These picturesque vineyards make better pairings to wine than any cheese
North of San Francisco, Napa Valley is rightly world famous as a scenic wine-producing region and as a great destination for a weekend trip from the city. But Sonoma County is more than a match for its better-known neighbor. (Photo Modified: Flickr/mark sebastian)
North of San Francisco, Napa Valley is rightly world famous as a scenic wine-producing region and a great destination for a weekend trip from the city. But Sonoma County is more than a match for its better-known neighbor as a weekend wine getaway. Sonoma County spans westward from Napa, across farmlands, mountains, and an expansive seashore covering an area the size of Rhode Island, with more than 400 wineries and 16 different wine appellations growing in “more soil types than all of France.” Sonoma County encompasses both the Sonoma Valley wine area and the city of Sonoma, so visitors need to be aware of which “Sonoma” they’re trying to get to. Sonoma Airport is a little-known but highly convenient gateway into the area from a number of West Coast cities, making it an easy weekend getaway anywhere from Seattle to San Diego.
Wine, Wine, Wine
With so many wineries spread over such a large area, one needs to be strategic during a Sonoma wine-tasting weekend. A good way to tour Sonoma’s widespread wineries, particularly if you’re new to the area, is in the comfort of a chauffeur-driven van, bus, or limo. Not only do you avoid the problem of drinking and driving, but the tours also often have special access or reduced admission costs for their target wineries. Beau Wine Tours, Valley Wine Tours, and Platypus Wine Tours are among the best. But even on your own with a little research, you can visit some of Sonoma’s nearly 50 wineries with free tastings. (Note: Call ahead or check winery websites to see if appointments or new fees are required.)
Wine-related events occur year-round in Sonoma, from the upcoming Wine Road Barrel Tasting to the annual Sonoma Wine Country Weekend event over Labor Day — a charity event that gathers more than 200 Sonoma County winemakers and chefs for a very delicious tasting day, wine auction, and other food and winery events throughout the county. Sonoma also has a host of harvest events, including the Sonoma Valley Reserve festival.
Wine tasting in Sonoma doesn’t have to be a passive activity, though. For those seeking a little exercise with their wine and cheese, how about a Sonoma Wine Country bike tour, complete with a wine bottle carrier on the bike? Enjoy the scenery, but just be extremely careful about how much you’re consuming at the tastings. Or take a free self-guided hike through some of the eight wineries that have opened up their vineyards to visitors, finishing it off with a few sips in one of their tasting rooms (usually not free).
Eat, Eat, Eat
Travel to enough Sonoma wineries and you’re sure to get “palate fatigue,” meaning everything starts to taste the same. That’s where Sonoma’s fine food scene comes in — because what’s a good wine without a food pairing? Among its 600 eateries, Sonoma has three Michelin-star restaurants — Madrona Manor in Healdsburg, Terrapin Creek Cafe in Bodega Bay, and the Farmhouse Inn Restaurant in Forestville — all of which pour the best of Sonoma’s wines with your meals. But Sonoma isn’t just about the fancy meals. It has every variety of roadhouse, diner, pizza shack, and pub grub you could imagine. Stop at the roadside Carneros Deli for great sandwiches (and a bottle of Bonneau Wine), try the tasty tacos and filling burritos at Sonoma’s Tortilleria Jalisco, or slurp down a savory bowl of noodles at Petaluma’s Cafe Zazzle. Another way to max out your tasting experience and minimize the price is to participate in Sonoma County Restaurant Week, which runs from March 9 to March 15, when more than 100 restaurants serve three-course, prix-fixe lunches from $10 to $20, and dinners from $19 to $39.
Fun Non-Wine Things to Do
Bordered by 55 miles of coastline and filled with hills and forest, Sonoma County is a destination for all sorts of outdoor activities (aside from picking grapes): hiking among redwoods, road and mountain biking, sea kayaking, and whale watching from the cliffs at Bodega Head. You can even visit the “Sonoma Serengeti” in the 400-acre exotic animal sanctuary of Safari West.
All visitors to Sonoma should make a pilgrimage to Charlie Brown’s house, or, rather, the Charles M. Schulz Museum, which honors the creator of the Peanuts cartoon series, who lived and worked in Sonoma for decades. A recreation of his drawing workshop looks just like he left it on his last day of work. The nearby hockey rink Schulz sponsored reflects his Minnesota upbringing.
Places to Stay
Sonoma has a variety of lodgings, from quaint bed and breakfast establishments and inns to high-end hotels like Olea Hotel, the Inn at Sonoma, and the Honor Mansion. It also has the highly rated Petaluma KOA campground — which, aside from befitting the area’s agricultural heritage, also has cozy cabins, a giant trampoline, a pool, and a popular petting zoo. Or go big and rent a six-bedroom villa on a 7-acre winery estate. And there’s always a handy Motel 6 by the highway if your wine weekend is getting the best of you and you just need a place to sleep it off.
Sonoma by Bike (Video)
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Back in your pre-parent days, you probably never considered wine-soaked Sonoma a family destination, but think again. Even though organic milk may the beverage of choice in your household these days, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a day trip or weekend hanging out around the square. This charming little town is packed with activities for kids, and wine tasting is still permitted (and in some places, encouraged) even with kids in tow.
Play: Your first stop should be the historic Sonoma plaza. This culinary and retail hub of Sonoma is known by locals simply as ‘The Plaza,” and with two playgrounds, a duck pond (don’t forget to bring bread) and ample tables and trees for shade, it’s loved by locals and visitors alike. http://www.sonomavalley.com On the north side is Mission San Francisco Solano, the last of California’s 21 missions, built in 1823, and just one block north of the Plaza is Depot Park with a Historic Railroad Station, history museum, bocce ball courts and sweet little playground.
Sebastiani Vineyard and Winery is walking distance from the Plaza—grab a picnic and find a shady spot on the lawn. The large water fountain and surrounding grounds keep the kiddies entertained while you sample the zins, chards, and more. If you arrive midday, sign up for of the open air trolley tour, which includes a spin through the Plaza and a visit to neighboring Cherryblock Vineyeard.
If it’s trains your kiddos are into, then a visit to Train Town is a must. The ‘grand’ scale railroad, charming carousel, and other train themed rides and attractions are a blast for any little engineer. Be sure to check the website for hours of operation.
At Larson Family Winery, it’s all about great wine and family fun. Anything but stuffy, the tasting room and grounds have a ‘down home’ vibe—there are pet goats, bocce ball courts, an expansive lawn for picnicking, and vineyard horseback rides.
Making your way north on Hwy. 121, just before Sonoma, you’ll find a gargantuan blue Adirondack chair and the craziest white picket fence you can imagine. It may look like something out of the Twilight Zone, but it’s actually Cornerstone Gardens. Here kids can explore totally unique gardens designed by the world’s most innovative landscape architects, all for free! Our favorite is the 1,800 square foot garden made exclusively of colored pinwheels! Guided tours are also available by appointment.
Even a town attracting foodies from around the world boasts several family-friendly restaurants. Just a half a block from the Plaza is The Red Grape, serving excellent thin crust pizza, pasta, and salads. Dine al fresco or in the colorful, festive dining room.
Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack, the popular San Francisco restaurant, has recently opened a second location in Sonoma, and the cool, funky vibe would make the hippest kid feel right at home. Besides her signature Spaghetti, Emmy’s seasonal menu features steak, salads, and seafood as well as a full bar and nightly guest DJ’s, Be sure to check the website for a calendar of acoustic music on the patio on weekends.
Watch your kids’ eyes light up at the pastry counter at the Basque Boulangerie Café. This local fave also serves great sandwiches, salads, and of course some of the best bread in Wine Country. Located on the Plaza, this is a perfect spot to pick up breakfast or lunch for your picnic.
It doesn’t get much easier than Best Western Sonoma Valley Inn, located just a block and a half from the Sonoma plaza. This mid-range priced hotel boasts refrigerators in all the rooms, a swimming pool, and washer and dryer (just in case!).
The beautiful Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort & Spa is a full-service resort with a gourmet restaurant (including a kids menu), spa, and casita-style accommodations perfect for families. To top it off, it’s just across the street from Traintown (don’t worry, the whistle doesn’t blow until at least 10am!)
If you are dreaming of playing house amongst the vineyards, then you might want to splurge with a villa stay. Beautiful Places has a collection of homes complete with pool, tennis courts, even playgrounds for your little ones. Want to bring your nanny? You can opt for a villa with a private guest cottage.
The Best Things to Do in Napa and Sonoma, According to Locals
How to get the most out of a long weekend in California wine country.
The following is an excerpt from Wildsam&aposs latest book, WILDSAM Napa & Sonoma, which leads travelers into the heart of California&aposs wine country with guidance from trusted locals and wine experts. Check recommended venues for COVID-19 updates before visiting.
When it comes to Northern California wine, ancient earth-building intersects with the latest marketing trends. Behind bold-face reputations and a glossy surface lies a true farming culture stitched from hard work, generational knowledge and expert craft. While editing our new book about Napa & Sonoma, we looked for destinations that embodied the region&aposs roots and the deep pursuit of wine.
The beauty of Napa and Sonoma counties is that you can visit many times over and never experience the region (or the wine) the same way twice. You can define your personal favorite spots, and craft your own schedule. For the first-time explorer, we took some of our must-visit destinations and created a three-day-weekend itinerary for anyone seeking a deeper sense of place and the stories of interesting people behind the vines.
Day 1: The Yountville Ride
Before moving into open spaces toward the coast, start with exploring the cities&apos centers. To see real Napa at its most vivid, hop on two wheels or explore on foot through the Napa Valley Vine Trail. This section covers 12.5 miles through the city of Napa&aposs working-class roots, into the tumble of verdant vineyards that line Highway 29 until reaching Yountville&aposs luxe center. Rent rides from Napa Valley Bike Tours in downtown Napa, then cruise a couple blocks to La Esperanza Tacosਏor exceptional handmade street food. Just a block away, the Vine Trail picks up next to St. Clair Brown Brewery and Winery, a handy early hydration stop and rare crossover: Elaine St. Clair stakes a claim as the nation&aposs only woman working as both winemaker and brewmaster. Pedal alongside the tracks of industrial Napa, eyes peeled for murals.
The trail straightens out at the scenic Oak Knoll section, where wine country&aposs bucolic fantasy quickly percolates into the small-town reality. To your right, iconic wineries (Ashes & Diamondsਊnd Trefethen) dot Highway 29 to your left, rows of vines serrate the valley floor. As Ashes & Diamonds founder Kashy Khaledi says, "The winery is a reaction to what Napa Valley became. It&aposs also a love letter to what it was." Pull off at Elyse Winery, a disarming setting for small-production zins and cabs from serious heritage vineyards. As the oak-shaded route bends into Yountville, pass the French Laundry Gardens, and wind up on Washington Street, Yountville&aposs epicenter of the good life. Stop at Jean-Charles Boisset&aposs rococo Atelier Fine Foodsਏor outrageous luxuries (caviar, foie gras) and Bouchon Bakeryਏor coveted macarons.
Put your name in at Ciccio, Yountville&aposs Italian charmer. Its repurposed market building boasts vintage Italian movie posters and handwritten butcher paper menus for a festive, unpretentious evening. Drink a negroni while you wait on Neapolitan pizza and crispy-skinned whole branzino. Too late to bike back? No problem𠄿or a $20 fee, return your bike to Napa Valley Bike Tours&apos Yountville outpost, then call for your chariot (which may just be an Uber but could well feel like a chariot by now).
Have The Best, Wine-Soaked Weekend in Napa Valley
How many tastings is too many tastings? Asking for a friend, ofc.
For wine lovers (aka me), fewer places are more special than the Napa Valley. What I love most about this magical little corner of the world is how different each trip can feel simply due to how much there is to SEE (okay, and taste): In my three times here, I&rsquove never been to the same winery twice, and I&rsquove made only one repeat visit to a restaurant.
My most recent venture out west was particularly cool because I also spent a day in Sonoma, a nearby wine region I had never visited. If you have time, I recommend you do as well. While you might be concerned about wildfires (the area was ravaged by flames in October), winemakers in Napa and Sonoma agree that visiting the area post-fire helps to boost tourism that&rsquos otherwise lost. So if either are on your list, why not book a trip out there stat? Here, everything to pack into a short, sweet, two-and-a-half day trip to wine country:
The Best Happy Hours in Napa and Sonoma
The best way to start a weekend in the Wine Country is to take off early on Friday, head to a happy hour, and raise a glass to avoiding traffic and the welcoming the wine-soaked weekend ahead. Some search for a sweet deal on a drink or bite, while others seek atmosphere and good company. Whatever your pleasure, these spots in Napa and Sonoma have what you need.
Tarla Grill jazzes up creative Mediterranean dishes, with Napa Valley ingredients, paired with tasty cocktails and local wines. This local hangout is often packed, but the warm and welcoming owner and hosts will find you a spot to make you feel at home. Cocktails are $7, drafts are $3, and tasty appetizers, like Spanakopita and warm hummus with pita, range from $5 -7
Round Pond Estate hosts the quintessential Wine Country happy hour on their chic terrace lounge. Here you’ll sip in style and enjoy gourmet bites, including their locally famous grilled cheese. Stare out at views of the Mayacamas Mountains and seemingly endless vineyards, while enjoying wines by the glass or by the bottle. Reservations are a must.
Happy Hour: Fridays, April-October, 6 - 8 pm.
Mercantile Terrace at Andaz is in the center Napa, but feels like a classy Vegas lounge. All drinks are 25% off and you can take a load off in a cabana, or around a fire pit, and sip craft cocktails and killer wines while snacking on farm-fresh bites.
Starks Steak and Seafood is regularly been touted as the areas best happy hour. One reason is that the owners lowered happy hours prices during the recession to support the community, and vowed to keep it that way until customers get “the value of your house back.” If you’re in Santa Rosa, or anywhere nearby, this is the place to be.
Happy Hour: Monday – Saturday, 3 – 6 pm.
Social Club Petaluma is the only bar in Petaluma that features a handcrafted cocktail program, and both local and international craft beers. The American-style restaurant is anchored by a 30-seat central bar, with ten HDTVs, and a new beer garden. Specials range in price, but always include beer, wine, cocktails, and over ten food items under $7.
Happy Hour: Daily, 4 – 6:30 pm.
Cellars of Sonoma is ideal for the wine lover because they have over 25 wines by the glass, all of which are discounted at happy hour, and most of which are from local artisan producers. They also offer cheese and chocolate selections for $5, and feature vivacious music and almost any sports game imaginable on TV.
Honorable mentions and weekday only happy hours: Hopmonk Tavern, Nick’s Cove Barndiva, Central Market, and Nectar Restaurant & Lounge.
Inman Family Wines
Established in 2000 by Kathleen Inman, Inman Family Wines released its first vintage in 2002. Making less than 5,000 cases of pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot gris, Inman Wines is a true ‘boutique’ winery. Kathleen’s focus is minimal intervention winemaking, sustainable farming, and eco-friendly practices (including a solar-powered winery). The Inman Wines tasting room is open Thursday - Sunday for $20 tastings (with advanced reservation), but it’s worth looking into booking a private tasting with the winemaker ($50) for a true insider’s perspective.
Inman Wines features charging stations for electric cars, so you can taste wines while refueling your car with sunshine!
Image courtesy of Inman Family Wines6
Wineries / Santa Rosa
Welcome to Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
Your health and safety, along with that of our team, are of paramount importance to us. And so, we have modified our hours as follows:
38° North Wine Bar | Available for indoor dining (at 25% capacity) or outdoor dining | Sunday - Thursday from 5:00pm - 9:00pm | Friday - Saturday from 5 :00 pm - 10 :00 pm
WTB | Daily from 11 :00 am - 5 :00 pm
Santé Kitchen | Available forindoor dining (at 25% capacity) or outdoor patio dining | Breakfast Daily from 7:00am - 11:00am | Dinner Daily from 5:00pm - 9:00pm
CaliForno Food Truck Fridays & Saturdays from 4 :30 pm with live music 5 :00 pm - 8 :00 pm (weather permitting)
In-Room Dining | Available from 7:00am - 9:00pm Daily
Willow Stream Spa and our Watsu Pools open Daily from 9 :00 am - 6 :00 pm
Spa Café | Monday - Friday from 11 :00 am - 5 :00 pm (Tuesday & Wednesday offering WTB's menu) Saturday & Sunday from 11:00am - 6:00pm
Main Pool | Daily from 9 :00 am - 10 :00 pm | Temperature at 88°
Experience the Best of California Wine Country at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa – Sonoma’s premier destination resort. The Inn boasts geothermal fed mineral pools, farm to table dining, and access to championship golf at neighboring Sonoma Golf Club. Located just an hour north of San Francisco, the resort has been catering to discerning travelers for decades.
The iconic AAA Four-Diamond Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa provides an impeccable setting to relish the enviable Sonoma lifestyle. Like the Native Americans who revered the site as a sacred healing ground, you’ll live in harmony with nature through vast open spaces, beautifully landscaped grounds, majestic redwood trees and inspiring sunsets.
Jack London best describes Sonoma Valley. “The air is wine. The grapes on a score of rolling hills are red with flame. Across Sonoma Mountain, wisps of sea fog are stealing. The afternoon sun smolders in the drowsy sky.”
Read more See less
A Wine-Soaked Weekend in Sonoma - Recipes
My wife and I are right in the middle of preparing for a huge catering event this weekend in Sonoma. It’s called “Passport to Dry Creek Valley,” which is an annual event showing off the wines, and vineyards, of the beautiful Dry Creek Valley (photo from visitwineroad.com). We will be doing the food for our dear friend Bill Frick, at the amazing Frick Winery for the 12th straight year. Despite all the planning and prep work, it's a lot of fun and we always look forward to it.
There are over 50 wineries involved in this event, and thousands of wine enthusiasts will be eating and sipping their way through the valley. By the way, if you have a chance, check out the Frick Winery website. Bill produces some of the most delicious wine in California.
Due to the limited time to film clips and write articles, there will probably not be any new videos until after the weekend. I may do a couple posts before I leave, especially if any new About video recipes air, but no promises! This will be the perfect time to review your favorite recipes and make sure you haven't missed any. Don't forget to use the google search box in the side bar to find the ingredients you are interested in. Enjoy!
Will you please show us photos of the food you are pairing with the Frick Wines?
Some of us can't get there and even if we could, I just checked the Dry Creek Valley website and the Passport event is "SOLD OUT"!
C'mon, "show us what you got!"
yes, it sells out every year! We will take pictures during the event and will post them for sure.
Chef John, this is random and off topic regarding your current post, but my husband and I just want to hug your neck for your wonderful mayonnaise video on youtube. We have tried and tried but could never get homemade mayonnaise to turn out right - until TODAY! Today I saw your video, and tried it just as you demonstrated, and let me tell you, it came out PERFECT! We are so thrilled and grateful to you! We don't have a youtube account so I just had to comment here to thank you. Bless you for teaching us how to have fresh, wonderful mayonnaise without all the unnecessary additives that are in much of today's processed food.
Thanks! BTW, please use this site to view the videos and to comment. Only a part of my content is posted on YT. Happy cooking!
WINE & FOOD AFFAIR
Repour Winesaver, the PERFECT way to open multiple bottles of wine during a “virtual wine event” and then save the wine to enjoy later…days or weeks later!
Thank You To Our Event Sponsors
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2020 WINE & FOOD AFFAIR PARTICIPATING WINERIES & RECIPES
Alexander Valley Vineyards – Pan Roasted Duck, Red Wine Braised Cabbage
ACORN Winery/Alegría Vineyards – Weeknight Chicken Mole
Amista Vineyards – Mushroom Ragout with Creamy Polenta
Amphora Winery – Rick’s Clam Chowder
Baldassari Wines – Pan Seared Halibut with Romaneso, Radicchio & Walnuts
Balletto Vineyards – Filet of Pork Winemaker’s Style
Capo Creek Winery and Vineyards – Tomato Tart
Carlisle Winery – Grilled Salmon with Wild Mushroom Sauce
Carol Shelton Wines – Gad Zukes!
Cast Wines – Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Pumpkin Sage Waffles
Christopher Creek Winery – Slow Cooker Short Ribs
Coyote Sonoma – Coffee Cured Bacon Bone-In Ribeye
David Coffaro Vineyard & Winery – Easy Manicotti with Prosciutto & Basil
delorimier Winery – Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
Dot Wines – Pork Kare Kare (Fillipino Pork and Peanut Stew)
Dutton Estate Winery – Barbecue Meatballs
Ektimo Winery – Delectable Wild Mushroom Crostini
Foppiano Vineyards – Tocco alla Genovese
Francis Ford Coppola Winery – Pan Roasted Duck Breast with Wild Mushrooms
Francis Ford Coppola Winery Too! – Pizzetta with Butternut Squash and Pancetta
Frick – Coq Au Cinsaut
Fritz Underground Winery – Creamy Polenta with Mushroom Ragu
GC Lurton Vineyards – Seven-Hours Lamb with Flageolets
HANNA Winery – Lolla Rossa, Fig and Feta Salad
Harvest Moon Estate & Winery – Bacon Wrapped Dates
Hook & Ladder Winery – Salmon Beurre Blanc
J. Rickards Winery – Mushroom Souffles
K Squared Cellars
Kelley & Young Wines –Croquetas de Jamón (Ham Croquettes)
Longboard Vineyards – Pomegranate Reduction Duck Breast
Manzanita Creek Winery – Chili Colorado
Matrix Winery – Seared Duck Breast with Matrix Zinfandel Sauce
Mazzocco Sonoma – Zinfandel & Shrimp Paella
Merriam Vineyards – Braised Keftedes with Cabernet Franc Sauce
Mill Creek Vineyards & Winery – Nonie’s All Beef Italian Meatballs
Moshin Vineyards – Rick’s Famous Smoked Salmon
Mounts Family Winery – Ikra aka Eggplant Caviar
Mutt Lynch Winery
Old World Winery – ERA Pomegranate Braised Lamb Empanadas
Papapietro Perry – Papa’s Porcini Pasta
Paradise Ridge Winery – Plum Tart with Ode To Joy
Pech Merle Winery – Gruyere & Proscuitto Panini with French Onion Soup
Pedroncelli Winery – Wild Mushroom Soup with Parmesan Croutons
Peterson Winery – Short Ribs with Olives and Herbs
Pezzi King Vineyards – Mushroom Soup
Portalupi Wine – Smoked Salmon Burgers
Robert Young Estate Winery – Bourbon Braised Short Ribs
Rockpile Vineyards – Butter Poached Barbecue Pork Belly
Rued Winery – Zin BBQ Sauce with Pulled Pork
Russian River Vineyards – Crab Cakes
Seghesio Family Vineyards – Roasted Tomato Soup & Gruyere “Grilled Cheese”
Soda Rock Winery – Flat Iron Pave with Cab Franc Reduction
Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards – Enchiladas Suizas de Pava
Tara Bella Winery – Salsa Pomodoro di Maiale
The Meeker Vineyard – Indian Lamb Vindaloo
Trione Vineyards and Winery – Tuscan White Bean & Sausage Soup
Truett Hurst Winery – Society Bakery’s Zinfandel Cheesecake Truffles
VML Winery – Wild Mushroom Puff Pastry Bites with Pine Nut Aoli
West Wines – Beef Mushroom Slides with Cabernet Sauce
Wilson Winery – Wilson’s Signature Tri-Tip
Woodenhead – Sliced Mushrooms with Melted Cheese
Zouzounis Wines – Beef and Potatoes with Rosemary
WINE & FOOD AFFAIR EVENT MAP
Package 1- $489.00 Sales Have Ended
12 bottle case
Limited cases available
Expand Your Horizons
Discover new favorites as you sip your way through this case of beloved varietal wines, plus a couple of delicious blends. Check out Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s unique blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and just a kiss of Petite Sirah or Amista Vineyards exceptional Rhone Blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. Plus, ten more scrumptious choices you’re sure to savor.
Included in this package:
2019 J. Rickards Winery Sauvignon Blanc, Croft Vineyard, AV, $26
2018 Russian River Vineyards Chardonnay, Bacigalupi, RRV, $56
2019 Hook & Ladder Winery Rosé, RRV, $26
2017 Ektimo Winery Pinot Noir, RRV, $34
2018 Matrix Winery Estate Zinfandel, RRV, $38
2018 Capo Creek Winery Zinfandel, Eva’s Vineyard, $42
2017 Francis Ford Coppola Winery Director’s Cut Cinema, $44
2017 Pezzi King Vineyards Petite Sirah, Newsome Vineyard, DCV, $38
2017 Amista Vineyards Tres (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre), Estate, $42
2016 Merriam Vineyards Cabernet Franc, Windacre , RRV, $45
2016 Coyote Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon, Kitchen Hill, DCV, $45
2013 West Wines Cabernet Sauvignon, DCV, $53
Package 2 – $492.00 Sales Have Ended
12 bottle case
Limited cases available
Explore Small Family Wineries
When you visit the Wine Road, do you like to focus on those smaller family wineries? Now you can virtually visit twelve of them and enjoy a wide variety of wines from up and down the Wine Road. This selection even includes a Vermentino from Amphora Winery, a Rhône blend from Peterson Winery, and a single-vineyard Charbono from Woodenhead. What a treat!
Included in this package:
2016 Carol Shelton Wines Zinfandel, Peaceland Vineyard, $35
2016 Woodenhead Charbono, Guido Venturi Vineyard, RRV, $38
2016 Foppiano Vineyards Petite Sirah, Gianna’s Block, RRV, $48
2015 Peterson Winery GCM (Rhone blend), Bradford Mountain, $39
2018 Soda Rock Cabernet Franc, Warm Spring Ranch Reserve, $45
2017 deLorimier Cabernet Sauvignon, Barrel Select Reserve, AV, $36
2014 Tara Bella Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, RRV $80
2018 Baldassari Wines Chardonnay, Sangiacomo, Kizer Vineyard, $45
2019 Amphora Winery Vermentino, RRV, $27
2019 The Meeker Vnyd Sparkling Pop Punk, Pet Nat of Verdelho, $29
2016 Pech Merle Winery Pinot Noir, Laguna de Santa Rosa, $41
2016 Rued Winery Zinfandel, Rued Vineyards, DCV, $29
Package 3 – $494.00 Sales Have Ended
12 bottle case
Limited cases available
Discover New Wines & Wineries
The best part about a trip along the Wine Road is finding those hidden gems. This selection is a veritable treasure chest of rare jewels. Frick Winery’s Cinsaut or Kelley & Young’s Bordeaux Blend Rosé are guaranteed to please, as well as the classic Cabernet Sauvignon from Robert Young Estate Winery and Chardonnay from Trione Vineyards and Winery.
Included in this package:
2018 Mazzocco Sonoma Zinfandel, Verano, $34
2016 Robert Young Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, AV, $56
2015 Old World Winery Abouriou, Early Burgundy, Sherry Martinelli Vineyard, $35
2018 Rockpile Vineyards Petite Sirah, Florence, $60
2016 FRICK Cinsaut, Dry Creek Valley, $29
2015 GC Lurton Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Acaibo, $75
2018 Mutt Lynch Winery Merlot, $20
2017 Trione Vineyards and Winery Chardonnay, RRV, $35
2019 Colagrossi Wines Sauvignon Blanc, DCV, $24
2017 Kelley & Young Wines Rosé Bordeaux Blend, Robert Young Vineyards, $32
2018 Balletto Vineyards Pinot Noir, RRV, $29
N/V Manzanita Creek Winery Zinfandel, Rocky Ridge, Rockpile, $65
Package 4 – $489.00 Sales Have Ended
12 bottle case
Limited cases available
Dive Into A Delicious Selection
Wow, when this case arrives you won’t know which wine to open first. Let’s start with the 2020 Harvest Fair Sweepstakes Winner—2019 Hanna Winery Sauvignon Blanc. Or, maybe you’ll want to check out Dutton Estate’s My Father’s Vineyard Syrah. Italiano Style from David Coffaro is a mouthwatering blend of Sagrantino, Aglianico, Barbera, Lagrein, and Montepulciano. Twelve delicious choices and you don’t have to leave the house to find them. What a score!
Included in this package:
2018 Wilson Winery Primitivo, McClain, AV, $44
2017 David Coffaro Vineyard & Winery Italiano Style (Cal-Ital varietals), Estate DCV, $35
2017 Dutton Estate Winery Syrah, My Father’s Vineyard, RRV, $56
2017 Mounts Family Winery Verah (Rhône Style Red Blend), Estate Grown, DCV, $40
2014 Alexander Valley Vineyards CYRUS Cabernet Sauvignon,$65
2018 K Squared Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Landa Vineyards, $42
2015 Viszlay Vineyards Bordeaux Blend, RRV, $49
2018 Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards Chardonnay, Russian River Ranches, RRV, $28
2019 HANNA Winery, Sauvignon Blanc, RRV, $19
N/V Cast Wines Sparkling, $34
2016 Moshin Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir, RRV, $42
2017 Fritz Underground Winery Estate Zinfandel, DCV, $35
Package 5 – $303.00 Sales Have Ended
6 pack #1
Limited 6 packs available
The Perfect Pairings Experience
Just like your Bluetooth device, this selection is ready to pair—with food that is. From Harvest Moon’s Zinfandel sparkling wine with appetizers to Paradise Ridge’s Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc with dessert, these wines have it covered—and all the wines come with recipes! Check out ACORN’s Zinfandel with their recipe for Chicken Mole, or Christopher Creek’s Meritage with Short Ribs. Delicious!
Included in this package:
2017 Papapietro Perry Pinot Noir, RRV, $57
2017 Harvest Moon Estate & Winery Sparkling Estate Zinfandel, RRV, $42
2016 Francis Ford Coppola Winery Too! Chardonnay, Sanchietti Vineyard, RRV, $42
2016 ACORN Winery/Alegría Vineyards Heritage Vines Zinfandel, RRV, $50
2016 Christopher Creek Winery Meritage, $75
2013 Paradise Ridge Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Estate, Gradview, $37
Package 6 – $283.00 Sales Have Ended
6 pack #2
Limited 6 packs available
Pinot & Zin Lover’s Mix #1
If you love Pinot Noir and Zinfandel (and who doesn’t?) here are six bottles you can’t pass up. Each wine makes you appreciate the depth and beauty of the varietal. This mix also includes a Zinfandel from one of the Wine Road’s newest members, Carlisle Winery, and a Pinot Noir of a founding member, Pedroncelli.
Included in this package:
2018 Carlisle Winery Zinfandel, Papera Ranch, $48
2018 Pedroncelli Winery Pinot Noir, Signature Selection, Dry Creek Valley, $22
2017 Portalupi Wine Pinot Noir, Dolinsek Ranch, Russian River Valley, $60
2017 VML Winery, Earth Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, $59
2017 Mill Creek Vineyards & Winery Zinfandel, Hillside Estate, Dry Creek Valley, $48
2018 Truett Hurst Winery Luci Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, $46
Package 7 – $197.00 Sales Have Ended
Limited 4 packs available
Pinot & Zin Lover’s Mix #2 (4 pack)
Need even more Pinot and Zin? Select Mix #1 and Mix #2, or if you just want four bottles, this mix is perfect. Besides being delicious, all four of these wines are made by wineries with tasting rooms in towns—Geyserville, Healdsburg (2) and Windsor. Why does that matter? Maybe you don’t often visit tasting rooms in town, and now’s your chance to discover what you’ve been missing—four excellent wines from four excellent wineries. You might want to order two!
Wine Listing for 4 pack #1
2017 Seghesio Family Vineyards Zinfandel, Home Ranch, Alexander Valley, $60
2018 Longboard Vineyards Pinot Noir Mer Sauvage, Russian River Valley, $56
2018 Dot Wines Pinot Noir, Lyrik Vineyard, Russian River Valley, $45
2015 Zouzounis Wines Zinfandel, $36
2020 Wine & Food Pairings
Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy hearing our winemakers, winery owners and chefs talking about their featured wines and the recipe they are pairing it with.
Many wineries are also going LIVE on the weekend, so you can follow along in real time, even asking questions as they talk about their wines.
Download the recipes files here via Dropbox. RECIPES
Below are the wines and recipes featured this weekend:
Alexander Valley Vineyards – Cyrus – Pan Roasted Duck, Red Wine Braised Cabbage
ACORN Winery/Alegría Vineyards – Zinfandel – Weeknight Chicken Mole
Amista Vineyards – Tres (GSMBlend) and Mushroom Ragout with Creamy Polenta
Amphora Winery – Vermentino – Rick’s Clam Chowder
Baldassari Wines – Chardonnay – Pan Seared Halibut with Romaneso, Radicchio & Walnuts
Balletto Vineyards – Pinot Noir – Filet of Pork Winemaker’s Style
Capo Creek Winery and Vineyards – Old Vine Zinfandel – Tomato Tart
Carlisle Winery – Zinfandel – Grilled Salmon with Wild Mushroom Sauce
Carol Shelton Wines – Zinfandel – Gad Zukes!
Cast Wines – Sparkling Blanc de Noirs – Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Pumpkin Sage Waffles
Christopher Creek Winery – Meritage – Slow Cooker Short Ribs
Colagrossi Wines – Sauvignon Blanc
Coyote Sonoma – Cabernet Sauvignon – Coffee Cured Bacon Bone-In Ribeye
David Coffaro Vineyard & Winery – Italian Style – Easy Manicotti with Prosciutto & Basil
delorimier Winery – Cabernet Sauvignon – Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
Dot Wines – Pinot Noir – Pork Kare Kare (Fillipino Pork and Peanut Stew)
Dutton Estate Winery – Syrah – Barbecue Meatballs
Ektimo Winery – Pinot Noir – Delectable Wild Mushroom Crostini
Foppiano Vineyards – Petite Sirah – Tocco alla Genovese
Francis Ford Coppola Winery – Directors Cut Cinema – Pan Roasted Duck Breast with Wild Mushrooms
Francis Ford Coppola Winery Too! – Chardonnay – Pizzetta with Butternut Squash and Pancetta
Frick – Cinsaut – Coq Au Cinsaut
Fritz Underground Winery – Zinfandel – Creamy Polenta with Mushroom Ragu
GC Lurton Vineyards – Cabernet Sauvignon – Seven-Hours Lamb with Flageolets
HANNA Winery – Sauvignon Blanc – Lolla Rossa, Fig and Feta Salad
Harvest Moon Estate & Winery – Sparkling Zinfandel – Bacon Wrapped Dates
Hook & Ladder Winery – Pinot Noir – Salmon Beurre Blanc
J. Rickards Winery – Malbec – Mushroom Souffles
K Squared Cellars – Cabernet Sauvignon
Kelley & Young Wines – Rosé – Croquetas de Jamón (Ham Croquettes)
Longboard Vineyards – Pinot Noir – Pomegranate Reduction Duck Breast
Manzanita Creek Winery – Zinfandel – Chili Colorado
Matrix Winery – Zinfandel – Seared Duck Breast with Matrix Zinfandel Sauce
Mazzocco Sonoma – Zinfandel – Zinfandel & Shrimp Paella
Merriam Vineyards – Cabernet Franc – Braised Keftedes with Cabernet Franc Sauce
Mill Creek Vineyards & Winery – Zinfandel – Nonie’s All Beef Italian Meatballs
Moshin Vineyards – Pinot Noir – Rick’s Famous Smoked Salmon
Mounts Family Winery – Rhòne Style Red Blend – Ikra aka Eggplant Caviar
Mutt Lynch Winery – Merlot
Old World Winery – Arbouriou Burgundy Port Style – ERA Pomegranate Braised Lamb Empanadas
Papapietro Perry – Pinot Noir – Papa’s Porcini Pasta
Paradise Ridge Winery – Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc – Plum Tart with Ode To Joy
Pech Merle Winery – Pinot Noir – Gruyere & Proscuitto Panini with French Onion Soup
Pedroncelli Winery – Pinot Noir – Wild Mushroom Soup with Parmesan Croutons
Peterson Winery – GCM Rhone Blend – Short Ribs with Olives and Herbs
Pezzi King Vineyards – Petite Sirah – Mushroom Soup
Portalupi Wine – Pinot Noir – Smoked Salmon Burgers
Robert Young Estate Winery – Cabernet Sauvignon – Bourbon Braised Short Ribs
Rockpile Vineyards – Petite Sirah – Butter Poached Barbecue Pork Belly
Rued Winery – Zinfandel – Zin BBQ Sauce with Pulled Pork
Russian River Vineyards – Chardonnay – Crab Cakes
Seghesio Family Vineyards – Zinfandel – Roasted Tomato Soup & Gruyere “Grilled Cheese”
Soda Rock Winery – Cab Franc – Flat Iron Pave with Cab Franc Reduction
Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards – Chardonnay – Enchiladas Suizas de Pava
Tara Bella Winery – Cabernet Sauvignon – Salsa Pomodoro di Maiale
The Meeker Vineyard – Pop Punk “Pet Nat” of Verdelho – Indian Lamb Vindaloo
Trione Vineyards and Winery – Chardonnay – Tuscan White Bean & Sausage Soup
Truett Hurst Winery – Zinfandel – Society Bakery’s Zinfandel Cheesecake Truffles
Viszlay Vineyards – Bordeaux Blend
VML Winery – Pinot Noir – Wild Mushroom Puff Pastry Bites with Pine Nut Aoli
West Wines – Cabernet Sauvignon – Beef Mushroom Slides with Cabernet Sauce
Wilson Winery – Primitivo – Wilson’s Signature Tri-Tip
Woodenhead – Charbono – Sliced Mushrooms with Melted Cheese
Zouzounis Wines – Zinfandel – Beef and Potatoes with Rosemary
Sonoma County experts share their advice on making stress-free pies for Pi Day
Winners: Will be announced Monday, March 15, on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You will be contacted directly if you are a winner.
Prizes: Gift cards, T-shirts and coffee cups.
Since 1988, and officially in 2009, when it became a national holiday, Pi Day has been celebrated on March 14, because 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of pi, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.
In honor of this mathematical constant, we are celebrating another kind of pie today: the sweet, soft comfort food baked in a circular pan and enveloped in a tantalizing sandwich of crusts and toppings.
For anyone who’s into stress baking during the pandemic but doesn’t want to add stress to their life, we gathered tips from our local pie bakers to help you find success and get over the fear of crust.
From the owners of Petaluma Pie Company to the pastry chef behind Chile Pies Baking Co. in Guerneville, the chefs shared insider advice on how to keep your pie crust flaky and your fillings delicious, along with some easy pie recipes even newbies can nail.
Pastry chef Jenny Malicki
Longtime Sonoma County pastry chef Jenny Malicki, who bakes pies for the Estero Cafe in Valley Ford and Chef Mark Malicki’s weekend pop-up at the Casino Bar & Grill in Bodega, provided three simple tips for pie perfection:
1. Make sure you keep the butter and the water ice cold throughout the process.
“The butter needs to be really cold,” Malicki said. “Make ice water and stick it in the fridge.”
Once you’ve put your pie together, slide it into the freezer for a half-hour before baking, to avoid slumping.
And if you happen to be baking during a heat wave, make the pie dough the night before, then bake the pie in the morning.
2. Don’t overwork the dough.
Use a light touch in bringing the dough together, or the overworked dough will make a tough-textured crust.
“Overworking melts the fat, so there are no more layers,” she explained. “Also, you don’t want it too dry or too wet.”
3. Roll and rotate as you go.
When you’re rolling out the dough, sprinkle the pastry mat with flour, then place the round disc of dough on top. Starting at the center, roll the dough away from you, then start in the center again and roll it toward you.
Then pick up the disc and turn it 45 degrees. Use a spatula if it sticks to the mat.
Repeat this process until the dough is 11 or 12 inches in diameter, then place a sheet of parchment on top, roll it up and refrigerate. Then roll out the second piece, roll it up with parchment and refrigerate it while you work on the filling.
Lina Hoshiro of Petaluma Pie Company
Co-owners Lina Hoshiro and Angelo Sacerdote recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of Petaluma Pie Company, where they have gained a loyal following for their sweet and savory pies.
During the pandemic, the small mom-and-pop shop has managed to survive with the help of Paycheck Protection Program loans. They also added local delivery and switched to pickup at the door of their shop in downtown Petaluma.
“We saw a big increase in our take-and-bake sales,” Sacerdote said. “Basically all our savory pies are available frozen, and that really spiked.”
The shop offers a lime pie and lemon meringue pie every day, made from the lemons and limes the couple harvests during citrus season.
“It’s kind of like a key lime pie,” Sacerdote said. “It’s like a classic condensed-milk one, so it’s creamy and dense and sweet. We do ours with a regular pie crust.”
The Lemon Meringue pie is a little more work, he said, because you have to make a lemon curd as well as the meringue topping. That’s often a challenge if you make a raw meringue and cook it, as it can weep on the bottom as it cooks.
“We switched over to an Italian-style meringue,” he said. “It’s a cooked sugar solution added into the whites as you’re whipping them, and it’s a lot more stable. Then you use a torch.”
Here are Hoshiro’s tips for “mindful” baking, which means sourcing seasonal ingredients locally to support the economy and ensure a gentler impact on the environment:
1. Choose produce that didn’t travel far to get to you. Local farmers markets are a good place to start. Citrus will be around for a little while, with strawberries on their way, followed by the stone fruits of late spring.
For the crust, the couple uses organic unbleached pastry flour from Central Milling in Petaluma, just a few miles from their pie shop. They buy their butter, cheese and eggs down the road, too: European butter from Straus Family Creamery, Estero Gold cheese from Valley Ford Cheese & Creamery and eggs from the free-range chickens at Coastal Hill Ranch.
2. Making your own pie crust with a food processor is quicker than a visit to the grocery store. With just a few ingredients and a few minutes of mixing and chilling in the fridge, the pie dough will be ready to roll.
Petaluma Pie Company sponsors ‘Piku’ contest
What: Petaluma Pie Company’s annual “Piku” contest in honor of Pi Day, March 14
How to enter: Go to petalumapiecompany.com and use the form to write a haiku about pi, the number pie, the food, or both. The format is three lines: five syllables, seven syllables, five syllables
Deadline: Noon Sunday, March 14
Winners: Will be announced Monday, March 15, on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You will be contacted directly if you are a winner.