Here are some excerpts from the Lonely Planet - USA:
Way-fun Sonoma Valley is less commercial than Napa and has about 60 wineries, most just off Hwy 12. Unlike Napa, most Sonoma wineries welcome picnicking Kick-back-casual Sonoma anchors the valley’s southern end.
While it doesn’t inspire shouting out its name, sleepy Eureka, strip-mallish on the outside does have an Old Town with fine Victorians and inviting shops and restaurants.
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
After a cold breakfast at our powerless hotel in Benicia, we headed north towards Napa/Sonoma with the intention of driving through both valleys, but somehow when the highway split, we drove westward and missed the signs for Napa altogether. After reading that Sonoma was more causal, we didn’t really mind as we didn’t have a great deal of time anyway.
We drove along Hwy 12 admiring the little town of Sonoma and the surrounding wineries. There were row upon row of vines just sprouting their leaves early in the season. When Anil and Ajay spotted a fruit stand selling cherries, they made me stop so they could buy some fruit. I should have supervised the two of them because they returned with a bag full of mutant cherries.
Each and every cherry had a ‘baby’ cherry sprouting from the side of the stem. They tasted just fine, but I couldn’t help but wonder what on earth they had been sprayed with. Perhaps this happens all the time and this farmer was just selling the fruit that couldn’t be sent off to the ‘organic’ stores.
We were feeling the lack of a real cup of coffee, so when we spotted a cute little retro sign for an age-old coffee shop, we stopped in for a couple of brews. A little further up the highway, we happened to encounter our son Raj’s favourite winery, Deerfield, and stopped to pose for photos by their sign.
All that posing makes a person thirsty for a glass of wine, so on a whim; we pulled in to try their wine tasting. Ajay and Neeta had never been to a winery before so and we thought this was the perfect place for such a new experience. We were able to sample five different wines, and were delighted to find that the fee for two people tastings were credited when we purchased three bottles to take with us.
We now had to make good time in order to pace ourselves for the few days we had to get to Port Angeles, WA. We had made a reservation for the ferry to Victoria and had booked a hotel in Port Angeles, so we didn’t have a lot of time to dawdle. We drove north along Hwy 101 stopping at Drive-Thru-Tree Park near Leggitt, CA.
If we had more time we would have liked to explore the Humboldt Redwoods State Park, but we pushed on to the little town of Eureka where we had a hearty meal in a boisterous steakhouse and turned in early.