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Aug 16, 2009 08:15 AM

Sonoma Farmers Markets/Zinfandels

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.

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  1. 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.

    1. 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

        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

          — 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

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