I'm visiting Sonoma County in a few weeks and I've put together an itinerary for my trip and would like to see if it seems viable to the wine and Sonoma County experts here. Please let me know if the timing I've planned between each appointment is good, and if there are any total duds in here that I should replace with something else. You'll notice that Francis Ford Coppola is on there. I know it gets mixed reviews, but our friends are big fans of his movies and I thought they'd enjoy the kitsch of it all. If you guys really think it's not worth the trouble, I can toss it out. One option to replace it with is Chalk Hill Winery. But if I do that, should I eliminate Reeve Wines? It's supposed to be a lovely room with a big fireplace but it is on the northern side, like Francis Ford Coppola. I'd have to change the order of my appts that day tho.
I'm traveling with my husband and two of our friends. We are all between 46 and 56 years of age. We are not wine experts by any means, but we do enjoy a lovely glass of wine (or three) and delicious food that isn't ridiculously expensive. (As in, we will spend $300 for two people with wine, but not $750.)
This is my first big trip focusing on Sonoma County. I usually stay in Napa, so many of these wineries are new to me. FYI, I always have trouble squeezing in lunch stops, and when I have in the past, I'm not usually even hungry at lunchtime due to the tastings coming with meats and cheeses and such. So I didn't bother to make any lunch reservations this time. And we will do hearty breakfasts.
We have a driver for two days of our tastings, but on one day we are going to drive ourselves since we are heading from Sonoma over to Bodega Bay and then up to Healdsburg as a change in our base camp.
Also, how much time should we allow from getting from downtown San Francisco to the city of Sonoma on a Thursday afternoon, leaving SF around 4:30 pm?
Day 1 (Thursday)
6-7 pm - Arrive in Sonoma, check in to Airbnb
7:15 pm - Visit wine/cocktail bar in Sonoma Plaza - location TBD. Is Sigh a good option?
8 pm - Dinner at girl and the fig
Day 2 (Friday) - We have hired a driver this day
Breakfast TBD (Possibly at Sunflower Cafe)
10 am - Gloria Ferrer (bubbles and bites tasting)
noon - Hamel Family Wines (estate experience)
2 pm - Chateau St. Jean (cheese and wine tasting)
3 pm - Kunde (mountain top tasting)
6:30 pm - possible cocktails in Sonoma Plaza or visit Fulcrum Wines tasting room (open til 8)
7:30 pm - Dinner at Sante at Fairmont Sonoma Inn
Day 3 (Saturday)
9 am - Leave Sonoma for Bodega Bay
10 am - Stop in Freestone to visit Wild Flour bakery and Freestone Artisan Cheese
11 am - Arrive in Bodega Bay, drive up to Goat Rock
noon - Lunch TBD (if wanted after cheese and bread in Freestone - maybe do picnic with leftovers)
2 pm - Arrive in Guerneville, sightsee
3 pm - Gary Farrell winery visit (elevation tasting)
5 pm - Arrive in Healdsburg, check in to Airbnb
6 pm - Banshee Tasting Room
7 pm - Casual dinner at Sonoma Cider
(Would it be too much on Day 3 to squeeze in a stop in Sebastopol to visit Lynmar winery?)
Day 4 (Sunday) - We have hired a driver this day
Brunch at The Shed
11 am - DaVero winery and farm
noon - J Vineyards (legacy tasting)
2 pm - Francis Ford Coppola tasting
4 pm - Reeves Wines tasting
6:30 pm - Cocktails at Duke's
7:30 pm - Dinner at either Dry Creek Kitchen or Valette