Vineyard Grapes

Leisurely days of summer await in Wine Country

Sonoma, Calif – A summer escape to wine country conjures up images of lush, green vineyards, long leisurely days, winery picnics, dining al fresco and signature outdoor events and festivals.

Sonoma Valley – a 17-mile-long valley within Sonoma County that encompasses the city of Sonoma and the villages of Carneros, The Springs, Glen Ellen, and Kenwood – offers a variety of new experiences this season from pop-up restaurants to the return of a great race to a new spa that honors the region’s “salt of the earth” spirit. Oh, and Jack London State Park goes to the dogs.

Arts & Culture

Enjoy three days of the best in film, food, wine and fun at SIFF Summerfest August 4-6. The festival is back with three nights of films, indoor at the historic Sebastiani Theatre and outdoor on the big screen. The finale will feature the signature SIFF Screen & Cuisine dinner with the film: “Love, Charlie: The Rise And Fall Of Chef Charlie Trotte.”  Rebecca Halpern, who makes her directorial debut with the film, will introduce the event. The Patron Pass includes all our indoor and outdoor screenings, special Library Wine tastings with small bites, priority entry, and the special culinary dinner. Tickets are available now.


This year, the Valley of the Moon Music Festival presents chamber and vocal music inspired by nature and the elements. Themes of heaven, earth and water are woven through this season’s concerts from Schubert’s epic “Die Schöne Müllerin,” to Brahms’ “Rain” sonata for violin and piano, to Florence Price’s “Sunset.” To complement this celebration of nature’s majesty, the Festival will launch the Music Alfresco series, where audiences can experience music in select beautiful natural settings throughout Sonoma County. The festival runs July 16 – 28.

Hotels & Spas

The Spa at The Lodge at Sonoma Resort, has reopened with a new range of curated treatments incorporating botanicals indigenous to the Sonoma Valley, honoring the resort’s commitment to offerings that embody the unique salt-of-the-earth spirit of the region.

Tucked away on the lush resort grounds, the 7,796-square-foot spa boasts upscale interiors by Wilson Ishihara and features a contemporary and inviting lounge space; charming boutique; outdoor dry barrel sauna; scrub showers; and a private garden soaking pool and whirlpool spa.

In celebration of the spa’s opening, guests are invited to enjoy the Wellness in Wine Country Package, which includes a three-night stay at this Autograph Collection property, special “wine-down” service, “Valley of the Moon,” full body spa treatment, daily spa access, dinner for two at Wit & Wisdom and daily breakfast.

Outdoors

Named one of the most scenic half marathons in the country, Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon returns this month. With on-course wine tastings and an epic post-race wine festival, this event is often referred to as a bucket-list half marathon. With the Rosé 5K taking place on Saturday July 16 and the Half Marathon on Sunday, July 17, you’ll enjoy a full weekend of fun.

If dogs could read, Jack London would probably be their favorite author and his “Call of the Wild” and “White Fang” their favorite books. On July 17, fifteen lucky dogs (and their humans) will have their day at Jack London State Historic Park at “Walk n Wag,” a three-mile walk around Jack London’s Beauty Ranch and then down to the Wolf House with good sniffs, treats, and water along the way. Reservations are on a first-come basis.

Restaurants

Taub Family Outpost is once again open for dinner. The dining room is open Wednesday to Sunday starting at 5:00 pm. with an all-new seasonal menu. In the downstairs wine bar, Taub is offering eight different wine flights along a small plates menu.

Cornerstone Sonoma announces a new summer menu from 2021 MICHELIN Bib Gourmand recipient Folktable. Under the direction of Bravo Top Chef star Casey Thompson, highlights Sonoma’s agricultural abundance, focusing on fresh ingredients sourced from its own organic farms and local purveyors and partners throughout Sonoma County. The new summer menu includes dishes like California Mezze, Farm Harvest Salad and Potato Flake Crusted Bone-In Pork Schnitzel.

Primal Cuts BBQ is perfecting the art of BBQ at the historic Cheese Factory on the Sonoma Plaza. An alum of Oakland hotspot Horn Barbecue, Chef Gomez brings an elevated approach to the classic summer dishes like Beef Brisket, Turkey Breast, Pulled Pork and Housemade Sausage Links. Ingredients and oak are sourced from Sonoma’s Tank House Farms, and the scraps are returned to the fields for the next cycle of food. Primal Cuts is also available on Saturdays and Sundays through September at the Cornerstone Outdoor Kitchen.

Wineries, Distilleries, & Breweries

Sonoma Valley’s newest wine tasting experience, Hamilton Family Winery, features small production wines poured by the owners, Lindsay and Greg Hamilton. Sit under a canopy of olive trees at their Kenwood tasting room and enjoy Sauvignon Blanc, Rose of Grenache, Pinot Noir, GSM, and their Cab-based blend. All wines are handcrafted with natural fermentation and minimal-intervention practices.

Vaughn Duffy Wines started in 2009 when husband and wife Matt Duffy and Sara Vaughn purchased one ton of Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir grapes. Right out of the gate, Vaughn Duffy was recommended by top wine critics and garnered a loyal following among in-the-know enthusiasts and wine buyers at top Bay Area restaurants and retail establishments. Today, Vaughn Duffy crafts sought-after Pinot Noir and more that can be experienced at their new tasting room in Kenwood.

Pomme Cider Shop, Sonoma’s only cider tap room and bottle shop, is located just steps from the historic Sonoma Plaza. The tap room is home to 18 taps and more than 100 different ciders from around the globe. They also have a collection of more than 20 pét-nats, Champagne by the bottle, and natural wine options. Started by Rick Tranchina, Pomme hearkens back to simpler times, evoking the spirit of a soda-fountain shop with modern sleekness and warm hospitality. He sources his ciders from near and far and is a treasure trove of knowledge—great for those who want to learn more about cider.

Summer + winery + picnic = perfection! Muscardini Cellars is now inviting guests to take a “pausa pranzo” with their Pairable Picnic basket. Stretch out on a picnic table, nestle into an Adirondack chair, or lay out a blanket and enjoy unique charcuterie provisions and a hand-selected Muscardini wine. The seasonal and local charcuterie elevates the wine tasting experience.

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