Sonoma Valley in Winter
The Sonoma Valley, like most of California, is getting a very good dose of rain. Much more is needed. In between storms, there are many nice days to travel to the Sonoma Valley. The good thing is that, if you are in San Francisco or Oakland, it is usually less than an hour’s drive to get to the Sonoma Valley, or as the Native Americans called it, “The Valley of the Moon.” Begin your travels at the Sonoma Plaza. You could spend your entire day exploring the shops, tasting rooms and restaurants. But if you are a wine country buff, you need just a short time there, perhaps mainly to buy your picnic lunch at the Sonoma Cheese Shop. From there, head out to two fantastic and historic wineries, Buena Vista and Gundlach Bundschu. Check our Sonoma Valley winery map for the location of each. Both of these wineries have picnic areas, but we prefer Gundlach because it is a little less hectic.
Most of the Sonoma Valley wineries are along Highway 12. See the Highway 12 Wine Route for details. Most of these wineries are open daily. On the western side of the Sonoma Valley are wineries located near Glen Ellen. See the Glen Ellen Wine Route. We highly recommend a stop at the Benziger Winery. Benziger was one of the first wineries in California to adopt biodynamic farming techniques.