Austin Skiers

San Francisco/ Sonoma Valley Wine Tour

August 23 - 28, 2019
2 nights in San Francisco at Fisherman's Wharf/3 nights in Sonoma Valley

San Francisco, CA

As Tony Bennett sings it - "I left my heart in San Francisco" and you may too once you experience what the City by the Bay has to offer. Come join Austin Skiers for a West Coast experience of two-days in San Francisco and three in Sonoma Valley for a Wine Tour. 

You'll have an opportunity to visit Coit Tower, ride a cable car, visit Alcatraz, Golden Gate Park, North Beach and of course Fisherman's Wharf, which is just a few blocks from where we'll be staying. To top off the evening you might want to have a night cap at the Hotel Top of the Mark, which is located on Knob Hill. Not only is the hotel quite elegant, but the 360-degree view from the bar at the top is spectacular! It's quite a breathtaking view of the San Francisco skyline, Bay, and the Golden Gate bridge from their penthouse lounge. You can also dance the night away if you choose. Check out their signature martini menu and events, which include live performances several nights of the week.

Some interesting facts you may not know about Sonoma Valley. While Napa Valley has long been known at "the" wine region and produces some great wines (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay), Sonoma Valley actually has more acres of vineyards. Sonoma Valley is also actually less expensive to tour and stay. Sonoma Valley is the birthplace of the California Wine Industry having the state's oldest 
continuously family-run winery, Gundlach Bundschu, which was founded in 1858, as well as Buena Vista. I could go on, but you can Google the rest.

Tentative Schedule of Wineries and Events:

Friday - August 23

7am - Fly Alaska Airlines Non-Stop to arrive in SFO at 8:40am

Transfer to Holiday Inn San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf

Free to explore San Francisco the remainder of the day

Saturday - August 24

Sight-seeing San Francisco on your own

Sunday - August 25

8am - transfer from San Francisco across the Golden Gate and north along the cost
11am - Lunch at either Lucas Wharf in Bodega or in Occidental at Union Hotel
2pm - Korbel Winery tour and tasting
4pm - Armstrong Woods State Park - Guided tour of the "Grove" with 1,400 year old redwoods
5;30pm - Depart for the Doubletree Hotel Sonoma located in Rohnert Park
7pm - Welcome reception

Monday - August 26

9:30 am - Depart Double Tree and head north towards Dry Creek and Alexander Valley
10:15 -  Arrive at Ferrari-Carano Winery for tour and tasting
Noon Healdsburg Square Lunch on your own, shopping or 20+ tasting rooms.
1:30pm - Arrive Simi or Seghesio Vineyards for tour and tasting
3:30 pm - Arrive Dry Creek Vineyards for tour and tasting
5:30 pm  - Arrive back at Double Tree

* Dinner on your own

Tuesday - August 27

9:30 am - Depart Double Tree for Valley of the Moon and the town of Sonoma
10:00 am - Arrive Kunde Vineyards for wine tasting and tour of property and caves
11:30 am - Optional lunch in Kenwood at CafĂ© Citti or in Sonoma.  Sonoma Square offers great access to restaurants, shopping, wine tasting and other attractions such as the last of the California Missions
2:00 pm - Arrive Buena Vista Winery founded in 1857
4:00 pm - Arrive at Benzinger Winery for tasting and tour out in the vineyards
6:00 pm Arrive back at Double Tree

* Optional Winery Dinners or group dinners at Starks Steak House, Willie’s Wine Bar or other local favorites

Wednesday - August 28

12 noon - Depart Double Tree
5:50pm - Depart on Alaska Airlines for return trip


We'll be staying at the San Francisco Holiday Inn Fisherman's Wharf, which is just located blocks from Fisherman's Wharf. There are plenty of diverse dining options located near the hotel and is just blocks from Pier 39, historic North Beach (San Francisco's Italian District) and Chinatown. You can ride the cable cars to some world-class shopping in Union Square. It has many usual amenities including a fitness center and WI-Fi.

In Sonoma Valley we'll be staying at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Sonoma Wine Country. It's located in Rhonert Park, CA. It's centrally located in one of the most beautiful regions of Northern California. Some of the hotel features include roses, vines and the Chef’s herb garden. You can relax in their open lobby in front of the fireplace, or grab a glass of wine andenjoy the outdoor patios, then retire to a spacious guest room.

WINERIES on the Itinerary:

Korbel Winery is located in Guerneville, CA. Their story is the story of two-enterprising families (Korbel and Heck) who’s pioneering spirit and “old-world resourcefulness” created and preserved a singular tradition of champagne making excellence that has been around for 135 years. Their Tasting Room and Wine Shop are open 10am – 5pm daily, while the deli is open from 9am – 5pm. open during the Summer/Fall (April 1 thru October 31).

Ferrari-Carano winery is truly a family-owned business having their beginnings in 1981. Don & his wife Rhonda founded the winery after searching for wines in Northern Sonoma County in 1979 to add to their wine lists at their Eldorado Hotel they started in 1973. They purchased 60 acres in Alexander Valley thus beginning their wine-making story. Their first wines were released in 1987 under the Ferrari-Carano label – a 1986 Fume Blanc and a 1986 Alexander Valley Chardonnay. They continue to produce those wines plus 20 white, red and dessert wines.

The Simi Winery tradition dates back to 1849 when Giuseppe Simi left the Tuscan Hills of Italy and made his way to the “golden fields” of California. They produced their first wines in 1876 under the Simi name. Both brothers died tragically in 1904 and the business was taken over by Giuseppe’s daughter Isabelle at the age of 18. With the onset of Prohibition in 1920 she sells all the vineyard holdings, except the cellared wines. In 1933 Prohibition was repealed and Simi was ready to sell 500,000 cases of perfectly cellared wines. She sold the winery in 1970 to Russell Green Simi went through significant enhancement of their fermentation and barrel rooms along an expansion of their acreage. In 2017 Simi celebrated 140 years by bringing back Sparkling Wines to the tasting room.

The Seghesio Family Vineyards has been a part of Sonoma County since 1895. It was founded by two Italian imigrants and has been in the family for five generations. The vineyard continues to focus on benchmark Zinfandel and Italian varietals made from “estate-owned” farmed vineyards, that still includes those that Edoardo and Angela first planted in 1895.  

The Dry Creek Vineyards history is long and a bit colorful. It was founded in 1972 by David Stare, which plowed the way for a renaissance of winemaking and viticulture in the Dry Creek Valley. Before the vineyard this valley was nothing more than a few family farms and prune orchards. His vision of implementing a Loire Valley inspired winery triggered a viticulture reawakening in Northern Sonoma Valley. He was quite the pioneer. Even though he was educated at MIT he realized his true calling was winemaking. So – after taking winemaking classes at UC Davis he purchased land in Dry Creek Valley and began planting vines. He was captivated by his memories of Loire-style wines – so Sauvignon Blanc seemed destined to figure prominently in his wine portfolio. Today, the second-generation family now runs the business and has grown to meet the demand of a global wine market. After forty-seven years of wine-making their pursuit of excellence has led to many international awards and accolades.

Located in Kenwood, CA along the Sonoma Highway, the Kunde Family Winery have been farming their 1,850-acre estate for over a century – five generations. Their mission is to carry on the tradition by crafting elegant, estate-grown sustainable farmed wines with a real sense of place. Their tastings are structured to provide three different levels of experience – Main Bar, Kinneybrook Room Tasting and their Mountain Top Tasting that includes a two-hour one of a kind two-hour journey to their tasting deck located 1,400’ above Sonoma Valley that provide an incredible view while tasting their most sought-after small production wines.


The Benziger Family Winery began when newlyweds Mike & Mary Benziger drive west and settle in Northern California in 1973. They purchase the historic Wegener Ranch on Sonoma Mountain in Glen Ellen in 1980. The four remaining siblings eventually made their way west along with their spouses in the mid 1980’s. In 1986 the “Imagery Series” of wines was produced in collaboration between Joe Benziger, Winemake and artist Bob Nugent. In the mid-1990’s they transition from conventional farming to biodynamic farming. Their first certified biodynamic wine was released in 2001 – “Tribute.” The third generation joins the family business in 2005 when Mike’s son was named bottling manager. They make a wine-range of wines from a variety of Pinot Noirs to Cabernet Sauvignon, blends, Chardonnay to Merlot and Syrah.    

Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve

The serene majesty of the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve (SNR) is a living reminder f the magnificent primeval redwood forest that covered much of this area before logging operations began during the 19th century.  Armstrong Redwoods preserves stately and magnificent Sequoia sempervirens, commonly known as the coast redwood. These trees stand together as a testament to the wonders of the natural world. The grove offers solace from the hustle and bustle of daily life, offering the onlooker great inspiration and a place for quiet reflection. These ancient coast redwoods is the tallest living thing on our planet!  These trees can grow to be 500 to over 1,000 years old and can obtain a diameter of 12-16.’Check out this park brochure for more information.


You must be a current Austin Skiers member to join a trip.

Registration opens on March 1, 2019

Trip Chair:  Cindy Berry

Full Trip Price:  $1,653 - Includes air, 5 nights lodging, airport/hotel transfers, transportation from hotels to wineries, baggage handling & driver gratuity and tours as noted. Accommodations are 2 people/room.

Ground Only (no air): $1342 - Note: You must be sure your own air arrives prior to our group air so you are able to meet the tour bus at the airport.

Single Supplement
(room for one person) add: $658

Alaska Air:

August 23, 2019
AUS/SFO AS1219 7:00 am (depart)
8:40 am (arrive)

August 28, 2019
SFO/AUS AS1222 5:50 pm (depart)
11:25 pm



.A deposit of $200 per person is required to join this trip. Please pay the deposit by check - do not pay online. Make your check payable to Austin Skiers and mail it to the Trip Chair:

Cindy Berry
3129 Flinder's Reef Lane
Austin TX 78728

Now - $200 Deposit pp to hold your spot on the trip.
June 1 2019 - Final Payment (your invoice balance) is due. Final payment must be received by June 1 or you may be dropped from the trip.

Final payment can be paid by check or online with a credit card. To pay your balance by credit card, log on to and pay your invoice online.

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