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A Little About Sonoma

The name Sonoma, and it's nickname" Valley of the Moon," is traditionally said to be derived from an indigenous word for "many moons". According to the native Miwok, when they walked at night through the valley between the Maycamas and Sonoma Mountains, the moon rose seven times-thus the name Sonoma, or many moons. Dubbed the "Valley of the Moon" by Jack London, a romantic but off-key translation popularized by his semi-autobiographical 1913 novel Valley of the Moon and subsequent 1914 film, the narrow 17 mile Sonoma Valley is as rich in history as it is in natural beauty and agricultural wealth. Often called "The cradle of California history," Sonoma has been ruled by many flags-English, Russian, Spanish, Mexican, and of course, the U. S. Stars and Stripes-and much colonial fervor.  But no other ruling power was quite as colorful as the Bear Flaggers, a seedy band of several dozen American freelance land grabbers.

For its first hundred years as part of the United States, the Sonoma Valley remained a quiet rustic area. Despite Vallejo's efforts, it the town of Sonoma lost its place as the county seat, and the Gold Rush took the flow of business and trade to San Francisco. The valley developed a flourishing wine industry that has survived two great blows, the phylloxera epidemic of the 1870s and the legal impact of Prohibition. After World War II Sonoma Valley began to grow, but it has remained isolated enough to keep its original beauty.  Today it remains a vigorous center of the California wine industry as well as a growing tourist destination.

The land is still the primary focus, and these days it's grabbed up most frequently for vineyards and wineries. In addition to excellent wines, estate-made olive oils, tapenades, and exotic mustards are other culinary claims to fame. From the historic town of Sonoma, fine wine estates, fruit and nut orchards, and livestock and poultry farms scatter out in all directions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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