Driving up through the Sonoma Valley towards Santa Rosa, it was good to be out of the Napa Valley. Not that it wasn’t nice, it’s just wall to wall vines and a winery every 250m. Being out in Carneros and Sonoma Valley was a return to terroir, with actual site selection for planting and smaller, more understated wineries and tasting rooms. It isn’t until you continue North into Sonoma County you realise how beautiful this part of California is, and although it is as busy as Napa from a tourism perspective, the roads aren’t chock-a-block with cars as the region is more spread out, with larger sub-regions. The sub-regions of Sonoma are the Russian River Valley (home of pinot noir and chardonnay), Dry Creek Valley (home of zinfandel and petite sirah), and Chalk Hill and Alexander Valley (home of everything else).
|Rodney Strong Vineyards|