It’s not often that the Polar Coastal women are in the same place at the same time. With Danielle in New York and me in Los Angeles, it’s a big deal when we get together. We met up last April for our 20th college reunion but most recently spent a long weekend wine tasting in the beautiful Sonoma Valley wine region.
We focused the majority of our visit on the little town of Healdsburg, about 35 miles north of Sonoma proper. To say this place is charming would be an understatement. The highlights included a beautiful town square, several streets lined with cute shops and restaurants and of course, more tasting rooms than you could shake a wine stem at.
After taking in the lovely setting (and after Danielle’s obligatory photo of her next to a palm tree), we set off for what we came to do – sample some vino!
There’s nothing like tasting fine wine atop the actual vineyard from which it came. On this day, Danielle and I took a tour at Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves, where we also enjoyed an early not-quite-ready sample straight from the barrels.
And what would a weekend trip to wine country be without some good eats? There was no shortage of that in Sonoma, for sure. We both decided to forgo our fitness endeavors for the weekend and splurged on some truly excellent meals. Oh, and there may have been some dessert consumed as well.
Clockwise, from top left: BBQ glazed flounder, corn pudding, baby leeks and marinated clams at Spoonbar; Charred snap and snow peas, XO vinaigrette, almond praline and grapefruit at Spoonbar; Paella with clams, shrimp, chicken and sausage at Bravas Tapas; Goat cheese toasts with golden onions and white truffle honey at Bravas Tapas.
With relatively flat roads and areas with short rides from one winery to the next, Sonoma by bike is a wonderful way to experience the region. And a great way to work off some of the wine calories!
And biking Sonoma wouldn’t be compete without a stop at the well-known Dry Creek General Store for lunch. Made-to-order sandwiches and deli fare are their specialties. Be sure to leave some time to browse their cute gift shop.
Sonoma wine country offers some genuinely breathtaking scenery. Since many tasting rooms are located right on the vineyards that produce the wine, you can enjoy sweeping vistas while sipping your Pinot Noir.
Above: Lynmar Estate Winery
But no matter how good the wine was (and believe me, it was good) or how beautiful our surroundings, by far the best part of the trip was getting to do all of it with a good friend. Danielle and I have done some getaways in the past, but this trip will be hard to top. Although I think we’re actually going to try with another visit next year!