Still in Sonoma………

AND if you have time for just two wineries in Somona make sure to visit Gloria Ferrer Vineyards. They make some incredible tasting pinot noirs – some of which you can only buy on the property.  Their 2007 estate grown & bottled Pinot was given a ’94 point rating by the “wine enthusiast” which is one of the highest ever.  As a matter of fact i’m having a glass right now as i’m writing this.

God I hope they're dog friendly! We'll take him to AA on the way back.

Did I mention that we were there as soon as they opened their doors at 10:00 a.m.? It’s always 5:00 o’clock somewhere right? Breakfast consisted of a pour of Chardonnay (just to make sure it was as good as I remembered from the last time) and a wine filled truffle.  Biting into the truffle was like those brandy filled chocolates where the liquid just pours out. Wasn’t expecting that –  delicious.  Hope it’s not true about you are what you eat……….

inside the winery

My new BFF is IN-N-OUT –  best fast food fix for burgers – but the fries are terrible.

Cline Cellars – we have zinned & it was wonderful!

Roots that run deep

We recently discovered Sonoma last October on a side trip after I ran the Nike Women’s half marathon in San Francisco.  We love Napa Valley & the St. Helena neighbourhood especially but never took the time to discover the Sonoma wine valley until then.  Always meaning to but Napa was the draw if for the name alone.

Even though the Napa wine region is renowned for great tasting wine and culinary delights it has become quite commercial and we find Sonoma very picturesque, friendly and the wine just as superior.  So we’re back.

Outside Cline Cellars

If you can visit only one winery in Sonoma my personal recommendation would be to go to Cline Cellars.  For such a recognized winery it is remarkably quaint and charming, situated on lush property with super friendly staff who give a generous pour.  It’s also pet friendly which is good right now and has an outdoor tasting area.  They gave us their special Pendulum Club 20% discount even though as Canadians we’re not even able to join the club.

Inside Cline Cellars

The winery specializes in Rhone-style varietals and Zinfandels.  We knew only the Cline Zinfandel and the Ancient Vines Zinfandel (Don’s favourite before sampling the ’09 Heritage Zinfandel which is a winery exclusive) but nothing about Ancient Vines Carignane, Mourvedre or the Los Carneros Syrah among others.  The cool climate Chardonnay was a pleasurable surprise too.

Friendly, helpful staff

Side Note: Last night there was a convention going on at the hotel we stayed at in Redding.  We were informed that it was for AA so the girl that checked us in said “don’t worry we’ll put you in a room far from the bar”.  No worries; we still took our own wine in.