Last weekend we spent three fabulous autumn days venturing around Sonoma Wine Country. It was my first trip to this wine rich area (over 450 wineries latest figure I found). I know… as a wine and travel writer how could this be my first trip? Truth is I spend most of my time exploring Virginia, Washington, Oregon, Italy and France wines. California wines are written about and drank a lot in the U.S. BUT after meeting some great Sonoma folks at this year’s Wine Bloggers Conference and doing some research, I thought it was time to dive into a little California wine country.

It was a special weekend for me (included a big birthday) with so many highlights …

  • Drive North: It all started out in our rented convertible from San Francisco airport driving north on Hwy 101 on a 70+ degree day. Shortly after crossing the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge we stopped at In-n-Out for burgers! Love that place and it had been too long. :) The scenery on the hour and forty minute drive was spectacular!
  • Farmhouse Inn & Spa: First stop once in wine country was our home for the weekend, the incredible Farmhouse Inn, Restaurant & Spa in the Russian River Valley. WOW! What a place to stay!
  • Hot Air Balloon Ride: Sunday morning we were up early for this AMAZING experience with Up and Away! It was my first time in a hot air balloon and a MUST!
  • Good Eats: Sonoma has so many good restaurants to chose from so it was hard to narrow down. We ate at Scopa (right on Healdsburg Square, good vibes, great pasta and pizza, Scopa is an Italian card game!), Zazu (LOVED this place, KK our waitress was fab and the meal was best from start to finish!), Rosso (great stop in Santa Rosa for pizza, salad & wine) and Farmhouse Restaurant (my fancy birthday dinner).
  • Snoopy & Charlie Brown: Driving into Sonoma I saw the name of the airport and wondered is it named after THE Snoopy and Charlie Brown Charles M. Schulz?? It is and there’s a great museum and research center in Santa Rosa you must visit while you’re there! It was so cute and only took us about an hour including a quick bite at The Warm Puppy Cafe…awwww!
  • Sonoma Hospitality: This was an overarching theme of the entire weekend! What a warm place with so many welcoming and friendly people that made every stop a pleasure.

More to come on all of the MUST GOs and wines from our weekend…The Farmhouse Inn, The Wine Region, First Day at the Wineries, Day Two at the Wineries, Day Three at the Wineries, Hot Air Ballooning Over the Vineyards. Visit the gallery for great photos from the trip.

Cheers to Sonoma![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]