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Get Schooled!

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.


De-Bitter Olives

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.

 

Luke Snyder

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.

 

Be Cheesy

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.

 

Courtesy of Culinary Institute of America

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.

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A Sophisticate Palate

In this day and age of Iron Chef and Rachael Ray, everyone thinks they're a chef - or wants to learn to be one. Evolving with this culinary trend, the prestigious California Institute of America at Greystone is expanding its nonprofessional programs, offering a wide range of ways to introduce the amateur chef to the bounty of Wine Country.

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