The delicious art of fermentation and distilling are in full flower in Petaluma. It’s only natural that a town known for its deep agricultural roots would craft libations that pair perfectly with great food, beautiful scenery and a welcoming spirit.
While Petaluma’s wine, beer and spirits are recognized as some of the best in Sonoma County and beyond, there’s one ingredient that you won’t find in them…pretentiousness. Petaluma offers tasting experiences that are all about authenticity whether it’s tasting Petaluma Gap pinot noir in an intimate downtown wine bar, chatting with the owner of a small batch gin distillery, or learning how Lagunitas – now the ninth largest brewing company – began on a kitchen stove more than 20 years ago. Experienced or novice, everyone’s welcome in Petaluma.
WINE TASTING IN PETALUMA
Top-quality grapes have been sourced from the Petaluma area by famous wine-makers for more than 150 years. The opening in the coastal mountains, or gap, draws wind and fog from the Pacific through Petaluma, eventually reaching the Bay. The daily temperature can vary as much as 50 degrees allowing wine grapes to ripen later and reach their full flavor potential. This geographic feature allows the more than 70 growers in the region to produce high quality Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and cool climate Syrah, which they sell to over 80 wineries in other parts of Sonoma and Napa counties. If these are some of your favorite varietals, be sure and plan your trip to include The Petaluma Gap wineries in your itinerary.
Wine this good deserves its own designation! So the Petaluma Gap producers have joined forces to undertake the intensive process to break away from the Sonoma Coast AVA and become their own AVA. News that they have been approved as an AVA could come at any time.
Petaluma Gap growers are dedicated to farming sustainably, and many are devoted to organic viticulture. Many of these farmers sell their grapes to some of Sonoma County’s finest wineries including: Keller Estate Winery, Guarachi Family Wines, deLoach Vineyards, Flowers Vineyard and Winery, Hart’s Desire Wines, Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates, Kosta-Browne Winery, Landmark Vineyards, Loxton Cellars, Sojourn Cellars, Schramsberg Vineyards, and Zepaltas Wines.
Plan a trip to one of Petaluma’s intimate tasting rooms to experience one of their award-winning wines, ports, brandies, whiskeys, and bourbons.
BREWERY TASTING IN PETALUMA
Combining passion, creativity and some amazing ingredients, Petaluma’s breweries are a destination for aficionados of hand-crafted ales. Whether you choose to visit tap rooms in the “Maker Alley” district of northeast Petaluma or stroll historic downtown, delicious discoveries await.
There’s an argument to be made that the craft brewing movement started in Petaluma. Perhaps…but there’s no doubt that something special started when Lagunitas set up shop more than 20 years ago. Today, Lagunitas brews are enjoyed worldwide, making touring their brewery and sampling their latest release a must for every craft beer lover.
Lagunitas is just the beginning. Across the street you’ll find 101 North Brewing who put their heart and soul…and some amazing ingredients into their beer. Stop in for intriguing brews like Stigmata American Red Rye Ale and their flagship Heroine IPA. In downtown Petaluma, Dempsey’s Restaurant and Brewery, Sonoma County’s oldest brewery, serves great pub food and brews on their patio by the river.
SPIRITS TASTING IN PETALUMA
Petaluma loves welcoming visitors to Wine Country…and more recently, gin, whiskey and vodka country. Family-owned distilleries blend their independent spirit with a deep appreciation for traditional techniques. The result is small batch spirits with handmade authenticity and unparalleled complexity.
Some people are purists when it comes to sampling spirits; others enjoy their libation in a cocktail. Either way, the perfect moment awaits you when you take the first sip, sit back and say, “aaah…that’s good!” at one of Petaluma’s intimate tasting rooms serving hand-crafted spirits.