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Simply put, Sonoma County is heaven on earth. The area is rich with award-winning vineyards, exquisite restaurants and breathtaking landscapes, yet somehow remains approachable and unpretentious. The locals are welcoming and eager to share their story, whether it be personal, historical or an inside look into their work and passions. The locals' humble pride makes visitors even more appreciative of their makings and artisanship. The hardest part about visiting Sonoma County is narrowing down where to eat and drink with all of the unbelievable spots run by good people. Read our go-to list of where to fill your belly and wet your whistle around Sonoma County.

Cheese, please!

Whether you dream of creamy, soft fromage blanc spread on a crusty baguette or salty, herbed cheese curds that you can just pop in your mouth, you will be blown away by the flavor of Achadinha Cheese. Jim and Donna Pacheco and their four children run the 230-acre farm with passion, and they certainly don’t cut corners to produce top-quality cheese. They feed their cows brewers grain from four local breweries, which is easier than corn for them (and us!) to digest, and take the cows out to the hormone-free pastures daily to graze. We recommend taking a farm tour, and then you can stock up on all of the cheese and butter to take home. On the tour, you will get to meet the animals, explore the ranch, visit the cheese factory and best of all — sample the cheese!

Eat and drink your way through Sonoma Plaza on a Food and Wine Tour

It's difficult to commit to one place for lunch when you know there are so many top-notch restaurants in an area. Problem solved with Gourmet Food and Wine Tours - Sonoma! This three-hour afternoon tour takes you on a culinary journey around Sonoma Plaza to sample inventive and signature plates from some of the best local spots (wine pairings optional). Each of the stops, dishes and wine are handpicked by the tour owner, Renee, and we guarantee you will leave with more than a full belly. History of the plaza, local stories and tips are seamlessly woven into the tour, and Renee’s casual yet passionate demeanor is the perfect balance for an afternoon of wining and dining. This tour is sure to be an unforgettable experience for you and your taste buds - bon appetit!

Sip, Sip Hooray!

A trip to Sonoma County would hardly be complete without a vineyard visit. While the wineries you choose for tastings are very much up to personal preference, we highly recommend venturing to Dry Creek Valley. Start your day at Preston Winery in the courtyard for a relaxed tasting of organic and biodynamic wine. Don’t forget to go home with a bottle of their unbelievable olive oil, too! Next, drive to Dry Creek General Store to pick up sandwiches and other provisions for a lunch picnic across the street at Dry Creek Vineyard. Dry Creek Vineyard is a family-owned, California Certified Sustainable winery that focuses on quality from vineyard to the glass. You can drop in to do a tasting with the friendly staff or buy a bottle to enjoy in the charming courtyard with your Dry Creek General Store bounty. If you are more of the planning type, you can also book a seated tasting, tour and tasting, and even create your own Meritage blend through advanced reservation.

Cozy, casual dining in Petaluma

There is nothing better than unwinding at the end of the day in an intimate restaurant with delectable food. Located in the Great Petaluma Mill of downtown Petaluma next to the river, Wild Goat Bistro is the spot to do just that. The atmosphere is quaint and charming, while the menu is robust with globally inspired dishes sure to make anyone's mouth water. If you are dining alone or with one other, we highly recommend a spot at the chef’s counter so you can watch the kitchen at work. Don’t forget to leave room for the homemade cakes!

If you still have some gas in your tank, head over to Whisper Sisters for an inventive cocktail in a chic and inviting atmosphere.

Rise and Shine at Costeaux in Healdsburg

Costeaux French Bakery has been a Healdsburg staple since 1923 so you know it is going to be good. While you can order breads, pastries and even order off the menu to-go, we highly recommend dining in to really enjoy the food. The French toast is a stand-out dish made from cinnamon-walnut bread topped with fruit compote and pure maple syrup. Other must-order menu items include the deep-dish quiche and croissant breakfast sandwich, but no matter what you order, we really don’t think you can go wrong at Costeaux.

Sonoma County is truly a destination of fresh, inventive cuisine and premier wine. Time to book your trip, and get ready for a food and wine adventure unlike any other!