Napa’s new openings include wine tasting at the ethereal Donum Estate

Another super-pricey wine tasting experience has debuted — though it’s unlike anything else in Napa or Sonoma. The Donum Estate’s kaleidoscope-inspired new tasting pavilion is a dizzying work of art that exudes Burning Man vibes with Wine Country sophistication.

It’s a new experience in Wine Country, but last month also brought a pair of new outdoor bars specializing in spirits. The famous Everett and Jones barbecue restaurant has expanded again with its first location in North Bay, and a Sonoma winery is back welcoming visitors after losing its tasting room to a fire earlier this year. Plus, there are three new casual lunch options for quick refueling between wine tastings.

Read on for nine notable launches in Napa and Sonoma counties. Find last month’s installment here.

Sip wine under an actual kaleidoscope

The coolest new wine tasting venue is a kaleidoscope-inspired canopy at the Donum Estate, which is already well known for its impressive collection of modern art and sculpture. Nestled among the vines, the latest addition to the sprawling Sonoma property is the Vertical Panoramic Pavilion, constructed from more than 800 glass panels that reflect off the natural surroundings in an ethereal combination of colors and patterns. Lounge seating is set up below for private Pinot Noir and Chardonnay tastings from Donum, but this mystical, holistic Transcend experience isn’t cheap, with a minimum of $500 per person for wine and food over a three hour period. If that’s out of reach, book the Explore Experience ($175), during which you can at least get a peek at the pavilion on an ATV tour.

24500 Ramal Road, Sonoma, thedonumestate.com

Beloved BBQ Expands to Sonoma County

North Bay residents can finally get their fix of Everett & Jones Bar-BQ without crossing a bridge to Oakland or Berkeley. Founded in 1973, the legendary barbecue has opened a fourth location inside the food court – next to a Habit Burger – at the Graton Resort & Casino in Rohnert Park. It might seem like an odd choice for expansion, but all that matters is that it serves the same homemade brisket, smoked chicken, pork ribs and beef ties that Everett & Jones is famous for. . If this is your first Everett & Jones experience, the four-way combo will let you taste it all with two sides.

288 Golf Course Drive West, Rohnert Park, eandjbbq.com

The new upstairs lounge at Little Saint in Healdsburg offers a separate menu from the downstairs restaurant.

Jess Lander/The Chronicle

Healdsburg’s Little Saint Unveils New Cocktail Bar

Little Saint, the multi-concept food and drink destination from the owners of SingleThread, has opened its second-floor lounge with a cozy outdoor bar and a completely separate menu from the plant-based restaurant downstairs. Open from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Monday, the lounge serves cocktails, highballs, and boozy slushes alongside small plates like pickled cabbage, creamy corn dip, and zucchini tempura. The floor is also a dedicated event space, offering free live music on Thursdays in addition to other paid monthly events. Little Saint kicked off the opening this week with acclaimed artist Phoebe Bridgers.

25 North Street, Healdsburg, littlesainthealdsburg.com

A whiskey bar takes over Wine Country

Napa is steadily expanding its alternative wine options — like the California Brandy House cocktail bar and ArBoretum — and now there’s a spot dedicated to whiskey lovers. Perched on the Sky & Vine rooftop bar (located downtown at the Archer Hotel), the Whiskey Bar offers panoramic views and a list of over 100 whiskeys, including small vintage collections, cask selections private, flights and cocktails. All sips can be paired with pizza and other bites, like smoked pork chops and baked oysters.

1260 First St., Napa, skyandvine.com/whiskeybar

Darling Wines has opened a tasting room right next to Sonoma Plaza.

Darling Wines has opened a tasting room right next to Sonoma Plaza.

Courtesy of Darren Loveland

Beloved Sonoma Wine Brand Opens Tasting Room

Boutique winery Darling Wines — which has quickly become a darling of the minimal interventionist wine category since its founding in 2017 — has opened a swanky tasting room in an alleyway off Sonoma Plaza. Most tastings ($40) are with winemaker and co-owner Thomas Darling and include a flight of four wines from small, family-run, sustainability-focused coastal vineyards: two pinots noirs, a chardonnay and a rosé. The meticulous design of the tasting room features soothing blue tones, turn-of-the-century antique wedding tables, grain sacks turned into elegant cushions, and a hand-painted topographic map of the Sonoma Coast.

27 E. Napa St., Suite A, Sonoma, darlingwines.com

Sonoma winery bounces back after fire

Five months after its tasting room was destroyed in a fire, Larson Family Winery in Sonoma has reopened to visitors. The new by-appointment tasting experiences all take place outdoors and take in the expansive views of the winery’s vineyards in the bucolic region of Carneros. Choose from two flights, both 90-minute experiences for $35 and $45. Offered Thursday through Sunday, tastings can take place at a number of outdoor locations, including shaded picnic tables, a vineyard view area, a cabana for larger groups, or an outdoor glider. handmade wood (essentially a large swing). Visitors can also reserve the bocce court or the cornhole pasture, where wine is served via bottle service instead of a traditional tasting format.

23355 Millerick Road, Sonoma, larsonfamilywinery.com

The Farmstand at the Farmhouse Inn has been rebooted with a new all day menu.

The Farmstand at the Farmhouse Inn has been rebooted with a new all day menu.

Courtesy Aubrie Pick

Fresh, seasonal dishes by the Russian River

The charming Farmhouse Inn, a celebrity hotspot with a Michelin-starred restaurant, has rebooted its more casual, all-day dining concept called Farmstand. Run by chef and Sonoma native Trevor Anderson — formerly staples of Wine Country Solbar in Calistoga, Cook in St. Helena, and Campo Fina in Healdsburg — the revamped Farmstand serves up wood-fired pizzas, like one with maitake mushrooms, leek cream with black truffle, corn and goat cheese. There are a host of other family-style seasonal dishes, including roasted beets with berries and pistachio butter, and bagna càuda with shredded vegetables. Accompany your meal with a glass of local wine such as Lioco Chardonnay.

7871 River Road, Forestville, farminn.com

A former train depot gets a makeover

Serial entrepreneur Jean Charles Boisset — who owns Raymond Vineyards, Buena Vista Winery, Oakville Grocery and many other Wine Country businesses — has opened his latest restaurant project: the historic Calistoga Depot. Boisset has a weakness for restoring glory to relics and is trying just that with the 1868 station, which now houses a trade and wine store. Depot Provisions also serves coffee, tea, and beer, as well as lunch and breakfast items like sandwiches, pizza, and picnic supplies. The bright, white, minimalist space looks pretty much like the Oakville grocery store, but without the line — for now.

1458 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, www.calistogadepot.com

The Carneros Resort's new pizza oven serves as a casual lunch break between <a class=wine tastings.”/>

The Carneros Resort’s new pizza oven serves as a casual lunch break between wine tastings.

Fourni Carneros Resort and Spa

Refuel between wine tastings with a black truffle pizza

Restaurants are rare at wine tastings in Napa’s Carneros area — Hudson, Artesa, and Bouchaine are all great wineries to visit — but the Carneros Resort has introduced a quick lunch option for those who don’t have the time for a seated meal. The resort’s new open-air pizza oven at the market (11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday-Sunday) serves up a selection of pies made with fresh produce from its culinary garden, like margherita and Calabrian chili sausage. You can add Australian black truffles to any pizza for $20 and wash down each bite with wine, beer or water if you need a break.

4048 Sonoma Highway, Napa, carnerosresort.com

Jess Lander is a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected]: @jesslander

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