Recipes from Wine County – Sonoma

Last time we highlighted recipes and wine pairings from the Napa Valley. Now it’s time for recipes from Napa Valley’s neighbor, the great Sonoma Wine Country. The wine towns of Healdsburg and Sonoma are culinary centers, and their respect is worldwide. Sonoma is a big County with wineries in many different wine appellations. From the … Read more

Sonoma or Sonoma Valley, what’s the difference

what is sonoma wine country

This very confusing for wine country travelers.  We recently met a couple in a tasting room on Westside Road in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. They mentioned they were staying in a B&B in the town of Sonoma. When they decided to visit this tasting room from their B&B, they had no idea … Read more

Wine and Food pairing at St. Francis Winery

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards in the Sonoma Valley

In the Sonoma Valley, Great Wine and Food at St. Francis The trendy thing in tasting rooms these days is a wine and food pairing. We decided to try out the wine and food pairing at St. Francis Winery in the Sonoma Valley.  St. Francis Winery and Vineyards is at the northern end of the … Read more

Sonoma Valley wine country getaway

Sonoma valley wine country

Our Sonoma Valley wine country getaway – do’s and don’t’s There’s so much to see, do, and explore in this area known as the Valley of the Moon. We just spent three full days exploring the Sonoma Valley wine country. What a treat and delightful way to relax and rejuvenate while enjoying beautiful scenery, fine … Read more

Hanzell Vineyards in Sonoma Valley

hanzell vineyards

Hanzell Vineyards High above the Sonoma Valley on the western side of the Mayacamus Mountains is the Hanzell Winery. Since 1957 the winery has been making Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. James Zellerbach of Crown Zellerbach, who was the U.S. Ambassador to Italy (1957-1960), founded the winery.  The winery is a gem in the Sonoma Valley … Read more

Winemaker Brian Maloney zips and dashes between DeLoach and Buena Vista wineries

I met with Brian at the DeLoach winery located on Olivet Road in the Russian River Valley near Santa Rosa, CA. He says the workdays are long but rewarding. On many days he travels to both wineries, plus the Raymond winery in the Napa Valley.

Count Agoston Haraszthy Returns

On Sunday afternoon we had the pleasure of attending a wine tasting party in San Mateo at the office of the Honorary Consul General of Hungary, Eva E. Voisin, to announce Count Agoston Haraszthy’s upcoming 200th Birthday Celebration on September 1, 2012, in Sonoma. The Buena Vista wines that were poured were donated by Jean-Charles Boisset, the current owner of the winery.

Buena Vista Winery
Buena Vista Winery
As you may know, the Count is known as the “Father of California Viticulture” and the entrepreneur who founded Buena Vista Winery in 1857. The Count emigrated from Hungary in 1840 and was involved in various business ventures in Wisconsin, San Diego and San Francisco before settling in Sonoma. He spent years experimenting with many different grapevines he had imported from Europe.

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Harvest Film at Sonoma Film Fest and other Wine News

The 15th Annual Sonoma International Film Festival is April 11 to 15. For you wine lovers and wine country enthusiasts, the festival will debut the film “Harvest,” a feature-length documentary that follows five Sonoma County family wineries and their experiences in the harvest of 2011. I have not seen the film but I have watched the trailer. It looks like a terrific documentary. I won’t be at the film festival, but I sure hope I have the opportunity to see this film later in the year at other venues. Check out the trailer.

Benziger Family and Earth Day
Benziger Family Winery will host a winery event and nationwide wine tastings to spotlight sustainable winemaking in commemoration of Earth Day. At the winery, the event is called “Earth Day at the Estate” and will be a wine tasting with Mike Benziger. The event will take place April 21 from 11:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Benziger Family Winery, 1883 London Ranch Road in Glen Ellen. The cost is $40.00 for Wine Club Members and their guests and $60.00 for the general public. Seating is limited. To reserve a spot call 800-989-8890 or email
Throughout Earth Week (April 22-28), select wine shops and stores nationwide will offer “green flights” of Benziger Family Winery’s award-winning wines at in-store tastings sponsored by the winery’s distributor, Kobrand Corporation. For a complete list of participating locations visit Profits from both events will go to supporting the land and the community of farm workers who tend it.

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Sonoma Valley Wine Country has Four 100 year-old wineries to visit

While the Napa Valley gets all the attention as far as popularity, few wine country travelers know that Sonoma County during the 1800’s was the star of California wine country. It all started in the Sonoma Valley wine country when the Buena Vista Winery was established in 1857.

In this first of two blog posts on Sonoma County’s oldest wineries, we focus on four wineries in the Sonoma Valley. Three of the four wineries are located in the town of Sonoma and the fourth just 10 miles away on Highway 12.

Gundlach Bundschu

We begin with Gundlach Bundschu founded in 1857 and today the oldest California winery that has been in continuous operation by the same family. The winery currently has sixth-generation family member Jim Bundschu at the helm. The tasting room is filled with amazing photos and wine bottles from Gundlach’s history. The staff at Gundlach is extremely knowledgeable and very welcoming. The winery certainly has that family feel to it. One added bonus: This is one of the best picnic wineries in all of California. There are three very different and beautiful areas one can choose from to sit and enjoy a picnic lunch. The tasting room is open daily 11 to 4:30.

Our favorite wines at Gundlach Bundschu: Tempranillo and the Gerwurztraminer

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Jacuzzi Winery – a Tourist Delight in Carneros

We were jammed into the Jacuzzi Winery tasting room on a mid-week day fighting our way to the squeeze among a busload of tourists at the tasting bar. The big tour companies out of San Francisco love this winery. It is an easy drive from San Francisco, and they know tourists from far off places will have a fun time at this spacious facility tasting wine, sampling olive oils, and browsing the merchandise in their store. But it is just not the bus tours that like this place, it is the passersby who spot the winery from the Carneros Highway. Once drivers see the beautiful Italian-style villa they want to find out what is inside.jacuzzi

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