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Benefield: Weird (required) booze boundary dropped at popular Santa Rosa food park

in Community/Drinks

To some, it might be a small change; a sign removed.

But the sign had four exclamation points and it was taken seriously: “No alcoholic beverages beyond this point!!!!”

So when the sign came down, there was a certain amount of celebration in some circles.

No longer is there a line of demarcation in the middle of the wildly popular Mitote Food Park delineating where customers can drink a beer and where they cannot.

The folks at the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the agency that required Mitote have the odd booze boundary, dropped that requirement last week.

“We are excited,” Mitote operations manager Al Lerma said.

Continue Reading on The Press Democrat

20 Great Places to Drink Wine in Sonoma County, California

in Drinks

As a San Francisco resident, I’m lucky enough to live within driving distance of many incredible wine-growing regions. But when I want to spend a day (or even weekend) tasting wine among the vines, more often than not I head to Sonoma County’s wine country. The 1,575-square-mile county is home to world-renowned wine and Michelin-starred restaurants, yet its laid-back vibe is perfect for ambling along a dirt road flanked by farms or cruising down a windy, redwood-lined highway as you drive to your next tasting.

Compared to neighboring Napa Valley, Sonoma wine country is varied, expansive, and spread out, with 18 distinct AVAs and dozens of detour-worthy small towns (including Healdsburg, Sebastopol, Guerneville, Glen Ellen, and Sonoma) within its bounds. This range is part of the fun: At a single winery, you might sample a pinot noir grown along the region’s foggy coast, followed by a robust zinfandel from further inland. But it also means you’ll want to pay attention to location if you plan to schedule more than one tasting—which we highly recommend you do.

Whether you want to taste some of the region’s best wines guided by an experienced sommelier or simply open a bottle and picnic among the vineyards, these are 20 of our favorite places to drink wine in Sonoma County.

Continue Reading on AFAR

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