October Wine Country- Pumpkins, Harvest, and Art Trails...
Northern California weather is pretty amazing all the time but has this Sonoma County weather ever been more perfect? I forget how much I love October every year...the colors changing, the still warm days (but with that fall crispness in the evenings), all manners of Harvest going on and of course, amazing wine country fall traditions.
Misty Russian River with Fall Color
This Harvest has been really hard on our poor winemakers- the long cool summer looked promising but with the delay in ripening now they face the damage from the recent rains. I was over at Quivira up in the Dry Creek Valley the other day and they had a block of Syrah that wasn't ready for harvest and they were thinking they may not even get to harvest it at all. So sad...
There's a couple of Harvest Celebrations this Saturday -the Crush Festival in Healdsburg showcases 35 wineries with local restaurants and live music. Hudson Street Wineries in Healdsburg are throwing a Shore Dinner with bluegrass music, Lobster (of course), and wild blueberry pie! Yes, yes, wine too- there are about 5 wineries involved. And a big Harvest Celebration at Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves on Saturday with foot-stomping music, and a sample of their Harvest Chili and Cornbread with wine of course!!
We got our crazy pumpkins delivered from the family ranch. Take a look at this specimen up by the Farmhouse Inn Barn. I wish I had something next to it so you could see the scale of it- You can sit on it. And then all the different "babies" by comparison. How did Charlotte get in there?
The Great Pumpkin Charlotte, Black Farm Kitty Heirloom Pumpkins
Are we ready for Halloween or what?
If that is not enough pumpkins for you we have Pumpkin patches all over Sonoma county...just a sampling!
Anderson Pumpkin Patch - Petaluma -with a 2 acre corn maze, hay rides and pumpkins.
Fields of Green Pumpkin Patch- Sonoma boasts a maze, hay ride, and "friendly" chickens.
Muelrath Ranch- Santa Rosa- hay tunnel, maze, animals, and pumpkins.
Grandma's Pumpkin Patch- Healdsburg- hay stack, maze, climb-on tractors, pumpkins.
Oluf's Pumpkin Patch- Windsor- petting zoo, maze, face painting, pumpkins.
Punky's Pumpkins- Santa Rosa- hay maze, jumpies, slide, and mucho pumpkins.
Adobe Pumpkin Farm - Petaluma- more of the same, even a haunted barn, a pumpkin fairy godmother, pony rides, and a coffee barn too.
Great Peter Pumpkin Patch-Spring Hill Jersey Cheese Co.- Petaluma- dig potatoes, milk a car, pet the animals, taste the cheese.
Petaluma Pumpkin Patch- Petaluma- Amazing 4-acre corn maze famous for slowing traffic on the freeway, BBQ on the weekends.
But this weekend no pumpkins for me -I am following Artrails - some of my friends are artists in the area and this is a great weekend to visit. 133 artists all over Sonoma County open their doors to the public for two weekends in October- meet the artists and talk to them and hopefully make a purchase. It definitely adds to the story behind the piece when you have actually purchased it directly from the artist in the studio they created it in.
I heard our friend Rik Olson (#28 on the map) spent the week cleaning up his studio so he could fit some people in...bet that doesn't happen often. He has created some of the graphic images we use here at Farmhouse Inn. You will see a lot of them on the new website we are working on but here is a sample. It's one of our favorites...we used the bee skep on this last year's mug. Cool, huh?
Every year I find a new hidden treasure and make a few new friends. I wish I could buy it all but where would I put it (have you seen my garage)? Saturday I will concentrate on the Russian River and West Sonoma County. With so many artists to choose from I need to plot and plan a little to seek out the hidden away studios that you would never see or find otherwise. Pack a picnic and come out and enjoy our perfect October Harvest weather. Here's a link to a YouTube channel with personal invitations from some of the artists. http://www.youtube.com/artrails#p/u/12/RTZdSgLnD40