After leaving Bob’s I headed to Sonoma Valley. As the sign says Welcome to Real Wine Country.

Bob recommended that I visit Artesa Vineyard in Napa Valley for the scenes and structure … not the wine itself. So I turned around and headed to the Napa area.

Interesting art work.

That is what the tasting area looks like.

And the scenic views. Reminds me a lot about Spain.

I continued to drive until I got to Domaine Carneros. It was one of the suggestions of my friend Christine. I met Christine once at W&L through my roommate Jamie. I then through co-incidence ran into her when I was visiting Chicago and took note of her suggestions as she is from the area. Co-incidentally again … she worked at Domaine Carneros – which I was unaware of until I got there.

The Chateau is really beautiful.

Since Christine worked there she hooked me up with the manager Danny.

After sampling some sparkly sparkle

I decided to try the Pinot Noir selection.

And enjoy the weather and the scenic views

I really enjoy the wines and wine experience at the Chateau… maybe a little too much. Great suggestion Christine and thank you for the hook-up.

I headed back to the Sonoma area and decided to get some water and some food. My friend Katie from Lexington, Virginia lives there. Her parents own the Rockbridge Vineyards and she moved to Sonoma/Napa area to learn more about vineyards. Katie recommended that I go to eat at the Hopmonk Tavern so I headed there.

After sobering up I decided to try one of Katie’s recommendations of vineyards in Sonoma area: Gundlach Bundschu. Also a couple of people at the Tavern recommended it as well.

How do you pronounce Gundlach Bundschu? Look at the images

Gun – Lock – Bun – Shoe.

Finally some tasting.

I wasn’t too impressed with the wines or the service. Maybe I caught them on a bad day. The scenic view was great though.

Finally I left and went back to the Hopmonk Tavern and decided to catch up some blogging while tastings some beer.

And getting some tasty tacos.

Later in the evening I met up with Katie and we caught up on all good things in Sonoma and Lexington.

She bought me a ticket to a local concert at the Sebastiani Theatre.

I enjoyed Sarah Summers performance for the most part. She has a sweet voice which sounds amazing when performing solo.

After the performance we went to a local Irish pub around the block ‘literally’ with some of her friends. Later some of the band members showed up for a good small town gathering.

And then we went back home. Tomorrow I get up early and head over to Reno, Nevada for the Great Reno Balloon Race. Long day of driving ahead of me.
Sonoma and Napa Valley views are awesome. I wish I had more time to spend at various vineyards but one can only drink only so much wine in a day. I was very appreciative of Christine and Katie’s suggestions. I really like the Pinot Noir’s I tasted and the ambience of Domaine Carneros. And thank you again for the hookup Christine – I got a great discount. The only downside of Domaine Carneros was that my server made me feel rushed and lacked sincerity. And I found out a week later that I was accidently double charged which the manager Danny quickly resolved. I liked Gundlach Bundschu … mostly for the unique name, their picture description, and their scenery. I didn’t like the wines that much and felt the staff were almost robotic. Everyone I spoke with raved about how good the place was and the people but I didn’t get that experience. Perhaps it was just a bad day – but I would go back there again. Always be willing to try something out TWICE. Seeing and spending time with Katie was awesome. She is such a sweet heart and was great company. The concert was a great touch for the local scene. All said I totally enjoyed my Sonoma and Napa Valley experience.
Expenses: $137.75
Gas: $37.36
Beverages: $30.92
Lunch: $14.00
Beverages: $10.00
Lunch: $40.07
Coffee: $5.40