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October 2018 is jam packed with Sonoma County cultural events, including sculpture gardens, ceramic emporiums, live music and open house art studios. There are plenty of opportunities for you to channel your own inner artist, too, with guided workshops.

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With the balmy climate, the world-class wines, and the farm-to-fork food culture, Sonoma County can understandably be mistaken for the Mediterranean. In fact, when it comes to wine, Sonoma County stands up to southern French culture quite nicely.

The hot new wine term to know, “garrigue,” didn’t just pop out of the scrubland and brush of southern France yesterday, but fair to say, it’s a relatively new addition to many a wine lover’s lexicon.

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Sonoma County boasts restaurants with Michelin Stars, Zagat ratings, San Francisco Chronicle Top 100 awards, and now, our Wine Country can proudly claim two “Essential California Restaurants” as designated by Eater.com.

Congratulations to El Molino Central in Sonoma, and SHED in Healdsburg. We’re so happy to share the love.

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September in Sonoma County is a time of change. As the month travels along, the warmth of summer gradually begins to hint at the coolness to come. The many shades of green that characterize leaves in the vineyard slowly transform into hues of gold and red. The scent of just-crushed grapes is everywhere, fewer cars ply the coast highway, and the pace of life begins to quiet.

Here are just a few exceptional outdoor activities for you to explore during this beautiful in Sonoma County:

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Yes, there really is a Jeffrey at Jeffrey’s Hillside Café, as in Jeffrey Madura, who built a notable career as executive chef at John Ash & Company in Santa Rosa. After two decades there – and appearances at the renowned James Beard House in New York City and the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite – he struck out on his own, to open this Santa Rosa treasure.

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The town of Guerneville is known for it’s lively Russian River fun and its meditative forest walks in Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. But did you know that you can do some serious shopping in this charming town by the river? You’ll find shops run by, and for, a thriving art community as well as some serious outdoor and sports fanatics.

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As the weather cools down at night, Sonoma County nightlife picks up. With Halloween right around the corner, north Bay Area residents and travelers are planning out their costumes and party schedules. Here are a few ideas for after-dark fun in Sonoma County this September and October:

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It may be after Labor Day, but there’s one more chance this summer to pack up the lawn chairs and sunscreen and post up on the lawn at Rodney Strong’s 2018 Summer Concert Series.

For the first time, this summer I attended two in this series, and I was pleasantly surprised at how fun and easy it was — it’s like a big backyard garden party at a friend’s house, but your friend is Rodney Strong Vineyards.

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Sonoma County bakers are especially popular in Wine Country, because they have direct access to such important ingredients as farm-fresh milk, eggs, butter, cream, field-fresh grains, and orchard-fresh fruits.

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The town of Graton is tucked away in Green Valley a half mile from the main road from Sebastopol to the Russian River, but once you find one-block-long downtown Graton you can’t miss its welcoming new cornerstone business, the fortuitously located and comfortably appointed Bowman Cellars tasting room.

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