Belinda and I took our 1sr trip to wine country a few weeks ago. I'll cut to the chase and say it was absolutely AMAZING! Beautiful countryside, great vineyards, loved Santa Rosa I'll try to hit the highlights.
Flew AirTran direct from ATL to SFO, left here around 11AM arrived in SF around 1PM. No movie/food on AirTran so we took a sandwich and books, no big deal. Great flight that went by actually quick. Frisco airport is a bit older looking than I imagined but easy to get around. Little unerving to see lockers by baggage claim marked for "Earthquake Prepardness" Took the tram to the rental car building which was crazy busy!! Got our Enterprise rental and hit the road on Hwy. 101N, drove right through San Fran which was a "trip" in itself for a 1st timer! Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge for the 1st time was almost spiritual. I've seen too many earthquake movies and wanted to get over the bridge before the "big one" hit Traffic on 101 outside Frisco was bumper to bumper for the full 50+ miles to Santa Rosa. Lesson learned...DON'T arrive on a Friday! Arrived at the Hyatt Santa Rosa around 4PM in time to get our great room overlooking the pool/gardens, change clothes and go to the courtyard with a firepit for a tasting hosted by the St. Francis Winery. Thought the rep from the winery was a bit snooty but that thought changed when we visited the actual winery. Went to the lobby bar, great atmosphere with a cozy feeling, fireplace, and very nice selection of wine by the glass. Should have said this earlier, Belinda and I love wine but just know what we like when we taste it. Don't have much of an idea what we're tasting, don't know about the fine points of tasting wine but we were put very much at ease at every winery we visited as they all said if it tastes good then that's all that matters. We were shown how to go about tasting and enjoyed learing how to
Having been a long travel day we decided to have dinner at the Hyatt restaurant which was very good! The property is beautiful with various gardens, sculptures, even a small vineyard that you can get up close and personal to. Belinda found a great paved path along a creek by the hotel that she ran all three mornings we were there. Lots of walkers, bicycles, runners. After dinner we got ANOTHER glass of wine and sat in the courtyard right next to the firepit! Incredible that we left 95 degree ovenlike temps in ATL and here we are by a fire and loving it. Slept all three nights with windows open and under a blanket while the days got into the low 80's
Rather than try to crank this out all at once, I'll just do a day at a time as it's easier to mention the highpopints.