Help A Girl Out - Two Days in Sonoma
I will be in Sonoma June 20 and 21. I want to check out wineries in Sonoma proper that have great wine but also great views. I am thinking 3-4 per day. I also want to have a very special wine + food tasting for a meal. Here are the suggestions I've gathered so far.
Valley of the Moon
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards - Meal spot
Ram's Gate Winery - Meal spot
Patz and Hall
Bartholomew Park Winery
Larson Family Winery
Robledo Family Winery
Robert Hunter Winery
Which ones are the extra special spots? Thanks for your insight!
We enjoyed the wine and the cave tour at Robert Young Winery the last time we were there (It has been a while).
The first thing to know about Sonoma valley is that it is
big! Much bigger than Napa, and it is divided into different
areas which specialize in different wines: Russian River
(pinot noir, chard, some cold weather syrah), Alexander
Valley (big cabs), Dry Creek (zins and Italian varieties),
Glen Ellen (most diverse). You wont be able to zip in and out of all these areas in a day (although Alexander
Valley and Dry Creek are on opposite sides of 101 and
easy to get to from each other). I would advise
using Healdsburg as a base. If it was me, in
Russian River, I would visit a subset of Merry Edwards,
Dutton Goldfield, Red Car, Rochioli, Moshin...
In Dry Creek, I would have Litton Ridge and Unti on my list. Note also that many wineries have tasting rooms
in Healdburg (Stonestreet, Hawley, Rosenblum, Selby...) so it is easy to spend an afternoon there
walking from one tasting room to another.
Stubb's. Pinot Noir primarily. It's un-marked- you sit in their living room and they bring out the bottles and talk with you. You need to get an invitation. Look them up and get in touch...
I assume that when you say "Sonoma proper" that you mean in and near the town of Sonoma. If that's correct, some of the replies here are for further-afield parts of Sonoma county (a very large county). To me, near the town of Sonoma would include Sonoma Valley (Hwy 12 north) up to Kenwood.
From your list. I'd keep Ram's Gate based on setting and wine quality.
For setting and not bad wines, I'd look into:
Domaine Carneros (sparkling). Look to reserve a spot on the patio.
If you have patience/time to set up appointments (e.g. your group is actually interested in learning about and potentially purchasing wine):