California 3rd Stop: Sonoma Valley

Sonoma Valley, California |

Sonoma Valley, California |

Awww, wine country! After visiting Los Angeles and San Francisco, the last day of our California trip was spent in the country in the beautiful Sonoma Valley. The day after Barb and Brian’s wedding, they had organised for all of us to head out of the city and see three wineries. We left early and got to Sonoma in about 1 1/2 hours. Sonoma Valley, California |

Our first stop was at Benziger  (1883 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen) which was definitely my favourite winery of the day. Benziger is an organic and biodynamic winery. Biodynamic farming is a whole different game and I have to admit that I am not that knowledgable in it. What I can say is that biodynamic farms are self-sufficient so whatever they need to grow their crops, comes from their own land. Crops are also planted and harvested based on the moon cycles which is pretty darn cool. Benziger has 85 acres of land but less than half of that land is dedicated to growing grapes for their wine. The rest is allotted to growing everything else that they need to allow those grapes to thrive. How cool is that?! Here we got a full tour of the winery, including their awesome barrel cave. Sonoma Valley, California | Sonoma Valley, California | Sonoma Valley, California | Sonoma Valley, California |

After the tour, we tried some of their wines, naturally. We also got a cheese plate to go with the wine and that was when I fell in love with the Espresso Bellavitano cheese. (When I got home to Toronto, I emailed the company to find out where I could get it here. The answer: Loblaws. Ha!). I love red wine and wanted to be sure that we brought some home with us from this trip. I also think that when doing things like this, it’s best to pick up a bottle that you would not normally have access to. We got a bottle of the 2010 Oonapais Sonoma Mountain Red with the idea that we will share it with fellow wine fans, Sarah and Kevin. (Just as soon as they have that baby of theirs!)Sonoma Valley, California |

Our next stop was the Kunde winery (9825 Sonoma Hwy. Kenwood). I cannot tell you a lot about Kunde because we basically just had lunch here. But from what I saw, this winery is beautiful. They allowed us to reserve a table to eat at and we purchased some of their wine to have with our meal. I liked it all.Sonoma Valley, California |

Sonoma Valley, California |

The final stop on this trip was the Francis Ford Coppola Winery (300 via Archimedes, Geyserville). This place is one of a kind. There is a huge pool area where you can hang out for the day (they even have little cabanas that you can rent). There were tons of people taking advantage of the beautiful day when we were there.Sonoma Valley, California | Sonoma Valley, California |

Coppola is a legendary film director, producer and screenwriter so there is a ton of his memorabilia on display here. Josh practically died when he saw the Dracula costume. I loved seeing all of the awards. It was pretty darn cool.Sonoma Valley, California | Sonoma Valley, California | Sonoma Valley, California |

Oh, and there was wine. We tried a flight at the regular bar. They were okay but there was nothing that we really found that spectacular. We decided to head upstairs to share a flight of their better wines and I am so happy that we did. It was a more personal experience. We ended up leaving with a bottle of their Eleanor. This wine was created for Francis and Eleanor’s 50th anniversary and is made with 50% grapes from Sonoma and 50% grapes from Napa. I loved hearing the story about it. Now we just have to find an occasion to drink it.Sonoma Valley, California | Sonoma Valley, California | San Francisco, California |

So there we are, the final lag of our weeklong California trip. From the boardwalk in Venice Beach to the streets of the Mission to the vineyards of Sonoma Valley, I think that we did pretty good.

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