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Farmhouse Inn and Inn Sights to the Wine Country...

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FARMER'S MARKETS TAKE OVER SONOMA COUNTY

  
  
  
sonoma farmer's markets

I HAVE BEEN WAITING (ALMOST PATIENTLY) FOR ALL OUR FARMER'S MARKETS TO REALLY GET GOING TO TELL YOU ABOUT THEM AND HOW MUCH I LOVE SUMMER IN SONOMA.  IT SEEMS LIKE EVERYTHING IS COMING IN ALL AT ONCE- STILL SOME CHERRIES AROUND AND I SAW APRICOTS YESTERDAY THAT I THOUGHT WOULD BE GONE BY NOW.  SUMMER SQUASH IS EVERYWHERE AND THE EARLY TOMATOES AND ALL THE STONE FRUITS AND... THAT'S THE SUMMER SEASON IN CALIFORNIA AND PARTICULARLY IN SONOMA COUNTY. 

FARMHOUSE + SONOMA + GARDENS = JEALOUS GUESTS

  
  
  
New Farmhouse garden signs

The gardens here at Farmhouse Inn are flourishing this time of year and our gardener Jana, has been very busy this week prepping for the Resorts in Bloom Garden Tour this weekend.   We had some great guests from New Jersey with us all week (they fell in love with Charlotte) and she mentioned how jealous she was of our gardens (and our California weather).  We are seeing more and more of the guests hanging out with Jana, asking questions, and even helping her out a little.  She was handpicking an evil beetle off some of her babies and one of the guests was bringing her handfuls of the nasty little varmints. (Don't mention the word "raccoon" to her- she goes a little crazy about that bad boy.) She has new signs we designed for the gardens that she is installing for this weekend so now you can do a little self-guided tour around the grounds.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WINE COUNTRY CONCIERGE

  
  
  
Erin, Farmhouse concierge

I would like to introduce you to our newest concierge.  Erin Hartman is a recent addition to the Farmhouse Inn concierge team.  She came to us with some inn and hotel experience but was a little amazed about the layers of service and luxury offered here at Farmhouse Inn and how much planning goes into the personalized itineraries we set up for our guests and their perfect wine country vacation. I asked her for a contribution for this week's Wine Country Blog so here's Erin... and thoughts about her new position.

SONOMA WINE COUNTRY IN MAY... WHAT'S YOUR SPEED?

  
  
  
Butter and Egg Days, Petaluma

Spring in Sonoma is the kick off for all kinds of fesivals and parades-
This weekend brings the Butter and Egg Days Parade in Petaluma and the Fisherman's Festival in Bodega Bay with the blessing of the fleet and the boat parade.  Both great events...so hard to decide- just might be able to fit them both in.











SONOMA COUNTY CYCLING HEAVEN- AMGEN 2012 SANTA ROSA

  
  
  
Amgen tour 2012

May 13th- mark it on your Calendar- The biggest and baddest cycling event- first stage starts and ends in Santa Rosa (our backyard here at Farmhouse Inn).

The Amgen Tour of California  (this is the seventh consecutive year for the race) has definitely put California on the world biking map.  Here in Sonoma Wine Country there have always been the avid cyclers - you see them on all our backroads and bike trails every weekend but this event features elite professional teams and athletes from around the world.  With the scenery of California as a backdrop this race from it's inception in 2006 is bound to soon rival the Tour de France.



The first day of the race starts and finishes in Santa Rosa, the city that helped establish the race and home to three time race champion Levi Leipheimer (our local hero).  His GranFondo event in September is a well known charity event and is also known as "the greatest day out on two wheels".  The GranFondo event in 2011 raised more than $250,000 to support various charities  including Sonoma County Elementary Schools,  Sonoma County Emergency Responders, and the LIVESTRONG foundation.  Three amazing routes for different levels of expertise-  I will see you at the Piccolo Route...32 miles for recreational and beginner cyclists. no big hills for me...just keep me in the flat valleys through the gorgeous redwoods and vineyards.  (No way on that 103 mile Gran route no matter how beautiful.)

MORE WINE COUNTRY... and BARREL TASTING IN PARADISE!

  
  
  
Joe's new puppy "Cookie"

Last week was all about the very unique Patrick Amiot sculptures sprinkled around Sebastopol...this week a bit more elegant with a lovely Sonoma County Sculpture garden at one of our favorite wine country hangouts.

Paradise Ridge Winery has a very interesting sculpture garden but even better they are perched up on the hill above Santa Rosa with a view over the city that is just amazing.  In summertime  (May through October) their Wines and Sunsets is just the place to be on Wednesday evening. Pick up a picnic and head up to catch the amazing western sky with a bottle of wine available for purchase after 6 pm on those evenings.  A few things this week brought our focus to Paradise Ridge. 

One- Joe got a new black lab puppy (yet to be named- see the Farmhouse Inn Facebook page for the scoop on that).  He and Catherine are good friends with Sonia and Dan Barwick over at Paradise and they had some wonderful puppies available.  Sonia is an old friend of Cath's (and part owner at the winery) and Dan is her husband and the winemaker. 
 

Farmhouse Inn, More Romance and "(in)famous" Waiter Rob Loughran

  
  
  
Rob Loughran and High Steaks

Had enough romance? 

Taking a little break from it myself but I promise by the end of this post to share a little Sonoma wine country romance with you to wrap up Valentine's and all the romantic furor from last week. 

Love, Love, LOVE in the Sonoma Wine Country

  
  
  
TripAdvisor Most Romantic HotelsSo much going on in the wine country this weekend after a wild week of Valentine's Day (and weekend) planning for our guests here at the Farmhouse Inn. The romantic dinners are going all weekend long in the restaurant with the finale on Tuesday. We have a couple of proposals in the works over the weekend and a couple more checking in for Valentine's Day and then on the day itself...one of our fabulous elopements- our tiny weddings - they are just dropping in from Delaware for a little Farmhouse romance!

Last week we had all the excitement from BedandBreakfast.com when they recognized Farmhouse as one of the Top10 Most Romantic Inns and then again we got noticed as one of The Most Romantic Inns in the U.S. from FathomAway.  Right after I wrote the blog last week...TripAdvisor came out the 2012 Traveler's Choice Award for the 10 Most Romantic Hotels...

You guessed it- Farmhouse again!

                                    

 And Then...

CNN Travel came out with an article "Choose Your Own Romantic Adventure"  - tips on making new romantic memories.

 Oenophile bliss...Sonoma County Wine Country, California                   

"What better way to reconnect than while driving through Sonoma wine country, stopping to taste the terroir at wineries along the way? Visit Copain for the views and the pinot, Arista for the Japanese gardens and Lambert Bridge for intimate barrel-room tastings. Then settle in at the Farmhouse Inn in the heart of the Russian River Valley.

Crab Feed Strategy in Sonoma Wine Country...add some Sparkling!

  
  
  
Preparing boatloads of dungeness Crab

Now it feels like winter...It finally started raining, football weekends, and crab feeds everywhere!

One of my favorite foods is plentiful this time of year and crabfeeds are one of the favorite fundraisers for so many of the the nonprofits in Sonoma County.  You think the wine country is just about the wine...this time of year we are crabaholics!  Some weekends there are even several all-you-can-eat feeds to choose from.  Dungeness crab is one of the sweetest, most succulent seasonal prizes from the Northern California coastal area.  Everyone seems to have their own little secrets...for crab maximization!

Sonomagic - Sonoma County Holidays...Festive up!

  
  
  
Farmhouse cookies and milk

At last, lights and stockings are all hung, shopping and wrapping is done, the goodies and treats are baked...though I see kitchen Elves very busy in the restaurant getting ready for Christmas Eve dinner here at the Farmhouse InnThe concierge staff have processed literally hundreds of gift certificates...I hope you are one of the lucky recipients.

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