Sonoma County is full of gorgeous wineries and tasting rooms but few have an actual park with hiking trails on their property. Bartholomew Park Estate Winery has almost 3 miles of trails with panoramic views of the valley as well as young redwoods on their 375-acre property tucked away off the Sonoma Plaza which includes picnic grounds, vineyards, and a beautiful tasting room.
Bartholomew Park Hiking Trail
As you drive in through the vineyards you pass by the grand villa that is a replica of the original built in 1861 by the Harazthy’s. It is stunning! The north gate trailhead for Bartholomew Park starts at the parking lot for the villa and immediately immerses you in the vineyards.
Grape Stomp Trail
Walk through the vineyards toward the duck pond. Careful to stay on the trail and not disturb the grapes! When you walk around the duck pond there’s a bit of a Y in the trail, stay straight and head up Grape Stomp trail. The 2017 fires tore through here and burned most of the trail. The work the Bartholomew Foundation has done to restore the trails is amazing! Once the trees come back you won’t know there was a fire there. Grape Stomp trail climbs up 200 feet at a nice incline. Right now, with the trees having few leaves, you can see views of the valley from this part of the trail. It is narrow and mostly dirt except for the wood stairs.
Bay trees are sprouting up from the base and creating a whole new forest of young bay trees! So great to see how Mother Nature recovers! Grape Stomp drops down into a canyon with a small creek running through and a private road that follows the creek. Enjoy the shade here then walk across the road and up a short set of stairs to resume the trail on the other side. Grape Stomp trail begins to climb again into a more mixed forest with manzanitas, madrones, bays, and a couple of firs here and there. Benicia’s Lake will be down below you on your right as you start to descend into a young redwood grove. Signs of the fire are evident here as well. 🙁 Head up out of the canyon on You-Walk Miwok trail.
You-Walk Miwok Trail
You-Walk Miwok trail begins to climb and at the T-junction, you can climb higher and go to the left and stay on You-Walk Miwok or head to the left and take Angel’s Flight trail. We opted to take Angel’s Flight trail here.
Angel’s Flight trail was lined with manzanitas and started to head downhill. The trail opened up to meadows with trees on one side of the trail and views of the valley on the other! We could see all the way across the valley and above the Sonoma Plaza! At Shortcut trail we rejoined You-Walk Miwok trail and continued up. The intent was to see as much of the park and experience as many views as possible on our hot summer day and this route did not disappoint!
When reaching the junction with You-Walk Miwok trail there’s a little knoll with an oak tree and bench to relax and enjoy the views. They were pretty spectacular from up there! The San Pablo Bay and Mount Tam were in the distance and the Sonoma Valley was spread out below. We spent a few minutes here enjoying the slight breeze and views before heading downhill.
You-Walk Miwok trail becomes more and more shaded as you reach the bottom with the stream flowing through. The shade was very welcome! The stream separates Bartholomew Park Estate from Buena Vista Winery. There was a feud between the two property owners years ago so access to either property is blocked and one would need to go all the way out and back in the other road to access it. Young redwoods line the trail before it opens back up to the vineyards. Head toward the villa!
Bartholomew Park Villa
The grounds around Bartholomew Park Villa are incredible! The landscape is expertly done. There is a restroom in the small white building set just next to the villa. We washed up and grabbed our picnic of cheese and fruit. Lounging on the picnic tables in the shade of the trees we looked on toward the vineyards and cooled off. Our day could have ended here and it would have been perfect! After a refreshing rest, we gathered our picnic up and headed toward the winery for some wine tasting.
Bartholomew Park Estate Winery
The Bartholomew Park Estate Winery building has been renovated and it definitely shows! We loved the architecture of the winery as well as the bright white and cool blue around the door. It gives the old world feeling but also the 21st-century feeling. Very well done! Walk in the rustic door and enjoy the air conditioning. There’s a glow from the wine showcased to your left which draws you directly to the tasting room. Bartholomew Park Estate Winery opened up under new ownership and a new winemaker April 2019. The decor and style of wines showcase a winery that has changed and has been brought forward into the future to stay.
Amazing colorful wines line the back wall of the tasting room and are lit up like art. Wine is definitely an art and these wines showed off for the artist/winemaker. The 2018 Sauvignon Blanc was surprisingly smooth and refreshing at the same time. It didn’t have as much tart as most do. Delicious on a hot summer day! The 2018 Rosé of Zin was smooth and buttery but light and still refreshing like a rosé usually is. Also perfect summer drinking! We both love reds. The 2018 Zinfandel was young but very smooth and great for any day of the week and any dinner. The 2017 Zinfandel was more our style. Big, bold yet smooth and easy to enjoy. All of their wines are meant to be enjoyed when you purchase them. This we can get behind! Wine is meant to be enjoyed and special wine is even better with good company! Can’t wait to pop open the 2017 Zin we purchased at our next barbecue!
After walking around admiring the art from local artists in their gallery we packed up and headed to the Sonoma Plaza for dessert. We each got our favorites scoop of ice cream at Sweet Scoops and walked over to sit under the large ginkgo trees in the park. It was a warm day in Sonoma and can’t think of a better way to spend time in this town!
Let us know in the comments below what your idea of a perfect day of wine tasting looks like!
Bartholomew Park Hiking Trails are open daily 10 am – 4:30 pm, parking is free, there is a flush toilet in the parking lot, dogs on leash ok, picnic grounds and wine tasting in the Bartholomew Park Estate Winery! Wine tasting is $15/person and the winery is open 11 am – 4:30 pm daily.
Our hike: 2.8 miles, 525 ft elevation gain/loss, half shade, and half sun. Easy hike with a few steep spots.
Things We Love:
Hiking and wine! Oh yes and the bosslady loves her Columbia Skort. It is perfect for a day around town with a short hike in between. Super comfy, UPF 50 protection, repels moisture AND has pockets! It’s her go-to during the summer! Check them out for yourself by clicking the Amazon link below: