Canada East Chapter

March 18 2013

Sonoma County

By Jennifer N. Dienst, Contributing Editor
PCMA Convene

Meetings with a perfect blend of sophistication and relaxation

Where can meeting planners earn their “CMP” (Certified Morale Pleaser), turn their attendees into “Sonomads” (those who wander Sonoma County in search of new adventures), and learn how to use a “forkscrew” (a multipurpose utensil facilitating wine and food pairings)? In Sonoma County, a destination so unique it had to create its own language.

Learn to “speak Sonoma,” and experience a host of other “sonomacentric” activities in this laid-back destination that lies just 30 miles north of San Francisco. With 370-plus award-winning wineries, 18 golf courses, more than 40 spas, historic towns, redwood groves, and 55-plus miles of Pacific Ocean coastline, Sonoma County offers plenty of options for group outings as well as leisure-time activities. And no matter where a group stays in Sonoma County, they are never far from an award-winning winery. Wine tastings are just the beginning. Often, winemakers are on hand to discuss the latest varietals in private tasting classes, and groups can even learn to blend and create their own wines.

Beyond its renowned wineries, Sonoma County is home to an exceptional culinary scene, much of it based on its own locally grown or produced ingredients. In fact, farms in Sonoma County have been supplying some of San Francisco's most elite restaurants since the days of the Gold Rush. Many of the destination's 500-plus restaurants include private spaces for groups, from Michelin-rated restaurants to alfresco cafés and cozy roadhouses.

The professional staff of sales managers at Sonoma County Tourism, most of whom are CMPs, can assist planners with their meeting from start to finish — including leads, site inspections, spousal programs, and itineraries.

AT A GLANCE

Meeting facilities

  • Sonoma County's meeting facilities vary from luxury hotels to intimate inns, all with flexible meeting spaces to accommodate groups of every size.

Hotel rooms

  • 6,600

Attractions

  • Beyond the 300 award-winning wineries and 55 miles of Pacific shoreline, local attractions include the Sonoma Raceway, Jack London State Historic Park, Petaluma's Victorian-era downtown, Safari West Wildlife Preserve and African Tent Camp, and more.

For more information: Sonoma County Tourism — 707.522.5800 or 800.576.6662; sales@sonomacounty.comsonomacounty.com

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