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Feb 26, 2012 01:13 PM

Historical/Educational tour in Wine Country

Does anyone have a recommendation for a historical/educational tour or activity in Sonoma etc... I will be in town for a wedding and already have some reservations (unti, a. Raffanelli, o'shaughnessy, Jarvis, pride, venge, Redd) but... One of the days I will be stuck with my Father in law who couldn't tell a Harlan from a Yellowtail... He is however very interested in history and I think would even enjoy an educational tour of how wine is made etc...

Can anyone recommend a winery or museum that shows the history of the area or a winery that does a great educational tour? I have heard Sterling. mondavi, Benzinger, may have what I am looking for but was curious on y'alls opinions... We will be staying in Sonoma but I will have a car so I can drive wherever....


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    1. Of those you mention Mondavi has had a tour very educational for wine novices; Sterling has the aerial tram ride to the winery for those not hesitant to ride in a small enclosure at great height. Both are in Napa. In Sonoma, Benziinger has very helpful staff and a tour through the actual vineyards (none of the others do typically, and is family-owned where Mon and Ster are corporate. Reservations recommended at all, required at most.
      I took some friends to two places in Napa: Cakebread and Grgich. I wanted them to see two different winemaking practices. Cakebread is modern equipment and techniques, Grgich is biodynamic growing, organic, all estate grown, solar powered. That may not be the kind of education of interest to your father-in-law but my friends liked it.

      1. Then there's the plaza in downtown Sonoma with the Mission, Barracks, Hotel and other historical buildings for your Father in law to visit while others taste wine. Vallejo's home is a long walk from downtown, but peacefully lovely.

        And there's art in the gallery just south of the plaza.

        Benziger is better in summer when the biodynamic gardens are thriving.