Locavore — a person who endeavors to eat only locally produced food — was selected as the 2007 word of the year by the Oxford American Dictionary who noted, “The word ‘locavore’ shows how food-lovers can enjoy what they eat while still appreciating the impact they have on the environment.”
Relish Culinary Adventures is thrilled to be a part of this three-day tour package offered by the award-winning Grape Leaf Inn that features organic and biodynamic vineyards, family farms, local restaurants and other area businesses that are dedicated to sustainability.
The northern Sonoma County region of California is home to some of the world’s premier wineries but has only recently been recognized as having an incredibly diverse agricultural landscape. Artisanal cheese makers, sustainable meat producers and dozens of small organic family farms have called this area home for decades and they collectively make this a foodie Mecca like no other. The Sonoma Locavore Experience celebrates local, organic ingredients and sustainable farms and related businesses through cooking, mixology and winemaking. Guests will visit organic and biodynamic vineyards and farms, cook and savor meals and cocktails that feature ingredients grown, raised or produced within thirty miles of Healdsburg, and meet the people whose dedication to sustainability is a natural part of life in this bountiful and beautiful region.
The first evening begins at the Grape Leaf Inn with seasonal cocktails made with local ingredients by renowned mixologist Scott Beattie (think Thai Boxer cocktail with Charbay Vanilla Bean Rum, locally-grown Thai basil, cilantro, and spearmint) followed by an interactive winemaker dinner at the green-designed Relish Culinary Center, featuring Copain wines and a Locavore menu created by Mirepoix Restaurant. Chef Matthew Bousquet of Mirepoix and winemaker Wells Guthrie of Copain are friends who share a passion for fine food and wine, ensuring an extraordinary culinary experience.
The next day, guests will be transported in an Incredible Adventures biodiesel van to sustainable wineries and farms, including Quivira Vineyards, where they will learn about biodynamic farming; Dry Creek Peach and Produce, the last remaining fruit farm in the valley and the only dedicated, certified organic peach farm in the county; and Marimar Estate Winery for a VIP tour of its organic vineyards followed by a Spanish Tapas and wine pairing. In the evening, the group will return to the Relish Culinary Center for a hands-on cooking workshop with owner Donna del Rey, using seasonal ingredients—seafood, meat, cheese and produce—from sources no farther than thirty miles from Healdsburg.
The final day features a wine and cheese pairing seminar at the Grape Leaf Inn with local cheesemakers Eric Smith and Pascal Destandau of Pugs Leap Farm and Chris and John Mason of Emtu wines, a Russian River micro-winery dedicated to organic farming, great wine and improving lives in communities worldwide. Later that evening the group will gather one last time for a winemaker dinner featuring biodynamically-farmed Medlock Ames wines at Barndiva, a restaurant dedicated to using organic and seasonal ingredients. Mixologist Beattie will create another of his signature artisanal cocktails for the group as we toast the end of our time together
Guests will stay at the Grape Leaf Inn, located within walking distance to the charming shops and notable restaurants around the Healdsburg town plaza. Proprietors Richard and Kae Rosenberg will share their unique perspective of Healdsburg as they start each day with gourmet brunch and more seasonal cocktails prepared by mixologist Beattie such as Ramos Fizzes made with local gin, cream and farm fresh eggs whites.
As with all things from the earth, the tour itinerary will change with the seasons. In August, guests will visit Dry Creek Peach, explore the Healdsburg Farmers Market and join the locals at an evening concert-in-the-plaza. After mid-September, peaches are replaced with olives as we visit Dry Creek Olive Company to see its authentic milling methods in action and taste the resulting artisan oils. Even the cocktails will change as we shift from Bellinis made from white Dry Creek peaches to Autumn Apple cocktails with local apple brandy and cider.
Please join us!