I just got back from Sonoma for a friend’s wedding, and if you are what you eat, I am most certainly a grape right now.
I got busy/distracted and never adequately recapped my trip to Puerto Rico, so I’ll try to do some justice to Sonoma–partially for myself, partially for if you’re going there and want some recommendations.
We took a 6am flight from NYC to SFO. We had breakfast before the flight, but once we landed it was time for second breakfast. Wandering around the square, we found Sunflower Caffe, a wine and espresso bar.
I got the South of the Border omelet: it had chicken, jalapeno, tomatoes, onions, black beans, cheese and was topped with cilantro lime cream and avocado. Since that’s obviously a TON of food, I balanced it out a little bit by having the berries instead of potatoes. TOTO, I WAS NOT IN NEW YORK ANY MORE. These berries were so freaking juicy. I vaguely remember hearing at some point that the San Francisco area is known for its sourdough, so I went for that. (And did any other time it was an option on this trip!)
By the time we finished lunch, it was clearly time for some wine. I mean, we’d been on the ground for nearly four hours and hadn’t yet had any. I guess I didn’t take any pictures, but we stopped at the Hawkes tasting room, where I realized there are some Chardonnays that don’t suck. I’ve never really had a Chardonnay I really liked before, but I really liked their Gravel Bar Chardonnay.
Next up: the Gloria Ferrer vineyard. IT IS A SPARKLING VINEYARD. I REPEAT, IT IS A SPARKLING VINEYARD.
We met Emily and Justin (the happy couple) and their families and some more friends here, and sat outside and drank champagne flights.
Champagne flights. Friends. Sunshine. Warm Sonoma sunshine on our shoulders. There was literally nothing wrong with life that afternoon. My favorite wines here, which I bought, were the Blanc de Noirs (a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay) and the Royal Cuvee (also a blend of Pinor Noir and Chardonnay, but with a bit more Chardonnay than the Blanc de Noirs.)
The grounds are gorgeous, and the wine is tasty. If you go to Sonoma, go here.
Somehow I didn’t take any pictures at the rehearsal dinner? But it was gorgeous and the Depot ff’s garden outside, which was around a beautiful pool.
I woke up the next morning itching to run and explore some more on foot.
I covered about three miles and ran from our hotel through the square to the bike path (just by the Depot Hotel) and then through some residential areas when the path ended and turned around at about 1.5 miles. After all the travel, food and wine, it felt more like a shuffle but it was still nice to get some fresh air and see a bit more of Sonoma. It was in the 40s and super foggy when I ran, but…as I guess it does in the SF area…it warmed up quickly as the day went on.
For breakfast, we found a place on Yelp called Community Cafe. The girls were sold on grilled cheese breakfast sandwiches in the reviews; I was sold on the eggs because I knew that much cheese in the sandwich would make my jerk of a stomach angry. The eggs, sweet potato fries and sourdough toast were amazing, though. (I should have gotten bacon instead of turkey sausage though.)
We wandered back to downtown Sonoma and found ourselves with a few hours to kill before the wedding…so we decided to do a tasting.
WHEN IN ROME.
We’d heard Sigh was great (hi, bubbles?) so we headed down this cute little alley to find it…but it didn’t open till 12, so we ended up at Bryter, across the way. It’s a family winery started by a couple named Bryan and Terin, and they specialize in small-lot wines. Our favorite, a rose, had a run of 125 cases, and that was a lot for them! The woman working the tasting room was really cool too – she’d lived in Australia her entire life, but she and her husband frequented Sonoma, dreamed about moving there…and then finally did.
She poured us a cabernet that was still a bit cool, so Emily warmed it up for us. (We all split tastings here since we knew we had a full day ahead of us.)
I’ll write about the wedding festivities in a different post, but suffice to say here, it was a beautiful wedding, and I need to find a better waterproof mascara.
Our last stop before heading back to San Francisco for our flight was the Artesa Winery in Napa. As you can see, it was really ugly.
I mean, the views were just terrible.
Most of Emily and Justin’s friends that were still around met back up here yesterday afternoon before their flights or leaving to spend a little time in other areas of the region. I accidentally made my flight, which I’m really disappointed in myself for.
It was fun spending time with the very happy and relaxed just-married couple the day after the wedding before we all left, and we sat outside in the sun with our tastings. This tasting room/area was a huge building (where I’m sure they also have lots of events) with a big deck outside. The views were the best from here, but these were my least favorite wines. (Probably because I didn’t get any bubbly.)
We drove back to San Francisco, walked around downtown by the Embarcadero and Ferry Building a bit to kill some time before our late flight…
…had some In-N-Out…
…did a little time-travel overnight flying…and now I’m back in NYC with memories of a friend’s beautiful wedding and a fun trip with friends.
Favorite wines/wineries? If you could go anywhere on a wine-cation, where would you go? Maybe I’ve mentioned I’m dying to go to New Zealand?
Also, someone please pass me a vegetable.