Today I am sharing highlights from a recent Wine Country Bloggers Brunch in Santa Rosa.
Meeting this group of local bloggers and influencers was one of the highlights of my summer. It’s so refreshing to hang out with fellow bloggers and Instagrammers. We don’t think it’s rude or weird to style your plate of food then take dozens of photos of it or have long conversations about hashtags.
Our group is a mix of fashion and lifestyle bloggers, Instagrammers, parenting bloggers and freelance writers. Our ages range from early 20s to almost 50 (me!). Some of us work from home and blog full-time and some have careers outside of blogging. It’s a fun, interesting and lively bunch and I am so glad we have become friends.
Our first get together was in Napa Valley in July. We had such a fantastic time we decided to make it a regular occurrence and got to work planning the next one, this time we decided to brunch in Sonoma County.
Founder of Wine Country Mom’s Blog, Randi Cornwall and I planned this most recent event which took place in Santa Rosa, the urban center of Sonoma County and the largest California city north of San Francisco.
Getting Beautified at Ritual Salon + Style Bar
Ritual Salon + Style Bar in Santa Rosa treated our group to a pampering and beautifying salon service. We were offered a blow out or makeup application. With my long thick hair, I always say yet to having my hair washed and styled.
Marla at Ritual Salon did just that! She is talented and styled my hair just the way I wanted. I adored the beautiful curls she created for me.
I love the atmosphere at Ritual. It’s beautifully designed – modern but still warm and inviting with great lighting and a chic vibe. The stylists were all welcoming and friendly. Our group had a wonderful time getting glammed up.
Ritual Salon + Style Bar is located at 480 Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa. Visit their website or call (707) 890-5546 to book your appointment.
Brunch at Bird & the Bottle
Feeling confident and looking good, we were ready to head to brunch. We’d be brunching a few blocks away from Ritual Salon at Bird & The Bottle.
Bird and The Bottle has been open for a little over a year and was voted “Best New Local Restaurant” by readers of North Bay newspaper, the Press Democrat. One month ago they introduced brunch and it’s quickly become one of the most popular brunch spots in town.
Bird & The Bottle is a fusion restaurant and has a unique take on the traditional brunch fare. They combine traditional Jewish comfort food with Korean cuisine making for a tasty food adventure. Instead of your usual waffle and fried chicken, for example, Bird & The Bottle serves a kimchi pancake with chicken nuggets and Korean BBQ sauce.
I ordered the Spicy Tuna Poke and it was so delicious! It came with marinated cucumbers, spicy mayo, nori, radishes and served over a delectable bed of buttered rice. It was filling but not too heavy, ideal for our eventful day.
Their handcrafted cocktail menu is hard to resist. I love the creative drink choices Bird & The Bottle offers and the names, like Dirty Dilbert and Oye Vay, are great conversation starters. Their kimchi bloody mary even comes with a chicken wing!
The decor is stylish and comfortable. It’s easy to tell the building was originally a private home and Bird & The Bottle retained the homey feel throughout. We enjoyed our brunch in a private dining room reserved for large parties and had excellent service, delicious food and drinks.
I highly recommend Bird and The Bottle. I will be back!
Bird and the Bottle is located at 1055 4th St in Santa Rosa. Visit their website or call (707) 586-4000 for more information.
Artful Wine Tasting Paradise Ridge Winery
After brunch we were off to Paradise Ridge Winery, a family owned and operated winery located in the hills in Santa Rosa’s Fountaingrove neighborhood. This 156-acre property opened its doors in 1994 by owners Walter and Marijke Byck. Today is it co-owned by their children, brother and sister Rene Byck and Sonia Byck-Barwick.
Rene met us near the two-story “LOVE” sculpture in one of their art installation areas found throughout the property. Art is a big part of the experience at Paradise Ridge Winery. From giant, elaborate metal sculptures to landscape paintings, Paradise Ridge is a treat for any art lover.
After Rene gave us a tour of property, we sat down to a wine and cheese pairing on the veranda. The local cheeses were carefully selected to enhance and compliment the wines. A delicious dollop of local jams added yet another flavor profile to the tasting. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience and am impressed with the quality of the wines we tasted.
There is so much to do at Paradise Ridge in addition to wine tasting. Wine club members can reserve picnics on the property, there are self-guided walking tours, and a historical exhibit in the tasting room tells the story of Kanaye Nagasawa, a Japanese samurai turned winemaker who came to Santa Rosa in 1875. Or take in the panoramic views of Santa Rosa and Russian River Valley. There are many outdoor spaces in which to enjoy the views as well as plenty of beautiful indoor areas as well. It’s no surprise Paradise Ridge is a much sought after wedding venue.
Paradise Ridge Winery is located at 4545 Thomas Lake Harris Drive, Santa Rosa. For more information call (707) 528-9463 or visit their website.
Spoiled with Swag
Several generous local businesses made sure we went home with lots of goodies!
Visit Santa Rosa, the Santa Rosa tourism office, not only gave us some great swag but helped connect us toParadise Ridge Winery.
The green luggage tag will definitely be coming with me on my future travels. And I’ve already put the coaster and wine glass to work.
Plastic Surgery Associates gave each of us a Colorescience lipgloss. I love the neutral color and it has 35 SPF to protect lips from sun damage.
Elizabeth Wilmore Designs gave each blogger a Healdsburg necklace…
that can also be worn as a wrap bracelet like Cat is wearing here.
Coppola Winery gave us each a can of Sofia sparkling wine which comes with its own little straw. And Sift Dessert Bar delivered fresh cookies to our brunch. You may recognize Sift as winners of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars in 2011.
Sift sent us two flavors of their Whoopie Cookies. The Sugar Whoopie I managed to take home with me but the OG Oreo cookie I gobbled up!
Thank you to all the businesses for your generous gifts!
Wine Country Bloggers and Influencers
I’d like to introduce the wine country bloggers and influencers who attended the Santa Rosa event. Be sure to visit their blogs and/or Instagram accounts. They are a stylish and talented bunch!
Randi is the founder of Wine Country Mom’s Blog and mother of three who is a Sonoma Country native.
Mallory, left, and Katie, right, are both Napa Valley bloggers. Mallory is a native of Napa and Katie moved to wine country several months ago from Atlanta, Georgia. Mallory’s blog, Vineliving, focuses on wineries, wine country fashion and lifestyle and Katie, who just had her third child, writes a motherhood and lifestyle blog called Typical Katie.
You may already know Malia of Style by Malia, a friend of mine for a few years now. Malia lives with her husband in Santa Rosa and is a stylist, motivational speaker and writer.
Thank you to Ritual Salon, Bird & The Bottle and Paradise Ridge Winery for hosting our group! And a big thank you to Kellen Lehman for spending the day with us and taking our photos.
We’re already talking about our next wine country adventure and hope to make this a regular meet up for a long time to come!
Disclosure: Our visit to Santa Rosa was sponsored. All opinions expressed here are, as always, my own.