At this phase of winter in Seattle, I'm most ardently dreaming about escaping to a sunny, warm place where my wine glass is always full and my shadow is always behind me (or directly underneath). Given the current political and meteorological climate, I would suggest that we all need a little escapism to offset the days and weeks ahead (okay, perhaps to weather the coming months, if not years). I promise not to daydream in excess, but exploring my own happy diversions for a few hours on a Sunday morning is certainly acceptable, isn't it?
Today, I'm looking back to a getaway that inspired such revelations, before and even after it occurred. It was a visit to Sonoma's Russian River Valley and neighboring Dry Creek Valley (to be frank, we may have also briefly dipped our toes in the Alexander Valley AVA). Although the trip itself took place a few years ago, I still relish a chance to recall our musings and winery visits, and long for the chance to return and uncover more of the unexpected gems of Sonoma.
Among the wineries we visited in Dry Creek Valley, one happened to showcase some Italian varietals (including a rosé!) that piqued our interest. Although Unti Winery required an appointment, a quick phone call made clear they were extremely welcoming and happy to provide us a taste of their wines. If I recall correctly, their rosé was certainly calling my name in the midsummer heat...
For a few starry nights we also had the pleasure of staying on the winery grounds at VML Winery. I must admit, I'm a wine club member who thoroughly enjoys their take on syrah, pinot noir, and gewurztraminer (not that dodgy bottle you try to avoid at Thanksgiving, I promise!). What made the overnight stay even more special was their brilliant garden and grounds, where you are free to enjoy sips of their current tastings while admiring the flowers and plucking fresh figs right off the tree.
Although we spent much of our time in Sonoma perusing wineries, I should also mention that we did wander into a few other establishments. Because, well...coffee. Starting the day with one passion and ending it with another is, in my opinion, as close to godliness as we humans can get. Flying Goat Coffee won me over on a previous trip to Sonoma, so perhaps it had an unfair advantage. It made for the perfect way to bookend our Sonoma experience and gave us an excuse to linger over sunny mornings in wine country. What else could you ask for?