SONOMA, Calif.  – Holiday season in Sonoma Valley begins with the seventh annual Lighting of the Historic Sonoma Plaza. The celebration is joined by festive hotel experiences, winery holiday celebrations and more.

In this edition – snowmen come to life, single malt double-barrel whiskey makes for the best holiday gift and Sonoma Valley chefs share their favorite recipes for holiday entertaining.

For those who want to enjoy their holidays one at a time, Sonoma Valley chefs have provided some of their favorite recipes and suggested wine pairings for Thanksgiving and seasonal parties on the Sonoma Valley blog:

Major events and breaking news:

Sonoma Valley’s seventh annual Lighting of the Sonoma Plaza will kick off the holiday season on Saturday, Nov. 16, as residents and visitors fill the square to enjoy the bright glow of thousands of lights. Broadway performances and live music entertain while food trucks, beer, wine as well as hot cocoa and cookies are available as the community gathers to help light the tree in front of Sonoma’s city hall. In true California fashion, the towering tree is a palm tree swathed in lights and can only be lit when the entire crowd yells “Light the tree,” in unison. Admission is free and all are invited to share in the cheer during this holiday season. For more information visit

Highlights of notable holiday events throughout Sonoma Valley, include:


  • Cornerstone Sonoma’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Lighting of the Snowmen: A Sonoma Valley holiday tradition, Cornerstone Sonoma invites friends and family to enjoy the Christmas Tree Lighting and 15th Annual Lighting of the Snowmen on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 4 to 8 p.m. The event will include a host of children’s crafts, festive music, wine and beer tasting, an appearance by Santa Claus, a collection of vintage snowmen and more. The lighting will begin at 6 p.m. and the snowmen and Christmas tree will remain lit throughout the end of December. For more information, visit
  • Transcendence Theatre Broadway Holiday Spectacular: Join award-winning Transcendence Theatre Company’s special presentation of “Transcendence’s Broadway Holiday Spectacular” with performances from Dec. 6 to 8 at Luther Burbank Center for the Performing Arts in Santa Rosa, Calif. Directed by Tony Gonzalez, the musical revue will be a reimagined seasonal celebration for all ages with holiday favorites, showstoppers and modern twists on today’s most cherished songs. For tickets or more information, call (707) 546-3600 or visit
  • Cirque de Bohème: Returning for its seventh season, Cornerstone is hosting live-action show, Cirque de Bohème, on several dates throughout the month of December. Based on the French tradition of a 1920s circus, prepare to be transported back in time for an hour of mystery and entertainment. Delight in the work of world-class performances including magic, miming, juggling, spinning plates and more. Visit for more information including dates and ticket prices.
  • New Year’s Eve at the Charles M. Schulz Museum: Ring in the New Year with Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang at the Charles M. Schulz Museum on Tuesday, Dec. 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Enjoy hands-on crafts, decorative balloon drops, a kid-friendly celebratory toast with root beer at noon, and a visit from Snoopy himself and special showings of “Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!” in the museum’s theater. This event is included in the price of admission here, and more information can be found at

The full schedule of holiday events in the famed wine region, located 45 minutes north of San Francisco, can be found at


  • Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa:
    • New brunch menu: Housed within Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, Santé recently launched its best weekend brunch menu. The new menu features signature offerings, including a decadent apple Dutch baby, fried green tomatoes with Dungeness crab and the wildly popular Sonoma duck confit hash. The tempting beverage menu, aptly titled “The Real Reason You Came to Brunch,” cameos the eclectic menu. Weekend brunch is served Saturday and Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    • Holiday packages: Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa invites locals and visitors to enjoy one of several experiential packages:
      • Holiday Tree of Hope: The annual Trees of Hope charitable initiative helps visitors give back thus season. Through January 31, guests can book an unforgettable festive getaway and enjoy up to 25% off the daily rate as well as a $25 hotel credit. Guests will get to see the ten-foot Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Tree of Hope wine bottle tree, which features over 365 local AVA bottles of Sonoma Valley recycled wine bottles.
      • Choose Your Spa Moment Package: The gift of time and relaxation can be enjoyed with the “Choose Your Spa Moment” package, which includes a two-night stay and $100 spa credit. Guests can savor the cool, crisp aromas of the holidays with the signature Pumpkin and Spice Facial, which is just one of the many available spa treatments available. This package is available through April 30, 2020. To book, visit the property website here.
  • The Gables Wine Country Inn: Nestled in the heart of Sonoma Wine Country, The Gables Wine Country Inn offers the perfect, relaxed country bed and breakfast experience for a cozy winter escape.
    • Seasonal Savings: The property is offering two special accommodations this season.
      • Complimentary Sparkling Wine: Choose to stay a second night and enjoy a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine while indulging in the famous three-course breakfast or in the comfort of the Inn’s provided bathrobes. Mention Sonoma Valley Special at time of reservation for wine special, courtesy of Breathless Wines.
      • Third Night Free: Two nights are not enough to enjoy the luxurious comfort of this cozy winter escape, which is why Gables Wine Country Inn is offering guests the third night free with the mention of Sonoma Valley Special at time of reservation. This offer is valid only from December through February and information regarding these special offers can be found here.



  • Hanson of Sonoma: On Sept. 28, Hanson of Sonoma Distillery debuted a new American single malt double-barrel whiskey, offered at 100 Proof. The perfect gift this holiday season, Hanson Whiskey is a blend of tradition and technique from both Scottish and Japanese whiskies. Starting with four distinct malted barleys, imparting notes of caramel, biscuit and chocolate, the whiskey is aged for four years in bourbon barrels, adding a rich and balanced blend of soft vanilla and sweet barley. The limited release is available in the Sonoma and Sausalito tasting rooms.
  • Spann Vineyards: Spann Vineyards is hosting a Holiday Wine and Food Pairing Class and Lunch on Sunday, Nov. 24. For $40 a person, Spann Vineyards will take guests through a tasting of eight wines with four different food courses. The educational experience will inform guests on food and wine pairings ahead of the holidays and future occasions. To make a reservation, call (707) 282-9143 or email
  • Rams Gate Winery: Ram’s Gate Winery celebrates the holidays in style. The magnificently furnished, rustic style winery will debut their impressive holiday décor on Friday, Nov. 29, featuring fir trees, traditional wreaths and a bright, crimson 1951 MG convertible disguised as Santa’s Sleigh. Ram’s Gate runs the fireplaces throughout the winter season and offers thoughtful seasonal wine and food pairings, such as duck cassoulet with bacon and huckleberries. For tastings, contact
  • Buena Vista Winery Holiday Open House: Buena Vista Winery invites guests back to enjoy its annual Holiday Open House, celebrating wine, good food and the season of giving. Taking place on Dec. 8 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Buena Vista Winery is accepting donations for the Toys for Tots national toy drive. Bring an unwrapped gift and receive an additional 10% savings on wine purchases. This event is complimentary for members and up to three guests, and $20 for non-members. RSVP by emailing or call (800) 325-2764.
  • Holiday Open House at Bartholomew Estate Winery: On Saturday, Dec. 14, Bartholomew Estate Winery’s tasting room will celebrate the holiday season by offering roasted chestnuts and mulled wine, along with holiday gift packs for holiday gifting needs. Visit for more information.



  • Trinity Episcopal Church: Grab a clan tartan and enjoy a Scottish day of celebration at the Kirkin’ O’ the Tartan event hosted by Trinity Episcopal Church. The service will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 24, with Holy Eucharist, bagpipe music and Sunday School for the little ones, followed by a fabulous bake sale and Trinity Art Sale for all to enjoy. For more information, visit
  • Holiday Craftfest and Wreath-Making: Sparking creativity and imagination for all, on Dec. 1 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sonoma Valley’s Art Escape will host a holiday wreath-making fundraiser where guests can design and create their own wreath. Additionally, local artists will have stations to guide visitors in creating gifts both children and adults can make, providing fun experiences to create a unique, personalized gift. Hot chocolate and snacks will be available.


NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos and B-Roll of Sonoma Valley are available upon request.


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 which 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, or follow us on Instagram at @sonoma_valley, and on Facebook at @ExperienceSonomaValley.