An easy hour and a half cycle ride (each way) out of busy Bruges and over the bucolic, flat as a pancake Belgian border into the Netherlands proved a welcome respite from summer season masses during a few days stay in the picturesque medieval city.
After three or four miles of comfortable peddling on a bike route alongside the Napoleancanal that connects a string of Flemish port towns, windmills and cafes of 15th Century Damme called for a first pit-stop for coffee and water and a walk around its lovely little town center.
Damme was an important town in the medieval period, serving as the outer harbor for Bruges in its trading heyday as the New York of its era, ships loaded and unloaded their cargo until 1520, at which point its inlet silted over.
Sluis, the last harbor for Bruges, is also cut off from the sea, nowadays. It was established as a town in 1290. In 1382, the Count of Flanders, Louis Van Male fortified the town with a castle that survived until 1820. Walls that encircled the entire town have long since crumbled, but there remains a strong sense of historical identity when approaching this Flemish community from surrounding countryside, today.
In the late 18th century, Damme had various waterways and canals running alongside each other, but navigation was practically impossible. The Bruges-Damme-Sluis route was been non-navigable for many years.
French warlord Napoléon Bonaparte, unable to travel in the North Sea, was determined to link Dunkirk and Antwerp, his two naval ports.
It was Napoleon's idea to construct a canal to connect Bruges with Damme and Sluis. Spanish prisoners-of-war began initial digging in 1812.
One of the most refreshing aspects of my family's group cycle ride was moments of complete solitude in this quiet countryside. Cycle routes sometimes extended into regular roadways. Mostly, it was other family groups and people of all ages peddling along in each direction, many for practical transportation and in everyday clothes, hardly a tour-de-France cycling kit in sight.
After a Flemish lunch in Sluis and a wander through its flower basket bedecked town center, there wasn't an awful lot to keep us from heading back along the scenic canal (where we spotted several wild water long distance swimmers) for evening time in beautiful Bruges.
"Who is staring at the sea is already sailing a little."
First port-of-call after passing uneventfully over the border from France into Belgium was the West Flanders seaside town of De Panne. Home to the longest tramline in the world, The Belgium Coast Tram, running since 1885, runs from the De Panne on the French Border to Knokke-Heist, said to be the San Tropez of the region, on the Dutch border.
For six Euros a person, tram riders merrily hop on and off over a 38 mile route that packs in Dutch and Germans in summertime, but apparently not too many British or American travelers. Imagine that — one charming young waiter in a beach-front restaurant we stopped in at for lunch declared us his very first from the U.S.
Having spent my childhood summers squashed into my parents' station wagon (estate car in Brit speak) alongside my three siblings directly en-route to sun-drenched, fondly remembered camping holidays by the beaches of the South of France, a left turn at Calais from the Eurotunnel, along the North Sea was a first for me.
My British/Italian/American family of five and our oldest son's girlfriend were reuniting in the Flemish medieval city of Bruges for a five-night vacation-within-a-vacation. My youngest, London-based sister and her two daughters were joining us for two of those days.
Seeings as we weren't necessarily in search of elusive sunshine on our travels, coming from 100 degree heat at home, we'd quite fancied the more typically moderate North European summertime climate for a few days respite. As it turned out, it was hot and humid the entire time, except for one spectacular evening thunderstorm with lightening and rain.
We walked the wide and pleasant promenade of De Panne, taking in rows of neat little beach huts in various hues, following a light lunch of croquettes, croque monsieur, frites and the first of oh, maybe quite a few samplings of the roughly 800 Belgian beers on the market today.
An hour later we'd navigated (with the help of a GPS system in the rental car) a maze of medieval streets to find our temporary home-from-home, a beautiful second-floor 15th Century, beamed apartment in the center of Bruges.
Meandering canals, cobbled streets and immaculately preserved Flemish architecture provide a picture-perfect city break made for walking and/or cycling.
Summertime crowds aside, to stand in the heart of the city in the Markt, or market place, dominated by the towering Belfort, a medieval brick belfry made famous in recent years by the film In Bruges, is a bucket-list moment for international art, history, chocolate, beer and culture lovers alike.
Belgium produces over 220,000 tons of chocolates a year, I wondered how many tons it produces of its national dish, moules frites — briny mussels served in a large saucepan with a bowl of comforting salty fries with homemade mayo. Flemish beef stew's every bit as popular, both a staple of every menu in the city's hundreds of restaurants, the best of which, are the neighborhood eateries, on a myriad of streets off the central plazas and beyond.
My favorite backstreet find was this delectable little (and provenly delicious) Transylvanian-style "Chimney Cake" pastry shop.
Sorry to say we're not much of a chocoholic family, so the top-notch chocolate shops, though eye candy enough, failed to entice in the same way as the tempting Trappist ales, mussels, stews and another Belgian speciality — waffles.
Wednesday morning is market day in Bruges. The three most popular varieties of Belgian waffles are: Liege waffles, Brussels waffles, larger, lighter, rectangular and enjoyed with chocolate, whipped cream, strawberries or ice cream and slimmer, softer, breakfast Galettes.
Belgium boasts many of Europe's most outstanding collections of visual art. Fifteenth Century artists — Flemish Primitives, Old Masters Hubert, Jan van Eyck, Quentin Matsys, Hans Memling and Rogier van der Weyden were the first to popularize the use of oil paint.
I particularly appreciated learning more about the history of ‘Flemish tapestry’, Belgium being the principal centre for tapestry weaving at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries.
Today, the cities of Bruges, and Ghent are magnets for modern day artists from around the world. Wandering residential areas of Bruges was every bit as captivating, culturally, thanks to the artistic residents of such an enchanting and inspiring place.
"A country like Belgium, or socialist countries in central Europe spend more money on art education than the United States, which is a really puzzling thought".
In May 1624, "Nieu Nederlandt", a ship chartered by the West India Company, arrived in sight of Manhattan Island. The ship carried around 30 Belgian families, no short irony that they founded New York given that the medieval city of Bruges was, in fact, the Manhattan metropolis of its day.
Bruges’ beauty saved this architectural treasure trove from being destroyed in WWII, when German Commander Immo Hopman reportedly refused to carry out orders from his superiors to bomb the city.
Part Two — Cycling From Belgium to Holland, to follow.
In the 25 years that I've lived in California, lots of things have changed in my native UK and throughout the European continent. Not always for the better, we hear, but in so many ways, I continue to be amazed and enthralled at the many advancements and developments in Britain and neighboring countries.
One of which, The Channel Tunnel (Eurotunnel), was completed four years after I'd left for the States. Though most of my immediate family members have traveled from London to Paris and/or Brussels on various occasions over the past few years, via Eurostar Train, I'd somehow managed to miss out on any underground cross-channel experience, myself.
Not to be confused, the 31.4 mile long Eurotunnel provides the fastest route from Folkestone, England to Calais, France or the other way around, by car, or other vehicle. Drivers and their passengers actually drive onto the train and stay in their vehicle for the super fast half an hour journey.
Eurostar, on the other hand provides passenger rail service from several train stations in the UK, Belgium and France, including St.Pancras, London and Ashford, Kent. A London to Paris journey takes around two and a half hours.
The first step in planning to take the tunnel as visiting Americans is figuring out which rental car companies allow vehicles to be taken out of the country. Be sure to read the fine print whenever you rent a car abroad (or in the U.S. for that matter) and research requirements as to any of that pesky additional coverage that you might actually need, or not.
I opted for a Europcar 16 day rental out of London Heathrow. Prices vary wildly online, so do your homework and stick with it until you find the right car at a reasonable price. Service at Europcar Heathrow was excellent, a refreshing change of pace from most other recent car rentals when traveling in the States and overseas. If you're comfortable with a stick shift, you'll save mega dollars on a rental.
A Europdrive package was the only add-on necessary, providing road side assistance and proof of ownership of vehicle as required in the EU for $75.
Eurotunnel services had recently been hit by strikes and migrants desperate to enter the UK, targeting trucks for weeks and causing mayhem for hauliers, holidaymakers and locals, either side of the Channel.
Sangatte, a refugee camp half a mile from the French terminal near Calais, holds up to 700 refugees, mostly Kurds from Iraq, and Afghans.
I had no idea what to expect, in that we might have had trouble making our crossing. We experienced no delay, either way. Still, the ease and comfort of our journey was poignant to my family. Our thoughts were with those who continue to put themselves through unbelievable peril in their hopes to penetrate the tunnel to reach Great Britain.
First week of my 2015 trip back to the homeland consisted of cramming in as much time as possible with mums and dad, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces and cousins of my family's combined European clans.
No short order. Pit-stops in pubs, cafes and farm shop restaurants made for happy little excursions outside of the various abodes on our family tour.
The Tobie Norris, in historic Stamford, Lincolnshire, located just a few miles from my parents' home, dates back to 1280. Steep staircases, wobbly floors, rustic antiques, velvet covered seating, best of British pub food and real ales made for one of my favorite watering holes in the region.
If you're traveling the UK and headed north from London to York, make Stamford a stop in your itinerary. Frequently named as one of the best places to live in Britain, this beautiful, Georgian market town is well worth an overnight (with time for a visit to Elizabethan era Burghley House).
Following Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire, a couple of nights' stay in the capital called for a boat ride on the river with my sister and nieces and a visit to the Tower of London. Not to be confused with London Bridge (photographed from the Tower), tours of the fortress Tower that houses the Crown Jewels never fail to enthrall — highlight this time was my four-year-old niece surprising me with her impromptu recital from memory of the correct order and names of Henry VIII's six wives, as we walked in. My sister is a teacher and a history buff, but still . . .
Yoemen of the Guard and Tower staff live within the compound of this 1,000 year old royal fortress, today. Lovely in summertime, but I'd imagine it a bit spooky as digs on a cold, dark, winters night. The tower is said to be haunted, not surprisingly, Anne Boleyn, for one.
Further south in our family's roadmap of England, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law's home territory takes in sleepy and remote Sussex countryside. Sleepy today, but not in its storied past. Their village home is positioned on a hedgerow-flanked lane between the historic towns of Battle and Hastings. 1066 land.
After a bloody battle lasting over nine hours from dawn until dusk, October 14th, 1066, William of Normandy defeated King Harold of England on a battlefield 8 miles from Hastings — the Battle of Hastings, one of the best-known and most decisive events in England's history, the victory of William, Duke of Normandy and the death of Harold, King of England, were crucial to the success of the Norman Conquest.
The battlefield, devoid of modern development, owes its survival to the founding by King William ‘the Conqueror’ of the Benedictine Battle Abbey on the site as penance for the bloodshed and to commemorate his victory. Much of the battlefield became part of the abbey's great park, which formed the nucleus of a country estate after the suppression of the abbey in 1538.
The seaside town of Hastings itself was popularized recently in the States, as location of World War II detective drama, Foyle's War.
Fresh Fish and Chips on the seashore were order of the day during our brief visit. Hastings is home to a charming old town center, full of independent book shops, cafes, pubs, antique stores and art galleries and is enjoying a regentrification boost as British holiday makers and weekenders look to explore more of the country's rich heritage.
I love a farm shop. English farm shops are especially good at serving up a cream tea or full English breakfast, complete with china cups and saucers.
This was my first visit to Rye, an exquisite old town in East Sussex, home of BBC's Mapp and Lucia a few miles inland from the coast. Its gorgeous, old Mermaid Inn (where we stopped for a glass of Pimms on its tiny terrace) was built for a visit by Queen Elizabeth I and still presides on a cobblestone street in the center of town.
The West Sonoma Coast Vintners announce an exciting new line up of special events for their weekend long wine festival taking place in Sebastopol this weekend, July 31st – August 2nd, 2015.
The wine festival celebrates its fifth year with a new opening night ceremony and whole hog celebration BBQ party, entertaining and educational wine seminars moderated by Bloomberg wine writer Elin McCoy, a visit to epic coastal vineyards, access to the VIP Grand Tasting and an invite to the Saturday night seated grand dinner featuring award winning James Beard cuisine from Stark &Co paired with rare and allocated wines from the West Sonoma Coast Vintners.
Friday Night Opening Party: $150 LIMITED TICKETS LEFT
Saturday Seminars & Catered Lunch: $100
Saturday Grand Tasting: $125
Saturday Grand Dinner: $175 SOLD OUT
Sunday Grand Tasting: $100
This special destination wine weekend is held at Sebastopol’s The Barlow, a home to food producers, wine makers, brewers, distillers and artists that uniquely connect small artisan producers with the greater community of local and visiting consumers.
“The WOW wine festival has become a destination event for oenophiles world-wide and we continue to add new and exciting events to create an unparalleled wine experience. We have expanded our schedule to immerse our guests in this unique and stunning region that produces some of the finest cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the market place” says Michael McEvoy of Joseph Phelps, West Sonoma Coast Vintners’ Board President and founding member.
The association has also increased the size of the Saturday night Grand Dinner, allowing for more guests while retaining an elegant ambiance and the extraordinarily intimate ratio of guests to winemakers making this one of the few winemaker dinners where the wines and winemakers will outnumbers the guests.
The West Sonoma Coast Vintners is an association formed to highlight the distinguished wines crafted from grapes grown on the coastline of West Sonoma County. The West of West “WOW” wine festival is quickly becoming the preeminent tasting weekend for some of the finest cool climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah.
SEBASTOPOL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
Friday, July 31st
Opening Ceremony: A West County Whole Hog Celebration. 6:00pm – 10:00 pm
The WOW weekend kicks-off on Friday, July 31st with a warm welcome as part of its inaugural Opening Ceremony followed by a West County whole hog celebration held at an historic Martinelli property. This casual and relaxed evening will include live music and of course, plenty of great West Sonoma Coast wines. Mix and mingle with the vintners, growers and an all-star list of sommeliers from the finest restaurants in the nation to learn what makes West Sonoma Coast so special.
Saturday, August 1st
Ode to Chardonnay: a blind tasting exploring famed Chardonnay producing regions from around the world.
10:00am – 11:30 am
Award winning wine journalist and author Elin McCoy will moderate this seminar exploring benchmark Chardonnay regions from around the globe extending from Burgundy to the cool climate of the West Sonoma Coast. This blind tasting of nine esteemed wines will take you on a journey to study the unique terroir of each region and to better understand how they are reflected in this charismatic varietal. It will challenge all your assumptions about this noble but often misunderstood variety.
11:30 - 1:00pm
A catered lunch prepared by Rocker Oysterfeller’s and Firefly Fine Catering immediately follows the first seminar on the picturesque grounds of The Barlow.
A Study of Terroir: the Wines of Freestone and Occidental.
1:00 pm - 2:30pm
There’s no better way to understand the coastal influences, extreme farming conditions and unique terroir of the West Sonoma Coast than through a comprehensive tasting of 2013 Pinot Noir hailing from various vineyards throughout its Freestone and Occidental sub-regions. Wine writer Elaine Chukan Brown of Wakawakawinereviews.com and Jancis Robinson.com will moderate a panel of winemakers as you blind taste through 6-9 wines from these dynamic growing regions and discuss their differences and/or similarities.
VIP “All-Access Weekend Pass” Grand Tasting preview 2:30pm – 3:00pm
The doors open early to the Grand Tasting for our all access pass ticket holders. Enjoy an early opportunity to taste with our winemakers before doors open for general ticket holders. Experience select special reserve wines before they run out.
Grand Tasting 3:00 – 6:00pm
Spend the afternoon under the Grand Tasting tent exploring wines from roughly forty different winemakers and growers located throughout the extreme West Sonoma Coast. This unique tasting gives guests an opportunity to sample rare and hard to find wines that grace some of America’s top wine lists. Complementing the wines will be a selection of artisan foods from top local purveyors.
6:30pm – 10:00pm
The special seated dinner has literally moved under the stars this year. It will feature an outstanding local culinary bounty prepared by Sonoma County’s award-winning Stark & Co. The evening will start with a band and local oyster bar followed by porchetta carved tableside, halibut cheeks, Dungeness crab, fennel sofrito and many more specialties from our region. The Grand Dinner will be paired with a selection of fabulous library and reserve wines brought by our distinguished vintner guests. Feel free to bring special wines from your cellar to further spread joy as you are seated with new and old friends, as well as winemakers from throughout the West Sonoma Coast.
Sunday, August 2nd
Viticulture on the Edge of the Continent: A Stroll Down Taylor Lane Noon – 1:30pm (Vineyard Tour)
Take a late morning drive through towering Redwoods and coastal views ending at the West Sonoma Coast’s renowned Taylor Lane. After tasting some of the wines from these famed vineyards during Saturday’s second seminar, you will have a chance to visit the host vineyards, speak to the people who farm them, and understand the terroir of this special region like never before as you walk down a ridge top overlooking the magnificent Pacific Ocean.
* You are responsible for your own transportation to and from the vineyard. Directions will be provided.
2:00pm – 5:00pm
Finish your weekend with a return to the Grand Tasting tent where you can continue to explore the wines from forty West Sonoma Coast producers and growers.
The Traveling Sommeliers
Throughout the event, some the most experienced sommeliers in the country join WOW and will be on hand to help pour wines and answer industry questions during the seminars, the Saturday Grand Tasting and the Friday and Saturday night dinners.
“All Weekend Access Pass” is priced at $595 and has limited availability. Click here for a special pass purchase.
Locals night at Tony's Seafood Restaurant in Marshall is the place to be on as the sun goes down on a summer's Friday. Seated at a window table, watching the last of the fishing boats glide in on a perfectly still, picturesque Tomales Bay, a crisp glass of Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc and a plate of $1 a piece fresh oysters from those same waters were my rewards at the tail end of one of the most remote and curviest route from my house to the coastal west.
My prompt to head out west was in part to catch my good friend Pamela and her fellow D'Bunchovus band members rockin' out Tony's Seafood bay-side house with their upbeat brand of acoustic, folk, Americana. Much to the delight of coastal West Marin ranchers, artists, musicians and urban escapees, these talented, long-time musician friends have such a blast making music together — a super-welcoming private-party vibe makes everyone feel at home.
I had an ulterior motive and one involving talking the Italian husband into driving so that I might pay better attention to the twists and turns of our chosen route. Marshall/Petaluma Road is one of the least traveled of beautiful backroads from Sonoma County out to coastal west Marin.
On-going research for my second book, a sequel for Fog Valley Crush, calls for more extensive wandering around the region and this happy outing enabled me to take notes as we traversed exquisite, peaceful scenery of rolling hills and cattle ranches, dropping down directly into Marshall about 16 miles from home.
Anton (Tony) Konatich was an immigrant fisherman from Croatia who opened the largely unchanged eaterie in 1948 as an outlet for selling local catches of salmon, crab, herring and perch.
Today's craze for Tomales Bay-grown oysters attracts city folk on weekends, packing the place out during the day.
Barbecued and fresh oysters have long-since been a staple of the local diet. Drop in on a Friday evening to dine with the neighbors. Your best bet for a more affordable oyster supper. Classic Fog Valley.
Closed Monday and Tuesday, as are most eating establishments in the Marshall/Tomales area.
Oh, and the only other vehicle we saw on the way home, was this one:
True aficionados of world's best fresh, local, seasonal and exceptional foods, wine and refreshing fermented beverages consider historic downtown Healdsburg, heart of Sonoma County's Chalk Hill/Dry Creek/Alexander and Russian River Valleys, a veritable edible Eden. Lucky for us that we live in the same county.
Healdsburg (with its friendly population of just over 11,000), provides as warm and refreshingly down-to-earth welcome to locals as it does wine and food lovers from all over the globe. This five-star farm town is a jewel in the crown of Sonoma County, built around an inviting central plaza. Its walkability and diversity of wine tasting and dining options are unrivalled. In fact, Fodor's Guide names Healdsburg as "One of the 10 Best Small Towns in America".
With so many splendid selections of where to eat and drink, visitors and locals alike are truly spoiled for choice. With this in mind and not being one to miss out on the best of the West, Savor Healdsburg Food Tours — a three-hour, six-stop, seated, progressive dining experience, had me chomping at the bit for finding out what I've been missing around the town's quintessential plaza and neighboring boutique district.
Whether you are looking for expert local insight on where to eat and drink over a stay of a few days, or like me, eager to soak in all the latest and greatest of the town's taste's in a half day gourmet tour, Savor Healdsburg Food Tours, offer remarkable insight, first-class bites, sites and sips for just $89 per person.
I took a summer Saturday tour (to write and take photos for my new Sonoma Insider's blog posts on the county tourism website), a few weeks ago.
The tour was led by Savor Healdsburg Food Tour owner and head foodie, Tammy Gass. "Eat and drink like a local," Tammy promised and as seasoned a sampler of wine country fare as the best of them, by our sixth and final stop I was thoroughly impressed with how at home we all were. This wasn't a typical tourist experience. Tammy's bespoke food tour style exceeded my expectations not only in fantastic, fresh, innovative food and drink — gracious hospitality and personal attention was the order of the day.
First stop, Healdsburg Shed. I'm a huge fan of The Shed, a modern day farming community "Grange”, a stylish and airy events space, market, cafe and fermentation bar that, if I had a whole day to work my way around, would keep me enthralled for endless hours and multiple meals. Tammy led the morning's group of six to a shaded, private outdoor dining area where we were served exquisitely prepared and presented Mezze platters of Beet Tzatziki, Sibley Squash Hummus, Quinoa Salad, served with Feta, olives and handmade crackers. The Shed (owned by Dry Creek farmers, Doug Lipton and Cindy Daniel) is all about its responsible farming methods, ingredient driven cooking and flavorful food.
Our first taste of Healdsburg was paired with a selection of fruity Shrubs, specialty vinegar drinks made at the Shed with fresh quince, strawberry, blood orange and, that particular day, kumquat with ginger and tangerine with clove. I'm a fairly recent Kombucha convert, but this was my intro to the palatable pleasures of Shrubs. If you've yet to explore these healthy refreshers, made over a period of days, with white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, champagne, sherry and apple vinegars, among others, I recommend you seek them out — or, as we learned, make them easily yourself.
Second stop was another first for me, a taste of the Azores, Portugal, at Cafe Lucia. This spacious and contemporary dining spot is tucked away off the plaza, with its own sheltered outside eating area a plus on busy summer weekends. Thousands of Portuguese, brother-and-sister owners Lucia and Manuel Azevedo's father included, came to Northern California over the past century and more to fish and dairy farm, bringing with them their delicious seafood recipes influenced by centuries of seafaring exploration.
A family recipe for freshly baked bread rolls proved a crowd-pleasure, served, typically, warm with a piquant chourico crusted day boat scallop and creamy leek confit and perfectly paired with a youthful, slightly fizzy pour of Pinto Verde.
Third stop, a conveniently located tasting room for Gustafson Family Wines, saved us a long, steep drive some 1800 feet above sea level to the winery itself. A special Savor Healdsburg Tasting Flight consisted of award-winning and rare to the Dry Creek Valley 2103 Reisling (made above the fog line and brimming with green apple and Asian pear), a 2010 Heritage Tree (deep blackberry and current) Zinfandel and a 2010 (sweet oak, toast and clove) Petite Syrah, paired with cheese, crackers and dark chocolate.
Just enough of a walk away to work up an appetite to do it justice, Bravas Bar De Tapas presides over Center Street in a gorgeous, fully renovated and updated (in 2012) 1920s bungalow with impressive outdoor paella kitchen, patio and bar.
Chef Cody Thomason and his talented and energetic team serve up scrumptious Spanish small plates and signature sangria like there's no tomorrow. Tastes kept coming and each with its own rich, spicy and distinctive set of surprises. San Francisco Chronicle food critic Michael Bauer placed Bravas in his coveted top 100 Bay Area restaurant list for top-pick for tapas.
I opted for a glass of White Sangria — a splendid blend of Encanto Pisco, Dolin Blanc, citrus zest, apple and Spanish bubbles. Tapas featured in our taste at a comfortably secluded table in the front of house, ranged from savory Patatas Bravas (fried potatoes) in a spicy tomato sauce with aioli, creamy chicken, ham and Gruyere cheese croquetas, house braised Chorizo and blackened Padron peppers and a goat cheese and onion tostada.
Fifth stop offered a fascinating insight into the world of teas. The Taste of Tea owners Donna and Nez Tokugawa had a hunch that serious wine tasters and locals alike would find respite in their unique take on a retail tea store, tearoom and spa. We sampled and learned about three teas during our refreshing taste, an astringent Japanese steamed cut green tea, a lighter, milky, Taiwanese Oolong and a Chinese black tea, called "Golden Monkey".
Last stop on tour was super-stylish, sweet little Moustache Baked Goods, a hipster's haven and macaroon, cookie and cupcake-lover's delight. How to resist a cupcake collection with names such as The Farmer (my choice for just the right amount of fresh carrot cake with cream cheese frosting), The Butcher, The Local and The Milkman? Sonoma County natives, Ozzy Jimenez and Christian Sullberg are making waves as savvy young entrepreneurs behind a business enjoying a nationwide buzz.
Take a tour and taste for yourself with savorhealdsburg.com. Telephone 707 385 9811.
Petaluma Gap Winegrower’s Alliance hosts its inaugural Wind to Wine Festival, celebrating the elegant, wind-driven wines that have put our micro-region on the map.
To kick off this fun and informative festival, join McEvoy Ranch Winemaker, Blake Yarger, for a special dinner at the ranch on Friday, August 7th featuring current releases from McEvoy estate vineyards, along with outstanding, premium wines from fellow Petaluma gap producers including Fogline and De Loach Vineyards.
Prior to dinner, guests will enjoy tastes of McEvoy's current releases, before sitting down to a seasonally-inspired meal inside a spectacular, on-site Chinese Pavilion. The multi-course menu will be paired current releases from Petaluma Gap wineries, highlighting the spectrum of exceptional wines from this unique growing region.
Seats are limited. To reserve your spot, click here.
For guests interested in attending both the dinner and the Wind To Wine Festival Grand Tasting on the following day, Saturday, August 8th, bundled tickets are available at a discounted rate here.
Winemaker’s Dinner – $95
Location – McEvoy Ranch
Date – Friday, August 7th
Time – 5:30 pm