An internationally renowned wine region, the area known as Sonoma County on the Northern Coast of California is home to hundreds of wineries in the area and is the largest of the nine counties within the San Francisco Bay Area. Home to around 500,000 residents, it is the largest producer of wine in all of California’s wine country which also includes the counties of Lake, Mendocino and Napa. Including 13 approved American Viticultural Areas and over 300 wineries, it is considered one of the top ten agriculturally productive counties in the U.S. today making agricultural tourism, viticultural and culinary travel three of its most lucrative forms of tourism today.
In addition to its wineries, spas, quaint small towns, air sports, markets and gardens not to mention beaches and parks as well as a growing arts population offer dozens of other things to see do and enjoy in the lovely Sonoma area.
A history which dates back to well over 5,000 years ago shows that this still agriculturally productive area has been so for generations. Arrival of settlers from other countries began in the 1800’s with the arrival of the first newcomer from Russia. Later, when California became a US state, Sonoma was one of the original counties within the region making it one of the oldest European settled areas in California today.
The hsitory of the wine culture in Sonoma is said to date back to around the same time as the arrival of the first European settlers at the now famous Fort Ross. It is sad that the Padre Jose Altimira planted several thousand grape vines at the mission in Sonoma and by the mid 1850’s, wine grapes were already a well established part of the agriculture of the area. By the 1920’s already over 250 wineries were found within Sonoma and today, a rebirth of the wine industry has lead to the creation of even more making it a thriving part of the culture and the economy of the county today.
Whether visiting for the wine, the food or the heritage of the area, Sonoma easily offers one of the most enjoyable California resort areas today. Spring or fall, winter or summer, each seasons offers its own unique flavor.