California's Best Kept Secret
WOMAN'S WEEKLY|October 22,2019
Move over Napa Valley – the latest winetasting hot spot is its neighbour, Sonoma
Helena Cartwright

Chances are you won’t have heard of Sonoma County – and with good reason. It’s the kind of place those in the know keep to themselves, hoping it will retain its unspoiled charm.

Drive an hour north of San Francisco and you’ll reach this quiet corner of California, where there are more than 400 wineries set among undulating hills. Lovingly referred to by locals as ‘slow-noma’ this is a laid-back, down-to-earth yet brilliantly boozy region.

Vineyard visits

It’s not easy to decide which producers to visit, as there are tempting winery signs at every turn. So why not start with a visit to the oldest winery in California?

The Buena Vista Winery (buenavistawinery.com) is in Sonoma town itself and housed in an atmospheric stone building dating from 1857. Here you can indulge in a bottle of rosé as you find out about Agoston Haraszthy, the early Victorian-era pioneer of Californian wine-making.

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