Laura A. Hall’s Favorites

Welcome to an exquisite selection of some of my favorite places in Sonoma County. I’ve included a bunch of Sonoma County Secrets that only locals would know. Relax and enjoy the best of Wine Country.

Lynmar Estate Winery:  #1 Sonoma County Secret Favorite

This is one of my favorite places to taste. Well known for its expansive “veggiscaped” gardens, the best time to visit is in the Summer and Fall when everything is in full bloom. The wines are very well layered pinots and hearty chardonnays. They offer small bar bites in their beautiful tasting room or outside on their patio, which overlooks the rolling vineyards and gardens. If you want to enhance your experience, call ahead to have them prepare a lunch from the garden and paired with their finest wines. It is a very memorable experience which you may soon consider to be some of best dining in Sonoma County.

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Sonoma County Secrets Tip:  Check out some other great places to visit on our Food and Wine page.


Harvest Fair Dinner Awards: #2 Sonoma County Secret Favorite

It’s 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 Secrets Tip:  All the award winners are available at Bottle Barn, our local’s favorite wine, beer, and spirits shop in Santa Rosa. What’s even more fun is hosting your own wine tasting party at home with some of the same winners.


The Barlow: #3 Sonoma County Secret Favorite

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 Secrets Tip: Check out Bill and Dave’s famous hiking trips. They include an annual trek up Sugarloaf on 4th of July for a spectacular view of no less than 10 firework displays across the Bay Area. Sign up early, they do sell out!

There is also a super cool observatory at Sugarloaf that offers guided tours of the stars. Great fun for the whole family.

Vinters Inn: #5 Sonoma County Secret Favorite

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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Sonoma County Secrets Tip:  Locals love this place. It is probably the best happy hour in town.