7 Culinary Delights to Experience in Sonoma County this Autumn

STORY BY Debbie 13th September 2019

As summer draws to a close, things are busy in Sonoma County, California, where the grapes hang heavy on the vines, harvest is in full swing and plans for a wide variety of new events, tasting and tap rooms, eateries and more are coming to fruition. Check out just a few things that are new in wine country this autumn.

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.


First ‘The Freshtival’ beer festival set for Oct. 12

Only craft beers straight from the brewery and less than seven days old will be poured in the main festival area of The Freshtival, a brand new beer festival set to debut Saturday, Oct. 12, in Rohnert Park, in central Sonoma County.

Hosted by HenHouse Brewing Company in collaboration with the Bay Area Brewers Guild, The Freshtival will feature more than 100 different fresh-from-the-brewery beers, plus live music, delicious food, a gallery of beer industry art, and interactive beer-freshness edutainment. Admission is $20-$55; proceeds benefit the Bay Area Brewers Guild.


Meadowcroft Wines brings the outside in

A 10-foot interior green wall and grapevines surrounding the private patio are just a few of the striking features in the newly-renovated Meadowcroft Wines tasting room in Cornerstone Sonoma, in the southern Sonoma Valley.

The renovations focused on bringing a feel of the outdoors inside, with a tasting area perfect for groups of 12 or more. In addition to being surrounded by living grapevines, gorgeous succulent arrangements adorn the walls of the private patio.

Named one of the Top 100 Wineries of 2019 by Bonforts Wine & Spirits, Meadowcroft crafts vineyard-specific, limited-production wines, expressing both European wine heritage and California creativity. The tasting room offers a variety of experiences, including a stroll through a vineyard and a chance to make your own perfect wine blend.


Seismic Brewing opens Sebastopol taproom

Taste flavourful and sustainable craft beers from Seismic Brewing Company in its new taproom in The Barlow centre in Sebastopol, in western Sonoma County. Boasting floor-to-ceiling windows, wood-panelled walls, and outdoor spaces, the new taproom features a choice of 12 rotating taps, including some of the brewery’s award-winning favourites as well as small-batch and barrel-aged offerings only available at the taproom.

All Seismic beers are made in a sustainable manner, using practices that support ecological, human, and economic health and vitality now and for years to come. The brewery is designed to maximize water and energy efficiency, the spent grain is donated to a local rancher as nutrient-rich animal feed, the tap handles are made with Forest Stewardship Council-certified woods, and employees are paid a legitimate living wage — just to name only a few of the efforts made to keep the brewery as sustainable as possible.


Golden State Cider taproom opens in The Barlow

Sip apple-driven dry ciders in the new Golden State Cider taproom in The Barlow centre, in Sebastopol in western Sonoma County. The taproom offers four-packs to go for picnic adventures, and a one-of-a-kind pairing menu with food from the neighbours at The Barrio Cocina. Ciders are made with West Coast-grown apples from California, Oregon, and Washington. All Golden State Ciders are vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and made with no concentrates.

Co-founders Hunter Wade and Jolie Devoto started the cidery in 2012 on a small organic apple farm, and sold their golden liquid exclusively at Bay Area farmers markets for the first couple of years. Cider making became a full-time obsession, and Golden State Cider was born, based on the idea that great cider starts with quality fruit.


Four54 Tours offers personalized tours, transportation

Drawing on years of experience and strong relationships with many in the Sonoma Wine Country hospitality industry, Chris Ferris of the new Four54 Tours & Transportation strives to make his guests feel like they are hosted by a close friend while they discover new places and create lasting memories.

Based in Healdsburg in northern Sonoma County, Four54 Tours offers exclusive Wine Country experiences throughout the region. A customized Mercedes Benz Sprinter carries up to eight people and provides comfort, large viewing windows. Taste in a wine cave and meet the winemakers and owners or discover country roads that lead through ancient redwood forests, along the stunning Pacific coast, and past bucolic vineyards. Whether it’s wine tasting, hot air ballooning, zip lining through redwoods, horseback riding, or exploring charming Wine Country communities, Four54 Tours can help you plan your perfect getaway.


Jam’s Joy Bungalow adds Sebastopol café

After offering pop-up, sit down food truck meals at private events, breweries, and other venues all over Sonoma County, Jam’s Joy Bungalow now serves its “vibrant food for spirited people” in a café in Sebastopol, in western Sonoma County.

Owner Jamilah Nixon-Mathis grew up spending summers learning to cook with her Mexican grandmother and Creole grandfather. After living and learning to cook in rural Thailand, became a restaurant-owner, a private chef and then started the Jam’s Joy Bungalow food truck, offering Southeast Asian cuisine on wheels.

At at her new brick-and-mortar café, the menu features a daily curry, crisp salads laced with herbs and tangy dressings, rice noodle bowls with curried peanut sauce, pho dip sandwiches, jok rice porridge, Vietnamese coffee, Thai ice tea, Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches and much more.


Plank Coffee adds Healdsburg location

After seven years serving coffee, tea and mouth-watering pastries in Cloverdale, Plank Coffee and Roastery owners Marne Dupere and Mike Morisette recently expanded by adding a second location graced with carefully-selected vintage décor on Dry Creek Road in Healdsburg.

Both sites serve espresso, macchiatos, cappuccinos, lattes, and a host of chocolate and blended beverages, as well as a large selection of organic teas. They also offer vegetarian and vegan soups, smoothies, frittatas, hand pies, burritos, French toast, and more.

 For more information, please visit www.sonomacounty.com

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.

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