There is so much to do and enjoy in Sonoma, and our family feels privileged to be part of a community so rich in history and in diversity of people, agriculture, and natural beauty. The venues below are extensions of our lives, and we are delighted to share both with our Club Tyge members.
Ramekins Culinary School and Inn
A short walk from Sonoma’s historic plaza, this energy- and water-conserving rammed-earth structure evokes a rustic yet elegant European destination. An antique limestone fountain burbles in the courtyard and French doors open into the great room, where oak-beamed vaulted ceilings frame an inviting fireplace. Here a cadre of chefs prepares fresh seasonal ingredients from our local gardens, not only for events, but for a wide variety of relaxed hands-on and demonstration classes as well. Six luxury suites appointed with French country antiques constitute our cozy inn at the heart of wine country.
The General’s Daughter
This handsome 1864 Victorian surrounded by gardens and fruit trees was the home of Natalia Vallejo, daughter of Mariano G. Vallejo, former commandante general of Alta California, and Attila Haraszthy, son of Agoston Haraszthy, considered the father of California viticulture. The General’s Daughter still stands within view of General Vallejo’s historic hacienda, Lachryma Montis (Tear of the Mountain), named for a vigorously flowing spring nearby. What better place for wine tasting and education?
A wine country marketplace with world-class shopping (including Chateau Sonoma), boutique wine rooms, and artisanal foods, Cornerstone is also a stunning showcase of walk-through gardens, an ever-changing gallery created by local and international landscape architects and designers. This combination of art, architecture, and nature, inspired by the International Garden Festival at Chaumont-Sur-Loire in France, presents a kaleidoscope of shapes, textures, colors, and moods. The newest addition is Sunset Magazine’s Test Kitchen and Gardens, consisting of five distinctive outdoor rooms.
Fifth Street Farm
Our source for fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruit for the chefs at Ramekins, this model organic farm is cultivated by Andrea Davis, master gardener. When longer, warmer days permit, the farm hosts Saturday Supper, a four-course meal with wine pairings served outdoors in the shadows of a charming 1875 Victorian farmhouse and barn, which houses our family’s captivating collection of Cuban art.
The Lodge at Anderson Ranch
Just south of the Sonoma Valley hamlet of Kenwood is the Anderson home ranch, a 75-acre property with a Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard and a luxury lodge. This two-story renovated barn, built of native redwood and fieldstone, is comparable in construction to author Jack London’s nearby Wolf House, gutted by fire in 1913. In addition to a tin bar room, great room with European fireplace, comfortable bedrooms, and a lovely patio with a fire pit made from an old Yankee Stadium boiler, the barn also contains Darius Anderson’s collection of London memorabilia, including numerous first editions, photographs, letters, possessions, and one-third of London’s extensive library.
Tyge William Vineyard
A mile up the road, several hundred feet higher than the lodge, the ten-acre Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard commands a view of the Oakland hills to the south and Sonoma Mountain to the west. Jack London grew up in Oakland and spent his last decade on Sonoma Mountain, in what is now Jack London State Historical Park. Fittingly, this vineyard was planted “in the style” of London by the Anderson’s neighbor, Keith Kunde, whose family has farmed here since London did, over a century ago. As the sun rises, the vine rows undulate in the light, draped across the hillside like wales of green corduroy. Overhead, a red-tailed hawk wheels and soars silently.
Wing & Barrel Ranch
At the southern border of Sonoma County, a stone’s throw from bay waters, Wing & Barrel Ranch sits amid hay fields, hard by wetlands laced with meandering sloughs. This juncture of earth and water teems with wildlife. In a field, perched on a fallen log, a resident golden eagle scans the landscape. The Ranch thoughtfully seeks to preserve a Western outdoor lifestyle. Despite its new, world-class sporting clays course, this is a place respectful of the past where, say, a lover of the land like Jack London would feel right at home, enjoying good food and drink after a satisfying day in the field.