It’s no secret that in the California Wine Region, Napa Valley reigns supreme. This small plot of Earth receives over three million visitors a year, spending over 1.6 billion dollars a year! And who can blame them? The Napa Valley is ethereal and transporting, it can be easy to fall in love, completely neglecting surrounding regions. But before you tie the knot with Napa, maybe take a look at it’s younger sister, Sonoma.
Sonoma is home to over 60,000 acres of grapes, 66 different grape varietals, over 50 miles of coastline, is responsible for 6 percent of California wine production and was named the best US wine destination in 2012 by Trip Advisor. Certainly, it’s earned its place in the race. So now that you’d decided to visit Sonoma, where do you go? Here are four must see destinations.
LaSalette. This Portuguese inspired restaurant has a casual but sophisticated ambiance and a menu that will keep you going back. Try their Mantanca de Porco (Pork Ribs) and Roasted Lamb Chop are both worth an order and their wine list is extensive. Among other categories, it breaks down into Light to Powerful reds, and offers to “put yourself in capable hands” with their guided wine pairing.
Siduri Wines. “A Culmination of Fruit, Fermentation and Family” is their tagline, and it rings true. Their focus is solely on Pinot Noir but their real focus is on quality. Minimal intervention and specifically sourced fruit are all to that end. Their winery is by appointment only so book ahead, it’s worth your while.
Selby Winery. ‘My father taught me that wine is an incredible combination of art, science and nature. I learned after he died that wine holds a special place for celebration love and life.’ We’re crazy for the lovely father daughter story behind Selby Winery. And our time visiting the winery was just as lovely. If you’re looking for a hospitable experience, this is your place. Try their port, it was life changing.
Buena Vista Winery. Rustic and put simply, beautiful, Buena Vista Winery is a must see when visiting the Sonoma area. It’s heralded as the oldest known winery in California and the birthplace of the wine industry. You certainly feel like you’re stepping back in time when you see this winery’s stone walls and flowing fountain. Try their Cabernet, thank us later.
These places only scratch the surface of a much-overlooked region that is growing every day. There is much to see and even more great wines to try. Happy Sipping!