When lifelong friends Chris Medlock James and Ames Morison arrived at the rolling pastures and manzanita trees of Bell Mountain Vineyard?heralded as a ?near definition of utopia? by Food & Wine magazine?they knew instantly that this was the spot. The pair came to the decision after two years of scouring Sonoma County for the ideal property to start their own wine estate on?that was in 1998. Today, Chris and Ames have their grape-emblazoned flag firmly planted in Sonoma County's wine culture. They've done so by using a completely holistic approach to winemaking?one they believe reflects the beauty of their land and that relies solely on organic farming and solar power. Their philosophy even carries over to their method of pest control, which uses corridors instead of high fences, allowing nuisance animals such as wild pigs and deer to pass through certain spots in the vineyard without harming the fruit, the guests, or themselves. In the same nature-loving vein, Chris and Ames rely on barn owls and hawks to hunt rodents.
With 320 total acres at its disposal, Medlock Ames takes up only 56 with vineyards, leaving the rest for oaks and flowers to grow freely. Upon this portion of the land, Chris and Ames begin their small-production process, which continues inside their custom-built winery with gentle gravity-flow techniques and natural yeast fermentation. The process yields a wide range of high-quality artisan wines, from chardonnay and sauvignon blanc to merlot and cabernet sauvignon. The duo makes the fruits of their labor available in their nearby tasting room, as well as during wine-tasting experiences and tours of their production facility at Bell Mountain Ranch, available for Wine Club members only.
To enliven the local, organic produce that fills his kitchen, Chef Vinay Patel welcomes monthly shipments of spices from India, such as turmeric, fenugreek, ginger, and cardamom. After seasoning his meats, he lowers them into a clay tandoor to cook over handpicked, hardwood mesquite charcoal. For all the effort that goes into each chicken dish, curry, and biryani, the Bohemian has awarded Sizzling Tandoor Indian Restaurant its Best Indian award for 22 years running.
The dishes sprawl from traditional entrees to Northern and Southern Indian specialties and Indo-Chinese fusion dishes. Chefs also tandoor-fire nearly a dozen types of bread, including naan, paratha, and gluten-free and vegan missi roti to sop up sauces. Rather than placing a miniature fire extinguisher at each table, chefs calibrate each dish's spiciness from mild to hot.
As diners expand the depth of their palate, an Indian ambiance envelops their body. At the Santa Rosa location, live belly dancers charm and entertain on Friday and Saturday night, and live musicians stop by for events such as Samosas and Sitar. While watching, guests can nurse Indian beers and specialty cocktails including the Sizzling Sunset, which ups the ante of traditional mango lassi with vodka.
With a stay at Timber Cove Inn in Jenner, you'll be by the ocean and close to Fort Ross. This hotel is within the vicinity of Hauser Bridge and Sentinel Rock.
Make yourself at home in one of the 49 air-conditioned rooms featuring iPod docking stations and flat-panel televisions. Rooms have private furnished balconies. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and cable programming is available for your entertainment. Conveniences include coffee/tea makers, and rollaway/extra beds can be requested.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Take advantage of recreation opportunities such as a fitness facility, or other amenities including complimentary wireless Internet access and gift shops/newsstands.
Grab a bite to eat at the hotel's restaurant, which features a bar, or stay in and take advantage of room service (during limited hours). At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.
Business, Other Amenities
Free self parking is available onsite.
Kin owners Brad Barmore and JC Adams champion the flavors of approachable cuisine with entrees such as grandma’s pot roast and herb-roasted chicken. They enhance hearty dishes with local ingredients, braising grass-fed chuck roast in Moylan’s beer, for instance, and stirring Point Reyes toma cheese into housemade mac ’n’ cheese. There’s also an ample selection of draft beers and local wines.
Kin, which is situated in downtown Windsor, affords diners views of the lush town green from a covered patio. Inside the simple dining room, brick arches and polished wood accents abound. Still, even with all of this cozy luxury, Kin remains a true family-friendly restaurant—a place where actual thought is put into the kids’ menu. Instead of the standard spaghetti and meatballs, the menu tempts small appetites with cheeseburger sliders and grilled chicken with risotto. It even comes folded up like a paper fortune teller that not only tells kids what to order but also if they’re going to marry an astronaut or a hedge-fund manager.
The jars of hand-packed, loose-leaf teas lining the shelves of Mr. Trombly's Tea blossom with the fruits of countless orchards and wildflower fields. Mangos mingle with pineapple, orange, tangerine, and strawberries to create citrusy sips, and chamomile, peppermint, and marigold blossoms charm upset stomachs from the herbal section. Alongside black-, green-, and white-tea varieties, the steeping emporium also vends a roster of oolong teas imported from Asia. In the interest of rich and uncorrupted brews, the staff never mixes artificial flavors in with the plants. They also give customers control over their Tea of the Month Club deliveries—members can mix and match their own preferred bags for delivery, unlike with other tea of the month clubs, which only send out shredded calendar pages.
Signature Service: Cooking classes
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 2?4 hours
Pro Tip: Cooking can be a bit messy, please dress accordingly. Bring your preferred cutlery, if desired.
Do you or your staff have any special certifications or degrees?
I hold a French Culinary Degree from Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon, and a Master Cake Decorator certificate from Wilton Chicago.
What's one tip for first-time customers that will make them feel like regulars?
We will enjoy many hand-made samples and tastings throughout the day, yet please do not come to class overly hungry.
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
My inspiration came from growing up on a small farm with my mom and dad cooking us farm-to-table meals every day. I love food. My passion for cooking for others and creating joy with my food revealed itself while I was a firefighter. I love nurturing people from within. I have learned that good food can be our greatest medicine. Life is delicious, and our food can be as well.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
We take pride in cooking and teaching with local, sustainable, seasonal, organic, and healthy foods whenever and wherever possible, while always balancing flavor, nutrition, and the pure enjoyment of eating. My culinary training is vast and well-rounded, from pastries and baking to cuisines from all around the world, from wild to domestic meats to tofu and tempeh. We love catering to specific diets, such as diabetic-friendly, vegan, gluten-free, and more.