My husband and I will be coming to Sonoma Valley in late August for a few days wine-tasting in celebration of our anniversary.
We are trying to do this rather inexpensively as we just came back from a 15-day vacation in Ireland.... I have two free plane tickets to anywhere in the US about to expire and one of our favorite earlier trips was Napa and San Francisco, so... kind of a last minute decision and here we are!
I'm unfamiliar with Sonoma Valley - did a LOT of research on Napa a few years ago and ended up with two very wonderful days of wine tasting. We based ourselves in Napa town, then each morning drove north, once up the Silverado trail, the other up Rt. 29 (I think?), then drove back towards our lodging. I think we were able to fit in about 5-6 wineries each day, with two tours. One Schramsberg, the other Del Dotto. We loved both tours. We enjoyed almost all our stops, but particularly liked the smaller, family-run wineries, and avoided the corporate bus tour type places. Some of our favorites were Rombauer, Miner Family, Peju, Artesa, Clos Pegase... for the wines and the overall ambiance.
We are looking for a similar experience in Sonoma, but it seems much more spread out and I'm a bit overwhelmed. We'll have two full days of wine touring, plus maybe some time on our way from San Francisco (we'll be spending a sightseeing morning there first)
I'm looking for some input on a town to stay in to locate ourselves centrally to the types of wineries we like. Our favorite wines include pinot noir, sauvignon blancs, unoaked chards, big reds, and some of the aromatic varietals such as viognier and cab franc. Neither of us particularly like Italian type reds (we didn't love Viansa - either the wines or the atmosphere)
So as this is spur of the moment, and we are trying to keep costs down, I'm thinking of places such as Holiday Inn Express in Sebastopol, Hotel La Rose in Santa Rosa, and Sonoma Orchid Inn in Guerneville.
Would anyone have any input on these lodgings, or other better choices within the same price range (all are under $175/nt for the 3 nts starting Aug 30)... Also, would someone have an idea for a "wine route" for tastings during our two days? Maybe one day head north, then one day south? One or two with tours? Or???
Thanks in advance!