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August 9, 2021
I finally made it to Sonoma – and I absolutely loved it! I’ve been to Napa twice before and both times, so many people told me I just had to do Sonoma too. Now I see why. It’s so different from Napa. I took my mom for her 60th birthday so it was a very special trip since it was her first time in wine country. We spent the entire day in the square tasting wine, talking, and spending some quality mother/daughter time together. And making this reel – LOL!
We actually did tastings at all four of the wineries listed below. We loved them all, but I think three tastings in one day is ideal. We were pretty tired by our last tasting and couldn’t enjoy the wine as much. Here’s where we went and what we liked about each place!
Corner 103: Most Informative
The owner, Lloyd, is incredibly knowledgeable, kind, and friendly. Both my mom and I kept talking about how we were so glad that we went here first. We learned so much about wine, how to get the most out of a tasting, and some other fun tricks. Lloyd recommended we start light and work our way up to heavier wines. He also recommended we try wines that we either are not familiar with, or that we typically do not like. That way, you try something new with an expert right there to help guide you. It was a great outlook to have from the beginning. Oh, and this was the only place we ended up buying a bottle from. My mom loved the rosé!
Auteur: Prettiest Setting
I think Auteur was my favorite stop of the day. The courtyard area was absolutely gorgeous and the staff was so unpretentious and full of knowledge. I felt like I was hanging out with friends when they were explaining the wines to me. They actually took their covid break to renovate and it was absolutely the right decision. We were lucky enough to have the space to ourselves while we were there and it was magical. Plus, they are now available in Georgia, so it was meant to be!
Westwood: Most Entertaining
Our time at Westwood with Mathew was hilariously entertaining. What a fun guy! We officially had a small buzz going, so we were feeling very laidback and casual. The space is super warm and cozy, so you kind of feel like you’re in a cabin catching up with an old friend. The wines were delicious, but the experience overall is what sets Westwood apart!
Pangloss: Most Chill
Pangloss was our last stop of the day. We opted for the cheese plate and absolutely devoured it. Our wine guy here was Grant and he was such a sweetie. He’s very young, but after growing up in the area with a wine blogger for a mom, this man knows his stuff. He even gave us some local, insider tips around Sonoma. We definitely liked the wine here, but probably should have stopped after three tastings!
Where to Eat
A definite must in Sonoma! This healthy breakfast and lunch spot was amazing; a true California cafe. The Hippie salad was phenomenal with chickpeas, kale, and the best dressing (and I hate dressing!). We also got fresh tomato soup, grilled cheese, and a lavender almond milk latte. Exactly what we wanted between tastings. The outdoor seating area in the back is very cute and relaxed, but it can get packed earlier in the day. We were there around 1:30 and it was perfect. It’s a great quick stop right in the Sonoma square.
El Dorado Kitchen
Sadly, we missed our reservation here, but it was definitely the top recommendation from locals. Many many people told me to eat here. They have a really cute outdoor seating area with a European vibe. They have a great selection of pizzas, plus a few entree options and burrata as an appetizer option. I will go anywhere that has burrata so I am truly devastated we missed out!!
Wit + Wisdom
Wit + Wisdom is actually located a the hotel we stayed at (which I absolutely would NOT recommend!!). The chef is very well known, so we knew we had to try it. We could only get a reservation for 9pm on the last night so since we weren’t super hungry, we went with the pizza. Oh my god, it was delicious. So good that I keep thinking about it. The service was good as well. Everywhere in Sonoma is severely understaffed, so this was a nice change of pace. The interior feels high-end, yet cozy. This is definitely the best choice for a nice dinner out in Sonoma.
Where to Stay
I actually would not recommend staying in Sonoma. It’s great for a day of walking, wine tasting, and shopping, but lodging is limited and in my experience, overpriced and lacking in many areas. Instead, I recommend staying at The George in Napa. This bed & breakfast is a gorgeous Victorian home in the middle of an authentic Napa neighborhood. With just nine rooms, this intimate B&B is the perfect choice for a special trip to wine country. Their hospitality is unmatched and they have a chef on staff that can make you whatever you want. What’s not to love?!
Although they were fully booked during my trip, they were sweet enough to invite me for brunch so I could take a peek. I fell in love!! The brunch was incredible and I’m dying to go back. I will definitely be staying here next time!
It was such an amazing weekend and I’m so glad we decided to check out Sonoma. We did go to a couple vineyards in Napa, and my mom said she liked Sonoma better. Both are amazing of course, but I definitely feel like Sonoma is underrated. I can’t wait to go back!