Sipping Wine in Sonoma & Napa Valley

I didn’t nearly take as many pictures as I usually do on trips, so what you see from here is about 80% of what I was able to capture. I’m hoping to make another trip down in Spring next year and plan to be a little better about taking pictures. It’s hard to do when you’re having so much fun focusing on your wine tastings.

It was a quick three day trip filled with beautiful scenery, delicious wines and Cheese!

DAY 1:

Arrived in Santa Rosa at the airport, it’s a quick 1 hr 20 minute direct flight from Portland, OR. Once the rental car was picked up, we drove straight to Napa Valley. Our first stop was by reservation only, even though it wasn’t clear on their website. This is kind of the deal for Napa Valley, most places are reservation only. However, Sonoma Valley has more options that do not require reservations which is where Day 2 happened. Moving on – First stop ended up being Peju Winery. I took pictures!

Yes, take me to the tasting room. Peju Province Winery in Rutherford, CA.
Peju Province Winery in Rutherford, CA.

Next stop on Day 1 was Del Dotto Vineyards in Napa, California where we had a reservation. I wish I had taken pictures of this place. It was all in a long cave and we were able to taste straight from the barrel. It was interesting to be able to taste the wines while they were still young and to taste the difference between the different kind of oak barrels used.

We tried to make one last stop, but the winery was closing their tasting room. So we made an adventure to the Oxbow Public Market where delicious cheese, wine and produce were purchased.

Then we made finally made it to the AirBnB in Glen Ellen, California. Our host greeted us with wine and a tour of the cabin. It sits up on a mountain looking out to Sonoma Valley. It is a peaceful location, but is around 10 miles from a main street so it’s best to get there before dark.

Deck view from my AirBnB.
There was always a glass of wine on hand.
Getting serious with wine.

DAY 2:
The next day I hired a driver to take us to six planned stops. We ended up dropping one of the planned ones and going to two unplanned stops making the total seven wineries in one day!

The first stop was at Medlock Ames Winery. This was easily one of the favorites. I loved that they were all about sustainability when making their wines and they had beautiful gardens on the tasting room premises. One of the guys that works there makes soup for the employees using items from the gardens. Since this was our first stop, there was no one else there at first. It was like having a private wine tasting with the best host ever. Also, they did cheese pairings with the wine and it was well done. Needless to say, I bought their 2012 Fifty Tons Cabernet Sauvignon and I can’t wait to open it sometime this year or early next year.

Medlock Ames Winery in Healdsburg, CA. A favorite.

Our second stop was Hanna Winery. I purchased their 2014 Bismark Mountain Vineyard Zinfandel. It needs some time to age, but it was already pretty delicious. Overall, the wines here for me were just ok but hte view alone is worth going to see.

The view from Hanna Winery’s deck in Healdsburg, CA.

The other places we stopped were:

  1. Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves – I became a Wine Club member and walked away with six bottles of wine. No big deal. The tasting room is in a beautiful cave!
  2. Quiviria Vineyards & Winery – We ended up having a picnic here, which was much needed after the crazy wine tasting we had at Bella. We didn’t purchase any wines here, it was just ok.
  3. Dry Creek Vineyard – This place had a cool vibe to it at first, but the guy pouring our tastings was a bit condescending and snobby. Likely wouldn’t come back here and didn’t purchase any of their wines.
  4. Ferrari Carano – This was one of the places our driver suggested. It was probably the most breathtaking properties. I would love to come back here again. We purchased two 2013 Dry Creek Valley Sangioveses here.
  5. Dutcher Crossing – This was a cute place with a very country feel to it. By the time we got here, we were pretty spent and the tasting room was about to close. So we kind of rushed through the tasting, but we did end up purchasing their 2012 Cooney Vineyard, Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

Day 3:
The last day included two winery stops, Russian River Brewing Company for beers and lunch, and a walk around the weird town of Santa Rosa before heading to the small, yet extremely convenient Santa Rosa Airport.

Winery stops:

  1. Imagery Estate Winery – This place was awesome because of their variety of wines. They had a lot of different wines and they let you choose your tasting! That is worth coming to. It had a nice laid back atmosphere. We left with two bottles of their 2012 Upper Ridge Vineyard Lagrein and one bottle of their 2013 Weinstock Vineyard Barbera.
  2. VJB – This looks like a villa you would find in Italy. Our pouring host was delightful and informative of Italian wine regions. There was no champagne or prosecco tastings yet in our trip so when we tried their delicious Prosecco it was a no brainer. We left with two bottles of their 2014 Prosecco and one bottle of their 2013 Russian River Zinfadel. I wanted to buy all their deli items too. I haven’t been to Italy yet, but I imagine there is a similar feel in some of the shops. It was also nice to find out more about the owners of the place, you can read about it here.

It was a great trip! Next time I’ll take more pictures. If anyone ever wants to give me a gift, buy me more wine from the above places. Thank you!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Bill Asselta says:

    Can you get me a link to your favorite wine 🍷? Then I can order some for you and me.


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