Sonoma - So Much Wine, So Little Time!

Jul 21st, 2006, 09:41 PM
  #1  
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Sonoma - So Much Wine, So Little Time!

Planning a brief stop-over in Sonoma en route from Reno to SF. Leaving Reno at 10 a.m. Sat. 8/12, and trying to squeeze in max amount of sight-seeing possible since well be just parking/garaging the car once stationed in SF the following 2 days.

Sounds like Sonoma Valley is most convenient, and perhaps not so congested as Napa Valley. But gosh, with all the info on-line about Sonoma wineries, Im totally confused by the choices!!

Would love personal recommendations on how to best enjoy a day there. Wed like to see several wineries** (free tastings all the better, though not required). Plan to have lunch (ideally nothing extravagant- good food/nice views outdoor picnic a possibility if weather is good) and dinner (budget more open for a nice restaurant, though well be casually dressed from the day.) Would like to arrive in SF by 10 p.m. latest.

Your expert advice is most welcome - thanks in advance!

** Were red wine drinkers more than white particularly partial to Pinot Noir
Luvs2travel is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 09:47 PM
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You'll have no trouble filling a day in Sonoma! There are several wineries very close to the town center. And you can spend hours just wandering the square that is the heart of the town. You will see the mission and other historic sites as well as several charming shops. the restaurants are fabulous. You may need reservations and it will be rather crowded. But you're right, not as busy and congested as Napa. Allow an hour to get back to SF and your hotel.

I'll think a bit and try to give you some precise suggestions.

Why don't you just head for the square and a light lunch, then out to the wineries and back for a 7pm dinner in the square again?
cabovacation is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 10:58 PM
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Hi CV,

Your suggestions sound great - any recommendations for places to lunch and dine along the town square?
Luvs2travel is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 11:02 PM
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The Girl and the Fig, Cafe La Haye(for sure) and there is a restaurant in the Depot Hotel. I think you can find most of this somewhere online....perhaps sonomacounty.com or on Fodors!

There is a chef in one of the hotels who is from French Laundry....can someone give us the name?

Wineries: Viansa, Gloria Ferrer, Ledson, Cline Cellars....etc.

When the Fodorites wake up tomorrow you should get some better info!
cabovacation is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2006, 08:39 AM
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ttt
cabovacation is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2006, 09:47 AM
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I'ts hard NOT to find wineries, they are absolutely everywhere. I find it fun to just drive and stop where the "spirits" move me..LOL. There are maps available and then just do it.

Do you have a designated driver? Lucky for me and my brother, my sister-in-law does not drink so that works perfectly. Just be careful because you will have a very long day by the time you get into the City.

Have a fun day.
crefloors is online now  
Jul 22nd, 2006, 09:50 AM
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Oh, I live in Reno and it will take 3-4 hours to get to Sonoma. Is it possible for you to leave a little earlier? By the time you have lunch there won't be much time left for wineries, so try to check out several that are close together.
crefloors is online now  
Jul 22nd, 2006, 12:56 PM
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don't worry about being dressed casually. Della Satina's is a nice spot- especially when the weather is nice and you can sit on the patio under the trellis.
http://www.dellasantinas.com/trattoria/index.html
LLindaC is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2006, 03:57 PM
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Pinot Noir~
Make your first stop just before the Napa/Sonoma County line at Carneros Creek Winery.

As you turn left off of 12/29 onto 12/121 (stoplight just before entering Napa town). Continue barely a mile to the Old Sonoma Rd. turn right, hang a left when you come to Dearly Lane.

For fun, you might as well go see Artesa
while you're in the area.

Continuing over to Sonoma, do make a stop at Nicholson Ranch. They will be on your right, high on a hill at the intersection of Hwy 12/121 and Napa Road.

When you are done tasting you can take Napa Road on into Sonoma town. Might be fun to try Linda's idea of Della Santini
or the patio at the Swiis Hotel or Meritage.

After lunch. pop over to Sebastiani, a large operation with some well priced, very good Pinot. From there you could consider Gundlach Bundschu. The afternoon could be well spent in and around Glen Ellen and the Valley of the Moon. Benzinger,Kaz, Mayo,B.R.Cohn
or just stop where your fancy dictates.

Yet,please, just say "No." to Viansa-please.

R5
razzledazzle is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2006, 04:06 PM
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mmmm Gundlach....never know what they will pull out of the cellar!!
LLindaC is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2006, 05:40 PM
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Gad, I mean Dealy Lane, not Dearly.

R5
razzledazzle is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2006, 08:37 PM
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Ok. Sorry about Viansa. It's true. But it right there and so I said it.

The El Dorado Hotel is supposed to have nice rooms and it is right in the heart of the plaza. And the El Dorado Kitchen is excellent. Is the chef from French Laundry?
cabovacation is offline  
Jul 25th, 2006, 08:34 PM
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Thanks to all who posted - great ideas! Taking this back up to the top for added feedback and answers to questions posed by fellow posters...
Luvs2travel is offline  
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