9.11.2021 – 9.16.2021 || Sonoma | California
This page will cover what I did in the greater Sonoma County area, inclusive of the city of Sonoma and other cities within the vicinity of Sonoma County and the Sonoma Valley, in September 2021 unless otherwise mentioned. See my Napa page for other recommendations in California wine country.
Where to stay:
This was my second time staying at the Fairmont Mission Inn & Spa, the first time was ten years ago in January of 2011, and I have to say I enjoyed it even more the second time around. You are welcomed to the property with Gloria Ferrer champagne upon arrival and have access to everything you need to relax in wine country in between activities. Tucked away a couple of miles north of the Sonoma Plaza, this property has geothermal fed mineral pools, farm to table dining options, daily wine tastings, picture perfect grounds with outdoor seating and fire pits throughout the property, a Willow Stream Spa, a free car service to and from the plaza, and more.
We enjoyed spending the morning at the Willow Stream Spa before heading out to an afternoon wine tasting. Accor members receive 10% services and have access to the two additional pools located at the spa the day of your service.
Where to taste wine:
Gloria Ferrer – the first sparkling wine in the area and one of my favorites at a lower price point. We met two of my high school friends for the brunch tasting experience on the terrace. It was a great introduction to Sonoma via a flight of bubbly with sweet and savory pairings. Reservations are required.
Cornerstone – a great pit stop between wine tastings, especially if you just went to Gloria Ferrer. We spent about an hour walking around the outdoor marketplace, exploring the gardens, and had a pour from the Obsidian tasting room.
Hanzell – the drive up was breathtaking. Located at foot of the mountains, we spent about 90 minutes there for a private tasting at one of their new outdoor platforms. The vineyard cat, Ed, decided to join us. Reservations are required.
Kunde – incredible views of Sonoma Valley from a tasting deck at 1400 foot elevation. We opted for the 2-hour mountain top tasting that started with a vineyard tour in the wine cellar.
We then boarded a bus to make our way to the tasting platform to sample their reserve wines paired with a pretty delicious cheese and charcuterie plate. The view was outstanding and the best of the places we visited in the Sonoma Valley. Reservations are required.
Recommendations from prior trips for wine tasting in Sonoma County:
- B.R. Cohn – great outdoor space
- Francis Ford Coppola – stylish tasting room
- Matanzas Creek – known for their lavender fields
Recommendations from prior trips for wine tasting (north of Sonoma County) in Mendocino County:
- Husch Vineyards – oldest winery in Anderson Valley
- Roederer Estate – sparkling wine option
- Toulouse Vineyards – scenic view
Where to eat:
El Dorado Kitchen – a California-Mediterranean restaurant located right in the Sonoma Square is a must have dining reservation. We ate in the courtyard patio on the backside of the hotel (not pictured) on the first night and it was so good that we almost went again the last night of the trip.
Glen Ellen Star – a super cute neighborhood restaurant where I can order a wood-fired pizza while my husband opts for a perfectly cooked steak. Obsessed. I want this to be my neighborhood restaurant. Thanks for the koozie @glenellenstar.
Girl & Fig – a French bistro located right in the Sonoma Square (across from El Dorado). This was the highlight of my first trip to Sonoma in 2011 and didn’t disappoint. The fig royale (sparkling wine and caramelized fig syrup) was a great cocktail pairing with the cheese & charcuterie plate.
El Molina Central – a great option for Mexican food across the street from the Fairmont Mission Inn & Spa
Where to grab coffee and snacks:
Cafe Scooteria – a coffee shop and a vintage scooter shop. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any food that day due to shipping issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hope to get coffee and a breakfast burrito next time around.
Barking Dog Roasters – a great spot to come for the coffee and homemade pastries across the street from the Fairmont Mission Inn & Spa
Homegrown Bagels – a good bagel shop to fuel up before a day of wine tasting
Sonoma Market – more than a grocery store, it is a great spot to grab breakfast sandwiches, coffee, fresh juice and smoothies, and just about anything to snack on or drink throughout the day
Question: What should I add to the list to check out next time I am in Sonoma?