10Best Explores the Wine Country of Sonoma, California

  • View on Sonoma Valley from Gloria Ferrer Winery

    Picturesque Wine Country, Less Than An Hour's Drive from San Francisco

    Sonoma Valley is a  short drive from the international, cosmopolitan city of San Francisco. The moment you enter its verdant valley, you'll be met with exquisite scenes of rolling hills, rustic farms, and picturesque vineyards and wineries--simply put, another world.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Historical Buildings, Sonoma

    Sonoma Town Square, A Trip Back in Time

    Sonoma is a small town, but  is centered around a large plaza surrounded by many historical buildings.  These include the vintage Sebastiani Theatre and the Toscano Hotel. The plaza is a National Historic Landmark and serves as the town's focal point. The birth of Sonoma's wine country can be traced to the mid-19th century, when the grandfather of California viticulture, Hungarian-born Agoston Haraszathy de Mokcsa, planted his first vines. The rest is history.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Macarthur Place Restaurant, Sonoma

    Sonoma Cuisine Is Among the Nation's Finest

    The restaurants of Sonoma Valley pride themselves on innovative, farm-to-table culinary offerings. Fresh seafood is accessible daily from the Pacific coast, and a temperate climate results in farm-fresh salads and vegetables that are available for the picking, year-round. Sonoma wine is on hand to pair with any course, of course!

    Photo courtesy of Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau

  • Winter Scene on Sonoma Valley Vineyards

    Any Season is High Season in Sonoma

    It doesn't matter when you visit Sonoma Valley. You will find beauty in every season's landscape, even in winter when the mustard greens burst into bloom. Come in spring to see the grape vines begin to bud, or in summer to savor a view of the verdant vineyards, or in autumn to admire the fall foliage and watch the preparation for the grape harvest. 

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Wine Tasting, Madonna Winery

    Wine-tasting Is Part of the Sonoma Experience

    Many wineries in the Sonoma Valley still offer traditional wine tastings. These are educational sessions during which the vintner explains the process of how each varietal wine offered during the tasting is produced. The vintner at the Madonna Winery, a small organic winery in Sonoma, explains the rigorous process of making quality wine--from grape production to fermentation to the final corking-- to a visiting international tour group. 

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Mission San Francisco Solano, Sonoma, California

    View a Historic Spanish Mission in the Heart of Sonoma

    The Mission San Francisco Solano, in the heart of the town of Sonoma, was founded on July 4, 1823 and named for Spanish missionary Francis Solanus. It was the last, and most northerly, link of a chain of 21 missions built in California by Franciscan priests. It was here that Franciscan fathers grew grapes and produced wine from the first vineyard in the Sonoma Valley, planted in 1825.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Sutter Home Winery Wine Tasting

    See Where Your Favorite Wine is Produced

    Many of the wine labels popular throughout the United States have their roots in the Sonoma Valley. Sutter Home Winery, located in St. Helena California, is a favorite stop among visitors and tour groups.  Tasters stand ready to sample a glass of the winery's popular white Merlot.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Sonoma Valley Farm House

    Bucolic Charm Adds to the Wine Country's Appeal

    It's hard to imagine the hustle and bustle of San Francisco is a mere 45-minutes away from the bucolic charm and beauty of the Sonoma Valley.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Historic Redwood Barrel, Sebastiani Winery

    Roll Out the Barrel at the Historic Sebastiani Winery

    One of Sonoma's venerable wineries is the Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery, founded in 1904 by Italian immigrant Samuele Sebastiani and run to this day by the fourth generation of the family. The old barrel room, where some of the original winemaking equipment and unique carved casks can be found, also boasts a hundred-year-old 60,000-gallon redwood barrel, one of the two largest redwood tanks in the world.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Lovers Toast to Romance at Cline Cellars in Sonoma

    Toast to Romance in Sonoma Wine Country

    Lovers toast to romance at the pond on the picturesque grounds of Cline Cellars in Sonoma. The wine country is a perfect location for destination weddings, honeymoons, and romantic escapes.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona