Ok, officially I'm not writing this after day one of my honeymoon. That's due to the overwhelming lack of internet access in Yosemite (or Honeymoon Days 2-5). Anyway, we got into Sonoma in the late morning on Tuesday. The day was pretty miserable; grey, wet and hazy, but we were in Sonoma, so who really cares? Anyway, we checked into our hotel, the lovely Lodge at Sonoma, a Marriott owned resort that's a collection of little cottages surrounded by roses, smack in the middle of Sonoma proper. The room was large, with a spa tub, couch, fireplace, incredibly comfortable bed and the room even had it's own little private patio for sitting out and sipping wine. Pretty sweet.
We decided to try Sonoma as one of our stops for our honeymoon due to the fact that we visited Napa during the summer and loved it. Now first off, we noticed that Sonoma is a bit different that Napa, Napa is filled with huge mega-wineries with thousands of acres surrounding usually a large picturesque tasting house. Over at Sonoma we only saw one "uber" winery (The Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves), the rest (that we visited) were mostly small producers. It feels a bit more "rural" in Sonoma, with hundreds of small farms dotted about with grapes, cows, goats, you name it. All things I didn't notice while visiting Napa.
Both places are wonderful, anyone interested in wine at all should visit. It was during our visit to Sonoma that I came up with a theory on one of the reasons why I love visiting the wine country.
For the very few that know me, I have a French baron-ship attached to my name. Now most people know that the French don't follow the aristocracy anymore, so it's pretty much worthless in France. But it's the history of it all that really intrigues me. Supposedly, as the history has been told to me, this baron relative of mine had a winery while living in France. During the French Revolution, the family was kicked out of France and ended up in Cuba. My relatives tried to grow grapes in Cuba, but sadly due to a variety of conditions they couldn't re-create from the French countryside that they used to live, they sadly never succeeded.
Now based on that history (which could be all crap for all I know), I think I've developed the taste for growing grapes. I currently have a few measly vines growing in my apartment (sadly in Florida there's probably little chance for them to grow any grapes), and would love to someday purchase some land in the wine country and try my had at wine growing in a bigger scale (and with better conditions).
Well enough of this rambling about crazy theories, back to the trip. We visited several small wineries, including a favorite of ours Ravenswood Winery, most of them were absolutely wonderful. One of our favorites (and the first we visited) was Buena Vista Winery, they had some lovely wines and we picnic-ed in their woodsy picnic area. Bartholomew Park Winery didn't have the greatest of wines, but had some really cool trails in the back that we wandered around. Sadly we had only a day to visit Sonoma, so most of the day was spent fighting the clock for daylight, but all-in-all it was quite enjoyable.
Day 1 of Honeymoon: Completed