Sonoma Part Two – California

August 23, 2012

After a mostly cloudy first day in Sonoma County we were pleased to watch up to clear skies on our second and only full day… this is the lovely view from our hilltop Bed and Breakfast… 

Every morning we ate an amazing spread of coffee, juice, fruit platters and something hot, we ate scrambled eggs and bacon one morning and waffles and syrup on another all on beautiful china plates.


The view over to the mountains… 

And the swimming pool we didn’t get to use! 

Then we headed off for a scenic drive and to find some more vineyards… 

 Our first stop was Alexander Valley Vineyards

 This guy was guarding the door but eventually he let us in…

 They have won a ton of taste awards here…

I told you it was chilly, they even had the fire going here.

So worth a visit just for the beautiful setting. We also learnt a lot from our server about how things work out here… once again he explained about shipping; the sheer volume of US customers meant most of the wine from smaller vineyards never leaves the country.

He also told us about the tastings… the time of year where you can buy futures. This is the time to visit (I believe it’s March) where all the vineyards open up to ticket holders and you drive (or more sensibly get driven) around and pick out your future cellar wines.

I’d love to do this one day, obviously minus the buying unless we could sort out a shipping method, hire a driver and set up a route around all the vineyards. People get very merry apparently!

This was my favourite winery and I cannot remember the name unfortunately but the family owned vineyard is beautiful as is the main house (how classic?!) and we were served by the grand-daughter of the third generation owner. This family had been here since before they owned vineyards, they used to grow prunes!

This is where we brought our final present for my Father-in-Law as their Chardonnay was just amazing. I was so sad we don’t get this at home… 

We did make one more stop but I am saving that for its own post…

Then we went back for Cocktail hour for more cheese and wine and booked a taxi for dinner so I could finally get involved. 

And heard more stories!


Our hosts had crazy stuff all over their house including lots and lots of these crazy silver animals… this one is a wine cooler…

The great thing about all the restaurants here is that you can bring your own wine pretty much everywhere, it works well for everyone.

The restaurants charge a $15 corkage on average but given that your amazing bottle of wine would be worth a lot more it’s worth paying that small charge to drink something great from your cellar.

 We were also surprised that the mark up on wines in restaurants was quite small, purely because they can’t get away with it I guess, people with either just complaint because they know exactly how much that very local bottle was or they will always bring their own.

We visited Zin, which is a proper California bistro the food was beautiful, classic and light while the service was amazing and I really enjoyed drinking our bottle of Zinfindel from Zichichi.

And that was our whirlwind two days in Sonoma… which we picked over Napa Valley because we wanted to visit smaller vineyards and winerys which are here in abundance.

Really lovely place to visit… and I would recommend staying in Healdsburg itself which would have been more convenient and there is a really great hotel which is where I wished we had stayed.


One Response to “Sonoma Part Two – California”

  1. […] Zin was our last meal in Sonoma before we headed back South for our last destination… […]

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