Weekend Window: Sonoma County, Calif.

Sonoma County, or Sonoma Wine Country as it is perhaps better known, is located in northern California.

"People who came here from Italy back in the 19th century talk about how much it looks like Tuscany. It looks just like where they came from," local historian Gaye LeBaron said.

Sonoma County calls itself the "premier wine-growing region of the world," and rightfully so.

"We have 30 miles of ocean frontage, redwood groves and, very obviously, vineyards," LeBaron said. "I suspect there's probably considerably more than 200 wineries. We have a history, a long history, of being leaders in the wine industry."

It is an industry that comes natural to the area.

"Winemaking is so successful in Sonoma County because of a lot of natural variables -- foggy mornings and hot summer afternoons -- is a great recipe for world-class wines," said Randy Pitts, a winegrower with Harvest Moon Winery.

When planning a trip tp Sonoma County -- fall is the ideal time.

"This is the best time of year for all Sonoma County-ians," Pitts said. "Anybody who wants to come out to Sonoma County, come out during September and October and watch us pick our fruit."

Visitors watch and learn about the process of making wine, all before they enjoy it!

"Two hundred yards away, we crush it and turn it into must," he said. "We add some yeast, we'll ferment it and we'll press it to barrel all in about 15 days. It's the go time. It's the action time."

At the same time, visitors can sample some of the premier wine in the world.

"Sonoma County is the real wine country," Pitts said. "We're growing some of the best chardonnay, the best pinot noir, some of the best Bordeaux, some of the best dessert wines in the world."

Sonoma County has a taste for every palate.

"I'm not concerned about what wine you're drinking, just as long as you're drinking wine," he said.

For those lucky enough to call this corner of the world home, it is more than vineyards and views.

"To me," LeBaron said, "Sonoma County is home -- the perfect blend of sophistication and country."

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