Sonoma Valley Wine Tour





September 18 - 22, 2022


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 has more acres of vineyards. Sonoma Valley is also 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.

Please note the wineries are subject to change depending on scheduling.

TENTATIVE DAILY ACTIVITY SCHEDULE AND SHUTTLE


Sunday: September 18
6:00am - Southwest Airlines Austin/Phoenix, Phoenix/San Francisco
9:45am - Arrive in San Francisco-Transfer via Pure Luxury (private charter to Best Western Dry Creek Inn, Healdsburg

Monday: September 19

9:30am - Depart Dry Creek Inn

* Korbel Tour
 
(not yet committed to offering tours)
* Box lunch from Big John’s Market
*
Christopher Creek
* Forth Winery
* Dry Creek Vineyards

Tuesday: September 20
9:00am - Depart Dry Creek Inn
* Landmark Winery
* Sonoma Square - shopping & lunch venue (optional)

* BR Cohn Winery & Olive Oil Co.
* Kunde Family Winery - offering a tour and wine/cheese pairing


Wednesday: September 2
1


9:30am - Depart Dry Creek Inn
* Simi Winery or
Matrix Winery
* Francis Ford Coppola Winery - with Bocce Ball Court
* Ferrari-Carano Winery

Accommodations:
We'll be staying at the Tuscan inspired Best Western Dry Creek in Healdsburg, CA. It's a charming hotel inspired by the picturesque villas of the Tuscany countryside. The hotel is composed of two buildings - Casi Siena and Villa Toscana each unique in their own right.


WINERIES on the Tentative Itinerary:
(subject to change)


SONOMA COUNTY: 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.

SONOMA COUNTY: The 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.

SONOMA COUNTY: 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.                                                                        

 SONOMA COUNTY: The Christopher Creek Winery has been a part of the Russian River Valley AV since the first vines were planted in 1972. Their wines are grown & harvested in Healdsburg, CA on 11 rolling acres.  They are also planted high on 27 acres of Bradford Mountain in the Dry Creek AVA. They produce about 4,000 cases/year. Their very first vines are still producing extraordinary wines and can be enjoyed daily as their Reserve Petite Sirah and Reserve Syrah.


DRY CREEK VALLEY: 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 wine-making 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 wine-making. So – after taking wine-making 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.

SONOMA COUNTY: 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.

 

SONOMA COUNTY: The Forth Winery began when Gerry & his wife, both immersed in their respective careers took a trip into Sonoma County and specifically Dry Creek Valley. They were taken by the stunning beauty & splendid wines. As the story is written they found "broken down" piece of property that just happened to be perfect for growing Cabernet & Syrah grapes. So - they both put their corporate and non-profit endeavors behind them and started a new life. They produced their first wine in 1998 - a Cabernet. They allow the terroir, the fruit, and the vintage to express their own unique story in your glass.


SONOMA COUNTY: The Landmark Winery has roots that go back to 1974 when a group that included Damaris Deere Ford, great-great-granddaugher of John Deere who invented the steel plow founded Landmark Winery. They use the most time and labor intensive methods to produce their wines. The grapes are aged in French oak barrels. They source their grapes from the finest vineyards in Sonoma, Monterey, and Santa Barbara Counties each claiming their own uniqueness from the microclimate and terroir.

SONOMA COUNTY: The B.R. Cohn Winery & Olive Oil Company was founded by Bruce Cohn in 1984 after a long stint in the music industry running a rehearsal studio during the day & his night job was a TV engineer. He then went on to manage the Doobie Brothers for 45 years. In 1974 he purchased and old dairy in Glen Ellen. He was driven to cultivate the vineyards and was mentored by none other than Charles Wagner of Caymus. He sold grapes for many years, but began producing his own wines in 1984 after seeing many wines made from the grapes he sold winning awards. Six years later he founded California's 1st single estate olive oil in over 100 years and processes the olives on the estate.

RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY: The Matrix Winery is a small family-owned winery that has it's beginning back in the 1980‘s by Ken Wilson. The source of their fruits run from the foggy beds of the Russian River Valley, the Highlands along the Sonoma Coast and the mountainous edges of Dry Creek Valley provides an incredible selection of fruit for the winemaker. They focus on a very labor-intensive, hands-on farming practice that produce low-yield vineyards resulting in powerful and elegant wines. They offer a diversity of wines from Pinot Noirs, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux varietal blends. They’ve won many industry awards for their outstanding wines. An interesting note provided by Mike Hibbard our tour operator is the winery competed in the 2021 Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo & won 1st Place!

SONOMA COUNTY: Home of the Francis Coppola Winery who produces more than 40 wines from it’s state-of-the-art facility. It began with the concept that it “…should be like a resort, basically a wine wonderland… A place to celebrate the love of life.” (Francis Ford Coppola. The family beginnings started when the purchased the historic Chateau Souverain property in Sonoma County in 2006. The winery had its grand opening in 2010. The winemakers’ roots go back to Chateau Montelena where his grandfather was the vineyard manager.  They are well known in the industry for their innovative and engaging approach to producing wine. They place a heavy emphasis on sustainability. They produce a plethora of wines ranging from roses to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah, etc. They’ve produced many award-winning wines.

Wineries by Location:

Sonoma County
* Korbel Winery
* Ferrari-Carrano
* Simi Winery
* Christopher Creek Winery
* Kunde Family Winery
* Forth Winery
* Landmark Winery
* B.R. Cohn
* Francis Coppola

 Russian River Valley
* Matrix Winery

Dry Creek Valley
* Dry Creek Vineyards









 


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

We offer Free Reciprocity memberships to members of other TSC Clubs.  Just apply for Reciprocity membership Join



Trip Chair: Steve Knouse

Email: winetour@austinskiers.org

Registration "Helpful Hints." Click HERE to download a PDF file to provide some tips for Sports America website.


This trip is Ground Only (no air): $1,356 pp 2 queens * 

Includes 4 nights lodging double occupancy with two queens, airport/hotel transfers, shuttles to wineries, baggage handling, driver gratuity and tours as noted. Ground transportation may implement a fuel surcharge (+9-10%) in late summer.

King rooms are $80 pp more

Call Mike Hibbard, president Destination Sonoma, at 707-791-3208 to book your flights. He will coordinate flights so we arrive and depart at times to take the same shuttle to the hotel and back to the airport.

 




$300 DEPOSIT REQUIRED PER PERSON. MAKE CHECK PAYABLE TO *Destination Sonoma (see address below). YOUR SPOT IS NOT SECURE UNTIL THEY RECEIVE YOUR DEPOSIT CHECK. FULL PAYMENT IS DUE: June 17.

IMPORTANT: If full payment is not received by the stated date due it will automatically be considered a request to cancel & the  stated cancellation policy will apply
.


*Destination Sonoma
C/O Mike Hibbard
3729 Skyview Dr.
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Credit Card Payment:

Destination Sonoma via Sports America accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.  An additional 3.5% non-refundable credit card processing fee will be added to the final payment total when using credit cards. Destination Sonoma does not accept any other form of electronic payment, Venmo, PayPal etc.


Travel Insurance:
Sports America offers travel insurance as part of the registration. Here is the link to their insurance provider (TravelEx). You may choose to elect it or purchase your own separately. If you decide to purchase it through them it will be included in the $300 deposit. Click HERE to download the Group Flyer (PDF).

NOTE: Many credit cards offer some sort of travel insurance coverage. It is important to note that credit card travel insurance does not always include medical or dental coverage, nor emergency evacuation coverage. In most cases, specific conditions must also be met to qualify for coverage. Check with your credit card provider regarding their scope of coverage.




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