When you think of California wine country your first thought might be Napa Valley. While it is world-renowned for its incredible wine we have fallen in love with its sister city right next door, Sonoma. More specifically, the Sonoma Valley, that stretches for 17 miles and is boarded by the Sonoma Mountains to the west and the Mayacamas Mountains to the east. The Sonoma area has 70,000 wine-producing acres and 18 sub-American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). That is just the start. Here are 4 more reasons we absolutely love Sonoma County and have been running tours here for years:
We absolutely love Sonoma County and relish sharing this gem of a wine destination with others. We are pretty confident that once you visit, you’ll fall in love too.
Why We Love Sonoma County
Beautiful Sonoma County is well known for its laid back vibe, authentic-feeling wine experiences, and adorable wine country towns. In fact, Healdsburg (where our hotel is located) is so cute that it is listed as No. 2 “Best Small Town to Visit in U.S.” by Smithsonian Magazine.
I was recently in Paso Robles, California running our Wine Tourism Conference. This conference, now in its fifth year, gathers approximately 200 wine and tourism industry leaders from throughout North America and beyond to learn about the current state of wine tourism.
Meeting industry leaders at this conference is one of the many ways the events side of our business contributes to the tours side of our companies – for both Taste Vacations and Zephyr Adventures. Not only do we learn about what is hot and new in the world of wine (and food and beer) tourism but we meet people who help us provide unique, intimate experiences on our wine tours or help us create brand new tour itineraries.
Paso Robles is one of the cutest small wine towns in the country. The town of 30,000 is situated between LA and San Francisco, about 30 minutes from the Pacific Ocean, and is considered part of the Central Coast region of California. Paso (as many locals call it) has a cute main plaza, excellent restaurants, and fantastic wineries in the area.
We don’t yet run a tour in the Central Coast region but if you find yourself in the Paso Robles area, I can strongly recommend doing a little wine touring with The Wine Wrangler. Coy Barnes, the owner, is an ex-teacher turned wine educator who is competent, organized, and friendly – just want you want from a tour company.
Coy spoke at the Wine Tourism Conference and I had a chance to sit down to lunch with him. It is always a pleasure meeting attendees at our conferences but Coy and I, naturally, had a lot in common. The beauty of taking a day tour with Coy or one of his guides is they select the wineries to visit – with 170 in the region, it helps to have expert advice – and handle all the driving.
So until we at Taste Vacations create a Central Coast trip, look to Coy and The Wine Wrangler for your wine touring in the Paso Robles area!