Wine and Sunshine in Sonoma
This morning was filled with friends, fun, sunshine, and way too much wine. We visited two wineries and did one tour of a big wine estate. However the day started far too early. At 5:30am the group started stirring in the condo. Stupid time change!
The group ventured out at 10am with a designated driver from a local driving company. She actually lived in our condo complex so she just walked over. Hiring a designated driver was a stellar idea- she knew the area, had great recommendations, picked up lunch for us, and no one had to stay sober. So many positives! Each of us ended up paying $50 for the whole day.
Our first stop was to Paradise Ridge wine tasting room on our driver’s recommendation. We were put off a little at first because it is not a winery but a tasting room. The vineyard is way out in the boondocks so this was more convenient. Paradise Ridge is a small, family vineyard and their wine is not available in stores. I’m glad we went here because the wine ended up being my second favorite tasting of the whole trip.
Photo by Dawn
Favorite wines at Paradise Ridge: Pinot Noir (I purchased 3 bottles), Cabernet Sauvignon, and Red Blend.
They offer a $20 wine tour that includes: wine tasting in the Benzinger tasting room, and wine tasting at Imagery Winery- their sister vineyard. The wine tour is well-worth your time in Sonoma Valley. Learning about the wine-making process may not be too interesting but they also cover biodynamic farming while driving around the gorgeous grounds. Next, they lead you into the “wine cave”. Each one of these barrels s used for 5-7 years and costs $1000. And Benzinger has 3,000 of them!!!
The wines at Benzinger were not my favorite although the white wine drinkers were oohing and ahhing over the Sauvignon Blanc.
Words of wisdom:
Our designated driver went out to purchase sandwiches for us while we toured Benzinger winery. Food was necessary for soaking up alcohol after two wine tastings! Food never tasted so good
In Sonoma Valley, most of the wineries have tables outside for patrons to soak up the sunny, warm California weather. They are perfect for drinking wine and eating a picnic lunch.
Afternoon sights and tastes in Sonoma Valley is coming up next!