Places to See, Wineries, Restaurants
SUGARLOAF RIDGE STATE PARK
[Note: due to the recent fires, Sugarloaf State Park is currently closed; we will update this page once open]
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park contains the headwaters of Sonoma Creek. It runs through gorge and canyon, across the meadow floor, beneath scenic rock outcroppings, and is surrounded at times by
redwoods and ferns.
A 25-foot waterfall flows after the winter rains. There is a self-guided nature trail along Sonoma Creek that starts near the picnic area.
With 2700 acres of oak woodland and chaparral, the park has 25 miles of trails for hiking and horseback riding.
Deer, gray foxes, the occasional bobcat and coyote can be seen in the park. In spring, wildflowers provide a colorful palette across the green hills.
On a clear day, visitors can see views of the Sierra Nevada and the Golden Gate bridge from the 2729-foot summit of Bald Mountain.
The park also houses one of the largest public viewing telescopes; a 40-inch telescope at the Ferguson Observatory. It can be rented with the group campsite for private parties.
The park is only 5 minutes from the Kenwood Cottage!.
2605 Adobe Canyon Road
Kenwood, CA 95452
SELECTED KENWOOD WINERIES
233 Adobe Canyon Road
The closest winery to the cottage (less than a mile), it is also our favorite for chardonnays and pinot noir. This is the most relaxing way to taste and learn about wines. They have picnic tables in the back where they do custom tastings based on your preferances. You really feel like you are in someone's backyard tasting wines! Chuck (owner) is typically there. This is a must-do in the town of Kenwood. Games to play for kids, this is pet and picnic friendly.
101 Adobe Canyon Road
Another favorite for chardonnays and pinot noir and about 1 min drive from La Rochelle; friendly tasting room staff, great picnic area and beautiful grounds; a Robert Parker (Wine Advocate) favorite!
VJB Vineyards and Cellars
60 Shaw Ave
Kenwood, CA 95452
Telephone: (707) 833-2300
Web site: www.vjbcellars.com
This place transports you back to Italy and is just 5 min from our cottage. On weekends from April-October, strolling tenors serenade you (1-1:30) while you enjoy the wine on their umbrella lined patio. This is a fun place to eat and relax with wood fired pizzas, a gelataria, chocolate truffle bar, a great deli, estate grown and bottled Italian varietals. They have great pasta and sauces to pickup to enjoy for dinner at the Kenwood Cottage. They also make great Illy coffee if you want to start your day here. Best kept secret: homemade pizza and jug wine special.
An amazing selection of wines to choose from (often 30+!). They have a very friendly staff. There is a picnic table here also. These are all great everyday (inexpensive) wines but they also have some high end cabs.
Lovely tasting room with friendly staff and a food & wine or wine and cheese pairing available (for a fee). Events monthly so check out their website.
Kunde is one of two wineries in the area that has cave tours. They have a small picnic area under umbrellas near a pond on property which is very relaxing. They also just started doing wine tours up on their hill that has great vistas and is under big oak trees. This tour is highly recommended and should be reserved in advance.
Beautiful grounds, fun place to go and probably the most familiar winery outside of the area. They have two tasting options: a reserve and general wine tasting. Both are fun and the people are very friendly. They do have a small picnic ground overlooking the vineyards and lovely gardens.
OTHER LOCAL WINERIES
- B.R. Cohn - owned by the former manager of the Doobie Brothers. Great olive oil tasting also.
- Imagery Estate Winery - Where's Waldo? This will be clear once you visit.
- Deerfield Ranch Winery - great cave tasting; one of the newest in the area. They make biodynamic "clean wines;" ask them to tell you more.
- Ledson- beautiful grounds, impressive house with a large deli and picnic area and numerous tasting rooms
- Benziger Family Winery - one of the best tours for first timers and even the experienced
- Arrowood Vineyards and Winery - a Robert Parker favorite in Sonoma. Cabernet, Syrah, Chardonnay
RESTAURANTS IN AND AROUND KENWOOD
We provide a fully equipped kitchen, gas BBQ and directions to a number of fabulous grocery stores at the Kenwood Cottage. But sometimes, letting someone else do the cooking sounds better. Kenwood is close to a number of fabulous restaurants just 5 to 15 minutes away. Here are some of our favorites.
- Palooza - Excellent comfort food and great staff. Closest to the cottage. When we heard they were going to specialize in craft beers on tap, we were surprised but it works! Turns out it is a great restaurant (don't miss the deviled eggs) that serves casual food like burgers and dogs and now Pizza! Service is always excellent and they do have a nice wine list. We seem to be going here a lot when we stay at the cottage. Nice outdoor area to eat also. Ping Pong, Pool, comedy acts, this is a fun place. Just added: full bar.
- Salt and Stone - Newest restaurant opened Dec 2017. Excellent menu, reasonable prices, good wine list and full bar. Owners came from a popular restaurant in Mendocino.
- TIPS - new place serving casual food at the end of the road. Full bar.
- Glen Ellen Inn - [currently closed but due to open Spring 2018 due to fires] an old favorite in Glen Ellen about 15 minutes away. Excellent mussels year round, extensive martini menu and full bar, great wine list. Reservations recommended (they are on OpenTable). Indoor/outdoor seating. We go here at least once a month.
- Glen Ellen Star - new hip place that recently expanded. Reservations required. Wood fired pizzas and a limited but excellent menu. Do not miss the wood roasted vegetables. You won't believe how awesome these are. Nice wine list. Small and can be noisy, but it is a "happening" place.
- Cafe Citti - ever watch "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" on Food Network? The host, Guy Fieri from nearby Santa Rosa, showcased this place and thus, it usually is busy. No corkage fee if you bring in a Sonoma wine. You order at the counter and then they serve you. Pizza during the week. Pastas all made to order with wonderful specials. They have a caesar salad with the most garlic ever: spicy, but you can't stop eating it! Note as of Fall 2020, they have relocated to Santa Rosa.
WHY KENWOOD COTTAGE?
The wineries, tasting rooms and restaurants above are all within cycling distance to the cottage (and we provide two bikes to use for free!). From the cottage, it is approximately one mile of nearly level riding (or walking) to reach the highway 12; once on the highway, it is 1/4 mile to the heart of Kenwood.
Sonoma has a lot to offer for the wine enthusiast, nature and outdoor types, and for those who just want a peaceful atmosphere with the wine country backdrop. The Kenwood Cottage allows you to explore it all, yet enjoy the seclusion of the canyon, creek-side setting.
We recommend visiting Sonomavalley.com (the area visitors bureau) for the location of additional places to visit and things to do here in Kenwood and the rest of Sonoma County.