Learn something new at one of these classes.
Eric Michael Perez
Winter is a great season to pick up a few new skills in Wine Country. Whether you want to cook with fire or learn sabrage, class is always in session.
Winter is peak olive harvest season, but the fruit is bitter, hard, and inedible when picked off the tree. Olive-curing expert Don Landis, aka “The Olive Guy,” shows you three ways to prepare olives so they’re ready to eat. $20 per person, various locations in Sonoma, donsolives.com.
Tame the Flame
Spend three hours (or three days) at the Mugnaini Wood-Fired Oven Cooking School in Healdsburg, and discover how to cook in a wood-burning oven. Light the fire, and grill up veggies, meat, fish, and baked bread, and then feast. One-day class is $145 per person, (888) 877-7206, mugnaini.com.
Get to the Root of the Matter
Learn all about composting, soba making, beekeeping, and more in two- and three-hour workshops offered at Shed. This winter, there’s also a biodynamic series that focuses on soil and composting. Workshop prices vary, 25 North St., Healdsburg, (707) 431-7433, healdsburgshed.com.
Be a Winemaker for a Day
At Conn Creek Winery’s Barrel Blending Experience, blend Cabernet and more sourced from major Napa Valley AVAs. Choose the wines with which to concoct a special blend, and then bottle it and take it home. $95 per person, 8711 Silverado Trail, Rutherford, (707) 963-9100, conncreek.com.
Cook Like a Wine Country Chef
Bring flavors from the chefs of The Girl and the Fig into your own kitchen. During hands-on cooking classes, prepare seasonal menus of braised meats, pasta or pizza, or charcuterie. Classes start at $65 per person, 21800 Schellville Rd., Ste. D, Sonoma, (707) 933-3667, figsuited.com.
Learn the Art of Sabering
T. Beller of Verve Napa Valley teaches you how to open champagne and sparkling wine bottles with a saber, a technique known as sabrage. She’ll guide you with safety tips so you can perform this cool party trick for friends. $30 per group, locations vary, (707) 253-2269, vervenapavalley.com.
Discover the art of home cheese-making from the experts at Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company. After a farm-fresh lunch, you’ll make your own ricotta, chévre, or mozzarella to take home. $160 per person, 14700 Hwy. 1, Point Reyes Station, (800) 591-6878, pointreyescheese.com.
Sharpen Your Culinary Skills
Enlist in boot camp at the Culinary Institute of America, and master farm-to-table cuisine, grilling, wine, vegetarian cuisine, or desserts. Camps start at $895 per person, 2555 Main St., St. Helena, (800) 888-7850, ciachef.edu.