Sonoma County Introduces Vineyard Walking Tours

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Sonoma County Winegrape Commission and Sonoma County Vintners have teamed up with Zephyr Wine Adventures to offer walking vacations of Sonoma County vineyards.

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We stay in excellent hotels, walk through beautiful scenery, enjoy delicious meals, and taste world-class wines

Sonoma County Winegrape Commission and Sonoma County Vintners have teamed up with Zephyr Wine Adventures to offer walking vacations of Sonoma County vineyards. The five-day tours include meals, lodging, and great walks through some of Sonoma’s most scenic and famous vineyards, accompanied by expert guides and winery staff.

“Our goal is not only to get visitors to Sonoma County but also to get them into the vineyards,” says Larry Levine, vice president marketing & communications of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, an organization that represents 1800 winegrape growers in Sonoma County. “We believe when wine drinkers know how and where our grapes are grown, they will have a greater appreciation for Sonoma County, its diverse growing regions, and its wine.”

The tours are designed to be not just educational but also fun, active experiences. “These are, first and foremost, vacations,” says Allan Wright, owner of Zephyr Wine Adventures, the tour organizer. “We stay in excellent hotels, walk through beautiful scenery, enjoy delicious meals, and taste world-class wines,” says Wright. “What more could a wine enthusiast want?”

The Vineyard Walks are designed for all types of people. Participants need not be connoisseurs of wine – anyone with an interest in learning about wine or just being in wine country will have fun. Additionally, several walking routes will be offered each day, so walkers can choose from a short, casual walk to a more aggressive hike offering a good workout.

Sonoma winegrape growers and wineries are excited to participate in the Vineyard Walks and often provide staff to accompany participants as they walk through the vineyards. For example, Jim Murphy of Murphy Ranch Vineyards, a noted winegrape grower in Sonoma County, will lead two walks in the Alexander Valley near his home.

“This is a great way for regular wine drinkers to meet some of the movers and shakers of the Sonoma wine world,” says Wright. “Sonoma Vineyard Walks get people out from the tasting room and in one-on-one contact with grapegrowers and winemakers.”

The Vineyard Walk vacations will initially be offered twice in 2008 (August 24-28 and October 26-30) with more dates added as necessary. Each five-day trip includes all meals except one lunch, double-occupancy lodging, local transportation, several wine tastings each day, and expert guides. Cost is $1,900 per person, with three percent of proceeds benefiting the Sonoma Vineyard Workers Education Program. For information, visit http://www.SonomaVineyardWalks.com.

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Allan Wright

Larry Levine
Sonoma County Winegrape Commission
707-522-5863
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