Breakfast was at 9am, and we ate until we were stuffed: blueberry pancakes with walnuts on top, sausage, and cantaloupe was on the menu served by our host Darla. Then we went back to our room to plan out our route for the day.
Everywhere we drove, this is what you saw when you looked out the window:
Ben had chosen five vineyards that were "must-see" based on feedback on a Sonoma online forum, and we were not disappointed.
Ledson was first, and the castle was its claim to fame I think. The wines were good, but we only purchased one bottle. The grounds were beautiful and our host did something cool which we had never noticed in our experience wine tasting: he "seasoned" the glass by taking a small pour of wine and rolling the glass back and forth several times on its side. He said it coated all the impurities on the glass so that you would only taste the wine. Interesting. Just think of all those impurities we've been tasting in the past! I took a picture.
Next we went to St Francis which also had a beautiful tasting room and grounds. (I'm sure the gorgeous weather only enhanced our experience!) We liked their wines too, but nothing jumped out at us as amazing, so we kept going.
Then it was on to Chateau St Jean where we loved the wine so much, we bought half a case - an assortment of their wines which were on the tasting menu. The Merlot has already been gifted to my mom for her birthday (tomorrow!). :)
Kunde was our forth winery of the day, and we had perfect timing because after our tasting was over, we were able to join in on the free tour of the cave wine cellar where they store the wines as they are developing. It was really cool.
It was past time to get lunch. Ben knew this because I had started to become cranky. It was now almost 3pm and we hadn't eaten anything other than crackers since breakfast which was 6 hours earlier. We drove over to the market which was recommended to us and picked out a sandwich, crackers, cheese, and water. (Ben also just had to have this special craft beer 6-pack, more on that later).
The last stop of the day was Benzinger and it was fun. We bought a bottle of their Chardonnay to have with lunch. We were huge fans of the Sonoma Chardonnays. It seemed that every winery we went to had one that we really liked.
By the end of the day we were definitely ready for a long nap. We woke up refreshed and ready to hit up the Farmer's Market on the square before picking a place for dinner.