Postcard from Wine Country – Fall Edition
Early last week Scott and I retreated to wine country in Sonoma to celebrate his birthday. It was just a quick two-day getaway and a much-needed change of pace. Wine country is beautiful in the fall, with autumnal colors, and a crisp, woodsy chill in the air. We seem to make it to wine country for a fall visit every year. Last year we stayed at Sonoma Mission Inn for a surprise birthday getaway.
Where to Stay.Dine.Taste in Wine Country
This visit we chose to stay at the El Dorado Hotel on the edge of Sonoma Square. We’ve eaten at El Dorado Kitchen several times but this was our first stay at the charming inn on the top floor. As you can imagine, it is wonderfully convenient to stay right in the heart of historic Sonoma. We dined at the hotel for Scott’s birthday dinner and had brunch the next day at the Sunflower Caffe next door. We also got a jump on our holiday shopping by visiting the charming boutiques lining the square. For more on shopping in Sonoma Valley.
Winetasting in Wine Country
We spent an afternoon at one of Scott’s favorite wineries in Dry Creek Valley, Wilson Winery, from our earlier trip here. Another favorite winery is in Kenwood at Mayo. We enjoyed a private tasting a couple of years ago at Mayo here.
Update on the Wild Fires
Despite the beauty of fall in wine country, it does not go unnoticed that the October wildfires caused tremendous devastation, yet only in specific areas. Parts of Glen Ellen, Kenwood and Santa Rosa were especially hard hit, but most of wine country feels completely untouched by fire.
During Scott’s birthday dinner we ended up chatting with a lovely couple at the table next to us. They eventually shared that their Bennet Valley home had burned to the ground, in a matter of a few minutes, on that terrifying night in October. While they are making the best of an abrupt life change, they also shared how devastating this kind of loss can be. Rebuilding your life from the ground up takes tremendous effort, patience, resolve and finding moments of humor whenever possible. I was especially touched by my new friend showing me her beautiful black boots. She said she had owned a pair of the same brand in brown. When the fire took everything but the clothes on their backs, she started to rebuild a wardrobe and was thrilled to find a pair of the same boots online, though in a different color this time. These boots represent just a small block in the rebuilding a life.
How to Support Wine Country?
The best way to support wine country is to visit–and often! Take your cash or credit card and stay, dine, shop, taste, tip and purchase wine to take home. Share your appreciation and your well wishes with the locals who are truly #sonomastrong.
Contact me at Curated Travel for wonderful deals in wine country.