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SONOMA VALLEY: Savor the valley

The thieves have been readied, and the barrels are rolled out. It’s time for the 2018 Savor Sonoma Valley, a barrel wine-tasting experience from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 17 and 18, at a dozen wineries throughout Kenwood and Glen Ellen.

Lunch options will be offered by food trucks and local restaurants or bring your own picnic basket. Tickets are $40 to $55 in advance, $50 to $65 at the door. A non-wine tasting pass is free. To reserve: heartofsonomavalley.com


HEALDSBURG: Fried chicken night

After the fire last fall, Madrona Manor started to serve first responders and fire victims three-course fried chicken dinners.

Back by popular demand, the dinners will be offered to locals from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays through March and beyond. The dinners created by Chef Jesse Mallgren include three pieces of fried chicken, pickled vegetables, mashed potatoes, a deviled egg, salad and dessert for $29.

The inn and restaurant are located at 1001 Westside Road. 707-433-4231.


GEYSERVILLE: Foodie Fridays

Sbragia Family Vineyards has launched a new lunch program from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays, with a different theme offeered each week.

The full-size meal prepared by the estate chef costs $15. Upcoming themes include corned beef, cabbage and potatoes on Friday, March 16; Thai noodle bowl with shrimp on March 23, and a Nicoise salad on March 30.

Walk-ins welcome. 9990 Dry Creek Road. 707-473-2992. sbragia.com


HEALDSBURG: Jazz on the Menu

The Healdsburg Jazz Festival is ready to roll out the tunes at eight Healdsburg-area restaurants from 6 to 9 p.m. March 21 for its annual “Jazz on the Menu” benefit for its music education programs.

Guests can enjoy live jazz and order off the menu at the participating restaurants, which donate 25 percent of their sales to the cause.

Participating restaurants include Café Lucia, Campo Fina, Catelli’s Restaurant, Chalkboard, Kinsmoke, Healdsburg Shed, Spoonbar and Valette. Reservations are recommended.

After dinner, there will be more jazz, desserts and wine at the Costeaux French Bakery and Cafe from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Tickets to the After Party are $15. To reserve: healdsburgjazzfestival.org


SONOMA: “Cork Dork”

Bianca Bosker, best-selling author of “Cork Dork: A Wine-fueled Adventure Among the Obsesive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste,” will do a talk and tasting at 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 16, at Readers’ Books.

Bosker is a tech reporter, currently employed as a contributing editor to The Atlantic, who became fascinated by the complex world of master sommeliers. The talk will be followed by a tasting of several wines and cheeses.

Readers’ Books is located at 130 E. Napa Street. readersbooks.com


HEALDSBURG: Beer and burgers

The Dry Creek Kitchen has launched a new burger and beer pairing at the Spirit Bar, partnering with a different brewery on a quarterly basis.

The program launched this month with HenHouse IPA paired with a filet mignon burger crafted by Chef Scott Romanco. The burger features garlic confit puree, pink peppercorn, house-cured pecan smoked bacon, comté cheese, HenHouse IPA reduction, chicory and baby arugula, citrus aioli and Chef Lisa’s yeast roll.

Where to see the Wildflowers

Wildflower or Wildfire Hikes at Sonoma Regional Parks in April 2018

For directions and registration information, go to: parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov/Play/Calendar

April 8, 2018 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Spring Wildflower Walks: North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park: Explore the park’s spring wildflowers and the rich biodiversity. Search for blooms beneath the majestic redwoods, along Matanzas creek, amidst beautiful oaks and throughout open meadows as we climb the north slope of Sonoma Mountain. Enjoy lunch and breathtaking views from the Bennett Valley Overlook on this 5-mile hike.

April 14, 2018 from 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Wildfire Ecology Hikes - Hood Mountain Regional Park: How are the parks recovering from the Sonoma County wildfires? Join a Regional Parks naturalist on 7-mile hike in Hood Mountain Regional Park.

April 14, 2018 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Spring Wildflower Walks - Taylor Mountain Regional Park - Petaluma Hill Road Entrance: Enjoy surprising stories and fascinating facts about nature’s blooming treasures as we search along the trail for spring wildflowers and spectacular scenery.

April 14, 2018 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Spring Wildflower Walks: Creekside Wildflower Walk -Crane Creek Regional Park: Explore edible, medicinal, useful and wondrous wildflowers. Spot remarkable blooms and discover their stories on this fun and informative 3-mile walk with a knowledgeable naturalist.

April 21, 2018 from 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Spring Wildflower Walks: Serpentine Secrets - Tolay Lake Regional Park: Join Regional Parks and the Sonoma Land Trust to experience spring’s riches at Tolay Lake Regional Park and discover rare, diverse and abundant displays of native wildflowers. Learn about California’s serpentine soils and their important and unique relationship with native wildflower species. Enjoy amazing views of San Pablo Bay and beyond on this 6-mile, semi-strenuous hike through open, rolling grasslands. Bring a hat, sunscreen, plenty of water and a picnic lunch.

April 28, 2018 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Wildfire Ecology Hike - Sonoma Valley Regional Park: How are the parks recovering from the Sonoma County wildfires? Join a Regional Parks naturalist on an easy to moderate-level 3-mile hike in Sonoma Valley Regional Park in Glen Ellen.

April 29, 2018 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Spring Wildflower Walks: From Wildfire to Wildflower - Sonoma Valley Regional Park: Explore this unique botanical hotspot, observe splendid spring blooms, and discover the fascinating relationship between wildfire and wildflowers. This park was profoundly affected by the October 2017 Nuns Fire. Expect to see the park respond with an abundant and diverse display of wildflowers this spring — a beautiful reminder and charming celebration of nature’s resilience.

Wildflower and Wildfire Hikes at State Parks in Sonoma County in April 2018

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park

For directions and registration information go to: sonomaecologycenter.org/events

April 8, 2018 from 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Join botanist Ann Howald of California Native Plant Society‘s Milo Baker chapter to tour areas of the park that burned in the October wildfires. The walk’s emphasis is on recovery of trees and shrubs that burned, and to look for wildflowers–possibly ones that follow fires and have not been seen for decades.

April 22, 2018 from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Join Botanist, Peter Warner, in this Earth Day Sugarloaf exploration! Fire is a powerful, rejuvenating force in California plant ecology. On this leisurely walk, with some elevation gains and losses, well observe and discuss the various effects of fire and its chemical by-products on the flora (and fauna) across several different habitat types, including grassland, oak woodland, and chaparral.

April 14, 15 and 28, 2018 from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Join park naturalists and/or Sonoma Ecology Center staff to learn how to interpret fire landscapes at Sugarloaf that burned in the recent wildfires. Come see the land recover. We will be assessing burned trees, learning how to interpret fire-affected landscapes, and watching for special “fire follower” wildflowers. Discussion questions include: Why did this happen? What does it mean? How do we prepare for it happening again?

Jack London State Park

For directions and registration information for Jack London hikes, go to: jacklondonpark.com/jack-london-future-events.html

April 7, 2018 from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Wildflowers on the East Slope Trail: It’s been a three years since the Eliot Loop Trail opened with the help of the Bay Area Ridge Trail and the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District. Join us as we discover an array of wildflowers that bloom along the trail while enjoying the fantastic views! We will expect to see carpets of California Poppies and Lupines at the top and a variety of wildflowers along the Sonoma Ridge trail. Join Park naturalist John Lynch as we take a moderately paced 12 mile nature hike to explore the wildflowers and anything else we find along the way.

Earth Day Wildflower Walk and Hike
April 21, 2018 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (walk) and April 22, 2018 from 10:00 AM to 1:30 (hike)
This Earth Day weekend revel in the beauty of spring with either a wildflower walk or hike. These outdoor adventures will be led by naturalist John Lynch and focus on the interconnected web of nature at the Park. Saturday discover the wildflowers along the Wolf House trail on an easy short walk or on Sunday, take an intermediate 4 to 8 mile hike, we’ll go where the wildflowers are best, on back country trails to discover a wider variety of wildflowers. With both you can expect to see Canyon Delphinium, Chinese Houses, Golden Fairy Lantern, Lupine, Popcorn Flower, Mules Ears (2 varieties) as well as the birds, reptiles and other plants that make up the eco-system of the Park. Our hikes are slow-paced so allow plenty of time, bring cameras, binoculars, poles, plenty of water, snacks and wear sturdy shoes. Be prepared for uneven ground.


Read all of the PD's fire coverage here

Other upcoming pairings include the Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale, Moonlight Twist of Fate and Plow Brewing Co.’s Scythe Imperial Porter.

The Dry Creek Kitchen is located at 317 Healdsburg Ave. 707-431-0330.

Staff Writer Diane Peterson can be reached at 707-521-5287 or diane.peterson@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @dianepete56.

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