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Thursday, May 10, 2012

I went on a Sonoma County Wine Country Adventure!

For the past three days I was invited to be a guest in Northern California's Wine Country courtesy of the Wine Road located in Northern Sonoma County. I was there to experience what it's like to visit the area's wineries from large estates that are recognized national brands that produce more than 5,000,000 cases each year to small scale vitners who produce as few as 2,000 cases per year. There was also fab food and I was invited to stay at an adorable B&B.

The Wine Road is an association of 190 wineries and 56 lodgings that lists maps, special events, and wine country activity suggestions on their website. If you're planning a vacation or day trip to Sonoma and would like assistance in creating a travel itinerary and need to find a place to stay, you can use their handy online concierge links to plan your trip.

After arriving in Healdsburg my responsibilities were to relax, go wine tasting each day and eat yummy food. Of course I took a lot of pictures (2,186 to be exact) but only the best will make it onto the blog in the coming days.

My foodie friend Carl was also invited so we car-pooled on our great adventure north of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. As we took the Fulton Road exit off HWY 101 it was as if the car left reality and entered a bucolic bubble. The weather was warmer, the air more fresh, the sky was more blue and I couldn't help but notice there was an abundance of butterflies. My stress level dropped to zero as we left the rest of the world behind.

The Wine Road focuses on three predominate areas of Northern Sonoma County Wineries that include the Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley and Russian River Valley. If you go on your own a pre-purchased, three day, $50 ticket (or $25 one day ticket) gives you access to free tastings ($5 - $20 value) at over 50 wineries! Discounted wine purchases (10-20%) at most wineries and also includes Lodging Specials!

Not pictured: Marcy from "Come For The Wine"

So who did I spend the past three days with? I've included links to their blogs (and will link directly to their Wine Road posts once they're published). You can also click on their Twitter bio screenshots to visit their Twitter profiles.

In alphabetical order:

CookingWithAmy.blogspot.com is no hobby blog. Amy Sherman's accolades are very impressive with mentions on Saveur, Cooking Light, Epicurious, Good Housekeeping, Redbook and the New York Times (Bay Area edition).

Amy's recap on her blog:
WIne Road, Sonoma County

I've met Anita Chu before. She's the author of the DessertFirstGirl.com blog and the Field Guide to Cookies and Candy. Anita is also one of the organizers of the SF Food Blogger Bake Sale. So I just saw Anita last weekend at the fundraiser!

Carl Mindling is my day to day fun loving foodie friend. Our monthly culinary adventures last year were both memorable and delicious. You can check out his fascination with food at his web page FantasticFoodies.com.

Carl's recap on his blog:
My Wine Road Journey Through Sonoma County - Part 1

Frank DiMarco, author of the blog FrankFoodAndTravel.com, joined us from Portland Oregon. Frank is a professional photographer. His portfolio includes fine art, corporate, head shots, weddings and events.

Marcy Gordon of ComeForTheWine.com was our expert wine blogger. She works in consumer marketing and positioned start-ups Travelocity and OpenTable. She is co-editor of the Authentic Italy guidebook series for the Touring Club of Italy.

Marcy's recap posts are here:

• Touring the Sonoma Wine Road: There’s No Place Like Home!
• Part 2--Touring Sonoma Wine Road: There's No Place Like Home!

When I visited Mary Ladd's Linkedin profile I left amazed by how many things she does! Her current career path spans being part of the Freelance Staff at Nancy Hayes Casting, she is a Contributing Reviewer at BlackboardEats, and a Writer for Bay Area Bites Blog at KQED

Nancy D. Brown blogs at What A Trip. She writes a travel column for the Contra Costa Times, is the Lodging Editor for Uptake.com and the on-line Travel Editor for Diablo magazine. She also contributes to Hotel Scoop where she reviews luxury lodging.

Looking for great recipes? Sabrina Modelle's TheTomatoTart.com blog is definitely one you should be checking out. Her bio sounds familiar. . . Storyteller, picture taker, web designer. We should have lots in common :)

The Wine Road was our host and their representatives took great care of us. Their blog is WIneTimeWithTR.com and the Wine Road is also on Twitter so you can follow along with all of their latest Sonoma Wine Country tweets.

Check out the Wine Road's recap post at:

Blogger Fam(iliarization) Tour May 2012

Beth and Marla at Truett Hurst Winery

My thanks to Beth Costa (Wine Roads Executive Director) and Tracy Logan (Member & Guest Concierge) from the Wine Road and Marla McLaughlin from Wagstaff Worldwide. They not only planned this excursion but also accompanied us on this fun adventure.

And you can find me on Twitter at Twitter.com/@TheFlirtyGirl.

More to come over the next few days. I'll be posting about the Bed and Breakfast I stayed at tomorrow as well as recap each day in its own post the following three days.

I do believe I sampled around 70 wines on the Wine Road. LOL That's more than my entire life up to this point!

Additional posts from this trip include:

Wineries, tasting rooms and the beauty of nature in Dry Creek Valley

The Wine Road Russian River Valley Wine Tour

Touring the Alexander Valley with the Wine Road

The B&B to stay at while touring Sonoma's Wine Road Featuring the Haydon Street Inn

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