Begun in 1857 in Sonoma County, California’s oldest winery, Buena Vista, still makes remarkable wines. Sonoma is also home to more than 400 other wineries, scattered across the county’s 1 million square acres. Its 60,000 acres of vineyards are planted in up to 50 different types of soil in 17 American Viticultural Areas, distinctive U.S. wine grape growing regions called AVAs, or appellations. With such size and so many diverse soils and varying weather conditions, Sonoma can produce a wide variety of high-quality wines, among them some of California’s finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Sonoma begins about 50 miles north of San Francisco and runs north to the Mendocino County border. East to west, it stretches from the Mayacamas Mountains, which separate it from Napa Valley, to the Pacific Ocean, giving it 60 miles of coastline.
With its profoundly varied growing areas, Sonoma raises many kinds of grapes, and many wineries produce wines from several AVAs. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and other Bordeaux-style grapes, which require a warm climate, make full, flavorful wines in Alexander Valley, an AVA that includes Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Murphy-Goode Winery and Francis Ford Coppola Winery.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are Burgundy grapes that require far cooler growing conditions. While California’s versions tend to be riper and fruitier than Burgundy’s output, parts of Sonoma County, especially the cooler Russian River Valley, show some of the state’s best efforts with these grapes. I was particularly impressed with the wines of Benovia Winery, Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery, MacMurray Estate Vineyards, MacRostie Winery and Vineyards, and Patz & Hall Winery.
While Dry Creek Valley’s warmer conditions are especially kind to Zinfandel, it produces a wide range of other wines — white and red — as well. Look for those of Quivira Vineyards & Winery, Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves and, again, Ferrari-Carano.
Every Labor Day weekend, the county shows its generous and most joyous side when it holds Sonoma’s Wine Country Weekend, a three-day extravaganza of parties, tastings, dinners and dancing, culminating with its charitable wine auction. Considered one of the country’s leading such auctions, this year’s event raised $4.5 million, much of which supports children’s literacy in Sonoma.
Sonoma has it all. Good wines. Good works. Good feelings.
Banyan Tree Group recently announced its first-ever expansion into Japan with five new properties across four concepts. The hospitality group’s partnership with Wealth Management Group saw Dhawa Yura and Garrya Nijo Castle launch in June, with two more properties slated to open now through 2026. Another partnership with Terraform Capital sees plans to build Cassia, a property in the ski resort of Niseko.
From 24-Hour Butler Service to a Sky Pool: Boutique Luxury Awaits at Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences in Los Cabos
Set on a seaside bluff overlooking Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas, Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences is a Baja paradise specializing in serene vistas and impeccable hospitality, offering a Pacific coast lifestyle with authentic Mexican touches. Guests can now earn a fourth night free at the stunning resort, plus a $100 resort credit, when booking through March 20, for travel through June 15.
American Airlines Mobile ID creates a more seamless, touchless travel experience for American Airlines customers with TSA PreCheck. Recently started at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, AAdvantage members with PreCheck can use Mobile ID at selected checkpoints to verify their identity. AA plans to deploy the technology at Miami (MIA), Phoenix (PHX), Washington, D.C. (DCA) and more later this year.
Considering an autumnal adventure or Thanksgiving trip this year? Well, with walkable cities, cozy pubs and lots of seasonal festivals, the island of Ireland is calling. And if you need more reasons to Press the Green Button and go, take a look and see what awaits you on the Emerald Isle …
First opened in 1742 by George William Wilton, a seller of oysters, shrimp and cockles near Haymarket in London, Wiltons continued drawing diners with its delicious food for more than two centuries. This summer, Wiltons celebrates its 280th birthday and its place as one of London’s most beloved fine-dining establishments with a unique dining experience.
PONANT recently announced a new collaboration with Smithsonian Journeys for a series of co-branded sailings for 2023. Led by two Smithsonian Journeys experts, such as an art historian, solar astrophysicist or international relations expert, the 21 itineraries seek to deepen travelers’ immersion and knowledge of different destinations.
When American travelers make plans to visit Portugal, Lisbon is usually their first stop.
In honor of its 20th anniversary, Four Seasons Hotel Prague celebrates the beauty and eternity of this historic city with a limited-time stay offer. The Eternal Beauty offer includes a stay in one of the Premier River rooms, which boasts unique views of Prague, a limousine transfer and breakfast.