Sonoma County’s wintertime allure is multifaceted for travelers seeking a special experience. Whether you are looking to unwind, explore a new town, or engage in adventurous activities, our rich, immersive and educational experiences connect people with the unique sense of place in Sonoma County.

New in Restaurants 

Sushi by Scratch Restaurants  

Los Angeles-based, Michelin-starred husband-and-wife chef team Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee have announced the opening of Sushi by Scratch Restaurants: Healdsburg within The Matheson, Dustin Valette’s acclaimed food and wine experience in Downtown Healdsburg. Sushi by Scratch Restaurants: Healdsburg will operate in a speakeasy fashion, tucked away and hidden in the private dining room in the back of The Matheson. With three seatings offered nightly, 10 guests are guided through an intimate, progressive 17-course nigiri tasting menu experience. 

More from Taking The Kids Visit to Sonoma County in 2022.

New in Wine 

Stonemason Cellars 

Stonemason Cellars has unveiled its new tasting room in Historic Railroad Square in Downtown Santa Rosa, a space that seamlessly blends tradition with modern design. Stonemason Cellars commitment revolves around cultivating the finest Sonoma County fruit to craft wines that boast both elegance and robust flavors, exemplifying the distinct characteristics of the region’s terroir. Visitors to the new tasting room are invited to savor a curated selection of high-quality, limited-production wines. Each wine is meticulously handcrafted in the Stonemason Cellars vineyards, utilizing sustainable and organic farming practices. Elevating the tasting experience, guests can pair their tastings with an array of artisanal small bites, thoughtfully chosen to complement and enhance the flavors. 

Gundlach Bundschu Winery 

Gundlach Bundschu has achieved Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) status, recognized by the Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA). Known for their premium estate wines and a longstanding commitment to sustainability, the Bundschu family prides themselves in their 165 years of operation with a sustainability mindset. To attain ROC status, companies must first have a nationally recognized organic certification, such as CCOF. The certification involves meeting rigorous prerequisites related to soil health, animal welfare, and social fairness for farmworkers. ROC(R) requires extra measures like zero use of chemical pesticides, organic cover cropping, composting, and the use of livestock. This certification reflects a commitment to holistic farming practices and aligns with the current trend of conscious consumerism, offering individuals a sense of contributing to positive environmental and social impacts through their purchases of ROC(R) products. 

Mill Creek Vineyards 

In 2024, Mill Creek Vineyards is celebrating its 50th commercial wine vintage. Founded by the Kreck family in 1965, Mill Creek Vineyards stands as a trailblazing winery in the Dry Creek Valley appellation. Synonymous with a commitment to quality and tradition, the family-owned and operated establishment integrates vineyard care and winemaking, reflecting a genuine passion for crafting exceptional wines. Located in Healdsburg, the winery’s estate is a testament to the marriage of expertise and terroir, resulting in award-winning wines that have earned acclaim. 2024 festivities will honor the enduring legacy and dedication that define this remarkable family winemaking journey. 

New in Outdoors 

The Pottery of Margurite Wildenhain 

Located just above Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve in Austin Creek State Recreation Area, Pond Farm Pottery joined a select group of noteworthy places that possess exceptional value in illustrating the history of the United States. In December, U.S. Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland designated Pond Farm Pottery a new National Historic Landmark. Pond Farm is cooperatively managed by Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods and California State Parks, with Stewards providing onsite support and programming including an artist-in-residence program and docent-led tours. Pond Farm Pottery is significant for its association with the mid-twentieth century American Studio Pottery Movement. The Farm was founded by Margurite Wildenhain, the first woman to achieve the designation of Master Potter in Germany who brought her Bauhaus influenced pedagogy to Sonoma County. The Stewards will host a Margurite Wildenhain exhibit vernissage at the Agrella Art Gallery at the Santa Rosa Junior College. Following the opening there will be a screening of the documentary: Marguerite: From the Bauhaus to Pond Farm in the followed by a Q&A with Pond Farm students. 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm | February 8. 

Blooming Now Guide – Jack London State Historic Park 

Hikers, horseback riders, or nature lovers will delight in seeing blossoms along the trails of Jack London State Historic during peak wildflower season in February-August. To help visitors make the most of the natural splendor, the park provides a free online “Blooming Now” guide to the latest blossoms at the 1,570-acre park, with photos, names, and recently spotted locations.  Visitors can seek out a variety of flowers, with names like California Buttercup, Pacific Hounds Tongue, and Checker Lily. The “Blooming Now” guide will be updated every two weeks through August 31, 2024. The guide is easy to print or follow online for walkers and hikers as they seek and identify the blooms found along the park’s 29 miles of trails. In addition to admiring the wildflowers, visitors can enjoy the park’s historic side and learn about the lives of famed author Jack London and his wife, Charmian, who made the place they called “Beauty Ranch” their home. 

Living Sculptures – The Art & Science of Bonsai – Sonoma Botanical Garden 

Experience a world of serene beauty and intricate craftsmanship both indoors and outside, at Sonoma Botanical Garden’s new bonsai exhibit. Take in a fusion of modern and classic forms, from graceful uprights to dramatic windswept styles with more than 20 amazing, tiny trees, meticulously nurtured and shaped by local artisans and each a testament to the patience and creativity involved in bonsai’s contemplative art form. Then stroll the Garden’s paths to see some of the full-sized species showcased in the exhibit. Through March 22.