Sonoma County in the News

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More than 7 million visitors — and hundreds of journalists — can't be wrong: Sonoma County is a fantastic place to visit.

Positive travel stories are being published all around the globe, touting Sonoma County's genuine Wine Country experience — more than 400 friendly wineries, farm-to-table restaurants, miles of Pacific coastline, 40 spas, rivers to kayak or float down, redwood forests to explore, boutiques and galleries that entice, and hiking and biking trails that meander over oak-covered hills.

Below are a few highlights of those articles or broadcasts to check out as you plan your next visit.

Note: Publications may not host the articles listed below indefinitely, and some links may expire. UMV = unique monthly visitors.

• SCT’s Beth Snow was featured in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle (Circ: 212,000; UMV: 3,135,092). “Good reasons to visit funky, free-spirited Guerneville” was the result of journalist Jeanne Cooper reaching out to SCT for information. The article was also found on

• As a result of press release, La Jolla Mom (UMV: 5,000) included a destination feature on Sonoma County for families. The article was written by freelance writer Katie Dillon, who met with SCT’s Birgitt Vaughan at a media luncheon in San Diego.

Sherman’s Travel (UMV: 551,318) included the Treehouse at Beautiful Places in a round-up of “5 Splurge-y Treehouse Hotels for a Once-in-a-Lifetime Trip.” The article was written by Alex Schechter.

• Safari West recently received awesome coverage on the on the Katie Couric Show. The segment appears at 4:45-5:06.

• As a result of a press release, (UMV: 1,755,616) included Sonoma County in a round-up of “Dog-Friendly Vacation Spots”. The article, written by Kim Grundy, mentions Mutt Lynch Winery and Kunde Family Estate Winery.

• As a result of media outreach, (UMV: 2,953,949) spotlighted Sonoma Wine Country Weekend. The article was written by Paul Kandarian, who attended SWCW in 2012.

• As a result of a press release, Flattlands Blog (UMV: 1,000) provided coverage of the 2014 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend.

Coverage of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, as a result of a press release, appeared on Kevin’s Travel Journal (UMV: 1,000).

• As a result of a deskside meeting with Andrea Guthmann in November, Make it Better (UMV: 231,460) included Sonoma County in a round-up of gourmet getaways for foodies. Mentioned within the feature are Sonoma County Restaurant Week, Savor Healdsburg Food Tours, and Relish Culinary Adventures in Healdsburg.

• Stacie Tamaki, The Flirty Guide, joined other Bay Area writers for the Sonoma Scramble, a media familiarization tour of the destination. As a result, she has featured Sonoma County several times on her blog. Her latest is on the Petaluma Seed Bank.

• As the result of hosting journalist Martha Ross to experience Sonoma County, a story about Jack London State Park and Transcendence Theatre’s Broadway Under the Stars series was featured in the Contra Costa Times (Circ.: 174,045, UMV: 207,270).

• As  a result of a press release, Joonbug (UMV: 140,012) included coverage of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend on its “First Course” blog. Editors from the site attended the Sonoma in the City event in New York City at City Winery.

• Happy to report that NBC Bay Area (UMV: 173,600) featured Sonoma Wine Country Weekend in its “Worth the Trip” column, as a result of working directly with journalist Alysia Painter. The channel is the NBC affiliate based out of San Jose. SCT’s national PR  directly with on the inclusion. The link is attached and the clip is below – congrats!

805 Living’s (Circ.: 30,820) Weekend Travel edition introduced Sonoma Sneakaway, SCT’s soft-season promotion, to travelers in western Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties. The brief can be found on page 32.

• Local writer Matt Villano wrote an article, “Experiencing eco-oriented adventures in Napa and Sonoma counties,” for Viewfinder, the travel blog for (UMV: 13,426,173).

• In an Italian travel trade publication, Travel Quotidiano, SCT’s Birgitt Vaughan explained the Western Wine Trail, which connects San Francisco to Portland, as well as the Wine, Waves & Whales, which links activities in Sonoma County, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara.

• People in San Francisco learned from this piece in 7x7 (Circ.: 51,075; UMV: 45,139) that Les Claypool, lead vocalist and bassist for the band Primus, has a winery in Sonoma County. Six other “off the beaten path” wineries in Sonoma County were featured.

• Sonoma Insider Carey Sweet talked about the best barbecue in Wine Country in this 7x7 Online (UMV: 45,139) article.

• As a result of SCT’s quarterly “What’s New” press release, Meetings Focus (Circ.: 35,140 UMV: 5,719) featured hotel updates for Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, Doubletree by Hilton Sonoma Wine Country, and Flamingo Conference Resort & Spa.

• The California Wine Institute and SCT worked together to secure a piece on winery picnics for USA Today’s online travel blog (UMV: 97,881),

• SCT’s Ken Fischang was quoted in the article, “Sonoma County attracting tourists looking for sustainability,” which appeared in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat (Circ.: 50,352 UMV: 210,794) newspaper and online. SCT also provided tourism information for the story.

• The ArtsBeat blog (UMV: 204,921) for the New York Times featured Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center and its 2014-15 season in this article.

Peter (UMV: 18,536) featured Auberge on the Vineyard and Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, among others, in “Luxe Lavs: Savor Spring in California Wine Country.”

• Visiting journalists in their own towns pays off. In Los Angeles, SCT met Natalie Compagno of (UMV: 22,513) The result was this piece, “June in Sonoma: Festivals, Food, Fun.” It features the Alaska Airlines flight from Los Angeles directly into Sonoma County.

• As a result of a visit to Sonoma County with her family, Kristi Marcelle wrote an article about traveling through Wine Country with kids for (UMV: 17,573,178).

• As a result of ongoing communications, The Luxury Spot Blog (UMV: 68,881) included Sonoma County’s B.R. Cohn’s 2011 Sonoma Valley Cabernet in a round-up of “Things To Help You Survive The Last Days of Passover.”

• In a USA Today (UMV: 15,328,997) article, Sharon McDonnell included Kunde and Mutt Lynch as part of a roundup of dog friendly wineries.

• SCT worked with Visit California and Canon to bring 15 top bloggers from Korea to experience Sonoma County. As a result, bloggers posted individual blogs about Safari West, Charles M. Schulz Museum, J Vineyards & Winery, Hilton Sonoma Wine Country Hotel, and a mix of Healdsburg restaurants — Barndiva, Zin Restaurant, Mateo’s, Cafe Lucia, and Taverna Sophia. The blogs can also be found at

• As a result of a press trip to Sonoma County, Fodor's Travel (UMV: 516,714) featured the “Wine Lover's Guide to Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley,” by Kristine Hansen.

Shape magazine’s (Circ.: 1,582,687) April 2014 issue features a mention of the Sonoma International Film Festival in a round-up of events nationwide, “Star-Studded Screenings.”

• As a result of hosting Christine Perez during the 2013 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, D Magazine (UMV: 52,607) provided detailed coverage of Sonoma Wine Country. A version of this article also appeared in the January/February issue of D CEO (Circ: 15,000).

• Rachel Ward from Where Magazine (Circ.: 75,000) in San Francisco shares her “Escape to Sonoma” article not only with the Bay Area, but with potential travelers from Charleston.

• Patricia Kutza experienced the Russian River by staying in a Russian River Getaways vacation home for an article that appeared on (UMV: 11,425,254)

• As a result of hosting Chris Kompanek during the 2013 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, The Huffington Post(UMV: 40,903,800) provided coverage of his experiences in the destination.

• A pre-event write up about the eighth annual California Artisan Cheese Festival was featured in Conde Nast Traveler (UMV: 271,686).

• As the result of ongoing networking, Patty Burness’ article about Sebastopol appeared in San Francisco’s Marina Times (Circ.: 20,000) and

• The world is finding out how pet friendly Sonoma County is through positive travel stories. Recently, Sharon McDonnell featured Kunde Family Estate and Mutt Lynch Winery in her USA Today round-up of five North American wineries to bring your dog.

• As result of providing information for “outrageous concierge requests,” Charu Suri included Kenwood Inn & Spa’s chief concierge Eric Edenfield request in the story for Read about the Mariachi-band wedding proposal on the Golden Gate Bridgehere.

• As result of hosting Meaghan Agnew at Sonoma County’s 2013 Grape Camp, DailyCandy (UMV: 2,469,948) provided coverage of the three-day experience in a detailed 10-page slideshow.

• As result of hosting Paul Rubio, he included The Barlow in his California story for Weddings Illustrated Spring/Summer 2014 (Florida’s premier wedding magazine, published twice a year). See p. 55.

• We are pleased to share that Eater (UMV: 376,482) provided coverage of the Taste of Sonoma event in a round-up of upcoming San Diego happenings. Journalist Candice Woo attended the event.

• As result of media outreach, San Diego Magazine included our combined promotion with the Sonoma Count Vintners and Winegrowers on their calendar: Taste of Sonoma: On tour.

• We are happy to share featured Flipside Steakhouse and Sports Bar in their Wine Country Eats: A Crop-Up Hot Spot and Meaty Sports Watching.

• We are happy to see Wine Country Chocolates isincluded in “Follow the San Francisco trail of topnotch chocolatiers in the Bay area” on USA Today.

• SCT's Susan Montes was featured in the February 2014 issue of Long Island Bride & Groom Magazine (Circ: 35,000) as a result of our media outreach. Journalist Sandra Mardenfeld was seeking wedding experts to provide feedback for her article on wedding planning and we knew Susan would be a great fit, thus we assisted with the interview. (Note, article can be found on page 106).

• As a result of hosting Kat Tancock for Sonoma County Grape Camp, The Globe and Mail (Circ: 313,331; UMV: 1,535,157) provided coverage of her time in the destination. The article cites many of the activities that were a part of the itinerary. The feature ran online and in print on January 11.

• We are happy to share as a result of media outreach, Paul Kandarian included the Valentine’s Day package in a round-up of holiday deals for (UMV: 2,953,949).

Luxury Travel Magazine (UMV: 15,828) also included the Sonoma Coast Villa & Spa’s Valentine’s Day package in a round-up of holiday deals.

• As a result of media outreach, Peter Greenberg (UMV: 107,982) included the Sonoma Coast Villa & Spa’s Valentine’s Day package in a round-up of holiday deals.

Conde Nast Traveler (UMV:69,208) included Russian River Valley as part of its “Where to Go in 2014” round-up. The piece on Russian River Valley was written by Senior Editor John Newton.  John cites The Barlow and the Farmhouse Inn as great reasons to go.

Wine Enthusiast magazine (UMV: 177,927) asked their editors for their favorite spots to sip and sup while on the West Coast. Sonoma County’s Partake by K-J was included in the round-up, here.

• Kelley Ferro’s “Sample Sonoma Wine Tours” video appeared on USA Today Travel (UMV: 21,911,400).

• As a result of SCT hosting Kristi Marcelle, CBS Los Angeles included Full House Farm in “Holiday Getaway on a Budget: 5 Hotels Under $150.”

The New York Times (UMV: 15,535,617) provided coverage of the eighth annual Sonoma Valley Gingerbread Contest in the outlet’s In Transit Blog.

Oakland Magazine's Martha Ross discovered The New Wine Highway — Sonoma County's Highway 116. No doubt, she's in love with western Sonoma County.

• Siobhan Higgins visited Sonoma County for Wine Country Weekend and LAX Magazine (UMV: 80,000) featured a beautiful five-page spread on the weekend’s highlights. The feature includes some great photos and cites a few of the activities that were a part of the itinerary.

• Elizabeth Downer, from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Total readership print + online: 1,568,805), published her holiday gift guide, which focused on wine boot camps with special emphasis on Sonoma County Grape Camp.

• Sonoma County received coverage in a roundup of the Latest From San Francisco for Foodies and Wine Lovers in Luxury Travel Advisor (circulation: 13,000).

• The Vacation Gals recently came to Sonoma County. Blogs included: Holiday Events, Girlfriends Getaway, Things to Do, and Boutique Wineries.

• Graeme Green visited in September and wrote “California: a tale of two valleys.” Destinations of the World (circulation: 22,000) is a luxury publication distributed in more than 100 business/first class airport lounges and luxury outlets.

The New York Times featured an article highlighting new restaurants in Petaluma. The article also ran in print in the Sunday edition. (UMV: 22,144,107) included Sonoma County in a round-up of Thanksgiving Day destinations.

Coastal Living (Circ: 671,510) featured Bodega Bay in a beautiful two-page spread. The article is included in the “Dream Town” section of the December/January 2014 issue of the publication.

American Way (Circulation: 306,483; UMV: 145,518) included the Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail in the November issue of the publication. The article, written by Jill Robinson, includes some beautiful images and highlights a few of the creameries found on the trail.

• Nevada’s Mesquite Citizen Journal is talking about “California-Trendy.” New tourist areas in Sonoma County now include Petaluma’s Spirit Works Distillery open for tastings and guided tours. Prohibition Spirits and Hello Cello will follow suite early in 2014.

For journalists: You will find resources and assistance for your stories about Sonoma County here: Sonoma County's Media Room.