A fire swept through the Mayacamas Mountains foothills in 1964, creating an environment ripe for the knobcone pines that quickly repopulated the land. Four years later, Jane Davenport Jansen purchased more than 40 acres of the nascent thicket, taming it with vineyards planted on the open valley floor. In 1987, she began cultivating a garden along the rocky, steep hillsides, which were pocked with the remains of abandoned rock quarries. Heavy rains and natural infiltration of waters created a group of ponds, creating a serene natural environment that Jansen soon planted with seedlings, flowers, and plants from seeds collected on more than 25 annual Asian expeditions. Until she passed away in 2000, Jansen funded the growth and cultivation of the 25-acre garden, which is now one of the largest collections of scientifically documented, wild-source Asian plants on the continent. Visitors can view the rare plants and vast selection of Asian greenery blossoming from the Glen Ellen countryside as they meander through the gardens during self-led tours.
Benziger Family Winery hosts daily tram tours that depart on the half-hour from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with the exception of noon. Imagery Estate Winery hosts tastings Monday–Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Franciscan has its roots deeply embedded in the soil of Napa Valley. Founded over three decades ago, wine industry revolutionaries Raymond Duncan, Justin Meyer and Agustin Huneeus shaped the winery’s beginnings. Today, Director of Winemaking Janet Myers is preserving the winery’s legacy while leading it into the future.
With the number of wine shops and tasting rooms in the historic Sonoma Plaza, it's easy to become overwhelmed. That's where Sonoma on the Spot comes in. After determining your wine and tour preferences, the company will design a personalized roster of tastings and tour stops that highlight Sonoma County's best wines while veering toward the varietals you like best. Tours are led by wine educators from the Carneros Wine Alliance who maintain personal relationships with many of the Plaza's wine rooms, a perk that helps their customers snag special tastings and other extras that might not usually be extended to the public. Of course, no tasting would be complete without a bite to eat?each experience includes a complementary chocolate or cheese pairing.
There's an abundant garden of fine wines and foods waiting just 45 minutes outside of San Francisco. Historic Sonoma Plaza is home to 26 wineries, and San Francisco Wine Group offers a walking tour that covers a handful of those neighboring locations over the course of about two and a half hours. Mixed into the tour are history lessons going back to the 1800s. San Francisco Wine Group also offers wine storytelling sessions, education, and hosts corporate events.
Crafted from locally sourced grapes, the Fogstone Wines lineup of varietals are handcrafted and overseen by two friends who set out to make the best wine possible. The result was a small collection that ranges from a sweet chocolate port to a reserve merlot.
Explore an authentic South American gastronomy tour.