Five Things to Do in Wine Country in June


Exciting new additions to Sonoma Valley, a modern burger joint with the best views of Downtown Napa and a fashionable Dive Bar to chill out in, these and more happening in Wine Country in June.

Sonoma Valley’s Brand New Look at Hamel Family Winery

Hamel Family Wines’ ultra-modern winery and tasting room leaps out from the Sonoma Valley hillside like a beacon. And up at the Estate House, the 5,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor hospitality space takes full advantage of the landscape with heart-stopping views of vineyards, native oaks, manzanitas and olive trees below. The focus on terroir is the Hamel family’s homage to the history and quality of wines made in this pristine region, and of the continuity of family stewardship. To produce the most expressive wines from their organically farmed vineyards, vintners George Jr. and Pam Hamel, and sons George III and winemaker John Hamel enlisted the talents of Martha McClellan and viticulturalist Phil Coturri.

Image Bruce Damonte Photography


The Estate House and state-of-the-art production facilities were designed by Gould Evans while Angela Free designed the interiors. The free-flowing hospitality areas are open and light-filled, with inviting seating and warm black walnut finishes.

Image Bruce Damonte Photography

The entire estate was designed for hospitality so stay tuned for multi-faceted experiences and lifestyle events coming soon. In the meantime, enjoy their classic Sonoma Valley wines, Cabernet Sauvignon blends, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc and a great Grenache-based rose.

Hamel Family Wines begins taking tasting reservations June 9 for opening mid-June. Regular hours will be daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 15401 Sonoma Highway, Sonoma.

Modern Look, Classic Tastes for Downtown Napa’s Exciting New Burger Joint

Photo A. Hanami

There’s something about al fresco dining that makes food taste better which makes BurgerFi the place to go for all-natural, real juicy burgers and hot dogs. Developer Steve Hasty converted the shuttered service garage into a modern, metal clad eatery with generous patios on two floors and views of historic Napa that can’t be beat. Situated right next to the national landmarked Semorile Building, the contrast is great, the message bold: the past and future thrive together in Downtown Napa. Steve and Johanna Hasty designed the exteriors while BurgerFi designed the interiors with their signature look.

Study in contrasts. Photo A. Hanami

Hasty gives a nod to the former service station in keeping the industrial look as well as the original garage bay openings, now covered by glass. The look of the 4,600 square feet of dining space is clean and green with tables and chairs made of recycled materials and room-size, energy-efficient Big Ass Fans circulating the breeze. Perforated metal siding and aluminum grate ceilings add to the airy feel of the brightly-lit interiors.

Photo A. Hanami

Dig in to the all-natural Angus beef burgers here and 100% Wagyu Kobe beef dogs, fries several ways and big, crispy onion rings, plus a tasty Quinoa burger. They also dish up a range of unique frozen custards, sundaes and shakes. BurgerFi will be serving cold beers and local wines. Open daily 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., until midnight Friday and Saturday. 967 First Street near Main, Downtown Napa.

Takin’ It to the Next Level at B.R. Cohn

Image courtesy B.R. Cohn


B.R. Cohn was built on the pillars of single-vineyard Olive Hill Estate Cabernet, gourmet olive oil and world renowned music. The next generation of Cohns continues the tradition but in a fresh new way with their first Summer Music Series ($40) featuring a diverse mix of Bay Area bands. The concerts take place once a month in the Olive Grove from 6-8 p.m. starting June 14 with Simple Creation’s reggae rock. Relaxing amidst 140-year-old Picholine olive trees with a beautiful view of Sonoma Valley is a perfect way to unwind after a day of touring Wine Country.

Wine and picnic baskets will be available for sale. My favorite wine there is the Olive Hill Vineyard Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. 15000 Sonoma Highway, Sonoma

Create Your Own Farm-to-Table Experiences at The Farmhouse Inn This Summer

Image courtesy Farmhouse Inn


Discover the best of Russian River Wine Country this summer with local Farmhouse Expeditions of the gardens and farms that provide the exquisite ingredients for the Michelin star restaurant at the Farmhouse Inn. Learn where the food comes from, how to prepare them, then feast. Get in the mood by staying in the stylish Barn Rooms at the inn then choose expert-led experiences such as peach Orchard to Jam, Summer Foraging, Egg Collecting and butchering with Duske Estes and John Stewart of local Zazu Restaurant. Costs vary. 7871 River Road, Forestville 

Be Cool at Bardessono’s Dive Bar in Yountville

Image courtesy Bardessono

Bardessono resumes its popular poolside Dive Bar on June 26 starting at 6 p.m. on the rooftop terrace. No ordinary bar, guests can sip specialty cocktails while watching a leisurely fashion show, this month, of Mia Marcelle swimwear and Kahoy Kollection’s very cool city eyewear made of bamboo or wood. Also on hand this month is Mary Orlin, WineFashionista, who wil pair Jessup wines with Sarah Horowitz perfume.

Image courtesy Kahoy Kollection

Bardessono’s Dive Bar takes place on the last Thursday of each month in June, July and August on the rooftop terrace from 6-8 p.m. 6526 Yount St. Yountville.

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