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Wineries, restaurants, etc.

by Geeedavey Online Now May 26, 2004 at 7:18 AM

My wife and I will be in Sonoma County for two nights in July as part of a 10 day California trip. Can anyone recommend some wineries to visit, or restaurants? We will be staying in Petaluma but we will have a car and will probably spend most of one day driving throughout Sononma and Napa counties. We are not wine connoiseurs by any stretch of the imagination, but we have taken a few winery tours and enjoyed them (although we live in Maryland, where at last count there were a total of about 15 wineries in the state). We are looking for wineries that have a regular weekday tour and have moderatley priced wines. Also any restaurant recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for any info provided.

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9 Answers
  • madamx's Profile Photo

    Re: Wineries, restaurants, etc.

    by madamx Online Now May 26, 2004 at 7:31 AM

    Hi, we were in Sonoma about a couple of years ago. Check out my San Francisco page for the details, but these are the wineries we visited: Viansa, Cline, Domaine Carneros (Champagne) and the historic Buena Vista. I don't even drink, but I found the day extremely interesting. Save some money for Viansa as they sell their own foodstuffs and condiments, and there's a huge variety of interesting stuff to choose from. We also ate lunch there. Hope this helps; have a wonderful time, as we did :o)

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  • Rixie's Profile Photo

    Re: Wineries, restaurants, etc.

    by Rixie Online Now May 26, 2004 at 7:55 AM

    We always take friends to Sebastiani Winery in Sonoma. There's a short, interesting guided tour that ends in the tasting room and gift shop, and the cellars are pleasantly cool in the summer. :) See my Sonoma page for other winery and restaurant suggestions.

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  • travelgourmet's Profile Photo

    Re: Wineries, restaurants, etc.

    by travelgourmet Online Now May 26, 2004 at 1:25 PM

    No trip to Sonoma should miss the town square. There are some good restaurants on the square, but I feel that going to Sonoma Jack's Cheese store and factory on the square and purchasing cheese, bread, a litlle salami or sandwich ,that they make right in front of you at the counter, is the way to go. Why? Because now you can go over to the Buena Vista Winery and enjoy a bottle of their award winning wines with the food you bought at Sonoma Jack's. Alos, a little sightseeing in town of the Victorian Mansions streets, just a few blocks from the square, is wonderful. Ask in town for directions to the homes.

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  • madamx's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Wineries, restaurants, etc.

    by madamx Online Now May 26, 2004 at 2:32 PM

    Oops, I forgot to mention the excellent tour at Benziger Wineries. I was really impressed.

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  • Rixie's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Wineries, restaurants, etc.

    by Rixie Online Now May 26, 2004 at 7:50 PM

    The Victorian Mansions streets?? That's a new one on me.

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  • travelgourmet's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Wineries, restaurants, etc.

    by travelgourmet Online Now May 26, 2004 at 11:53 PM

    to RIXIE : Found this street (s) while heading to the plaza square in downtown Sonoma. Took pix of three or four of the homes, so I know I wasn't dreaming. Maybe you call the area something else, I tagged the streets, the Victorian Mansions. Off of 1st street, aabout six blocks south, I believe around MacArthur Ave. South-West side. Beautifully landscaped yards, with many different types of flora. Good sized homes, that I classify as estates, or mansions. There is one inparticular that I fancied. The street does a circle about three homes in, and only one estate home sits in the middle of the circle, surrounded by grass and trees, similiar to a small town park with city hall in the center. Quite impressive and I've seen a lot of estates and mansions. Hope that helps you pinpoint the area. If you get a name for the street of envy, let me know. Aloha

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  • Rixie's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Wineries, restaurants, etc.

    by Rixie Online Now May 27, 2004 at 7:53 PM

    Oh, okay, gotcha. Armstrong Estates. Yes, the houses are beautiful there.

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  • jwpotter's Profile Photo

    Re: Wineries, restaurants, etc.

    by jwpotter Online Now Jan 29, 2005 at 9:59 PM

    I agree about Sebastiani Winery. They have some beautiful hand carved wine barrels, done by my 2nd cousin, Earl Brown. They are unique among the wineries. And, buying lunch at the Cheese Factory is a wonderful thing to do. But I would just head across the street to the Plaza and eat there. I love to do that and watch all the activity about the park. The trees are huge and provide a wonderful canope (sp? Ugggg) to sit under. If you want to do something really unusual, but interesting,go up to the old cemetary on the hills behind the mission. If you get into the very old part (not the newer front part) there are wonderful paths to follow and see some really interesting graves and monuments. Much of my family is buried there and even as a small child I enjoyed the mystical atmosphere of the place. You will have a great time in Sonoma!

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  • jwpotter's Profile Photo

    Re: Wineries, restaurants, etc.

    by jwpotter Online Now Jan 29, 2005 at 10:04 PM

    Oh, almost forgot the restaurant I really like, but perhaps because of some personal reasons. They do have excellent food, and the prices seemed to be very reasonable for the type of restaruant that it is..... "The General's Daughter" is a restaurant that has been put into the home built for General Valllejo's Daughter. His house is a State Park, very interesting to visit, back toward the hills. Personal note, my mother used to go over the the house and play when she was a little girl. That was about 80 years ago now, however. Another favorite of mine is "The Swiss Hotel" which is located a couple of doors down from the Cheese Factory, on the town plaza. Again, it dates back to my childhood days when we went there for a special occasion, but the last time I was there it was still excellent.

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