Monday, September 6, 2010

Sonoma Roaming


Paul and I decided to go for a Labor Day road trip to Sonoma and roam around. We/I hadn't been there in quite a while and don't really know a whole lot about it. Sonoma of course is in one of the major wine producing areas of northern California and it really is pretty country. I was musing on my childhood when California wine wasn't very good (I guess - I wouldn't have known) but yet there was an ad campaign for Napa Sonoma Mendocino, probably selling jug wine. I had no idea where Napasonomamendocino was but it sounded good.

So we headed out on the horrible Hwy 12 and I just had to stop in Fairfield at the Sepay Groves olive oil store so I could pick up some of their organic extra virgin olive oil. If you go in you'll get a real education on olive oil as well as evoo tastes.


The Red Grape Storefront

When we reached the Town Plaza in Sonoma (you can't miss it - really, it's a big old fashioned square with a park in the middle) I called my friend Virginia to ask here where we should eat. She tried to be helpful but didn't quite get us there. So we parked and started walking around the plaza. Paul spotted The Red Grape and I am so glad he did. We ordered their super thin crispy crust 12" pizza. Super thin crust is wonderful if you count carbs (I don't) or calories (I do). We never agree on what kind to get but they prepare a half and half for us. I wanted the prosciutto, goat cheese and arugula white pizza, real foodie/girlie pizza. Paul wanted the manly man The Works red pizza. We were both very happy. Mine was tangy with rich deep flavors and the pepperiness of arugula. His looked good with the mandatory sausage and pepperoni and peppers. My verdict: go forth and enjoy The Red Grape.

Pizza at the Red Grape

After lunch I was a little sleepy and draggy and wanted a good cappuccino. So I started quizzing the locals about where to go. The upshot was I needed to go to Sunflower Caffe and so we did. It's a cute little place on the Plaza with a really nice area out back. I ordered my cappuccino along with instructions on how I like it and crossed my fingers. It was really good; rich espresso with freshly steamed milk. It was so pretty I took a shot of it with my phone. Love the red cup and saucer. There isn't a Peet's in Sonoma so definitely go to Sunflower Caffe. They have good looking sandwiches too.


Sunflower Caffe Cappuccino

We decided to drive around Sonoma; there are lots of wineries of course. Definitely can't swing a dead cat without hitting a winery country. I caught a fun shot of a wine limo driver relaxing while his guests were in the tasting room whooping it up. Notice his bare feet sticking out of the car.


Wine limo guy taking a nap

The moral of the story: by all means go to the Napa Valley. It's wonderful with excellent restaurants and amazing wines. And the scenery.....ahh. But do go to Sonoma, it deserves to be explored. Especially by me.


Airplane junkyard with grapevines


  1. Great article Kathy!! I can not go past that area without going to Dean and Deluca!! Love that store!! It would be fun to get Nancy and all three of us go to that area...Nancy used to live in Fairfield and would frequently go to the Wine country. So she knows the area well.

  2. Sounds like you had a fun outing. Next time you come up this way Cape Fear Cafe in Duncans Mills is a very nice dining experience. - Also, if you ever go there you would be going right by Korbel where you can see how they make the bubbly. AND there is a beautiful forest of redwoods called Armstrong Woods just beyond that in Guerneville. After Cape Fear Cafe the Pacific Ocean is just a few more miles west. Goat Rock Beach is a nice place to see the ocean. If it was lunch at Cape Fear one could go south on Hwy 1. Then turn east on Bodega Highway and go to Sebastopol. That would take you by The French Garden Restaurant - - a good place for dinner. Anyway, you can make a very full and enjoyable day out of all the stuff we have up here. Dan

  3. Thanks much Dan. Sonoma county is full of treasures. I'd love to see those places too.

  4. Love your blog Kathy! Yummy! Makes me hungry and want to go to Sonoma or Napa for some fun. It's so beautiful there. Thanks for your recommendations. Love you Honey! Have a Great Day! Suzieq