former SHED space includes a 12-foot-by-16-foot stage, outdoor patio and bar, specialty cocktails and seasonal bites from Chef Bryan Oliver.

Third Pig - Sebastopol

A new bar, Third Pig, from the owners of Bowman Cellars, serves up creative cocktails, friendly service, and a playful aesthetic. Paying homage to the brick house sanctuary in which the big bad wolf was unable to blow down, the interior of 116 S. Main Street in Sebastopol has been transformed into a sweet escape for all to enjoy. Third Pig features rotating seasonal cocktail offerings in addition to well-executed classics. The cocktail menu highlights local spirits, bitters, and syrups, along with fresh seasonal ingredients from Andy’s Produce Market. A highly curated spirit selection is found on the back bar to satiate every palate. Striking a balance between award-winning local favorites and more far-flung voices impacting the beer world in all the right ways, the rotating beer list features offerings from Henhouse Brewing, Bow & Arrow Brewing, Moonlight Brewing, and Crowns & Hops.

1910 Bar and Provisions – Santa Rosa

Local restauranteurs JC Adams and Brad Barmore of Kin and Healdsburg’s Kin Smoke are turning the space in the Jacobs building in Historic Railroad Square in Downtown Santa Rosa into a cocktail-focused eatery with pizza, sliders, and shared plates. Unlike their family-focused restaurants in Windsor and Healdsburg, 1910 Bar and Provisions will have late-night offerings and a full bar. Known for its iconic brick facade and faded neon “Hotel” sign, the Jacobs building has a colorful history dating back many years to when it was known as Hotel Oliver which was built in 1910, hence the name.

New in Nightlife

The newest nightspot in Santa Rosa has a long history. Vintage Space has officially opened at the Flamingo Resort, a local landmark since it was built in 1957. Since 2019, under the ownership of San Francisco-based Palm House Hospitality and Stephen Yang and Rebecca Bunya of Yang Capital, the hotel has been systematically renovated. The new look for the cocktail lounge and live performance space is the latest step. Guests visiting the 2,700-square-foot Vintage Space will enjoy a live band every Friday and a DJ every Saturday. For the long run, the owners plan a wide variety of music, both old and new, plus some extras. The space features a bar, lounge seating and a crescent-shaped dance floor. Aiming for a midpoint between casual and sophisticated, the decor at Vintage Space is both nostalgic and futuristic, based on the era of the “space race” between the United States and the Soviet Union, triggered by the latter’s first successful satellite launch, Sputnik 1. The menu of “cosmic cocktails” includes the Cosmonaut, Doctor Manhattan and the Black Hole Espresso Martini. A selection of local craft beers is on tap and wine by the glass, as well as nonalcoholic drinks.

New in Wineries

Just six months after a fire destroyed its tasting room and historic memorabilia, Larson Family Winery in Sonoma has reopened its doors. Tasting Room Manager Hayden Puryear says his crew has been working “tirelessly around the clock” to ready the outdoor area featuring bocce ball, cornhole and cabanas. At the end of Limerick Lane in Carneros, the land from the 1920s through 1950s was the site of the Sonoma Rodeo. Fittingly, one tasting-flight option is the “This Ain’t Our First Rodeo” collection. 

New in State Parks

Jack London State Historic Park has announced the launch of its new digital tour experience, which is being released this fall as part of a series developed by California State Parks and Timelooper Inc. The digital tour, which can be downloaded to a mobile device, opens with a holographic image of Jack London, as he welcomes visitors and leads them through his beloved Beauty Ranch, allowing them to travel back in time in an interactive experience. The virtual tour is comprised of ten different tour stops located throughout the park and combines elements like digital animation, holograms of Jack and

Charmian London, historic photographs, 3D augmented reality models of the famous Wolf House, and more. The free app, “Cal State Parks Adventurer,” is available from any app store and should be downloaded before arriving at the park. 

New in Arts & Culture

The Astro Motel has completed the large-scale installation of the work of Sonoma Mountain sculptor Mary Fuller McChesney who passed away in May at the age of 99. The display has been curated by Spring Maxfield, who rallied the staff and leadership of the Astro together to preserve, exhibit and elevate the work of a brilliant, local, feminist innovator. Like so many of the women who were 20th Century American modernists, Mary's work is under known, so The Astro is ecstatic at the opportunity to bring it to a new audience in an urban setting welcoming to visitors and locals alike who might never encounter it otherwise. Maxfield first conceived of the show a year prior to Mary's passing. To produce it Maxfield is working in partnership with the artist's estate, The Calabi Gallery, Santa Rosa Urban Arts and the staff and leadership of The Astro. The installation will showcase about a dozen totems and goddesses as well as a handful of bronze sculptures in the Astro’s main courtyard. The display is open for viewing through November 20th.

Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center

At only a few days old, Charles M. Schulz was given the nickname “Sparky” based on the funny pages’ breakout star that year, a racehorse named Spark Plug. The comic strips of his youth continued to play a big part in his life—Popeye, Mickey Mouse, and Skippy are just some of the strips Schulz would later reference as integral to his comic career. In the exhibition, Spark Plug to Snoopy: 100 Years of Schulz currently on display in the Downstairs Changing Gallery at the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, venture back to a world before Peanuts and see original work by the artists who influenced Charles Schulz to believe, “I will be a cartoonist.” This exhibition showcases the centennial celebration of Charles M. Schulz’s birth on November 26, 1922. A second exhibition exploring Schulz’s impact on the cartooning world, and the artists he inspired, opens later this month.                                                            

Petaluma Arts Center

A new food-themed exhibit: Agri-CULTURED: Reflections on Our Local Food Community by Land and by Hand,” is open at the Petaluma Arts Center, running through September 24th in the main gallery. Featuring the works of several artists illustrating some visual or philosophical aspect of food, the exhibit is described on the center’s website as exploring “cross-cultural intersections of food and farming in our region,” bringing together local artists and food producers to address global concerns of sustainable practice and cultural memory. The posting adds, “It not only bridges art, science, and agriculture but also engages the spheres of hospitality, tourism, and the economy of Sonoma County.” Along with the art show, the exhibit will include an assortment of food-themed poetry submitted from around the county and selected by Sonoma County Poet Laureate Elizabeth Carothers Herron.

Sonoma County App

Sonoma County Tourism has unveiled the Sonoma County app, a new application that showcases Sonoma County while creating an engaging and intuitive way for visitors to research, plan, and experience their visit to the destination. The app provides users with a mobile solution for planning, coordinating, and booking Sonoma County experiences. Users who download the Sonoma County app (Android and iOS) have access to real-time, location-based options for what to see, do, eat, drink and more, along with interactive maps, photos, and detailed descriptions. Category filters allow users to narrow down suggestions by their mood (i.e., wine tasting, dining, spa, shopping, etc.) and specific location categories (i.e., outdoors, experiences, events, and more). If users notice or hear of a business they want to visit before or during their trip, they can find it in the app, add it to their travel plan and build a custom itinerary. The app was developed by Visit Widget, who, like Sonoma County Tourism, believe the process of planning a trip can be just as much a part of the anticipation as actually being on the trip itself.

Feel Good Activities Not to Be Missed  

Sonoma County is a vast natural destination and agricultural community deeply invested in the sustainability of the land. Visitors can explore the region through the lens of the environmentally conscious locals with responsible volunteer opportunities. 

Learn the benefits of gleaning and help gather surplus food from local farmers, garden growers, and property owners with organizations like Farm to Pantry and Petaluma Bounty. Sign up to help sort and deliver produce to those in need with the Redwood Empire Food Bank.

Roll up your sleeves and volunteer with Pepperwood Preserve to assist in ecological restoration and management projects, such as plant propagation, trail maintenance, habitat restoration, invasive species removal, and more. Discover the Sonoma County Regional Park while volunteering on fire recover trail work, improving facilities, or assisting campgrounds. 

Digital Images

Sonoma County businesses are strongly encouraged to submit their highest resolution images to Sonoma County Tourism for inclusion in our digital asset library. Our public relations team frequently receives requests from local, regional, national, and international media for digital images for both new and existing Sonoma County businesses. These assets are a very important tool used in promoting our partners’ stories. Send digital images to [email protected]

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About Sonoma County Tourism

Sonoma County Tourism (SCT) 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. Visitors spent $1.97 billion in Sonoma County in 2021, a 58% increase over 2020 and employed 17,640 Sonoma Countians, a gain of 8.3% over 2020 hospitality job levels. Post-pandemic, SCT will work with partner businesses to rebuild the tourism economy, regain critical revenue, and re-establish a vibrant workforce. Planning the perfect trip to Sonoma County just got easier with the Sonoma County App as your personal travel assistant! Create a unique itinerary in real time, travel with intention and share with your traveling party. Available for Android and iOS. For more information, visit www.sonomacounty.com.

Media contacts:

Birgitt Vaughan, Director, Public Relations
Chris Vomvolakis, Senior Manager, Consumer Public Relations
[email protected]