One night in Sonoma, please critique/give input
My boyfriend and I will be spending one night in Sonoma, December 27th. We'll arrive between 1pm and 3pm (driving) and I'm planning to book a room at the Inn at Sonoma and make dinner reservations at Girl and the Fig or possibly Cafe le Haye. I'd like to do one or two tastings in the afternoon -- any ideas? I've heard that the Lodge will provide drop-off/pick-up service for dinner, but I'm guessing it's too much to hope that they do that for wineries, too...
Anyway we are big fans of pinot noir, italian reds, and champagne/sparkling wine. We don't want a big winery; we'd rather go someplace small, interesting, approachable, and try great reds or bubblies that we can seek out (and afford) when we get back home (Seattle).
Any input on this plan would be appreciated, as well as suggestions for wineries. We can't stay more than one night, unfortunately, and will be leaving before lunchtime on the 28th to drive to Ashland.
Then you were right near Gloria Ferrer and Cline. They are right on the same stretch of road as Viansa. I couldn't tell from your original post if you are staying at the Lodge at Sonoma (where we stayed) or the Inn at Sonoma (don't know where that is). If it's the Lodge, then the drive to that area is not very far.
And I agree with Susan about the mission museum. Apparently, the owner's wife bought all of the replicas before they were to be sold off individually at auction. They then built the museum to house them on the site of the winery.
When we were in Sonoma last year, we visited Gloria Ferrer winery. They make sparkling wine there and they have a great "cave" on the tour where the bottles are stored. We loved their Blanc de Noir sparkling wine and I can find it here in Philly too. In fact, we are expecting our first child in December and I plan on toasting that event with a bottle of it.
Another nice tour right near Gloria Ferrer is Cline Cellars. They are a small winery that offers free tastings (at least they did last year). We bought a few bottles there to take home.
But do avoid Viansa (also in that area). We thought their wine sucked and they just seemed interested in luring people into their market.
re: Philly Ray
re: Philly Ray
If you go to Cline, be sure to check out their small museum with scale replicas of each of the California missions. Worth a peek. Cline makes affordable wines, with a focus on Zins and some interesting blends. I believe they do now charge a fairly minimal charge for tasting, with a credit back if you buy (?).
both Gloria Ferrer and Cline are a bit (several miles, at least) out of the town of Sonoma proper to the south, so you would need to do some driving back and forth.