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Amenities, Supplies, Services,Russian River Valley,Sonoma,Things to do in Wine Country,Wine,Wine Country,Wine tasting,Winery

There’s Magic in Northern California, And It’s So RAD

Map is provided with the courtesy of the Sonoma Country Winegrape Commission.

In a very small area of California’s wine grape growing regions, there are three very special American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) that are resplendent with things to do, places to go, and people to see. They’re so RAD, as in Russian River, Alexander, and Dry Creek valleys.

The terroir of each region is quite unique, even though they’re contiguous to each other. They’ve become grouped together in many people’s minds as a great place to visit, for their complete diversity of wines being offered, and because they’re also readily accessible to one another.

For instance:

  • Russian River Valley, which is closer to the Pacific Ocean and its coastal influences play a significant role in day-to-day wine grape maturity, is mostly known for producing the lovely cool weather grapes of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
  • Alexander Valley, which is located northeast of Russian River Valley and more inland, has a warmer climate. In this region, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier do extremely well.
  • Dry Creek Valley, just north of Russian River Valley, also has some coastal influences, but not as many as Russian River Valley. Its benchlands and higher elevations enjoy the benefits of rich, volcanic soils. These red soils are just like gold to winemakers, who know that if the soil is rich in iron oxide (you can tell by the red in the soil), spicy flavors are guaranteed in those wines produced. Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, and Petite Sirah from Dry Creek Valley all grow really well in this region.

[ This is the picnic area  at Thomas George Estates.]

There is much to do and see in these regions, from wine tasting during bike trips along rural highways, to driving the winding backroads while discovering new winery gems. It’s all available within a 10 to 12 mile radius. Many people love river adventures along the Russian River or floating high above vineyards in the early morning, crisp air on hot air balloon excursions. Another fun thing to do is fill a picnic basket with gourmet goodies that you’ll find at the Oakville Grocery in Healdsburg, and then head out to your favorite winery’s picnic site. Others, yet, appreciate the bustling small town of Healdsburg’s upscale, wine country shopping or lavish bed and breakfasts. There is a quaint downtown setting surrounding a plaza that won’t disappoint any wine connoisseur. For really deep relaxation, the Spa at Healdsburg Hotel offers luxurious indulgences.

This area is loaded with things to do and places to see, and has become a favorite of many people who want to visit and do as much as they’re able, while visiting an exciting wine country region. This RAD region has it all!

Originally published for Custom Tour Concierge.

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