A Waterlogue Tour of Sonoma Wine Country

March 26, 2015  •  California, Sonoma, Travel

IMG_2684This will be a different sort of blog post for sure. There are no recipes. There are no food photos from some fabulous restaurant I’ve recently visited. And there are no seductive travel photos. Well, at least not in the traditional sense. This blog post is a lovely little gallery of travel photos from a recent wine trip to Sonoma, turned into art through the very incredible iPhone app called Waterlogue. I wish I could paint like this, but in the absence of that skill and training, this little inexpensive app turns mundane photos into art and pretty photos into even prettier art. I’ll use the medium to tell you a little about what we did in Sonoma, then stay tuned for a blog post with restaurant links and food porn.IMG_2680We stayed in a private home in Sonoma that is leased through a vacation company, courtesy of our friends who had reserved it. It sits on several acres in the Kenwood area, and those vines at the top are their front yard, while this lovely patio and pool is the backyard.IMG_2681It’s a short drive to Sugarloaf where we hiked for about 2 hours one morning, taking in the vistas while trying to earn back a few calories for wining and dining.IMG_2682The selection of restaurants is outstanding in just about any wine country you visit, and Sonoma is no different. The only challenge is proximity, as the region is quite spread out. One suggestion is to divide it into regions and spend a day in each area.IMG_2683IMG_2679If you’re near Glen Ellen, take the time to visit the Jack London state park. He was really a man ahead of his time, and you’ll enjoy a lovely hike with friends, gorgeous stands of giant redwoods in the forests, and other interesting things like his final home or the Pig Palace.IMG_2689IMG_2691It just so happened there was a winery called Landmark right at the end of our driveway. We walked over late one afternoon for a tasting, liked the wines enough to order a couple of cases, and then hung out in the lovely grounds out back enjoying a glass of wine and playing bocce ball. If you want to stay there they have a couple of guest cottages.IMG_2707Springtime in wine country is a little less crazy, a little more low key, and definitely less crowded. The vines were just barely beginning to sprout some green leaves, although the mustard seemed to be in full bloom.IMG_2719IMG_2712Spring is also an excellent time for barrel tasting of the previous year’s harvest. The wine has been in the barrel at this point for 4-6 months, and although it’s not “ready”, it’s aged enough to get a feel for what the final product is going to be like. It’s also just plain fun to hang out in the cellar amidst the big barrels, tasting and chatting with the winemaker. At Passalaqua, they even had a big paella party on the deck to enjoy after the tasting.IMG_2731Whatever you do on our next wine trip, don’t over schedule tastings. One to three a day is really plenty, and that leaves you time to actually sit down and drink and enjoy a glass of wine, instead of swirling and spitting and dumping. And if the spot to enjoy that glass happens to be a pretty back yard in Sonoma County with good friends, then all the better!

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