A Tuscan villa, a wetland preserve and a gourmet shop lure the crowds to this charming Sonoma winery..
Tourists belly up to the tile counter to sample the winery's specialty: Italian varietals such as the uncommon (and hand-bottled) Aleatico and Dolcetto. The marketplace offers an impressive collection of consumable goods, with little bowls of seasoned olive oils, spreads, dips and dressings scattered about the display tables. Prepared foods from the Cucina Viansa can be taken to a scenic picnic area that overlooks a 90-acre, man-made, wetland preserve where ducks, seabirds and hawks roost.
Super Wines. The Viansa Winery is one of the best wineries I have ever visited. They offer a complimentary taste of any four of their wines and there are dozens of things to sample in their market. They also have a great view outside if you want to sit and have a picnic.
I little slice if Italia. I feel that this was a purely tranquil spot with everything one desires.
Tuscan Touristy. Don't get me wrong, Viansa is not bad and being the first winery you encounter on the way to Sonoma (from some directions) it is a good first stop on the way. The view is spectacular, the grounds are a lot of fun, and the deli is useful. To my mind they make too many wines and should concentrate on the ones they do well, and they try a little too hard in general. The experience is a little empty. The same goes for all the items in their deli (though the abundant free sampling does present an opportunity for the hungry spendthrift). So although everything fits together nicely, overall I do not think it is up to the standard of greatness, wine culture, and scenic beauty that marks the best spots in Napa and Sonoma.
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