Sonoma County 2016
We just got back from our first trip to wine country, specifically Sonoma county in California, and it was amazing! There we found not only a beautiful landscape, and tasty wine, but crazy good food; I couldn’t get enough.
We visited Sonoma County, specifically, the quaint and utterly lovable town of Healdsburg. Healdsburg was a town I had never heard of. It’s tucked away, north of Santa Rosa, sandwiched between several different wine regions; specifically, the Alexander Valley, the Dry Creek Valley, and the Russian River Valley. On our trip we visited wineries in both the Alexander Valley and Dry Creek Valley. The Alexander Valley is known for its Cabernet’s, while the Dry Creek Valley is known for its Zinfandel’s. This region is where my husband discovered his love of red wine, (he’s an avid beer drinker).
The most wonderful thing about wine country was not just its wine, but it’s down to earth feeling, its friendly people, its different cuisine, and it’s gorgeous scenery.
After landing in San Francisco airport, we rented a car and headed north to wine country. Before heading out to Healdsburg, CA, where we would ultimately call home for the five days of our trip, we stopped at a really cute diner on the way, The Fremont Diner.
This diner is located just outside of the town of Sonoma, and serves both breakfast and lunch all day. We stepped out of our car and noticed an abundance of people hovering in a fenced-in space, surrounding what looked to be a vintage trailer, handing out refreshments, such as wine, beer, and milkshakes. We learned quickly that those patrons were waiting for their table as the restaurant is so popular, there was an hour and a half wait. We eagerly put our name in and went to take our place in line by the trailer. I sipped on white wine, while my husband enjoyed an I.P.A. We finally were able to sit down inside at the bar, where we enjoyed the most delicious meal. I had the fried oyster po’ boy with a lima bean and pesto salad as a side, while my husband had the most amazing chilaquiles. This place is a must see if you are driving up through wine country!
In Healdsburg, specifically, you can enjoy not only many different wines, but many different restaurants as well. The versatility in their choices is astounding for such a small town. Whether you are in the mood for traditional Italian, Asian fusion, Latin American, seafood, tapas, burgers, or a nine course meal, Healdsburg has it all.
All of these amazing choices are within a 2 mile radius of one another, perfect and convenient.
My husband and I both fell I this with this small hamlet the minute we drove through the town square. Unbelievable due to its size, there is so much to see and do in this town; we were there for five days and didn’t even scratch the surface.
In between all of these amazing restaurants and stores are a vast array of incredible tasting rooms with friendly staff and an amazing selection of white and red wines.
We visited about a dozen wineries and tasting rooms, and found some great wines that we couldn’t resist bringing home with us.
Below is a picture of my husband, friends, and I at a great winery called Hawkes Winery. Hawkes Winery was one of my favorites. It’s a small production winery in Alexander Valley that has amazing Cab’s and a wicked Chardonnay.
Here are a list of the other wineries that were my favorites:
Zialena Winery- A brand new winery opening this summer with amazing Zinfandel, Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. Basically all of the wines we tried, we loved. Thus, this winery was by far our favorite.
Truett-Hearst- A great winery with beautiful grounds, fantastic wine, and a very friendly staff.
Hawley Winery- One of our favorites as well; amazing wines, and a great story of how they came to be.
Cartograph Winery- This winery had the most amazing Riesling and Pinot Noir. The wine maker really knows his stuff, (we had the opportunity to pick his brain for awhile).
Maine Lobster Roll– I thought I would begin my travel section with this beauty shot. My husband and I recently visited the east coast, specifically Portland, Maine and Boston. It was a great trip, lots of great food, beer, history…
In Maine we had THEE best lobster rolls EVAH. This one was a little different than the traditional Maine lobster roll; however, this amazing roll was heated and paired with a brown butter sauce….delicious.
Traditional lobster rolls like the one pictured below are served cold with mayo or butter. EITHER WAY…they’re incredible.
Pictured along with the GIANT lobsters rolls are fried scallops and onion rings, all paired with homemade tarter sauce, homemade cocktail sauce, and homemade butter………..I swear to you, this was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. AND the lady I have to thank is the owner of Red’s Eats. This tiny little jewel is located in Wiscasset, Maine, about an hour north of Portland, Maine. It is worth the drive if you live nearby…or not…just get there!
Below is a few photos from our trip to Maine. Early Monday morning we traveled to a handful of local breweries and distilleries…the Maine Mule is from the Maine Craft Distillery in Portland, Maine where they make all of their own gin, vodka, rum, whiskey, mead, you name it they distill it…incredibly unique place. I ordered the moscow mule…could’ve guessed, right? It was insanely delicious.
Next to the fine cocktail, is french fries fried in duck fat…YES DUCK FAT. They were incredible. The dipping sauces are truffle ketchup and garlic aioli…heaven! These beauties are from a wonderful restaurant called DuckFact in Portland, Maine. They specialize in guess what…cooking food in DUCK FAT. Need I say more?