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.
Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts invites travelers to celebrate the holidays at any of its properties in Riviera Maya, Mexico. There is no time like the present for you to experience a stay at one of these luxury resorts.
Experience the beauty of Alaska and save 60 percent off cruise fares on your second and fourth guests. Plus, drinks, WiFi and tips are all included.
After a two-year hiatus from in-person sporting and outdoor recreation events, the seaside, car-free town of Las Catalinas in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, recently announced the return of the annual Tri Las Catalinas, an off-road, multisport triathlon, Feb. 15–18.
Global business travel is making its way back, even as the pandemic and other world events continue to challenge its return. In a recent poll from the Global Business Travel Association, more than four in five respondents (86 percent) from across the industry said they feel more optimistic than they did at the beginning of the year. Business travel bookings, the need to travel to do business and employee willingness to travel are all on the rise.
Plan a célébration spéciale this holiday season with a stay at a historic French chateau in the Loire Valley. If pipers piping and dancers dancing are part of your dream holiday experience, set your compass for Château de Chambord, where 100 twinkling Christmas trees set a festive tone for Renaissance music and dancing, storytelling, performances, workshops, themed activities and more. Guests can sip mulled wine and nibble on sweet indulgences, or peruse the shops for authentic, artisanal Chambord products crafted from the estate’s own natural resources.
For the 12th consecutive year, Global Traveler recognizes the best of the best in the industry, naming 2022’s Airline of the Year and Hotel of the Year.
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.
What a year 2022 has been for travel! It’s not an understatement to say travel rebounded and surged following the pandemic, and airlines, hotels, travel providers and more are ready and waiting to serve the masses returning to the beautiful art of traveling. As such, we celebrate and award those who do it best as we announce the 2022 winners of the GT Tested Reader Survey awards, our 19th year honoring the best of the best in the world of travel. Our countdown to year No. 20 begins now.