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?
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'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.
Now, many years later, we are fortunate to be members of the WS List. They can now accommodate their members with private tastings and tours in their beautiful new facilities.
We were again fortunate to have our grandchildren stay with us for several weeks. As they grew into their teens, we were concerned that keeping them entertained and interested was going to be more of a challenge. Once again, Sonoma County came through with more terrific things to do and wonderful places to eat.
On a recent Wednesday morning, my daughter and I decided to try out the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market. We’re both hitting notable birthdays this year, and one thing we’ve noticed about ourselves as we’ve gotten older is our aversion to crowds. So we were both delighted to find that the Wednesday morning version had all the things we love about a farmers market -- local produce, quality meats, delicious fresh-cooked food and interesting goods -- without the one thing we don’t: swarms of people.
the Russian River Valley has transformed from a relatively unknown area only beginning to garner respect for some surprising Pinot Noirs to a world-recognized region making world-renowned wines. No single entity has been a bigger proponent of that perception shift than the Russian River Valley Winegrowers.