A small town with a rich history, the center of the loca-vore food movement, and in the heart of the wine country, Sonoma is content to play country mouse to its citified cousin, Napa. You won’t find enormous tour buses disgorging 100s of passengers in downtown Sonoma. The town is laid back, quiet, and with a population around 10,000, small.

Centered on one of the most beautiful town plazas in the state, with its historic, preserved Mission that dates from 1823, Sonoma has the feel of a small country town. That is, if a small country town boasted more than a dozen tasting rooms of award-winning wineries. Surrounded by vineyards and more than 60 world-class wineries that mix the elegant with the down home, Sonoma is ground zero for great wine and the lifestyle that goes with it.

That means Sonoma is premier destination, sought after for its laid back pace of life, its natural beauty, and its proximity to San Francisco, just 45 miles away. Which means there is plenty to do here – from jazz festivals, to the parade of vintage fire trucks through downtown, to the cooking classes at Ramekins, the Sonoma International Film Festival, or the art openings at Sonoma Valley Museum of Art.

Spacious homes in the vineyards and rolling hills around Sonoma command spectacular views. Today the multimillion-dollar estates of Sonoma range from Tuscan-style villas to more adventurous concrete and glass architectural statements.

For information on the Sonoma real estate marekt, check out our Sonoma real estate market conditions page.