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Where to go in California wine country

California hotel executive Dan Brown and other Sonoma County travel experts suggested the following stops during a weeklong stay in California wine country:

Santa Rosa

Paradise Ridge Vineyards & Winery ( The tasting room and outdoor deck overlook the Russian River Valley and the winery has a tasting room in nearby Kenwood.

Charles Schultz Museum ( The re-created studio of the creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip sits here, as do several related exhibits and a Snoopy Labyrinth.

Russian River Brewing ( Offerings include Pliny the Elder double IPA, one of the popular brews in some of Buffalo’s new craft beer dispensaries.

Tex Wasabi’s ( Will give you a taste of owner and “Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives” TV personality Guy Fieri, but Brown recommends Flavor Bistro across Courthouse Square for a better food, wine and beer selection.


St. Francis Winery & Vineyards ( Open Table users voted this the best restaurant in America two years ago because of its wine and cheese charcuterie pairings.

Kunde Family Winery ( Indoor, patio and mountaintop tastings at half the rates of some Napa Valley sites make this a pleasant, affordable experience.

Chateau St. Jean ( “It’s wonderful,” Brown said, “just like a French Estate.”

Farther afield

Benziger Family Winery ( “If somebody wants to understand how wine is made, take a tour” of this biodynamic winery in Glen Ellen, Brown said. “The artwork is incredible, too.”

B.R. Cohn Winery ( The manager of the Doobie Brothers owns this Glen Ellen winery. “Great cabs,” Brown said.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery ( This Geyserville winery includes the Rustic restaurant, one of the finest in Sonoma County.

Seghesio Family Vineyards ( This Healdsburg winery’s Zinfandels are considered among the best in the world.

Bodega Bay ( “Dungeness crab is the specialty” in this oceanside community where The Tides restaurant and a chapel were among the spots used to film Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”

Safari West ( This 300-acre preserve north of Santa Rosa teems with African wildlife.