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Friday, June 27, 2014

The road less traveled in Sonoma County

Sonoma County isn't Napa Valley. That is, we don't have a single road lined with tasting rooms and traffic. Everything is more spread out. Still, it's nice to get away from the busier areas sometimes as summer weekends and holidays can get hectic. The most traveled wine roads in Sonoma County are Highway 12 through Carneros and Sonoma Valley, Dry Creek Road, and in the towns of Sonoma and Healdsburg.

There are lots of back roads in the county, but how about some with good winery stops?

Route 116 from Sebastopol to Forestville
Dutton Estate, Iron Horse and Merry Edwards are here along with several other wineries. For food check out Underwood in Graton. Don't miss Kozlowski Farms.
Bubbles at Iron Horse

Occidental Road west of Santa Rosa
There are four nice tasting rooms along this stretch of road that intersects Route 116: Balletto, Hanna, Fog Crest, and Taft Street. This puts you close to Sebastopol for a food stop plus there are several tasting in town (some downtown, some in an area called the Barlow Center).

Westside Road along the Russian River west of Windsor
A sometimes narrow, windy road that's a bit of a drive to access so it's not very busy. Some of the wineries are Porter Creek, Thomas George, Arista, Matrix, and Twomey. There's no food along the road so if you are planning on lunch bring it with you.
Westside Road

Highway 128 in Alexander Valley
Farther north (so fewer people venture that far) is the renown area known for Cabernet. Highway 128 is the road through the valley and except for holidays or special events it's not very crowded. There are many wineries along here including Stryker, Alexander Valley, White Oak, Hanna, and Fieldstone.
Alexander Valley

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