Posted in Blogging Marin on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 by MCVB Staff
By Whitney Butler
The art of fine wine and dining in Marin County is all about slowing down to appreciate nature’s bounty around a table or in the field and from a bottle.
Marin’s cool coastal breezes, rich soil and various terrains are home to many family-owned wineries and vineyards that supply grapes to well-known vintners throughout Marin, Sonoma, Napa and beyond. These regional wines inspire chefs, restaurants and various artisans to create edible offerings just as delicious.
For everything from distinctive restaurants with curated wine lists to special tours and unique, family-owned wineries, check out these wine and dining destinations on your trip to Marin County.
To get a clear picture of just how diverse the wines of Marin County are, visitors shouldn’t miss a chance to explore Heidrun Meadery in Point Reyes Station.
A meadery is a winery that produces honey wines or meads. At Heidrun Meadery, naturally sparkling varietals are produced using the traditional French méthode champenoise—a Champagne-style of mead that is light, dry, delicate and refreshing. The meadery’s location, just across the Golden Gate Bridge, is rich in biodiversity, providing superior botanicals for the bees to harvest and convert into honey. Visitors can enjoy a tour of the meadery, flight tastings or a picnic in the garden.
Blending wine and weekly live entertainment, Trek Winery in Novato offers tasting-room visitors a chance to sip and sample music and comedic performances by Bay Area favorites. Since 2007, this family-owned winery has been producing quality, affordable wines—receiving wide recognition throughout the community, including Best Local Winery (2014) awarded by Marin’s Pacific Sun.
Italian flavors are the perfect accompaniment to the regional wines you’ll discover at Mill Valley’s Frantoio Ristorante. Elegant and simply dressed ingredients are outdone only by the impressive wine list, which highlights wines from both Italy and California—both have similar Mediterranean climates. From the Russian River Valley and Napa to Sonoma and Santa Ynez, you can explore many of California’s finest from a curated selection of California’s red wines. Traditional Italian fare like beef carpaccio, handmade potato gnocchi and poached wild king salmon are artfully prepared with local ingredients. Frantoio is also famous for making its own olive oil, which it serves with traditional crusty bread.
For a quick bite while on the wine trail, stop in during happy hour every Monday through Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Pull up a stool, relax and sample the local flavors, as well as authentic Italian hospitality.
Wildfox Restaurant in Novato features American cuisine in a casual setting that’s great for large parties or families with children—without sacrificing a robust selection of regional wines. The open-flame-style cooking of steaks, chops and fresh seafood produces unique mesquite flavors for lunch and dinner. Enjoy select meat and poultry courses, such as braised beef short ribs, filet mignon and free-range rotisserie chicken. The curated wine list is almost exclusively focused on California wines, particularly wines from Napa, Sonoma and the Central Coast.
Enjoy happy hour every day from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the bar and lounge, or on the patio. Sample several sharing plates and pizzas at half-off and reduced prices on select wines.
The kitchen at San Rafael’s Vin Antico is on display—open to the dining area for guests to observe the creative process behind farm-to-table fare. Chefs Mike Polite and Troy Mullen are enthusiastic about cooking with locally sourced produce, organic meats and sustainable seafood. This distinctive style of cuisine is wholesome and delicious, approachable and comforting. In addition to exceptional food service, guests can explore a handpicked wine list featuring local and regional wines that pair beautifully with the fresh flavors of the food.
Learn about wine and food pairings on a professionally curated tasting tour of Marin’s local wines with West Marin Food and Farm Tours. There are several tours to choose from, including the Wine and Cheese Tour and Flavors of West Marin Tour.
Another way to explore Marin’s wine scene is on a specially curated tour of the farms, dairies, ranches and wineries hidden throughout the west countryside of Marin. Taste Marin Tours offers exclusive and luxury services, including package tours for small groups. Take a private car or limo and make your way through the back roads of Marin, through Sonoma and into Napa County. Make it a day trip or a weekend escape; each tour is customized to your preferences and interest.
For all you need to plan your Marin County vacation, visit the Marin Convention & Visitors Bureau’s website
More information on featured attractions:
Come experience Trek Winery located in downtown Novato. Taste our distinctive, yet affordable wines in a comfortable indoor or outdoor setting with friendly and knowledgeable tasting room staff.
Adjacent to Best Western Novato Oaks Inn, Wildfox Restaurant specializes in American comfort food cooked “with a twist." The Wildfox features a wood fired pizza oven, mesquite grill...[Learn More]