Christina and I allowed ourselves to sleep in a little bit Monday morning (we woke up around 8am and were crawling out of bed, getting ready for the day by 9am). Since I hadn’t slept great the night before the race, I was really hoping to get a good night’s sleep – and I did!
Once we were showered, dressed, all packed, and had piled everything into our rental car we headed to Sonoma (the hotel we were staying in was in Napa). First up was a little breakfast at the Sunflower Cafe that a couple of our friends had suggested. We figured it would be smart to get some food (and coffee!) into our bodies before we visited some more wineries.
The cafe was adorable! The food was pretty awesome too. We decided to sit on the front patio to enjoy the sunshine, but there was also seating in the back of the restaurant, complete with a wine bar, which was really nice as well. If we had more time I would loved to have just sat in the garden sipping another cup of coffee while catching up on some reading, but alas.
As cute as the entire cafe was, the highlight was our food. Perfection.
After breakfast I browsed a local gift shop for a few more gifts for friends and then it was off to another winery!
We were headed first to Matanzas Creek Winery, which Sarah had suggested, particularly because of the gorgeous lavender fields on the property. In my personal opinion my pictures of the winery didn’t do it any justice. First of all the property of the winery was HUGE, second of all no matter where you looked there was a picturesque view.
A few tidbits about this winery:
- The winery was founded in 1977 and put Bennett Valley back on the map, as it had existed in quiet obscurity prior. Bennett Valley is comprised of three mountains, Sonoma, Taylor and Bennett.
- The Vineyards of Bennett Valley were named an American Viticultural Area in 2003.
- In 1971 spectacular lavender gardens were planted and have since become the trademark of the winery and draw visitors from all over the world.
- In addition to the vineyards and the lavender fields, olives trees are also sprinkled about the property.
I ended buying a bottle of olive oil to bring back home, as well as some lavender body gel for my mom, and a lavender candle for my friend Arlene. Oh, Christina and I also became members of this winery. 🙂
After we had sauntered about along the gardens and gift shop we parted ways with our new winery and headed to our last stop in wine country before heading back to San Francisco, Domain Carneros!
This winery was beautiful too, but in a very different way. The actual building had a very regal, estate-y feeling to it and the grounds were very well-manicured and tended after.
Christina and I decided to split a tasting of three different sparkling wines. We also ordered a cheese plate to complement our beverages. We enjoyed it all on the beautiful terrace overlooking their vineyards. It was the perfect way to end our wine country portion of the trip!
A few tidbits about this winery:
- Domain Carneros was established in 1987 by its founder, Champagne Taittinger. It is also considered a regional landmark.
- The Domain Carneros château was completed in 1989 and was architecturally inspired by the historic Taittinger-owned Château de la Marquetterie in Champagne.
- There are three traditional styles of sparkling wine made at this winery: Brut, Brut Rose and Blanc de Blancs. (Pinot Noir is also made here).
About an hour or so later we were back on the road headed for San Francisco! Before we checked into our hotel for the next two nights, we stopped by the Golden Gate Bridge to snap a few shots.
Later that night we dolled ourselves up and headed to the much talked about, anticipated, and suggested restaurant in the city, the Slanted Door!
It was another successful meal for the books to say the least. I can see why this Vietnamese restaurant is so critically acclaimed and popular.
From the far left: Christina’s drink of choice, a Moscow Mule and mine, a French 75. To start we ordered the vegetarian spring rolls, followed by some bok choy to eat with our entrees.
From the far left: I ordered the Organic Chicken Pot, Christina got the Chu Farm Japanese Eggplant, and for dessert the Lychee Cotton Candy. Soooooo good! We left very happy that night.
Before we headed back to our hotel, the Orchard Hotel, we stopped for a drink at Top of the Mark, the Intercontinental’s rooftop lounge on the 19th floor that offers panoramic views of the city. So magical!