The true center of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa, does not get a lot of love. What Healdsburg has on it’s town square, or Petaluma has on it’s river, Santa Rosa simply does not. Surrounded by “small town charm” on all sides makes our little city sometimes feel too big and impersonal.
As a lifelong resident of Santa Rosa, I know I’ve been guilty of similar feelings. But this past weekend I joined the lovely Wine Country Blogger Gals to meet, network, and celebrate Santa Rosa, and I fell in love with our city all over again. If you’re new to the area, just visiting, or looking to fall in love again, enjoy this snapshot of our day in Santa Rosa.
Santa Rosa Love: Pamper Yourself at Ritual Salon
We started our morning with a special visit to Ritual Salon + Style Bar, which just so happens to be a few doors north of Sift Dessert Bar (I feel like this is important information to pass on).
Jenna and Kimberly are two Sonoma County natives who believe in the power of a good blow out, which inspired them to create Ritual – Santa Rosa’s first blow dry bar + full service salon. Ritual is 100% female owned and operated.
We offer our first blow dry from our style bar for $25 – as long as mentioned!- Kimberly of Ritual Salon + Style Bar
The ladies at Ritual spoiled us with fresh and beautiful make-up, shoulder and scalp massages, and gorgeous styled hair. We pretty much decided this is a must-do every time we have a fun event. In no time at all I felt pampered and put-together, and very ready for our big day ahead.
Santa Rosa Love: Have the Best Brunch of your Life
This is not your mama’s brunch, friends.
Bird & Bottle, in downtown Santa Rosa, has done us all a favor by setting themselves apart from the standard brunch routine with unique and delightful (and VERY satiating) menu items, and unique beverages.
The Bird & The Bottle is a fusion restaurant, mixing traditional Jewish comfort food with Korean cuisine. The Bird & The Bottle brunch menu is a perfect representation of this. Taking traditional brunch favorites – pancakes, chicken & waffles, fried scrambles – and mixing them with Asian influences like (pictured clockwise from left): Spicy Tuna Poke, Shakshouka & Keilbasa, Hangtown Fry, and Bacon & Egg Ramen.
Santa Rosa Love: Find Peace at Paradise Ridge Winery
Oh hey, you ever wonder what happens to those amazing sculptures at burning man? Well, some of them make their way back to our sleepy little city just north of San Francisco.
Besides the amazing sculpture gardens (yes, plural) is a fantastic art gallery. A hefty portion of the proceeds from all art sold in the gallery goes to women’s health in Sonoma County. (Uhhhmmm, how amazing is that?!)
But I know what you guys want to know: How’s the wine tasting experience?
It was fantastic.
We taste at a lot of places and Paradise Ridge was as delightful as some of my very favorite tasting haunts (McPhail, Williams Selyem, Arista, and B.Wise to name a few). The view on the top deck was absolutely transcendent. The Pinot was also delightful, with great minerality and low alcohol content, leaving room for the taster to enjoy the complexity of the wine.
All wines were complimented well by the cheese and jam. The Cabernet was dry and rich, ready to serve, but with the great potential if left to gather dust on a shelf for a few years.
As we finished our cheese pairing (reserve your pairing here), we observed the slow progression of fog blanket the lower valley floor, and it reminded me why Santa Rosa is such a lovely place to visit, and an even lovelier place to live.
Special thanks to our day-of photographer: Kellen Lehman
Visit Paradise Ridge
We really love everything about Paradise Ridge, but wanted to share a couple experiences we think you should try:
Paradise Ridge Winery is proud to share the history of Kanaye Nagasawa, a Japanese Samurai who became a winemaker in Sonoma County. Updated in 2016, the exhibit tells the fascinating life story of Nagasawa.
Ongoing from mid-May through October, visitors are invited to enjoying spectacular panoramic sunsets from the winery’s expansive veranda and beautiful poetry terrace. Guests also enjoy artisan wines, live music and wine country cuisine provided by local food vendors.
Santa Rosa Love: Spoiled by Local Brands
We just loved our swag partners for this event, and had to offer a shout-out to those local brands that helped us pamper both our in town guests and our out-of-town visitors:
Sift Dessert Bar:: Whoopie Cookies
We were thrilled to try out these decadent treats from two time Cupcake Wars Winner, Sift Dessert Bar.
Sift Dessert Bar ® is a modern dessert shop for gifting, treating and celebrating. With locations in Northern California’s Wine Country and San Francisco Bay Area.
These cookies are phenomenal and were the perfect compliment to our savory brunch. You can order them here (they ship nationwide!).
Elizabeth Wilmore Designs
Elizabeth Wilmore Designs provided us with “The Healdsburg,” a beautiful piece of jewelry that can be worn as a bracelet or a necklace. Buy here.
I draw inspiration from nature and it’s gifts. I find beauty in the subtle luster of each unique freshwater pearl or the sea glass colors of a gemstone. As in my photography, beauty comes from natural lighting, hues and textures. My handcrafted pearl jewelry reflects the colors and bucolic California landscape surrounding my Marin County studio.- Elizabeth Wilmore Designs
Visit Santa Rosa
We are so glad that Visit Santa Rosa was able to help our out of town influencers learn more about the fun and fantastic things to do in our city, as well as providing us with canvas bags full of goodies. If you’re looking for more things to do around town, visit them here!
Finally, I just want to offer a special shout-out to the area bloggers who were able to attend this event (if you’re not following them yet on IG, you should be!) They aren’t all moms, but they speak on many facets of our interests, like fashion and of course, Wine Country.
Clockwise from Left: (me, repping Wine Country Moms Blog) Adrienne of The Rich Life in Wine Country, Mallory of Vine Living, Katie of Typical Katie, Melissa of Melissa Ziegler, Rosaria of Moments of Moda.