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Help a Local Plan a Santa Rosa Escape

My husband and I have decided that we are two city slickers in sore need of some time in the countryside.

We're booking a car for one day this weekend and using the chance to finally head to Russian River Brewery. My husband has been wanting to try their Pliny the Younger brew for quite some time.

But a trip to RRB does not a getaway make! In addition to hitting the Marin Headlands before or after lunch, I'd like to add an hour or two at a nice winery. The point isn't to try everything in the area; I just want to sit somewhere nice like Lynmar or Chateau St. Jean and enjoy a quiet glass or two. Can anyone offer opinions on the following, or a suggestion anywhere along the 101?

Paradise Ridge
Matanzas (We've been, but never wandered past the tasting room)


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  1. Take the insulated box and go on a little side trip to Bud's Custom Meats out in the country and stock up..
    Edit: FWIW Mikey, no make that Robert likes it.

    Bud's Custom Meats
    7750 Petaluma Hill Rd, Penngrove, CA

    1. http://www.passalacquawinery.com/visi...

      Passalacqua and Bear Republic

      Bear Republic Brewing Co
      345 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448

      1. I hope you luck out with the Pliny the Younger -- hard to find (even at the brewery) since the February release date. The brewpub always has some good things on tap though, so still worth the stop.

        We tend to do the Lynmar-and-RRBC combo.

        1. I was going to suggest you stop at Patisserie Angelica in Sebastopol if a dessert is in order but I just searched the site and it looks like they closed down their retail shop. Does anyone know if they reopened or if they are only taking special orders?

          Nevertheless, here's a lot of info for you to digest: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6421...

          Patisserie Angelica
          6821 Laguna Pkwy, Sebastopol, CA 95472

          2 Replies
          1. re: Mari

            Patisserie Angelica has reopened for limited hours. Best to call to confirm.

            Patisserie Angelica
            6821 Laguna Pkwy, Sebastopol, CA 95472

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Just open Friday & Saturday

              I did see them at Sebastopol's Sunday farmers market a couple weeks ago.

          2. PS. Any fruit picking this time of year?

            Thanks for the advice so far! I'm looking into Bud's and Preson now...

            2 Replies
              1. re: Pei

                Should be strawberries right about now. Try calling Petaluma farms.

                good journey.

              2. From Santa Rosa you can easily head over to West End Rd, which has several nice and quiet wineries that are off the tourist trap map. Check out Hop Kiln, Gary Farrell and others around that area.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Shane Greenwood

                  I believe Shane means Westside Rd., with its usual access point via Dry Creek Rd. just off Highway 101 in Healdsburg. An alternate route is to access Westside Rd. via River Rd. by either Shiloh Rd. or Wohler Rd. (the prettier of the two).

                  However, as this map shows, there are many very good Russian River wineries clustered near Westside Rd.

                  1. re: maria lorraine

                    Yes, sorry. Thanks for the correction. Westside Rd is great.

                2. I'm pretty sure Pliny the Younger is long gone. That doesn't mean you shouldn't go. Pliny the Elder is quite amazing as well.

                  Enjoy Santa Rosa, lots of gems here.

                  I think Paradise Ridge is really, really lovely. As is Bella. For a spectacular view and Cab, there is Zicchici.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Jeni Bean

                    Russian River's lineup is faithfully updated on their website.

                    Yes, Pliny the Younger famously sold out day of release- they had a line out the door, and a 4 growler per person limit that an astonishing number of people maxed out on, even at prohibitive pricing. For me, Younger is now the most spectacularly overhyped beer of all time.

                    I believe the last remaining keg of Younger is at Pacific Coast Brewing Company in Oakland, where it will be tapped as part of their spring beer tasting May 22.

                    The real reason to go to RRBC is the fantastic line up of Belgian-style ales- Consecration is an absolute must.

                  2. stumbled across this post on Bear Foot Honey by rworange: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6845...

                    I think this might shape up to be more of a "wander around buying food" trip than a "sit and drink" trip! So far we have:

                    A light morning walk through the Marin Headlands and a small breakfast picnic
                    Tierra Vegetables
                    Imwalle Gardens
                    Bear Foot Honey
                    Zazu (smoked meats to go, not necessarily a meal
                    )RR Brewery happy hour

                    I would still love to find a piece of grass to lie on, but I'm having a hard time convincing my better half. I'll have to get my fill of that in the Headlands.

                    Imwalle Gardens
                    685 W 3rd St, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

                    Tierra Vegetables
                    651 Airport Blvd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Pei

                      Matanzas is very nice, in Healdsburg, we also love Gary Farrell for the Pinot Noir, the views are beautiful in the back of the tasting room here. If you're looking for a great place to grab a bite to eat, check out Willi's Wine Bar, it's in a countryside setting and the food is awesome, it's a tapas place. Enjoy the wine country! :)

                      Willi's Wine Bar
                      4404 Old Redwood Hwy, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

                      1. re: Pei

                        What day of week will you be here? Would you arrive in morning for Sat. farm market in Santa Rosa? Sun. in Sebastopol?

                        Tierra open only on weekend, nothing much in fields now. Don't know what they'll sell in stand.

                        Imwalles has mostly commercial produce, great prices though. A few organics including wide variety of apples for $1.09.

                        If you're coming north along the coast, you'd probably do well to stop in Pt. Reyes Station for Cowgirl cheese. and remember Wildflour bakery in freestone. Oysters on Tomales Bay are classic too.

                        Not sure when strawberry farms open, but they're the best.