You don’t normally think football and wine, but with the Super Bowl back in the bay area for the first time in more than 30 years, it seems appropriate to explore how wine country is bridging the gap for football fans and wine connoisseurs.
The kind people at the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau took me on a tour of their area. And in the back of my mind, I was doing the math: With the Los Angeles Rams coming to LA, it’s a forgone conclusion that the Super Bowl will also be in LA come 2020.
Sonoma Valley is as far away from Levi Stadium as Palm Springs is from Inglewood. So businesses in the Coachella Valley can employ similar methods this tourist stop uses to capitalize on the Big Game coming to the region.
My first stop was the Sunflower Caffe where we enjoyed farm-to-table eggs and sausage and potatoes and the fresh flavors and fresh air were a significant departure from the traffic-laden downtown SF corridor.
Then we stopped at Corner 103. A new winery that offers it’s varietals from ONLY local vineyards and the winemaker and owner, Lloyd, takes profound care to ensure his grapes are grown to develop the accurate representation of each one. He spoke about the unique qualities of each harvest and not having a uniform approach to making his wine, and I immediately understood! “It’s like deciding which play to run based on what the defense gives you!” … the 3 wine purveyors stared at me for a moment, agreed, and we moved on to the merlot.
It was an amazing journey through the Sonoma Valley and understanding the 17 microclimates.
Then we stopped at St. Francis Winery. A much larger production, if Corner 103 was the Green Bay Packers, St. Francis is the Dallas Cowboys. Both successful in their own right, but St. Francis operates on a much larger scale. And their property showcased that. Named the top restaurant in the nation by OpenTables, the presentation was incredible and they developed a unique tour of the facility for those in town for the Super Bowl!
We made a few other stops on the way and with each adventure I met incredibly warm, inviting people that were excited to have the Big Game in the region and present the Sonoma Valley in such charming light!