Despite the cloudy cold weather in San Francisco, we’d been promised that further north the clouds would part and summer would return. So we decided to spend our last day exploring the famous wine country north of the city. There are lots of tours and limo companies that will take you around, but for not a lot more we could hire a car and take ourselves around at our own pace. So we decided to go for the car, with the compromise to Rasmus not being able to drink as much wine being that we could get a convertible for the day…
I let Rasmus do the negotiations with the car rental guy who despite hard questioning typically managed to fool us into a deal that was not quite as good a deal as he had made out (Hands up who else detests and despises car rental companies?). But my ears pricked up when I heard him say, ”Oh, and your car is yellow? That’s not a problem, right?” To which I promptly burst out laughing.
Yes, we drove a yellow Chevy Camaro convertible. It was kinda awesome. While pausing at a traffic light back in the city, someone took a picture of us and then winked and gave me a thumbs up. 🙂
After stopping to take pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge, we made it to Sonoma County by eleven and stopped at our first vineyard of the day, the Gloria Ferrer estate which specialises in sparkling wines. Always start with champagne if you’re beginning your drinking before midday. The clouds hadn’t quite cleared but the view was lovely and we sipped champagne and made plans to own a vineyard one day…
With the sun breaking through the clouds we headed for Sonoma town and after picking up a perfect picnic from Whole Foods, we drove to the Bartholomew Winery, a small vineyard with a beautiful picnic area overlooking the vines. There we stayed and had lunch, took pictures in the vines and tried their wines, which were good enough that we bought a bottle to take home.
Finally in the afternoon we drove up the valley to the Benziger Winery, which is special because they produce “biodynamic” wines. Which is like one up from organic. It’s super organic and eco-friendly and earth-loving. We got a fun tractor and trailer ride around the vineyard with a really interesting man who told us all about their unique approach, which included (Dad, this is for you) planting special bushes to encourage the bats in to eat all the vine-munching bugs.
We left as the vineyard was closing for the day but we still had time before we had to be back at the airport so I took Rasmus on a roundabout tour of the back lanes of Sonoma County. It was stunningly beautiful, we had the wind in our hair and the sun on our faces and I doubt I could have felt more happy at that moment (and it didn’t all have to do with the amount of wine I’d drunk…)