Wine, Wine, and More Wine Tour

Day 1:

pic_itinerary_ironviewRussian River Valley and Dry Creek Valley

Beautiful soil produces beautiful wines — just take a look around as you travel this tour’s Westside Road. These two valleys win our vote as Sonoma’s most scenic. What better way to start your wine vacation!

  • Head out Graton Road. Turn left on Highway 116 and left again at Ross Station Road. Keep going until you reach the Iron Horse Ranch and Vineyards.
  • Enjoy the fabulous view and the breezes from the outdoor tasting room.
  • Go back to Highway 116, turn left, and then turn right on Mirabel Road. At the intersection of Mirabel Road and River Road, turn right and then immediately left on Wohler Road, which becomes Westside Road.
  • Westside Road winds through some of Sonoma’s prettiest vineyard countryside. Take your time enjoying the wineries along this classic Sonoma landscape, including our favorites, Moshin, Rochioli, and Gary Farrell.
  • When you reach Healdsburg, stop and have lunch at Charcuterie for a mid-price meal, or Oakville Grocery for a quick, gourmet sandwich or pizza.
  • Take West Dry Creek Road north out of Healdsburg and continue up into picturesque Dry Creek Valley.
  • Be sure to stop at Lambert Bridge Winery for the exceedingly fine Merlot.
  • Visit Dry Creek Vineyards next and sample from the many fine wines. Dry Creek was the first Dry Creek Valley vineyard established after prohibition and it’s been going strong ever since.
  • Cross over to Dry Creek Road and head north to Ferrari-Carano Winery. The Ferrari-Carano tasting room is magnificent — reminiscent of a French chateau. The gardens are equally impressive.
  • Head back south to Healdsburg to your dinner reservation at the trendy and fabulous Dry Creek Kitchen.
  • Retrace your drive to the Inn — stopping to grab a nightly “sweet dreams” cookie from our foyer.

Day 2:

Valley of the Moon and Sonoma Valley

With many great wineries all in a row, the Valley of the Moon is lovely, yet compact. You can treat your senses to wines of every variety and only drive a few miles! Sonoma Valley is further south past the town of Sonoma and features Gloria Ferrer, one of our house champagnes.

  • pic_itin_1Take the Bohemian Highway south to Bodega Highway (Highway 12) towards Sebastopol. Cross 101, and Highway 12 takes you straight to Kenwood and the Valley of the Moon.
  • Stop first at St. Francis Winery and drink in the big bold reds. Our advice is to pay the cost of the reserve room where you sit and pair the spicy, rich wines with yummy hors d’oeuvres.
  • Stop next at Kunde Estate Vineyards and don’t leave without a bottle of Zinfandel Port and a jar of the Belgian Chocolate Sauce with Cabernet Sauvignon. (Trust us on this one).
  • Diverge off Highway 12 onto Bennett Valley Road to Matanzas Creek Winery. Each and every Matanzas Creek wine is lovely, so take your pick.
  • Head back to Highway 12 and stop at Imagery for tastings and an art-gallery tour. Imagery’s claim to fame is the world’s largest collection of wine label art — and it’s quite fascinating. For a sneak peek, check out the “collections” page on the Imagery website.
  • Next door is B.R. Cohn. Try the award-winning reds and sample the estate-grown olive oils before heading into the town of Sonoma for lunch.
  • Park at the town’s main square and duck into The Girl and the Fig. Featuring “country food with a French passion,” this eatery — located in the Sonoma Hotel — offers a diverse menu and a terrific selection of fine cheeses.
  • Continue east on Highway 12 to Schug Winery known for its buttery Chardonnays and award-winning Pinot Noirs, and then stop next door at Gloria Ferrer. Don’t miss the Gloria Ferrer’s cave tour. Ask an innkeeper to check on the time for that day’s afternoon tour.
  • Last, but not least, travel a little further down Highway 12 to Viansa. Viansa’s Italian Marketplace is one of the largest vineyard shops in wine country, and a great place to pick up a few gifts.
  • Travel back to the Inn for even more wine until you’re ready for a relaxed meal at Willow Wood Market Café in Graton.

Day 3:

Alexander Valley

On the east side of 101, across from Dry Creek, Alexander Valley is enjoying a reputation for award-winning vintages and increasingly recognizable wines.

  • Head up to Healdsburg on the back roads (described in Day One above) and stop at the Oakville Grocery for picnic supplies. Then drive north on Healdsburg Avenue to Simi Winery in time for the vineyard’s 11 a.m. tour.
  • pic_itin_2The famous Simi tour provides a glimpse at the winery’s colorful past as well as an informative look at its present winemaking methods. You shouldn’t miss it.
  • Next, continue up Healdsburg Avenue. Take a left on Lytton Springs Road and a right on Geyserville Avenue to Clos du Bois. A well-known label across the country, Clos du Bois has developed its image around food pairing. As a result, its employees are a font of knowledge on the subject. Chat up a tasting-room employee and get the scoop. Have your lunch at the Clos du Bois’ picnic grounds overlooking the vineyards.
  • Continue north on Geyserville Avenue until it crosses Highway 128 and head back south. Stop at Murphy-Goode and enjoy the vineyard’s luscious whites. The Fume Blanc is the flagship wine and it’s easy to taste why. See if you can pick out grapefruit and fig flavors.
  • Continue south on Highway 128 to Hanna Winery and Field Stone Winery and Vineyards before heading back to the Inn for wine hour.
  • Relax until it’s time for your dinner reservation at Underwood.
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