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Domaine Anderson

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Babies & Wine & an Antidote to Angst

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For many in Sonoma and Mendocino, and around the world,  2017 will not be remembered with much joy, but if you go with the premise that it's important in life to take the good as an antidote to the bad, we were gratified that along with the challenges Barndiva's year has also been filled with exciting new collaborations with people we admire and projects that pique our curiosity (and hopefully yours).

The drive for our positivism as we look toward 2018 comes from the year just past, which saw the arrival of LouLou, Enzo, Lucie, Birdie and last, but certainly not least, Remy Fancher, the third utterly captivating daughter of Bekah and Chef Ryan. Despite the frustrations of making sustainably farmed food viable in a commercial arena, the arrival of these new little members of our community is inspiring. Their future depends upon healthy food, water and air. Everyone has a role to play, especially as consumers. For your continued support of all things Barndiva this past year, we thank you.  

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the somm's table

Without a doubt the thing that obsessed us the most this year, tailgating the extraordinary food coming out of our kitchens, has been wine. It was our second year earning two glasses from Wine Spectator which we are quite chuffed about, as the list is gorgeous and getting better all the time. But we've long believed that the conversations we could be having around the crop that grows as far as the eye can see in every direction should be about more than points, price, and an often silly nomenclature that keen winedrinkers view with more skepticism than delight. The winemakers we've had the pleasure of befriending over the last decade are super smart and passionate. They are scientists and weathermen, farmers and artists. To dumb down the complexity of what they create from soil to bottle isn't just an insult, it's a lost opportunity. A chance to connect to the landscape which surrounds us, to learn a language that is scent, taste and memory driven. And crucially, to accumulate knowledge about what you personally enjoy most when you lift a glass of wine and sink into its essence. 

Our wine director Alexis Iaconis is a remarkable young woman. In addition to guiding our growing wine programs, she moonlights at Meadowood (though I'm sure they think it's the other way around), is studying to take her Master Sommelier exam, and is a partner to husband Matt's exciting brick &  mortar label. All of that is driven and no doubt sustained by being a great mom. Yet she still managed to find time to help us start The Somm's Table this year. Together we hosted group wine fêtes (all sold out, now annual events) and singular winemaker spotlight dinners. We published wine set notes every month and inaugurated 'Trace' - an interactive scent based wine identification system, er, art piece. The Somm's Table approach to wine is agricultural, sense & scent driven and idiosyncratic - i.e. very Barndiva. Along with a changing wine literacy window and its 'location' in Studio Barndiva, which still displays and sells the work of local artists, the art aspect is not a misnomer. 

For all the work that went into The Somm's Table, the biggest wine news was delivered by our stealthiest player, Lukka Feldman. Under his direction we now have six Barndiva label wines that will be poured in both restaurants in the new year and shortly thereafter sold on a new website, Shopbarndiva. Stay tuned. 

We'd like to use this last post of the year to give heartfelt thanks to all who helped us launch The Somm's Table this year. To Small Vines, Alysian, Leo Steen, DuMol, brick & mortar, Littorai, Black Kite, Radio Coteau and especially to Roederer and Domaine Anderson, who supported our fire relief efforts by turning their spotlight dinner into a fundraiser. Along with the money we raised tableside, by New Year's Eve we will have donated over $20,000 to RCU and Undocufund. Thank you to winemakers Dan Fitzgerald, Eric Sussman and Kai Kliegl for helping us expand the Barndiva label. 

Finally,  we'd be remiss to end the year without thanking our incredible FOH staff, starting with Cathryn, our restaurant manager, who keeps us all marching in the right direction and Paula, Ryan B, Isabel, and Lalo for keeping food, cocktail and wine service humming. Without them we could not concentrate on new projects like The Somm's Table. To Barndiva's Farm Manager Daniel Carlson and sculptor Jordy Morgan for help with Trace. To Bob Signs for help designing our Center Street Somm's Table windows. To Campbell Hay for our incredibly elegant wine labels. Last, but never least, my assistant K2, without whom I could not keep the ideas, images and words flowing in the right direction. 

We have our doubts about our voice on social media platforms, namely how to be heard and still be true to our mission without adding to the cacophony of self aggrandizement which seems to be swallowing the culture whole. But in the new year we hope to make more videos @barndivahealdsburg, so stay in touch. We love to hear from you. 

Happy New Year!

Jil, Geoffrey, Ryan and Lukka.

 

*Barndiva and The Gallery Bar + bistro will be on hiatus from January 1-7. We look forward to cooking for you and filling your glass when we re-open (invigorated!) on Wednesday, January 10. 

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Who We Are Now

weheartsonomacounty

We feel damn lucky the fires didn't reach Healdsburg but hearing the words ‘we were blessed’ the other day, though well intended, was disconcerting. There is no blessing, that I can see now, for Sonoma County, where everything good is interconnected. The food and wine we produce, and the communities and economic networks that form around them fuel our lives and our projects. Many friendships have grown out of these connections, which also extend to Mendocino and Napa Counties.

Another word I am prickly upon hearing is 'entitled', which before the fires you would still hear all the time in conjunction with the words 'lifestyle' and 'wine country'. When you work at our end of hospitality where what is grown outside our windows takes long careful hours to prepare, cook and present to the world, you may feel grateful, but never entitled. The thing about exquisite plates of food is that they disappear in minutes, and you need to start gathering and making them again. It's humbling, which it turns out is a good thing. 

The generosity we’ve watched spread across the county since October 9th may not be endemic to human nature, much as we’d like to hope, but it clearly resides at the heart of our North Bay culture. If the fire is ever to be remembered someday as having an upside, this will be it. We have been reminded, in these times of great distrust, that we are indeed a generous community, one with shared goals we want to protect, others we are proud to nurture.

Every little bit will help in the months ahead. We are pleased to contribute over $10,000 from our Somm's Table fundraiser this weekend, but it's just the beginning. We hope to work next with Wells Guthrie (of Copain) and the ever stronger worker-focused network of CorizonHealdsburg. In early December we will join other chefs, restaurants, and wineries for a Rise Up Sonoma group fundraiser. Stay tuned.

But back to Saturday Night. It was a joy to be able to welcome Arnaud Weyrich of Roederer Estate and Darrin Low of Domaine Anderson after weeks of missed calls and frenetic half conversations as we expanded what had been scheduled as an intimate Somm's Table spotlight series dinner into a larger North Bay Fire Relief Fundraiser. It was harvest - and we were all still reeling from the fires - but both wineries were on board, donating all the sparkling and wine. The menu subtly referenced Roederer and Domaine wines - rehydrating dried fruits for the marmalade, poaching the quince - in classic Fancher style. For a complete list of purveyors who donated 100% to the dinner, please see below. The Gallery Bar kitchen team, guided by sous chef Andrew Wycoff, has been incredible these past few weeks, keeping the doors open while helping Chef coordinate feeding those in need who were temporarily re-located to Healdsburg from their lost homes and schools. The extraordinary spirit of our staff is not a surprise, but we want to say grace.  

Here is the Roederer/Domaine menu.  We resume the spotlight series December 8, with Eric Sussman of Radio Coteau. Join Us!

Barndiva's Chef Ryan Fancher with our Sommelier Alexis Iaconis; Winemakers Arnaud Weyrich and Darrin Low of Roederer Estate & Domaine Anderson.

Barndiva's Chef Ryan Fancher with our Sommelier Alexis Iaconis; Winemakers Arnaud Weyrich and Darrin Low of Roederer Estate & Domaine Anderson.

All of us at Barndiva wish to thank:
Adrian Hoffman at 4 Star Seafood
Kim Huynh at Hobbs Applewood Smoked Meats
Sheila Angerer at Angerer Farms
Issac Cermak at Red Bird Bakery
Bonnie Z at Dragonfly Floral
Encore Event Rentals  

And a special shout out to Katrina at Abstract Loren for the powerful artwork (weheartsonomacounty, top image) she has donated to the City of Healdsburg,

...and to everyone who supports #sonomastrong. 

Chef takes a bow.

Chef takes a bow.

Zeni soil from Roederer's Philo Vineyard is part of on ongoing and interactive display in The Somm's Table in Studio Barndiva.

Zeni soil from Roederer's Philo Vineyard is part of on ongoing and interactive display in The Somm's Table in Studio Barndiva.

The 2003 L'ermitage was an unexpected gift- Merci Arnaud! 

The 2003 L'ermitage was an unexpected gift- Merci Arnaud! 

Dia de los Muertos, Plaza de Healdsburg

It was a wonderful day on Sunday as we celebrated the living by honoring the dead. Live music, Baile Folklorico, pozole, traditional alters. Drums and dress up, kids and dogs. 

Many Healdsburg restaurants and businesses participated in the Dia de los Muertos celebrations this year. All proceeds from food and drink went in support of The Healdsburg/Windsor Fire Departments/Cal Fire First Responders and CorizonHealdsburg. Corizon is a vital bilingual community support organization which Ari and Dawnelise Rosen, of Campo Fina, were instrumental in starting through their non-profit, Scopa Has A Dream, two years ago. To find out how you can get involved contact Leticia@corazonhealdsburg.org.

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Eat, Drink, Gather now!

Mats Andersson:  Prayer

Mats Andersson:  Prayer

Seeing the sun rise in a clear sky over Healdsburg Wednesday morning, two feelings prevailed. The first was immense relief that we were safe. The second was sorrow, knowing what so many of our friends - neighbors and patrons - must be going through.

Over a decade ago we lost all our family possessions when our beloved farmhouse on the Greenwood Ridge in Philo burnt to the ground. We were never in physical danger and we had a place to shelter, an empty flat with a few beds on the second floor of a barn on Center Street we were in the final stages of building. We were devastated, but not in the way so many across Sonoma, Mendocino and Napa Counties are now, some having lost whole communities, and in the most tragic circumstances, family members.

We never intended to open a restaurant in the barn when we lost our home on the ridge. The journey toward what our life has become today was born from the impulse to just keep moving. 'Barndiva' came at a moment in our lives when all we really wanted to do was dive headlong under a bed of grief. But we threw ourselves into creating a life and a business in Healdsburg which slowly came into shape. It didn’t come swiftly; there was a period of stunned disbelief, then a very dark time. It was the indelible beauty of this landscape and the kindness of strangers who seemed open to all our crazy ideas that slowly dragged us back into the light. We could never replace what we lost, but the people and community Barndiva brought into our lives saved us. 

From the beginning, because it was the local community which welcomed and bolstered us, it was the local community we were primarily focused on serving. To be sure, we have embraced and been sustained by tourism - but the focus has never been about fostering a line between neighbor and stranger. A truly viable notion of sustainability is one which supports local farms and purveyors, invests heavily in a local work force that prepares and serves food and drink to our tables. But it offers the same dining experience to anyone who passes through our doors. So many of the calls of concern we received the past week have been from couples who were married on our property who hold Healdsburg and Sonoma County close to their hearts. Its health is important to them too. Sonoma County doesn’t just rely upon hospitality as an industry, it thrives because being hospitable is character, and (in the best instances) passion driven. 

We have a long road ahead toward recovery of our emotional and economic equilibrium. Even as we welcome the world back, it's clear the immediate needs of this community are paramount - it will require all of us, using our best skills, to bring back what so many have lost. So we don’t lose them. 

We are a small family business that has, as its first responsibility, keeping our incredibly dedicated work force employed. We will be here, with all the love and talent Ryan Fancher puts into our food, cooking our hearts out. We look forward to welcoming you soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Friday, October 13

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Friday, October 13

We want to extend heartfelt and awe-struck gratitude to the many brave first responders who put their lives on the line in Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino. A special shout out to Supervisor James Gore and State Senator Mike McGuire for their immediate and laser focused help when and where it was needed most. To all our elected representatives across the North Bay who are stepping up, Thank You. 

Eat, Drink, Gather! 

 

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