Wine_Country_Blog

Wine Country Blog: Innsights to the Wine Country

A RAINY DAY IN SONOMA WINE COUNTRY

By Meghan Smith on December 13, 2014

This week we've decided to delve into what feels like an appropriate topic of conversation considering the storms we’ve had this week. What do you do in Sonoma wine country when it happens to rain?  You’ve traveled from the East coast to escape the snowy weather and land in San Francisco only to find that you should have packed your rain coat, boots and umbrella. Rain happens- even in sunny California. The question is, how do you enjoy a wine country vacation when you can’t go far and the places you wanted to visit are impacted by weather? The answer varies depending on your interests; but we think a rainy day has the potential to be more enjoyable than you might think….

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Topics: Sonoma, wine country, Russian River, Pinot Noir, Romantic, Farmhouse Inn, Healdsburg, restaurant, vacation, California, spa

PUMPKINS, WINE COUNTRY, AND MOVIES-- OH MY!

By Meghan Smith on October 11, 2014

There is much to love about wine country in the fall; the changing colors of harvest time, the seasonal foods, the Halloween parties, and of course, the wine.

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Topics: wine country, Sonoma County, Pumpkin Patch, Pumpkins, Farmhouse Inn, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Napa, wine tasting, Harvest, Halloween, Film Festival

5 MORE REASONS TO VISIT WINE COUNTRY (DO YOU NEED A REASON?)

By Meghan Smith on October 04, 2014

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Topics: wine country, Sonoma County, holiday, gifts, shopping, art trails, Farmhouse Inn, Healdsburg, restaurant, romance, spa, Harvest, season

THREE DAYS IN WINE COUNTRY: A SONOMA PLANNING GUIDE

By Meghan Smith on August 16, 2014

Planning a long weekend (or more) in wine country? Interested in seeing what the grape harvest looks like? You’re not alone. Many  visitors to Sonoma and Napa during September and October come for a long weekend. While 3 days may seem like plenty of time in wine country, it really is  considered to be a quick visit. There is so much to do in Northern California that those 3 days will fly by quickly. Fear not: there is a team of experts on hand to help plan your visit so you won’t end up spending too much of your time in the car. The Farmhouse Inn concierge team can help plan your visit to Sonoma County. They have suggestions on everything from where to fly into, on where to dine and what activities are worth considering.

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Topics: Sonoma, wine country, Sonoma County, Farmhouse Inn, Healdsburg, events, restaurant, wine road, Napa, California, wine tasting

HARVEST IN WINE COUNTRY: GRAPES NOT INCLUDED

By Meghan Smith on August 10, 2014

Sonoma County is a great place to visit if you love wine country (and wine), and of course the most popular time to visit is during the  grape harvest. While we love the grape harvest as much as the next person, every year we also get excited about things like tomatoes, peaches, apples, onions, beets, walnuts… we could go on but we’ll stop here for now. We recently had the pleasure of getting out and about in Healdsburg and were able to experience harvest in several different ways. We spent the day visiting Noble Folk Ice Cream and Pie Shop, Dragonfly Floral and Dry Creek Peach.

 

 

To start our day in a pie and ice cream shop is a pretty good indication of how the remainder of our day was going to be- extraordinary. We were fortunate enough to be the first ones to experience pie making with Noble Folk owners and bakers, Ozzie Jimenez and Christian Sullivan. Noble Folk is the second store for the duo, who also have Moustache Baked Goods in downtown Healdsburg. While the bakery’s focus is on cupcakes and special occasion cakes, Noble Folk offers classic pies and Japanese inspired ice creams.

 

July and August are prime peach and berry season in Sonoma County, so our pie was a reflection of the summer time harvest. We learned how to make a filling and a proper crust. We were also schooled in the artistry of lattice work for the top of the pie. Noble Folk, like many Sonoma businesses, stresses the use of in-season ingredients. We’re looking forward to apple and pumpkin pies this fall. Noble Folk will soon be launching their website and online shopping cart – be sure to get your holiday pie orders in early.


After pie making (and taste testing) we headed over to Dragonfly Floral, just west of downtown Healdsburg. Dragonfly is a six acre farm that specializes in flowers for a variety of events. In addition to flowers they also grow vegetables and raise ducks and chickens. We popped in for a quick tour of the farm and were fortunate enough to meet the duck duo Fred and Ethel.

 

 

Dragonfly has about 4.5 acres of cutting flowers that they use for their arrangements. Our visit to the farm was full of color – roses, dahlias and sunflowers were all in bloom. In addition to providing flowers for events, Dragonfly has been hosting flower arrangement classes. We’re big fans of succulents and their selection was amazing – check out their online calendar for a schedule of classes or stop by for a picnic in their beautiful gardens.

 

Our last stop of the day was at Dry Creek Peach, located on the northern end of Dry Creek Valley. Dry Creek Peach is the only commercial (commercial in this case is only 6.5 acres) organic peach farm in Sonoma County. Dry Creek Peach grows several varieties of peaches including Snow Kings, Red Havens and Arctic Gems. In addition to supplying several local restaurants with peaches (Farmhouse chef Stevo is good friends of the owners), Dry Creek Peach operates a farm stand that is open 4 days a week. You can purchase fresh peaches, their jam and even peach wood cutting boards (we loved these!).

 

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Topics: wine country, Sonoma County, peaches, Dry Creek Valley, Farmhouse Inn, Healdsburg, farm, Moustache Baked Goods, pies, Harvest

SONOMA WINE COUNTRY OFFERS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

By Meghan Smith on July 12, 2014

Why should you plan a visit to wine country? The answer is, why wouldn’t you? If you like sunshine, good food, amazing wines, friendly people and spectacular views wine country has a place for you. Sonoma and Napa are no longer reserved for those of a certain age, bank account status, or even for wine lovers only.

You can visit Sonoma and do and see plenty on any budget, even if  you aren't a fan of the grape. Wine Country is great for an ultra-romantic honeymoon, a quick weekend trip, or even an exciting outdoor adventure. Sonoma County has it all and we’ll tell you how to do it right no matter the occasion or budget.

 

 

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Topics: wine country, Sonoma County, Romantic, Michelin Star, honeymoon, Farmhouse Inn, Healdsburg, Napa, lodging, weekend getaway, Russian River Valley, wine tasting

A PERFECT DAY IN SONOMA COUNTY: A FEW OF OUR SECRETS

By Meghan Smith on June 21, 2014


Living and working in Sonoma County offers many benefits; one of which is that we get do all the things the press write about as being a “must do on your next visit to California’s wine country".  It's no secret that summer is an amazing time of year to visit wine country and only next to harvest in terms of things to do and general excitement .  Here's a few summer perks we enjoy every day : Farmers’ markets, floating on the river, Music on the Green, and an all time favorite; dining al fresco with wine and friends. The Farmhouse Inn concierge team is often asked what we would do for a perfect day in the wine country. Fear not- we’ve done it before and are excited to share the wonders of life in Sonoma County with our guests.

  

If you’re anything like us, the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning is “where is my coffee?” 

 

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Topics: wine country, Sonoma County, Farmhouse Inn, Healdsburg, California, Russian River Valley, Farmer's Markets, wine tasting

SONOMA COUNTY FARMERS' MARKETS: A WINE COUNTRY MUST DO

By Meghan Smith on June 14, 2014

Its no secret that Sonoma locals take great pride in being an agricultural epicenter. Our varied microclimates, terrains and soils make our little slice of heaven the perfect home to many of our favorite farmers and artisan producers- oh yeah, AND grapes grow pretty well here too. In Sonoma we love our farmers’ markets- there is one happening somewhere in the county every day of the week. The Sonoma County farmers’ markets showcase everything from spring lamb to heirloom tomatoes and ground dried chiles. Local Press Democrat reporter Michele Anna Jordan often writes about the local farms and markets of the area. In one of her recent articles Michele talks about being in the kitchen after visiting a local market: “surrounded by ingredients that, as I touch them one by one, conjure images of farmers, ranchers and dairy men and women - and, of course, the winemakers - who tended to them” - pure poetry in our opinion. We’ll take you through a few different markets, what makes them unique and why visiting them on your next trip to Sonoma should be on your to-do list.

 

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Topics: Sonoma County, Farmhouse Inn, Healdsburg, Farmer's Markets

SONOMA SUMMER: MUSIC, RIVER, FOOD, WINE, FESTIVALS...

By Meghan Smith on May 31, 2014


Summer in Sonoma is all about lazy days on the Russian River, music events all around the county,  festivals and more fun.   Sonoma has a lot to do year-round but we especially love the summer months. If you’re planning on visiting soon or are taking notes for next year, be sure to check out our guide to summer living in wine country: outdoor activities, local happenings and events, and farmers markets. We couldn't include everything here, so if you're curious about something we don't mention be sure to email us  at innkeep@farmhouseinn.com or via Facebook.



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Topics: wine country, Russian River, concierge, Sonoma County, Santa Rosa, Farmhouse Inn, Healdsburg, Summer events, Music

FARMHOUSE INN CONCIERGE: SONOMA SUMMER WINE PICKS

By Meghan Smith on May 17, 2014

Locals living in the Sonoma and Napa Valleys associate spring time with the release of the newest vintages of white and rose wines. It is the time of year when we start making our summer plans and stocking our refrigerators for the coming months of picnicking near the Russian River and music on the square in Healdsburg. These delightful new releases always seem to perk us up out of our “winter” stupor. Whether your favorite is a Chardonnay or a Rose of Pinot Noir, we’ll go through the range of some of our favorites being released just in time for summer.

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Topics: Sonoma, wine country, Russian River, concierge, Farmhouse Inn, Healdsburg, vacation, Restaurants, Napa, California, wine tasting

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