In Sonoma County, “farm-to-table” is much more than a buzzword. From immersive farm tours to hyper-seasonal restaurants, here’s how you can get a true taste of the region.Less
The California Cheese Trail runs the length of the state, passing right through Sonoma County. Many local cheesemakers on the trail offer tours and tastings, like Achadinha Cheese Company, a third-generation family creamery that specializes in cow and goat milk cheeses. Visitors can schedule private and public tours and tastings or book a hands-on cheesemaking class.
Established in March 2021, EARTHseed is Sonoma County’s first Afro-Indigenous farm. It houses more than 4,000 fruit trees as well as an array of raspberries and native and medicinal plants across its 14-acre, solar-powered property. EARTHseed offers public U-Pick days every Saturday as well as private tours by appointment.
With a steady flow of local ingredients and a bumper crop of virtuoso chefs, Sonoma County is a world-class destination for seasonal and sustainable cuisine. One of the area’s crowning jewels is the girl & the fig. Located in Sonoma, their seasonal menu features garden veggies and herbs from their own farm as well as an abundance of rustic, Provencal-inspired dishes.
Nestled in the vineyard at the luxurious Vintners Resort is another fantastic celebration of local Wine Country cuisine – John Ash & Co. The first Sonoma County restaurant to introduce the farm-to-table concept, this eatery remains an icon in the Northern California culinary scene. Their robust but approachable seasonal menus are paired perfectly with an extensive list of award-winning vinos.
Like grapevines, olive trees flourish in Sonoma County’s Mediterranean climate. Fall is the harvest season, but you can taste this liquid gold at McEvoy Ranch all year long. Guests can visit this 550-acre organic ranch for a tour and tasting of their award-winning extra-virgin olive oils and small-lot wines. McEvoy Ranch also offers a line of olive oil-based body and skincare products that are available to purchase online or at the farm.
Along with their vineyards, many wineries in Sonoma County have sustainable culinary gardens and esteemed in-house chefs. For a full wine-and-dine experience, you can’t go wrong with Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Garden. This winery offers seated food and wine tasting experiences where they pair limited-production wines with dishes or desserts crafted in-house by their acclaimed culinary team.
Sweet and tart Gravenstein apples are a Sonoma County specialty. Head to farms like Chileno Valley Ranch in Petaluma to pluck them straight off the branch during the late-summer harvest. The ranch also has lean, grass-fed beef and lamb, eggs, honey and baked goods for sale every day of the week. Visit their website for upcoming U-Pick dates.
Winter and spring is crab season in Sonoma County. Boats pull into Bodega Bay daily with fresh catch, and you can find Dungeness crab on most restaurant menus in the area, including the legendary Spud Point Crab Company. For nearly 20 years, this locally owned restaurant has been serving the Bodega area with the freshest seasonal fish, crab and more right off the boats at Spud Point Marina.
With fruits and veggies in every color (and every season), Sonoma County is a vegetarian’s dream. Healdsburg’s Little Saint is a farm-forward eatery whose menu is 100% plant-based. They collaborate with local farmers to create dishes that are elevated yet approachable and driven by seasonal produce. Little Saint also houses a café with rotating seasonal baked goods and a grab-and-go shop with a collection of grain bowls, bento boxes and salads, all made in-house.
Established in 1967, the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market is the oldest and largest of Sonoma County's many fresh produce markets. Open every Wednesday and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, the market is filled with a wide variety of locally grown produce, pasture-raised meats, fresh fish, local cheeses and more.