The Glen Ellen Letters
No. 1, September 2017...
by: Bettina Sichel
I present the 1st in a series of short letters about my adopted home of Glen Ellen. Over the years I’ve grown to love this microscopic hamlet. I hope you and your guests will come see it for yourself some day soon.
From the Oakville Grocery, Glen Ellen is a mere 30 minutes of hairpin turns over the Mayacamas Mountains via the Oakville Grade. This road is what sports cars were made for.
On a quiet night, some say you can hear a ghostly melody in the warm evening air. The land that became this village was granted by General Vallejo to his children’s pianforte teacher in gratitude for his long and patient services. You could say Glen Ellen had harmonious beginnings.
Ringed by state and regional parks and rugged Sonoma Mountain, Glen Ellen takes a little effort to find. Once you get here, though, it is clear you’ve made a discovery.
Our little village of less than 800 people boasts 5 restaurants, 2 coffee shops and a gourmet supermarket. You will never lack for a good meal here. In subsequent letters I will introduce them all, but I’ll begin with The Glen Ellen Inn. It’s a beautiful 1940’s wine country cottage run by longtime local fixtures Christian and Karen Bertrand. They call themselves “the smallest restaurant with the biggest wine list in Sonoma Valley.”
I took a break from the Laurel Glen Vineyard office recently to have a delicious lunch at the Inn consisting of a field green salad, complete with edible flowers, and poached Alaskan Halibut served on a tasty succotash featuring butter beans.
So, the next time you are out wandering, or know of someone heading to this area, let them know about the hidden gem that is Glen Ellen. Come for lunch and visit the Laurel Glen Vineyard tasting room. We’ll pour you our elegant Sonoma Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines are known, by those in the know, as among the best of the far west.