Bohemian Highway Travel Co.

Bohemian Highway Travel Co. is a company inspired by the actual Bohemian Highway that winds through the vineyards, orchards, and dairy pastures of western Sonoma County. The spirit of the highway is rooted in adventure and exploration, and Bohemian Highway Travel Co. guides you through your discovery of local hidden gems slightly off the beaten path. Their local expertise in beer, cider, wine, food, and Sonoma County, make them the perfect place to start expanding your knowledge of world famous wine country. 

Bohemian Highway Travel Co. is the perfect company to partner up with for a Father's Day gift- whether you are old enough to enjoy a tour with your dad, or you and the hubs need a day away of celebrating parenthood without the kids, this is the perfect gift. The team at Bohemian Highway can customize their tours for just about any interest- wine, beer, cider, coastal cuisine, zip line tours or mountain biking, you name it. Our team here at ASL decided a beer and cider tour would be a fun break from our normal wine routine (and perfect for Father's Day), and Bohemian Highway Travel Co. planned us an awesome itinerary of places we had never been! Lucky for us, Allyson Wiley tagged along and snapped all of the amazing photos included in this piece so that we could share our day with all of you. 

Stop #1: Horse & Plow

Horse and Plow was started in 2008 with the intention of merging the best of old and new world techniques to make authentic, hand-crafted wines. They have since expanded into making cider as well, which is what drew us to their lovely tasting room. 

We sat for lunch underneath the branches of a sprawling oak tree, taking in the sights and sounds of the garden and surrounding Sebastopol wilderness. Lunch consisted of boxed lunches by Sarah Pinkin, a local  private chef who fixed us brie and caramelized onion sandwiches accompanied by an Asian chicken salad. Both were delightfully light and flavorful, and paired beautifully with the ciders from Horse and Plow. 

Stop #2: Spirit Works Distillery

Our second stop of the day was Spirit Works Distillery, which is located in the Barlow in Sebastopol. The distillery was founded by Timo and Ashby Marshall, on a "grain to glass" philosophy that emphasizes the entire distilling process form start to finish. This hands on approach to production allows Spirit Works Distillery to control every aspect of the batch, whether they are producing vodka, gin, or whiskey. 

Timo and Ashby walked us through their production facility, explaining how they start with the grain, which is milled, mashed, fermented, distilled, and bottled on site. We truly got to see how the production comes full circle, even exploring their barrel room where the whiskeys age. There was one portion of the barrel room that featured barrels of whiskey with headphones or speakers attached- all playing different styles and genres of music. From Prince and Michael Jackson, to movie soundtracks, to The Devil Makes Three, each whiskey was exposed to slightly different styles, and when ready, could be compared to the control barrels of each batch to see how the music's vibrations effected the aging flavor of the whiskey. 

Their signature product is Sloe Gin, which is a traditional English recipe that has been handed down through the generations of the Marshall family. This liqueur is made by steeping sloe berries in gin, which give the gin bright berry and citrus notes, as well as a deep and vibrant burgundy color. It is commonly enjoyed on its own in Europe, but is also a fabulous addition to a variety of cocktails. Our tour ended with a tasting of each of their products, with Timo talking us through  each sip much like a sommelier would do with wine.

Stop #3: Crooked Goat Brewing

Last but certainly not least, we stopped at Crooked Goat Brewing, also located in the Barlow. The industrial style tasting room features long high-top steel tables, for a casual but polished vibe. The back bar features 16 different taps that are always pouring different beers.  

Our team opted to order several "taste" sized samplers, so we could try a little bit of everything. From raspberry wheats, to nitro IPA's, Crooked Goat Brewing has a little bit of something for every palate. By far the team favorite was the Passion Fruit Billy Goat, which was an infused Pilsner with tart tropical sweetness and lively hops that make for the perfect summertime beer. 

As we wrapped up at Crooked Goat Brewing, the team from Bohemian Highway had snacks and refreshments ready for us as we piled back into our vehicles. They created an experience for us that was full of firsts for all of us. Considering the fact that many of our team have lived in Sonoma or Napa Valley for many many years, this was no small feat. It was clear that the Bohemian Highway Travel Co. can create an experience that is as unique as the group attending it. Whether you are a local looking for an exciting new experience, or you are exploring wine country for the first time, Bohemian Highway Travel Co. is the perfect place to start planning. 

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Visiting Pangloss Cellars in Sonoma

If you have yet to visit Pangloss Cellars, one of the newest tasting rooms on the square, you're completely missing out! It is one of Sonoma’s best (and hippest) places to sip a glass of wine on any given afternoon or evening, so call up your best gals or ask your husband out on a date, and put Pangloss on your itinerary! 

Pangloss Cellars in Sonoma | Rachael Hairston Photography

What was once a trinket shop selling cheap Wine Country souvenirs, is now completely restored to its original glory, and houses you guessed it, Pangloss Cellars. The restoration of the Hotz Building took over nine months to complete, but is a breath of fresh air compared to what used to sit on the corner of Napa and 1St Street East.

Pangloss Cellars in Sonoma | Rachael Hairston Photography
Pangloss Cellars in Sonoma | Rachael Hairston Photography

Kelly and I spent two afternoons at Pangloss, and enjoyed each time in unique ways. Our first experience was spent enjoying a glass of winemaker Erich Bradley’s Sauvignon Blanc, which was delicious and refreshing! The following trip to Pangloss, we were delighted with a locally sourced meat & cheese platter, and the best gluten free crackers Kelly has ever had. Over the course of our flights, I grew an appreciation for their wonderful Pinot, and fell in love with their 2014 Chardonnay – and here’s to thinking for all these years I wasn’t a ‘white’ girl!?

Pangloss Cellars in Sonoma | Rachael Hairston Photography

Not only are Pangloss’ wines lovely, the cellar is designed with impeccable taste. These photos by Rachael Hairston showcase how great it is – from the live olive tree at the center of the bar, to the exposed stone walls, and comfortable lounge furniture, the building was restored and designed with historical accuracy that wows.

Pangloss Cellars in Sonoma | Rachael Hairston Photography
Pangloss Cellars in Sonoma | Rachael Hairston Photography

The cellar is named after Dr. Pangloss, a character in Voltaire's novel Candide, who was known to say, “Mankind lives in the best of all possible worlds.” Pangloss’ use of old world techniques indeed brings the best of all possible worlds to Sonoma.

Open to the public from $20 | 35 East Napa Street, Sonoma, CA 95476 | 707.933.8565

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