Another great list of the Best of Sonoma wineries and restaurant recomendations. We highly concur with all the selections.
As we live and work in the heart of downtown Sonoma, we wanted to share some of our personal favorite Sonoma local’s hometown picks. Come see us. All these spots are within easy walking distance from Auteur.
We are located on the Northwest corner of the historic Sonoma Plaza. Across the way, our lawns of Sonoma Square are adorned with picnic tables allowing for lazy lunch in the sunshine. Stop by for a tasting and enjoy a bottle of cold Auteur chardonnay for a picnic lunch. Or, only steps away from us is El Dorado and Girl and the Fig. Tuesday night is the Sonoma Plaza’s Farmer’s Market, and the plaza is packed full of local purveyors and live music in Spring through late Fall.
With two world-class resorts, MacArthur Place and The Lodge, you are just minutes from some of the best restaurants in Sonoma. Enjoy wandering our neighborhood and sauntering down Sonoma’s cobbled streets and cafe-lined plaza.
Serving California home cooking, driven by seasonal produce with a focus on organic, biodynamic, regenerative & traditional agricultural practices. Come taste wines with us after your Valley brunch. Valley is our new neighborhood restaurant, wine bar, and bottle shop, just one block south of us in Sonoma, CA.
Cafe La Haye is diagnolly across the Sonoma Plaza from Auteur and is an iconic gem with romantic white table cloth settings serving sophisticated and classic California cuisine with a locally curated wine list by owner Saul himself. We love the fresh local cuisine and Saul’s attentive service.
Two doors down, enjoy roasted Maitake mushrooms with chimichurri sauce at El Dorado Kitchen. A hands-down favorite, mainly because of its fantastic outdoor patio, bustling vibe, and unique twist of favorite dishes with exotic finishing touches. The truffle fries are fantastic if you need little comfort food. And, it’s pretty easy to get there!
Ask for Sommelier Alex to help select a perfect wine. Wit & Wisdom is Michelin-rated Michael Mina’s only Sonoma wine country restaurant with a 5-star wine list, mixed with local producers as well as impressive international selections. As expected with a Mina restaurant, service is impeccable. Located at The Lodge resort off Broadway.
Our backyard backs up to Girl & the Fig and is almost a right of passage when visiting Sonoma. The focus is on a great European-styled menu as their focus is on Rhone wine varietals. We love snuggling up at the awesome cozy bar for the fig and argula salad and duck confit with great bar tending service to spill the beans on where you should go next.
If your palate needs a refresh and wants a great cocktail, stop in at the Swiss Hotel for people-watching and a fire tossed pizza. MacArthur Place has the most groovy bar in town and stunning grounds. The Beacon feels nothing like Sonoma and more like a speakeasy. Starling is a mile west of town and has dive-bar energy, killer cocktails, often music, and sometimes comedy.
The grand finale after all the wine country cuisine or rehab after a great Sonoma wedding, try Lou’s Luncheonette for home cooked breakfast biscuits or the epic Two Burn Chicken Sando with a draft beer and cue up a afternoon nap. Only place on the outskirts of town, buy a fantastic bike ride to burn up some calories.
Have fun meandering through our hometown of Sonoma. We love living here sharing our hometown. We look forward to see your smiling happy faces at Auteur. Heck, look around you might see us, we live only a few blocks away.
Our Local Winemaker’s Best of Sonoma List ~
Auteur’s expression of this Savoy tackles robust foraged fruit notes with spice and earthen tannins. There is a pioneering spirit and something rogue about Anderson Valley Pinot Noirs that Savoy captures like a Robert Redford movie.
“One of the Five California Vineyards You Need to Know” as quoted by Lettie
Teague of the Wall Street Journal, alongside benchmark California Vineyards
Beckstoffer To Kalon, Hirsch, Hyde and Bien Nacido.
Savoy Vineyard is arranged in 32 sub-blocks— dedicated to sustainably farmed Pinot Noir in the heart of the Anderson Valley. It was originally planted by Richard Savoy in 1991 who was deeply passionate about Burgundy and continues to be managed with “row by row farming” that is unique to each winemaker.
Our 2021 Auteur Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir is available to members or at our boutique tasting room off the Sonoma Plaza. For more information on our Anderson Valley wines, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com.
With twenty years under our belts, you know a spark when you find an authentic, genuine partnership. The spark came instantly upon connecting with the Bacigalupi team and family. To garner a vineyard designate name from Bacigalupi, you need approval from the revered wine team.
We are pleased to say we triumphed nd we wanted to share their well-spoken notes.
Auteur 2021 Chardonnay – Reviewed by The Bacigalupi Winemaking Team
Nose: Led by alluring aromas of crisp apple, ripe melon, tangy grapefruit, lemon chiffon, vanilla bean, fresh ginger and roasted almonds, this wine is immediately appealing to the senses.
Palate: On the first few sips, the wine is shy. But once it opens, it fills the palate with a balanced attack of naturally sweet, tart and tangy fruit notes of crisp apple, poached pear, pomelo, ripe mango and fresh picked plantains, which harmonize with hints of chanterelle mushroom, white chocolate bark, creamy nougat, nutmeg and other savory spices that heighten the level of class on the lengthy finish.
Body/Texture: Unlike the cookie-cutter, ready-to-drink white wines made for the masses, this is a sophisticated artisanal style of Chardonnay that slowly reveals its strengths instead of flexing muscles in the beginning. On Day one, the pure fruit flavors and the invigorating qualities of the wine are guided by a burst of bright natural acid that preserves the fresh, youthful, and refreshing elements in each sip. And as the flavors become more complex, the smooth, suede-like texture plays a critical role in highlighting the wine’s more elegant, refined, and powerful traits, as well as its ability to age.
Overview: This sample is a fantastic example of this winemakers style, which highlights the unique flavors of grapes grown at Bacigalupi Vineyards and creates a well-balanced, world-class wine designed to be rich, elegant, complex, and not overbearing. As a testament to its age-ability, it was even more ethereal after five days.
Our Bacigalupi Chardonnay will please even the pickiest of guests at your Thanksgiving dinner.
Currently available to only to members only due to the small yields of this site.
Harvest is in full swing in Sonoma. As of today, all of our Sonoma Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have started their fermentations at the winery. Our more extreme coastal sites, and still enjoying their last few days of summer ripening. Overall the growing season gave us naturally low yields, which is always our preference. It made for fewer passes in the vineyards, and the fruit got a nice warm bump over the Labor Day weekend, averaging around 23-23 Brix upon early morning arrivals at the winery. We have some exciting experiments in the winery and a few new vineyards in the coveted Sebastopol Hills with the Russian River appellation. As always, we are grateful and look forward to seeing what the fruit teaches us this vintage.
We look forward to sharing more on the 2022 vintage as the wines progress in the cellar. In the meantime come visit us at our Sonoma Bungalow in the heart of wine country.
Wrapping up the Fall 2021 Harvest. We have so much wine, which is fantastic. After the major loss of fruit to the 2020 wildfires, we have filled up with cellar with a bounty of fresh juice. We continue to source from Point Conception north to Mendocino zig-zagging throughout Northern California to bring you the best with lots of variety and spice. We are finishing up on cold soak fermentations on the Pinots and starting to press these beautifully farmed lots.
Come visit us and enjoy our boutique wines sourced locally from small organic farms to iconic vineyards in our backyard of Sonoma.
Every February and March, Sonoma turns fifty shades of green mimicking the fabled isles of Ireland – without the transatlantic flight. After the hustle of harvest, holidays, and New year, it’s the local’s secret time of repris. The crowds have left, hotels are welcoming with special rates and restaurants are usually open to walk-ins without reservations allowing for an impromptu last-minute trip.
As for the vineyards, they are just starting to wake up. Approaching Sebastopol in West Sonoma County, you can feel the change in climate and landscape. The pace slows, the roads wander, the roosters crow, and the tension leaves. The smells of coastal evergreens, apple orchards, poppies, and wild fennel combine with cooling air from the ocean. Our cool wine varietals are loving the cool foggy mornings and early evening fog. Bloom arrived in Sonoma on May 10th with a beautiful display of stamen and pistils.
Laura & Kenneth, hope to see you in Spring
As challenging as the year has been – and admittedly, sometimes it was truly
mind-blowing, there’s still lots to be thankful for. We are so grateful for you and
the entire Auteur community.
You made our hearts swell when the spring Members release went out during our
shelter-in-place order, we knew it was going to be a difficult time for everyone, and
you embraced us and full-heartedly and with great enthusiasm. We are forever
grateful to you all for your support of us and for sharing our wines with your
friends and family.
Have a wonderful holiday filled with gratitude, love, loads of wine and lots of cheer
to ring in the new year.
Laura & Kenneth