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Scenic route thru wineries for photo opportunity

Houston, Texas
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Scenic route thru wineries for photo opportunity

Hi,

My husband & I will be in SF for few days at the end of Aug. We plan to visit Red wood on Monday Sept 1. We are keen on photographing, and would like to be able to stop and take photo at some vineyards. Unfortunately we are not wine drinker, but we can stop for lunch at a nice setting. Greatly appreciate for your suggestions for any free self-guided tour or route that we can stop on the side road to see vineyard.

When is harvest time?

Thanks

Albi

Raleigh, North...
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1. Re: Scenic route thru wineries for photo opportunity

Many of the wine-tourism sites now offer itineraries that are based on a central theme- photography opportunities is one that I have seen. Look at Winecountry.com; uncorked; and wineroad for starting points.

It may also be helpful to know that there is a group of wineries that offer self-guided vineyard tours which are "free"- you just visit the tasting room and ask for the vineyard tour map, then walk through the vineyard stopping at the indicated points on the map. The list of participants changes from time to time, but if you use "self-guided vineyard tours" as your search term, you will find the information.

Harvest season is largely determined by weather conditions, but sometime in August until October is a fairly reasonable "ball park" for estimating the harvest timeline.

There aren't very many places where "stopping on the side of the road" would be a wise thing to do, so please plan to actually stop in and park at a winery lot. And don't forget to ask permission to go into the vineyards! There may be sections where its okay to be and some that are not- check with the staff before setting out.

Roads throughout the county tend to be on the narrow side and many have very small or no shoulder. If harvest is in swing when you arrive, the farm vehicles and machinery take up a lot of space on the roads so there is even less space for parking by the roadside. Safety First! ;)

For your lunch, you may want to consider Viansa winery, as the property overlooks a wetland area that has lots of wildlife and they do have food for sale at the winery- its not a restaurant, but perhaps deli or charcuterie would be an appropriate term.

If you get to the far north of the county, Francis Ford Coppola winery has an actual full-service restaurant on site and it overlooks part of their vineyards.

DeLoach winery in the Russian River area offers a picnic lunch for sale- you pre-order your meal and it will be waiting for you at the reception/tasting area. You are invited to eat your meal on the property, and they do have several lovely picnic areas to choose from.

Houston, Texas
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2. Re: Scenic route thru wineries for photo opportunity

Thanks Amy for your prompt response!

Napa, CA
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3. Re: Scenic route thru wineries for photo opportunity

September 1 is a Tuesday. You posted in the Santa Rosa forum so if you are up that way, you might consider driving Westside Road north to Healdsburg. This is a very scenic route with lots of wineries to photograph. Here's a map:

russianrivertravel.com/wineries/westsideroad…

If you are visiting redwoods, Armstrong Reserve in Guerneville is a good choice. If considering Muir Woods, get there before 9am to avoid the tour buses arriving and the parking lot filling.

Harvest should be in full swing the first week of September this year.

Raleigh, North...
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4. Re: Scenic route thru wineries for photo opportunity

Hope you found it helpful...

Houston, Texas
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5. Re: Scenic route thru wineries for photo opportunity

Many thanks and the information is very helpful. Oops, typo, it is Monday Aug 31, so I hope we will get there before the harvest is in full swing. We stay in SF, will we have traffic issue around 8am on Monday crossing Golden Gate bridge or should we avoid the rush hour? Looking at the map, Muir Wood is a little bit of detour + parking issue, so our best choice would be Armstrong. Then from there we will head to Sonoma coast state park, then down to Bodega bay, Sausalito and back to SF.

Thanks

Albi

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Scenic route thru wineries for photo opportunity

I think one of the most scenic drives in Sonoma is via Hwy 12 (Sonoma Hwy) between Sonoma Town and Santa Rosa, especially near the villages of Glen Ellen and Kenwood.

On a weekday morning, you should not hit much traffic heading north away from SF since the work commute is into SF.

Houston, Texas
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7. Re: Scenic route thru wineries for photo opportunity

Awesome, thanks everyone for your suggestions!

Albi

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8. Re: Scenic route thru wineries for photo opportunity

There's a great place on the Sausalito side of the GGB (right before you cross over into SF) for photo ops. It gets a bit packed on a nice day but definitely worth it. We've been there during the day and at night.... night is a great experience as well. Just be sure to bring your cell with a flashlight on it. While you're in SF as well, take a trip to Twin Peaks near Cole Valley. Great sunrise if the fog isn't too heavy. Still pretty neat with the fog too and watching it clear out. Then be sure to grab breakfast as Zazie! Such a great little place (expect a wait but well worth it!).

My favorite winery is Ledson Winery in Kenwood. They have a great "castle" and the grounds are small, but beautiful. Amazing wine as well. They have a café there where you can purchase sandwiches and sit and eat outside.

If you're heading from Sonoma to Napa area through Calistoga, it's a great drive. Windy roads but beautiful vineyards along the way. There's a big sign that says welcome to Napa or something like that where people stop to take the touristy photo.

I hope you have a great time! Wine country is one of my favorite places in the whole world. (Many other wineries too if you need more suggestions - I'd be happy to provide them!)

9. Re: Scenic route thru wineries for photo opportunity

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