May Events in Wine Country

With the weather warming up, it’s time to make plans to attend some local events.  May offers a number of venues the whole family will enjoy.  Experience film festivals, wine tasting, rose parades and so much more this month.

May 7 – The Meals on Wheels Derby Day is one of the most memorable charitable events of the region. Celebrating the rich traditions of the Kentucky Derby®, attendees walk the catwalk with their finest Derby-inspired apparel and compete for prizes. A team of Sonoma County chefs will prepare a four-course, southern-inspired gourmet luncheon. The day will include a silent and live auction and culminate with the live running of the Kentucky Derby®.

May 7 – Film Fest Petaluma returns to the Mystic Theatre in historic downtown Petaluma. Enjoy award-winning animated, live action and documentary shorts from around the world. Filmmakers will be present at all screenings for audience Q & A’s.

May 14 – The Annual All Vintner Pour from 4-7 pm is decidedly our most popular (Mayacama Member + Guest) wine event of the year! Imagine having some of Sonoma and Napa’s foremost wineries all converging into one ancient olive tree-studded courtyard to showcase their wines. This is what you will experience at the All Vintner Pour! More than simply tasting Vintner Member wines, this is an opportunity to learn interesting facts about vineyards, varietals, vintages, and winemaking. The casual al fresco ambience adds to the enjoyment of this perfect setting for Members and their guests to mingle, party, and create memories!

May 14-15  Get your tickets to Sunset Magazine’s 2016 Celebration Weekend at Cornerstone Sonoma, where the pages of Sunset Magazine will come alive. Eat, drink, and love the West!

May 14 – The annual Spring at Jordan party returns to Jordan Winery. This year, the sounds, sights, flowers and flavors of spring in Japan descend upon Sonoma. The lively affair, inspired by the Orient, features Jordan Winery chef’s inventive cuisine, premier purveyors, live entertainment, delicious wines and their first olive oil experience. Their 2014 Jordan Chardonnay, 2012 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon and 2015 Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil will all debut.

May 15 – Experience the best wines California’s premier wine country has to offer at the North Coast Wine Challenge! Every year The Press Democrat offers wine lovers the opportunity to taste the best wines from throughout the North Coast American Viticulture Areas (AVA). These are wines that achieve both a Gold Medal status and 90+ points in The Press Democrat North Coast Wine Competition.  Wines will be thoughtfully presented by taste profile.  Top local chefs will also prepare food tastings that will delight your palate, and showcase these incredible wines.

May 19 – Enjoy a day of classic American cars, cruising the main drag, rock ‘n roll, and the happy days of the ‘50s and early ‘60s at Cruisin’ the Boulevard.  Petaluma was one of the main shooting locations for the classic movie, American Graffiti.

May 21 – West Sonoma County’s Premier Spring event, Taste! will delight your taste buds with an all-inclusive tour of Sonoma County’s finest foods, drinks and desserts. Ticket includes a commemorative glass, live music, photo booth and sampling of local food, wine, beer, cider and desserts! All proceeds benefit the Active 20-30 Club of Sebastopol – a local nonprofit that supports local children in need.

May 21 – Experience the 122nd Annual Luther Burbank Rose Parade and Festival, one of Sonoma County’s most time honored traditions and one of the oldest and largest events of its kind in Northern California. After the parade, the fun continues with a festival in Downtown Santa Rosa. Enjoy family fun activities, music, and a variety of food booths.

May 21 – Russian River fun! Enjoy food trucks & beer, live music, vendor booths and a costume contest among racers at The River Race Party at Johnson’s Beach. Come down to the River, bring chairs and blankets and watch the participants race across the Finish Line. It’s a great way to kick off the summer season and goes to support a good cause, protecting the River!

May 28 – Oysterpalooza returns to Valley Ford.  Enjoy five amazing bands on two stages, BBQ oysters, fried oyster po boys, smoked brisket tacos, tacos dorados, Lagunitas beers on draught, local wines, hurricanes and much more. Spend your Memorial Day weekend on the Sonoma Coast and come see a one of a kind music and food festival that you’ll never forget!

So get out there and have some fun, wine country style!

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

photo credit: http://www.northcoastwineevent.com/

Explore Willi’s Wine Bar

If you find yourself in search of a casual wine country dining experience, look no farther than Willi’s Wine Bar in Santa Rosa.  Located about 5 miles from Mayacama, this popular restaurant offers a venue in perfect alignment with wine country living, a casual environment where some of the best wines and food are served up in a friendly and inviting setting.

Offering indoor and patio dining options, Willi’s Wine Bar creates a memorable dining experience in a quaint, comfortable setting where visitors and locals feel equally at home, whether enjoying a quick bite or lingering over a glass of wine. Everyone will find something to their liking as the popular spot offers a menu featuring international small plates, some inventive and others comfortingly familiar.

Named four times in the San Francisco Chronicle Bay Area Top 100 Restaurant list, Willi’s Wine Bar serves up a variety of culinary options.  Enjoy favorites such as Filet Mignon Sliders with Creamed Spinach and Whole Grain Mustard Bearnaise, Organic “Brick Chicken” with Tzatziki Sauce and Fried Onion Salad as well as Pork Belly Pot Stickers with Five Spice & Shiitake Mushrooms.  They offer gluten-free options as well as Surf, Earth and Turf categories from their International Small Plates menu. To further explore their menus, click here.  Simply delicious.

The staff at Willi’s is also an essential component to this memorable dining venue; they are always eager to help create perfect pairings with wines from the extensive wine list, many by local producers.  Most wines are available in two-ounce tastes as well as by the glass or bottle.

Yelpers agree.  Willi’s Wine Bar is a hit among locals and visitors alike:

Wonderful little Gem in Santa Rosa. Nice atmosphere, the service is excellent. The food was so tasty and fresh, we just kept eating and ordering more and eating. So impressed with how they serve up unusual dishes and flavors. So good! – Kathleen L.

Fantastic food and fantastic service. Atmosphere was awesome. Decided to have lunch here on recommendations from the locals and couldn’t have been happier with our experience. We shared several small plates and recommendations from our server. The food was terrific. Finished with a Latte and Meyers Lemon Pudding with Huckleberry. Highly recommend this spot and look forward to going back!! – Steve G.

One of my local favorites. Come for the food, and stay for a little more wine. I have had many fine and pleasant dining experiences here – looking forward to more in the future! It can add up of you want to go large, but they also lend themselves quite well to sampling/sharing, so it is possible to try a variety of tasty dishes. Exceptional wine menu. Desserts are always wonderful too! Keep up the good work gang! – Scott M.

Willi’s Wine Bar is located at 4404 Old Redwood Highway in Santa Rosa.  Their hours are Tuesday – Thursday 11:30 – 9:30 | Friday – Saturday 11:30 – 10:00 and Sunday & Monday 5:00 – 9:30.  Learn more about this popular spot on their website and Facebook page.

Come for a sit-down meal or just a small sampling. At Willi’s Wine Bar one thing is certain, you’ll love the food, wine, people and experience.  It’s wine country at its best.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/WillisWineBar

Cycling in Wine Country

Wine country is famous for its beautiful scenery but did you know that it is also a popular cycling destination, drawing cyclists from all across the region and beyond. A testament to its popularity is the fact that Stage 7 of the 2016 Amgen Tour of California will, once again, take place in Santa Rosa, city of former cycling champion, Levi Leipheimer.  From vineyards to rolling hills, coastline to quaint towns, wine country has much to offer in the way of scenic cycling, so get ready to ride the beauty that surrounds us each and every day.

If you are new to cycling or haven’t ridden in a number of years, don’t worry; we’ve compiled a list of useful resources to aid you in your two-wheeled adventures.

A great place to start preparing and planning your wine country cycling adventures is Wine Country Bikes.  Located in nearby Healdsburg, Wine Country Bikes offers a variety of services, insight and equipment for the novice and expert alike.  Their website is chock-full of helpful resources as well as a nice list of tours they offer for those looking for a guided pedal through the region; some tours offered are multi-day tours for the truly adventurous.  Here you will find a variety of bike rentals, from road bikes to tandems and even child trailers, for those without any equipment.  The knowledgeable staff is a team of local cyclists and dedicated travel professionals who are passionate about creating amazing personalized cycling adventures. The team boasts a wealth of experience and insight which they are willing to readily share to make your bicycling adventures a memorable experience.

Once equipped, you’ll need to choose a route.  For those looking for shorter trails to occupy an afternoon or morning, there are a number of parks throughout the region which offer loops and trails for a relaxing outdoor pedal.

Santa Rosa Creek Trail – Santa Rosa – 2.14-mile trail and a great option for families or other leisure riders.

Spring Lake Regional Park – Santa Rosa – paved 3.5-mile loop around Spring Lake used by cyclists, runners and walkers. Spring Lake also connects with Annadel State Park, a popular destination for off-road riding.

Joe Rodota and West County trails – Santa Rosa & Sebastopol – 14 miles of level trails, perfect for casual cyclists and families. The 8.5-mile Joe Rodota trail starts in central Santa Rosa and ends in Sebastopol. The 5.5-mile West County Trail connects Sebastopol to Forestville.

Helen Putnam Regional Park – Petaluma – 6 miles of trails with a variety of terrain and trail widths. Riders will enjoy panoramic views of southern Sonoma County.

Looking for more resources?  Here you will find Easy, Moderate and Expert itinerary suggestions for bike routes through Sonoma County.  For those willing to push themselves a bit harder, here is another article for some advanced rides, courtesy of Levi Leipheimer. If you find yourself exploring Sonoma Valley, here is a helpful map for biking the region.  And for those using two-wheeled transit on a more regular basis, the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition is a great resource.

So grab your helmets and explore all that wine country has to offer.  Be safe out there and have some fun!

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Catch a Sonoma Event this April

For those that can tear themselves away from the course, courts or pool at Mayacama, outings in Wine Country offer exceptional ways to connect with the best of Sonoma County. Discover a few highlights of local activities in April:

Sonoma International Film Festival: runs through April 3, 2016

Enjoy world-class food and wine on the Historic Sonoma Plaza at the Sonoma International Film Festival, featuring over 90 hand-selected films screened in intimate venues within walking distance. Renowned filmmakers, industry leaders and celebrities such as Bruce Willis, Susan Sarandon, Mary-Louise Parker and Ray Liotta have enjoyed this unique event.

Mendocino Coast Whale & Jazz Festival: April -May, 2016

Presented by Gualala Arts and taking place during the Smithsonian Institute’s Jazz Appreciation Month of April, this highly regarded festival features live music, inspired, original jazz art work, whale education, jazz films, poetry plus an annual Chowder Challenge and tasting!

Fools for the River: April 1, 2016

At this annual riverside restaurant crawl, you can visit four of ten participating restaurants. Tickets are good from 7:30am when Water Street Bistro opens until midnight, when Graffiti closes. Share your ticket, purchase a few and visit all locations with friends as you please!

Orchids in Art: April 2-3, 2016

A weekend full of fun, education and beautiful blooming orchids! For two days the Santa Rosa Veterans building will be transformed into a spectacular world of dazzling exotic epiphytes and terrestrial plants from around the world. Visitors of all ages are invited to enjoy the largest family of flowering plants in spectacular full bloom and enjoy live music by The Carnelian Strings and Nicolette Rickles.

Battle of the Brews: April 9, 2016

Over 70 drafts and food vendors will fight for your vote at the 20th Annual Battle of the Brews. The Craft Cup is a VIP event featuring judged, premier micro-brews alongside the Sonoma County Sandwich Showdown that highlights delicious sandwiches from local chefs. All with great live music on stage, brewing demonstrations, and much more!

April in Carneros: April 16 -17, 2016

Enjoy one great event, 15 award winning wineries, 15 great wine country experiences and live entertainment for two full days throughout the Carneros Appellation.

Sebastopol Apple Blossom Festival and Parade: April 16, 2016

The 70th Annual Apple Blossom Festival begins with a parade on Saturday, followed by live music, food, crafts, games for the kids, an art show, wine and more! The fun carries on Sunday with the Festival and Jazz Explosion. Saturday, April 16, 10am to 6pm Sunday, April 17, 10am to 5pm.

Celebrate Earth Day at Lake Sonoma: April 22 – 23, 2016

Two celebrations of Earth Day will be held at Lake Sonoma. On Friday, April 22, a volunteer leader will meet participants at the Lone Rock parking area for a hike (3-4 miles, to be decided by attendees). On Saturday, April 23, it’s “Earth Day Family Fun” with art and craft projects for all ages. An easy, almost level family hike (1 mile or so) will step out from the Lone Rock parking area, as well as a second “moderate” hike (1.5 miles) at the Woodland Ridge trail marker, located near the Visitors Center.

Annual Butter and Eggs Day Parade & Festival: April 23, 2016

Celebrate the rich history of Petaluma and a look at its future with the arrival of the SMART Train in 2016. Over 100 groups and floats kick off the day marching through downtown Petaluma in costume, on horse-back and more. The day is family-friendly with craft booths, kids activities, live music, art – plus local food and drink booths.

Passport to Dry Creek Valley®: April 23, 2016

This is a beloved tradition among wine lovers who enjoy world-class tasting experiences with a modern twist, all within Sonoma’s idyllic Dry Creek Valley. Explore more than 45 wineries throughout the valley, each offering an exclusive pairing of exquisite wine, gourmet food and live entertainment. Each winery promises to be an unforgettable destination for returning guests and novices alike.

Petaluma’s 2016 Spring Antique Faire: April 24, 2016

“The Bay Area’s Premier Antique Center,” Historic Downtown Petaluma will transform into an antique marketplace. Amid the beautiful historic buildings, one of a kind stores, an incredible array of restaurants and cafes, guests can find an incomparable selection of antiques from over 180 dealers.

Day on the Green at the Village: April 30, 2016

Enjoy a day of art, music, and family fun at the annual arts show and sale. Live music starts with Sarah Baker and Mona Gnader of the “Wa Girls” opening the festival. There will also be live dance performances and artist demonstrations, free creative activities and henna paintings for kids of all ages. Beverage proceeds benefit Food for Thought.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Brunch with Us in Wine Country

There is no better way to start your weekend wine county adventures than with a hearty brunch. To aid in your dining adventures, we have listed a few of our local favorites for those in search of weekend AM deliciousness.

Della Fattoria
Nestled in the heart of Historic Downtown Petaluma, Della Fattoria is a special treat serving up incredible breakfasts in their European style café. Famous for their artisan breads that you can find at fine markets and restaurants around the Bay Area, this quaint café invites guests to sit down at large communal table and enjoy such menu items as Creamy Polenta and Eggs, Chilaquiles, Sausage Scramble Piadina and Hobb’s Smoked Salmon and Housemade Cream Cheese. Simply delicious.

Wishbone
Newer to the Petaluma breakfast scene, Wishbone doesn’t disappoint. With a tagline of “We Raise It Up. You Eat It Up”, the poplar eating spot is a favorite with locals and visitors alike. They raise their own beef, bake their own bread, make their own jam, generally doing all they can to put great food on their patrons’ plates. Try their Savory Toast, Wishbone Benny and, for something different, Coconut Gruel.

Backyard
Backyard is a restaurant located in Forestville where Chef Daniel Kedan and Pastry Chef Marianna Gardenhire create delicious, local cuisine from the bounty of Sonoma County’s backyard. They offer indoor and dog-friendly outdoor/patio seating. Some popular items from their weekend brunch menu are the Green Star Farm Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Waffles, Lamb Sausage Hash and Pulled Pork Benedicts. Start the meal off with a French press coffee and Bucket ‘o Doughnuts (inside tip….you may not want to share these tasty treats).

Costeaux French Bakery & Café
If you find yourself in nearby Healdsburg, stop by the Costeaux Café which serves up delicious breakfasts all day, everyday. Known for their incredible breads, cookies and cakes, the French bakery also has a café where diners can enjoy a casual and inviting dining experience. Choose from such menu items as Pain Perdu (French Toast), Costeaux Quiche or a variety of omelets and scrambles.

Willow Wood Market Café
Since 1995 Willow Wood Market Cafe has been a beloved favorite of locals and food-savvy travelers alike. Willow Wood serves as the informal gathering spot and town center of the cozy town of Graton, and is consistently voted Best Breakfast and Best Brunch in the North Bay by their customers. Try their Venetian Breakfast, Smoked Salmon Sandwich or Challah French Toast.

Nick’s Cove
This local gem is must-visit for those who enjoy waterfront dining in a comfortable and inviting setting. Known for great cuisine showcasing local seafood, produce and cheese, Nick’s Cove serves up a brunch menu with an emphasis on the bounty of the ocean. Try the raw or cooked oysters, Dungeness Crab Benedict or the Lagunitas Pils Battered Fish N Chips. Got a big hunger? Add a side of their popular Dungeness Mac N Cheese.

The Fremont Diner
Located along Highway 12 south of Sonoma Plaza, this popular old-style farmhouse diner will bring you back in time with their rustic setting and delicious Southern food.  The quaint diner sources much of their ingredients from their adjacent acreage. Enjoy such menu items as Fried Chicken and Waffles, Cheddar Jalapenos Cornbread, Biscuits & Gravy and Sorghum Waffles. Dogs are welcome on the patio.

Boon Fly Café
Traveling a little farther east on Highway 12 (just outside of Napa) will bring you to another brunch gem. Set on the scenic grounds of The Carneros Inn, The Boon Fly Café offers a casual dining experience and some of the region’s best brunch items. Start with the World Famous Boon Fly Donuts Baker’s Dozen before enjoying main items such as Boon Fly Benedict, Chilaquiles, “Green Eggs and Ham” and Poppa Joe’s Eggs in a Hole.  Just look for the bright red barn/building off Hwy 12.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Microadventure: The Barlow

If you are looking for a great venue to spend an afternoon with the family, head to nearby Sebastopol and enjoy a day of shopping, dining and exploration at The Barlow.

The Barlow is a destination district/location which brings together the very best wine makers, food producers and artisans, creating a space that offers a direct connection between the consumer and the makers of the local products they love. It’s a place for the community to conduct business, share food and enjoy art, wine and quality time together.

True to the History. As the repurposed blueprint of a former apple cannery, The Barlow is a perfect complement to the rich history of downtown Sebastopol. This is where Sonoma County’s best chefs, vintners and artisans have come to work side by side to create an all-inclusive experience by offering their products directly to the people who love them most.

Enjoy a cup of Goat Rock Coffee, courtesy of Taylor Maid Farms, before visiting the host of retailers and boutiques offering their unique products. Experience art and design at The Passdoor, contemporary clothing and lifestyle concepts at Tamarind, handmade goods at Littlefour Store and incredible art of Tibetan master artist, Tashi Dhargyal at the Tibetan Gallery & Studio.

Enjoy lunch at one of the many dining establishments at The Barlow. From savory and sweet crepes at Ultra Crepes, to a classic Napolitano pizza at Vignette Pizzeria there is something for everybody. Looking for a more formal dining setting? Experience the passionate farm-to-table movement at zazu kitchen + farm, serving up playful Americana and rustic Northern Italian dishes.

You’ll also enjoy access to a host of wineries such as Kosta Browne Winery, La Follette Wines and Marimar Estate. There is even an artisan microdistillery, Spirit Works Distillery, handcrafting gin and whiskey.

Of course, there are many more retailers than listed above. For a complete list of what you will find at The Barlow, visit this link.

The Barlow offers a convenient and tastefully-designed environment whether your plans call for an hour or an entire day; it’s really up to you. The tagline at The Barlow sums it up quite nicely: The Barlow. Sonoma County indulgence. Sebastopol ease. So head west to Sebastopol and enjoy a Microadventure at The Barlow, you’ll be glad you did.

Learn more about The Barlow on their website, Facebook Page, Instagram and Pinterest.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/TheBarlow707

Top Spots for Kid-Friendly Fun

Keeping the kids entertained can sometimes be a daunting task. Here is a little help to keep them busy, entertained and occupied with local venues the entire family will enjoy.

Scandia Family Fun Center
Spend an afternoon or entire day where the kids will enjoy two 18-hole, mini-golf courses, spinzone, arcade, batting cages, blaster boats with water sprayers and a Lil’ Indy Raceway with single and double cars so parents or older siblings can help steer.

Charles M. Schulz Museum and Snoopy’s Home Ice
A Sonoma County icon for over 40 years, Snoopy’s Home Ice offers a unique atmosphere for families to enjoy recreational ice skating. When it’s time to rest and get off the ice, head over to the Charles M. Schulz Museum and enjoy the largest collection of original Peanuts art work in the world. Visitors can experience Schulz’s original comic strips, learn about the art of cartooning, watch animated Peanuts specials and documentaries in their theatre and draw their own cartoons in a hands-on education room.

Safari West
An African adventure in the heart of California wine country. Experience an African Safari ride at Safari West, where animals roam free on a Wildlife Preserve. Encounter cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, rhinos and numerous other animals of the savannah. Tour by day or plan an overnight excursion…glamping redefined.

Full House Farm
Enjoy their Farm Life Tour, an educational 90-minute to 2-hour immersion in a small family farm. Meet the horses, chickens, goats, and sheep. At the end of each tour is a tasting of some farm products, such as goat cheese, or cheese cake and our sought-after wine jellies & jams. Tours are at 10:00 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday from May through November (off season tours are available weather permitting.)

Train Town
Located one mile south of the Plaza in Sonoma, Train Town features a quarter scale railroad on 4 miles of track. Each train trip lasts 20-minutes and goes through tunnels, over bridges and makes a stop in Lakeview, a miniature town and petting zoo. In addition to the train, they offer six amusement rides. Best to visit on the weekend in winter and spring, when all attractions are open, weather permitting. Summer open daily.

Mrs. Grossman’s Sticker Mania
This Petaluma sticker shop offers 50 minute tours (Monday through Thursday 10:00, 11:00, 1:00 and 2:00) that teach children how stickers are made and ending in the making of a one-of-a-kind sticker art project. Children under 3 free.

Howarth Park
This 152-acre community park provides endless recreational opportunities with a beautiful lake for fishing & boating. Enjoy a softball field, tennis courts, picnic areas, unique playground structures, miles of hiking and jogging trails, and an amusement area featuring a miniature train ride, carousel, animal farm & pony rides. The kids will love it.

Jack London State Historic Park
Explore Jack London state Historic Park in nearby Glen Ellen. Walk, hike, bike, horseback ride, bird watch, take pictures, paint, picnic, relax, learn and enjoy nature!  The main attraction to the Park is certainly the life of namesake, Jack London, famous for his literary achievements as well as his dramatic exploits, exotic travels and adventures.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Photo Credit: http://www.safariwest.com/

Microadventure: A Day in Healdsburg

Looking for a short trip to explore one of wine country’s quaint towns?  Then head north and spend a day in Healdsburg. Just a short trip from Mayacama, this destination location doesn’t disappoint with a number of venues sure to please; restaurants, shops and tasting rooms all await you.

10:00 – 12:00 – Arrive at the square and start your day with a little help from the Healdsburg coffee scene. Head to Flying Goat Coffee for their award-winning gourmet coffee. Enjoy a full-bodied, robust blend? Try Mrs. Garland’s Blend for your AM beverage. Insider tip: There are actually two cafes in Healdsburg (324 and 419 Center St.) so if one is crowded, head to the other nearby location.  We understand how important that cup of coffee can be and waiting may not be an option.

Pair your coffee with a memorable treat at Moustache Baked Goods. Their menu is seasonal and ever-changing; some current cupcakes being offered which caught our eye: The Farmer with fresh carrot cake and cream cheese frosting, The Outlaw with chocolate cake sea salt caramel and The Miller with Meyer lemon olive oil and lemon curd…delicious.

12:30 – Grab your lunch just off the square at Campo Fina. Start with the Burrata Cheese (grilled bread, prosciutto and aged balsamic) followed by the Cubano which includes roasted pork, smoked pork tenderloin, swiss cheese, sweet pickles, pickled onions and mustard aioli on a telera roll. For those looking for a lighter take on their mid-day meal, try The Katina from their Insalata menu – mixed greens, achiote chicken breast, avocado, pickled jalapeno, queso fresco, toasted pumpkin seeds and citrus vinaigrette. If you’d rather dine on southern cuisine, head to The Parish Café for some of the best New Orleans food to be found in our region. Try a Po-Boy or a House Special Gumbo or Muffaletta. Or sample their sides of Jambalaya, Crab Claw Hush Puppies or Fried Green Tomatoes.

2:00-5:30 – Now it’s time to explore some retailers for a unique shopping experience. At SHED, you’ll find all things quintessentially wine country. The quaint store offers beautiful housewares, thoughtfully considered pantry provisions as well as impeccably-designed farm and garden tools. Their wares are the perfect way to embrace wine country living. If you have completed your shopping, cozy up to the Fermentation Bar where they offer house-made kombucha and kefir water, Shrubs (an old-fashioned refresher) as well as local wine, beer, hard cider, honey mead, and natural sodas. In their second floor space, known as the Grange, they host classes and workshops focused on food and farming. At SHED you can embrace your inner agrarian.

Peruse the extensive collection of books at Copperfield’s Books. Set on the Square, this store provides locals and tourists alike with thousands of titles to choose from. Visitors will enjoy an extensive magazine selection as well as expansive cookbook and travel sections. Staff recommendations also give fiction lovers input as to hot titles they may enjoy.

Anytime you combine champagne and shopping it results in a memorable experience. That is exactly what you will find at Looking Glass. Explore designer items while sipping on champagne for a unique and unforgettable retail experience.

6:00 – 8:00 – Now off to dinner. There are a number of dining venues but here are a few local favorites. If you enjoy a rustic yet elegant take on Wine Country dining, look no further than Barndiva. The food is fresh, sophisticated and delicious. Start with the beet salad with brie, apple, radish, endive, kumquat and champagne vinaigrette; for a main dish you can’t go wrong with the seared king salmon with french green lentils, white wine poached apple and frisèe bacon. If you arrive a bit early, drop in to the adjacent Studio Barndiva, an art gallery with an eclectic collection of new work by a variety of artists, painters and sculptors.

Named “One of the top 20 tapas restaurants in the U.S.” by Travel & Leisure, Bravas Bar de Tapas boasts some amazing food as well as one of the best patios in town. Try the Dungeness Crab Fideua, a traditional Spanish style pasta or the Steamed Clams in cava with garlic, parsley and chili flakes. This recent yelp review sums up the dining experience quite nicely: “This was my first tapas experience and I absolutely loved it. A strange mix of classy and casual, suits the tapas experience perfectly. On one hand immaculate presentation and great service and on the other hand casual tables and drinking wine from water glasses.” – Vladimir P.

After 8:00 – Enjoy after dinner drinks in a comfortable and inviting setting at Bergamot Alley, where they serve up Mediterranean wines, as well as a selection of beers, sakés, ciders and dessert wines. It’s a night owl’s paradise as this establishment stays open until 1 am on most nights. Or venture out for cocktails at Spoonbar, spotlighting locally and domestically produced spirits and organic herbs, fruits and vegetables resulting in a true farm-to-bar cocktails. Try the Spoonbar Daiquiri with Flor de Cana, Hamilton Jamaican Dark Rum, Clarified Strawberry Juice, Kiwi Shrub and Kaffir Lime Syrup or the Local Whiskey Tasting Flight, showcasing 4 wine country libations. Choose from spirit focus, cocktails and wine menus for a great way to end an evening.

For those in search of a little dessert, look no further than Noble Folk Ice Cream & Pie Bar. This sweet little shop serves up heritage pies, such as Meyer Lemon Raspberry and Strawberry Blueberry Ginger. Or choose an ice cream treat with flavors which include Corn Flake Crown Maple, Blackberry Rosemary and Matcha Almond Green Tea.

So plan a trip to our neighbor to the north for a day of fun for the entire family.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/BarndivaRestaurantHealdsburg

 

Discover Wine Country’s Cheese Trail

What pairs better with wine than cheese? Sonoma Wine Country is also Cheese Country, with a number of artisanal, hand-crafted cheeses being produced throughout the region. If you have an interest in cheese making, there are a number of activities sure to please the most ardent cheese-lover.

Plan a small outing to experience the agricultural side of the region, take a trip along the Cheese Trail, a scenic adventure of pastures and oak-covered hills linking close to 30 farms and creameries. Each stop along the Cheese Trail is unique, with some facilities offering full tours, tastings as well as cheese-making classes for the adventurous. Experience the wide variety of cheese producing livestock, such as goats, cows, sheep and even water buffalo.

As the Cheese Trail covers a fairly vast geographic area, it is best to start with a travel plan based on the downloadable Cheese Trail Map. The map is a great reference, as it breaks down each farm by type of animal used in cheese making as well as by locations offering tour options for cheese making and general farm tours. It’s also a good idea to call ahead to make sure the farms are open to make the most of your outing. And yes, there is an app for that; be sure to download the Cheese Trail app available for your mobile devices.

Cheese 3.0
For those looking for a more hands-on approach to cheese making, reserve your spot at The Cheese Maker class offered by Achadinha Cheese Company, located in Petaluma. Here is a description of the class from their website:

The Cheese Maker class is offered for cheese lovers who really are looking for that once in a lifetime cheese making experience. As soon as the guests arrive they will roll up their sleeves and put on a beautiful hairnet to get their hands wet in the Vat full of curds and whey, while learning how we use the equipment. Then, they will see the cheeses aging in the aging rooms. Then to be treated to a full ranch tour that includes everything from the Milking parlor to the Loafing barn. Naturally there will be plenty of cheese tasting before lunch in our family party room.

Classes are $100 per person, with a 10 person minimum. Check for the monthly date of classes to plan your trip.

Mark your calendars for the weekend of March 18-20, 2016 as the 10th Annual California Artisan Cheese Festival returns to Petaluma. This popular weekend event is filled with mouth-watering cheeses, chef demonstrations and pairings, farm tours, educational sessions by a host of knowledgeable, talented chefs, cheese experts, cheesemakers, authors and more.

Whether tasting, touring or learning the craft of making, our region offers a variety of venues for those who love cheese, glorious cheese.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Romantic Restaurants We Adore

There’s no better spot to share a romantic meal than Wine Country.  And certainly our location tops that list! Mayacama Members are invited to join us on Feb 13th for Chef Scott Pikey’s annual Valentine’s Day Dinner and Wine Pairing, which has become a sold-out event year after year – so be sure and contact the Concierge or make your reservation online. For those of you visiting that want to continue the romance in Wine Country, we have listed a few of our favorite nearby restaurants, known for their romantic setting and great food.

John Ash & Co.
Nestled next to Vintners Inn, John Ash & Co. was the first Sonoma County restaurant to introduce the concept of cooking with seasonal, local foods and produce while pairing exceptional recipes with wines from the region. John Ash & Co. is a local favorite, known for its wonderful setting and excellent food. Book your reservations early as this popular restaurant fills up quickly.

La Gare
Enjoy fresh local ingredients and an extensive Sonoma County wine selection at La Gare in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square, where for 30 years thousands of couples have shared their love of traditional French Cuisine in a quaint, dimly-lit, elegant and relaxed atmosphere.

Barndiva
Part restaurant, part cocktail lounge and part wine bar, Barndiva offers a hip and rustic Healdsburg setting coupled with some of the best food in the region. They also have an adjacent studio gallery with a variety of eclectic offerings you can peruse before your dinner. They are offering a prix fixe Valentine’s Eve menu which can be found here.

Willi’s Seafood and Raw Bar
If oysters and sparkling wine are your thing, just north of Mayacama in Healdsburg, Willi’s offers at least eight varieties of fresh oysters and tapas menus designed for sharing. The setting is vibrant, the seasonal cocktails are eclectic and the desserts are divine.

Santé Restaurant
Located in the historic Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, Santé Restaurant is a premier dining room known for its romantic setting and outstanding food. Recipient of the AAA Four Diamond Award and Michelin designations, Santé is amongst the top-rated restaurants in the region.  Again, a very popular dining spot so grab your reservation is there is space still available; you’ll be glad you did.

Depot Hotel Restaurant
The Depot Hotel Restaurant and Garden is located in a charming, historic stone building just two blocks from the Sonoma Plaza. Built in 1870, the Depot Hotel was originally the local hotel for 19th century passengers arriving by train from San Francisco. The original owners also opened an Italian restaurant and “saloon” here in 1890 to serve the townspeople of Sonoma and their visitors. The historic setting is now a popular hotel with great food and wonderful ambiance. Their Valentine’s Day menu looks amazing.

The Girl & the Fig
Located on the historic Sonoma Square, The Girl & the Fig is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Offering a warm and cozy atmosphere creates a relaxed, yet intimacy, environment. This popular restaurant features a wonderful antique bar with French aperitifs, unique and traditional cocktails, an award-winning Rhone-Alone winelist, a seasonal menu, cheese & charcuterie platters and outdoor garden patio seating. You may have to book a table in an off-hour as this restaurant is in very high demand.

Central Market
Central Market is a farm-to-table restaurant, housed in the 1918 Maclay building in the heart of downtown Petaluma. Our cuisine is rustic California-Mediterranean. We make everything in house, from scratch daily. Our bread comes out of our wood-fired oven fresh each morning. We want your visit to Central Market to feel like a visit to an old friend’s house, where you are welcomed warmly. We invite you to enjoy a fresh, local delicious meal, paired with a bottle from our carefully curated wine list, which features local and international selections.

Twisted 2
For those looking for a small, quaint setting with amazing food, look no further than Twisted 2 in Petaluma.   Twisted 2 is a labor of love for owners, Dick and Julie – a final realization of the couple’s passion for creating a dining experience that is memorable and honest. They serve up a farm-fresh prix fixe menus that keeps patrons coming back for more. Just take a look at the reviews on Yelp.

The Duck Club Restaurant
If your plans include a trip to the coast, may we suggest the award-winning Duck Club Restaurant, which highlights local, sustainably farmed produce, seafood, and meats. The Duck Club also offers an intimate setting with tables by the large stone fireplace and large windows with panoramic views of Bodega Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

We hope this short list of romantic dining options makes this a Valentine’s Day to remember for a lifetime. Make your reservations early as Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.