There’s good news for people who live in or around Orange County, Calif., and like to travel to the state’s world-famous North Coast Wine Country.
Alaska Airlines has added flights from John Wayne Airport to Sonoma County’s Charles M. Schulz Airport, which is located just north of the city of Santa Rosa.
I’ve flown into that airport several times over the years, and I have to admit that when I fly, that is one of my favorite descents. Denver is spectacular — if a bit bumpy — because of the surrounding Rocky Mountains, and if you happen to land from the right direction in Las Vegas, you can get a magnificent view of The Strip.
But in Sonoma, as you might imagine, it’s all about the vineyards. Yes, you’ll see the usual array of commercial buildings and houses when flying over Santa Rosa, but in the several miles before and seven or so miles after, you’ll have the rare opportunity to see grapevines from straight overhead.
For anybody who loves wine, that truly is a sight to behold and savor.
Alaska Airlines also added flights connecting Orange County with Reno, Nev., and on the inaugural flights on that route, Ferrari Carano wines were served. That made perfect sense, since the Ferrari Carano winery is owned by the same family that owns the Eldorado Hotel and Casino in Reno. For more on that connection, read this blog from 2009.
There are, of course, other ways to get from Southern California to North Coast Wine Country. San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento all have airports nearby. I prefer Sacramento because you can avoid a lot of “big city” traffic.
But no matter which airport you fly into… and no matter where you’re coming from… a weekend or a week in North Coast Wine Country makes a great vacation for any wine lover.