Want to see what’s behind the no-visitors gate at E. & J. Gallo’s mammoth winery in Dry Creek Valley? Curious why the south-flowing Russian River takes an abrupt turn toward the Pacific? Ever wonder exactly how steamy it is at the Geysers geothermal plant atop Geyser Peak?
Then climb aboard Daniel King’s four- or two-seater helicopter at Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport and take off for a bird’s-eye view of Sonoma and Mendocino. You’ll see so much more from the air than could ever be seen from the ground.
King’s Helico Sonoma offers several tour options, including custom itineraries. And there is no need to wait until spring or summer.
“We fly year-round and winter is actually a very good time to fly, as there is lots of water and green hillsides to enjoy,” King said. “We fly as long as it’s not raining hard or too windy.”
A 30-minute tour is $300 for up to three passengers, a 60-minute flight is $600 (per flight, not per person). Solo flyers can join King for a 30-minute flight for $160.
The whirlybirds don’t touch down at any wineries, but Helico Sonoma has a 20-minute tour package that’s followed by a food-and-wine pairing at Williamson Wines in downtown Healdsburg, for $250.