A Perfectly Planned Day Trip To Glen Ellen In Sonoma County, California Wine Country
An itinerary that includes where to eat, what to do, best places to taste.
Take an indulgent journey in one of the most celebrated and beautiful winemaking regions in the world… Sonoma County. Following are some simple steps for planning the perfect wine country vacation.
This day excursion will introduce visitors to the quaint village of Glen Ellen in the heart of Sonoma Valley Wine Country (population: 784). Experience a full day of what the region has to offer. Everything is in walking distance, leave the car behind for the day and relax. Here's how to make the most of your quick trip.
A UNIQUE, FUN & CURATED DAY IN SONOMA WINE COUNTRY
With so many great choices, it can be tough to know where to start. When spending a day touring wine country, eating a hearty meal to begin should be a must...
GARDEN COURT CAFÉ
This spot has been a staple for breakfast since the café opened decades ago and is loved by both locals and tourists alike. Some favorites include their extensive custom eggs benedict menu, scones and fluffy pancakes. The meals are made from scratch using quality, local ingredients.
This is wine country casual and a perfect way to start the day watching the village come alive as the café is located in the heart of the Glen Ellen block. GARDEN COURT CAFE >>
Now that you have enjoyed a healthy breakfast and find yourself in Wine Country, it is time to start indulging in a tasting experience….
LAUREL GLEN VINEYARD
We set the bar high with this second stop. If you are in Sonoma County, booking a visit to Laurel Glen is a must for Cabernet lovers. This iconic winery is important not only for its historical significance but also for the profound bottles created here. The Laurel Glen Vineyard itself is 14 acres found 10 minutes up the road from Glen Ellen atop Sonoma Mountain with a tasting room located in the center of the village to showcase the portfolio of wines. The tasting room is only steps from the breakfast stop. Growing Cabernet since 1968, you will find history in the glass at Laurel Glen.
The winery offers intimate, seated wine tasting experiences and library tastings of older vintages by appointment daily. A library tasting presents the opportunity to sample a selection of perfectly stored Cabernet Sauvignon vintages from an extensive wine library spanning at least a decade. This is a Cabernet House in the true sense of the name. For those guests who also enjoy white wine, the tasting room offers a Russian River Blanc Slate Sauvignon Blanc or a stunning Rosella Rosé which is made from old vines planted back in the 1800’s at the mountain top vineyard.
This wine is more refined than many California mountain Cabernets with great structure and firm tannins, yet it also manages to be fleshy. Cheers! LAUREL GLEN VINEYARD >>
After your taste of the history of Sonoma Mountain and of Laurel Glen’s critically acclaimed cult California Cabernet, it is time to stretch your legs and enjoy the outdoors awhile...
EXPLORE GLEN ELLEN
Take a leisurely stroll down the main block and check out some of the small shops and artisan locations along the road as you make your way to lunch. These small stores carry local goods to bring home to remember your journey. Glen Ellen boasts beautiful year round walking trails, creeks and historic sites to explore surrounded by serene wooded beauty. The quaint village is tucked into the narrow canyon between Sonoma Mountain and the Mayacamas Mountain range making for beautiful scenery all around. Glen Ellen is only a 90 minute drive from San Francisco along the scenic California highway.
Next stop... It is time to do more of what wine country does best - tasting.
With a very hipster kind of vibe, this is a winery that shakes up the traditional tasting room experience. Kivelstadt is a new and boutique producer of affordable wine offering wines on tap and refillable growlers ready for guests to enjoy and take home with them. There is a focus on eco-friendliness here paired with unpretentiousness and fun.
A great way to wrap up a day visiting Wine Country. The staff may even tout the merits of orange wine while you taste grapes that are unique to the region. Kivelstady offers an eclectic family of small batch wines. KIVELSTADT CELLARS >>
Just down the road, you will find the last stop on the journey. Time to eat!
GLEN ELLEN INN OYSTER GRILL, MARTINI BAR & RESTAURANT
Fresh seafood, house made breads, local produce and handmade pastas… Did we mention the fabulous cocktail and wine menus?!? Yes, please. Within walking distance of many fine wineries, this recently renovated and award winning restaurant is a must stop when visiting Glen Ellen. The site also boasts “Secret Cottages” for those visitors that decide to stay the night. ~Eat. Drink. Stay~ is their motto here.
Visitors love the house made cheddar-dill scones, compliments of the house. Local favorites also include choices from the 300+ Sonoma & Napa Valley wines on site, innovative and classic martinis, and a full bar. Don’t forget the Oysters! GLEN ELLEN INN & RESTAURANT >>
If you find yourself with additional time, some other great options include...
ALONG THE WINE ROAD IN GLEN ELLEN:
- Talisman Wines
- QuarryHill Botanical Gardens
- Glen Ellen Star
- Korbin Kameron Vineyard
- The Fig Cafe and Wine Bar
- Jack London State Park & Museum