A few weeks ago, some of my followers may have noticed that I got to experience my home town of Sonoma County in a new and fun way with a few of my favorite blogger friends Kathleen, Ashley, Caralyn, Chrissy, and Sira. If you don’t already follow each of these ladies, I highly recommend you do so! This trip was hosted by the Sonoma County Vitners to celebrate Sonoma County Wine Month which is happening the entire month of October. Even though I was born and raised right here in Sonoma County, I was able to learn SO much about where I live and the wines that are made right in my hometown. I have to be honest – I now have a whole new appreciation for all that goes into making something I enjoy so much (wine, obvi).
On our first day, we went to a historic winery in the heart of Alexander Valley called Frei Brothers Winery. We all hopped in open air jeeps for a tour of this gorgeous property and of course we had some yummy Chardonnay (which is now my new fave) while en route. We got an inside look at how this winery goes through great lengths to make this property sustainable. We even got to learn about how falcons are brought in to keep other birds from eating the grapes. After the tour was one of my favorite activities – grape stomping in wine barrels! I did this growing up at our local harvest fair and it brought back so many happy memories. That night we were lucky enough to head over to MacMurray Estate Vineyards which is one of the most beautiful places on planet earth.We got the chance to sit down with Kate MacMurry (her dad was Fred MacMurray, founder of the winery and estate) which was such a treat. Kate told us stories of what it was like to grow up on the estate and all about the love that goes into each and every bottle of their wine. We also enjoyed blending and bottling our own Pinot Noir, which was a first for me (I’ll let you know how it is once I open it). From there, we enjoyed the most magical dinner under the stars put on by Bear Flag Wines! The wine maker for Bear Flag, Aaron Piotter, joined us and gave us so much insight on all the yummy wines we had with dinner. Day two started out at Francis Ford Coppola Winery with a walk in the vineyard with one of their viticulturists. We got to learn all about when the right time to harvest the grapes are (any day now this will be happening) and taste the grapes right off the vine! After all that walking it was time to start tasting the wines! They had set up a side by side tasting and I can assure you there wasn’t one wine I didn’t like (shocking, I know!). After tasting we handpicked fruits and veggies from their on-site garden with their in house chef, Tim Bodell. He took the fruits of our labor (no pun intended) and turned it into a delicious farm to table lunch. To finish off the afternoon, we went to their legendary pool for another glass of wine and some relaxation. I will definitely be returning to the pool next summer and plan to bring Mark and the kids. It’s family friendly so I highly recommend this spot if you’re looking for a place to go with the kids in wine country. Last but not least was dinner at the wineries on-site restaurant, Rustic. It was the perfect ending to am incredible day in wine country. I may be biased and you all know my love runs deep for Sonoma County, but I can assure you that this county is hands down the best place to go for a wine country experience. Thank you so much to all the wineries and people involved in making this trip one I will never forget.
Photography by Ashlee Green Photography and MJ Wickham