After working our way down the coast, we drove inland to Sonoma and spent two days checking out some vineyards and wineries.
We were not very familiar with the Calfornia wine scene, but some quick research suggested that Napa consists primarily large estate wineries with extremely expensive tastings. We therefore settled on the somewhat more quaint Sonoma region.
Sonoma had hundreds of small family-owned wineries, some with their own vineyards and some without. We also learned that due to a variety of microclimates within Sonoma, they are able to grow tons of different grape varieties aside from the popular Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.
On our first day, we took part in a van tour along with some other tourists, allowing us both to forego the designated driver responsibilities. We tasted a ton of solid wines though not much was very distinctive. On the second day Dan drove us around to some wineries of our own choosing and tried some wines that were a bit more interesting. We agreed that our favourite of the trip was Pax Wines in the town of Sebastopol.
As we were leaving Sonoma, we made a quick stop in the city of Santa Rosa to visit the famous Russian River Brewery, who for many years claimed the highest rated double IPAs in the world. We can confirm that their IPAs are still top-notch and their Belgian style beers are fantastic too.
In Sonoma, we also tried In n Out Burger for the first time. Overrated.