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Picnic in or around Sonoma?

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evangross Sep 7, 2006 07:47 PM

We are going up to Sonoma (the town) on Saturday and I was thinking about picking up some picnic stuff and finding a winery to eat at. Anyone have any good suggestions for: 1) where to pick up the picnic food (only looking for sandwiches/salads/cheeses; nothing to fancy); and 2) which winery has a good picnic area. We are willing to travel outside of Sonoma but not too far. Thanks!

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    fine wino RE: evangross Sep 7, 2006 09:09 PM

    I love picnicing at Preston of Dry Creek. There's a country store/deli right on Dry Creek Road before you turn up to the winery and, though I've never been in, it's got to be good based on the crowds outside. Preston is a very sweet place with a lot of heart. This is a good time to go because Lou's garden will be bursting. You can tour it and then buy whatever's ripe at the tasting room. He also bakes bread - one kind, different every time I've been. AND their wines are pretty good. Last time I was there we had a bottle of their white blend with our picnic.

    http://www.prestonvineyards.com/

    Also, on DCR there's Wilson Winery. They have a covered outdoor seating area overlooking the valley and it's simply beautiful. I like their wines a lot too, esp the Zins and Syrah. You get to taste about 8 wines when you visit and they are very nice people.

    Have you been to Unti and/or Gopfrich? Both are right in that area and very much worth visiting - outstanding wine! Appts needed for both.

    3 Replies
    1. re: fine wino
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      evangross RE: fine wino Sep 7, 2006 10:20 PM

      Thanks! Preston looks perfect!

      1. re: evangross
        Melanie Wong RE: evangross Sep 7, 2006 10:35 PM

        fine wino's suggestions are spot on for Dry Creek Valley. One caveat is that the area is west and north of Healdsburg and about an hour's drive from the town of Sonoma. But if you decide to head up that way, here's an old post from SLRossi about a perfect picnic table overlooking Lake Sonoma.
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

        1. re: Melanie Wong
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          fine wino RE: Melanie Wong Sep 7, 2006 11:01 PM

          Yes, I realized that evangross was looking for something near Sonoma proper once I posted and reread his OP. I just love that area and once you're up there, what's an additional *few* miles? We go up as a day trip and it doesn't feel like a lot of driving from SF.

          Next time I'm gonna find this Lake Sonoma picnic spot. Thanks for the tip, Melanie.

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      Mick Ruthven RE: evangross Sep 8, 2006 03:46 AM

      Preston isn't near the town of Sonoma at all. It's an hour+ away and in another (very good) area centered on Healdsburg, not Sonoma. If you want the town of Sonoma, Gundlach Bundschu winery has picnic tables along a path up a gentle hill that overlooks the vineyard. It's a winery with a long family history and one I like to take visitors to.

      Good sandwiches and pastry at Basque Boulangerie on the East side of the square. Very good deli food, and of course great bread, at the Sonoma Market at 500 W Napa St, a few blocks West of the square. Very good cheese at Vella Cheese factory, 315 Second Street East, a block and a half East/North of the square. Their dry jack is the star there. I avoid the large cheese shop/deli on the North side of the square; pretty much all monterey jack cheese with flavorings, mediocre deli, and hordes of tourists.

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