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Mar 18, 2013 01:55 PM

Picnic Spot in Russian River Valley

My husband and I will be in Sonoma in early April. We'll spend one of our days tasting in the RRV and are looking for a good spot for lunch. We're planning to visit Copain and Lynmar earlier in the day, then picnic somewhere, followed by Merry Edwards and Arista as we loop back up to Healdsburg.

Lynmar won't allow us to bring outside food, but their own picnic offering isn't available this early in the season. Can anyone recommend a place to stop somewhere near there, or over near Merry Edwards, either an actual restaurant or a picnic spot (at a winery or otherwise)? Having never been to Sonoma, I'm sure this is a very dumb question, but is it possible to even just pull over somewhere to eat near the road?

Many thanks!

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  1. Rochioli has a nice picnic spot overlooking their vineyards and the river. You might be able to buy wine by the glass there, too.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ernie in berkeley

      Thanks! We may end up just driving to Graton for a bite, as we won't be up quite as far as Rochioli until later in the afternoon.

      1. re: kristinndc

        Willow Wood Cafe serves solid food in Graton, but there can be a wait - which can eat into wine tasting time. It's more for a leisurely meal than a quick stop.

    2. Freeman (by appointment only) has picnic tables. Good quality wines too. Dutton Goldfield if my memory serves - does as well, but Dutton Goldfield isn't on a vineyard.

      1. Iron Horse Vineyards is just a few miles from Merry Edwards. Beautiful view. I think they have a picnic area. They definitely have an area where you can sit and look at the view and eat.

        As already mentioned, Rochioli has nice grounds if it fits your route.

        1. Thanks, all! Good suggestions here - I will get back to planning. Building an 8-day itinerary has turned into a full-time job!

          1. why don't you call Woodenhead and see if you can picnic on their deck. It is a pleasant setting with a nice view. I'm betting that they will allow it, especially if you buy a bottle, and why wouldn't you want to buy a bottle. Great wine.