California dreaming: Uncover Sonoma Valley wine nation


Get a style of the nice life on a gourmand tour of Sonoma Valley wine nation

Perching on a wood fence submit with a steaming mug of tea in my fingers, I watched the dawn above the California vineyards.

My early begin could have been jet-lag induced, however the rows of autumnal gold and orange leaves glowing by means of the mist was greater than sufficient to make up for it.

Sonoma Valley will be the lesser recognized of California’s two main wine areas, with Napa taking a lot of the eye, however this stunning county is much extra accessible from close by San Francisco.

It hadn’t taken me lengthy to discover a photo-worthy view, only a brief hop from my room on the Farmhouse Inn, a group of buttery yellow barns nestling in a forest.

Getting hungry, I headed again for breakfast. 

I ate within the eating room, which, with its actual log hearth and wood finishes, manages to keep up a homely really feel. That is strengthened by a mural painted across the room that includes members of the Bartolomei household, homeowners of this award-winning lodge. My breakfast included regionally sourced streaky bacon, freshly baked pastries and poached eggs, cooked to perfection. 

And the gastronomic delights didn’t finish there. The breakfast room doubles as a Michelin-star restaurant within the night, with scrumptious however accessible dishes which can be of an amazingly excessive normal with out being ostentatious.

Afterwards, when you have room, you may assist your self to handmade marshmallows and gourmand chocolate to make s’mores round one of many hearth pits exterior.


The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

Meals is on the coronary heart of the Sonoma Valley. In Healdsburg, a small metropolis of about 11,000 and with various revolutionary new eating places, I joined a meals tour with Savor Healdsburg. 

We sampled native wines, a West Coast tackle meze and flavoursome tapas earlier than stopping for some experimental ice cream at Noble Folks Ice Cream And Pie Bar. The Chinese language five-spice flavour was significantly notable.

Any journey to wine nation calls for at the very least just a few tipples, and native vineyard MacRostie proved the perfect place. Its terrace displayed views throughout the valley and was the proper spot to pattern a few of MacRostie’s choices of chardonnay and pinot noir.


One of many luxurious visitor rooms on the Farmhouse Inn

For a change of surroundings we headed again throughout the Golden Gate Bridge and into San Francisco for some tradition, the place we discovered it in abundance on the newly refurbished San Francisco Museum of Fashionable Artwork.

With works from some fashionable greats, together with pop artists Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, and Pablo Picasso, it’s the proper place to spend a day. Afterwards, we had a jaunt within the district of Haight-Ashbury, the birthplace of the hippy motion – 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the Summer season of Love, so there has by no means been a greater time to find a love for tie-dye.

I stayed at Cavallo Level, a transformed military barracks with impossible-to-beat views over the bay space. My room, which had a fantastic hearth and balcony, was a haven of peace only a brief trip from the centre of one of the metropolitan areas of North America.

Its restaurant, Murray Circle, and the buzzing Farley Bar appear to have completed what so many resorts fail to do, which is turn out to be a part of the local people.  

In northern California visitors are left feeling as if they’ve skilled one of the best The Golden State has to supply. You’ll by no means have to decide on between rural retreat and concrete journey once more. 

Rooms at Farmhouse Inn begin at £526 per evening and at Cavallo Level from £418 per evening. Each are members of the Most popular Motels and Resorts LVX Assortment. For reservations, go to For extra data on California, see

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