There are around 80 more wineries and vineyards to check out in Sonoma Valley alone — including the stunning Chateau St Jean and biodynamic vineyard Benziger Family Winery — so a guided tour is the best way to get the lay of the land (and, bonus, a designated driver). Run by Sonoma locals and adventure fiends, Bohemian Highway Travel Co designs bespoke six-hour excursions for groups of two or more of the region’s wineries and farms. You’ll get a (quite fancy) picnic lunch, access to private wineries and a bunch of unmissable experiences. And the best part? You get to do it all in a pimped-out Land Rover Defender. Yep, in the venn diagram of fun and luxe tour experiences, this sits squarely in the overlap.
Alternatively, turn your winery hop into a meandering bike ride with Blazing Saddles. Standard bike hire starts at just $28.80 for 24 hours, or you can join a half-day guided tour ($91.20), which will take you to four wineries in the valley and includes lunch among the vines. Whatever you opt for, an idyllic afternoon of top-notch wine and dreamy vistas will have you calling your boss and telling them that you ain’t comin’ home.
Of course, all this excellent wine drinking requires some equally excellent options for lining your stomach. You can start with a filling breakfast from Santé at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa. It’s rebranding in mid-2020 but, right now, you can take your pick from American brekkie staples like buttermilk pancakes, fried chicken and waffles or grits.
If you’re a guest of the hotel, ask the in-room dining team to pack you up a picnic basket to enjoy for lunch while you’re out exploring. Otherwise, tuck into fresh seafood in the garden at chic Kenwood restaurant Salt & Stone, or head to El Molino Central for cheap ‘n’ cheerful Mexican food. Come nighttime, return to downtown Sonoma for dinner at The Girl & The Fig. This local favourite is super popular (you’ll need a booking) so expect to get very cosy with your table neighbours in the rustic dining room. The menu here leans Provencal in style — think steamed mussels and frites and duck confit with root vegetables. Post-dinner, cap off the day with one more drink (or flight) at SIGH, a stunning champagne and sparkling wine bar set right on the plaza.