Lucky you, you live in Wine Country - so, spread the cheer. Find wine gift baskets and other holiday gifts created here in Sonoma, and add that personal touch to holiday gift giving. Here are the top picks of presents that yell out: "Cheers from Sonoma."
The Chardonnay Indulgence package from Matanzas Creek Winery pairs a bottle of their 2006 Sonoma Valley Chardonnay with a bag filled with delicious, locally-produced Chardonnay Brittle - made with the very same Chardonnay. ($40 + tax & shipping) 800.590.6464
2. Personally Signed Wine BottlesA great bottle of wine is a work of art. So, why not get it signed by the artist? If you go to some of the smaller wineries, you can purchase a bottle and ask the winemaker to sign it as a special touch for your Wine Country gift. A good bet is Loxton Cellars , 11466 Dunbar Road in Glen Ellen, (707) 935-7221.
...or at least give the scent of summer and bring back those memories. Every June, there's a big Lavender Festival in Kenwood. The five-acre farm is in full bloom and it smells like heaven. The crop is then cut down and used for Sonoma Lavender products, such as massage oils and sachets and soaps. You can shop online or you can also find Sonoma Lavender gifts at Hampton Court, 631 Fourth St., Santa Rosa. 707-578-9416
8. Give the Gift of Good HealthWhen you give (local residents) a membership to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, the recipients receive a weekly box of healthy, fresh, organic produce grown at a local farm and delivered to their door or a nearby pick-up location. It's an especially ideal gift for grandparents to give their grown children and families. Sonoma County CSAs include: Laguna Farm , Tierra Vegetables, Canvas Ranch and Orchard Farms . (The programs range between $64 and $96 per month.)
The holiday season is all about caring for your fellow man and loving your neighbor. Fair trade products are all about making sure that growers and artisans are paid a fair living wage and that they work in safe, healthy conditions and use sustainable environmental practices. Coffee and tea are the biggest sellers among the many certified fair-trade products worldwide. And Sebastopol's Taylor Maid Farms carries some of the best. Packed in re-usable boxes and wrapped with a raffia ribbon and gift card, the box sets are great gifts for coffee and tea lovers. (Prices vary.)
12. Teeny-Tiny House
What do you get the guy who has everything? How about a tiny house? (And without all that space to clutter up, he might just decide that having everything isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.) The teeny houses created by Tumbleweed Tiny House Company of Sebastopol are not just a place to live—they’re a way of life. As creator Jay Shafer writes on his website: “The simple, slower lifestyle my homes have afforded is a luxury for which I am continually grateful.” (Houses starting at 65 square feet and $36,997. Or build it yourself for $16,000.)
Read about Tumbleweed in the San Francisco Chronicle.