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  Sonoma County     [all categories]
  Sonoma - Wineries to Visit
  1st time in Sonoma

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Author Topic:   1st time in Sonoma
Junior Member
posted 08-13-2012 06:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for zkutz     Edit/Delete Message
Thank you all for the great suggestions! I think we will definitely stay close on Friday afternoon and explore Sonoma town and some of your recommendations. Still undecided on either doing a guided day tour or exploring on our own. Lots to think about! Thanks


posted 08-13-2012 10:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for carjeff   Click Here to Email carjeff     Edit/Delete Message
The Lodge at Sonoma is a lovely place. We have stayed there the last 2 visits. I'm sure you will enjoy it.

As Damombo has already mentioned, I would also recommend Gundlach Bundschu and the Benziger Tram tour. If you are interested in another tour, I would highly recommend the Kunde Mountain Top Tour - preicey, but gorgeous views.

I would second the suggestion of staying close to Sonoma town for your 3 hours Friday afternoon - possibly do Gundlach Bundschu (only about 2 miles from the Lodge), and possibly Carneros region. You can then wander around Sonoma Plaza, shopping and or visiting the many tasting rooms, before having dinner at one of the many great restaurants - the Lodge even has a free shuttle to/from the Plaza. It's about a mile from the Lodge to the Plaza.

Saturday I would spend in Sonoma Valley, and possibly Russian River Valley. Take a look at Sonoma County Winery map to see what wineries may interest you.


posted 08-11-2012 07:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Hi there.
D' has already given some great advice, but I wanted to mention this Sonoma Wine Trolley that I read about recently. I thought that it was more of a "jump on/jump off" venture that allows you to ride between wineries, but its actually like one of the tour bus programs- visit specific wineries and lunch is included. Its a 6-hour jaunt, so it may be longer than you wnt to spend.
Also, there is a pretty fair number of tasting rooms right in downtown Sonoma, so you could conceivably spend that first afternoon exploring the square and ask servers that you encounter when you taste what wineries they would suggest( they will learn a lot about your tastes as you progress through a flight and talk about the wine). Then make a list of those for your full day of exploring.

[This message has been edited by yesilovewine (edited 08-11-2012).]


posted 08-11-2012 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Your hotel is just a short way off of the square on the main road into town from the south. Great location for exploring the Sonoma town part of Sonoma County.

We used a tour company in Napa the first couple of times we visited and we really enjoyed that option. For our first time, it was nice to have someone else do the driving. It wasn't one of the limo tours, all by ourselves, but one of the companies that uses a van. There were 3 other couples along, and by the end of the second place we stopped, we were all old friends. A fun, fun way to spend the day. There is a company that does these sort of tours in Sonoma - Wine Country Journeys. I've not used them, but it sounds like the sort of tour we took and enjoyed. There are good reviews of their company on TripAdvisor.

Perhaps what you could do is spend the three hours on Friday checking out the wineries close in to Sonoma. Gundlach Bundschu is an interesting place to visit - check their website and see what sort of tastings and tours they have. Cline, Jacuzzi and Viansa are all close by. If you wanted to do a tour of a champagne place, Gloria Ferrer is right there too.

If you like the idea of the tour van type tour on Saturday, when you call to make reservations, see what wineries that they are likely to take you to, so that you don't duplicate any on Friday.

If a Saturday van tour doesn't appeal to you, then there are plenty of places to visit that aren't too terribly far from Sonoma town. Benziger has a unique tour of their winery, Ledson has a gorgeous tasting house (and huge variety of wines), Deerfield Ranch has you wander down through their caves to get to the tasting room, B.R.Cohn has some terrific oils and vinegars in a little shop next to the tasting room... and so on!

You might go to the main page here at Winecountry.com and pull up the Sonoma map. Google some of the wineries near Sonoma town and check out their websites. See which ones appeal to you and plot out a route.

Overwhelming, yes. But what a great way to be overwhelmed


Junior Member
posted 08-11-2012 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for zkutz     Edit/Delete Message
Hi damombo!
This is the address to where we are staying: 1325 Broadway at Leveroni & Napa Roads Sonoma, California 95476 (I have no clue where that exactly is). I think we are close to the town square? Yes, we will have a car with a GPS. We have about 3 hours on Friday afternoon and we also have all day on Sat. We would probably like to explore the wineries during our visit. We have looked into wine tours (Beau Wine Tours). I don’t know if this is the best option or maybe explore on our own with some input! Just trying to get the most from our limited time there. Hope this helps!


posted 08-11-2012 10:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Hi z and welcome!

So you've got a day and a half to explore Sonoma. Where (as in location, not necessarily hotel) are you staying? And by Sonoma, do you mean the Sonoma County area or Sonoma town?

Are you interested mainly in visiting a number of wineries to do tastings or would you be interested in tours? You'll have your own car?

Let us know a bit more, and I'm sure we can offer you some direction.



Junior Member
posted 08-11-2012 09:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for zkutz     Edit/Delete Message
My husband & I are visiting Sonoma in about 2 weeks and have 1 free day and an afternoon to something. I am looking for suggestions/advice from experienced veterans. I have read some of the 1st timer's posts and have done some research and I'm so overwhelmed. We love drinking wine but are total newbies. We usually drink cabs, syrahs, merlots, sauv blancs, but we are open to trying new things!
Can someone please give us some direction?


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