C’mon, I absolutely LOVE and LIVE for Napa Valley, but anyone will tell you that the difference in wine tasting in Sonoma is just that you can actually RELAX. The non-pressure service paired with EQUALLY as delicious wines makes day trips or weekend trips to this place worth it! They are definitely more family oriented, and you can go fancy or not, it’s really no big deal.
My cousin Lisa’s birthday was last weekend. I had a whole day to myself when my parents let me know that they would be staying at the church camp a little longer on the last day — guessing my kids didn’t miss me that much — so I sent one of those last-minute text messages you usually expect a “sorry, not this time..” response from, to my cousin Lisa. It went something like: hey, wanna spend a day in Sonoma? The YES response was pretty quick, and thus, something to look forward to! As I was getting ready to head out, she calls me with one of those last-minute requests to see if a few of her friends could come along – you know what? When it comes to wine tasting, the more the merrier!
You just know it’s going to be a good day once you head out of the fog & mist-filled city of SF and it’s nothing but 70 degrees and sunshine heading north! The drive to Sonoma was beautiful! Nothing but vineyards along the way and charming houses/cottages… me telling myself I have to retire in a place like this. You know, when California gets it’s act together, hopefully the next 30 years things can change for the better for it’s residents. Because it’s true what they say about wine: it cannot grow in an ugly place. Really. Sit back and think about that but not for too long. Wine grapes are incapable of growing in ugly places. There is just no ugly region on earth that can successfully grow wine, and that’s a fact. The most BEAUTIFUL places in the world grow wine, so please California, figure it out so we can all be MUCH prouder to live there and raise children. 🙂
We started at Gundlach Bundschu (and I love this… pronouncing it was quite tricky at first but then the signs are there to help!) GUN-LOCK-BUN-SHOE. The entire lot is beautiful. You see children running around along with dogs so that clearly tells you it’s family friendly. There is a mini sunflower field out back and hillsides throughout, some where they have picnic tables set up so you can bring your own food if you choose not to sit and enjoy their cheese plates.. but you should try them at least once, along with the golden beets and fruit offered on the side. We had so much fun chatting about only positive* things, we kept all that madness going on in the world outside of conversation – yes, I’m capable of doing that, believe it or not! Today was a day about celebrating Lisa, and the beauty of life! We started with a sparkling tasting, then while we waited to be seated in the patio area with live music and beautiful views, we went ahead and got a bottle of their 2013 Pinot Noir. Fantastic. All of it. The tasting.. oh the tasting was perfection! I loved their Tempranillo and their Vintage Reserve Cab. We ended up staying for a few hours at this one. You could really spend the entire day there. We did sit in the picnic area on top of the hillside to enjoy our bottle before being seated. The views and conversations from up there were worth it as well. Seriously, please make this a stop when coming to Sonoma, you will not regret it!
Manchego, Membrillo, and Blueberry.. what a combo!
^how amazing is this cork? Yes I kept it!
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