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Sonoma Farmers Markets/Zinfandels

sdnewfie Aug 16, 2009 08:15 AM

Heading to Sonoma in a week for a three day trip of wine tasting during the day and cooking in the condo at night. Any suggestions on places in the Healdsburg area that have locally produced fruits/veggies/meats? Also any recs on the better Zinfandels in the area(Rafenelli, Martinelli already on tap). Thanks so much.

  1. rworange Aug 18, 2009 10:29 AM

    Depending on what days you are there, here's the listing for California farmers markets. Enter Sonoma as the county

    Another excellent resource is Sonoma County farm trails.

    If you stop by any of the farmstand you can usually pick up the booklet for free. In Healdsburg Dry Creek peach farm is excellent and their peaches are often on the menu at Chez Panisse. Near to it is Preston Winery which bakes some nice bread, though Healdsburg does not lack for good bread with Downtown Bakery and ... uh, I forget the other places. I find it difficult to get past Downtown Bakery.

    On the drive up, not far from the freeway is Green String Farm. I haven't made it there for their tomatoes yet but I had some really great berries earlier this year. A note that they are super organic so often the produce can be cosmetically challenged. Some of the restaurants they sell to include Chez Panisse, Quince, Camino, Boulette's Larder. The list of what is currently in season is on their website

    While there are other nice farms in Petaluma, this is so close to the freeway that it would be a relatively quick off and back on the road.

    3 Replies
    1. re: rworange
      sdnewfie Aug 29, 2009 01:49 PM

      Thanks for the help everyone.
      Had an amazing time in Sonoma. Went down to Point Reyes for the Drakes bay, Tomales and hog island oysters. Drakes were by far the best for taste and price. Tomales were huge and we wound up bbquing those. Hog island(kumis and atlantic) were tasty, but small and a bit pricey(relative I know).

      The Dry Creek peach farm had ridiculous peaches that we roasted on the fire then drizzled with balsamic and mint over burrata(yummy).

      Went to Rafanelli (yummy), Maruitson (tasty), and Ridge (good but pricey). Macphail in Healdsburg for some awesome Pinots. Also went to a smaller winery called Forth and was treated like absolute royalty(great cabs and syrahs for very reasonable price).

      Tuesday at the square was great with tamales and the paella by Gerard at the oakville grocery was aweinspiring. Went to Johns and got some CK lamb chops with a blackberry(picked them on the road to point reyes) reduction that paired great with the Forth Syrah.

      Found an awesome new bakery called Nightingale in Forrestville area that IMO had some of the best sourdough I have ever had.Give them a look if your in the area(wierd hours though, open wed-sun 11am-6pm), but so worth the visit.

      Cooked up some mussels and clams in rom tomales bay in a rose/butter/leak/garlic broth and had the bread on the side. Mussels were excellent and the clams were superb. If you have easy access to tomales bay then I reccomend them.

      1. re: sdnewfie
        Cynsa Aug 29, 2009 02:12 PM

        — enjoyed reading your report, thanks! Forestville was my ol' stomping grounds, home for 18 years...

        Nightingale Bakery
        6665 Front Street
        Forestville, CA 95436

        1. re: sdnewfie
          maria lorraine Sep 1, 2009 08:16 PM

          Wonderful report. Thank you. Glad you had a good time, and I am impressed with your
          cooking on the go.

      2. maria lorraine Aug 16, 2009 11:45 PM

        For Zins, certainly head to the Dry Creek area.
        Try Bella, Preston, Mazzocco, Nalle, Ridge Lytton Springs, Mauritson, Carol Shelton.

        After that, head over to Alexander Valley to the Jimtown store and Alexander Valley Vineyards and Sausal for Zin, Stonestreet too.

        Go here for Healdsburg Farmers Market info:

        Some helpful threads regarding grocers, butchers, charcuterie, etc.:

        Cheese: Oakville Grocery
        Lamb: CK Lamb
        Pretty good butcher at Big John Grocery.
        High-end gourmet grocery: Oakville Grocery
        Regular fail-safe grocery: Safeway.

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