Monday, November 17, 2014

Hearts Are Floating For...The Other Valley - Sonoma

The way I've always heard everyone talk about Napa and Sonoma I thought they were worlds away. As in two separate vacations far away. But the reality is that Sonoma was just a 30 minute drive from where we were staying. It was a no-brainer that we would spend some quality time exploring the wineries and the town.

Before we began imbibing (again), we felt the need to do something active so the drinking would feel like a reward. Our Uber driver recommended a place to hike called Overlook Trail. I'm not exactly an outdoorsy person - as in the fleece-wearing, backpack-toting type - but I'm okay with the occasional casual hike. So I was onboard with this idea until I saw the sign at the entrance: "Beware of rattlesnakes". What??!! Immediately I became quite a miserable participant (sorry Bill). I don't think I said a word the entire time because every one of my senses was in high gear listening and looking for snakes...ugh!!

At least the view from the top was really pretty.

To calm my snake-riddled anxiety, I insisted on some shopping and lunch in Sonoma. What a cute little town!! I was good and mostly just browsed. The only exception was I bought some lavender and chamomile concoction from an eccentric local women who swears this will help my migraines. 

We got so many recommendations to eat at The Girl and the Fig but the wait was two hours - for lunch!! I'm not even sure where we ended up but it was good...a grilled tomato and brie sandwich for me.

After lunch, I was getting eager to hit the wine trail since it was our last day in the area. We tried to visit Kunde Family Estate but as soon as we walked in we did a u-turn and went back to the car. The multiple tour buses out front should have been a tip-off to the craziness inside.

Outside Kunde Family Estate

I didn't get any photos but the best winery we visited was Loxton Cellars. It was the opposite of every other we had been to. The tasting room was in a big garage, there was no fancy estate or grounds. The owner and winemaker was onsite pouring wine and signing bottles. The wine was so good that we joined their wine club. They don't sell in stores so getting it shipped to us was a necessity. 

Our final stop was Ledson Winery and Vineyards. It was a great way to end our tour with a visit to the beautiful estate and a sampling of their red wines.

The beautiful "Castle" at Ledson.

I would be okay with this showing up under my Christmas tree.

Dinner in Sonoma just wasn't going to happen on a Saturday night without a reservation. Even the nice people at Ledson tried to get one for us. It was just as well since we ended up back in Napa and sat outside on the river at Fish Story.

The moon rising over the river at dinner. It was much prettier in person!

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