A Weekend in Sonoma

This dreary, wintery Boston weather has me dreaming of warmer days. I can’t believe it was only two and a half months ago that we were in 80 & sunny California, soaking in the sun & sipping on some wine. Take me back!

Now, I’m no wine expert, nor am I claiming to be; however, I do know a good atmosphere when I find one. We spent 3 days/2 nights in downtown Sonoma. (I can’t recommend staying at the Cottage Inn & Spa enough). Given that we visited multiple wineries, restaurants & store, I’m sharing a few of my favorites…



The Girl & The Fig came so highly recommended that even with two weeks notice, we couldn’t get a reservation. After a little too much wine & a quick nap on day 2, we woke up at about 8:30 with a craving for a cozy, easy dinner. Damn, did this hit the spot.

We walked right in and sat at the bar (something I always recommend when you’re visiting a new town- the bartenders are friendly & local resources!). We ended up staying for over 2 hours, chatting away with the locals & having one of our best meals out there. The food is has a french flair, which I love. My veggie quiche was *to die for* and T’s steak frites were top notch. Seriously, go here- it’s adorable & cozy with some bomb ass food.


Right across the street from Girl & The Fig, inside a hotel, is the El Dorado Kitchen. Don’t be fooled by the title, as this isn’t a local Mexican joint. Recommended by a major foodie friend of mine, I knew it wouldn’t disappoint. The first thing I noticed was the hip, cool vibe with the open concept bar/dining room and the huge wood burning pizza oven. The had low, funky music and it totally felt very NYC. Already loving it!

Our server was extremely friendly & helpful. Unfortunately, I had come down with the flu by this point in our trip so it was soup and water for me. Womp womp. The wine list was, of course, extensive & the menu even moreso. Terry got an incredible looking pork chop with apple compote and sauteed bok choy. He said it was the best pork chop he’s ever had. The sweet waiter then brought out a special dessert for our engagement, which I drooled over but let T devour, since I couldn’t taste much anyways. Did I mention how much it sucks to be sick on vacation? Luckily it was the last night and I had done my fair share of eating & drinking my way through California the previous 5 days.



Gundlach Bundschu, or”Gun Bun” as the locals say, is a winery that we actually stumbled upon when Scribe had a ridiculous wait & a $100 tasting (enter eye roll, its not that cool). Being next door, we saw the sign as we passed by. Lucky for us that Scribe was being too-cool-for-school because we just LOVED gun bun! It was our only stop of the day (we arrived into town at about 4pm after driving up from Carmel) and couldn’t have been better.

Gun Bun has a large, casual tasting room with a curved bar area, making it super easy to chat with other people. Our wine tasting expert was very knowledgeable of history and really went above and beyond when giving us tastings. When we told him we just got engaged, he gave us two stemless wine glasses, an awesome cheese board & a bottle of white. Talk about amazing service!

We took our wine & cheese board outside to enjoy the sunset. They’ve got a very large, open patio area with about 10 picnic tables for patrons to enjoy the space. It overlooks a small lake and has string lights hanging all around. Really feels like you’re in a friends killer back yard. It was romantic, special & the perfect spot to end the day.


Let me preface this by saying, we are friends with the Mauritson family so we got the super duper special treatment (in-credible)! Most people won’t stay for 4 hours to chat about life, sample endless wines & snack on tasty treats like we did. Go anyways.

The family story is incredible and the winery is really beautiful. In fact, we enjoyed the wine so much that we bought into the wine club! Their property is truly stunning, the red wine is delicious & the people are just the best. They truly made this experience one-of-a-kind.


We stopped by Passalacqua right after Mauritson because it’s my future MIL’s favorite wine and we wanted to surprise her with a bottle for Christmas. (spoiler alert: she loved it!) They’ve got a gorgeous, sprawling property and we did our entire tasting outside on their large back deck. I love wineries like this that feel intimate & cozy. We sat back in our adirondack chairs, sipped on some whites and enjoyed the view. I’m so glad we popped in because this ended up being one of the most relaxing moments of the day.


Remember when I said that I recommend sitting at the bar to eat dinner and chat it up with the locals? This is exactly why. We met a local food & wine writer (hi, Sara!) who recommended that we stop by 3 sticks. Truth be told, we’d never heard of it, but we had a little extra time on Sunday morning before heading out of town. What. A. Find.

Three Sticks Winery is located within an unassuming adobe style home right past the downtown square. You’d easily walk past it thinking it’s someone’s private residence. Well, it is easily my dream home. The adobe was fully designed by an awesome interior designer Ken Fulk and has an eclectic, artsy vibe with decor of metals, wood & leather. It has, hands down, one of the best back yards I’ve ever seen.

{pics via 3 sticks website}

We called ahead and they snuck us in for a quick tasting. Their Pinot Noirs are out of this world (we bought 2 on the spot). If you’re ever in downtown Sonoma, go here!


Well, that rounds up my Sonoma weekend list of places to visit. For our first trip there, I’d say it was a major success. I am dying to go back & need some more spots to add to my list.

What’s your favorite place in Sonoma?!


3 thoughts on “A Weekend in Sonoma

  1. Pingback: Travel Guides: Santa Monica + Malibu + Santa Barbara – SouthEndStyle

  2. Pingback: Hotel Review: Le Petite Ferme – SouthEndStyle

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