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Cafe Citti, Sonoma — a Nice Red Sauce Italian Break Between Wineries

28 Oct

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There isn’t much to say about Cafe Citti, a longtime local favorite on Highway 12 near Sonoma (it’s actually in the town of Kenwood). Even though it’s tucked between the ridiculously ornate Ledson faux castle and Kenwood Vineyards, it’s a laid-back place full of regulars. I’ve never seen a wine bus parked there, and rarely do you see anyone wearing a blazer. But it’s one of the better lunch options if you’re wine tasting in the Sonoma-Kenwood-Glen Ellen area.

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The Girl and the Fig — Sonoma — a Classic Bistro

6 Apr

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If I only had to recommend one place to eat while visiting the town of Sonoma (and nearby Glen Ellen and Kenwood), it would be the Girl and the Fig. A classic French brasserie on the northwest corner of Sonoma town square, GF is exactly what you would expect from a lively but not fancy French restaurant. And it’s the one restaurant in town to feature wines from outside of Sonoma.

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Solano Cellars

18 Sep

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My favorite wine bar, just outside of Berkeley, Solano Cellars is the perfect neighborhood wine bar (except for the fact that I don’t live in this neighborhood). Part of the local chain of wine bars headed by Vintage Berkeley, Solano Cellars is run by friendly wine nerds who are happy to chat with you regardless of your level of experience. If you live in the area, you should make it a regular stop.

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Ram’s Gate Winery, Sonoma

26 Feb

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Ram’s Gate Winery is an interesting place. Not interesting in the sense that you have an interesting time visiting. It’s interesting because this place represents the exact antithesis of Joseph Swan Vineyards.

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Joseph Swan Vineyards

18 Jan

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The Joseph Swan Vineyards is an interesting piece of history and an example of a winery that is a winery first and a tasting room second. Located 20 minutes west of Santa Rosa, Swan is in a cluster of wineries that make up the western cluster of Sonoma wine country. To the east are the wineries around the town of Sonoma (and towns of Glen Ellen and Kenwood); to the north are the wineries around Healdsburg and the Michelin-starred restaurants around that area. Sebastopol and Forestville feel a bit more off the beaten path, less geared for tour buses and bachelorette parties. It still has a couple world-class places, like Merry Edwards and Iron Horse. But it still feels like an area where the business is farming not marketing.
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A Parklet in the Mission District

9 Jan

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Spotted on Valencia Street in the Mission District in San Francisco. A cute little parklet on the sidewalk. Why not?

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Tin Barn Vineyards – Beautiful Wine in a Storage Facility

8 Jan

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Tin Barn is one of a a funny group of negociants working out of warehouses on a side street a mile or so off the main square in Sonoma. It would be easy to pass up, since there is none of the beauty of viewing the grounds of one of the big estate vineyards. But Tin Barn makes some very good wine and can be a fun experience.

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