Travelling to San Francisco with a toddler and a 10 week old is no small feat. Taking it one step further and venturing into wine country with aforementioned offspring? Yeah, we may be crazy. But that’s exactly what we did, with the help of my parents and sister. 5 adults. 2 children. We had them outnumbered at least!
My sister handled the booking. She found Valley Wine Tours online, and explained our situation to a representative over the phone:
- San Franscisco hotel pick-up
- Car or van to accommodate two car seats
- Private transportation (no big tour busses)
- Kid-friendly wineries on tour
Oh, and one more thing
- Lunch and wine tasting fees included
They delivered on ALL of these points. Our driver picked us up in an 8-passenger van and on our way to Sonoma, he even stopped at the Golden Gate Bridge for photo opps. This was great, as we had no set plans to get to the bridge the rest of the week. Saved us from making a separate trip! Here are Anna Drake and Nanny Kay!
The first stop was Cline. We arrived early enough to enjoy our wines on the porch. The grounds here are stunning.
Anna Drake was eager to pick grapes off of the vine. As you would expect, they were amazing!
Next we went to the Larson Family Winery, which is known for its Three Lab Cab. We met two of the three labs there. One kept close to our tour guide, as he’s known to share his lunch. The spread our guide prepared was delicious… A refreshing caprese salad, made with locally grown tomatoes and basil, a nice selection of Sonoma cheeses, olives, bread and on and on and on. We enjoyed our lunch on a nice, shaded picnic table. Anna Drake was able to play some of the yard games while we relaxed. The atmosphere here is very laid-back. Zac Brown Band was playing over the speaker system and no one seemed in a hurry, which was nice.
Our time there was perfect and the wine at the Larson Family Winery? Some of the best reds that we had all day. This winery also had a little table set up for children, complete with coloring books and crayons.
Our next stop was Gundlach-Bundschu, which had one of the most beautiful tasting rooms. This stop happened to coincide with Anna Drake’s nap time. She ended up crashing on Nanny Kay’s lap, so she wasn’t able to partake. On our way out of Sonoma, we stopped at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards (yes, the same Jacuzzi who invented the jetted hot tub) where we tasted some delicious whites, including a bright Prosecco to get things started. Michael discovered some delicious olive oils at The Olive Press, which has a tasting room at Jacuzzi. He loved the Jalapeño olive oil so we brought some home with us. We are thinking it might add a spicy twist to a grilled cheese?
While I didn’t know what we were getting into – taking two children to Sonoma – the end result was amazing.