Sonoma County: New AVAs, wine experiences, award-winning restaurants

While there’s always something new to experience in Sonoma County, 2012 promises to delight visitors with the much-anticipated opening of a world-class music venue, the return of a premier cycling event, the diamond jubilee of a regional icon, and a year’s worth of bicentennial celebrations.

Green Music Center
Music will ring out on Sept. 29, 2012, as Sonoma State University’s Donald and Maureen Green Music Center marks its grand opening. The inaugural season boasts an incredible schedule, including orchestra in residence, the Santa Rosa Symphony.

The Green Music Center’s acoustical perfection has already attracted renowned musicians, such as Yo-Yo Ma, to experience its architectural and acoustical wonders. The main auditorium, the 1,400-seat, European-style Weill Concert Hall, is acoustically designed to rival great venues such as Boston Symphony Hall and Vienna Musikvereinssaal.

The hall’s acoustical attributes rivals that of Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood; but it surpasses Tanglewood in terms of flexibility and comfort. The three floors of Weill Hall – the Orchestra level on the floor, the Choral Circle in the middle, and the Balcony on top – boast handcrafted, European steamed beech maple seats that are designed to be acoustically neutral whether occupied or not. By opening a modular rear wall of the hall, the concert experience can include up to 3,000 concert goers in outdoor seating.

Find out more at

Amgen Tour of California
After a one-year absence, the Amgen Tour of California, a top professional cycling event, will return to Sonoma County. This year, the entire race kicks off in Santa Rosa on Sunday, May 13.

The first stage will also end in Santa Rosa. Events slated for the week prior will include a gala, a lifestyle festival, and cycling enthusiasts can even ride the route the pros will tackle. For more information, visit

Golden Gate Bridge – 75th Anniversary
A big happy birthday to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. While not in Sonoma County (it’s 30 miles south), the Golden Gate was built, in part, by Sonoma County’s foresightedness when it joined the newly formed organization that helped finance the bridge, and remains a member today.

Sonoma County will be developing special 75th anniversary itineraries and activities throughout the year. Find out more at .