Wine Tasting in Sonoma County
Happy Friday, loves! I’m bringing you Pt. 2 of my girls getaway just in time for the weekend! Last month I took a trip with a couple of girlfriends to the Farmhouse Inn (more on that here) and we had the best time exploring Sonoma County and all of it’s undeniable charm. I am constantly being asked where to go in wine country, and prior to this I have always listed my favorite wineries in Napa, but the second my world was introduced to what Sonoma County has to offer – my opinions started to shift. Sonoma County is home to incredible restaurants, shopping and of course – some of the best wineries in the world. They have all of this without the overflow of tourists and the price tag associated with Napa – so everything seems to be a lot more relaxed and much more reasonably priced.
After we were all settled in at the Farmhouse Inn, we enjoyed a dinner at Willi’s Wine Bar in Santa Rosa. We of course had to start the getaway off right with lots of wine (when in rome!) and ordered a few share plates for the table. The small plates are meant to be shared – which is amazing because you get to try a bunch of new things! They also space the plates out perfectly, so it is a great spot to spend a long, relaxed dinner chatting. You absolutely have to try the Ahi Tuna Tartare and the Warm Skillet Bread with Gruyére, Sea Salt and Green Olive Tapenade. Are you hungry just hearing that? Me too. They are out of this world!
After the most amazing sleep at the Farmhouse (two words: European Linens), we woke up to an amazing breakfast at the Inn before heading out for a day of wine tasting. Our first stop was La Crema. This is a household name that everyone knows and loves – so I literally can’t believe it has taken me this long to go! However, it happened to be the perfect timing because they just transformed their historic barn, nestled in the heart of Russian River Valley, into the most gorgeous multi-level tasting room. The Tasting room is surrounded by the most beautiful gardens and vineyards. We opted to have our wine tasting on the sun kissed deck, where the wine connoisseur sat with us and walked us through a tasting of some of their favorite wines. We didn’t have time for a full tour of the grounds – but they offer a private tasting led by a personal concierge, where you are able to tour the estate via golf cart. So fun right?! You then taste each vineyard-designated wine La Crema produces from the site, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer and Rosé.
Next we headed to MacRostie. A modern Estate located in Russian River Valley, with sweeping views of vineyards for miles and miles. The MacRostie Estate House offers an array of options for intimate seated tastings. We opted for the large, cozy couches on one of the patios. Immediately we were greeted with the warmest hospitality. As we walked up to the estate we were welcomed with a glass of wine and were provided light blankets to cozy up in on the deck. You are able to choose between 2 different wine flights, we tried a little of both, and were brought out the most delicious charcuterie plate to share. This cozy and inviting tasting room was unlike any I have been to, and won us all over with its irresistible charm and views.
We ended our day of wine tastings and headed out for a lovely dinner at Barndiva, one of the best restaurants in Healdsburg. Driving through Sonoma County you will start to realize that there are endless enticing options, and the most incredible vineyards everywhere you look. I quickly fell in love with Sonoma County and am already planning a trip back up there for more good times and tastings! If you want to plan your own trip to the area, the Sonoma County website is an amazing resource that has preplanned itineraries, a list of events in the area and unique activities you can do while visiting.
I hope you enjoyed this little travel diary of my wine country getaway! If you have not been to Sonoma County, I highly suggest you go. You will not be disappointed!
…Photos by Andrea Lowry