Perfect Day — Nathan Germolus

Marcy Gordon on Nov 20, 2019

A visit to Sonoma County means I’m well on my way to having a perfect day, for I have a few days off, can relax and do the things I enjoy. I live in northwestern Minnesota, and travel much of the workweek for my job. I’m fortunate to have a family member in Santa Rosa, and try to visit them at least once a year, preferably when Minnesota is covered with snow and has subzero temperatures.

A few years ago on one of my visits, I purchased a bike, and riding it around Spring Lake Park is how I would start my perfect day. Back at the house, I’d enjoy a cup or two of Bella Rosa Coffee Company decaf, and then we’d head out for the day.

Having been to many wineries in Sonoma County, I’ve honed down my favourites to a shortlist. My first stop would be at Mounts Family Winery for a visit and tasting with David and Lana Mounts. The excellent views are only second to the wine quality.

Nathan and Emily Germolus at Mounts Winery with vineyard as in the background

The next stop is Pedroncelli Winery to enjoy a tasting and possibly a quick hello with Julie Pedroncelli St. John and her husband Ed. After the tasting, we’ll enjoy a picnic next to the bocce court and sip some Pedroncelli Friends White or Sauvignon Blanc with the vast picnic fare my family packed for us to enjoy.

Travelling back down scenic Dry Creek Road, our last stop is at Timber Crest Farms to visit Peterson Winery. My relationship with Fred Peterson goes back many years, and I’ve always been a huge fan of Peterson wines and am a member of their wine club. Similar to the first two stops, I enjoy the interaction with owner Fred, and his children—Emily, the marketing and sales manager, and Jamie, the winemaker and GM.


Peterson Winery tasting room and winery

Three winery visits have restocked my cellar for several months, so we head back to Santa Rosa, and a short respite before we move on to dinner. The last part of my perfect day will either be appetizers on the deck, followed by my brother-in-law’s spectacular paella, or dinner out. If we opted to go out, my go-to spot is La Gare French Restaurant where I’ll enjoy Escargot, followed by their tableside created Caesar Salad, and Beef Wellington as my entrée. Plus, we’ll enjoy a delicious bottle of Cabernet.


Beef Wellington at La Gare French Restaurant

This is the day I don’t like to see come to an end, but I know I’ll be back to do it again.

Posted by Marcy Gordon

Marcy Gordon is a freelance wine and travel writer. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including Wine Enthusiast, San Francisco Chronicle, Sonoma Magazine, The California Travel Guide, and Forbes Travel Guide. In 2017 she was awarded a fellowship to the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers. She is the co-host of the award winning Wine Road Podcast.

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