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.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Starting in November, guests at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru enjoy new all-pool water villas that offer twice as much outside space as indoor space. The villa expansions bring outdoor space to nearly 2,000 square feet across multiple “zones,” including sun decks, social spots, over-water hammocks, al fresco showers and dining areas. A 40-foot pool extends into the lagoon; nearby, a shaded, ocean-side living and dining pavilion offers unparalleled views.