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Friday, 17 February 2017 13:34

What's New in Sonoma County

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What's New in Sonoma County photo of Lord Snort by Linda Davis

TASTE News Service, February 17, 2016 — Exploring the back roads of Sonoma County, California, may bring you nose to snout with one of its newest residents: a 12-ton mechanical boar named Lord Snort, guarding the entrance to Soda Rock Winery.

Or you may become so enchanted with a garden of rare botanicals that turns 30 this year that you extend your day trip into an overnight getaway, courtesy of amazing lodging deals offered this winter. Plan a little ahead and book your stay in March for the region's tastiest time of the year — Sonoma County Restaurant Week.

These, plus a lot of new brews, wineries, restaurants, deals, attractions, and more are being served up in Sonoma County this season.

Visit 'Lord Snort' at Soda Rock

A 12-ton metal sculpture of a galloping mechanical boar makes a striking addition to the two-lane winding roadway known as Highway 128 in northern Sonoma County. Displayed prominently in front of Soda Rock Winery north of Healdsburg, the massive artwork (20 feet high and 30 feet long) was dubbed “Lord Snort” by its creator, acclaimed Sonoma County sculptor Bryan Tedrick.

Commissioned by Ken Wilson of Wilson Artisan Wineries, Lord Snort was crafted with both new and reclaimed steel, and took more than 1,000 hours to create. It was first showcased at the annual Burning Man festival in Nevada in late August 2016.

In November Lord Snort was trucked to Soda Rock Winery in four pieces on a flatbed trailer, and lifted into place with a crane. Lord Snort can spin around 360 degrees on his pedestal, and his head also nods up and down.

Quarryhill Botanical Garden celebrates 30 years

Quarryhill Rain drops on lilly pads PicmonkeyRain drops on lily pads art Quarryhill

The internationally acclaimed Quarryhill Botanical Garden highlights its 30th anniversary in 2017 with a May celebration and a summer lecture series in its stunningly beautiful wild gardens in Glen Ellen, in Sonoma County.

Cradled in the foothills of the Mayacamas mountains, Quarryhill's winding gravel paths pass among flowering shrubs and exotic shade trees; by tranquil ponds and seasonal waterfalls; and over gently rolling hills planted with rare and endangered species.

Founded in 1987, Quarryhill (open daily, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.) is dedicated to advancing the conservation, study, and cultivation of the flora of Asia. This 25-acre botanical garden includes more than 20,000 plants grown from seeds that were wild-collected in East Asia. Many of the plant species featured face extinction as a result of habitat loss in their native regions.

Events for 2017 include Quarryhill's 30th Anniversary Wild Collections, Expeditions for Education Fundraiser in May, and the 30th Anniversary Summer Lecture Series starting July 8 with Jared Diamond, author of National Geographic: Guns, Germs and Steel.


Editor’s note: Thinking of visiting these or any of Sonoma County’s many other attractions? First visit the North Coast listings in Taste California Travel’s Resource Directory where you’ll find links to the websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options, as well as links to area Wineries and Craft Beer purveyors.

Read 733 times Last modified on Friday, 17 February 2017 13:51

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