Adobe Road Winery is proud to call Petaluma, California home. The city’s vibrant culture, cool vibe and old world charm are within easy reach of San Francisco and Sacramento… Come visit Petaluma, “The Starting Line to Wine Country.”
Want to relax? Day trip the stylish way on the SMART Train. The train stops just a short walk to downtown and you’ll also find the Petaluma Visitors Center next door to the station. You can catch the SMART Train from points north and south of Petaluma, including near San Francisco and the handy trip planner makes planning a breeze.
To reach downtown Petaluma, take the E. Washington Street exit off of Highway 101 and head west. Make a left on Petaluma Blvd. Most parking is free, but you’ll have to be quick - spots are at a premium. Check out the parking structure located at C Street and 2nd Avenue, right in the heart of the downtown corridor.
Did you know Petaluma has a municipal airport? It’s open 24 hours each day, has a 24 hour fueling island for aircraft and can handle general aviation needs, including rental hangars. Check out the Two-Niner Diner which sources local ingredients. You’ll probably find a pilot or two at the counter.
You can also cycle, paddle, walk and run into town via a variety of trails, streets and waterways.
Once you’ve arrived downtown, you can pick up a walking map that provides a great lay of the land. Visit the Petaluma Visitors Center in the Historic Depot Building (210 Lakeville St.), at visitpetaluma.com or call 877.273.8258.
Just like Petaluma, this hotel is an oasis of old world charm and modern convenience, right in the heart of the downtown action. Check out the Hotel Petaluma website to book.
Petaluma is all about local flavor. It’s also one of California’s oldest cities, recently celebrating its 150th birthday. There is so much to see and do -- historic sites, culinary delights, arts and entertainment, the great outdoors and handcrafted wine. Come along with us as we explore some distinctly local treasures and activities, all linking up in our dynamic downtown.
If you’re looking for something that screams small town Americana, then look no further than the annual Salute to American Graffiti Festival. Make no mistake, this is a full-tilt tribute to the real stars of George Lucas’s 1973 classic film -- the ones with four wheels. Car culture is on rapt display as candy-colored hot rods cruise the streets of downtown Petaluma each May with a full three-day weekend of events for everyone, young and old, alike. The celebration revs up with the Jump Start Dinner, and includes photography contests, informal car shows, guest appearances by American Graffiti cast members and the classic downtown cruise, which takes in many of the best sights of the city along the very streets immortalized in the film. Many of the events are free. There’s nothing better than cruisin’ Petaluma in your Little Deuce Coupe.
This year marks the festival’s 13th anniversary: May 17, 18 and 19.
Did you know? American Graffiti isn’t the only Hollywood production that was filmed right here in our hometown. You might have seen a few of these films:
American Graffiti - 1973
Impulse - 1984
Peggy Sue Got Married - 1986
Howard the Duck - 1987
Basic Instinct - 1991
True Crime - 1999
At once a blues club, jazz joint, concert venue and much more, even the name harkens back to the days of yore. Originally built in 1911, the Mystic’s building was first home to a Vaudeville music hall. Its art deco design even landed the theater cameo turns in Hollywood movies like American Graffiti and Peggy Sue Got Married. Now, a few name changes later and after some renovating, the music scene at The Mystic is among the most vibrant you’re likely to find -- anywhere. The venue welcomes top acts and touring bands from across the country and has a steady clientele of eclectic concert-goers eager to see top notch bands play on the Mystic’s state of the art, ear-bleeding sound system. There’s even a pool table. And, since we’re talking about Petaluma, there are more than ample watering holes (including a pretty good bar on the premises) and eateries within stumbling distance.
Did you know? Petaluma’s Cinnabar Theater celebrated its 40th season recently and it’s the only venue in Sonoma County producing opera and live musical theater.
Petaluma is acclaimed as a Northern California foodie haven. Locals and visitors alike love to eat and Petaluma is certainly not wanting for world-class restaurants. It’s all here: locally owned casual eateries, food trucks and high-end steak houses.
You’ll find a couple of favorites within an easy stumble of The Mystic (and almost everything else downtown).
Central Market offers an inspired menu that changes almost daily, with fresh ingredients -- almost everything is made from scratch, in-house daily -- sourced from the restaurant’s own farm. Owner and chef Tony Najoila focuses the cuisine on rustic California fare and the place is hopping with a great mix of locals and visitors on any given night of the week. Whether you’re looking for oysters, a nosh with a glass of wine or a full-course dinner, count on finding it at Central Market. The restaurant boasts one of the best curated wine lists in town, with wonderful finds like under-the-radar gems from places like Greece, more traditional European choices and a keen eye toward local vintners. If you’re dining solo, no worries -- belly up to the friendly bar for an enjoyable evening of delicious food and delightful conversation with staff and locals.
At Wild Goat Bistro, you’ll find innovative locavore salads, seasonable small plates to share and Neapolitan style pizzas -- there’s something for everyone. Nearly everything on the menu is gluten-free and there is an extensive wine list focused on locally produced bottles. Tucked away in the Great Petaluma Mill, this bistro is a hidden treasure. With river-adjacent seating, a reclaimed copper bar and exposed brick walls -- the space was once a storage locker for a local butcher -- count on a delightful meal in a truly unique Petaluma space.
Discover Petaluma by water! Paddle the Petaluma River -- and the area’s waterways, bays, marshes and estuaries -- on a kayak, raft or paddleboard from Clavey Paddlesports. They even host a bioluminescence evening kayak tour. The folks at Clavey really make navigating the waterways fun -- and social -- and you can choose from a variety of excursions and tours. Stand-up paddleboarding is the fastest growing sport on the planet, and for good reason. It’s easy to learn, lively and entertaining, a great way to get some exercise and a wonderful way to see the region’s sights. Plus, you can SUP (that’s Stand Up Paddle) almost anywhere.
Did you know? Grab your bike and check out some of the area’s best scenery by running trails including the 45 kilometer Spring Hill - Chileno Valley trail. You’ll start and finish at downtown Petaluma’s Walnut Park.
Anytime is a great time to visit Adobe Road Winery -- after a paddle, bike ride, before a show or dinner or while taking a leisurely stroll around the downtown waterfront. Open seven days a week, the Kevin and Debra Buckler owned winery’s casual tasting room in the Great Petaluma Mill is conveniently located to just about everything in town, making it the perfect getaway for a relaxing glass of wine. Grab a seat at the bar or get cozy in the comfy chairs. Either way, you’re in for a treat as the knowledgeable staff lead you through classic and reserve tastings of Adobe Road’s award-winning wines, all sourced from premier vineyards in Sonoma (including the new hometown Petaluma Gap appellation) and Napa counties.
Downtown Petaluma is red hot and next year, Adobe Road -- one of the hottest boutique wineries in the country -- will expand with a $7 million, 15,000 square food destination facility right on the city’s beautiful waterfront. The new space at 1st and C streets will be home to the fast-growing winery operation and tasting room, featuring floor to ceiling glass doors opening to the river. Championship race car driver Kevin Buckler also helms The Racers Group and expect to see some cool race cars on display at the facility’s car museum. Add in lots of event space, a commercial kitchen, pizza oven and party deck and you can see why excitement is sizzling for this riverfront redevelopment project. Who knows? You just might be able to SUP right up to Adobe Road’s new tasting room.
Did you know: Wind, fog and phenomenal wine. That's the Petaluma Gap. And now, producers like Adobe Road will be able to take full advantage of the new Petaluma Gap American Vinticultural Area (AVA) in the windswept Sonoma Coast region. Foggy mornings, sunny days, windy afternoons and cool evenings provide optimal growing conditions for key varietals like pinot noir, chardonnay and syrah.
Wine to Try
Try one of our hometown Petaluma Gap grown wines: 2016 Pinot Noir, Sangiacomo Roberts Road Vineyard (92 points, Wine Spectator).
Mark and Sheila Farmer's story is as much about passion as it is about growing incredible grapes. They packed up their bags in Minnesota a few years ago and made the trek to the rolling hills and vineyards of California to follow their dreams -- dreams they'd had for over a decade. They've worked hard to turn those dreams into reality.
Wine lovers through and through, Mark has a story he likes to tell about another famous Minnesotan with some winemaking pedigree. “You might not know that a guy from Minnesota put Napa and California wine in general on the world’s wine map,” he says proudly. “He’s one of the most influential names in wine -- Robert Mondavi from Virginia, Minnesota.” He laughs. “Beware of Minnesotans!”
Mark and Sheila purchased what used to be called Kemp Vineyard and renamed it Famighetti Vineyards in honor of Mark’s dad. They continue to grow the flavorful grapes that Adobe Road Winery sources to make award-winning zinfandel, syrah, grenache and viognier. Famighetti represents some of the area’s great terroirs. The property itself is quite dramatic, with its sweeping vistas, old-growth trees, vines for years and tree house, overlooking it all high above one of Sonoma County’s wine meccas, Healdsburg.
Zinfandel as we know it, is grown predominantly in California, having made its way to the state during the Gold Rush in the 1850s. The variety is grown in over 10 percent of California’s vineyards and only cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir are planted in more abundance. These days, the popularity of the grape is no surprise given its versatility and renowned ability to pair well with a wide variety of foods. “I really love zinfandel,” Mark says. “It can be a big, rich, ripe, high alcohol red wine with higher tannins, or it can be made to be light and fruity. I like both, depending on the situation. For me, zinfandel is a good alternative to cabernet because I really like its ability to deliver spicy, smoky flavors.”
On any given day, you’ll see the couple decked out in their dirt farming duds -- worn jeans and boots -- lovingly working the land. It’s all hands on here at Famighetti. Elsa, Mark and Sheila’s trusting vineyard dog, completes the picture.
Farmer was first introduced to zinfandel by his uncle Tom Maple, who with his wife Tina, cultivate 26 acres of prime benchtop land in Dry Creek. “Uncle Tom’s passion for zin rubbed off on me and inspired me to not only drink fine zinfandel wines, but to pursue growing this grape.” Mark and Sheila acquired Famighetti Vineyards in 2015.
Mark and Sheila picked the perfect “zin” spot; the jewel in the zinfandel crown. Dry Creek Valley is known for being one of the best places on earth to grow zinfandel. Famighetti’s vines -- all 2,500 of them -- are grown on a sharp slope, at an elevation of almost 1,000 feet above sea level. “We have this very steep, bowl-shaped terrace cut into the mountainside. There aren’t many vineyards like it. So, we get a few microclimates that produce really great fruit. The vines tend to retain the heat throughout the day, getting a little extra warmth and this makes the grapes thrive.” There are even a few Primitivo vines scattered around the vineyard, which add to the unique flavors produced from the fruit.”
The Farmers’ relationship with Adobe Road goes back over 10 years. “Adobe Road does a great job with our fruit, getting the most out of all four varietals we grow here and this has been reflected in many high ratings and awards.” Adobe Road’s 2015 Zinfandel -- the first vintage from Famighetti -- just scored an outstanding 91 points from Wine Spectator (May, 2018 issue). “The winemaker, Garrett Martin, is great to work with and he spends a lot of time in the vineyard with me, making decisions on how to keep improving things. It’s a great partnership.”
That 2015 zinfandel crop -- the Farmers’ first -- was very challenging. “We were in the fifth year of a drought, so there was a lot of heat,” Farmer remembers. “I think generally, the zin crop was down about 40% that year and there were quite a few temps that reached 105 degrees, too. When the berries were picked, they were close to being shriveled and the brix was high. But despite all of the challenges, we ended up making a really good wine.”
Garrett Martin agrees. “We had some bad weather during flowering, too. 2015 was a challenging year, that’s for sure. It’s the great partnership between grower, winemaker and winery that makes the fruit the very best it can be.”
Wine to Try
The 2015 Adobe Road Zinfandel is packed full of blue and black fruits, fresh and vibrant. Cinnamon and baking spices play in the middle with a rich mouthfeel and details of cracked black peppercorns and licorice.
Adobe Road Winery brought world-class wines to Cordillera Ranch last week for an exclusive winemaker dinner, part of an ongoing series of high end entertainment and corporate for which the winery is well-known. Located right in the heart of Texas Hill Country among 14,000 square miles of rolling hills northwest of San Antonio and southwest of Austin, Cordillera Ranch’s 8,200 acres offer luxurious living and plenty of outdoor activity (including a signature Jack Nicklaus golf course) in a planned community that reflects the rustic beauty of the region, just a stone’s throw away from San Antonio’s bustling riverfront corridor.
Guests were guided through an elevated tasting experience and exploration of six of Adobe Road’s outstanding wines by founder Kevin Buckler. Each wine was perfectly paired with Cordillera Ranch Executive Chef Isaac Cantu’s inspired cuisine.
The event was the perfect coda to a weekend of racing as sister company The Racers Group and drivers Derek DeBoer and Sean Gibbons tackled a very competitive season-opening Pirelli World Challenge SprintX GTS field at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas. DeBoer made a star turn at the Cordillera event, along with two of TRG’s race cars -- the #66 Porsche Cayman GT4 M4 (the SprintX challenger at COTA) and the Aston Martin GT4 show car -- arriving in style in one of team’s huge race transporters.
Some of the team’s VIP friends and partners including Len Musgrove, Jeff Thompson (Wells Fargo Private Bank) and executives from Armor were among the over 100 guests who thoroughly enjoyed an unforgettable evening in the Texas hills.
Butter Poached East Coast Lobster
2016 Sauvignon Blanc; 2014 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Bacigalupi Vineyard (90 points, Wine Spectator)
Mesquite Smoked Heritage Lamb Minted Cornettes
2012 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley; 2016 Redline (90 points, Wine Spectator)
Akaushi Braised Short Rib Crisped Black Truffle Croquette
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Rutherford; 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Rutherford, Beckstoffer Vineyard (94 points, Wine Spectator)
HeartBrand “Texas Style” Beef Wellington
Applewood Bacon Yukon Gold Potato Hash
Pan Seared Diver Scallops
Roasted Poblano Charred Corn “Mac n Cheese”
Heirloom Tomato Green Salad
Misterio Chocolate Bavarois
“Speed 151” Bananas Foster
Butter Pecan Cookie Dough Ice Cream