The Sonoma Valley, north of San Francisco, is recognized as the birthplace of the California wine industry.
Today, the 17-mile-long valley is blanketed with thousands of acres of vineyards, producing grapes that vintners transform into award-winning wines.
In the town of Sonoma are two of the oldest wineries in California. At the oldest – Buena Vista – tastings are available every day. And throughout they valley are numerous family-run operations where the person behind the tasting counter may well be the winemaker.
Sonoma’s town square is an enormous shaded plaza, rimmed with old adobe buildings and carefully preserved historic structures. A stroll around the square will take you past former Mexican army barracks, 19th-century hotels, a pristine mission, chic boutiques and exceptional restaurants.
Much of what you’ll find on the restaurant tables is grown or raised in the valley. The region has an abundance of produce beyond winegrapes, as small farmers grow lettuces, tomatoes, corn, bright peppers, squash, pumpkins, berries, melons, apples and more.
Farmers’ markets and artisan bakeries bring the bounty directly to the public, and the Sonoma Plaza has plenty of picnic tables so you can enjoy the freshness in beautiful surroundings.