New Adventures in Wine Country – NorthBay Biz, March 2019


In west Sonoma County, Red Car Winery near Graton offers a “forest bathing” experience, in which visitors take a meditative walk in Freestone’s Zephyr Farms vineyard led by Jenny Harrow, a certified forest therapy guide. Zephyr Farms is a seven-acre property surrounded by redwoods and kissed by frequent coastal fog. It’s also where Red Car sources Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes.

Forest bathing is based on shinrin-yoku, or “taking in the forest atmosphere,” an activity developed in Japan in the 1980s and widely used in that country today for preventive health care and healing. Red Car first hosted forest bathing in 2017. Two walks were offered in 2018, and two are scheduled for 2019, so far. As its popularity increases, the winery may consider adding more dates. Red Car drives participants to and from the vineyard from its tasting room at the intersection of Highway 116 and Graton Road. The two-hour walk costs $45 per person.

“Rather than offering a traditional vineyard tour, this special walk with a therapy guide is something much different,” explains Kendall Busby, marketing coordinator for Red Car. “We have a wonderful tasting lounge, but our visitors are increasingly interested in getting out into the vineyards to see where our wines are coming from.” Learn more about our Forest Bathing wine events on our Events Calendar.

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