Wine, Wine Blog

Rugged Sonoma Coast Offers Dazzling Views

Mountains, river, and coast leave you breathless

An hour north of San Francisco lies the beautifully rugged Sonoma Coast. Driving along Highway I, we delighted in majesty of the Pacific Ocean. It lay, a few feet below the road, serene as the name would suggest, showing motion only in the continuous waves that lapped the beach. The waves didn’t break, crashing against the giant, solitary rocks that rise randomly from the sea bed; rather, they seemed to melt as they reached the shore, seeping soundlessly into the wet sand.

Sonoma Coast 3

The majestic California redwoods.

We were in Russian River country, known for its cool weather Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. An American Viticultural Area in its own right, this is one of many in Sonoma County. But this is not monotonous grapevine country. In places, the tops of trees create an arch, cool, dark, peaceful, through which we drove. Douglas firs are everywhere, tall and awe inspiring. There are others –Pacific madrones, oaks, and buckeyes and others I couldn’t tell for they stood leafless near the river.

Sonoma Coast 5

The Russian River

Sonoma Coast 2

California redwoods, California buckeye, Douglas fir (in the back)

Every winter that California is not in drought, the Russian River causes much anxiety by overflowing its banks. Flooding seems to be a fact of life for those living in its valley. But on the day we were there, the country was exquisite and the river flowed within its confines. Nor could the weather have been more perfect: crystal clear and bright, giving the vast expansive ocean its gorgeous azure hue.

Sonoma Coast 4

Headed East from the Coast


Featured photo: The Russian River flows into the Pacific.

Photos: Yours truly.

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  1. Andre Neu

    February 15, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    Any Russian River pinots you’d recommend?

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