Wine Country: Sonoma County

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One view from Hanna Winery and Vineyard. Sonoma County, California. May 2016.

So this post has been a long time coming but it’s been month after month of crazy so it’s taken much longer than expected. However, following the earlier post about foodie-ing out in NorCal, here goes a quick set of the wineries we visited while visiting the Sonoma County area.

But first things first, I don’t really drink; I’m simply not a fan so I didn’t really participate with the tastings. I still feel really confident recommending these wineries, however, because of my amazing friends, huge wine lovers, who set up these tastings and they are members of most of these wineries and their wine clubs.

Mercury Wine Tasting Room,  Geyserville

Our first stop after breakfast was this cute little store front in Geyserville – an almost single street looking town with tons of rustic feel. It would be so easy location-wise to fly right past this location, but when you visit, you’ll be so glad you stopped.

This winery is a family business (like most) with one brother who sells and the the other who works mainly on the design and creation side of things. The whole feel of this shop is a little hippy and a little eclectic. With details like fun house mirrors and fun art pieces alongside the wonderfully socialized Freddie, the dog, this location was so much fun.

The tasting room isn’t huge so there was a little wait (but we were not idle which I’ll explain in a moment!) but it was definitely worth it. The service was amazing and friendly – again, I don’t drink so we had a great laugh about the water quality, clarity, and vintage! – and they make you feel like family.

If you like wine and having it delivered to your house, this is one to go with! They can set you up in store and the membership comes with perks such as invitions to food and wine events as well as free tastings.

Ramazzotti Wine Tasting Room, Geyserville

So when I say we  weren’t sitting idle, those of us who drink were right in the next room sampling from the Romazzotti wine collection. These two sampling rooms are for two different vineyards but they share a single store front and once again, the service was great. When we went in, two older ladies were serving and they let us sample using my friends Mercury Wine club membership.

There was no rush and they didn’t mind chatting with us as we sampled and waited for our other appointment. Freddie moves freely from room to room which was so entertaining and the wines are different enough to make the tastings interesting. These wines were much more classic rather than Mercury’s more innovative styles.

Everyone sampling at both locations left very satisfied and a few bottles heavier!

White Oak Vineyard

Beautiful.

That’s all I could think when we hit this stop – I’m a budding photographer (though I’m not really a fan of that wording … ) so finally getting to a location that looked like a winery (meaning visible vineyards) was amazing!

Between the fountain, architecture, sculptures and the expansive lines of growing fields, this location feels elegant, rustic and eclectic all at the same time. It’s all about the details here; I loved the inside tables (as pictured below) with the glass covered wine corks – just a gorgeous detail.

The interior is beautiful as well and hearing – from another amazing tasting team – about the special tastings in the most beautiful store room was great. This is a cat vineyard whose cat had recently passed -they’re waiting to see if a new cat will adopt them and you should definitely ask about it – but you can check her and other vineyard cats out in the special Cat book that they sell at the wine counter.

When we went, we received a free tasting as well as a discount on the wine purchased when we showed our Visa Signature Card without ever paying with said cards. While Visa Signature has been discontinued in favor of a new program, checking out these kinds of deals is always worth it!

There’s also a new winery opening up across the street and White Oak is excitedly waiting for more people to come through these two and enjoy an amazing array of cross-traffic – again, they will be different enough that a two-stop location will be well worth crossing the road.

Alexander Valley Vineyards

Making it to tasting rooms within the open vineyards was just perfection after perfection and Alexander Valley was no different. This felt almost carved into the mountain with all the lovely stone and rock work that built up the different buildings and cellars of this vineyard.

The parking lot is small and you have to be careful of the pair of dogs who reside here – one really likes to sleep in the sunny driveway! – but this small cabin-like stop is worth it. Speaking of dogs, they sell the Vineyard Dog book (by the same people who photographed the cat version) and it is so cute!

Beyond books and wine, they also sell fun animal shaped wine aerators and veggies from local farms. Their shop was great fun to look through even as a non-drinker. We were on a quick stop tour but you should definitely check out the other features offered – cave tours and vineyard hikes? A next time must.

Hanna Winery and Vineyard

This was our final tour stop and a great way to end the day.

The views from large windowed doors that make up the majority of the outer walls was unlike any vineyard we had visited. The sun was at just the right level and everything about the scene was so open and refreshing I couldn’t stop taking pictures. Every vantage point gave a new perspective of this grand wine country and the interior – the brick fireplace with the metal-worked fireplace screen, wooden counters, everything – was just as captivating.

A breath of fresh air doesn’t do it justice. Seriously, just go!


Again, I am not a wine drinker – I’m barely a drinker at all – but each of these stops through Sonoma wine country was so unique and filled with so many different treasures, that I truly feel all confidences in recommending each and every one.

There are many more wineries, tasting rooms, and vineyards worth visiting in Sonoma and the surrounding counties but these are the ones I’ve had experience with and had the pleasure of photographing. So go: explore and enjoy! And, of course, as always, stay safe – a sober driver is not a joking matter!

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

P.S. If you are interested in these pictures and many more, my Flickr is linked here!

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Wine Country: Sonoma County

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