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Sep 3, 2006 12:34 AM

Something other than wine in Napa

OK, OK. I know it sounds crazy, but my husband and I will be out in wine country for our annual harvest season get-away and we want someting more than just good food and good wine. We've been to Napa and Sonoma countless times, so for this trip, we are looking for a different experience. Rather than just winery after winery (we'll still do our fair share), we were thinking about options to make this trip a bit unique. For example, visiting cheese artisans, or olive oil specialists. Any recommendations?

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  1. Not crazy at all. Though you asked for Napa in your subject heading, if you're willing to check out Sonoma County, I'd have a few hundred suggestions for you. You can use the Farmtrails link below to search for Sonoma County food producers (e.g., cheese, olive oil), and I suggest that you order a map to carry with you.

    If any of these appeal to you, you might want to ask again here for more details. You might also find reports on many of them by using the site search engine.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      Sonoma would certainly be fine. In fact, we have dinner reservations for Cyrus one evening - it might be nice to spend a good portion of the day in Sonoma rather than just driving over for dinner.

      1. re: HMK

        Off the top of my head, here are some suggestions. You'll find more details by searching the site for past posts with these key words.

        Joe Matos
        Spring Hill Jersey
        Petaluma Creamery
        Two Rock
        Bodega Goat
        Bellwether (in Plaza farms in healdsburg)
        Redwood Hill, no public tours in the fall, but here's the schedule of community events in september to find them

        Cheese counters -
        Whole Foods
        Cheesemaker's Daughter
        Cheese Store (healdsburg


        Olive Oil -
        Olive Press in Glen ellen
        BR Cohn
        Wetzel Estate
        Da Vero (in Plaza Farms)

        Handmade ice cream -
        Downtown Bakery
        Buona Sonoma in La Dolce V
        Screamin' Mimis
        Petaluma Creamery
        Dry Creek Kitchen in Cafe Newstand

        Bakeries -
        Della Fattoria
        Downtown Bakery
        9 Islands
        Karina's Bakery
        Little Maya Bakery

        Poultry, charcuterie, salumi -
        Willie Bird

        Chocolatiers -
        La Dolce V
        Gandolf's (Santa Rosa farm market on saturday)

        Farmers markets - recent reports on Healdsburg, Sebastopol, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, and Windsor

        Other things for the season to look up on Farmtrails - cider (fresh and unpasteurized this time of year), mushrooms, pumpkins, chili peppers (Tierra Vegetables), honey

        Keep an eye out for community festivals --- barbecues, crush parties, salmon roasts, crab feeds, pancake breakfasts --- by tuning to local radio stations and watching for banners along roadways. These are often the best food to be found and a place where local products are showcased. Let me know if you need more suggestions.

    2. cooking classes, biking, balloon ride and if you go coastal then, oysters, kayaking and hiking. All of course with a picnic basket of good food and wine :)