Just like certain food pairings can enhance wines, walking from vineyard to vineyard can enhance your next wine country experience. Ditch the car and take a leisurely 3.5-mile (round-trip) stroll that connects two historic wineries in Sonoma. Start the walk at Sonoma’s Best
—a rustic upscale new market on the east side of town that serves fantastic paninis and offers plenty of fresh fixings for a picnic. From there, it’s a 1.5-mile walk to one of the most beautiful (and friendly!) wineries in the valley: Bartholomew Park Winery
has 400 acres of open space and organically farmed estate. You’ll be ready to quench your thirst with one of their crisp Sauvignon Blancs. Enjoy a picnic under one of the stately oak trees looking west across the vineyard. Then walk through the park by the gazebo, where you’ll find a secret shortcut leading from the southeastern part of the property to neighboring Buena Vista Winery
; the ivy-covered stone building, one of the oldest wineries in the state, is a California Historic Landmark. Enjoy their premium Pinots and learn a little about California’s wine history—and the vineyard’s colorful founder—in the upstairs museum. Then it’s time to make the 1-mile walk back to Sonoma’s Best, where fresh gelato awaits, if you’re up for it. We knew you would be!
Bartholomew Park Winery is open daily from 11:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Buena Vista is open daily from 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. The one-way short-cut connector from Bartholomew Park Winery to Buena Vista (the gate doesn’t open the other way) is open Friday–Sunday. Park in the dirt across the street from Sonoma’s Best market (1190 E. Napa St. @ 8th St. East). From the market walk 200 feet east on E. Napa St., and then turn left on Old Winery Rd. In 0.25-mile turn left on Lovall Valley Rd. (don’t follow the sign to Buena Vista). In another 0.25-mile, turn right on Castle Rd. and follow it all the way to Bartholomew Park Winery. Across the parking lot from the tasting room, follow the sign to the pavilion. Once at the white pavilion, follow the sign for the “park picnic areas” along a paved trail as it makes a figure eight around the lawn. Take the paved trail at the southern end of the lawn (not the one going over the stone bridge). Veer left at the old parking lot. This takes you to the gate for Old Winery Rd. Go through it, make a left, and you’ll reach Buena Vista within a few minutes. From Buena Vista, take Old Winery Rd. all the way back to Sonoma’s Best. Dog-friendly!