Although wine country is, and always will be, about the wine, there are some excellent outdoor activities that pair nicely with your favorite vino. As we roll into summer and you begin to plan your next trip up the 101 to Sonoma County’s beautiful wine country, here are several entertaining options that will add flavor to your itinerary and make your adventure that much more memorable. And, if you haven’t explored Sonoma County for what all that it has to offer, these wine pairing opportunities will have you never wanting to leave…even better…they will have you coming back for more!
1. Christopher Creek Winery Pool & Patio (for members only)
If you have not yet been to Christopher Creek Winery, put it on the top of your list. And when you arrive, don’t just taste the wines – JOIN THE CLUB! Why? Because the pool and patio are for members only, and that paired with the dramatic views, the wines and the general incredible time you will have while being there, it is all worth it. Truth be told, if you happen to be lucky enough to sync up the guys that own Christopher Creek, this might… no… this WILL be the only stop of your day. And that my friend, is perfectly OK, because it will be place you will come back time and time again (we know from experience…).
2. Sonoma Cutrer Croquet
Put on your best white summer outfit and head to Sonoma Cutrer. This elegant winery is known for incredible wines, a stunning property and the only professional croquet lawns in the world. If you want to enjoy a beautiful day in the California sun, grab a group of friends and make a reservation for one of their croquet lawns. Enjoy Sonoma Cutrer’s Russian River chardonnay as your mallet strikes the ball into the stake to win the game. For your friends who like to argue about every rule (true or otherwise…), here are the official rules of the game.
3. Ferrari Carano Gardens
As you explore Dry Creek Valley, another must see if the beautiful Ferrari-Carano winery. This masterpiece of a property not only produces some of the most elegant wines, but also maintains an expansive, five-acre, array of colorful gardens. From their sea of tulips to their secret and lush gardens, the color contrast of vibrant flowers paired against the vineyard backdrop makes this winery a must on your itinerary. Bring your camera and immerse yourself in their wines, their beautiful chateau and the masterful gardens, which all embody the beauty of California wine country.
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4. Madrone Estate Winery Bocce
Madrone Estate Winery offers not only incredible wines, but an energizing scene that ranges from an in-door elegant wine studio, to an outdoor patio where you can enjoy a box lunch (provided by The Girl In The Fig – another Sonoma County must!) as well as a bocce court where you can relax and soak in the sun while enjoying a tranquil sport with friends. Unless you come with us – then it is GAME-ON!
5. B.R. Cohn Sunday Music Events
Who doesn’t love outdoor music and wine? And in California wine country?! This is why we pay to live here folks! B.R. Cohn, former manager of the Doobie Brothers, has it all. Wine, music, a beautiful setting, all of which is paired for you. So check their event calendar, add this to your itinerary and go spend a Sunday afternoon kicking back with a glass of vino, your sunglasses on and soak in the sounds of some good ol’ Rock N Roll!
6. Francis Ford Coppola pool (good for families)
Francis-Ford-Freaking-Coppola. The man, the legend. And like his movies, his Sonoma County winery doesn’t disappoint. While wine country can sometimes be thought of a time to get away from the kids, Coppola gives you the opportunity to bring them! Grab the family, your swimsuits and come spend the day enjoying the beautiful Coppla property. Sit poolside with a glass of wine (in moderation) while the kids splash in the expansive pools. No need to worry about food, there is a pool café and excellent hospitality that delivers right to your lounge chair. So reserve a poolside cabine and grab the sunblock, pack up the kids and jettison on over to Coppola. It’s like going to Vegas….without the Vegas…and with the kids. So, it’s just like it but way different.
(A little-known fact – Francis Ford Coppola Winery was the first winery to sign up on WhichWinery.com – they have a special place in our heart).
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