Russian River Valley

 

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It was finally time for a weekend away and the Russian River Valley did not disappoint! Josh and I were so happy to get out of Los Angeles which was perfectly planned during the miserable heat wave and the Santa Ana winds. I have been to Napa, but never to this particular area of Sonoma Valley. Right away it was perfect! Our dear friends Julie and Scott who were in town from London picked us up at the Sonoma County Airport and the adventure began.

 

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I made our first wine tasting reservation right after we arrived at the divine Copain Winery. What a gorgeous location to do a wine tasting! The views are unbeatable as are the boutique wines that Copain creates. The region is known for their Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. I am kind of a Chardonnay snob, preferring my French whites from Burgundy, so I was super excited to learn more about California Chardonnays. Bob, our tasting guide, was adorable and gave us a ton of information about Copain and the Sonoma wine region.

 

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We then headed onto Iron Horse Vineyard where they specialize in sparkling wines with a gorgeous hill top view. Who doesn’t love a tasting of sparkling wines? After enjoying our wines, we quickly realized we needed to eat and headed to the cute town of Guerneville to have dinner at the highly recommended Boon Eat + Drink. But of course we had to grab happy hour oysters at the delicious Seaside Metal before our meal. Finally at Boon we were told it was mandatory to order the brussel sprouts. I have no idea what they do to them but they are so insanely good.

 

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We stayed in this adorable 100 year old cabin called Camp Noon near Forestville and we could not have been happier. There was a fireplace and a record player and it was in the middle of the woods. It was wonderful to feel like we were far away from it all and breathing fresh air.

 

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The next day we decided a canoe down the Russian River was a must! We headed to Burke’s Canoes, which is the go-to in the area. Just a headsup, Burke is a character, get ready! We brought lunch with us and spent a leisurely time canoeing down the river. It was a lovely and relaxing 4 hours enjoying the beauty of nature. We even saw a river otter which I swear looks like weasel and not as cute as you would think.

 

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After our daytime detox we headed into the delightful town of Healdsburg where we started our evening with more oysters and more wine tasting. Surprising, I know. This was followed by a kickass dinner at Barn Diva which I will absolutely go back to on my next visit. The space is exquisite and the sommelier helped me choose the perfect Failla Chardonnay to accompany our food. The other must do in Healdsburg is SHED. A fabulous restaurant, shop and market for all local gourmet needs. I could have stayed in there all day eating, browsing and shopping, but Josh made me leave. I will be back.

 

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The following day we headed into the tiny little town of Forestville where we grabbed brunch and a cinnamon roll at Nightingale Breads – the local bakery. Josh is on a mission to try every cinnamon roll that exists so of course we had to stop by. This day ended with another special meal at Revival which was a last minute surprise as we were invited by friends in town from San Francisco. They are good friends with the restaurateur Crista Luedtke who created Revival as well as Boon Hotel and Boon Eat + Drink. We were lucky enough to experience first hand the new fall menu and chef Ben Speigel’s creations in this gorgeous renovated space. The menu is unexpected and divine with local ingredients from the garden on the property. There is also a vermouth tasting bar if you choose. Run to this restaurant on your next trip!

 

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This weekend was such a blast and I felt so happy to have breathed the fresh air of the Redwoods and visited with old friends all the while enjoying delicious food and boutique local wines. My appreciation of Californian wines has grown and I look forward to my next (hopefully soon!) visit to the Russian River Valley.

 

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