We had no plans to go to the USA ...

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September 18th 2018
Published: October 16th 2018
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Harvest DueHarvest DueHarvest Due

Grapes still on the vines
We had no plans to go to the USA – Trump and all that – but then BA came up with an “Air Miles Sale”, so we felt obliged to find a few trips – and this was the first. We went for Wine (Sonoma & Napa), Music (found some good gigs in Saratoga) and a revisit to San Fran. That shaped the itinerary.

We’re back using a blog – not Facebook – and we’re catching up a bit here.


CJ writes: We’re partial to a drop of wine, Steve and I, and he’s been to the Napa Valley before (and loved it) but I haven’t. So when we landed in Oakland (think Southend as compared to Heathrow airport in term of size and busyness) we picked up the hire car and set off for Sonoma. What a delightful little place! We stayed in a fabulous B&B – the Cinnamon Bear Creek Inn – a short walk away from the town plaza, and used it as a base for the next three days. (Breakfasts were brilliant!).

The Sonoma and adjacent Napa Valleys are almost entirely given over to vines – many different varieties, growing
Dinner in SonomaDinner in SonomaDinner in Sonoma

Another loverly open air meal - fab weather throughout
in every available patch of ground – and lovely little towns. There’s clearly a lot of money around, judging by the prices and bijou shopping opportunities therein, but vineyards (where they grow the vines) and wineries (where they may grow, but also turn the grapes into wine) are ten a penny on the country lanes that serve the valleys. Nearly all of them seem to offer wine tastings (so much wine! So little time!), and some of the bottles we tried were utterly fabulous. And the restaurants offer food to match.Well, we trolled around looking, tasting, buying one or two nice foodie souvenirs, and enjoyed ourselves very much indeed. Lovely weather, comfy car, excellent company guaranteed.

Additional photos below
Photos: 7, Displayed: 7


Downtown SonomaDowntown Sonoma
Downtown Sonoma

Delightful small town
Wine CountryWine Country
Wine Country

Typical landscape

Mile after mile of neat rows of vines
Francis Ford Coppola wineryFrancis Ford Coppola winery
Francis Ford Coppola winery

Steve's second visit to the Francis Ford Coppola winery

Vaults at another classy winery

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