Long considered Napa Valley’s sleepy cousin, Sonoma is ripe with vineyards and rugged valleys that are now just tame enough to conquer.
ILLUSTRATIONS BY ESRA CAROLINE RØISE
CHEESEMAKER, BOHEMIAN CREAMERY
“I am sort of a hunter-gatherer. I love to go for a run along Dunes Beach, and when I get to the end and it’s low tide I collect mussels. Or I’ll go mushroom picking for chanterelles and porcini up at Salt Point State Park.”
WINEMAKER, ARTISTE WINERY
“I love taking my kids to Snowbunny, the organic yogurt shop in Healdsburg. My order is the original tart.”
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE WINE ROAD
“I can’t think of a better way to start the morning or recharge after a dayof wine tasting than with a latte from Flying Goat Coffee.”
OWNER, CAFE LA HAYE, SONOMA
“Customers often ask me for wine tasting suggestions, and I tell them wineries that bring something new to the table. The Benziger family has made a dramatic commitment to bio-dynamic farming and gives a great tour and tasting that reflect their farming principles.”
Hop over the Mayacamas mountains to Calistoga, where the resort Solage Calistoga offers a modern take on the area’s traditional mud baths, inspired by local Native Americans. (Robert Louis Stevenson and P.T. Barnum were early fans of the unusual treatment.)
STEP 1: Head to the property’s sleek bathhouse and select your custom blend of essential oils and mud at the mud bar.
STEP 2: Enter a warm, private room and slather yourself with the stuff.
STEP 3: Twenty minutes later, just as your skin starts to itch, slip into a therapeutic mineral bath.
STEP 4: Nap time! Wrapped in a down comforter, indulge in a relaxing, full-body “sound experience” that’s just as peculiar as you’d imagine.
High Camp at Bohemian Grove
For two weeks each July, the members of the mysterious men’s-only Bohemian Club head to a closely guarded 2,700-acre compound off of Monte Rio’s Bohemian Highway. Staff members are forced to sign nondisclosure agreements and get their hands scanned for entry, but several journalists have infiltrated the top-secret confab over the years to peek at members as they frolic in the Redwoods, perform skits and engage in a ceremony known as the Cremation of Care. The difference between the campers in this wooded glen and the rest of the hippies dancing in the forest in Sonoma? This group includes some of the most powerful men in American business and politics: think Colin Powell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Bush (both of them) and a sprinkling of Rockefellers and Forbeses. If your invite got lost in the mail, hey, there’s always the nearby Russian River Beer Revival.