17 Feb San Jose Mercury News- Sebastopol’s Barlow: Five ways to Eat, Drink, Play
In just 18 months, The Barlow, an upscale food and wine playground in the heart of Sebastopol, has become home to 38 artists, food purveyors, winemakers, distillers and brewers — and a destination for locals and tourists alike.
A mix of renovated warehouses and new, farm-style steel barns — a nod to Sonoma County’s agrarian roots — is spread out over 12.5 acres, along with patios, a garden and edible landscaping. The campus is abuzz with activity seven days a week.
DRINK: SPIRIT WORKS DISTILLERY
The vibe: Small-batch handcrafted spirits are the specialty at this micro-distillery, where owners Timo and Ashby Marshall distill gin, sloe gin, vodka, rye and wheat whiskey and a barrel-aged gin. Timo Marshall uses his family’s generations-old sloe gin recipe, which calls for steeping sloe berries — a relative of plums — in gin. No additives or syrups here. His sloe gin is a vibrant cranberry red and infused with citrus, cranberry and red plum flavors.
Take an hourlong tour ($20) at 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Visitors will explore the path from milling distillation in one of the giant copper stills, then taste their way through all the spirits.
The dish: Sample the artisan gin, whiskey and vodka at the tasting bar ($8 for three tastes, or $15 for all five spirits), including the gin made from botanicals grown by the Marshalls. Don’t miss the barrel gin made from California red winter wheat and aged in American oak.
The details: Open Thursday-Sunday; 6790 McKinley St., No. 100