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Sonoma and Wine Country

Every Year we do a birthday trip with friends.  Over the years we decided not to buy each other gifts.  Instead we spend time together.  Most of the time we take a long weekend, and we take turns picking the destination.  This year it was Charlie"s turn and he wanted to do something special.  It was Pam and Charlie's 60th birthday.  Charlie decided on wine country and having our base in Sonoma.  He found a Bed and Breakfast one block from the center of town Called," A Inn 2 Remember".  This was a great place to start to a wonderful week. Sonoma is a beautiful quaint town with a great town square.

An Inn To Remember

An Inn 2 Remember

Breakfast Area

Breakfast Area

 

We were always the first to hit the coffee

We were always the first to hit the coffee

 

Our menu was listed each morning

Our menu was listed each morning

 

Our hot tub, never used by us.  There was a young couple that used it.

Our hot tub, never used by us. There was a young couple that used it.

 

Out our back deck

Out our back deck

 

Cute little things everywhere.

Cute little things everywhere.

                                                                                       

 

 

Our host, she and her husband were from Italy and are making their home in Sonoma at A Inn To Remember

Our host, she and her husband are  from Italy and are making their home in Sonoma at  "An Inn 2 Remember"

Our first night we ate at "The girl and the fig". This proved to be a great find on Charlie's part.  We Loved the food, people, atmosphere, and just kept going back.  Once for dinner, second for drinks and dessert, drinks again, and then the great burger we kept seeing walk by.  Truly  a place worth checking out if you are in Sonoma.

Pam and Yvonne standing under the Girl and the Fig sign

Pam and Yvonne standing under the Girl and the Fig sign

 

Our cheese Tower  Each thing better than the next.  YUM

Our cheese Tower
Each thing better than the next. YUM

 

The bathrooms, what a uniQue way to designate little girls from little boys room

The bathrooms, what a uniQue way to designate little girls from little boys room

 

Starting our trip with Slacker Wine

Starting our trip with Slacker Wine

We headed out the next day for some really good wine tasting.  Charlie as our driver/navigator, that would have been fine, IF.  If I did not map it on my phone and Pam did not map it with paper.  3 navigators are two to many and once Charlie got us straight we were great.  We tried a couple of the group wineries.  There is shopping and several tasting rooms.  We were not impressed the wine was just ok and you did not get the atmosphere.  Onto "Gloria Ferrer" for some bubbly.  We booked the tour and while we were waiting  purchased some cheese, bread, salumi and of course a bottle of bubbly.  Our tour guide was great and after our girl sold us on each a club membership to Gloria Ferrer.  We were told we could come drink 2 free glasses each a day, as long as we were in the area.  We had no problem trying to do that.

Our picnic before our tour at Gloria Ferrer

Our picnic before our tour at Gloria Ferrer

 

Our tour and a great guide.

Our tour and a great guide.

 

Beautiful grounds

Beautiful grounds

 

Our second visit and getting our free bubbles

Our second visit and getting our free bubbles

 

Our girl, she is a great sales person.

Our girl, she is a great sales person.

 

Our third visit of free bubbles

Our third visit of free bubbles

One of my favorite vineyards was "Kunde Family Estate".  We had a mountain tour in the afternoon but lucky for us we arrived early. They have a free cave tour and a demonstration vineyard.  It has rows and rows of every kind of grape for you to taste. They were all so sweet and every type taste different.  So glad we were there during harvest.

Kunde Family Estate

Kunde Family Estate

 

Our free cave tour

Our free cave tour

 

Harvest

Harvest

 

 

Our Mountain Tour

Our Mountain Tour

 

Great tour

Great tour

 

Choosing, so many good choices.

Choosing, so many good choices.

The best Cave tour in Napa id "Del Dotto Caves and Del Dotto Vineyards".

Del Dotto Caves

Del Dotto Caves

 We experienced the Del Dotto Vineyards tour with my Sister-in-law Kay, she loves their Pino Noir.  We took the Del Dotto Caves tour this last time.  They are both great tours, you get to taste right from the barrels.  It is worth the price, a totally new experience.  I liked the Vineyard caves better but that's just me. The tour ends with some meats, cheeses and bread.

Del Dotto Caves

Del Dotto Caves

Sitting outside in theses vineyards just feels good.  They all have their own personality.  Another favorite of mine was "Round Pond".  It was a last minute thing.  We had some time before our appointment at Caymus, so we just whipped into the Round Pound Estate.  They were very good about letting us taste, (they are by appointment only, like so many of the better vineyards).  We had a great tasting with little bites.

The grapes are part of the regular landscaping.

The grapes are part of the regular landscaping.

 

Wine and Bites

Wine and Bites

 

Very Romantic

Very Romantic

 

Romance in the air.

Romance in the air.

Next stop "Caymus Vineyards" right across the street.  We had a very educational tasting.  Our guide was very colorful in his teachings. He talked about Bbq and Mexican food and the rich flavors of the wine.  He was selling one of the best and was not snobby at all.  A very refreshing view.

DSCF1216

Fun Classroom work.

Fun Classroom work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silver Oaks and Sbragia are two of Charlie's favorites and Both beautiful.  We enjoyed tasting and buying at both of these vineyards.   Schug is a wine Caitlin turned us on to. Steve calls all of his girls Schug so when she saw the label she had to try it.  We tasted there and the wine was very good but the tasting was nothing special.  Benzinger and Imagery are sister vineyards both very beautiful.  

Benzinger

Benzinger

Enjoyed the tasting at Benzinger, our lady was fun.  She suggested we go to imagery for a free tasting.  Imagery was very cool.  Their labels are works of art, all different.  The wines were good and not to pricy.  Outside they have a wood fire pizza oven and we stayed for lunch.  

A trip to the Bodega Bay,

Charlie, posing with the waves

Charlie, posing with the waves

 

Pam checking out the waves.

Pam checking out the waves.

 

(where the movie The Birds was filmed), very nice curvy drive.  The shoreline is beautiful and rugged.  I bought a T shirt that said  "Whose idea was it to feed the birds".  The actors on the shirt are in black and white and NO ONE GETS IT.  Steve made us stop at a outside stand that boasted the best Clam Chowder.  It was awesome, good stop.

Our Chowder stop

Our Chowder stop

 Then we ate at a restaurant where the Pacific Ocean and the Russian River meet.  View was beautiful, food was good, and Charlie ordered the best meal.

DSCF1195

Russian River and Pacific Ocean

Russian River and Pacific Ocean

 

Charlie's Roasted Veggie Salad

Charlie's Roasted Veggie Salad

We dined at Michael Chiarello"s restaurant, Bottega.  I would suggest taking the time to get a reservation.  All of our meals were great.  Charlie thinks his was best but I totally thought I did great choices.  My appetizer was hands down the best meatballs I have ever eaten.   If you go make sure you try the meatballs, they melt in your mouth. 

I was surprised when I was told that Sonoma was settled by Italians. I had never heard that before.  All of the restaurants had a Italian influence. This made me very happy.

My suggestion to anyone going to Wine country, try vineyards that are different and pricy.  Don't go to the ones you see all the time.  Some wines are only sold at the wineries and you get to try better wines and most tasting run  around the same price.  Also you can share a tasting.  They know someone has to drive so it is not unusual to share.  Then you can taste more places and still be standing. When we were at breakfast, the table would talk about where they were going. It surprised me how many of them only went to places they knew from the grocery store.  Make some reservations at vineyards for their tours.  Tour a cave, the fields,  try a seated tasting, and have lunch or dinner at a vineyard. 

We loved this, a flag in the middle of the vineyards

We loved this, a flag in the middle of the vineyards

Enjoy,

Y Cook?  

 

 

 

Comments

Tammy 27-10-2014, 12:57

Nice Nice NIce ............and very Nice

yvonne 27-10-2014, 15:33

Thanks Tammy it was a really good trip. I hope people can use the info if taking a trip.

Mary 29-10-2014, 01:12

What a wonderful re-cap of your trip! Your wine country tour tips are great!

yvonne 29-10-2014, 20:18

It was really a good time. I drank to much on some days, then I got smart.

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  • Cooking with Asian Flair at MSLL
    We had a fantastic at MSLL today cooking asian! Thanks to all for coming out - Amazing what some ginger, soy and spice can do to everyday dishes for an amazing Eastern influence. Looking forward to seeing you at our next event!
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