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 Filed as : Regional SpotlightCalifornia

Wine Country Travel

Aug 26, 2011
Wine Country Travel
What to eat, drink and see in Sonoma County

sonoma-valley-california-wine-countryMany people think that Sonoma is Napa Valley’s sleepy, smaller side-kick. Little do many people know that Sonoma is actually 10 times larger than Napa in terms of actual size and vineyard acreage. With its often less-crowded tasting rooms and equally beautiful pastoral countryside, Sonoma is an absolute must-visit wine region in Northern California. With a focus on pinot noir and chardonnay, you'll find wines that are more about finesse than power.

From the picturesque Sonoma Square at the center of the town of Sonoma, start out with a short trip to Schug Winery. The winery was founded by Walter Schug, the winemaker who first made the acclaimed Bordeaux blend “Insignia” when he worked at Joseph Phelps Vineyards. Today, Schug Winery is best known for Walter’s personal favorites, cool-climate chardonnay and pinot noir. With an unpretentious tasting room and beautiful views across Carneros, Schug is great first stop in Sonoma.

From Schug, you can keep your afternoon “rockin’” with a stop at B.R. Cohn Winery. Not only are the wines tasty and affordable, you'll spend the tasting surrounded by rock 'n' roll memorabilia collected by owner Bruce Cohn, former manager of the Doobie Brothers. B.R. Cohn also hosts a popular charity concert annually, if the timing works for your schedule.

Once you're ready for some food, go back to Sonoma Square and visit The Girl and the Fig Restaurant for delicious, home-cooking-style cuisine dressed up in a chic, wine country setting. Some of our favorite dishes include the fried calamari and steamed mussels, as well as the steak frites. If you want something more upscale, check out The Farmhouse Inn, considered by some to be on the same level as The French Laundry, just in the other valley.

What's your favorite thing to do in Sonoma? Tell us below. 

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