Winter: a good time In the wine country
Winter is a great time to visit the wine country. The tourists are mostly gone, the heavy work of harvesting and the crush is over and the vintners and winemakers are able to sit back, have a glass of the product of their labors and relax for a few weeks. They even have time to chat with you.
The tasting rooms are quiet, you’ll be able to enjoy the wine leisurely and the staff can talk you at length about the wines and vines, discuss potential food parings and often even show you through the winery.
Many of the wineries host special events this time of year, particularly if you join their wine club. This is a good time to get the scoop on next years releases and perhaps purchase futures, often at a significant discount.
And just because it’s winter, don’t think it’s not a good time for a wine country picnic. There are many day of sun in Sonoma county in January and February, a sun with the gentle quality of burnished old gold, shining on the golden carpet of mustard that spreads out between the vines.
Whenever visiting the wine country don’t spread yourself too thin. Choose one appellation and concentrate on a particular aria. You will be able to pick up a wine country map at most any business once you are in the wine country, so choose an aria and focus on a few wineries.
A good starting place for a first visit to the wine country in the town of Sonoma it’s self. Buena Vista and Bartholomew Park, located just outside the town, are after all, where California’s premium wine industry was born, and Bartholomew Park has one of the most perfect picnic areas anyplace. If you choose to visit the wineries of the town of Sonoma you will also be able to visit the mission, and General Vallejo’s barracks and other points of interest that are right on the plaza; and don’t miss a visit to Mountain Cemetery. It charmingly wanders up the hills above town. The gravestones read like a who’s who of California history.