Travel Spotlight: A day in Sonoma

Sonoma is a great destination to enjoy a relaxing weekend in wine country. The good soils,  temperate climate, and abundant food and water made Sonoma an ideal place for Spanish missionaries to settle in 1823.  Nearly 200 years later, the land is filled with vineyards and people who remain true to the old town agrarian roots of the community.  Where Napa offers luxury and at times indulgence, Sonoma delivers a home-style comfort and casual elegance that is relaxed and laid back.

While there are dozens of great wineries and restaurants that you can visit, we’ve put together a suggested itinerary for a wonderful day in Sonoma visiting some of our favorite wineries and restaurants.

Seeing as the wineries don’t open until 10 a.m. this should give you plenty of time to enjoy a big breakfast to start the day.  We’ve planned a busy day for you, so we suggest having a good breakfast before heading out.

Cline Cellars Tasting Room.

             10:00am – 11:30 pm:

Tasting and Tour at Cline Cellars 
24737 Arnold Drive
Sonoma, CA 95476

Cline Cellars is a unique property with a casual farm house style tasting room. The estate specializes in Zinfandel and Rhone varietals such as Mourvedre, Carignane and Syrah. The property is also home to a California Missions Museum which houses a collection of models of all the historic Spanish Missions that helped settle the California coast from San Diego up through Sonoma.  This stop is a wonderful, relaxing visit to start off your morning.  Fred and Charlie Cline are great people and their love of the land and their warm and hospitable nature translates across their entire staff.

Gloria Ferrer Vineyards

12:00 pm  – 1:45 pm
Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards
23555 Carneros Hwy (121)
Sonoma, CA 95476

Just down the road, Gloria Ferrer offers an outstanding selection of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sparkling Wines from the Carneros.  The picturesque terrace offers the perfect setting to enjoy the beauty of Sonoma.  The Food & Wine pairing tour offers an educational tour through the property including information on wine making and sparkling wine production.  Guests love the experience of touring the sparkling wine caves before heading to the terrace for a guided tasting of 4 food and wine pairings.   There is a minimum of 6 guests required for the tour so smaller groups will want to call ahead to RSVP to check for availability.

2:00pm – 3:00pm:
Jacuzzi Family Vineyards
24724 Arnold Drive  – Sonoma, CA 95476

An Italian inspired atmosphere awaits you at the gorgeous Jacuzzi Family tasting room. The manicured vineyards and Italian villa architecture of the estate will captivate your senses with an experience that will make you feel like you’ve been transported to Italy. The winery specializes in California expressions of Italian grape varietals such as Arneis, Barbera, Nebbiolo, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese as well as typical Carneros varietals of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.   The best part is guests receive complimentary tastings of 5 wines. If you’re getting hungry gourmet cheese platters are also available for small groups with advanced reservations.

3:30pm-4:30pm:

Arrowood Vineyards
14347 Sonoma Hwy
Glen Ellen, CA 95442

Your last winery visit for the day will be a trip to Arrowood Vineyards to taste their famous lineup of Cabernet Sauvignon’s, Merlot, Malbec, Chardonnay and Viognier.  These wines often come vary highly rated by a variety of wine critics and will be the perfect way to end an afternoon in Sonoma. From the veranda you can enjoy a glass of wine while looking out on the valley below and Sonoma Mountain in the landscape.

Recommended Dining: 

We realize that your going to need to eat, so here are a few recommendations of our favorite spots in Sonoma Square for you to indulge your taste buds and find a variety of great cuisine to pair perfectly with your favorite wines that you purchased during your winery visits.

The Girl and the Fig
110 W Spain St, Sonoma, CA – Phone: (707) 938-3634
California inspired country french cuisine. A menu full of fresh local ingredients, carefully executed dishes and of course… figs.  The dinner menu includes a 3 course tasting menu with wine pairings for only $40 per person.

LaSalette  Restaurant 
452 First Street East, Suite H –  Sonoma, CA 95476    Phone: (707) 938-1927
For the adventurous dinners, LaSalette delivers Portugese influenced tapas and regional Iberian cuisine. A perfect spot if your looking for a unique dining experience.

Cafe LaHaye
140 E Napa St  Sonoma, CA 95476  – Phone: (707) 935-5994
To describe this restaurant in one word it would be “precise.”  Everything from the simple, yet carefully crafted menu to the cozy, elegant and minimalist decor of the restaurant is well crafted.  Make sure to get your reservations in advance as the restaurant is small and fills up quickly with locals…which is always a great sign. You won’t be disappointed.

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