This past weekend I had the opportunity to try a super cool new experience: making Kombucha!
Abbot’s Passage is a distinctive destination in downtown Sonoma. It’s home to unique, regularly scheduled workshops that pair hands-on education with tastings of Katie Bundschu’s small-lot, co-fermented field blend wines. The grapes are sourced from prominent storied vineyards, and she’s apt to make wines just as unique as her space, such as a Chenin Blanc/Verdejo blend.
For those of you unfamiliar with Katie, she’s a sixth-generation vintner from the Gundlach-Bundschu family (the oldest family-owned winery in California). She’s a true powerhouse and innovator! While she still plays an active role in her family’s winery, she has also dived into trying something new on her own. Leveraging 30 years of single-vineyard sourcing that GunBun is known for, Katie’s concept represents something a little different. Her quest is to discover new concepts and make unique character-rich field blends, instead of single-varietal wines.
The historic red barn location just off Sonoma Square highlights her beautiful lineup of wines, as well as well-curated items from small-production, local creators. I’m still swooning over the jewelry selection! Their amazing Merchandise Manager, Therese Sueiro is truly phenomenal at what she does!
Now, what brought me there was the unique hands-on events that Abbot’s Passage hosts. These include: how to make bitters, watercolor paint, floral jewelry, and more! Head to their site for all the details. This is definitely one place I can’t wait to return again and again on my visits to Sonoma!
For those of you interested in the actual Kombucha process, here’s a quick overview. It’s a fermented beverage, similar to wine, but at the same time, completely different. Kelly McVicker of McVicker Pickles led us through the process and I was surprised by how easy she made it seem (but then again… she’s a pickling goddess, so we’ll see how it goes once I get home and on my own…). We also started with a pre-made Scoby purchased from Etsy, so that helped simplify the process.
how to make kombucha at abbot's passage
- Start with a large glass container of boiling water (a gallon-sized mason jar would be perfect).
- Add some tea bags and sugar.
- Let it cool (or add cold water to bring down the temp).
- Remove the tea bags, add the Scoby, and let it sit for 7-14 days.
- After that time, remove the Scoby, and put it into smaller bottle-shaped containers
- Add a small additional amount of sugar or fruit to start the second fermentation and add the “fizz” we’re used to in Kombucha.
- After 2-3 days, ta-da! It’s ready!
In theory, it sounds easy, but as I said… now that I have my container going through first fermentation at home, we’ll see how well I do keeping up with it.
If you want step-by-step instructions, check out this site for a more detailed explanation, or sign up for Kelly’s next class! She has an event page on her site, and also partners frequently with Abbot’s Passage to hold experiences like I one I attended. You can find their schedule here.
Can you have a wedding at Abbot’s Passage winery?
Abbots Passage was formerly known as the wedding venue, Valley of the Moon. It is open for small weddings (I believe less than 50 people), but you’d have to contact Abbot’s Passage Winery.
Abbot’s Passage winery review?
Abbot’s Passage is a place I would definitely recommend. Especially if you’re one that loves a hands-on learning experience.