Travel

If booking plane tickets half way across the world and paying who KNOWS how much for butler service and champagne in the room isn't exactly in your honeymoon budget, don't fret! You can have an insanely luxe, relaxing honeymoon without your passport. Look no further than California wine country in Sonoma! Just a hop, skip and short plane ride away from the Inland Northwest, Sonoma boasts gorgeous, diverse views, amazing spas and tons of fantastic local restaurants, and of course, lots of wine. We've already shared our favorite spots to stay in Sonoma, so today we're sharing our favorite spots to grab a glass! Blue Rock Vineyard: No, you didn't somehow teleport to Italy. That's just actually how stunning Blue Rock is! A truly immersive experience, Blue Rock personifies approachable luxury. A gorgeous estate (and fantastic wine!) will give you a glimpse into another world. Be sure to make an appointment, as tastings are private, and totally worth it.

J. Rickards Winery: Owned by a man affectionately referred to as 'the man, the myth, the mustache', J. Rickard's makes darn fine barn wine, by their own admission. Filled with vintage tractors, one sweet winery dog and lawn games, this is the perfect place to pause for lunch and overlook the gorgeous Alexander Valley, J. Rickard's is a must-see stop.

Zialena Winery: A fourth generation family owned winery, Zialena combines industrial, modern style with time honored tradition. Surrounded by history (literally), Zialena makes you feel like part of the family. If you come during the right time of year, you might even get a glimpse of the wine making process!

Trattore Farms: The fact that Trattore has a 'Proposal Hill' should tell you exactly what you need to know about these sweeping, stretch-for-miles views of Dry Creek Valley. You'd be hard pressed to find a better view than this! Worth it for that alone, the wine and olive oil tastings are suburb. For a true farm to table experience, be sure to book the vineyard and orchard tour, where you'll get to see the best of the behind the scenes peeks, the olive oil making process and, of course, Proposal Hill, all from a Kawasaki Mule.

Dry Creek Vineyard: We're only going to tell you once: book a picnic lunch here. Dry Creek somehow manages to make the homely picnic experience classy, approachable AND fun, all at once. Plus, there's food and wine. What else do you need to know? You could easily spend the entire afternoon at Dry Creek, between their huge selection of wines, private lunches or bocce in the vineyard, Dry Creek is all about slowing down and enjoying it. Francis Ford Coppola Winery: We'd be amiss to talk about Sonoma without mentioned the Coppola winery. A recognizable icon, the Francis Ford Coppola Winery is worth an entire day. Reserve a cabana at the pool, sip wine, explore the Hollywood blockbuster memorabilia (you can see the desk from The Godfather!) and end the day with the best Italian food you'll have shy of actually flying to Italy. Trust us, you won't be disappointed.

Now that you've got your winery itinerary and lodging sorted, don't forget to book your transportation! Skip the Google Maps directions and don't worry about abstaining from drinking (after all, you are in wine country!) and book Healdsburg Vino Tours to transport you from vineyard to vineyard. Warm and welcoming, they have phone chargers (important!) and will give you insider insight on Sonoma County the way only a local can. Need to grab a quick bite in between stops? Don't miss Costeaux French Bakery or Dry Creek General Store or you'll be one sad wino!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT SONOMA COUNTY AS A HONEYMOON OR BACHELORETTE DESTINATION? CHECK OUT OUR OTHER POSTS HERE AND HERE!

Want to hear what others have to say about Sonoma? Check out this Sonoma bucket list!

This post was sponsored by Wine Road, but all opinions, insight and recommendations are our own.