Located in California's wine country, the Sonoma Raceway hosts a series of nationally televised events such as the NASCAR Nextel Cup and the American Motorcycle Association's Super-bike tour. Featuring a number of motor-sport events throughout year, this 1600-acre (647-hectare) raceway is where pro-racers from around the world, assemble to compete in some of the most popular races. Head down to this track to catch some of your favorite racers and teams in action, or enroll yourself in one of the local events and test your nerves on the racetrack.
Robert Mondavi is one of the most renowned vintners in Napa County, producing affordable and complex wines. The Robert Mondavi Winery offers several tasting tours varying in depth and price. The Taste of Wine is a two-hour formal tasting dedicated to training your palate as well as learning about various wine characteristics. Reservations are required all tours and tastings. In addition, the winery hosts countless concerts, art exhibits and community events. Visit the website for details on tours, tastings and events.
The citizens of Santa Rosa have reason to be in a continually celebratory mood as their microbrewery of choice takes top honors nearly every year at Denver's Great American Beer Festival. Since its inception in 1997, it has won such accolades as “Small Brewing Company of the Year,” “Innovation in Craft Brewing” and "Large Brewpub Champion Brewmaster." Indeed, gold medal winners include such eloquently named brews as Damnation, Blind Pig and Pliny the Elder. Many of them can be found in pubs throughout the Bay Area, but the headquarters is a must-see destination. Russian River Brewing Company is also credited with inventing the Double India Pale Ale. The entire list of ales is fascinating, each of them unique in blend, texture and flavor. At the tap room, live music entertains crowds as they savor pizzas made thin, crisp and fresh.
Located in the heart of Sonoma Valley, St. Francis has a talented wine-making team that focuses on producing high-quality varietals from hand-harvested grapes. Its two wine clubs give you the opportunity to sample new wines that are not available in retail stores and restaurants, while the Visitor Center offers a fantastic view of the mountains and vineyards (it can also be booked for weddings and other family functions). A knowledgeable staff is at hand to guide you through the intricate details of wine-making.
The Luther Burbank Center for the Arts is a dynamic performing arts center showcasing a brilliant selection of events through the year ranging from family events to comedy, theater, music and dance. Besides this, it also has a dedicated visual arts program, working with upcoming as well as renowned artists for its year-round schedule of exhibitions. Ranked among the top performing arts centers in the world the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts welcomes prestigious names and offers world-class facilities to host events. Its education programs are nationally recognized, and it is home to regular community events as well.
If you want wine made out of your choice of grapes in small quantities—like maybe just a barrel, then Judd's Hill is the place you need to visit. The winery is owned and managed by Finkelstein family on the principle of 'small is beautiful.' They are quite happy to make wines on a made-to-order basis and according to customer specifications. They have a wine club where members have additional benefits and are invited to Judd's Hill events in Napa Valley. A combination of art, heritage, finest grapes and hand crafted wines is what Judd's Hill is all about. Picturesque and sunny, a visit to this winery is a great way to spend a lovely afternoon.
Benziger Family Winery has its 85-acre (34.4-hectare) estate in the beautiful Sonoma Mountains. The winery is into organic grape growing, where emphasis is given on land preservation and encouraging biodiversity of the farm. This winery originally was a ranch when the Benzigers purchased the land, and what followed was legendary. Their signature wine includes the Sonoma wine which is rich and flavorful. The winery also arranges the Biodynamic Vineyard Tram Tour, where a tram takes you through the vast estate vineyards and wildlife sanctuaries. You can browse the wine shop or laze around in the tasting room and savor some true delights.
The wines here at Eric Ross Winery are a tad expensive, but a sip will explain why. The in-house wine tasters can personally vouch for the quality and taste of each brew. Smooth and strong, the wines slide down easily and leave a pleasant after-taste. The winery holds annual Zinfandel Weekends at their tasting room, complete with events such as wine-tasting, barrel-tasting, blind-tasting and blending. Join the Rooster Club and revel with three bottles of the latest to-be-released spirits that are featured at a hefty discount every three months. Food and wine pairing advice flows as freely as the wines, ensuring that your soiree is a success.
The Mayo Family Winery believes in the concept of single yard wines. This, they contend, increases the aroma, taste and texture of the wine. The wine made here is exclusive and sold only at the tasting rooms and online. They are not distributed across the country. The beauty of visiting this winery is that they have four tasting rooms. One is attached to the winery. One is The Cellar Door where wines from many small wineries are available for tasting. The third is in the Sonoma Plaza. The fourth and most attractive one is the Reserve Room, where multiple wines can be tasted along with specially prepared dishes. Intimate and warm, this winery and its various tasting rooms are a great place to visit.
Take a drive 25 minutes from Sonoma to this exclusive winery, surrounded by vineyards and lush sloping lawns. Here, at Imagery Estate Winery, you will be able to taste and purchase limited edition wines that are only available onsite. Discover that your vintage wine bottle has a label commissioned to some of the best known contemporary artists around. Each bottle is unique. So, make your way to the winery's art gallery, where you can have a look at over 125 artists.
Arrowood Vineyards and Winery is well-placed in Sonoma county amongst scenic views. The winery resembles an English dwelling surrounded by the vineyard and mountains. But arguably more important are the delicious wines fermented here. The wine is made from grapes grown only in Sonoma county, under the guidance of Richard Arrowood's 40 years of experience and classic aging methods. Tours and tastings are available with prior reservation.