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May 26, 2013 10:36 AM

Wine Tasting from Sonoma to Santa Rosa

We are taking a mixed family trip (Five 30+ and two toddlers) to SF and Sonoma and I need some help with wine tasting.

I'm not looking for a kid friendly winery but instead a nice winery for four of the adults that is really close to Yountville. A nice tour is a plus. The plan is for me to take the kids to the park in Yountville (awesome little park!) after dropping the adults off at a winery.

Our itinerary for the day is:
Sonoma to Napa - Breakfast at Fremont Diner and a stop at Oxbow.

Napa to Yountville - Pick up some picnic lunch at Ad Hoc and some baked goods. Drop off the adults and go to the park

Yountville to Santa Rosa - Another good winery but this time we will probably stop at Castello di Amorosa so the kids can see the castle.

I haven't been to St. Helena or Calistoga but do these have interesting walkable areas with shops?

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  1. I'm a little confused by your geography -- Yountville to Santa Rosa? Is there some reason you're going to Santa Rosa, and are you aware that the route over the mountains is very windy and much slower than the mapping programs indicate?

    Both Calistoga and St. Helena are very walkable. St. Helena has a park across the street from the north end of the shopping district.

    1. A few things... Ad Hoc is not a place to get picnic supplies - it is a full-service, sit-down restaurant. Picnic supplies could be had from Oxbow, Dean & Deluca, Oakville Grocery, or Sunshine Market.

      And, what Ruth said, your driving itinerary is a bit whacked.

      Both St. Helena AND Calistoga have very interesting, walkable shops on different scales. St. Helena is twee with art galleries, fashionable shops, vintage jewelry stores, a great olive oil store, and more. Calistoga is more down-to-earth but I find the stores more tourist-oriented and less expensive than St. Helena.

      1. If you're spending the night in Santa Rosa, consider driving through the Sonoma Valley instead. It'd be a lot less time in the car.

        1. Thanks for the replies. Our geography is a little whacked since we have to meet some people for dinner in Santa Rosa. I've been on one of the winding roads and agree that internet maps were not the most accurate regarding time frames. Actually they were very inaccurate and the roads were much more curvy than expected.

          Sorry about Ad Hoc, I meant the Addendum to pick up the box lunch.

          We are actually coming in from SF and staying in Sonoma for two nights. On the way in to Sonoma we were planning on visiting the Muir Woods then stopping in Petaluma before heading to the hotel.

          3 Replies
          1. re: BobMack

            If you're going to start and end in Sonoma County, I suggest you stay there -- there are plenty of wineries, parks (Luther Burbank gardens), cute towns (Healdsburg, Sonoma), etc. for one day. I think your original plan is a recipe for very cranky -- possibly carsick -- toddlers.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Totally agree with Ruth. Spending the time on the road to get to Napa - and back to Santa Rosa for dinner - will severely limit how much time you will actually get to spend eating and/or wine tasting.

              At BEST, you will be able to get lunch and stop at *one* winery. The rest of the time will be just driving to-and-from...

              1. re: CarrieWas218

                Thanks for the help. Can you all help me get a head start on an itinerary that would take me from Sonoma to Santa Rosa with a breakfast, lunch (picnic?) and a winery or two? It is possible that we meet our friends in Santa Rosa for lunch if that helps at all.

                We are staying at the Marriott across from Train Town both nights.

                My wife loves Fremont Diner so we may be able to throw that in before heading home the final day. It's slightly out of the way but worth it for a fun breakfast.

                Also, my littlest one went through a crazy carsick phase and it would be no fun on a long vacation.