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Wine Country Blog: Innsights 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. 

SONOMA WINE COUNTRY AND SUMMERTIME BOUNTY

  
  
  
Anna, Farmhouse concierge


Farmhouse Inn Lead Concierge,
Anna McPeck chases down the
wild and wonderful new food
(and drink?) offerings in
Sonoma Wine Country.

               


That's our Anna...


Thanks to Sonoma County’s temperate Mediterranean climate, the area has long been a haven for farmers, vintners, and chowhounds alike. Summertime is the season chefs look forward to most; when produce everywhere is lush and plentiful and when some of their favorite fruits and vegetables to cook with come into their prime. It is officially summer and Sonoma County chefs, residents and visitors all have a lot to be excited about in the delicious world of food and wine. Freshness is all around us here in Sonoma from the guy standing on the corner selling his cherry crop, to the little farmstands sprinkled around the county, to the amazing of Farmer's Markets (remember, there is one somewhere in the county every single day of the week except Monday)!  Truly, truly we do not need the grocery store this time of year. 

  The Farmhouse Concierge team is super excited about the number of great new restaurants popping up around town!  (We get to try them first, you see...) 

Scopa restaurateur, Ari Rosen, has just opened the doors to his new hot spot, Campo Fina, just a block off the square on Healdsburg Avenue. Scopa’s overwhelming and loyal following gave Rosen the incentive to expand and try something a little different with Campo Fina.
Heather Irwin's blog "biteclubeats" was all about them opening today. Here's a couple of her pictures to whet your appetite.

   

Their back patio features a beautiful new outdoor bar and bocce court and you can expect the great standard of food you’ve experienced at Scopa, presented in a small plates format.  We have been a couple of times already and love the new space and the menu is amazing.

Speaking of awesome back patios,  our already favorite Diavola Pizzeria just opened a great enclosed back patio addition to their little hamlet up in Geyserville. Check it out!  Open for lunch and dinner --we are all about outdoor dining these days.         

Another scoop from the Farmhouse with a quick explanation on the Zagat blog...Zazu on the river has  just opened at Davis Family Vineyards. Beloved lunch spot, Bovolo, is no more, but John and Duskie from Zazu are replacing it with this new venture. 
           
And while details are still a bit mysterious about what exactly is going to become of the old Ravenous Café, we know that it has been purchased by Stark Restaurants, and Bite Club Eats posits that it may be turned into a Spanish/Greek style tapas restaurant. No matter what the outcome, we are excited for a new Stark restaurant in Sonoma County!

So where do the talented chefs of Sonoma County get ahold of all the great produce that they use to create their wonderful Wine Country Cuisine? They build great networks with all of our local farmers.
Take for instance, our very own Executive Chef Steve Litke. Wednesday is his preparation day for the Farmhouse Restaurant and getting to work on Wednesdays takes him a good two hours. That’s because he is stopping at farms all along the way to work to pick up the fresh ingredients he will be using. One stop is at his neighbor’s farm, La Bonne Terre. Owners Mary & Bert Villemaire are like a second set of parents to our chef and are staple farmers in the Healdsburg community, a permanent fixture at the popular Healdsburg Farmer’s Market (a stop our chef makes every Saturday morning). He can be found sorting through baskets of Favas, snap peas or tomatillos at Tierra Vegetables, a beautiful organic farm stand located in North Santa Rosa.

Or on his days off you might hear him on the phone with Charmoon, owner of Wild About Mushrooms, his go-to guy for all things fungi,
or perhaps he will be chatting with Bryan at Mix Garden, figuring out his order of micro-greens and beets. All of these relationships come together in the beautiful plates his kitchen team brings to you in the restaurant each night. 
 It’s great to know about these close-knit ties between chefs and farmers, but what about some hands on experiences you can partake in yourself? One of the biggest draws to West Sonoma County is the amazing cheese we produce in this area. The Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail is a great resource for planning a visit to some of the wonderful dairies and creameries making world class cheeses in our backyard

Many of these multi-generational Sonoma and Marin county families have been producing on family farms for years. A few are open to the public – Marin French Cheese Company and Cowgirl Creamery, for instance, and a few are open by appointment only (Achadina & Pug’s Leap), while some are simply too small and too busy to host the public. One particularly unique and exciting opportunity is The Fork Culinary Center at Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company. Here they offer hands on cooking classes and demonstrations.

And while you’re down that way trying all our Sonoma decadent cheese, why not go the extra mile and indulge in a picnic with some oysters too at one of our local favorites, Hog Island Oyster Company? They even give you a video guide on how to shuck an oyster, in case you aren’t a pro yet.


Whatever your reasons are for visiting Sonoma County, the food and agriculture (and wine) here is sure to enhance your experience. We hope you’ll enjoy some of this fun foodie news and some of our own local favorites on your next visit to the Sonoma Wine Country. 

SWEET (SIZZLING) SONOMA SUMMER AT FARMHOUSE INN

  
  
  
Farmhouse kitty jasper

YES, IT IS OFFICIALLY SUMMER...ALL WEEK HAS BEEN ABOVE 80 DEGREES AND A COUPLE OF DAYS ABOVE THE 90 DEGREE MARK.  THE FARMHOUSE INN GUESTS HAVE ALL BEEN HANGING OUT BY THE POOL AND CHARLOTTE AND JASPER (THE KITTIES) ARE FOUND IN ANY SHADY SPOT.  THAT'S A SHOT OF JASPER THAT BRANDON, OUR BELLBOY JUST SHOT THIS EVENING.  OUR GUESTS KIND OF HAVE THAT LOOK TOO CAMPED OUT IN THE LOUNGE CHAIRS.

SUMMER DAYS IN SONOMA- WINE COUNTRY MUSIC VENUES

  
  
  
Lagu-mini Amphitheater-ette

This is the time of year that we all get to play tourist in the wine country.  Summertime in Sonoma just has so much going on.  Art shows, farmer's markets and garden tours, festivals and celebrations of all things Sonoma, and then all the normal, all the time winery stuff going on (Passport to Pinot, anyone?).  Just can't cover it all in one blog post.  So this week's feature- the music venues going on all summer.

Right now one of the biggest (longest) events is the 10-day Healdsburg Jazz Festival going on right now in Healdsburg- check out the schedule - it closes June 10th. 


If you work it right this weekend you can take in the Beerfest in Santa Rosa on Saturday, sneak in to a couple of the artists studios at the West Sonoma County's Art at the Source open studio tours and still fit in some of the Jazz events in Healdsburg.  The Summer Concert Series in the Healdsburg plaza started this last Tuesday.  June 12th- Gator Beat and Zydeco-  listen up - mark it on your calendar!  Always manage to see them at least once sometime during the season.  Everybody dance!!



This acting like a tourist can be exhausting...I don't know how our guests at Farmhouse Inn do it. 

The Krush backyard free concerts started last week and this week features the Comatose Brothers (what a name for a band) .  It's that time of year when you just pull up a piece of grassy lawn and kick back- sometimes a lazy summer afternoon and sometimes under the stars. There is some kind of music event going on every single day of the week and a lot of them free. 

FARMHOUSE INN CONCIERGES IN SONOMA...SEXY CARS AND RAM'S GATE

  
  
  
Ramsgate Winery Sonoma

Those Farmhouse Inn concierges are at it again... 

They continually go out and experience all that Sonoma Wine Country has to offer so they can steer the Farmhouse Inn guests to the very best experiences available (remember Anna and her ziplining adventure at Sonoma Canopy Tours?) .  This last week Anna and Meghan went with our Silver Service Steve to Ramsgate Winery and not only checked out the winery but also the Audi Experience at Infineon Raceway.

FARMHOUSE INN "PEEP" SHOW AND A VERY RARE "CABBIT" SIGHTING

  
  
  
yellow duck road to Farmhouse Inn

FOLLOW THE "YELLOW DUCK ROAD" TO EASTER FUN in the wine country...you'll have to read to the end to see a picture we managed to capture of the very rare "Cabbit" sighted here at Farmhouse Inn this morning!  Astonishing!  Was very Eggciting!

Romantic Wine Country - Amore at Farmhouse Inn

  
  
  
Valentine's Day Farmhouse Inn

We think we are pretty romantic here at the Farmhouse Inn...
seems to be a common descriptive term from our guests, too.  And of course, Valentine's Day is right around the corner so we have been talking to a lot of guests cooking up their very special romantic getaways to the wine country. 

The guys seem to be more on top of things this year- getting flowers ordered, special champagne on ice, romantic spa treatments (Have you seen the Playful Passion treatment?)  We've got a few proposals in the works and even one of our romantic elopements scheduled for Valentine's Day- shhh... can't tell you who yet. Seriously, we think we have the romance for the whole month of February pretty well covered. Catherine decorated guest services for the month with special treats for the guests to help themselves to.

Sonoma County and Fall's arrival...

  
  
  
Harvest Fair Santa Rosa

Summer is winding down with a crash!  Misty, foggy, almost drizzling morning- had to use my windshield wipers.  Have you ever wondered what we do in the fall here in the wine country?  This weekend is a perfect example of a couple of the wonderful things we have to keep us busy.

Sonoma County...silly, wacky, and wonderful!

  
  
  
Burma Shave Sign

Sonoma County does it again...Have you noticed the red signs strung beside the road following the Russian River from Santa Rosa out towards Guerneville? You can head down the road both directions from the Farmhouse Inn in either direction to run into them.  Remember the old Burma Shave signs...well maybe not if you are a youngun' but I remember hearing about them in a marketing class in college.  You could equate them to life sized "twitter" posts with a sense of humor. The signs were up along our earliest roads from the '20s until 1963 and were an early form of our modern billboards advertising a shaving cream.  Here's an example in case you have no idea what I am talking about:

Sonoma Wine Country...Making Music

  
  
  
DanHicksKollege%20Raven

The Sonoma Wine Country summer music scene certainly seems to include something for everybody.  I know I've mentioned before there seems to be something going on just about every night...Just to give you a few ideas for the next few weeks.

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