A la carte: Sip wine poolside, relax and enjoy summer's end


Moonlit evening by the pool

Artisan wines from Alexander Valley wineries and delicious bites from local purveyors will be served during Access Alexander Valley from 7 to 10 p.m. Aug. 30 at Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

The evening, hosted by the Alexander Valley Winegrowers Association, includes live music by Americana artist Sean Carscadden.

Local vendors serving up artisan food include Hog Island Oysters, Catelli’s, Noble Folk, Rustic restaurant, Yay-Paella, KinSmoke and Houtskool Dumplings.

Tickets are $85. To reserve: 300 Via Archimedes.


Harvest tour, tasting at J

Get up close and personal with the harvest season at J Vineyards & Winery, which offers a behind-the-scenes tour of two estate vineyards as well as the busy crush pad,

The 90-minute Tour & Tasting experience features a tasting of five sparkling and varietal wines along the way.

Tours begin at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. daily, weather permitting.

Cost is $40. To reserve: 11447 Old Redwood Highway.


Lowell’s dinner at Preston

Preston Farm and Winery invites guests to a dinner at 5 p.m. Saturday, celebrating the harvest with food prepared by Lowell’s, one of Sebastopol’s favorite neighborhood restaurants.

The organic, vegetable-driven cuisine will be served outside at the Preston estate alongside Preston’s wines, bread, grain, olive oil and produce grown on the property.

Tickets are $125 to the first of three in a series of Farm Dinners. To reserve: 9282 W. Dry Creek Road.?SEBASTOPOL

Golden State taproom opens

Golden State Cider, pioneers of hard cider making in Sonoma County, has opened a taproom at The Barlow to showcase its core line of dry ciders as well as its Harvest Series, California Farms Series and taproom-only exclusives.

The company, which was created as a way to revitalize the apple-growing industry, offers dry ciders on tap, from Save the Gravenstein to Devoto Orchards.

Guests can pick up four-packs to go for picnics and enjoy a pairing menu and food from neighboring The Barrio Cocina.

The taproom, which serves as a cider education hub, is managed by Matt Bardelsky and assistant Megan Attebery.

The taproom is open every day from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. 180 Morris St.


Bakery back in original space

Della Fattoria’s retail bakery has moved next door, back into its original location at 141 Petaluma Blvd., and is open daily at 6 a.m.

The bakery adjoins the cafe, and now dinner guests can pick out their dessert from the pastry case and shop for other goodies in the bakery.

The bakery serves coffee, pastries, salads and sandwiches, all ready to grab and go.


Learn all about olives

Don Landis, the olive guru, will give a workshop on “How to Make Olives Edible” at 10 a.m. Aug. 31 at The Olive Oasis.

The workshop will include the Noble Fruit’s history and debittering methods and will be followed by an olive-inspired lunch. Tickets are $95. To reserve, e-mail 7820 Apple Blossom Lane.


Palooza expands

Palooza Beer Garden & Eatery has joined the marketplace of Cornerstone Sonoma, taking over the former Public Kitchen space.

The restaurant will offer a selection of draft beer on tap paired with gastropub fare, including smoked meat and cheeses. It plans to launch the Cornerstone IPA and to offer an Equator Coffee Bar.

The new restaurant is an extension of the Palooza Brewery & Gastropub in Kenwood. A full renovation of the space is planned for January, with a new menu set to launch when the space reopens in early 2020.

Palooza Beer Garden & Eatery is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. 23570 Arnold Drive.


The big cheese awards

The American Cheese Society has announced the winners of its 2019 competition, with North Coast favorites Point Reyes Farmstead of Point Reyes Station, Bellwether Farms of Petaluma, Cowgirl Creamery of Petaluma, Chevoo of Healdsburg and Cypress Grove of Arcata snagging a handful of awards each.

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. won five awards: first place in blue mold cheeses for its Point Reyes Bay Blue; third place in American Originals (cow’s milk) for its Point Reyes Toma; third place in flavored American Originals for its Point Reyes TomaProvence; and two first places in flavored cold-pack cheeses for The Fork Original Blue & Date Spread and The Fork Pimento Cheese.

Bellwether Farms won five awards: two second places in cultured milk/cream products for its Plain Organic Cow Yogurt and its Plain Sheep Yogurt; two first places in fresh unripened cheeses for its Fromage Blanc and Fresh Sheep Cheese; and third place in sheep’s milk cheese aged over 60 days for the San Andreas.

Cowgirl Creamery won four awards: a second place in fresh unripened cheeses for its Fromage Blanc and a third place for its Cottage Cheese; a second place in soft-ripened cheeses for Mt. Tam; and a second place in flavored cheeses for Pierce Point,

Cypress Grove won four awards: a third place in fresh unripened cheeses for Straight Up; a first place in soft-ripened cheeses (goat’s milk) for Humboldt Fog Mini; a third place in flavored cheeses (all milks) for Truffle Tremor Mini; and first place in flavored cheeses (goat’s milk) for PsycheDillic.

Chevoo of Healdsburg won four awards in marinated cheeses: a third place for Smoked Salt & Rosemary, a second place for Dill Pollen & Garlic and two first places for Fennel Pollen & Orange and Urfa Chili & Lemon.

Laura Chenel’s Chevre of Sonoma won three awards: a second place in American made/international style (goat’s milk) for the Crottin; third place in flavored cheese (goat’s milk) for Garlic & Chive; and first place in fresh, rindless goat’s milk cheese for Original Medallion.

Nicasio Valley Cheese of Nicasio won two awards: third place in flavored cheeses (all milks) for Foggy Morning with Garlic and Basil; a second place in raclette-style washed rind cheeses (all milks) for San Geronimo.

Marin French Cheese Co. of Petaluma won one award: third place in soft-ripened cheese (all milks) for its Triple Creme Brie.

Tomales Farmstead Creamery of Tomales won one award: first place in farmstead cheeses aged less than 60 days (all milks) for Liwa.

Pennyroyal Farm of Boonville won one award: third place in blue mold cheeses (mixed milks) for Boonter’s Blue.

For a complete list of winners, go to

Staff Writer Diane Peterson can be reached at 707-521-5287 or

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