Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Veni, Vidi, Vino; I came. I saw. I drank wine!

My husband and I like to mix work with play whenever we get the chance. If you need to be on the west coast, why not extend your stay?! Since we were meeting in San Francisco, and he has never been to the wine country, this was the perfect chance to explore Sonoma.

Landing at SFO airport, I caught the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit)…which was a little scary by myself, but so cheap, quick, and easy! We were staying at Hotel Union Square, which was only a block away from the Powell St. BART stop. This hotel was in an ideal location, the staff was courteous and resourceful, and the price on hotels.com was hard to beat! Once our hectic work day concluded, we met for a pre dinner drink at Kuleto’s, just across the street from our hotel. They offered a happy hour that was just what we needed to start our mini vacay. Then headed back to our hotel to freshen up for dinner and walked into our lobby full of live music, guests, and complimentary wine...end up staying for a few songs and glasses.

Some great friends of ours live in and near the city, so for dinner we grabbed a table for 6 at Plouf. Catching up with great friends over mouth-watering seafood and wine, in the streets of San Fran was unreal. We are very fortunate!
Russ and I were picked up early from our hotel (by Million Services) to take the drive to Sonoma. The views were stunning, and each minute that passed I was getting more and more excited! We pulled into our quaint and adorable bed and breakfast, Inn at Sonoma, and were ready for relaxation to begin. The square was a short walk away, and full of charming shops, tasting rooms, and restaurants. Everyone we talked to and all the Sonoma “guides” had said “The Girl & The Fig” is a MUST…so of course it was our first stop! It exceeded our expectations (which were pretty high!) I had the Viognier wine flight to start (the 2012 Tangent was my favorite) and I’m not usually a white wine drinker, but it was perfect for the abnormally warm weather we were sitting in out on their patio. Russell had a Sonoma Mule that was equally as refreshing! I had to have the fig & arugula salad to eat. The figs were as expected, Fig’N awesome! Russell’s sirloin burger and our smoked salmon cakes were tasty as well. I could eat lunch here everyday!

Our waitress, Rachel, had recommended the winery around the corner, Roche...headed there next. We were quickly realizing how friendly the people are in Sonoma. Everyone seems to want to get to know each other and make recommendations on other great places to stop by. The wine and the company at Roche was superb. We truly enjoyed our time, and it was a unique experience to take part in the barrel tasting of the 2013 Syrah.

The late afternoon was spent at our hotel happy hour with complimentary wine, again meeting and chatting with friendly guests. We grabbed dinner at an Irish Pub on the square, took a dip in the hot tub right outside our room, before calling it a night. (The two hour time difference had us a bit tired.)
What an ideal start to our Saturday... I sat out on our balcony with a cup of coffee and caught up on my book, Gone Girl, while Russ caught up on the college football games. We then picked up complimentary bikes the Inn at Sonoma offers to head to wineries. I now believe this is one of the BEST ways to experience vineyards. It was breathtaking! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being driven around drinking wine in a limo, but this was romantic and thrilling, and everything was done at our pace. 
Our first stop was Gundlach Bundschu (love their clever way of using pictures to help with pronunciation!) Biking UP (pretty steep,) the scenery was a mixture of vineyards and palm trees…reminding you you’re still in Cali! We ran into friends made the day before and had another delightful time. Russell and I then headed to Bartholomew Park after stopping by the Cheese Factory for a packed lunch. We bought a bottle of wine and headed to a picnic table. It felt like a scene from a movie…sitting beneath a towering tree, with a rich bottle of Syrah, gazing at the vineyard and a pond, while eating an assortment of fresh cheese, meats, and fruit, and of course with an extremely handsome man! Doesn’t get much better than this!  After lunch it was time to ride to the next one…Buena Vista.  Biking to this winery, the path was surrounded by incredibly massive trees. To no surprise, the atmosphere, wine, and people (especially Ali, who was so gracious and helped us with our wine tasting) was exceptional!  Russ made sure to purchase a bottle of their 2012 Pinot Noir to bring with us to dinner that evening.

We headed back to our hotel, dropped off our bikes, hit up the happy hour again, and got ready for dinner. A great couple we had met at Roche suggested Depot Hotel, an Italian restaurant that offered BYOB, or should I say BYOW? Luckily, we got last minute reservations and ended up with the perfect table for two next to the pool. The atmosphere was stunning. It was like stepping into a beautiful backyard, with an amazing garden, twinkling lights, and the water fountain running. The Italian food was just as exquisite, we ordered Prosciutto e Melone, Cannelloni alla Michele, Filet of Beef, and finished our dinner off with Salted Caramel Gelato. Our walk home was definitely needed!

 Of course our ride to the airport the next morning came too soon. I wish we could have stayed in this town longer, but it gave us a much needed break from the hustle and bustle we deal with throughout the week. Until next time Sonoma
Veni, Vidi, Vino!

1 comment:

  1. I was waiting for this post. Once I saw the picture of you guys biking through wine country, I knew it would be a good one. I love Napa, but now I'm excited to experience Sonoma.