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Weekend trip to Sonoma

This weekend I flew to California, and spent the weekend in Sonoma to (among others) look at some wineries. A couple of pictures from the short road trip.

The Golden Gate was still in the clouds in the morning, as usual this time of year.

Golden Gate bridge in the clouds

By coincidence I saw a sign for the Kendall-Jackson winery along 101, so I went to check it out. Kendall-Jackson is one of my favorite Californian wine brands – I actually found one of their Grand Reserves last weekend in Xiamen.

Last weekend I had a Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve in Xiamen, so today I decided to visit the winery in Sonoma!

The Tomato Festival was going on at Kendall-Jackson, which had been sold out for months. But I was lucky, one of their wine club members who overheard me telling the lady I had just flown in from China had extra VIP tickets and gave them to me for free (normal ticket price USD 65)! I even got extra tickets for wine, so I could have 10 glasses of their wines (I didn’t drink them all though). The Tomato Festival is really nice, which many local restaurants preparing their finest foods that you could all taste for free and of course all of the best Kendall-Jackson wines.

Kendall Jackson Tomato Festival 2011

And all of that in the gardens of the Kendall-Jackson chateau:

Kendall-Jackson chateau

Another good wine area in the Sonoma wine regio is Russian River. The closer you get to the coast the nicer the area gets, there are beautiful redwood forests covering the hills surrounding the Russian River. Very different from the wine hills just 15 miles to the East of it. This picture was taken in Monte Rio at the Russian River bridge.

Russian River @ Monte Rio

From Monte Rio it’s a less than half hour drive to the Pacific coast, where the Russian River ends in the ocean. This picture was taken in Jenner, it reminded me of the Great Ocean Road close to Melbourne, Australia.

Jenner, CA

Further down Highway 1 the Pacific Ocean beaches are virtually deserted.

Duncans Landing (Pacific, N-California)
I ended the trip in Tiburon, where you have a great view over the bay to San Francisco and the Golden Gate bridge.

San Francisco & Golden Gate bridge from Tiburon

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