May 9, 2019

Summer Beginnings

I’m sitting in my office, at Farmhouse, looking out the window at the rose bushes, already approaching full bloom and the fruit trees, all covered in blossoms. The butterflies are beginning to arrive. It’s April 24th, but it’s been in the high 80’s for 3 days, and today is shaping up to be a similarly gorgeous day. The heat won’t last, it’s one of the little summer previews that catches us off guard every year. But I can’t help getting excited that summer is coming.

After a winter with quite a bit of rain, and even some flooding, seeing our gorgeous grounds green and lush and starting to show their late spring/early summer colors is somehow even more exciting. Neil, my Estate Chef, and Matt, my Food & Beverage Director are huddled in the restaurant talking summer menus in preparation for the opening of our new Grange (a gorgeous meeting and event space, at the front of the property, that will open in June). The weather, coupled with talk of heirloom tomato BLTs, made with bacon from our neighbor and grilled grass-fed burgers on house-made buns has me thinking about all the fun to be had in the coming months.

In my book, the Summer Season kicks off May 4th this year with the Great Russian River Race. It starts on the Russian River, up above Healdsburg, and finishes at Memorial Beach just on the Southern end of Healdsburg.  The beach is officially open for summer, with a beach party including live music and of course, great food. It’s canoes, kayaks and a whole bunch of crazy costumes. The Healdsburg Fair happens Memorial Day weekend, with a parade Friday night featuring seemingly endless floats, marching bands and small town charm. Small town, wine country-style that is!  The fair is tons of fun.  And Joe’s kids 4H animals will be on display all weekend!

The race and the fair are sort of old school Western Sonoma County (but remember, Joe and I are 5th generation here, so we’ve been doing this stuff all our lives!), but they still feature world-class wines, local beers and a pretty sophisticated vibe.

Late May also brings the start of both the Windsor and Healdsburg Town Square Concert Series. Windsor is Thursday evenings and Healdsburg is every Tuesday. They both start the week of May 27th. Each town has its own unique feel. Both are very family friendly and we locals don’t miss a single one if we can help it. But they each feature a great selection of food trucks, micro brews and wines to enjoy with the music. If you are going to be here one a Tues. or a Thurs., and feel like getting out into the community, we are happy to set you up with everything you’ll need.

June 22nd is the first show in the beloved Rodney Strong Summer Concert Series. They just announced the lineup today. I’ve seen Chris Isaac and a number of my favorite performers play there. This year I’ll grab tickets for Alanis Morissette. The wines are amazing, there is endless great food, and the venue is wine-country perfect.

I’m also particularly excited about the number of flights coming into and out of our amazing little Charles Shultz Airport.  They keep adding airlines and destination cities, and it keeps getting easier to visit us.  It’s just 5 miles from here and we now have Alaska, American and United flying in and out.  We have direct flights to/from LA, Orange County, San Diego, Portland, Seattle, Dallas, Denver, San Francisco and Phoenix.  And we have seasonal flights to Minnesota and Las Vegas.  It’s an incredible little airport, with all of the major car rental companies on site.  And it makes getting to Farmhouse incredibly easy.  It’s a gorgeous 10 minute drive past vineyards and wineries.  And from those hubs, we can connect to anyplace!  I just flew STS (our airport) to LAX and from there straight into Cabo. It was amazingly fast and easy!

Really, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Summer in Sonoma County isn’t to be missed.  From Farmers’ markets to winery and cultural events to ever-changing restaurant menus, not to mention all of the outdoor activities, you could stay a month and still miss something.  So if you are thinking about a visit, call our reservations team and get the ball rolling.  I guarantee if it’s your first visit to Farmhouse, it won’t be your last!

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