Has holiday traffic and shopping mayhem wound you up tighter than a bright red bow?
For a truly refreshing getaway, minus the cars and crowds, head toward the rolling hills of West Marin for a holiday road trip. Here you'll find such seasonal charms as a weekend-long holiday craft fair at the historic Dance Palace in fun and funky Point Reyes Station; enjoy tastings of freshly uncorked bubbly at Heidrun Meadery; and take holiday cooking classes or tours at the Fork, the culinary education center of the famed Pt. Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company.
Point Reyes Station Holiday Crafts Fair
The Dance Palace Community & Cultural Center in rural Point Reyes Station rings in the holiday season with the 44th annual Holiday Crafts Fair, Dec 5–7. With a special focus on West Marin-made handcrafted items and gifts by more than 40 artisans, the fair is a one-stop shop for all your gift-giving needs, including ceramic art, clothing, fiber arts, glasswork, herbs, metal work, jams, jellies, jewelry, oils, ornaments, paintings, soaps, toys, and more. // December 5-7, Point Reyes Station, dancepalace.org
Heidrun's Champagne-Style Honey Mead
"From flower to flute" is the motto of West Marin's unique meadery, Heidrun, located just outside Point Reyes Station. Producing brut dry, naturally sparkling varietal meads made exclusively from honey, proprietor Gordon Hull and his small team of merry meadmakers use traditional French méthode Champenoise to add happy bubbles to each bottle while pursuing a refined objective: Creating a light, delicate and refreshing wine that boasts the subtle exotic aromas and flavors found only in the essence of honey.
Heidrun is celebrating the holidays with an open house on Saturday, December 10 from 11am to 4:30pm. The event coincides with the release of their Point Reyes Wildflower estate varietal sparkling mead. Released just once a year, the estate varietal is limited to just 600 bottles from the 2016 honey harvested from the meadery's own hives. Flower nectars from native Northern California coastal chaparral as well as non-native eucalyptus contribute herbal (read: sage-like) nuances. Visitors are welcome on a reservation-only basis for tours. Drop-ins are welcome for tastings. // 11925 Highway 1 (Point Reyes Station), heidrunmeadery.com
Tours and Farm-Fresh Cooking Classes at The Fork
Set high in the grassy hills above Tomales Bay, the sprawling, 714-acre Giacomini Ranch is home to the esteemed Giacomini Dairy, producers of Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese and operators of the Fork, a culinary education center dedicated to food education through farm tours and culinary classes.
In addition to private tours and tastings ($25-$65 per person, six-person minimum) available weekdays or weekends, on December 9 they will offer a "Bubble & Bites" course ($105 person) with Gloria Ferrer (of Sonoma sparkling wine fame) and Jennifer Lutrell, who will showcase their take on West Marin's wide and varied farm-to-table renaissance. You'll also be able to enjoy their award-winning cheese. Plus, a gift certificate to the Fork's monthly Farm Dinner ($75 per person, BYO wine or beer), would make a great gift for the foodie in your life. Reservations are required and space is limited. // pointreyescheese.com