Have you discovered Fairfield’s newest tasting room?
Sonoma Harvest has been producing gourmet olive oils and vinegars in Fairfield since 2003. For years, visitors would come in daily to the old administrative offices on Watney Way and ask if there were tastings available. Every time, Allison Serrano, the chief operations officer, would have to say no.
Although their product went to restaurants and retailers around the country, there was no opportunity for people to sample and purchase the olive oils and vinegars in Fairfield. When Sonoma Harvest began building its new, 99,000 sq. ft facility – more than double the size of the old building – at 770 Chadbourne Road in July of 2015, Serrano knew that was about to change.
Fast-forward a year and a half and the new Sonoma Harvest bottling line has been going strong for six months and the tasting room, which opened just before Thanksgiving, is gaining momentum as word spreads it is here.
“It’s so nice to have this now,” Serrano said. “It’s a great opportunity for us.”
The 2,000 sq. ft tasting room has a rustic, country atmosphere to it, with unique ‘wine country’ merchandise on the tables along with the oils, vinegars, and Sonoma Harvest’s brand new line of wines. The inaugural vintage includes the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2015 Pinot Noir, the 2015 Chardonnay, and the 2015 Rose.
“Olives and grapes go hand in hand,” said tasting room manager Jenny Lavell. “The California olive oil industry has been booming and we are in the perfect location. Suisun Valley has almost as many olive trees as vineyards. When we finally had the chance to open up our tasting room, we were very excited about the opportunity to pair the two together again.”
The tasting room is a flavorful experience for all ages. While only adults over 21 can sample the wine, guests of all ages can try the olive oils and balsamic vinegars. The tasting room also includes a children’s area, complete with a television, seating area, and games, so younger guests can be entertained while parents sip and sample.
“Half the people we have coming in are from Jelly Belly and they’re exhausted with the kids running around,” Lavell said. “They want their time.”
The wheels are already turning as the tasting room team maps out plans for 2017. First up is setting up the traditional olive mill in the room adjacent to the tasting room. A glass window separates the two spaces and although it is dark now, once the wheel is in place, guests will be able to watch a fully functional olive mill create fresh olive oil and then sample the oil when it is finished.
On the other side of the milling room is a barrel room, which is already being rented out for special events. Lavell said the plan is to have public events in the barrel room beginning in the spring months.
“I don’t want to hint too much because nothing is fully on paper but we are hoping to get some fun events on the calendar in the spring and summer months,” she said.
Sonoma Harvest is open daily, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., and hosts a Happy Hour every Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information: www.sonomaharvestfoods.com