One of our favorite walks is the Santa Rosa Creek trail in the Laguna de Santa Rosa. It is a spectacular trail that allows bikers, walkers and dog owners a peek of the characteristics that make Sonoma County a wonderful place to live: vineyards, horse and cattle pastures, corn fields and ponds full of ducks and geese.
One of the things we’ve appreciated since moving to the Russian River Valley six years ago is the embrace we’ve felt from this warm, welcoming and authentic community. It’s a community whose people make their homes and living in this rural and small town area and whose lives involve more than what out-of-towners see when they visit wineries on the weekends.
One of the coolest summertime activities was rock climbing on the Sunset Boulders at Goat Rock State Beach along the Sonoma Coast. Our oldest grandson, Gabriel, got into rock climbing a couple of years ago and even inspired his Grandpa Clay to join a rock climbing gym here in Santa Rosa. Sunset Boulders provided a beautiful, outdoor spot for all of us to act like mountain goats.
Olivet Road, our nearest neighbor to the east of our own Laguna Road, is a long road with long views over vineyards that have been around for decades and wineries that are family owned. More often than not, the winemaker will be pouring for you while his dog takes a nap at your feet. Olivet Road is the epitome of welcoming yet unpretentious Russian River Valley. On Saturday, April 12, nine wineries will celebrate their road with the Taste of Olivet. Wine enthusiasts will get a chance to enjoy award-winning wines, food pairings, entertainment and that awesome, laid-back friendliness that only Olivet Road can offer.
We call Sonoma County “wine country”, which is appropriate. But the national popularity of locally owned breweries and the fanatical following for Russian River Brewing’s Pliny the Younger make a case to call it “beer country.” With the addition of Spirit Works Distillery, in Sebastopol’s The Barlow shopping district, is “spirit country” now in play?
Owner Beth Thorp of Nightingale Breads bakes bread of such unique quality that you can identify it in one bite: Once, we dove into the bread basket at the renowned Farmhouse and immediately asked our server, “This is from Nightingale, isn’t it?”
The scenic and bountiful land, the world-recognized wine and food, and the warm-hearted people make us feel blessed to live in this nook of Sonoma County. Recently, we’ve been enjoying another benefit of this area: we are just three right turns and a 12-minute drive from the world-class entertainment offerings of the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa, Calif.
We made an appointment to taste at Porter-Bass Vineyard & Winery, a biodynamic vineyard and winery nestled between two redwood-covered ridges southeast of Guerneville, CA, just nine miles east of the ocean.
We've just come back from a nice Tuesday afternoon of dining, shopping and sipping, and we can't wait to tell you about some of our favorite spots.
What better way to enjoy Halloween in Sonoma County than to take the kids to California Carnivores, the largest retail carnivorous plant nursery in the United States. We took our grandkids this summer, and were blown away by the alien-like plants housed in a large greenhouse in Sebastopol that doubles as a carniverous plant museum.