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First time in Sonoma on Sat: Any wineries with tastings $20 or less?

Ozumo Feb 10, 2009 12:17 PM

My gf and I will be having dinner at Estate, and are trying to figure out where would be best to go during the day. We've been to Napa a bunch of times, but this is our first time in Sonoma wine country. I would really appreciate help finding the better deals as far as wineries to hit on a day trip, as I really have no idea where to go. Thanks!

  1. rworange Feb 10, 2009 01:24 PM

    There are few with tastings of that would be $20 or more. Most of them are in the $5-$10 range and many will waive the fee if you buy a bottle.

    If you stop by Cornerstone Gardens, there are a few tasting rooms and the Sonoma Visitors bureau which has coupons for complimentary tastings.
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/583572

    It is across from Gloria Ferrer Winery
    http://www.chow.com/places/19366

    Not a winery, but a few blocks from Downtown is Vella cheese. Just a little shop, but I HIGHLY recommend taking home of their grated dry jack cheese which I use like parmesan. It will age beautifully if you keep it in a jar. Do not refrigerate.

    If you need a lunch suggestion ... and it is not raining ... Tortilleria Jalisco serves a great posole on Saturday afternoons only.
    http://www.chow.com/san_francisco_bay_area_digest/6541

    If you follow highway 12 towards Santa Rosa, once you pass Agua Caliente, the next town after Sonoma, there is winery after winery. Here are a few
    http://www.chow.com/search?search%5Bq...

    1. j
      jacob_mochel Feb 10, 2009 03:06 PM

      Kimberly Jackson is $5, refunded if you purchase. Drive out to Korbel $free and beautiful...

      1. d
        DavidT Feb 10, 2009 03:07 PM

        The SF Chronicle website has an archive of useful reviews of various winery tasting rooms.

        http://www.sfgate.com/columns/tasting...

        3 Replies
        1. re: DavidT
          rworange Feb 10, 2009 03:39 PM

          Yes and no. Some of the info is outdated and some wineries have long closed. HOWEVER, there are links to the websites to check info and there are some good articles about the wineries.

          1. re: rworange
            d
            DavidT Feb 10, 2009 05:47 PM

            I was referring/linking to the SF Chronicle's archive of wine tasting room reviews, which were written on a weekly basis up until a month or so ago. Since there are probably 30 reviews (a good number of Sonoma wineries) written in the past 6 or so months, I have every reason to believe the information in those reviews is current.

            I was not referring to the SF Chronicles data base of winery info. While some on the data may be out of date, I am sure the vast majority of it (phone numbers, addresses, tasting room hours, etc.) is still current and of some use, as a starting point at least.

            1. re: DavidT
              rworange Feb 10, 2009 05:51 PM

              OK, didn't follow the link through.

              As to the database, last year I went through it all and other sites to create a Google map. Maybe about 80 percent of it was correct at the time. Always good to check the websites ... and even then ... call if you have your heart set on it. Some wineries don't keep their info current.

        2. moto Feb 10, 2009 04:33 PM

          hello, if you mean the town of Sonoma and not the diffused sub-regions in the county of that name, and you like zinfandel, try Ravenswood (they do a few other reds and a chardonnay as well). The basic tasting was $5. , I think, maybe free, the more distinctive single vineyard stuff costs maybe $10 for tasting several more (I belonged to ZAP when I was there last and didn't pay anything, so don't have precise details). The Healdsburg-Geyserville part of the county might have a more interesting wineries in about a ten mile radius, depending on your preferences--three subregions (Russian river, Alexander Valley, Dry Creek) conjoin at that point. This is a bit further north from the Carneros-city of Sonoma end but can be easily combined with the upper (Calistoga) part of Napa valley by a very pretty highway drive through Knight's and Alexander valleys.

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