Laura A. Hall’s Favorites

Sonoma County Secret Favorite #1: Lynmar Estate Winery

Breathe it in, slow down and simply exist in this exquisite estate and winery. Truly one of my favorites with gardens that express the full bounty of Sonoma County, providing fruits, vegetables and herbs for the chef, who prepares wine-friendly meals. Drink and eat on their veranda overlooking the rolling vines and then tour their veggie scape gardens. My absolutely favorite wines are their pinots and chards.

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Sonoma County Secret Favorite #2: Harvest Fair Dinner Awards

Its our Academy Awards for wines. Only Sonoma County wines can participate. The dinner is a special engagement the last weekend each September where the winners are announced during a night of dress up and tastings. “Gold” is the goal!

In over 40 years of showcasing Sonoma County’s agricultural roots and passion for world-class wines, the Harvest Fair Awards are at the epicenter of this event. Awards from the professional food and wine competition are highly coveted for the prestige they bring to the winners. In fact, the Harvest Fair has become the largest regional wine competition in the United States. Each year the awards given have made a huge difference to countless businesses, and in some cases, put them on the map.

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Sonoma County Secret Favorite #4: The Barlow

A conglomerate of local artists in Sebastopol with great eateries alongside. The Goat is one of favorite places to grab a local beer and try one of four eateries that delivers food there. Great wine tasting, coffee/pastries, art shops and local merchants. My favorite is the sign at the book store which hilarious states, “Open By Chance or By Appointment”!

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Sonoma County Secret Favorite #4: Hiking at Sugarloaf Park

After the terrible fires our incredible Sugarloaf park is now back open for day use. At first sight, a blackened landscape looks badly damaged, but look closely. Trees and shrubs are already vigorously resprouting from roots, stems, and canopies! Native grasses, bulbs, and flowers thrive in a burned landscape. Occasional wildfire is ecologically beneficial to wildlands—especially a lower intensity fire (black ash). Even hot fires (white ash) don’t kill fire-adapted species such as those in chaparral.

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Sonoma County Secret Favorite #5: Vinters Inn

Happy Hour at the Front Room is one of my favorite places to unwind. Enjoy oysters on special daily which are paired perfectly with their Stockholm cocktail, topped with Roederer Champs!  This is a warm and inviting setting, the perfect venue to enjoy conversation, relaxation and fun while exploring new wines and their seasonal cocktail list. A classic farmhouse sun porch of yesteryear awaits just steps away. Relax with a glass of wine, a signature cocktail, or a bite to eat and savor an unforgettable vineyard view… reminding us all to celebrate everything!

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