It’s not hard to find exceptional olive oil in Western Sonoma County. Many of the wineries that dot our rolling hills also grow and harvest olives. The resulting oil and the flavor of each represents the unique soil, topography, and climate of the Russian River Valley or what is often referred to as the terroir.
Sixteen years ago, colleagues and friends of the Market, Rob Akins and Mark Berry bought an old apple farm with failing trees in Forestville. On a visit to Southern France and Italy the couple began tasting olive oil and fell in love with the idea of refurbishing the orchard and planting olive trees on the property. One year into the purchase of the property, Mark and Rob planted their first trees and have been planting more every few years. Their passion has grown into a thriving olive oil business — Olive Queen.
We have a new event at the Market called Layover. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, we stay open until 9:00 PM and people “Layover” while waiting for a table at one of the great restaurants here on Main St. in Guerneville. Yummy bites are served along with $8 glasses of amazing wines.
Last Friday we decided to give people the chance to “upgrade” to a tasty dinner. The menu offered up lemon and rosemary roasted chicken wings; roasted potatoes, carrots and shallots; and tasty salad dressed with the Market’s Champagne Vinaigrette.
Large nondescript buildings in Sonoma County often signal a wine storage facility or a winery sans tasting room. Nestled on the east side of the 116 near Occidental Road is one of these unusually curious outposts thathouses Gourmet Mushrooms, Inc. While you hardly notice the massive structure as you are heading for a day of wine tasting or recreation at the river, redwoods or cost, the contents and activity beyond the exterior are something to be seen (and tasted). You can skip to the end of this post for the Savory Mushroom and Onion Biscuit Bread Pudding recipe.