What’s New in Sonoma Valley February 2022

 

Sonoma, CA (February 1, 2022) – Winter in wine country means green hills, yellow flowers in the vineyards and romantic escapes in the inns, resorts and B&Bs of Sonoma Valley. A new artist in residence at MacArthur Place Hotel, the preeminent small wine country resort, a field guide to the wildlife and plants of Sonoma Valley and an enormous bear sculpture looming over the valley floor are all what’s new in Sonoma Valley.

VALENTINE’S DAY

Romance is alive in Sonoma Valley, whether you’re looking for a special night out, the picture-perfect spot to propose, cozy stargazing or a unique place to spend a night away. Bring your sweetie or BFF and come for the getaway you've been needing!

Visit Glen Ellen’s newest winery, WineSnob*, the weekend of February 11 and enjoy their Wine and Chocolate Pairing. Guests can sample the stellar lineup of Wine Snob* wines, paired with decadent truffles from Wine Country Chocolates. The Sonoma Plaza’s newest winery, Sosie Wines, is offering Chocolate & Bubbles, a kind of Valentine’s Day to-go, including a bottle of sparkling white and sparkling rosé, plus a bar of bittersweet dark chocolate from a local small-batch chocolatier. Deerfield Ranch is introducing its limited edition “Loving You” Rosé. Made from their organic Estate Syrah Vineyard using the Charmat Method, the is refreshing, fruity, not too dry, not too sweet - the perfect toast to celebrate love.

Downtown Sonoma’s Taub Family Outpost is featuring a four-course Valentine's meal for $95 per person, with well-known aphrodisiacs as Marin Miyagi oysters, scallops, and chocolate. Be sure to make reservations for this exquisite experience. Enjoy live music while dining at Murphy’s Irish Pub’s Valentine’s Day Dinner, a delicious and hearty three-course meal for $55. For a treat to enjoy in your room or on-the-go, the Sausage Emporium is offering a Valentine’s Day Charcuterie Gift Box, complete with cured meats, cheeses, crackers, olives, nuts, strawberries, luxury chocolates, and other luscious treats. Pick it up yourself or have it delivered to your hotel room in Sonoma.

The cozy Glen Ellen Star’s Valentine’s Menu sets the table for romance. The three-course menu showcases the restaurant’s wood-oven specialties like roasted golden beets, wood-baked scallops and grilled Snake River Farms zabuton. Reservations are required.  PKB’s special holiday menu features three courses, including a delicious dessert.

For something different, sample one of Hanson of Sonoma’s Valentine’s Day pairings. The distillery is offering a Surf + Turf pairing with a classic Old Fashioned using their 2021 release whiskey or a “Love Potion,” made with Hanson Mandarin Vodka, hibiscus mint syrup + lime. Another option, Caviar + Oysters, which comes with a 30-gram tin of Regiis Ova Caviar and a dozen Hog Island Oysters topped with caviar & crème fraîche. Those can be paired with a classic Hanson Original Dirty Martini, Classic Hanson Cucumber Gimlet or their new shop-a-holic cocktail, made with Hanson Mandarin Vodka, Juice Shop Elderberry Tonic, pineapple + cardamom bitters. 

Safari West is celebrating jungle love with the 21st annual Safari West Adult (only) Sex Tour. Guests climb into open-air safari vehicles and drive out among some of the world’s most exotic creatures for a tour led by Safari West’s animal experts as they probe the revealing “Ins and Outs” of wildlife courtship. The Valentine’s Day packages include oysters and appetizers, dessert and beverages. Guests can also meet the newest member of the family – Deebo, the giraffe. Deebo, a product of wildlife courtship, was named for 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel and was born in October.

 

NOTABLE ANNIVERSARIES

Let’s show some love to some Sonoma Valley institutions that are celebrating significant anniversaries in 2022. 

The Sonoma International Film Festival is celebrating 25 years this March during its annual festival from March 23 to 27, with world class films, parties and culinary events. Internationally acclaimed Chef Jacques Pépin will attend and receive SIFF’s first Culinary Excellence Award. The honorarium also includes a $10,000 donation to the Jacques Pépin Foundation. Chef and television host Joanne Weir will headline a special lunch and film and stage star Karen Allen will speak at the first of two screenings with Sonoma Valley High School filmmaking students at this year’s Media Arts Program Student Showcase. SIFF will be announcing more special events and guests leading up to the festival.

Founded by Sondra Bernstein, the girl & the fig celebrates 25 years of renowned hospitable culinary service. Serving country food with a French passion, the girl & the fig opened its original location in 1997 in Glen Ellen and the current location on the historic Sonoma Plaza in 2000. For the past quarter century, the girl & the fig has made its mark as an iconic Wine Country dining destination, and a longtime favorite for both locals and visitors alike. With rotating seasonal menus featuring garden vegetables, herbs, thoughtfully sourced proteins, and an abundance of creativity, the rustic Provencal-inspired cuisine allows earth’s true and natural flavors to shine. 

Cline Cellars is celebrating its 40th Anniversary by launching three new Sonoma AVA wines to partner with their Fog Swept Pinot Noir: Rock Carved Cabernet Sauvignon, Eight Spur Zinfandel, Hat Strap Chardonnay. The red wines release in April, Chardonnay in the Fall. Additionally, they are adding three new curated tastings: the Heartland Tasting, Pondside Sips & Bites and Incline Tasting at Heartland Hill. Cline’s Garden Cabana is the perfect getaway setting, enveloped by the beautiful landscapes of the Great Lawn. Guests can enjoy a private cabana for two hours with a bottle of Nancy's Sparkling Cuvee and a delicious provisions basket full of cheeses, crackers, nuts, salami and more.

Jacuzzi Family Vineyards will be celebrating its 15th Anniversary this year and is introducing four new tasting experiences, A Taste of Italy, Aperitivo Tasting, Best of Two Worlds and All’Italiana. All pair the best of Jacuzzi’s wines with small bites and tastings that perfectly complement each other. The first two tastings are available now and the last two open later this year.

The Charles M. Schulz Museum is celebrating its 20th anniversary and Charles M. Schulz’s 100th birthday in November. From Spark Plug to Snoopy: 100 Years of Schulz will kick off the centennial celebration in March, taking guests back to a world before Peanuts to discover the artists that inspired Schulz to become a cartoonist. Another anniversary exhibit, set to debut in September, will be announced soon.

 

ARTS & CULTURE

The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art brings together two California ceramicists for “Out of our Minds: Clayton Bailey & Tony Natsoulas.” Satire and irreverence are hallmarks of both men’s art and is often referred to as “Funk Art.” Bailey is considered an originator of California Funk art, and Natsoulas’ work descends from the movement. The exhibit runs through April 24.

Trashion Fashion is back! The Sonoma Community Center is hosting the 12th Annual Trashion Fashion Show – putting sustainability on the catwalk – to close out the Trashion Week. Outfits made from trash are turned into treasure during the runway show. Designers celebrate creative waste management and compete for cash prizes.

A 28-foot Grizzly Bear sculpture now towers over St. Anne’s Crossing Winery in Kenwood. The 15-ton, 28ft steel sculpture was created by renowned Glen Ellen artist Bryan Tedrick. The sculpture was inspired by the Bear Flag Revolt of 1846, where a group of rebels defeated General Vallejo and declared California an independent republic. The victors constructed a makeshift flag with a drawing of a grizzly bear and a star symbolizing their new republic. The grizzly bear flag later became the basis for the official flag of the state of California in 1911.

Jack London State Historic Park’s 146th Seventh Annual Young Writers Contest is open for submissions from middle school students (grades 6-8) around the country. Young writers are asked to create an original 2,000-word story inspired by the life and works of Jack London. Last year, the program had 47 entries, coming from as far away as Maine and New Jersey. The submission period ends on March 31.

 

HOTELS

MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa announces its first artists-in-residence of 2022 in partnership with Uprise Art – an L.A. based photography duo that explores the interplay between the epic and every day. The hotel is also offering special winter room rates – up to 20% off.

The recently transformed Lodge at Sonoma, an Autograph Collection hotel invites couples to embrace the spirit of romance with the launch of its new "Olive You to Sonoma and Back” package. Featuring specialty olive products from the renowned McEvoy Ranch, the aptly named, olive-themed overnight package ties in Sonoma's distinct culinary charm and salt-of-the-earth spirit for couples seeking a romantic yet unexpected wine country getaway. Guests who book the package will enjoy the estate-produced olive oil in a variety of expressions including fresh olive & olive oil delicacies, skincare & spa amenities, an exclusive tour of McEvoy Ranch and more.

 

OUTDOORS

It’s the season to get outside. Sonoma County boasts more than 400 species of endemic plants - a testament to the incredible richness of the valley. From the marshes of San Pablo Bay and the thermal springs at Boyes Hot Springs to the slopes of Sonoma Mountain to the heights of Sugarloaf Mountain State Park, there is an abundance of wild beauty to discover. Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau has created a field guide as a starting point for exploring Sonoma Valley. Sonoma County Regional Parks also offers a downloadable field guide that’s an incredible resource for visitors.


WINERIES/DISTILLERIES/BREWERIES

Abbot’s Passage Winery + Mercantile welcomes Executive Chef Kyle Kuklewski to oversee their culinary program and develop classically Sonoma menus and seasonal wine country fare that accentuates our Rhone-inspired, small production wines. With more than a decade working in fine dining restaurants and under Michelin rated chefs, Chef Kyle’s food showcases the bounty of locally sourced, sustainable ingredients from nearby farms and farmers.

Hanson of Sonoma has launched a new weekend brunch menu, including smoked salmon wood-fired pizza, smoked salmon dip, broiled King Crab and a seasonal bianco wood-fired pizza with housemade pesto, manila clams, chili flakes, mozzarella, parmesan and pistachio. Come in for Bloody Mary Sundays for a signature spicy cocktail or a DIY kit to make your own at home. Hanson’s Bloody Mary’s pair perfectly with their shrimp and bacon skewers in a chipotle honey BBQ sauce.