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  Sonoma County     [all categories]
  Sonoma - Wineries to Visit
  For ajack, et al

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Author Topic:   For ajack, et al
yesilovewine
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posted 04-11-2012 10:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Do you mean the weekend days at the front of the trip, or Mon/Tues when the conference is over? ( Helps me know how much time you'll have)
Will you be driving yourselves? And how many of you will be in the group?

OK, so NOW I have looked at the calendar and see that the conference is at the end of the trip....so disregard the above and lets start over.
Boy am I feeling really sheepish about now; got carried away again...
Rather than suggest an actual step-by-step itinerary, let me just propose some wineries that I think would give you a good overview of what Sonoma has to offer. Some we have been to and some not...but since you are first-timers there are some places that may be interesting to you as much for the history as for the wine.
Right outside the town of Sonoma are Sebastiani and Buena Vista ( and a couple others) which have real significance to the history of Sonoma as well as the California wine industry. Also very close to town is Ravenswood winery, which is well known for their Zinfandels. That is totally different from the other two places- this is a rustic environment that tends to get pretty rowdy with revelers. Its fun, fun, fun, but not everyone enjoys the boisterous atmosphere that seems to be ever-present.
If you head up Hwy 12, I think that you would enjoy Arrowood and Imagery; they share a drive with Imagery being the one you reach first. I like Imagery for several reasons- the wine label art collection is really cool, the grounds are interesting and the wines are different- they make interesting blends and use unusual grapes. If you like the Doobie Brothers, then BR Cohn would be a good stop for you and that is very close by. What I find interesting is that he has been at least as successful with his olive oils as his wines! And you can taste both there.
If you are willing to go further up the valley, then Ledson is probably a must see in most folks' books. The building is pretty spectacular for Sonoma and they have, hands down, the greatest number and variety of wines for tasting. Their on site deli is pretty good as well, so that could be a place to buy some picnic supplies and have a nice lunch under the old oak trees. Chateau St. Jean is not quite so far up-valley and they also have a very nice deli and picnic area. If you should choose to do a tasting there, I HIGHLY recommend that you splurge for the Reserve Room tasting- the standard one in the giftshop/tasting bar is lackluster at best. Chateau St.Jean also has quite a history and I've read that their introduction to wine course if very good, so if you're inclined, this might be a good place for a tour and lunch. If you haven't already done a cave tour/tasting in Napa, then Deerfield Ranch would be a good stop.
This is enough for starters, I'm sure. HOpe this helps you get started.
OH! DO get a good map to do your planning. For Sonoma Valley, the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau has a good one, as does www.winecountrygetaways.com.

[This message has been edited by yesilovewine (edited 04-11-2012).]

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