A chicken coop and water tower used for events? As the location scout for Here Comes The Guide, I just couldn’t resist exploring this anomaly of a Wine Country reception venue/event site, situated along the Gravenstein Trail just outside Sebastopol, also known as “the Berkeley of Sonoma County.” How, I wondered, could this former working farm possibly host a wedding or corporate event?
Denise Looney, the owner and mastermind behind the redesign of Sova Gardens, has created a place that feels like an authentic Wine Country experience. The whole facility, including the living areas and bedrooms, had me gawking until Denise was just embarrassed by my admiration. The entire property was in bloom with luscious gardens—and this when virtually nothing is blooming in my entire yard! The original chicken coop, now converted into a half-block-long row of antique-decorated and quite spacious events rooms, has a full bar at one end.
But the large backyard, with its eco-friendly grass area next to the water tower’s dripping wheel, was what really got me thinking about weddings here. I loved the cool spot where couples exchange vows under 3 giant sequoias. A second lawn area is used for receptions and there’s a patio for cocktails. But what impressed me most was the commercial kitchen with walk-in refrigeration, pantries the size of my bedroom and work space enough for a crew of gymnasts.