Authentic and unspoiled - Sonoma County offers something to stir every soul.
Sonoma County is home to more than 425 wineries, some situated within redwood forests and along 55 miles of spectacular Pacific coastline, Sonoma County is a wine lover’s paradise.
Illustrative of the region’s topographical diversity are its 18 American Viticultural Areas, each featuring unique weather and geography. 85% of Sonoma County wineries are family-owned, meaning wine lovers often find themselves tasting with the winemakers and owners themselves.
In a region so vast, it’s not easy to pick favorites, but here are a few of mine.
MacArthur Place: Formerly a 19th century working ranch, MacArthur Place embraces its original equestrian charm by paying homage to the farmhouse aesthetic while surrounding guests in modern splendor. Sumptuously appointed rooms and suites are situated within 20 historic and contemporary buildings on the verdant six-acre property.
Reserve a table at Layla, the resort’s fine dining restaurant that features elevated Mediterranean fare, and enjoy a pre or post dinner cocktail in The Bar at MacArthur, a sultry and sumptuous jewel-toned lounge serving a curated selection of classic cocktails.
Canneti Roadhouse Italiana: In Chef Francesco Torre’s cozy, unassuming Italian trattoria in Forestville, everything is house made. Put yourself in Torre’s hands with his tasting menu, and you won’t be sorry. Sit at the four seat chef’s counter to watch him in action, and learn how this charismatic Tuscan native ended up in Sonoma County.
The Spinster Sisters: Head to Santa Rosa’s bohemian hub, the ‘SOFA’ (south of A St.) arts district where Spinster Sisters chef/owner Liza Hinman uses the county’s bounty in creating an evolving dinner menu of original dishes inspired by flavors and traditions from around the world.
Glen Ellen Star: This diminutive restaurant gem in tiny Glen Ellen is a revelation. Every dish, from humble wood roasted vegetables, to pasta specialties, to mains like brick chicken, is made from locally sourced ingredients. Sit at the chef’s counter to watch the well-choreographed kitchen magic.
Ram’s Gate Winery: Perched upon the rolling hills that define the landscape of Sonoma County’s Carneros AVA, Ram’s Gate Winery holds court as the southern gateway to the region for which it is named. Winemaker Joe Nielsen produces 25 labels within four distinct series, many of which can be sampled within the winery’s beautiful Howard Backen-designed facility.
The Donum Estate: Meaning ‘gift of the land’ in Latin, Donum features within its acreage a world class collection of 40 sculptural works by world-renowned artists. Various wine tasting tours lead guests through the stunning collection.
Lambert Bridge: Located along bucolic Dry Creek Road in Healdsburg, this winery features small lot, limited production wines made by congenial winemaker Jennifer Higgins. Drop in for a flight at the bar or reserve a tasting in their Redwood Barrel Room. Bring a picnic and relax in their serene gardens.
A Sonoma visit is not complete without a stroll in and around quaint Sonoma Plaza – the largest town plaza in California. Lined with wine tasting rooms, galleries, and boutique shopping, its throwback vibe soothes the soul.