A weekend in the Sonoma Valley

It has been wayyyy too long and I have truly missed this fun space.  My youngest daughter finally went back to school last week ( can we say longest summer ever) and I feel like I now have some long stretches of time to work on my blog. Hurray!

I have so many things I want to share with you, including our fun summer travels to the south ( I have a new favorite place that I can’t wait to share with you and can’t wait to go back to), fall fashion picks I’m loving, and I would like to share what we are doing with our backyard.  We (my dad) tore down an old greenhouse in our yard and we’ve had almost all of our old landscaping taken out.  I look forward to doing a blog post about the transformation sometime this fall.  In the meantime, I would like to share this past weekend with you.  My husband and I spent Labor Day weekend in the wine country celebrating our anniversary and I would like to tell you about a hotel we always enjoy and about some special wineries we visited.

We decided to head up to the Sonoma wine country where we enjoyed a very peaceful and relaxing stay at the Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa.


One of my favorite things about this hotel is the beautiful landscaping and the meandering paths. The hotel hosts a nice wine tasting every night in the lobby, which is a nice treat, but we didn’t get a chance to participate this time around.


The pink buildings are so charming and the hotel grounds are so quaint with quiet sitting areas for relaxing or for picnic-ing with a new bottle of wine.  Hanging flower pots and mature trees abound and all add to the special feeling of this historic hotel.


I’m a huge fan of ivy covered buildings and I’m in love with this one.



One of two adult pools at the hotel.  This one is right next to the spa where you can enjoy one of  many water treatments/therapies they offer.




This watsu pool was our favorite.  The pool is about 90 degrees and you relax using noodles to hold yourself up gracefully….me, not so much.  Underwater music adds to the calming experience of this pool.


Cafe La Haye.  My favorite restaurant in Sonoma.  This is my go to place every time we visit this charming town.  Always fresh and delicious, and the owner, Saul Gropman, couldn’t be more welcoming.  And those darling glasses he wears…so cute.

Side note: If they are booked, get there early and grab a seat at the small bar and watch the chef work his magic in the Cafe’s very clean and well run kitchen.  Don’t let the word cafe scare you off…it’s no cafe, it is a very charming spot for dinner.


No trip to the Sonoma Valley or Napa Valley would be complete without a bit of wine tasting.  We went to a few new places this weekend and none of them disappointed.

A very personalized and special tasting at Repris Winery.  Up Moon Mountain Road for two miles on a one lane road and you eventually find yourself at the gate of Repris.  Reservations only and a wonderful place to spend 90 minutes.  You are greeted with a glass of wine upon your arrival and then you are taken by ATV to explore the vineyards and to learn more about Repris.  After your ATV tour you are escorted into the Repris caves for a few more tastings and then upstairs to finish up the tasting with a few more samples along with some delicious nibbles.



The next day we were off to Gundlach-Bundschu for a tasting.  We didn’t have a reservation and they happily escorted us into their tasting room for a delicious experience.  This is a great place to stop for a snack as they have a pretty picnic area where you can enjoy your wine with some cheese and crackers…..they sell cheese in their tasting room.  No shortage of history or friendliness here.

Read all about Gun-Bun, as they are called, here.



Our next stop after Gundlach-Bundschu was the trendy and hip Scribe Winery.

If you want history and a traditional tasting, head to Gundlach, if you want young and un-traditional, head to Scribe.

Located on a lovely hilltop overlooking the vineyard this winery is just a driveway away from Gundlach making it easy to experience two completely different wineries in a very short period of time.


Instead of having a traditional tasting room, Scribe seats their guests at a picnic table where you  sample wines overlooking their beautiful vineyards.  On a beautiful day it can’t be beat.



Where do you enjoy going in the wine country?  Do you prefer the Sonoma Valley or the Napa Valley?

What are your favorite wineries….please tell. 🙂

In case you missed my post about the darling wine country town of Yountville. You can read about my favorites in Yountville here.

About Ms B in the Bay Area

A San Francisco Bay Area lifestyle blogger Food-Travel-Fashion

10 comments on “A weekend in the Sonoma Valley

  1. Hi April, so enjoyed hearing about your relaxing weekend and loved all the pic’s. I think I mentioned to you that we honeymooned at Sonoma Mission Inn! It’s been a very long time since we’ve been back but your post has inspired me that it is high time we re-visit that lovely hotel. Love that you hit two wineries that sound like they were so different from each other. Look forward to hearing more about your adventures up in the beautiful wine country.

    • Hey Bita, Yes, you need to make a return visit for your anniversary! I’m sure it has changed alot since your last visit! Glad you enjoyed the post!

    • Hi Andrea, Time for you to head back to the wine country! Book a babysitter and book a weekend away! Such a nice place to escape to! I love that it is so close!

  2. Lovely post, April! I’ve always loved the Sonoma Valley and have stayed at the Sonoma Mission Inn several times over the last 20 years. It’s always a delight! I’m glad to hear your recommendation of Cafe La Haye. I’ve seen it, but never dined there. Now I will definitely put it on my list. As for which valley I prefer, it’s hard to say. I lived in Napa Valley in the early 1980’s and it was a wonderful time of life. I also love the more laid back charm of Sonoma and Alexander Valleys. Can I vote for both? 😉
    I’ll be launching my new travel consultant business this month, so I always love hearing recommendations of favorite places.
    Have a great week!

    • Hi Heather,
      Thanks for stopping by and I always appreciate your kind comments! Definitely try Cafe La Haye the next time you are in Sonoma….I know you and Scott will love it! It must have been so fun living in Napa back in the 80’s. Nice that you had a chance to experience it back when it was a bit more sleepy and not so touristy. Please let me know when you are going to be in SF. It would be so nice to meet for dinner, either alone or with the guys! xo

    • Hey Andrea, Interesting….why didn’t I know that?! You must be a regular? The book club should take a field trip up there. 😉

  3. April, Great post. I haven’t been to The Mission Inn in a decade and I forget about it. It still looks charming and it does have a super location for exploring Sonoma. I love both Sonoma and Napa, but downtown Sonoma is always a favorite with it’s cute square. We have stayed at MacArthur Place too and loved it! I will save this and I’d love to get to one of those wineries and that cute restaurant! Hope you guys had a nice getaway! x Kim

    • Thanks, Kim! Yes, The Sonoma Mission Inn is still quite nice. It could use a bit of tweaking here and there but still a lovely place to stay. We’ve stayed at MacArthur Place as well and I really do like the location of that hotel because it is walking distance to the square…..real plus! It was fun discovering some new wineries! And I always LOVE Cafe La Haye…you would love it. April xo

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