Native American legends refer to the Sonoma Valley as, “The Valley of the Moon.” It is cradled between the Mayacamas and Sonoma mountain ranges just 45 minutes from San Francisco. Franciscan monks were the first to plant vineyards in Sonoma during the early 1820s. By 1920, there were more than 250 vineyards with 20,000 acres of grapevines in Sonoma.
As with Napa, Sonoma saw a steady decline in production due to the phylloxera infestation, Prohibition and the Great Depression. Its recovery throughout the 1970s and ’80s, however, was very strong, and the area continues to grow in both production and popularity. Though it often receives less attention and sees far fewer annual visitors, Sonoma has produced significantly more wine than Napa, as there are now more than 65,000 acres planted in grapes. It maintains a small-town, country feel, and produces countless varietals rated just as highly as Napa’s best.