Sonoma and Napa Valley, CA


In September 2012 we went to Sonoma and Napa California, the wine country. We stayed at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn a very nice hotel in a good location, away from the city and highway. Liz enjoyed the spa and we enjoyed wine tasting in the lobby. We flew into San Francisco airport (and saw the space shuttle being flown over the airport on its final tour) and took the Golden Gate bridge and drove an hour and a half north to the wine country. On the way we stopped at Gloria Ferrer and has a glass of sparkling wine. We sat on the patio looking at the vineyards and unwinding from a long flight. The next day we too Platupus wine tours. We had 8 people in a small van. They took us to small vineyards and had personal tours and tastings. They have special arrangements with many vineyards and their tour is informative, friendly and relaxing. On the tour we went to Nicholson ranch, Bartholomew Park Winery (where we had a picnic with the tour group), Larson Family winery and Peter Cellers. The next day we drove to Benziger Winery (we had the best tour there), Chateau St. Jean (they had the best wine we tasted the entire trip) and Ledson Winery. The last day of our trip we drove to Napa Valley, less than 30 minutes from Sonoma Valley. We liked Sonoma better because it is less crowded, the roads are less congested and it has a small town feeling. We went to Robert Mondavi, V. Sattui Winery (where they have a good deli and we had a picnic) and Milat Vineyards (great chocolate sauce) and run by two very friendly men. "Local Wally" has a good website about Sonoma. We had some very good meals on the trip with recommendations from the foodnetwork tv. Rachel Ray liked Della Santina (Rachel Ray video) and Italian restaurant and Garden Court Cafe (Rachel's video) where we had lunch and their famous blueberry pancakes. We also had a great dinner at La Salatee a Portuguese restaurant. Just before getting on the plane for home we ate at Cat Cora's Kitchen at the SFO airport. We had a great time touring, tasting and celebrating my 65th birthday.

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