I recently visited Sonoma. I spent the better part of a week there, rushing around from winery visit to winery visit. I have to admit that doing all that rushing, which mostly consisted of cruising around at 35 mph on beautiful country roads, served to remind me of just how gorgeous Sonoma County is. Being gorgeous isn’t in and of itself a recipe for anything, but in this case that which make Sonoma so beautiful, the rolling hills and twisting valleys, are what make it such a fabulous place to grow grapes.

While Sonoma may best be known for Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast) or Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley), the truth is that everywhere you look you can find Cabernet. Cabernet that is many times great, distinctive, delicious and affordable!

Photo courtesy Kenn Wilson via Flickr/CC

There is a lot of history here. My winery visits were planned based on who was producing Sonoma County Cabernet in the great 1978 vintage. It was an evenhanded way to approach the always-sticky question of who to visit.

I could have easily visited the hot wineries du jour, but of course then you run the risk of picking yesterday’s hot wineries du jour and finding yourself SOL, as they say.