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The Crowning Cap of 2013: The Barlow

zazuAs we put 2013 in the taillights, it’s time to reflect on what a year it’s been. In a nutshell: A year of growth, grand openings and accomplishments for Wine Country.

One notable achievement in particular had everyone buzzing about Sonoma, and specifically, the tiny town of Sebastopol.

With the opening of The Barlow on Hwy. 12 near Hwy. 116 this fall, Sebastopol became a hot destination nearly overnight. Packed with a dizzying array of marvelous stores, wineries and restaurants, the 220,000-square-foot, $23.8 million culinary and arts center stands to rival San Francisco’s Ferry Building and Napa’s Oxbow, with one unique twist.

More than just a shopping center, Barlow customers enjoy products directly from the people who make them, and from where the products are made. That means Spirit Works Distillery mills, mashes, ferments, distills and bottles its own small-batch gin, sloe gin and whiskey, while Village Bakery crafts its artisan breads right in front of our eyes.

Even the landscaping is edible, framing sidewalks and filling planter boxes with pomegranates, oranges, artichokes and basil.

Here's a look at the Barlow tenants, and a hint of what makes them so special.

  1. duskie estes Zazu Kitchen & Farm, zazukitchen.com. From Next Iron Chef contender Duskie Estes and husband-butcher John Stewart. Restaurant with on-site butchery and salumeria, extensive edible gardens.
  2. Taylor Maid Farms Coffee, taylormaidfarms.com. Organic coffees and teas, baked goods, on-site roaster.
  3. Woodfour Brewing Co., woodfourbrewing.com. Micro-brewpub and sophisticated small plates restaurant. On-site brewery.
  4. Kosta Browne Winery, kostabrowne.com. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast and Santa Lucia Highlands. On-site winery; tasting room open to members only, by appointment.
  5. Ben Kinmont Bookseller, kinmont.com. Specializes in 15th to early 19th century books about food and wine, domestic and rural economy, health, perfume, and the history of taste.
  6. bronze artBronze Plus Art Foundry, bronzeplusfoundry.com. Original design sculptures, mold making, casting, fabrication and installation. On-site studio.
  7. Circle of Hands, circleofhandswaldorfshop. Waldorf School-inspired handmade, mostly locally-made products, toys, books, apparel and cosmetics. Periodic on-site workshops.
  8. Community Market, srcommunitymarket.com. Non-profit, worker-run, natural food grocery store specializing in all-natural and organics. On-site deli and wine bar.
  9. CounterCulture Art Haus Gallery, countercultureart.com. Fine art originals, kiln glass, jewelry, mixed media and sculpture. On-site art creation by established and emerging artists.
  10. F.E.E.D. Farmers Exchange of Earthly Delights, feedsonoma.com. Collection and distribution center to link local small farmers with restaurants and the general public, including CSA subscriptions. Small on-site farm stand.
  11. barlow grand openingGauyaki Yerba Mate, guayaki.com. Serving yerba mate, made from the naturally caffeinated leaves of the South American rainforest holly tree. Beverage bar on-site.
  12. Gypsy Bay Laurel. Supplies fresh, wild, locally picked California bay leaves in bulk to commercial markets. Not open to the public, but is developing retail line of dry herb rubs.
  13. La Follette Wines, lafollettewines.com. Small-lot Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from the Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Mountain and Mendocino Ridge. On-site tasting room.
  14. Marimar Estate Vineyards & Winery, marimarestate.com. Limited-production Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from organically farmed vineyards in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. On-site tasting room.
  15. Move 2 Change Studio, move2change.com. Dance, pilates, yoga, massage, music and art classes with African-Indian influences. On-site studio and weekly multi-cultural performances.
  16. jamil pedenReFrame Hair Gallery, reframehairgallery.com. Independently owned high-end hair and beauty salon.
  17. Soap Cauldron, soapcauldron.com. Herbal bar soaps and skin care made with botanicals and pure essential oils. On-site soap production.
  18. Spirit Works Distillery, spiritworksdistillery.com. Artisan microdistillery for handcrafted gins and whiskey. On-site distillery and tasting room.
  19. Sub Zero Ice Cream and Yogurt, subzeroicecream.com. Made-to-order ice cream and yogurt crafted with liquid nitrogen and local ingredients, including non-dairy options like soy, rice, or almond milk. On-site production.
  20. Tamarind, shoptamarind.com. Contemporary clothing focusing on eco-friendly clothes from around the world, including local designers and independent American labels. Designer-owner-artist is on-site.
  21. tibetan artTibetan Gallery & Studio, preservetibetanart.org. Sells thangka (traditional Buddhist scroll paintings), clothing, jewelry and accessories. On-site studio with scroll production, and a two story high thanmochi scroll painting underway.
  22. Village Bakery, villagebakerywinecountry.com. Hearth breads, cakes, pastries, savories, gelato, seasonal salads and sandwiches. On-site bakery.
  23. Wolfard Glassblowing Co., wolfard.com. Trademarked oil lamps and candles hand blown from borosilicate glass for art galleries, shops and catalogs; no retail sales. On-site “in-flame” technique studio.
  24. Freeman Winery, freemanwinery.com. Tasting room for family-owned, Sebastopol-based boutique winery.
  25. Hanses Fine Art, johnhansesphotography.com. Gallery of large format photographer, John Hanses, focusing on local and international landscapes. On-site studio.
  26. MacPhail Wines, macphailwine.com. Small batch Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Rosé from the Sonoma Coast, Russian River and Anderson Valley. On-site tasting room and chef’s kitchen for food pairings.
  27. sub zeroWarped Brewing Company, facebook.com/WarpedBrewing. Ten-barrel brewhouse from the owners of Barley and Hops Tavern in Occidental. Tasting room on-site.
  28. Wind Gap Wines, windgapwines.com. Produces Cabernet, Chardonnay, Syrah and Grenache from the Sonoma Coast, South Napa and Paso Robles. On-site tasting room and aging facilities showcasing concrete eggs.

Room is also set aside for a wish-list of tenants including vegetarian, pizza and Mexican restaurants, plus some small producers in specialties like olive oil, cheese and fresh juices.

Details: 6770 McKinley St #120, Sebastopol, 707-824-5600, thebarlow.net.

Tip: Barlow is home-grown, and so is Sonoma County-based Pure Luxury Transportation. Make a day of visiting the Barlow, and make it easy, with your private chauffeured limo or Town Car driving you there and back.Hey! If you liked this article, subscribe to our blog and “Like” us on Facebook!

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