Sonoma County Tourism
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Sonoma County Fact Sheet 2018

SONOMA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

Official tourism information: Sonoma County Tourism, +1-707-522-5800, www.sonomacounty.com

Location: Part of the San Francisco Bay Area, in Northern California's celebrated wine country, some 30 miles/50 kilometers north of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; bordered by Marin, Napa, Lake, and Mendocino Counties and the Pacific Ocean and the San Pablo Bay.

Size:

  • 1,500 square miles/2.414 square kilometers
  • More than 50 miles/80 kilometers of coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the San Pablo Bay.
  • Three rivers – Russian, Petaluma, and Gualala.
  • One lake - Lake Sonoma

Population: 485,120

Air Service: At the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport (STS) in Santa Rosa, direct flights to and from Los Angeles (LAX), Orange County (SNA), Portland (PDX), San Diego (SAN), and Seattle (SEA) on Alaska Airlines; Phoenix-Sky Harbor (PHX) on American Airlines/Sky West; San Francisco (SFO) via United Airlines; and Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) on Sun Country Airlines (seasonal, June 29-Aug. 27, 2018).

Less than a two-hour drive from three international airports: San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento. Served by shuttles from San Francisco and Oakland.

Regions:

Coast (Annapolis, Bodega, Bodega Bay, Fort Ross, Gualala, Jenner, Stewarts Point, The Sea Ranch, Timber Cove). Famous sea villages hug the wild Pacific Coast and offer remarkable views, whale watching, fresh seafood, and seaside wine tasting.

Rivers (Cazadero, Duncans Mills, Guerneville, Monte Rio, Rio Nido, Russian River Valley). Defined by the slow, meandering Russian River, and majestic redwood trees, the area is full of history, outdoor activities, local color, and unique festivals.

Valleys – West, Central, and East (Graton, Forestville, Freestone, Occidental, Sebastopol, Valley Ford; Asti, Cloverdale, Cotati, Fulton, Geyserville, Healdsburg, Penngrove, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Windsor; Boyes Hot Springs, Glen Ellen, Kenwood, Schellville, Sonoma)

Sonoma County's vineyard-lined valleys offer a wide expanse of wineries, spas, restaurants, museums, galleries – all with easy access to the area's towns and villages.

Climate: Mild, Mediterranean climate year-round. The summer months have warm days and cool nights, ideal for producing some of the world's finest grapes and wines.

Average high/low in July is 82 F (28 C)/52 F (11 C)

Average high/low in January is 50 F (10 C)/40 F (4 C)

Lodging: More than 8,360 rooms and 2,769 recreational spaces available for overnight guests.

  • Full service: 2,478
  • Limited service: 3,844
  • Bed & breakfast rooms: 546
  • Vacation rentals: 1,495
  • Campground and RV spaces: 2,769

Dining: 600-plus restaurants featuring cuisine from every region of the world, and ranging from casual to five-star. Chefs of Wine Country cuisine use freshly-harvested, locally-grown produce.  

Spas: 40 spas – natural thermal springs and the only Japanese-style cedar enzyme bath in the United States.

Other Activities:

  • 18 golf courses open to the public
  • Bike tours
  • 120 small farms open to the public; 12 farm markets
  • Culinary schools and classes
  • Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve
  • Green Music Center
  • Sonoma Raceway with NASCAR, IndyCar, motorcycle, and drag racing
  • Safari West Wildlife Preserve
  • River Rock Casino in Alexander Valley
  • Graton Resort and Casino in Rohnert Park
  • Pacific Coast Air Museum          
  • Wells Fargo Center for the Arts
  • Charles M. Schulz Museum of Peanuts characters
  • 27 California State Historical Landmarks
  • 11 California State Parks; 53 regional parks; 20 coastal beaches
  • The Russian River; Lake Sonoma

Wineries: More than 425 wineries, most open for tours and tastings without appointment. Sonoma County wineries are famous for their excellent wines and relaxed, welcoming ambiance. Also, many tasting rooms are free or apply nominal tasting costs to the purchase of wine.

Wine Facts: 18 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs, or appellations) in Sonoma County – regions with unique soils and climates that allow certain grape varieties to grow particularly well. Sonoma County is the most diverse premium winegrape growing region in the United States.

Sonoma County produces more than 60 varieties of winegrapes, but six varieties comprise nearly 94 percent:

  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Noir
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Zinfandel
  • Merlot 
  • Sauvignon Blanc

 more facts:

  • 60,000 +/- acres/25.829 hectares of grapes; 1,300 grape growers (Only 6 percent of Sonoma County's total land mass is planted to grapes.)
  • Three years – time from vineyard planting to first crop
  • 500-2,000 vines planted per acre; 5-7 tons of grapes produced per acre
  • 182,784 tons of grapes harvested in 2015, at an average price of $2,443 per ton
  • 1 acre/.4 hectares of grapes = 3,958 bottles of wine
  • 1 acre/.4 hectares of grapes = 15,940 glasses of wine
  • 1 barrel of wine = 750 pounds of grapes, 60 gallons / 227 liters of wine, 25 cases of wine, 300 bottles of wine, 1,500 glasses of wine
  • 1 case of wine = 30 pounds of grapes, 307 ounces / 9079 milliliters of wine, 12 bottles of wine, 60 glasses of wine
  • 1 bottle of wine = 2.4 pounds of grapes (39 ounces/1.153 liters), 630 grapes, 25.6 ounces of wine (750 ml), 5 glasses of wine

 

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Find your passion in Sonoma County, located only 30 miles/48 kilometers north of San Francisco, and featuring more than 400 wineries, 100-plus organic farms, and 50 miles/80 kilometers of stunning Pacific coast.

For a free visitors guide or information on hotels, wineries, events, spas, attractions, and dining in Sonoma County, visit www.sonomacounty.com or call +1-707-522-5800.