We both like wine. When in California and presented with the option of visiting wineries and wine tasting, we had to go for an organised tour instead of driving ourselves. Neither of us wanted to be the designated driver. We booked with Green Dream Tours and opted for their Sonoma Valley Wine Country tour.
We chose Sonoma Valley (only an hour north of San Francisco) over Napa Valley to see smaller, more laid-back and less busier wineries. There are hundreds of wineries around Sonoma Valley mostly known for their Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. We visited three small, family-run wineries. First was Robledo Family Winery
were we met, during the tasting, one of the nine Robledo brothers and sisters that run the winery. We were told the family story about how it all started, when and how they harvest grapes and how to taste wine. I enjoyed listening to the history behind the winery. Robledo winery is the first winery established and owned by a former Mexican migrant worker. The wine was delicious and surroundings charming.
Then we stopped over at the Larson Family Winery for lunch. Wine was pretty good but the place was too commercialised and too busy for my liking.
Next we headed over to Sonoma town for an hour or so. Just enough time for drink a coffee, to stock up on some olive oil and aged vinegar at Figone’s
shop and look around at the charming town square.
After that we headed to the last winery of the day: Nicholson Ranch. Our favourite winery of the day. The place is beyond charming and it’s owner Deepak Gulrajani very friendly and happy to share his stories. He appeared to be a very hands-on owner and was clearly obsessed with the art of making wine. It was lovely to meet someone so passionate. And the wine was to die for.
We just had a small taste not only of the wine but of this beautiful region. Green grapevines, hills, blue skies, fresh air and WINE. Oh, wine… It was a lovely day. Sonoma region is beautiful. The biggest disappointment/regret of that day? We couldn’t order cases of wine and have them shipped. We would have but unfortunately HK is too far. We did buy some wine which we enjoyed a few days later out on the balcony of our hotel room.
We were back in San Francisco in the early evening, just in time for dinner and more wine.
Not ripe yet.
First sips of Robledo Family wine.
Husband focused on ‘proper’ tasting.
Looking down the vineyard.
Already relaxed Husband on the Robledo grounds.
Friendly and lazy cat.
Tasting room at the Larson Family Winery.
Sipping 2013 Larson Family Pinot Grigio.
Time for 2012 Larson Family Pinot Noir.
Screw tops. No more corks.
House in Sonoma.
Outside tasting of a 2009 Merlot at Nicholson Ranch – our favourite wine of the day.