Wine Country Staff Picks

  • Glass of wine being poured on wood table outdoors

    The Famed Sparkling Wines of Iron Horse Vineyards

    May 08, 2018

    Among the most renowned wine-making regions in the world, Sonoma County is home to many outstanding vineyards. One of our favorites is Iron Horse Vineyards, which was founded in 1976 by Audrey and Barry Sterling and even today remains a family-owned and operated business known for its world-class Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and various sparkling wines. Iron Horse is especially proud to have been served at official White House functions during every presidential administration from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama and hopes to continue the tradition for many years to come. Visitors to the vineyard are treated to varietal samples in the open-air Tasting Room perched atop a hill overlooking 300 acres of immaculately manicured vines. Best of all, this enchanting attraction is located less than 15 minutes by car from our hotel. Iron Horse does recommend calling ahead for reservations, though, in order to ensure your time there is as fun and informative as possible.

    Address: 9786 Ross Station Road, Sebastopol, CA 95472

  • Close up on pink apple bossoms with apple

    Fun Flourishes at the Sebastopol Apple Blossom Festival & Parade

    April 03, 2018

    Springtime in Sonoma Valley heralds many returns, with flowers blooming and festivals flourishing. On Saturday, April 21, and Sunday, April 22, the charming town of Sebastopol, a scenic 20-minute drive from our hotel, will be hosting its 72nd annual Apple Blossom Festival and Parade. The celebration kicks off at 10 A.M. on Saturday with the parade itself, then continues till 6, with live music by popular local bands; artisans and merchants selling handcrafted jewelry, clothing, leather goods, and other specialty items; local and regional artists dealing in paintings, drawings, and photographs; wine tastings featuring the best Sonoma Valley vineyards; and food vendors serving up candy, ice cream, barbecue, sandwiches, Thai food, German faves, and other tasty eats. Sunday festivities run from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. and feature many of the same exhibitions, plus the Blues Music Explosion with special guest Terrie Odabi, a blues and soul vocal sensation whose explosive debut on the Bay Area music scene has invigorated both industry professionals and everyday fans.

    Address: Ives Park and the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 282 S. High St., Sebastopol, CA 95472

  • Orange and black monarch butterfly perched on purple blossoms

    Butterflies and Bucolic Splendor on the West County Trail

    March 06, 2018

    Now that winter is behind us and temperatures are climbing comfortably into the mid-sixties, we’re excited to head back to the great outdoors for some of that natural beauty that’s made Sonoma County landscapes nearly as famous as its wines. If you’re as fond of biking as we are, we highly recommend the five-and-a-half-mile West County Trail that runs between Forestville and the nearby town of Sebastopol. This level, paved path runs through various pastoral settings, including farms and vineyards, affording you and your loved ones the opportunity to take in the bucolic charm of the land at your own pace. Once in Sebastopol, consider checking out the 9-acre Hallberg Butterfly Gardens, which are open to visitors from April 1 to October 31 each year. Tours are available to the general public on Fridays and Sundays from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M., and it’s best to call ahead to schedule an appointment.

    The Hallberg Butterfly Gardens are located at 8687 Oak Grove Avenue, Sebastopol, CA 95472.

  • Peeled oranges in a bowl

    Join the Fun at the Annual Citrus Fair

    February 04, 2018

    If you’re looking for a fun and quirky day-trip during your stay at the Farmhouse Inn, considering checking out the Cloverdale Citrus Fair, held in the nearby town of Cloverdale from Friday, February 16, through Monday, February 19. A scenic half-hour’s drive will put you in the midst of this annual favorite, which features massive 3-D exhibits crafted from citrus fruits (no, really), a family-friendly carnival, gourmet food, and handmade merchandise from local artists and artisans. The crowning of the Citrus Fair Queen will occur on Friday evening, and the annual parade will enliven the town streets the following morning at 11 A.M. Special musical and theatrical performances will be staged throughout the long weekend, including the soulful tunes of southern rock band Double Standard, the country-and-western dance stylings of the Kick’n Country Girls, and the kid-friendly comedic antics of Duelling Dames. Once you’ve had your fill of the festival, you’ll be more than ready to head back to the luxury of the Farmhouse Inn, where all the comforts of home await.

    Location: Cloverdale Citrus Fairgrounds, Citrus Fair Dr. & S. Washington St., Cloverdale, California 95425

  • charles schulz museum

    You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

    January 08, 2018

    In 1950 Charles Schulz launched Peanuts, a Sunday morning comic that would eventually become the most successful strip of all time, reaching a peak readership of more than 350 million in 75 countries during its 50-year run. Add to that the many televised holiday specials and endless merchandise, from Snoopy dolls to Charlie Brown lunch boxes, that features the Peanuts gang, and it’s easy to see why Schulz’s creation has become a permanent part of American culture. During your stay with us, we encourage you to take a quick 15-minute drive to the city of Santa Rosa, where the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center offers you a chance to relive many of your fondest childhood memories as you explore not only the artwork of Schulz himself, but also the delightful and awe-inspiring tributes to the Peanuts gang rendered by renowned artists from around the world. See the evolution of Snoopy hewn in 3.5 tons of wood by Yoshiteru Otani, tour a life-size replica of Charles Schulz’s very own artist’s studio, and laugh at rare strips catalogued, contextualized, and displayed for your viewing pleasure at this one-of-a-kind cartoon museum.

    Address: 2301 Hardies Ln, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

     

  • Aerial view of three hands clinking together two cups of cappuccino and one ice coffee

    Exploring Downtown Forestville

    December 05, 2017

    Sonoma County is known for its breathtaking and varied topography, making it the ideal place for an outdoor getaway. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out the many charming indoor attractions that comprise “downtown” Forestville. For just three blocks, Highway 116 becomes Front Street, where you’ll find a pristine stretch of quintessential small town shops perfect for an afternoon of browsing. Stepping into Ideal Hardware is like stepping back a century, where you can browse the shelves for the kinds of specialty home goods you just can’t find anymore. On the opposite end of the spectrum, but no less quaint, is the Lucky Mojo Curio Co., a mystical shop brimming with magic incantation kits, spiritual oils and soaps, and incense. Fine artist Gerald Huth maintains his painting-packed studio in a converted barn (he takes visitors, but only by appointment), and Sunshine Organic Coffee Roasters and Espresso Bar serves up the finest, freshest brews this side of San Francisco. And if you’re looking for gourmet delicacies, you’ll want to check out Kozlowski Farms. We recommend stocking up on their delicious jams. You’ll thank us for many breakfasts to come.

  • Nine people in blue and yellow whitewater rafting among large rocks

    Outdoor Thrills with Rubicon Adventures

    November 06, 2017

    California wine country is, in our humble opinion, just about the best place in the world to enjoy a relaxing vacation away from the frenzy of everyday life. If you start to feel a bit restless, however, you can rest assured we have just the thing for you: for more than forty years, Rubicon Adventures, based right here in Forestville, has been treating residents and visitors alike to some of the most thrilling outdoor activities California has to offer. You can enjoy whitewater rafting, stand-up paddleboarding, surfing, special aquatic yoga, and more. Rubicon Adventures activities are appropriate for anyone in reasonably good shape; prior experience with the relevant sport is not required. The fun and friendly staff at Rubicon are the ideal guides, ensuring that even the most strenuous sessions are an absolute blast from start to finish. With a wide range of tour and clinic packages available year round, Rubicon Adventures is sure to have just what you need for a day of outdoor thrills.

    Address: 9743 Highway 116, Forestville, CA 95436

  • Spellbooks

    Find Your Mojo

    September 05, 2017

    The Lucky Mojo Curio Co. is your one-stop-shop for everything magical, occult, and off the beaten path. Located less than 5 minutes from the Farmhouse Inn, the Lucky Mojo Curio Co. has everything from occult oils to spiritual supplies for those who work in Jewish, Hindu, Protestant, and Catholic Traditions. The shop contains interesting books of all kinds, and they even have kits for casting money, love, and protection spells. The extremely friendly and knowledgeable staff will help you find the perfect person for a psychic reading. Whether you are well versed in the occult or simply for an interesting experience, the Lucky Mojo Curio Co. is the perfect place to stop for an afternoon. After indulging your curiosity, make your way back to the Farmhouse Inn where you can indulge your taste buds at the amazing Farmhouse Restaurant. It's sure to be a meal you won't soon forget!

  • Staring up at tall redwood trees

    Find Bliss Among the Redwoods

    August 07, 2017

    With our busy lives full of emails, texts, and meetings, it can sometimes be difficult to slow down and enjoy all of the beauty and majesty of nature. During your stay at the Farmhouse Inn, plan to spend a day hiking at the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. The park is only about 20 minutes from the Farmhouse Inn and is open from 8 AM until one hour after official sunset. Some of the highlights of the park are the Parson Jones Tree which at more than 310 feet tall is the largest tree in the grove, the Colonel Armstrong Tree which at 1400 years old is the oldest tree in the grove, and the strangely beautiful Icicle Tree. The hiking is particularly wonderful on the discovery and pioneer nature trails. There are additional trails for hikers of all experience and skill levels. The big, beautiful redwood trees are sure to take your breath away.

  • Couple canoeing on lake with vests on

    Canoe The Russian River

    July 02, 2017

    If you are looking for a day relaxing in the great outdoors, then you should definitely spend a day canoeing The Russian River with Burke’s Canoe Trips. The trip consists of a ten-mile, self-guided canoe trip that includes plenty of places to picnic, swim, or just enjoy the wildlife all around. You can even take some time to sunbathe on one of the beaches along the river. The starting point for the canoe trip is conveniently located less than a mile from the Farmhouse Inn. You are sure to find yourself in awe of the beautiful and majestic Redwoods as well as all of the local animal life including otters, ospreys, turtles, Great Blue Herons, and egrets. Be sure to call ahead for reservations because these tours fill up quickly. Burke’s Canoe Trips offer an outdoor experience on the amazing Russian River that you and your family will not soon forget.

  • fresh peaches

    Farmers Market Season Has Arrived

    June 05, 2017

    On Tuesday June 20, the Forestville Certified Farmers Market will have its 5th annual opening day celebration from 4-7 pm. June 20 is opening day, but the farmers market will continue every Tuesday until September 26. Located less than 10 minutes from the Farmhouse Inn, Opening Day at the Forestville Certified Farmers Market features live music by the Charles Thomas Band, delicious offerings from local farmers, crafts, and even beer and wine. While you stroll through the market, make sure to take some time to enjoy the beautiful scenery that surrounds you. The gorgeous oak trees provide shade for all of the happy patrons, making summer evenings at the market even more pleasant. After checking out all that the vendors have to offer at the farmers market, make your way back to the Farmhouse Inn Restaurant for an outstanding dinner paired with the perfect glass of wine by one of the talented sommeliers.

  • Getting Around Wine Country

    May 13, 2017

    Farmhouse's newest guest amenity, the Tesla Model X house car. Tesla designs and builds the most advanced vehicles in the world today. These tricked out cars are fast, gorgeous and can even drive themselves. All on pure electricity. Farmhouse Inn is offering a new guest amenity that is focused on providing visitors with a new way to travel - in a Tesla. Farmhouse will offer guests wine tours in the hotel’s new Model X, as well as daily dinner runs to the nearby downtown Healdsburg - they’d offer self-driven tours but the insurance company vetoed that option... Wine tours will start at $400 per couple and are subject to availability.

    Reasons why this is a great amenity and you should book your stay now to take advantage of it:

    - Tesla's cars are all electric, therefore better for the environment than taking an UBER
    - The dinner run services are complimentary for hotel guests
    - You'll be able to tell your friends about driving a new Model X
    - A wine tour in the new Tesla is considerably less per hour than most wine tours... 

  • Getting to WIne Country

    May 13, 2017

    Consider a direct flight into our local airport. Sonoma County Airport has announced that there will be additional non-stop flights from new destinations this summer. Already the airport has daily flights to/from:

    - San Diego
    - Orange County
    - LAX
    - Portland
    - Seattle

    Beginning in June United Airlines will begin offering 3 daily flights to and from SFO - this short flight is ideal for those who are interested in skipping the traffic and rental car lines. We highly recommend looking into this option as wine country is becoming a popular destination and sitting in traffic following a long flight is never as enjoyable as it sounds.... American Airlines will also be adding a twice weekly non-stop flight to/from Phoenix. Other direct flights include Las Vegas and Minneapolis. For more information on booking a flight into STS click here. Oh, and did we mention that you can check a case of wine for free if you fly on one of the Alaska flights?

  • Latest Trend In Sonoma - Napa Wine Country

    March 24, 2017

    Wellness and wine country – the initial reaction to those two subjects together is a squishy face mixed with a look of disbelief (don’t pretend like you don’t know what we’re talking about). However, contrary to many beliefs, wine country was built for wellness. Red wine is good for you (in moderation...), there are many healthy (non-wine drinking) outdoor activities to enjoy, and a lot of the food in wine country is organic and grown at nearby farms. Wellness has always been a part of the wine country lifestyle - we just weren't talking about it. We reached out to our friends at Meadowood Napa Valley and begun talking about all the healthy things we do every day. Our brainstorming resulted in our new offering: Wellness in Wine Country.

  • Farmhouse Inn Winemaker Dinners not to be Missed

    March 17, 2017

    It’s 70 degrees out and sunny in wine country today - spring has officially arrived in Sonoma and Napa. After one of the heaviest rainy seasons we’ve had in a long time it is time to celebrate the return of the sun and longer days. Many have asked what the heavy rains will mean for this upcoming grape harvest season, and while it is too early to give exact predictions, you could get an opinion from an expert by attending one of our winemaker dinners with Russian River icon: Kistler. On April 7th the Kistler team joins us. Below are some highlights of the previous dinners with Williams Selyem, Kosta Browne, and Merry Edwards and what you can expect from our April 7th dinner. If you’re interested in booking with us, please email our team at reservations@farmhouseinn.com or give them a call at 707.887.3300.

  • Women's History Month - Celebrate The Women In Your Life

    March 06, 2017

    March in wine country is special for many reasons – we start to see signs of spring, menus start to change with new products coming into season, the rains taper off, the days become warmer and longer, and its Women’s History Month. We encourage you to celebrate this month by gathering your favorite women together for a night out, a hike in your favorite Sonoma County park or you can really go for it and plan a wine country escape – if you go for it be prepared to indulge – you deserve it. Spend a few nights in wine country exploring the dining scene, new wineries, the outdoors and enjoy the peace and quiet that comes with spending time with your friends. And gentlemen, we haven’t forgotten about you. Coming soon – our blog about how to have a gents' weekend in wine country. 

  • What to do in Guernville in the Rain

    February 17, 2017

    Despite all the reporting on various news channels, Guerneville did not float into the Pacific and is in fact standing and thriving despite the rain. Yes, Guerneville does indeed sit on the Russian River and yes, during big storms there is flooding in parts of Sonoma County but we promise, it isn't as scary as you'd be led to believe if you watch the evening news. So, in a show of support of our neighboring town
    (just 15 minutes down the road from Farmhouse Inn) we've decided to provide our fans with a list of things to do in Guerneville when its raining - kayaking down Main Street is not one of them.

  • Romantic Rainy Days in Wine Country

    January 06, 2017

    No excuse necessary – rainy days in Sonoma Napa wine country are days inside snuggled up with your special someone all romantic in front of the warm fireplace. The weather in wine country is often unseasonably warm and sunny in January and February, but sometimes Northern California acts like the rest of the world and gets typical winter weather, complete with clouds and rain. These are the days you want to be at Farmhouse Inn - our warm fireplaces, comfy beds and huge soaker tubs all add up to a romantic getaway where the outside world doesn’t intrude and you have nothing more to think about than what movie you’ll watch next. 

    Romance, romance, romance. Tis the most romantic time of year. We think the chilly weather is a perfect partner to romantic getaways. And because we love romance so much, we’re offering half off our Romance Package the entire month of February. To inquire about a romantic getaway to the Farmhouse Inn please email the reservations team at reservations@farmhouseinn.com. We hope to help you plan a rainy romantic day getaway soon.

  • Sonoma Wine Country Holidays - Farmhouse Style

    November 25, 2016

    The winter holidays are my favorite time of year. Well, among my favorites. I love it when the wine country vineyards are filled with mustard flowers in March and we know that spring is around the corner. Summer get-togethers on my verandah are pretty amazing, as the sun sets over our Russian River Valley vineyards and the Sonoma Wine Country grape harvest is pretty incredible too. The changing seasons are one of the thrills of living in Sonoma County. But, the holidays are what's next and they are all I can think about right now.

    Back to all the packages I’ve come up with, that may or may not be driving my team crazy… This winter we are offering a new roster of special winter programs. Some are about a great price on i.e. a quick trip and dinner, and some bring Russian River's most iconic winemakers into a series that will allow you to come, feast and, the next day, spend time with them on their own turf. Not something that many properties could pull together (thanks team!). And whether you are celebrating the holidays all out or just want to chill and get away from the hub-bub take a look at our Holidays Your Way Special Package. Whether you need a little spa getaway or just hang out by the fire pit with our s'mores makings it can truly be a holiday your way. And for the gourmand...We have a dinner series that is going to challenge Chef Steve Litke and Food and Beverage Director Matt Brown, to create a celebration of the Old World every Friday in December, and a Celebration of the New World every Saturday. Challenging, but sure to be delicious – this one has all of us excited – expect to see several Farmhouse team members at these dinners. We are encouraging a weekend stay around those too. And, if a tiny wedding or an elopement is something you are considering, consider how magical a Christmas wedding could be! You just show up ready to be dazzled and we'll take care of the rest. We are promising festive surprises at every turn.

  • Wine Country Harvest Time is Over? Now What?

    November 11, 2016

    All around Sonoma Napa wine country you can feel a sense of calm and relief. All the wine grapes have been harvested, everything is being put to sleep in barrels, and the fruit fly population is slowly but surely decreasing. You may think that last one isn’t a big deal, but if you live here you know how much better life is when you aren’t finding fruit flies in your wine every night. Now that the flurry of the 2016 harvest is over, what will we do to keep busy?

    Thankfully Napa and Sonoma don’t shut down in the winter. It does slow a bit which is an advantage- a day of wine tasting is much more relaxed without the summer time throngs. And the wineries have more time to spend with you too. However, we are not just wine here in the wine country; we have many more things happening year round. Things like movie festivals, huge food and wine events, restaurant openings, the beginning of crab season, holiday parties and much more. It’s always a good time to visit wine country but especially between now and the New Year.

  • Beginnings... A Message from Farmhouse Inn Owners

    November 04, 2016

    The question that we get asked more often than any other (and we get a lot of questions…) “WHAT made you decide to buy an inn with your sibling?” It’s usually accompanied by a look of mild awe- as in “I could NEVER work with my sibling”, or a sort of disbelief- as in “you actually BOUGHT this with your sibling? You didn’t inherit it?” Hard to believe, I know.

    But my brother Joe and I actually, deliberately, purchased a very run down, 8 room bed and breakfast inn. And we were both gainfully employed at the time! I was GM of a winery up in Healdsburg, and Joe was a structural engineer on the East Coast. Yes, he actually moved cross country and gave up a great job to buy a bed and breakfast with his sister- well, it is smack in the middle of the Sonoma Napa wine country, and in the heart of the Russian River Valley to boot, and a very short commute from the family ranch, but still…

    Of course, there is some back story here. We are fortunate enough to own, farm and, if you are me, live on the ranch that our Italian-immigrant-great grandfather purchased at the turn of the last century. He brought his father over from Italy, and he lived there too. So that makes us the 5th generation to grow grapes, apples and a lot of poison oak on our beautiful 80 acre property. It also happens to be about 2 miles from Farmhouse.

  • VALENTINE'S DAY + WINE COUNTRY + FARMHOUSE INN = ROMANCE

    January 27, 2016

    Valentine's Day is upon us: That oh so magical time of year synonymous with red roses, chocolates in a box, and teddy bears holding hearts. Forgot to make a plan? You are not alone and thankfully the romance experts at Farmhouse Inn are here to help. We have declared February as the Month of Romance (why limit to a single day?) and the Sonoma wine country is perfect for a romantic getaway. Whether surprising your loved one with a last minute romantic interlude or adding on some delightful extras to an already-planned trip, we are here to make sure that your Valentine’s Day amounts to more than bad candy or even worse; bad champagne.

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