Sebastopol Is the Wine Country Getaway Your Friends Don’t Know About Yet
With far fewer crowds than Napa and just as much charm as Healdsburg, Sebastopol is Wine Country’s hidden gem. The small Sonoma County town was historically filled with apple orchards (the main thoroughfare is even called Gravenstein Highway) but is now dominated by grapevines, and the cooler climate means you’ll find plenty of pinot noir and chardonnay. Check out our guide for everything to taste, eat and do…and earn bragging rights for being the first to show your friends.
Start the day at Iron Horse’s rustic outdoor bar. Toast your trip with a glass of bubbly from the winery’s hilltop location overlooking miles of vineyards below. Follow that up with a fancy mid-morning wine-and-cheese pairing at Paul Hobbs Winery. Then play a round of bocce while you sip rosé at Taft Street Winery, housed in the barn of an old apple-processing facility. Finally, mix it up at Horse & Plow, which offers flights of wine and cider.
A trip to Sebastopol isn’t complete without a stop at The Barlow, a multiuse complex with tasting rooms, restaurants, shops and artist studios. Pick up a signature melt from The Farmer’s Wife (we’re partial to the honey lavender bacon and farm egg) on your way in and then sip a low-ABV cocktail from Fern Bar during aperitivo hour (4 to 5 p.m.) on your way out. Stay for dinner or head over to Handline for fresh Cal-Mex fare in a former Fosters Freeze.
Antiquing is a must in Sebastopol. Make like Chip and Jo at Antique Society, a vintage mecca that houses 125-plus dealers under one roof in an Art Deco building at the heart of antique row. Then take a break from wine tasting and sample single-source honeys instead at Beekind, while browsing apothecary products and candles made from local beeswax.
Splurge on an overnight stay at Farmhouse Inn in the neighboring town of Forestville. The former—you guessed it—farmhouse boasts well-appointed rooms complete with feather beds and fireplaces, plus a gorgeous spa and a Michelin-starred restaurant. For a more rustic retreat nestled in the woods, book the WineBerry Lodge, which has a manicured backyard, hot tub and outdoor kitchen to die for.