I Left My Passport in San Francisco

Last week, theTravelSketcher and I flew to San Francisco to submit applications to the French Embassy for long term stay visas. This has been a dream of ours for a long time; and those of you who are regular followers of our blogs know that we had intended to be settled in France by July 2020. Well, COVID had other plans; so our retirement dream was put on hold. Sigh. I still grieve for those who have suffered due to this relentless virus.

However, thanks to the vaccine, and to the efforts of medical health professionals, scientists and researchers, travel became much safer last year. And hopefully, we’ll be off to France as soon as our passports are returned to us.

Today’s blog, however, is about Soda Rock Winery in Sonoma County, so I apologize for leading you astray with the title of this blog. 😉 After our appointment, we headed over the Golden Gate Bridge, out of the city, and straight to Healdsburg.

Golden Gate Bridge

Once in Healdsburg, we had a delicious lunch at one of our favorite restaurants – Barndiva. The day was sunny and warm, so we ate in the garden. They use locally sourced items and the food is exceptional.

Dessert was amazing; an interesting combination of a light, fluffy sponge cake with quince, pomegranate and lime.

After our filling lunch, we headed to our favorite winery in Sonoma, Soda Rock. We have visited Sonoma dozens of times over the years, and have had the opportunity to taste wines from a multitude of wineries, but Soda Rock is our all time favorite.

Soda Rock is located in one of the original buildings in Alexander Valley. Built in 1869, the building served as a post office, general store and school. It was standing strong until the Kincade Fire tore through the region in 2019 and completely demolished the building, leaving nothing but the stone facade. We were close to tears as we drove up and saw the ruins.

Before the fire
After the fire
The back of the building is held up by wood beams.

The building has been used over the years as a venue for weddings, anniversaries and other special events. The tasting room server told us that it is not uncommon for visitors to be in tears as they arrive, saying they have special memories of an event held there; the loss is great.

Lord Snout

Lord Snout managed to survive the fire. Created by Glen Elen artist, Bryan Tedrick, this large sculpture occupies much of the space in front of the remains of the building.

The owners however, have stayed strong and are carrying on with making delicious wines. Thankfully, the barn was spared (although the fire left its mark) and is now used as the tasting room.

The fire had reached the barn at one point; but was quickly extinguished by some fast acting firefighters.

Soda Rock is known for its Zinfandel, but they make other varieties including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and a sparkling wine. Here is Terry’s description of the Zinfandel: The first sniff hints of the rich Zinfandel to follow, the first taste delivers a full rounded flavor of fruit, finishing off with just a hint of tannin to allow the experience to linger.

My favorite is the Sauvignon Blanc; it’s light and fruity, but not sweet or thin, with very subtle hints of citrus. It perfectly compliments almost any meal.

The property has an interesting history, with the first wines being made here as early as 1880. Click here to read more.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy:

Rock Canyon Vineyards

On the Road Again – Wine Tasting!

Tipsy Baked Mussels on the Half-Shell

Check back next week when I share more about our trip to Sonoma.

Wishing you grand adventures,


15 thoughts on “I Left My Passport in San Francisco

Add yours

  1. Sounds like a productive trip! Hope you get your passports back soon! Beautiful photos, I have not been to Soda Rock but definitely plan to go! Terry’s description of the Zinfandel sounds delightful, hope to try it soon. So glad Lord Snout survived!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a wonderful post… everything about it. Your stories, the way you tell them, and your photography. I loved it. And the location — the best! I can’t wait to read future posts about wine tasting in France. Thank you so much for sharing your adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely place for some wine! I love the character of the building and I can see why it is such a popular place for events. Sending all my best wishes that your visa application comes through soon and you can start your new chapter in France! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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