SONOMA WINE COUNTRY
Where do we go?

The town of Sonoma began with the building of Mission San Francisco Solano in 1823 by Father José Altimira of the Franciscan Order. This mission was the farthest north of all 21 California missions.  Soon after it was built, it was secularized by the Mexican government under the orders of Lieutenant, later General, Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo. He maintained good relationships with the Native Americans of the region and was helped by his friendship with native Chief Solano of the Suisune indians, who had been baptized at the mission and lived near the city.




El Pueblo de Sonoma was laid out in the standard form of a Mexican town, centered around the largest plaza in California, 8 acres in size. This plaza is surrounded by many historical buildings, including the Mission San Francisco Solano, Captain Salvador Vallejo's Casa Grande, the Presidio of Sonoma, the Blue Wing Inn, the Sebastiani Theatre, and the Toscano Hotel.

Sonoma is known as the birthplace of American California, for it was in this town plaza that the Bear Flag Revolt took place and a Bear Flag was first raised on June 14, 1846. The rebelling men claimed to act on the orders of Col. John C. Fremont proclaiming independence from Mexican rule and a free country called the California Republic.

Sonoma served as the capital of the short-lived California Republic until the United States Stars and Stripes flag was raised during the Mexican-American war.  General Vallejo was imprisoned during the Bear Flag Revolt of 1846, and he later transferred his allegiance to the U.S. and endorsed California statehood (1850).  With his 7 miillion acres of land holdings, Vallejo guided the development of the town of Sonoma. He was one of the most powerful residents in the town's history, dividing up the lands into large ranches for friends and family.  More on the story here:  http://capitolmuseum.ca.gov/kids/the_state.html


SONOMA VALLEY WINERIES
http://www.sonomavalley.com/index.php/Table/wine/wineries/
The Sonoma Valley is the birthplace of California's first wine country.   The first vines were planted at the mission in downtown Sonoma.  The valley today is home to more than 40 premium wineries, all on a 17-mile span of enchanting country roads.  Choose wine/wineries from the menu on the left and then select what you would like to visit...winery, tasting room or co-op tasting room.  Each listing (scroll down) contains name, address, phone #, directions and a link to their website. 


WINE COUNTRY - TRAVEL PLANNER
http://discover.winecountry.com/wine/itinerary/sonoma-1/
The Sonoma wineries featured on this website follow green practices ranging from responsible vineyard management to economically friendly processes in the winery.  There are 1-2 or 3 day itineraries already planned that you can use to help plan your
own tour!




SONOMA COUNTY WINES
http://www.sonomacounty.com/what-to-do/wineries
There are over 300 wineries in Sonoma county.   Here's a list of them in alphabetical order, along with the facilities available at each.   You can filter the results with the things that are most important to you.

GUIDED TOURS



SONOMA VALLEY WINE TROLLEY

http://www.sonomavalleywinetrolley.com/

Go online for reservations or call 707-938-2600
The trolley runs daily 10:30am – 4:30pm
  • Sonoma Plaza Pick-Up (including area hotels)
  • Friendly and Knowledgeable Tour Guides
  • Fun and Historic Narrative
  • Scenic Views from an Open-Air Cable Car
  • Visit to Four Boutique Sonoma Wineries
  • Gourmet Picnic Lunch by the girl & the fig (we LOVE this place. See our review)
  • Bottled Water and Soft Drinks

Winery tasting fees not included. Must be 21 or over to take this tour.

The cost may vary, but as of this writing (7/2012) it was $99

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DIRECTIONS to Sonoma:
Take a right onto Midway Road as you exit Vineyard RV Park
Go under the bridge and take the I-505 exit
Stay in the left lane and take the San Franciso exit on I-80
Take the Hwy 12 exit marked Napa/Sonoma
Take 121 to Sonoma
There are a lot of signs as you get on 12, so you won't have any problems.
Some narrow roads and as of June 2012, road work to widen to two lanes each way.


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