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Friday, January 3, 2014

Visiting Sonoma County in the winter

The really popular season in the wine country, and the most crowded, is July through October with December through February being the slowest. So the obvious reason to visit in the winter is there are fewer people in the wineries, the restaurants and the hotels. Rooms are usually less expensive and the winery folk have more time to chat. You should be able to find rooms at the last minute, especially on weekdays.

The biggest thing keeping people away might be the winter weather, but winter in coastal California is not necessarily like winter in many places. It can get cold, but that's relative. In Sonoma County's main city, Santa Rosa, the average high temperature is 59 degrees, the low 39 degrees, for both December and January. These are the rainiest months with each averaging about six inches of precipitation.

So you can decide, is the chance of being wet and chilly worth the risk of having wineries to yourself? For me, any wine tasting trips I take to Napa Valley are usually on rainy Tuesdays in January. It's perfect!

February in Dry Creek Valley