10 Reasons To Choose Sonoma Valley Over Napa Valley For Your Wine Vacation
Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley are separated by the Mayacamas Mountain range. They share a claim to the Carneros wine growing region to the south. Both valleys provide visitors with as much wine tourism as could ever be desired. However, what follows are the Top 10 Reasons to Choose Sonoma Valley over Napa Valley for your vacation.
Logistics First: Both Valleys run parallel to each other on a relatively North-South axis and are separated by the Mayacamas Mountain range. You can drive from one to the other in no more than a half hour. Each is roughly 50 minutes north of San Francisco.
1. Sonoma Valley is a Much Better Value than Napa Valley
It’s a matter of supply and demand. Since more people head to Napa Valley than Sonoma Valley, the prices of just about everything in Sonoma Valley are less, be it restaurants, lodging or wine. Bottom line: Your Sonoma Valley vacation will cost you less
2. The Sonoma Plaza Is More Authentic and Relaxing Than Any Napa Valley Central Points
The Sonoma Plaza possesses a rich history and is surrounded by numerous shops, restaurants, historical sites and watering holes. The Plaza itself is a large shade-heavy, grass-covered spot that invites you to lie back, sip wine and nibble while watching the wine country world drift by.
3. Driving Sonoma Valley Feels More like Getting Lost in the Countryside than Napa Valley
It just feels real, Sonoma Valley does. Whether meandering up and down Highway 12 or Arnold Drive, you will much more appreciate the dusty roads, quaint vistas, and relaxed pace.
4. Sonoma Valley’s Restaurant Experiences Are More Relaxed and Have a Feel of Where the Locals Are
Whether dining on the Sonoma Plaza’s Girl and the Fig, Della Santina, or Burgers & Vine or Up Valley at The Glen Ellen Star or Cafe Citti, you’ll feel like you belong, leaving pretension behind, but enjoying great food.
5. You’ll Taste a Greater Variety of Wines in Sonoma Valley
Because no single variety is more coveted over others in Sonoma Valley as Cabernet Sauvignon is in Napa Valley, wineries plant a whole host of different types of grapes, meaning you’ll get a chance to taste everything from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling to Zinfandel, Syrah, Grenache and, yes, Cabernet.
6. Sonoma Valley Has Better Hiking Opportunities Than Napa Valley
Both the Sonoma Regional Park and Jack London Park are beautiful, bucolic retreats where you can put your hiking shoes on and explore untouched wilds, encounter wildlife and come across historic old structures.
7. Sonoma Valley Has Glen Ellen and Napa Valley Does Not
The little old town of Glen Ellen in the middle of Sonoma Valley is small, quaint, unencumbered by tourists, holds some wonderful restaurants and will have you think…this is where I want to live.
8. Traffic is of No Consequence in Sonoma Valley…Unlike in Napa Valley
Chances are you will come to a standstill on Highway 29 in Napa Valley. Chances are you will not encounter any traffic in Sonoma Valley, keeping your blood pressure at a delightful level.
9. You’ll Take Home More Wine From Sonoma Valley
For the price you pay for three Napa Valley wines, you can purchase six Sonoma Valley wines. And these are world-class bottlings.
10. Sonoma Valley is the Real Deal
In the end, Sonoma Valley is simply more authentic than Napa Valley. No one would ever accuse Sonoma Valley of being “The Adult Disneyland”. It will strike you as the Wine Country you imagined and will have you thinking, “I could live here!”