I recently visited Sonoma for the first time. Sonoma is a much larger county than Napa and is also home to a number of award-winning tasting rooms, vineyards, and wineries. I also visited Napa on this trip, but that’s for a different blog post.
First, the accomodations and planning. I put out the call late last year to see if anyone I knew was interested in a trip to California wine country and got two takers. A third friend that lives in San Jose met us in Sonoma. We stayed at the Inn at Sonoma. While not the most affordable option in Sonoma, I’d completely stay at this place again. The inn has nice touches like free breakfast and a wine and cheese hour daily. The rooms were spacious with high ceilings and modern decor, as well as a tv, mini fridge and fireplace. It was within walking distance of Sonoma Plaza.
So where did I go to eat and drink?
Our first stop right off the plane was Fulcrum Wines. Fulcrum’s small tasting room is located right off Sonoma Plaza. On a Thursday afternoon we were the only guests and the tasting room associate was nice and chatty. We tried one of the many Pinot Noir’s offered as well as the Brut Rose. California is known for its Pinots and this was a good one to start with. The tannins were not overwhelming and the notes of cherry and raspberry dominated, with hints of mineral notes as well.
After visiting Fulcrum, we had lunch at Maya Restaurant. This casual, Latin American restaurant was home to one of my favorite meals. The mixed grill here was great as were the uniquie margaritas being served.
Our experience at Sunflower was a highlight. This is a great spot for breakfast or brunch and lives up to all of the great reviews it has. The outdoor patio dining area is surrounding by fruit trees and the Sunflower theme is everywhere. Boozy drinks and great breakfast are always a win.
On our last day in Sonoma, we visited three tasting rooms/wineries, with Anaba being the first. For overall experience, this ranked number 1 during this visit. The outside seating is beautiful and there is a fun, casual atmosphere here. There’s also a bocce ball court, which I loved. Tastings start at $40. Our tasting included the 2021 Turbine White, Rhône Blend; 2021 Grenache Blanc; and two Pinots. They also let us try one of the Chardonnays. The Grenace Blanc here was a grood break from all of the Pinots and Syrahs we’d had. Anaba also had food options and wood-fired pizzas, but we came here straight from brunch so didn’t try the food.
Gundlach Bundschu Winery
Our next stop was Gundlach Bundschu Winery. This was a fun option with outdoor seating, a wine cave, and a pretty good Charcuterie board. We did bottles instead of flights or tasting here and enjoyed the DJ, charcuterie, and truffle chips and truffle popcorn. Established in 1858, Gundlach Bundschu’s estate vineyards are located 35 miles north of San Francisco on the southwesterly slopes of the Mayacamas Mountain Range. It’s located at the southernmost point in Sonoma Valley and has a unique combination of steep hillsides and cool valley floor sites that allow it to grow a broad variety of grapes.
Sigh Champagne Bar
Located centrally in Sonoma, Sigh is a champagne bar where you can enjoy sips and frozen drinks. When we visited two of my friends had flights, one had frose, and I had a frozen Moscow Mule, which was really good. This is just a fun space to visit and enjoy some casual sips.
Wit and Wisdom
For our final meal in Sonoma, we went to Wit and Wisdom. It did not disappoint. The wine list did not disappoint and the food was some of the best we had during our visit. I had duck wings and the rolls as an to start and halibut as my entree. Everything was cooked perfectly. The halibut was delicate and seasoned well and was served with ratatouille. The atmosphere is one that could work for a girls night birthday which is what we went for; a date night spot; or a family dinner. The open air dining experience was a good one, with most of the area being enclosed.