Sonoma County Journals

The Aroma of Sonoma

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A travel journal to Sonoma County by gosusan

At Home in California Wine Country Photo, Sonoma County, California More Photos
Quote: Whether it's the loamy scent of the Redwoods, the salty essence of the sea or the lingering nose on an award winning cabernet, the many attractions of Sonoma County will be a feast for your olfactory and other senses.

The Aroma of Sonoma

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Overview

At Home in California Wine Country Photo, Sonoma County, California
Quote:
Sonoma offers so many different opportunities for the visitor, traipsing through redwood forests, paddling a canoe or kayak down the Russian River, stopping at some of the small towns and wineries. But if I had to pick a favorite afternoon activity, it would be to follow the wine road through the Russian River Valley.Quick Tips: Bring the equipment and the accessories for a picnic lunch. Sonoma is an agricultural center for foods other than the Grape, so you'll be able to buy the makings for an alfresco meal, and probably want to bring some extra produce home in your cooler.Best Way To Get Around: Driving allows you to the flexibility to get off the beaten path and make spur of th...Read More
Quote:
Driving up Independence Lane to Chateau Souverain will make you feel like you've been transported to Normandy. The chateau rises elegantly from the vineyards. Inside, one finds the tasting room with free sampling and a nice giftshop.

Dinners look to be outstanding, and are priced about $15-22 per entree. I've only had lunch there and found it quite enjoyable. It seems a shame to not be able to see the magnificent surroundings on a meal at night- I'd recommend having a mid-day meal.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 22, 2001

Cafe at Chateau Souverain
Independence Lane
Sonoma County, California
(707) 433-3141

Quote:
Most people either start or end in Healdsburg, near 101. You'll start heading West on Eastside Road, passing by Foppiano and Rodney Strong, among others. Keep turning right at every through street, and eventually you will be able to cross the river, on a picturesque and somewhat rickety bridge. You'll then have to decide if you want to first go right and visit some of the wineries on Westside: Davis Bynum, Hop Kiln and Rabbit Ridge (although the latter is far too crowded these days to be enjoyable.) or whether you want to head out towards the coast. Taking a left will let you meander through the most scenic part of the area- the road closely follows the river through forests and small tow...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 20, 2001

Russian River Wine Road
from Healdsburg to Monte Rio
Sonoma County, California

Viansa Winery

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Attraction | "Viansa Winery and Italian Marketplace"

Viansa Winery Photo, Sonoma County, California
Quote:
As you are driving up 121 into Sonoma from 101, you can't miss Viansa, unless a huge Italian Villa perched upon a hill somehow would slip your attention. The folks at Viansa Marketplace and Winery pay homage to their roots in the Old Country (and have an active partnership with an Italian winery) . This is reflected in the varietals that are offered- lots more emphasis on Sangiovese that Cabernet! Personally, I think there's better wine elsewhere in Sonoma, but they do have a loyal following. The real draw for me (aside from the fantasy that I've been swept away to Pienza when I walk the grounds) is the variety of food samples that they place out for the visitors. Several different types of...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 20, 2001

Viansa Winery
25200 Arnold Drive
Sonoma County, California 95476
(800) 995-4740

Davis Bynum Winery

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Attraction

Quote:
Although charming with a nice veranda picnic area, Davis Bynum does not distinguish itself from the slew of other wineries in the area on the basis of fancy grounds or spectacular architecture. Go elsewhere if you seek Norman chateaus or Tuscan Villas. Likewise, there is no award winning cafe on the premise nor do they sell picnic foods or, for that matter, much besides wine, corkscrews and T-shirts. But what this winery does offer is a free tasting of some very respectable and reasonably priced wines. Furthermore, because it lacks some of the spectacles of the bigger wineries, you will be able to sample their award-winning pinots without having to elbow your way up to the bar.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 22, 2001

Davis Bynum Winery
8075 Westside Road
Sonoma County, California 95448
(800) 826-1073

Biking the backroads

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Attraction

Quote:
Biking the backroads of Sonoma is a wonderful way to experience the area. The Alexander Valley is wide, with plenty of scenic roads that meander from town to town. One of the most basic routes is to take Gesyerville Road from Chateau Souverain, south to Lytton Springs. At Lytton Springs, go East to 128 (busy, but with relatively wide shoulders.) At Meeker, you'll meet up again with Gesyerville Road, and can ride back to Independence lane up to the Chateau for a well-deserved lunch. This simple ride twice crosses over the river, goes through a quaint town, and passes by many of the Alexander/Dry Creek Valley wineries. But this is only a start. There are so many possib...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 22, 2001

Biking the backroads
one possible loop starts at Chateau Souverain
Sonoma County, California

Occidental: A Sonoma County Small Town Gem

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Attraction

Occidental: A Sonoma County Small Town Gem Photo, Sonoma County, California
Quote:
Occidental is a small town with a book that makes for a great, self-guided walking tour. It is also a wonderful place to stay when exploring Sonoma's charms, especially if you wish to concentrate on the Coastal and Russian River areas. Unlike the town of Sonoma and other "hot spots" in the county, there seem to be less crowds and no large tourbuses here.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 1, 2001

Occidental: A Sonoma County Small Town Gem
Bohemian Highway (off of Rt 116)
Sonoma County, California

About the Writer

gosusan

gosusan
San Francisco, California