Alison Lewis

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48 Hours in Sonoma: Travel Tuesday

October 22, 2012

Last week I was so lucky to have the opportunity to go to Sonoma during harvest season. I only had 48 hours, but I covered a lot of ground. Two other journalists and I stayed in the lovely three bedroom farmhouse at Inman Family Wines. We spent the afternoon with Kathleen Inman, a lady like no other. Kathleen’s passion for sustainability extends to a solar powered winery, which produces more energy than it consumes, a new tasting room built from post-consumer recycled materials, and the North Bay’s first privately owned and publicly available electric vehicle charging station, which allows guests to “fill up on sunshine.” Even the Inman office is working its way towards zero waste, with 100% post-consumer recycled paper, soy or water based inks, the use of tree-free labels made from bamboo and sugarcane cellulose, and domestically produced lightweight bottles. This woman is unreal!

Her family winery, the Inman Family Wines currently produces a Russian River Valley Pinot Gris ($30), Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($35), an Olivet Grange Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir called “Endless Crush” ($30), Thorn Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir ($56), and Olivet Grange Vineyard Pinot Noir ($56). In extremely limited quantities, Inman also produces a sparkling Brut Rosé Nature (all are beyond fabulous!). The wines are available direct through Inman’s tasting room or website, www.inmanfamilywines.com. This is a MUST-STOP list in Sonoma. Read on for a few of my other Sonoma favorites:

Sonoma has so many incredible wineries, so be sure to stop at Matanzas Creek where charm meets quality. The vineyard is breathtaking, and it sits among olive trees, a lavender farm and gorgeous mountains. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth where wine and lavender is fruitful. Yes, this is the size of the grapes (above) during this time of the year.

At Matanzas Creek, they have an entire lavender garden which is almost as interesting as the wine. I couldn’t decide between wine and lavender lotion so I bought both. Apparently this spot (above) is one of the top places in the U.S to get engaged. I can see why.

For a produce stop, don’t miss Crane Melon Farm, a Sonoma landmark for over 130 years. The Barn is currently owned and operated by father and daughter Rick and Jennifer Crane who are fifth and sixth generation Sonoma County farmers. They are the loveliest, nicest, most genuine people! Along with the Original Crane Melons, they sell Crane yellow watermelons, heirloom tomatoes, Crane Melon Honey, Organic Sonoma County Walnuts, local art and much more! The melons melt in your mouth, and they’re perfectly sweet with peak season in September and October.

This shot (above) was taken at Iron Horse Vineyards, which also should be on your Sonoma to-do list. Their champagnes and wines are divine! A few other “musts” include dining at Zazu Restaurant where Iron Chef Rockstar, Duskie Estes, hosts updated American Classics and The Girl and The Fig, where food and atmosphere is beyond superior. Also, swing by the Epicurean Connection, owned by Cheese-maker, Sheana Davis. She has a wonderful gourmet store, menu and cooking classes. If you’re looking for a unique spa experience, check out Osmosis Day Spa which features authentic Japanese gardens, zen meditation gardens, rejuvenating Cedar enzyme baths, outdoor garden massages, facials and more.



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12 Responses to “48 Hours in Sonoma: Travel Tuesday”
William says:
October, 23 2012at 08:37 pm
Wine country is so beautiful. That had to a wonderful time but 48 hours doesn't seem long enough to enjoy that region? Your photo of the grapes is amazing and the setting behind you is breathtaking. I hope to go there soon.
Tracy says:
October, 23 2012at 12:31 pm
OMG I always thought I wanted to go to Napa but you have changed my mind. Fabulous
Julie says:
October, 23 2012at 12:32 pm
I have been there but never to any of these places you mention. Looks like I need to plan a fall trip next time too! wonderful photos and I love that one of you
Ann says:
October, 23 2012at 01:01 pm
You are one incredibly talented and lucky woman!
October, 22 2012at 09:41 pm
You look awesome and so does the winery! I LOVE going to wineries and we have friends in Marin Co. and used to go to Sonoma (and Napa) ALL the time. I LOVE it up there. And wine flights and wine of the month clubs :) What a GREAT TrIP and post!!!
October, 23 2012at 07:33 am
What a fantastic trip--and such beautiful scenery! I love California!
October, 23 2012at 07:28 am
Oh I want to go, how lovely!
Lisa says:
October, 23 2012at 06:40 am
Great post Alison! I can't wait to check out those wineries. Fabulous photos. I am not believing the size of those grapes
Carolyn says:
October, 24 2012at 07:44 am
What a gorgeous trip!
October, 22 2012at 11:49 pm
Found you on Pinterest tonight! Your picture reminded me of my friend in Hawaii. Looking forward to trying some recipes. I love to cook and take food photography. I love your thoughts on some of the wineries in Sonoma! We were recently there for 6 days the end of September and Iron Horse is one of our favorite wineries and we are corral club members too! Love the champagne's, you should try Joy sometime if you haven't alreay. We live in the Seattle, Washington area, but travel to California for business and to take photos at the wineries, and of course to drink some wine! Looking forward to hearing more about your travels since I love to travel!
October, 23 2012at 11:49 am
This looks like an incredible way to spend 48 hours!
October, 23 2012at 12:07 pm
I want to go there it look so beautiful!

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