Sonoma and Napa – Wine Country, California

I am going to take a small detour from my walking Cincinnati posts, but will come back next week with another walk.

We’ve been to the Napa area many times, so this time when we decided to visit wine country; we thought we’d try some of the wineries in Sonoma.  We stayed at the Inn at Sonoma.  It is another Four Sisters Inn facility.  We’ve stayed a number of times at the Four Sisters Inns and have not been disappointed.  This one lived up to what we’ve come to expect from their properties.  They offer a full breakfast every morning as well as wine and cheese every evening.

The town of Sonoma is rather small and has many restaurants and shops.  We heard about a hike to see the view of Sonoma so since we are big walkers, we decided to do the hike one morning.  The hike is a two mile hike called the Sonoma Overlook Hike and while it is fairly easy as far as hikes go, it does have some elevation.  Below are a couple of pictures we took along the way.

We decided one day to drive to Bodega Bay.  Bodega Bay is only about an hour outside of Sonoma and is a quaint, ocean side little community perhaps best known for being where they filmed Alfred Hitchcock’s movie The Birds.  Below is the church from one of the scenes in the movie.

We did visit a few wineries while in Sonoma.  Some of our favorites were Ledsons, St. Francis, Beringer, Chateau St. Jean, and Domaine Carneros.

They were all wonderful, but I believe our favorite was the Domaine Carneros which are the pictures right above.  They have some wonderful sparkling wines and have a white pinot noir.

We took a side trip to Santa Rosa which is home to Russian River Brewing Co.  This was a must see on my husband’s list of places to visit and I think he was very happy to sample a few of their beers.

We decided to drive back into Napa to visit some our favorite wineries from when we visited there in the past.  We really enjoy going to V Sattui Winery  since they have a nice market place.  So we bought some cheese and a nice bottle of their wine and ate lunch in their picnic area.  It was a beautiful day the day we stopped by so we just enjoyed the wine and the beautiful scenery.

We wanted to go to Sterling Winery since they have a tram that takes you up to their facility.  It is nice because their tasting room has lots of window in it and has a wonderful view.  However, they had lost power that day and we could not go but if you are in that area, make sure to include a stop there.

We did do a very nice cave tour at Beringer Winery.  It ended up being a private tour because it was toward the end of the day and mid-January so there were not many people visiting that day.  I wish I had taken some picture of the cave area, but I did not.  The wines we were given to taste were very nice.

We did a tasting at Silverado Winery in the Stags Leap District that was very good.  That’s their patio below which on a pretty day would be nice to sit at.  It was rainy the day we visited.

The last winery we visited was Robert Mondavi.  We did a tour there that was great and the wines that we tasted were very good.  Below are a couple of pictures that I took while on that tour.  Our guide was very excited about us being able to see the “t” shaped vines as this is the only time of year you can see that.

We had a great time in Sonoma and really enjoyed going to some different wineries.  Since we were flying out of San Francisco, we decided stop by Muir Woods on our way into that area.  We’ve been to Muir Woods many times and I would highly recommend going to see the redwoods if you are in the area.  Be warned though that they now require you to have a paid reservation before allowing you to park here.  We didn’t see this on the website and since there is no cell service at the park and since the only way to get this paid reservation was to go online; we had to drive three miles to the Muir Woods Beach and walk out on the beach in order to get reception, get on the website and pay.  It was kind of funny, but it is worth the effort.

Sorry for the rather lengthy post, but I had quite a lot of pictures that I wanted to post here.  Also, poor yapping cricket is not in any of these pictures as I was too lazy to add her to all these pictures, but she’ll be back next week again when I get back to the walking in Cincinnati book.