Spirits

New Direct Flights Invite Texans to Visit Sonoma County

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Wine-loving Texans (like me) were happy to hear that American Airlines has started direct flights daily from DFW Airport to Sonoma County, California. Instead of an all-day trip to visit acres of vineyards and wineries, a direct flight to Santa Rosa takes less than four hours.

My obliging husband (strictly a Dr Pepper/sweet tea guy) agreed to go along with a September trip to tour some Sonoma County wineries. We try to go somewhere cooler when autumn temperatures stay above 100 degrees in Dallas. California definitely offered a more temperate climate, and those direct flights made it even more attractive.

After confirming round-trip flights for September 9-12, I found the folks at Visit Sonoma County extremely helpful in planning our itinerary. Besides a mind-boggling number of wineries, they recommended places to stay and places to eat. They even found a limo company that specialized in winery tours.

Transplanted Texan Jonathan Garner

New Direct Flights Invite Texans to Visit Sonoma County

Photo: Jo Ann Holt

Healdsburg Tours limo owner Jonathan Garner offered to personally drive us in his gorgeous TeslaX. The transplanted Texan grew up in Fort Worth, and he looked forward to “speaking Texan” for a few days. Sonoma County is a much larger area, at nearly 60,000 acres of vineyards with 425 wineries, than Napa Valley, and touring it was made easier by Garner’s expertise. We liked his analogy that Napa Valley was more like Dallas while Sonoma County was like Fort Worth.

There are 18 appellations, each with distinctive characteristics, in the county that extends from the Pacific coast to the Mayacamas Mountains. Since our time was limited, we only visited three appellations. We toured Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Russian River Valley. Wine prices seemed to be a better bargain, even for award-winning wines, than those in Napa Valley.

Robert Young Estate Winery

New Direct Flights Invite Texans to Visit Sonoma County
Photo: Jo Ann Holt

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