Guys, it’s been too long and I apologize. But I’m back (and ready to talk about my latest adventure)!
Justin needed to travel to Santa Rosa, California for work recently and when we looked it up on the map and saw that it was in Sonoma County we realized we needed to make a trip out of it.
One of the most fun parts about this trip was the mustang convertible we rented. Justin and I both want one now! We drove through the city, under the Golden Gate bridge, and then headed out on Highway One along the ocean.
The scenary there is beautiful, you feel like you are in an enchanted garden riding on a back country road with tight curves and then suddenly you come out on top of a bluff and you are alongside the ocean. It adds an hour and a half or so to the journey but I would recommend it to anyone. Halfway through we stopped at a local hotel pub that ended up having fresh seafood and delicious fish and chips.
By the time we got into town it was already around 4PM so we drove straight to our first wine tasting at Ledson Winery and Vineyard. I’d been there before for a bachelorette party and knew that we had to go back. Neither of us are wine buffs but it’s quite charming. The outside tree canopy is the perfect setting to enjoy a bottle of wine and soak up the realization that we are here, in Sonoma, on a beautiful day.
From Ledson we went to Cline Cellars which is open later than most of the other wineries and offers free tastings. The grounds aren’t as impressive as Ledson but we found the atmosphere there to be relaxed and warm. We enjoyed five tastings (plus an extra from friendly staff) and then journeyed back to our hotel in Santa Rosa.
We stayed in historic Santa Rosa which is really quite quaint. In some ways it reminded me of my college town Flagstaff, AZ. We stayed at the Hotel La Rose, a historic hotel with a lot of old time charm. At the recommendation of the concierge we ate dinner at a great Italian restaurant and had ice cream at a local hang out across the street.
Justin was supposed to work the next day but because of an error with shipping we had the afternoon free after both working in the morning. We took the opportunity to take the Mustang back out and drive to two more vineyards, Gloria Ferrer in Sonoma and Domaine Carneros in Napa Valley.
Gloria Ferrer sits on top of a hill and from the tasting patio you have amazing views of the rolling hills and can see the endless rows of grape vines. We went on a tour where we learned their process for making wine and got to taste several of their different sparkling wines.
We met another couple visiting from Texas on our tour and enjoyed a glass of wine and some cheese plates with them on the patio. Everyone we met in Sonoma was incredibly friendly, knowledgeable and excited to share their love of wine with us.
We decided to drive a bit further to Napa Valley, neither of us had never been and wanted to see if there was a difference. I need to add, every drive was so much fun. We had sunny skies, seventy degree weather and a convertible.
In Napa Valley we went to Domaine Carneros, where you taste on the patio of an impressive French Château. We found the sparkling wines to be tasty but the atmosphere stuffy. The tasting was more expensive and our server was not very friendly. It’s a beautiful spot but we both agreed with so many different vineyards we probably wouldn’t go back there.
On our way back to our hotel we stopped in downtown Sonoma and enjoyed pizza and ice cream. We couldn’t help ourselves and stopped alongside a beautiful property to take some photos. With the sun setting on the emerald grass and hills you can’t but help feeling like you are in a movie.
On our way back to the airport we stopped at the Marin Headlands and took some great pictures with the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s such an impressive site and well worth the pull out to the scenic spot.
My opinion on wine country, whether you like wine or not it’s definitely worth the visit. Have you been wine tasting in Napa or Sonoma? I’d love to hear your experiences and if you felt there was a more friendly vibe in Sonoma compared to Napa.