I visit Califorina wine country often and this year we went for Bud Break. It was a glorious time to explore with cool temperatures and very little crowds. The mustard was in full bloom and everyone was happy to be out in the fresh air.
Day 1: After crossing the Golden Gate Bridge with the windows down we headed straight to Jacuzzi Family Vineyards a beautiful Italian style villa on the way to Sonoma for our first glass of wine and some bourbon infused olive oil. Next we hit Roche Winery for a sunset tasting before pizza back at my favorite home base hotel, the Sonoma Renaissance Lodge.
Day 2 & 3: I always visit the oldest winery in Sonoma the Buena Vista & a biodynamic winemaker Raymond Vineyards… both of which I represent. I have been a club member at Jessup Cellars since 2008 and I never miss that one when I’m in Napa. I added a few new stops this time. We did a farm to table paired tasting at B cellars in Napa which I am now a loyal club member, Chimney Rock for a European style wine and stopped at 1881 next to the Oakville Grocer since it is also a winery I represent through the JCB Collection.
Side note: We picked up snacks from the Oakville grocer for Day 3. That place is amazing and will be on my “must stop” list from now on. Gourmet cheeses, sides, sandwiches and wood fired pizzas yum. For breakfast the Sunflower cafe on Sonoma square makes me feel like a local every time… Also a must.
Something else we did on Day 2 was a morning Hot Air Balloon ride with the Sonoma balloon Company finished off with a sparkling wine from Cline Vineyards. Bucket list item checked off!
I went with a large group of friends this time which made logistics and reservations interesting. We each had a rental car and a driver to safety get us to and from all tastings. Some of my friends came a day early and did a paired tasting at Cake Bread. They raved about the experience and joined the wine club. It will be on my visit list on my next trip out.
I do not believe I will ever run out of amazing wineries to visit and new friends to make in Northern Califorina.