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SONOMA WINE COUNTRY FROM 2 WHEELS- AMGEN, GRANFONDO, AND YOU

  
  
  
Biking wine country style


The Amgen Tour of California ends...the grand finish...in Santa Rosa this Sunday. The race started last Sunday down in Escondido, Southern California. With all the attention on the race and all things cycling we thought we would share some of the magic of Sonoma wine country from 2 wheels.

Sonoma County has been getting quite a name for itself in the cycling world. This year the last stage of the Amgen Tour of California starts in San Francisco and ends in Santa Rosa this Sunday. 

 
Levi's GranFondo is October 5th with over 7,000 bikers participating, and the Vineman Triathalon events in July bring the athletes out in droves. With our rolling landscapes (one guest said it was like a picture postcard around every turn) two-wheeled wine country adventures can really help burn off some of those extra calories you might consume from wine tasting and dining at our amazing restaurants. (I promise you Chef Steve does not pay attention to calories when he cooks for you.) Biking along the Russian River throughout Sonoma County is an incredible way to enjoy the wine country.

 

Our friend Dave, over at Adventures in Cycling , has created custom tours (something for all levels of cycling expertise) for the guests of Farmhouse Inn interested in cycling the county. Here are a few examples and some pictures of some of our guests (and new friends) enjoying the wine country.

  • The Pinot Cycling Tour....We start our ride from The Farmhouse Inn, riding up Westside road through the Russian River Valley visiting our winery partners that specialize in Pinot Noir; Arista, Porter Creek, VML Wineries, for example. The distance we ride is up to the guest, I've had guests ride 12 miles up and 12 miles back. Other guests want to taste more so we ride 6 miles up and 6 miles back. All the tours include a wonderful picnic lunch at a winery, that includes meats, cheeses, salad, and dessert, stops along the way to admire scenery and the vineyards. Tour time 10:00 am to 3:30.

 

  • The Zin/Cab Biking Tour.... We drive up to the Dry Creek Valley (a 15 minute drive) to start our ride. We visit some of our winery partners, Dry Creek Vineyards, barrel tasting at Zichichi Winery, or Lambert Bridge who specialize in Zinfandel and Cabernet. Again the riding distance and number of wine stops is up to you. Riding 15 to 20 miles though Sonoma County we will have time for 3 to 4 tastings. Picnic lunch at one of of our partner wineries. Tour time 9:30 to 3:30.

 

  • The Serious Cyclist Tour.....whether you bring your own bike or want to rent a road bike, we can take you out to ride King's Ridge, Coleman Valley Road to the ocean, or set up a 50 mile flat loop- all part of Levi's famous GranFondo. A great day / ride is to ride from the Farmhouse Inn over to Occidental, across Coleman Valley Road to the Sonoma Coast, then north up HWY 1 to the Russian River, turn inland along the Russian River ending our ride at Armstrong Redwoods for a BBQ lunch.

 

  • Easy Bike Ride Guests depart the Farmhouse Inn and we drive over to Graton to the Joe Rodota Trail, part of the West County Trail ,we ride for an hour or so, stop at Taft Street Winery or a couple of the West Sonoma County wineries (optional), when we finish riding we load back in the van and go on to Iron Horse Winery or Armstrong Redwoods for a picnic lunch. This is the perfect ride for the not so aggressive rider that doesn't feel comfortable biking our back roads. Most of the trail is an old railroad bed that has been paved and is completely removed from traffic. You can actually pick up the trail right behind Farmhouse Inn in Forestville and bike all the way to Santa Rosa (about 18 miles) and it is just slightly hilly in a couple of spots.



    So next time you are headed for the wine country...give Farmhouse Inn a call and let's see if we can't include one of Dave's custom tours in your itinerary. Of course, the perfect finish for the day is a glass of wine out by the pool or how about a spa treatment at the Farmhouse Spa to finish off the day!
















FARMHOUSE INN BRINGS A LITTLE SONOMA SPRINGTIME TO NEW YORK

  
  
  
Farmhouse at James Beard, New York

Guest Post from our illustrious leader and Farmhouse Inn owner, Catherine Bartolomei

We were so pleased to be invited to host a dinner at the oh-so-famous James Beard House in New York City on April 16th.   Steve, our chef, decided it would be perfect to bring Sonoma County spring to New York.  So we did- and it happened to be the most beautiful spring-like week we'd ever experienced in the city.  Going to James Beard, it turns out, is a lot of work.  At least for our team it was, for Joe and I it was basically just great fun... 

                Joe, Chef Steve, Catherine, Pattie, Neils

Once the menu was decided, the team was assembled. 
We brought Chef Steve, Sous Chef, Neils Corsten, Pastry Chef, Pattie Taan and our Wine Director, Geoff Kruth MS.  The logistics for preparing a meal at the James Beard House are somewhat daunting- so favors were called in, new friends were made, hotels and flights booked, and a transportation expert was hired... 
The produce and meat flew in with the chefs.  Joe and I took another flight entirely... And we all converged, two days before the dinner.  They worked. We played (Joe and I both brought our spouses and our eight year olds- my daughter, his son), and then all met up at Le Bernadin for dinner the night before James Beard. 



 

 

The evening at James Beard was truly spectacular.  We were joined by old friends in the city and loads of new friends.  The event was a sell-out- which makes for a lovely, cozy time.  Geoff brought some spectacular wines from some of our very best friends, and included our own Lost & Found Pinot Noir in the mix.  The food really was superb.  From the four different amuse offerings that included charred octopus and spring pea soup, to the stunning duo of beef and pork belly with sea scallop.  Pattie outdid herself with a clementine veil over an olive oil cake with meyer lemon mousse.  Geoff's pairings were spot on and we can't thank our Sonoma wine country friends enough for their participation.  From single-vineyard Vermentino from Ryme to Iron Horse's Wedding Cuvee sparkling wine, the whole evening was a smash. 

The menu follows...try not to drool.

__________________________________________________________________________

 MENU

Luxury Sonoma at the James Beard House ~ April 16th, 2013

Key Players: Owners, siblings Catherine and Joe Bartolomei, Executive Chef Steve Litke, Sous Chef Neil Corsten, Pastry Chef Pattie Taan, Wine Director Geoff Kruth, M.S.

 

HORS D'OEVRES

Octopus with Chorizo and Potatoes
Chilled Pea Soup with Minted Sea Scallops
Cold-Smoked Salmon Terrine with Spring Pea Pancake
House-Smoked Liberty Duck Breast with Plum Wine Sauce

Iron Horse Wedding Cuvée NV

 

DINNER

Ahi Tuna Tataki with Early Spring Vegetables and Wasabi–Citrus Emulsion

Ryme Las Brisas Vineyard Hers Vermentino 2011

Farmhouse-Cured Pork Belly and Seared Scallop with Cardamom–Carrot Purée and Pork Caramel

Wind Gap Windsor Oaks Vineyard Pinot Gris 2011

Devil’s Gulch Farmstead Rabbit Trio Trio;  Applewood-Smoked Bacon–Wrapped Loin, Roasted Rack, and Leg Confit with Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce

Lost and Found Winery Pinot Noir 2010

Beef Duo; Zinfandel-Braised Short Ribs and Seared Tenderloin with Bone Marrow–Mushroom Butter, Horseradish-Braised Cabbage, and Spring Vegetable Farro

Arnot-Roberts North Coast Syrah 2011

DESSERT

Sonoma County Olive Oil Cake with Meyer Lemon Mousse, Clementine Veil, Tangerine Basil Sorbet, and Candied Kumquats

________________________________________________________________________________



The menu included this enticing blurb to tempt those New Yorkers to make a trip to Farmhouse and the wine country.

"Located in the stunning Russian River Valley region of Sonoma County’s famed wine country, Farmhouse Inn& Restaurant is a rural sanctuary that represents the finest level of lodging, dining and spa, where eighteen sublime guest rooms and suites, a farm-fresh Michelin one star restaurant, and seasonal body treatments come together in one unforgettable experience. Surrounded by world-class vineyards, the six-acre property is anchored by an elegant, restored 1873 weatherboard farmhouse that houses the famed Farmhouse Restaurant, presided over by Executive Chef Steve Litke and Sonoma’s only Master Sommelier, Geoff Kruth. Dotted throughout are the beautifully appointed cottage and barn accommodations that each boast fireplaces, large tubs, steam showers or saunas, luxurious bedding and modern amenities. Farmhouse also features a tranquil landscaped pool, full service spa, kitchen and cutting gardens and ample outdoor lounge areas for sophisticated relaxation. Arriving at Farmhouse, guests are immediately transported into a gracious country lifestyle and can expect warm, seasoned hospitality and memorable personal encounters. Owned by siblings Joe and Catherine Bartolomei whose family has farmed in the area for five generations, Farmhouse has evolved from a lifetime of shared family traditions that center round the rhythms of nature."

 

                                  Farmhouse kids take New York

Following the dinner guests were given some time to ask our chefs about the meal, items we featured and the wines.  Chef's explanation of the 2 day soak he does for the pork belly stunned some diners and Pattie's technique for creating the clementine veil was a big topic.  All guests were invited to visit at Farmhouse to experience wine country in wine country, but we couldn't have been more delighted to have been to have brought spring to NYC on the most beautiful week of the year.  



Says Steve, "It was exciting enough just to be in NYC but to do a meal at the Beard House is at the top of every chef's bucket list, as it was mine. What amazing energy the city has."  New York, it was a pleasure and we can't wait to come back again.


























10 (more) OF THE 100 BEST WAYS TO SEE SONOMA COUNTY

  
  
  

There are countless ways to see the beautiful Sonoma Wine Country- most of them require a thirst for some of the best wines in the world, a hunger for great eats and appreciation for the simple marriage between country and chic.  "Sonomads" are those who embrace the wanderlust of Sonoma County, and no one knows more about that than our Farmhouse Inn Concierge team.  As your personal concierges, we're always seeking out the most exciting, exquisite and extravagant ways to get out and explore Sonoma Wine Country!

 

SONOMA HUNTER GAMES: FORAGING WITH FARMHOUSE INN

  
  
  
Sonoma County Wild Yellowfoot Mushrooms

This winter in Sonoma wine country, a celebration of foraged foods is taking place amongst restaurants, wineries and in the kitchens of local epicureans.  While Dry Creek  and Russian River Valleys may be better known for the wines they produce, the hills and forests of Sonoma County offer up a plethora of edible and delicious wild mushrooms. 

Mushroom hunting was once a hobby only for "old timers" here in Sonoma County, but more recently an entirely new generation of foragers are flocking to Northern California for how-to classes on mushroom hunting, grand mushroom tasting menus, and an entire season of celebrating this native delicacy.


Just north of Farmhouse Inn, the town of Healdsburg showcased the wild bounty of Sonoma County with the Healdsburg Wild Mushroom Weekend, part of Healdsburg's Epicurean Winter.   This seasonal event is lined up for aspiring mycologists and fans of foraged wild mushrooms including hunting expeditions, culinary classes, and fungi-centric Michelin star dinners. 
Several wineries and Healdsburg restaurants have added special wild mushroom menu items for this event- try Barndiva's Rabbit Fricassee with roasted wild Chanterelles or pop into the Jimtown Store for foraged mushroom grilled cheese sandwiches and mac and cheese.  At the heart of Healdsburg's mushroom madness is Relish Culinary School's lineup of Wild Mushroom Forays and Demonstration Lunches with Chef and forager Elissa Rubin-Mahon. 


Here at Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant we had foraging femme Connie Green and guest Chef Sarah Scott join us for a taste of The Wild Table at our first dinner to kick off our guest chef series.  If you missed dinner with us, Connie's book The Wild Table is available for purchase and Chef Sarah Scott will be hosting another Wild Table luncheon at Chateau St. Jean in late March. 

"The Wild Table: Seasonal Foraged Food and Recipes" is a cookbook full of recipes for foraged delicacies like North Coast mushrooms with more esoteric recipes using some of my menu favorites; fiddleheads, miner’s lettuce and stinging nettles (try them in SCOPA Restaurant’s Stinging Nettle Budino).  The Wild Table Luncheon at Chateau St. Jean with Sarah Scott will be demonstrating how to tame those wild foods and turn them into epicurean delights.  For tickets to this three course meal with five wine pairings you’ll have to act fast!


   

But Foraging isn't just for chefs and their cohorts- with so many easily identifiable edible varieties here in Sonoma County, even us Farmhouse concierges get into the fun of it!  I do my best Katniss Everdeen impression as I head out and explore the coastal forests, keeping a keen eye out for my favorite mushrooms- Black Trumpet Royales, Hedgehogs (easy to identify with their toothy undersides), Yellow Foots and Chantrelles.  In the fall I'm a Porcini hound, but this time of year nearly all of my efforts go into finding those velvety, black trumpets in the forest duff.


With my pocket knife handy to clean the base of the soft mushrooms and my dog making her way through the boxwood and pines alongside me, I head up into the hills with no regard for trails seeing every wooded area as a prospective mycological gold mine.  Finding an upcropping of mushrooms is rewarding and exhilirating because hunting and foraging take skill and practice, making the entire exercise so gratifying that often I find myself using every last bit of available daylight to stay out and search for more.

I am not an expert by any means- I go where I am familiar and only pick what I know, sticking to the varieties that do not have any look-alikes that cause nasty side effects (death, for instance).  As a child, my father would take me up into the hills above our home and vineyards in Dry Creek Valley to hunt for what he called "Italian" mushrooms (also known as cocoras).  The problem with cocoras is that they closely resemble their poisonous relatives (the reason my mother won't eat any foraged mushrooms to this day). 

But have no fear!  Experts like renowned mycologist and author of the ESSENTIAL pocket field guide for western mushrooms David Arora and Charmoon Richardson are here to help.  The Sonoma County Mycological Association (SOMA) also hosts monthly mushroom hunting and identifying classes, so go boldly forward on your next (or first) foraging adventure!

For those of us who love to cook with mushrooms, we know just how versitile they can be.  I always find that they're best served nestled in something carbo-licious with a touch of cream. 

 My most recent favorites have been this mouthwatering wild hedgehog mushroom and crescenza pizza or a Recipes.com find for the perfect demonstration of late winter/early spring in northern California- Gnocchi with Yellowfoot mushrooms and fresh peas & asparagus from my vegetable garden. 

The other night my entire meal was either grown or foraged here in Sonoma County- mixed greens salad with a poached farm egg and a main course of wild mushroom rissotto and wild duck confit to top it off. 

Are you getting hungry yet?

   

 Signing off Mushroom Forager (Concierge) Extraordinaire















10 WAYS TO CELEBRATE ROMANCE IN SONOMA WINE COUNTRY

  
  
  
Sonoma County Wine and Romance

Valentines Day is just around the corner, and for those of you looking to find that perfect romantic getaway, look no further.  Sonoma wine country is the perfect place to sneak away for a romantic lover's retreat, and here at Farmhouse Inn we've become quite the experts at serving up the most romantic meals and special packages available.  So skip the stuffed animal and grocery store red roses (trust us) and let us help you plan the perfect vacation that will sweep your love off their feet! 

At Farmhouse Inn, each concierge has become an expert at knowing what works to set the mood for those looking to score some major points in the romance department.  It's not hard to get some of that lovin' feeling when you're staying at one of Wall Street Journal's 10 Coziest Hotels in the United States.  Whether you're snuggled in front of the fire making your own gourmet s'mores in a Heritage Deluxe Room or soaking in a tub with the window open while your partner enjoys the two-sided fireplace from your own private deck amongst the redwoods in a Barn Luxury Room, there is no escaping the romantic atmosphere here at Farmhouse Inn.

 

Add a Romance Package to your room stay and get a bottle of bubbles, a beautiful bouquet, handmade chocolate truffles and a side-by-side couple's massage at the Farmhouse Spa.  We'll even lend you a little of our magic while you're at your spa treatments and line the bathtub with candles and rose petals, set your champagne glasses and ice bucket along the side, and let you take all the credit! We make sure that each of our guests gets special attention so that no detail goes overlooked in making your getaway absolutely perfect.  This probably has something to do with whyTripAdvisor reviews voted Farmhouse Inn one of the Top 25 Small Hotels in the United States for 2013!

 

Whether you prefer to enjoy a fireside food and wine pairing at one of our partner wineries, or maybe you're keen to walk on the wild side and want to explore some Wild Jungle Love at Safari West this Valentines Day, we can find exactly what you're looking for!  This year, stop by J Vineyards Bubble Room in Healdsburg for a chocolate ménage à trois with new winery chef Jason LaBue (formerly of our partner property Meadowood Inn).  On the menu for February; oyster chowder croquette, beet risotto with cocoa nibs, braised brisket with gnocchi and black trumpet mushrooms, baby red velvet cake and chocolate "three ways". 

Perhaps, though, this all sounds fine and dandy but you're looking for something bigger, grander- the most romantic surprise ever.  Well lucky for you, Farmhouse Inn hosts beautiful, intimate elopements for the couple seeking a moment they can call uniquely their own.  We do everything from finding an officiant and photographer to ordering the cake and the flowers.  All you have to do is show up (bring rings), enjoy a couple's massage and dinner for two at the Farmhouse Restaurant, and when the time comes, say 'I do!'. 

   

 



DUNGENESS CRAB SEASON IN SONOMA COUNTY

  
  
  
Mary Calla Rowan, Farmhouse Inn concierge



More From Farmhouse Inn bloggess Mary Calla Rowan, 
concierge and Sonoma County enthusiast 

 

 

 

 

 




WINE COUNTRY MEMORIES...SONOMA BACKROADS TO OYSTER FARMS

  
  
  
Mary Calla, Farmhouse Inn concierge




    Mary Calla, Farmhouse Inn concierge team,
back again exploring a new favorite
Sonoma County wine country backroads adventure. 




Taking any backroad in Sonoma County leads away from the masses and gives a feeling of traveling back in time, back before six lane freeways, tract homes and box stores.   Our wine country is crisscrossed with roads like this, little, windy, forgotten roads with speed limits regulated by cattle grates instead of radar guns.  While many back roads will take you through the heart of wine country, the rest will lead you over the hills and through the redwoods to hidden gems throughout the north bay- all you need is dedication, a set of wheels and an appetite for adventure (and oysters).  One of the joys of being a concierge at Farmhouse Inn is getting to share some of our secret favorites of the area.

Today I would like to share with you one of my recent favorite trips through the backroads of Sonoma wine country. Friday afternoon, the sun had come out and warmed everything for the first time since the rains had flooded much of Russian River Valley.  I left Farmhouse Inn around 2pm and drove west through Russian River Valley and south towards Sebastopol.  I caught up with Bodega Avenue and wound my way through apple orchards older than I am.  Along the drive, orchards that line the road are a reminder that Sonoma County was once a great apple producing county, famous for the sweet juice produced by the Gravenstein variety.  Soon, green pastures dotted with black and white Holsteins and fawn colored Jersey cows fill the landscape.  West Sonoma county out towards Highway 1 and the coast is dairy country unlike any other, with views that encompass boulder-strewn pastures leading to the craggy Sonoma Coast and Pacific Ocean. 

A left onto Freestone's Valley Ford Road leads through more dairy country and to Highway 1, through the little towns of Freestone and Tomales, towards my final destination:  Hog Island Oyster Company in Marshall, CA.    I was on my way to meet my sister Camille and our friend Lily for the release of a new beer called Marooned on Hog Island, produced by San Francisco’s 21st Amendment Brewery.  

 

 
Now I wouldn’t normally drive nearly an hour just to try a new beer, but when our friend Julian who works for Hog Island Oyster Co. invited us to come out for an afternoon on the bay enjoying fresh oysters, how could I say no? 

When I arrived, I didn’t know yet where to find everybody, but figured I could follow the laughter and sound of happy people eating and drinking the fine fare of Northern California.  I headed straight back to the picnic tables full of folks joyously shucking oysters and eating hearty bowls of steamer clams with white beans and sausage, adorned with hunks of rustic French bread perched on the lip of the bowl.

 

 













SONOMA COUNTY...THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR

  
  
  
Farmhouse Inn concierge Mary Calla

GUEST POST FROM FARMHOUSE INN AND OUR NEWEST MEMBER OF THE CONCIERGE TEAM...
Mary Calla (and looks like our up and coming poet and photographer extraordinaire)

 


BEST WINE COUNTRY DESTINATION - SONOMA...AGAIN!

  
  
  
Sunset Wine Country Face-Off

First it was Sunset Magazine and their "Napa vs. Sonoma Face-off" with the two rivals slugging it out over which wine country has "the juice" and, of course, Sonoma edged out Napa. 

We thought that it might have been a little prejudicial as Sonoma is more up Sunset's alley- they are not big on the corporate style so dominate over in that "other" wine country. On top of which the Sonoma side of the story was written by Rod Smith, husband to one of the Farmhouse Inn proprietors, Catherine Bartolomei-Smith. (Perhaps just a little partial to Sonoma and the lifestyle they enjoy here.) 

Here's an excerpt from Rod's take on Sonoma County: "The county’s 1,576 square miles are a sprawling garden of organic produce, free-range meats, and since 1824, grapes. (George Yount planted Napa’s first vines in the 1830s, using Sonoma cuttings.) Napa offers the thrill of tasting wines few can afford and eating trendy food cooked by the employees of celebrity chefs. In Sonoma, you can access countryside, towns, and tasting rooms—sans appointment—to try some of the most distinctive and innovative wines available. True, pockets have trended upscale. Limos? Check. Celebs like Lady Gaga looking to buy? Check. But at heart, this is authentic country open to visitors—casual and wine snob alike."

Even though we were excited about the article (and seeing Rod's byline) and the outcome we were hesitant to crow too loudly. But then Sunset took a vote from their readers and Sonoma won hands down (at one point the voting was 10164 votes for Sonoma against a mere 236 for Napa). Those Sunset readers really know their stuff.  So take that Napa! We are no longer the poor little sister.

But now we really do have something to crow about!  The new Travelers Choice Award for Wine country destinations just came out from TripAdvisor.  The destinations are rated by the millions of travelers that use the TripAdvisor site.  And Sonoma County came out #1 in the U.S. (yes, in front of and on top of Napa) and #2 in the WORLD (just behind Tuscany- and Napa didn't even get on the world list).  So watch out world...we are on the map!







SONOMA WINE COUNTRY BIKING FROM FARMHOUSE INN

  
  
  
Biking Russian River

Guest Blog Post from T.C. (aka "Teec")- one of our most talented concierges (and the one that has been with us the longest)... Still loving her job and filling the role of "resident mom" with some of the younger concierges (Does that make Meilani the "Grandmom"?).  

With so much to see and do in the Wine Country we are never short of exciting activities to share with our guests here at Farmhouse Inn.  This time of year brings the excitement of the grape harvest and those gorgeous days of Indian Summer and cool nights hanging around the firepit with the other guests. As a concierge here at Farmhouse part of my job is to get a sense of how people want to spend their time in the Wine Country. We create custom itineraries based on a guests' preference of activities - it is not always just about the food and wine. 

Sonoma County has been getting quite a name for itself in the cycling world.  This year the beginning and end of the first stage of the Amgen Tour of California was in Santa Rosa, Levi's GranFondo was just last weekend with over 7,000 bikers participating, and the Vineman Triathalon events in July brought the athletes out in droves. With our rolling landscapes (one guest said it was like a picture postcard around every turn) two-wheeled wine country adventures can really help burn off some of those extra calories you might consume from wine tasting and dining at our amazing restaurants. (I promise you Chef Steve does not pay attention to calories when he cooks for you.)  Biking along the Russian River throughout Sonoma County is an incredible way to enjoy the wine country.

Our friend Dave, over at Adventures in Cycling , has created custom tours (something for all levels of cycling expertise) for the guests of Farmhouse Inn interested in cycling the county. Here are a few examples and some pictures of some of our guests (and new friends) enjoying the wine country.

  • The Pinot Cycling Tour....We start our ride from The Farmhouse Inn, riding up Westside road through the Russian River Valley visiting our winery partners that specialize in Pinot Noir; Arista, Porter Creek, VML Wineries, for example. The distance we ride is up to the guest, I've had guests ride 12 miles up and 12 miles back. Other guests want to taste more so we ride 6 miles up and 6 miles back. All the tours include a wonderful picnic lunch at a winery, that includes meats, cheeses, salad, and dessert, stops along the way to admire scenery and the vineyards. Tour time 10:00 am to 3:30.

  • The Zin/Cab Biking Tour.... We drive up to the Dry Creek Valley (a 15 minute drive) to start our ride. We visit some of our winery partners, Dry Creek Vineyards, barrel tasting at Zichichi Winery, or Lambert Bridge who specialize in Zinfandel and Cabernet. Again the riding distance and number of wine stops is up to you. Riding 15 to 20 miles though Sonoma County we will have time for 3 to 4 tastings. Picnic lunch at one of of our partner wineries. Tour time 9:30 to 3:30.

  •  The Serious Cyclist Tour.....whether you bring your own bike or want to rent a road bike, we can take you out to ride King's Ridge, Coleman Valley Road to the ocean, or set up a 50 mile flat loop- all part of Levi's famous GranFondo. A great day / ride is to ride from the Farmhouse Inn over to Occidental, across Coleman Valley Road to the Sonoma Coast, then north up HWY 1 to the Russian River, turn inland along the Russian River ending our ride at Armstrong Redwoods for a BBQ lunch.

  •  Easy Bike Ride  Guests depart the Farmhouse Inn and we drive over to Graton to the Joe Rodota Trail, part of the West County Trail ,we ride for an hour or so, stop at Taft Street Winery or a couple of the West Sonoma County wineries (optional), when we finish riding we load back in the van and go on to Iron Horse Winery or Armstrong Redwoods for a picnic lunch.  This is the perfect ride for the not so aggressive rider that doesn't feel comfortable biking our back roads.  Most of the trail is an old railroad bed that has been paved and is completely removed from traffic. You can actually pick up the trail right behind Farmhouse Inn in Forestville and bike all the way to Santa Rosa (about 18 miles) and it is just slightly hilly in a couple of spots.

    So next time you are headed for the wine country...give me a call and let's see if we can't include one of Dave's custom tours in your itinerary.  Of course,  the perfect finish for the day is a glass of wine out by the pool or how about a spa treatment at the Farmhouse Spa to finish off the day!


One more photo op...up at Hop Kiln Winery on that Westside Road tour- probably the most photographed winery in the county.











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