Three Things to Do in Wine Country in May


Stunning Sonoma home tours with an architects POV, an epic Cabernet and food pairing event in HALL Wines’ new outdoor sculpture garden and a revealing wine tasting in Monterey’s Santa Lucia Highlands, all happening in Wine Country in May.

Discover the latest in Wine Country design from the architect’s perspective during the AIA Sonoma Living: Home Tours

AIA San Francisco and AIA Redwood Empire are holding their first Sonoma Living: Home Tours this Saturday May 10 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. featuring gorgeous new residences in Petaluma, Sonoma, Kenwood and Windsor. During these self-guided tours, enthusiasts and professionals alike will have the opportunity to meet the respective Bay Area design teams to explore the latest trends, design solutions and green approaches that inspire the Wine Country lifestyle.

Hupomone Ranch. Photo by David Wakely


This barn-style LEED Platinum home designed by Turnbull Griffin Haesloop blends perfectly in the pastoral hills west of Petaluma. Visitors will also be inspired by the integration of the home within the landscape designed by Lutsko Associates including several outdoor living areas and native plantings. Erin Martin designed the interiors.

Hydeaway House. Photo by Matthew Millman

Showing the diverse range of home styles on the tour, this 1,900 square foot “Hydeaway” designed by Schwartz and Architecture shows how a simple box style floor plan can be adapted to maximize a sense of space and the Wine Country experience.

General admission is $85 pp or $70 for AIA members, available for purchase online ending May 9 at 3 p.m., or in-person on the day of, in both cases for pick-up at the tour headquarters in Petaluma May 10 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Monkey Ranch, 5223 Red Hill Road, Petaluma. Tickets can also be picked up in advance at AIA SF offices at 130 Sutter St., Suite 600 until 5 p.m. Friday May 9.


Sanaa, 2013 by Jaume Plensa (1955, Barcelona, Spain). Photo courtesy HALL Wines


Enjoy the outdoors with great food, wine and eye-popping sculpture at HALL Wines Cabernet Cookoff

There are now three great reasons to attend the 5th annual HALL Wines Cabernet Cookoff ($65 pp) Sunday May 18 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.: great food and wine, 100% donation to local charities; and now, an even greater setting on the landscaped lawn and gardens of the new Visitors Center filled with world-class modern sculptures. Fifteen top Napa Valley and SF chefs vie for the best food and HALL Napa Valley Cabernet pairings in both a professional and People’s Choice judging, with the ultimate winners being the charities and happy fest-goers. Last year’s event drew nearly 500 foodies and raised $30,000 for local charities. Check out all the great competing chefs here on the website. 401 St. Helena Hwy S, St. Helena.


Photo courtesy Mer Soleil Winery

Discover a hidden gem of Monterey Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the Santa Lucia Highlands

Dig into a lesser-known region of Monterey County during the 8th annual Santa Lucia Highlands Gala on May 17th at Mer Soleil Winery in Salinas. The exploration of unique terroirs on the Santa Lucia mountain range begins with either a morning seminar led by Master Sommelier Fred Dame followed by library tasting, or a choice of in-depth vineyard tours including tasting and bites. In the afternoon, sample wines of over 30 vintners at the grand tasting. All-day VIP pass including early admission to the grand tasting $150 pp, or $85 pp for the grand tasting from 1-4 p.m. A portion of the proceeds go to Rancho Cielo Drummond Culinary Academy which helps at-risk youth pursue careers in food service. Mer Soleil Winery, 1290 River Road, Salinas.

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