A new purple bus dubbed The Vine Line is shuttling wine tasters among tasting rooms throughout the lower Sonoma Valley in safety. This is a boon not only to travelers but locals who like to occasionally taste in their own back yard but don’t want to risk a DUI. No pretentous black limousine that telegraphs tourist. No coin tossing to see who has to be the designated driver.
The Vine Line looks suspiciously like a bus that used to be yellow and filled with kids. But now it’s the color of grape juice and has been customized with an open top so riders can enjoy Sonoma’s fresh air and pretty views.
The bush pushes off from the Sonoma Plaza Thursdays through Sundays at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., depositing its last run of tasters back at the square at 5 p.m. Riders can hop on and off at their leisure at wineries in the Carneros south of Sonoma. Right now the shuttle stops at Keating, Meadowcroft, Bonneau, The Cellar Door at The Lodge at Sonoma, Robledo Family Winery and Larson Family Winery. It shows up at each spot every 30 to 40 minutes, so riders can go at their own pace. The Vine Line hopes to add additonal stops in the future.
You can bring a lunch but the shuttle does stop at the Alsina Staton Grill at Cornerstone.
Cost is $25 a person, and includes free parking behind The Barracks on The Plaza or at Cornerstone Sonoma. For a limited time, Sonomans with a valid ID to confirm their address, can ride for free. The cost doesn’t include tasting fees. The shuttle also is currently offering a 10 percent off special price. You can pick up tickets at any stop or by calling 408-3377 or online at Vinelinehoho.com.