As the birthplace of the farm-to-table movement, the San Francisco Bay Area has attracted food and wine lovers for decades. In Sonoma Valley, local farmers and wine growers offer some of the finest produce available, and it’s not uncommon to hear lots oohs and aahs from out-of-town visitors at the farmers markets. However, with a long list of options, deciding where to go and what to do can be daunting. Here are our top Valley culinary experiences, sure to bring out your inner gourmet.


Award-winning Sonoma Chef Sheana Davis has been an ardent advocate of the local cheese industry in Sonoma for over two decades. As talented a cheesemaker as she is a teacher, Sheana instructs her students at The Epicurean Connection with contagious enthusiasm. Sign up for dynamic, hands-on cheese classes or private ones, grab a group of your besties or make it a fun day of team building with your colleagues. After making your own homemade ricotta, you may even get a chance to sample Sheana’s own cheese, Délice de la Vallée, a triple-cream blend of cow and goat milk. Mmm!


Take your tastebuds for an unforgettable walk around the Sonoma Plaza on one of the two walking food tours in the city of Sonoma. With Progressive Food & Wine Tours visit three highly acclaimed farm-to-table restaurants and eat fabulous dishes made entirely from local produce. Your tour guides will teach you the who’s who of the local chef scene, the ins and outs of the food history of Sonoma. Meanwhile, the tour offers specially selected “off-the-beaten-path” food locations within the quaint historic downtown square of Sonoma. The food and wine and cocktail samplings stimulate your senses and whet your appetite for more.


Sonoma Valley has long been a hotbed for artisan olive oil production, paving the way for the Cline family, who has been crafting specialty extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars in Sonoma Valley since 2013. Stop by their Tuscan-inspired tasting room and mill off of Arnold Drive, and let the friendly staff guide your through their delicious and diverse extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegar. Or get geeky with a private group tour to go deep into the production experience. With quality standards like these, you’ll never look at olive oil the same way again.


For more than fifty years, this family run farm has grown flowers and produce using sustainable agricultural practices and harvested over two hundred varieties of vegetables, fruit, flowers, perennial greenery, and herbs as they naturally come into season. A farmers market favorite, the family also provides visitors a glimpse behind the scenes once a month when they open the Red Barn Store on the property for tours and shopping. Once a small farm stand, now a local landmark, the Red Barn Store has both supported and nourished the Sonoma community for over 30 years.


The story of Vella Cheese is the history of Sonoma cheese making. Housed in a brick building that was a former brewery, Vella Cheese has been making world-class jack, cheddar, and Italian style cheeses by hand since the 1930s. Still family run and still offering samples of the wonderful offerings, Vella Cheese is a must-stop for foodies in the know.


Williams-Sonoma may be a household name today, but that’s because of the hard work and vision of founder Chuck Williams. Williams had a passion for cooking and a desire to open a store that sold sturdy French cookware, and in 1956, his vision came to life with the opening of his original store on Broadway. The original store is as inspiring as it is quaint, and as such, has highly curated and paired down offerings from the larger stores you’ll find elsewhere, making each object shine with its own uniqueness. Call the store to check on their calendar of events and be sure to catch one of their in-store cooking demos. If you don’t feel inspired to start cooking after you leave, it’s not their fault.


Food lovers who know what’s what have probably read essays and stories by acclaimed author M.F.K. Fisher. A predecessor of famed cookbook authors Julia Child and Richard Olney, Fisher was the first to bring notoriety to Californian cuisine and to help define larger American cuisine as we know it today. She spent the last 20 years of her life at “Last House,” an idyllic two-room house which now sits on the Bouverie Preserve off of Highway 12. Check out the Audubon Canyon Ranch’s website to grab a spot on their monthly tours. A must-see for those who love food, wine and writing!