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

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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.

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 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

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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.


























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