Down a rural road a few miles from the Sonoma square, behind an auto shop in an industrial building, you'll find one of Sonoma's best-kept secrets: it's not only great wine that comes from the Sonoma Valley, but also high-quality craft spirits at HelloCello and Prohibition Spirits.
When Fred Groth visited from Colorado, he was struck by how similar the climate of Sonoma was to Italy's and wondered why no one had thought to make limoncello there. So he and his wife decided to do it themselves; they moved to Sonoma in 2008, bought a single pot still with the help of a Kickstarter fund, opened HelloCello and Prohibition Spirits and now make 11 varieties of spirits, including limoncello, bourbon, whiskey, rye, rum, and brandy.
A recent change in the law allows Hello Cello to offer tastings at the one-room distillery. Previously, local distilleries could sell their spirits, but not offer tastings to the public. Hello Cello offers tastings on an appointment-only basis.
Guests at the nearby Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort and Spa can arrange tastings at Hello Cello through the hotel or sample a variety of other local spirits at the hotel's own Bean and Bottle bar.