Video:Tips for Visiting Sonoma Wine Countrywith Tim Zahner
Want to know the ins and outs of visiting Sonoma wine country? Watch this video from About.com to learn everything you need to know when heading on a wine tasting adventure.See Transcript
Transcript:Tips for Visiting Sonoma Wine Country
Hi, I'm Tim Zahner, with the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau. I'm here with About.com today at beautiful Paradise Ridge Winery to give you some tips on visiting Sonoma Wine Country.
Traveling to Sonoma Wine Country
Getting to Sonoma County is not a problem – we're only 30 minutes North of the Golden Gate Bridge. The best International airports that serve us include San Francisco International Airport, Oakland International Airport, and Sacramento International Airport. You can rent a car at those airports, or take a shuttle over here and rent a car in Sonoma County.
Lodging in Sonoma Wine Country
Before heading out to Sonoma Wine Country you want to figure out where you're going to stay. We have options like exclusive resorts with fantastic spas, cute, romantic inns and beds & breakfasts, and even vacation rentals that are perfect for the multi-family visit. And your visits can be in the vineyards, among the Russian River and the redwoods, or out at the coast.
Best Times to Visit Sonoma Wine Country
Now, peak season is roughly May through October, so if you're going to come at that time (when the grapes are on the vines and they're harvesting), you might want to plan well out in advance. In the off-season, which we like to call the "green season," because the hills are beautiful and you have more time with the winemaker in the tasting rooms, you don't need to plan as far in advance.
With more than 350 wineries to visit, you might not know where to start. An easy way is to start with some of the world-famous ones found right here in Sonoma County. These include: Rodney Strong; Kendall Jackson; Buena Vista Carneros, which is the oldest commercial winery in the United States; and Iron Horse. Choose a region that you want to concentrate on – maybe the warm-weather region of the Dry Creek Valley, or the cool-weather region of Carneros or the Russian River Valley – and find a few wineries that you want to visit.
Day Trips in Sonoma
Start there, and you can do small day trips around. Sonoma County is more than wine. In fact, of the million acres here in Sonoma County, only 60,000 acres are planted to grapes. Being a rural destination, Sonoma County is actually made up of small towns and villages, and one city in the middle called Santa Rosa. Another great tip is to go beyond the tasting room. If you like cheese, you should go on the Sonoma County Cheese Trail, and visit premium, artisan cheese-makers and how they do their craft.
If you like beer, you should go visit a lot of our microbreweries, including Russian River Brewing Company, which has the number one beer in the world. Now, let's say you don't like beer, you don't like wine, and (for whatever reason) you don't like cheese – go out in the redwood forest and see our ancient redwoods, or go along the coast where our 50 miles of coastline invite exploring. And those are just a few tips for visiting the Sonoma Wine Country.
Cheers and thanks for watching! To learn more about us, visit us on the web at About.com.