Press Release: Sonoma Valley

What’s New in Sonoma Valley This Spring

 

Sonoma, CA (March 13, 2024) – Can’t wait until the stubborn rainy season ends, the wildflowers bloom and the sun shines on all of Sonoma Valley? Sonoma native and winemaker Mike Cox believes it’s the transition to spring and summer that can be the most interesting.

“Changing weather brings changing moods seems to be the theme here,” enthusiastic winemaker Mike Cox says. “Whether it’s a cold rainy night and time for a hearty stew and some cabernet, or one of the beautiful days after the rain, when you just want to soak up the sun on the patio and a sparkling wine fits the bill.”

To that end, below are some ideas for spring getaways to California wine country that celebrate the changing of the seasons.

Arts, Culture & Events

Top film and industry notables are converging in Sonoma for the 27th annual Sonoma International Film Festival (SIFF) from March 20 – 24, featuring 43 narrative features, 16 documentary features, and 48 short films representing more than 25 countries. Highlights include the film Wildcat directed by Ethan Hawke, the U.S. Premiere of Thomas Napper’s Widow Clicquot, starring Haley Bennett, and a SIFF life achievement award for actor Beau Bridges. For festival passes, tickets, and more information, visit sonomafilmfest.org.

 

Spring is the ideal time to explore the Sonoma Botanical Garden’s magnificent Magnolia collection, and the highly anticipated upcoming Ribbit Exhibit  (20 larger-than-life frog characters placed in vignettes throughout the garden) which debuts in April. To welcome the season, the Garden has curated a diverse array of family-friendly programs. Pet-friendly, weekly Acoustic Sunsets will kick off in May featuring live music, lawn games, picnics, and more. Additionally, Sunday Funday days will start in June and will provide even more reasons for families to visit and stay a while.

Celebrate the intersection of fashion, art, and environmental sustainability by attending Trashion Fashion events at the Sonoma Community Center from March 28 – April 12. Trashion events include a free Trashion Fashion walking tour, a ‘Trashionator’ hat making workshop,  Trashion Barbies: Reclaimed and Reinvented Gallery Show and Auction, the free community Trash Bash Wrap Party, and of course – the Trashion Fashion Runway Show!

Bring the whole family to the Schulz Museum’s Spring Family Fun Day on Saturday, March 30, for hands-on fun. Build Woodstock a new nest, color and create your own Snoopy puppet, explore the Museum galleries, and watch It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown! on the big screen. Plus, keep your eyes open for a glimpse of the Easter Beagle! Children get in free with two donated food items to the Redwood Empire Food Bank.

Gundlach Bundschu’s historic redwood barn is a charming and rustic structure that houses trucks and tractors by day and by night hosts live music, events and parties. Here is a complete list of upcoming events, including Neko Case on March 26 and a special evening with Caroline Rose & La Force, May 14.

MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa, in partnership with online gallery Uprise Art, welcomes artists to the property for a week where they gather inspiration for a piece that will then be displayed at MacArthur. During the residences, guests and locals alike are invited to join workshops and open studios to see artwork in progress, or just peruse the incredible artwork found throughout the property. The 2024 lineup for artists in residence thus far, includes:

Guests and locals alike can then head to The Bar at MacArthur Place every Monday and Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. for a build-your-own bar burger, served with a perfect pairing chosen from a curated selection of Bordeaux wines by the glass.

Charmian’s Circle, formed to honor the legacy of Charmian London (Jack’s wife) at Jack London State Historic Park will present the second annual “Charmian’s Spring Fling” on Sunday, April 21, from at B.R. Cohn Winery in Glen Ellen. The highlight of the seasonal celebration will be a fashion show with local models and designs from Bossa Nova, Half-Pint, The Loop, and Perle.  Charmian herself (as portrayed by Lynne Lancaster) will be in attendance. Tickets are available here.

di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art is pleased to announce its 2024 calendar of exhibitions and public programs. Highlights include a career retrospective exhibition featuring the work of seminal Bay Area artist Deborah Oropallo; a new video projection series overlooking Sonoma Highway; and the return of True North, di Rosa’s biennial showcase of contemporary artists from the North Bay. Children and educators are free at di Rosa (except for specially ticketed events).

Wellness & Outdoors

 

Congratulations to Gundlach Bundschu Winery for being recently proclaimed Regenerative Organic Certified®, a very rare and prestigious accomplishment that only 15 other wineries in the world have earned. Regenerative organic agriculture is a collection of practices that focus on regenerating soil health and the full farm ecosystem including soil health, animal welfare, and fairness for farmers and workers.

Pet the cutest baby sheep and relax among the vines and spring flowers at Abbot’s Passage Winery and Mercantile’s Baby Doll Sheep Meet + Greet Brunch, Sunday, April 21. Tickets include tastings  of their new releases, DIY floral bundles, sheep snuggles, photo opps, and hands-on sessions with the animal caretakers.

Abbot’s Passage wedding site has been refreshed and is booking weddings for 2024-2026. More information here:

Climb aboard a Pinzgauer (pinz-gower), a Swiss Army transport vehicle, for an off-roading experience across Gundlach Bundschu’s estate vineyards, Rhinefarm. Cruise through their regenerative organic vineyards with a glass of wine in hand as your guide takes you on a journey of the oldest family-owned winery in California. PInzgauer seasonal vineyard tours begin on Friday, March 29th.

Wildflower-watchers delight in seeing blossoms along the trails of Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen during peak wildflower season, February – August. To help visitors make the most of the natural splendor, the park provides a free online “Blooming Now” guide to the latest blossoms at the 1,570-acre park, with photos, names, and recently spotted locations.

Tasting & Dining

 

Sangiacomo Family Wines, celebrating 97 years of farming in Sonoma, welcomes the first new wine release of the year, featuring the return of their signature Sonoma Coast wines, including the Chardonnay that honors the farming legacy, and the inaugural vintage of its Petaluma Gap Pinot Noir.

Viansa Winery is hosting its  Viansa Bubbles + Blooms Easter Brunch  on Sunday, March 31 and its  Viansa Bubbles + Blooms Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday, May 12. Bring the whole family and step into the self-described Italian countryside for a fun-filled morning of delicious food, wine, and gorgeous spring views from atop the Summit. Make sure to find the Easter Bunny at the Easter Brunch, he’ll be hopping around all morning!

Serres Ranch, celebrating 100 years on their historic ranch in Sonoma Valley, has been growing grape varietals for some of the most acclaimed and recognized brands in the industry. They now offer farm and working-ranch tours along with their vineyard tours. During the all-inclusive ATV ride, guests will learn about farming processes which includes a stop to visit Sunking, once a California longhorn steer record-holder. This experience is paired with a wine tasting through the vineyards with Charcuterie board included. Please contact Serres Ranch to schedule an appointment for a ranch tour.

Looking for a unique way to celebrate or gather in Wine Country? Songbird Parlour, located in the historic Jack London Village, may be the perfect location for your nontraditional Wine Country experience. For instance, on Saturday, April 6, the Jack to Jack Yacht Race will once again cruise the Sonoma Creek, with delicious food, wine and live music available on shore. The  Parlour and its grounds is also a perfect, picture-worthy venue to plan your microwedding experience.

Or consider a visit to a Glen Ellen modern Victorian Parlour, Goodness Gracious Eats or enjoy private dining in your own home/rental with the same Michelin-trained chefs. Yoga + Brunch group experiences, designed to unwind, relax and indulge, are also available at the Goodness Gracious location, or can be arranged for wherever you might be staying.

Experience the rich history of the Larson Family Winery with a complementary winery tour alongside wine tastings on Monday, Thursday and Friday starting April 1. Embark on a journey through the working winery’s production facilities, where you’ll wander among the tanks and gain exclusive insights into the winemaking process – from grape to glass. Secure a reservation or email reservations@larsonfamilywinery.com.

Celebrating their tenth anniversary, the Palooza Brewery & Gastropub has come a long way since their original hot dog cart launched their incredible business journey. Now the “cart” is a neighborhood gathering place, and a relaxed and friendly environment where tasty food and drinks bring friends and family together. They also love dogs, so bring them by too.

La Prenda Wines has released a new Brut Rosé, Pet Nat, and Cabernet Sauvignon just in time for spring and summer. After La Prenda Vineyards Management became a fixture of Sonoma agriculture, they launched their own La Prenda wines in 2013, and continues to achieve acclaim with the release of these three new phenomenal wines.

Where to Stay

In a recent renovation reveal, Sonoma’s iconic MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa unveiled the final stage of its property-wide renovation in October 2023, including a renewal of the property’s spa and fitness center, its outdoor pool space, and the addition of five guestrooms, including an all-new Artists’ Cottage. This final phase of MacArthur Place marks the completion of the 4-year property-wide transformation into Sonoma’s newest sanctuary.

Planning Ahead

Sonoma Raceway’s recently repaved, bustling 2.52-mile, 12-turn road course, quarter-mile drag strip and championship karting track on 1,600 acres in Sonoma County, is in perfect condition to host the Toyota/Save Mart 350 weekend June 7-9. Tickets are available now.

ABOUT SONOMA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

Located in the heart of Northern California wine country, Sonoma Valley is a 17-mile long area

within Sonoma County, and encompasses the city of Sonoma and the villages of Carneros, The

Springs, Glen Ellen, and Kenwood. The birthplace of the state of California, as well as the state’s

wine industry, the year-round destination is home to more than 100 premium wineries, 85

percent of which are family owned.

For more information, visit SonomaValley.com, or follow us on Instagram at @sonoma_valley, and on Facebook at @ExperienceSonomaValley.

Note to editors: Photos of many of the businesses mentioned are available at

https://sonomavalley.smugmug.com/. If you need something else, let us know and we will do

our best to get it for you.

 

 

 

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