Sonoma County is famous for its world-renowned wine and for its food. It’s also known for its rich, scenic diversity, with the mountains and the ocean, the redwoods and the river, the valleys and the vineyards; the many small towns, each with their unique identity. But, for those who have spent time in Sonoma County , they remember it best for its “joie de vive.” What it comes down to is: Yes, it really is that beautiful here. And yes, the food and wine are incredible. And yes, we enjoy it all. And, on top of it all, we enjoy enjoying ourselves. There are few other places in America that put as high a premium on good times and joy and laughter as does Sonoma County. In the same way that New York is known for being rude, Sonoma is known for being fun-loving (with an eccentric twist).
Ahh, the stories I could tell… Here’s one that captures the spirit of the town of Sonoma in Sonoma County CA quite well. You’ve heard of the Napa Wine Train? It’s a rather fancy affair in which visitors tour the Napa Valley by train while eating an expensive meal accompanied by Napa wines. Well, one day, a group of Sonoma County vintners, donned some capes and masks and held-up the train. When the masked-men entered the vehicle, they pulled out their bottles of Sonoma County wine and strode down the aisle, pouring it into the glasses of the somewhat confused tourists. Or what about the time this same group of irreverent pranksters, known as the Wine Patrol, “hijacked” a couple of buses full of European wine writers headed for the Napa Valley, and commandeered the buses to Sonoma.
There’s more. There are stories of roosters in Sonoma and pink flamingos in Santa Rosa . There are annual competitions like the World Championship Grape Stomp Contest and the Roshambo Championship. We’re home to a street in which all the neighbors put up, big, colorful comical statues in their front yard. This is the stomping ground of Clo the Cow whose billboards keep us laughing even when we’re on the freeway. And this county is home to a entire culture of people who enjoy good food and good wine and good times. This is where that whole “Wine Country Lifestyle” thing is simply that—a way of life.
* In those cases in which we did not have much firsthand knowledge about a particular hotel, SonomaUncorked.com did extensive online research for our recommended hotel database. We searched at least 3 online review sites (usually more) for each hotel, and we joined online chat rooms and newsgroups in order to ask further questions. Yes, it was very (ok, extremely) time consuming, but we wanted to make sure that each hotel on our list is one we could highly recommend to a good friend.