However it came about, the nicely titled “Wine Road” spans a collection of more than 150 wineries and 50 lodgings, scattered all across the winding avenues, hills and dales of Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Russian River Valley in northern Sonoma County.
It’s quite some road: You’d need a turbo-powered Vespa, a goosed-up jet pack strapped to your back, or roller skates outfitted with supersonic turbine engines to visit them all.
Or, you can simply bring your car, and participate in Winter Wineland Jan. 19 and Jan. 20, 2013, where for the 21st year in a row, more than 100 wineries will open their doors, offering tastings of limited production wines, new releases, library wines and opportunities to meet the winemakers.
An online map system allows you to easily plot your course, and even send it to your phone. Website: www.wineroad.com.
One ticket covers all your tasting fees, and many wineries offer special Winter Wineland-only discounts on bottle and case purchases.
With the winemakers on-hand, you can learn more about how your favorite wines are made, get peeks at the barrel rooms, and perhaps even score some barrel tastings. Many of the wineries will offer extras, too, such a food samplings, live music and art displays. Look for everything from homemade chili at Amista Vineyards, to Cabernet Franc barrel blending seminars at Merriam Vineyards.
Plan to make a whole day of it, each day. While you can fill up on complimentary snacks at some of the wineries, Wine Road also features many gorgeous picnic areas, including wineries featuring beautiful patios, decks and gardens for bring-your-own lunches (hint: check out the Dry Creek General Store and the Jimtown Store for delicious provisions).
You’ll want to stay in Wine Country through the whole weekend, and you can check out the many lodging options and special deals. Information is updated frequently, so be sure to check for your favorite B&B, hotel or inn.
Details: Winter Wineland, Jan. 19 and Jan. 20, 2013. Purchase tickets online through Jan. 14, 2013 at winterwineland.eventbrite.com/#, or purchase tickets at the door of each winery during the event weekend. Advance online ticket prices are $45 Weekend/$35 Sunday Only/$5 for Designated Drivers. At-the-door prices are $55 Weekend/$45 Sunday Only/$5 for Designated Drivers.