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Touring The Wine Country With The Whole Family In Sonoma

Parents want to taste wine, Children want to have fun is there a happy medium. Yes . If your going to be in the Sonoma wine country for two or three days a consideration might be to have a nanny service watch your children for one or two of the days. The nanny service that comes recommended by the Sonoma mission inn The lodge and Macarthur place is Nanny on call. This agency is the best. With them you either have the option of having your children stay behind with the nanny o...

Travel, Sonoma, wine,art, Holiday, Vacation & Tour,

Parents want to taste wine, Children want to have fun is there a happy medium. Yes . If your going to be in the Sonoma wine country for two or three days a consideration might be to have a nanny service watch your children for one or two of the days. The nanny service that comes recommended by the Sonoma mission inn The lodge and Macarthur place is Nanny on call. This agency is the best. With them you either have the option of having your children stay behind with the nanny or you can bring the nanny along for the ride to help with the children.

While there are many great wineries to tour in Sonoma there are a few that stand out as being extra accommodating when taking the whole family so in this article we will just highlight a few

Chateau St. Jean is located at 8555 Sonoma Highway (Highway 12). this winery has very good wine chardonnays, viognier, gewürztraminer, pinot blanc, Riesling, fumé blanc cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and pinot noir. They have five times made wine spectators top 100 list, they also have one of the most beautiful gardens in Sonoma. There is plenty of lawn to have a blanket style picnic, as well as picnic tables. it is not uncommon to see painters setup painting scenes of the estate.

Benzinger has a tram that takes you on a 40 minute tour of the terraced estate.
A nice aspect about this is being able to rest tired feet. The tram tour is $10. For $35 you can have the tram tour and a cave tour of there 27000 square foot wine cave. They also have one of the most interesting wine shops with many unique gift items. If you are an art lover you will find a nice variety of wine country art.


Viansa is a unique winery. Its the only winery in Sonoma that you can tell your kids that they can order a pizza at. They have a delightful out door brick oven in witch they make the pizza. Their market place also provides a variety of food items as well as gift items and kitchen ware. Their winery is situated on top of a hill that provides a wonderful view overlooking their 90-acre waterfowl preserve.

Train town located at 20264 Broadway - Highway12 Sonoma. Train town is one of the greatest attractions for kids. As you enter Train Town you will see the forty seven foot clock tower and station modeled after Oakland's 16th Street Depot. Train Town includes three full sized cabooses, dating from the 1930's and 40's. These cabooses can be explored at your leisure. you will also notice a number of carnival style rides including a dragon roller coaster, a fairies wheel a carrousel as well as an airplane ride .A refreshment stand is located in the station offering Snacks. Train Town is located on 10 acres with one and a quarter miles of track. Your journey will take you over five bridges and trestles. there are two tunnels. One 140 foot and one 40 foot long tunnel. At one point in your journey you will be able to get out of the train at the petting farm that features lamas, goats sheep, an other types of animals.

These are just a few of the family oriented destinations located in the Sonoma valley.

 

Winemaking Secrets From Napa & Sonoma, California

Sonoma and Napa Counties are known for its fine wines.

The golden sun and the abundant soil yield luscious, flavorful grapes. These are then carefully fermented and blended with closely guarded secrets that have been passed on from generation to generation, and perfected—like wine itself—through time.

Visitors to Sonoma and nearby Napa County can arrange wine tours where they can visit different vineyards and learn at least some of the techniques and technology that goe...

Wine, Good, Fine,Winemaking, Secrets, Napa, Sonoma, California, Holiday, Vacation & Tours, Trips, Vineyards, Winery

Sonoma and Napa Counties are known for its fine wines.

The golden sun and the abundant soil yield luscious, flavorful grapes. These are then carefully fermented and blended with closely guarded secrets that have been passed on from generation to generation, and perfected—like wine itself—through time.

Visitors to Sonoma and nearby Napa County can arrange wine tours where they can visit different vineyards and learn at least some of the techniques and technology that goes into each bottle. Each label has its own secret, and its own philosophy.

For example, wines can use different kinds of grapes, and vineyards can hold as many as 20 different kinds, each baptized with very poetic names: Petite Syrah, Grenache, Bouschet.

Winemakers study the flavor, acidity, color, fruit intensity, and tannin structure of each grape—which all contribute to a blend’s appearance, complexity and taste. The winemaker’s skill is seen in the delicate orchestra of flavors, as unique to the winery and to the harvest year as a fingerprint.

Some wineries will maintain “genetic libraries” of grapes, which contain different cross-breeding of varieties that allow the experts to experiment with the flavors. This also allows them to employ a technique called micro-vinification. Essentially, the property is divided into vineyard blocks, each planted with a different kind of grape to yield a greater diversity of flavors, aromas, colors and textures.

Soil, fertilization, irrigation and time of planting and harvest can also yield different flavors from a single variety of grape. For example, some vineyards believe that it’s better to minimize irrigation, since it dilutes the intensity of the fruit. This is called “dry farming.” This must be balanced, of course, with the plant’s need for moisture—hence the need to choose an area where the roots can mine the water efficiently.

The flavor can also change according to when the grapes are picked, and the wine experts carefully study the optimum time of harvest. For example, the Zinfandel grape is an early ripener, and must be fermented two weeks before the other grapes that go into what wine aficionados call “Mixed Blacks.”

The grapes must be hand-picked and then put through a special pressing process that preserves the skins and phenolic bitterness. Then, experts must gauge the length of the fermentation process based on the grape’s ripeness and inherent amount of sugar. These are then put into barrels. Many wineries boast of using only the finest containers, such as 100% French oak, which carry the wines for several months before they are bottled by hand.

The bottling itself must be done with great precision and gentleness, and the challenge is to minimize the amount of sulfites and other foreign matter. Some of the wineries use century old techniques, with delicate tools that tap gravity.

These are just some of the secrets of Sonoma and Napa wines. However, to truly understand the science and art of winemaking, it’s best to arrange a tour of the different vineyards. Many of the tours include a “palate class” where experts will point out what flavors to watch out for in each glass, and how to pair a wine with different kinds of food.

Are you ready to travel to the famous Wine Country of Sonoma and Napa, California?

Click Here http://www.SonomaCountyAirport.com to make your travel easy and stress-free!
Some of the best wines on the face of this Earth awaits you.

 

California Wine Caves

What do you picture in your mind when you think of caves? Spelunking or perhaps crawling on all fours to fit through a small space may come to mind. Perhaps the experience of absolute and complete darkness, the degree of darkness so dark you can’t see your hand in front of you? Maybe you imagine more sinister things such as spiders, cobwebs or other imaginable things in the dark. Caves evoke different ideas and feelings to many people. One idea is that of an ideal environment...

wine, wine trail, travel

What do you picture in your mind when you think of caves? Spelunking or perhaps crawling on all fours to fit through a small space may come to mind. Perhaps the experience of absolute and complete darkness, the degree of darkness so dark you can’t see your hand in front of you? Maybe you imagine more sinister things such as spiders, cobwebs or other imaginable things in the dark. Caves evoke different ideas and feelings to many people. One idea is that of an ideal environment to age fine wine in oak barrels or age a sparkling wine in a bottle.

Caves have been used for thousands of years for aging wines in different parts of the world. In Wine Trail Traveler’s trip to Sonoma and Napa Valleys in California, we experienced different caves. Chinese workers built some caves in the late 1800’s after their work was completed on the railroads. These workers built miles of caves with the use of picks, axes and shovels. In contrast we also experienced caves built with modern technology such as a Welsh mining machine. The walls were then covered with shotcrete, a mixture of sandy cement and pea gravel.

Some of the caves were very clean and lit by electric fixtures whether they were overhead bulbs or elegant electric wall sconces. Other caves were darker and lit by candles or lanterns giving a romantic glow to the oak barrels lining the sidewalls. Some caves showed lichen growth hanging several feet from the ceiling. One wonders why they were never cleaned with a broom or vacuum. We observed thousands of bottles, showing dust resting quietly for years.

Early winemakers who came to the Napa and Sonoma regions in the 1800's from Europe were familiar with the use of caves. We trekked through two cave systems dating from the late 1800’s.

One advantage of caves is temperature control. The cave temperature is often constant yearlong and varies very little. It doesn’t matter if the outside temperature is 110 degrees F or 10 degrees F, a cave system can maintain an even temperature often between 57 and 64 degrees F. This cool even temperature provides an ideal aging environment for wine. This constant temperature also provides economic benefits for a winery. Fewer resources are spent on heating or cooling a cave than a building. Often the land above a cave can be planted with grapevines.

A second advantage of caves is darkness. Light can harm wines and caves are dark. This darkness is a particular advantage to sparkling wines undergoing aging in glass bottles.

Humidity control is a third advantage of a cave system. Oak barrels breathe. Some of the wine evaporates. If the humidity is high, less wine will evaporate. In some cases caves have reduced the amount of evaporation from 6% to 1%. This also is an economic bonus for a winery since less wine is needed to top off the barrels.

Although the lichen hanging from the ceiling looked eerie at one winery we visited, it actually helps to filter the air in the cave.

Some wine caves have an area that can be used for special events. The atmosphere can provide a rewarding experience. All of these advantages led to an interest in constructing new caves during the 1980’s. Expect to see more wine caves constructed in the future.




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