I recently came back from a trip exploring the most famous wine counties of America, Napa and Sonoma. I lived in California about 20 years ago and it's been that long since I checked out the wine region. It's changed a lot.
First, Napa has become so developed and commercial that it's lost much of its charm. That's not to say it's not worth visiting the fantastic wineries, but the real charm of the region lies in Sonoma. It's more rustic, less planned, but no less impressive. If you want a nice touch of Tuscany, you will find it here.
For something a bit cozier, and I have to admit more my style for a country escape, try the classic and elegant Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, and some lesser known inns such as the Gaige House (www.gaige.com) or MacArthur Place (www.macarthurplace.com).
Stay tuned for my next post on my favorite wineries in Sonoma and Napa Valley.
For general trip-planning information, see our Sonoma Travel Guide.