Sonoma Part One – California

August 22, 2012

Moving up from Santa Cruz we had to drive through San Francisco to get to our next destination… 

We also got to go over the Golden Gate Bridge… our first look was stunning, pure sunshine and blue skies. We kept the top down and drove on over.

After San Francisco we really felt like we were north, the palm trees has changed into firs and it had definitely gotten chilly…

We arrived at our next Bed and Breakfast which was in Sonoma, we were here for a couple of days of vineyard action.

The bed and breakfast was in a grand house at the top of a hill… we had a strange time here, I don’t want to bad mouth it because it really was great but it wasn’t really the right place for us so I cannot recommend it either.

We checked in and immediately got sent off to a few vineyards not too far away…

The first being Ferrari Carano… a very grand house and gardens (although compared to some gardens in England they were not amazing as we were told)…

This wild boar statue was a present to the lady of the house, you’re supposed to rub its nose for good luck. I lvoe that its nose was all worn.

We went straight down into the cellars for a tasting…

In California most of the vineyards hold tastings which you pay a small charge for, we much preferred this as it meant we could just do a tasting without explaining our situation; that we couldn’t take any wine with us as we were going back to the UK in a week, even if we wanted to we didn’t find one vineyard that would ship to us.

We tried some really delicious wines here but they were not our favourite, and neither was this vineyard. It is a stunning building but we felt other places so much friendlier.

 These were little chocolate covered berries… served with the above. Really amazing.

Ferrari Carano had lots of these White House menus on the wall, for which they had provided wine.

By this time we were starving so we took a little de-tour into the town for a snack… We were staying near Healdsburg and it is such a pretty town. Once again… I wished we were there longer! How many times have I said that? 

There are so many nice restaurants, boutiques, tasting rooms and theatres, this small town is quite sophisticated. I could live here for sure.

We loved the Flying Goat Coffee house…


I loved the space… 

 And we had some amazing coffee and pie. Really good pie.

A little like Santa Barbara, this town has plenty of cute… 

So filled up a little we hit another vineyard. Please remember I was driving, this was like torture. I was able to have little sips of some at the tastings but my Husband enjoyed it a lot more.

The Zichichi vineyard was so lovely, the people were lovely, the wine was delicious and they gave us a little tour and told us all about the family owned company. 

All in a really pretty setting, I love this truck in a field.


We actually did try to buy some wine here, even looked into how to ship it home (as they do not ship outside of the US, I guess they don’t need to since the country is so big) but we couldn’t.

The best thing about Californian vineyards is that they sell futures, so you can buy bottles of wine from a barrel that isn’t ready yet, saving a fortune and building yourself a cellar. This is what we wanted to buy into. So gutted we couldn’t.

We did buy ourselves one bottle we would have to drink at some point before flying home. Their zinfandel was so good, I think its something we don’t really drink much of in this country because we only get bad ones… but here it’s major.

So like I have mentioned Bed and Breakfasts in California were all about cocktail house, nearly always serving cheese and wine. At this b&b it was taken to another level, both nights we were here our hosts opened an amazing bottle of wine and served us proper cheese (who knew they even had it here!) and told us so many stories…

Before recommending us a spot for dinner in town, this bar and grill was so fun, a sports bar in that they had a couple of tv up in, that does posh bar food. Our hosts said they go here every Tuesday for a Hamburger.


I had mac and cheese taken to another level

And that was just day one, and we arrived at lunch time!

More to come tomorrow…


One Response to “Sonoma Part One – California”

  1. […] Starting in Sonoma, we visited here for some Vineyard visits and wine tasting and on our first night came into the town (which I loved) for a visit to this bar…  […]

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