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Insider Picks: Ben Flajnik's 7 Favorite Wine Country Spots

Photo courtesy of Envolve Winery

7x7 asks Bay Area insiders to tell us the tricks of their trade, secret spots, and most beloved mainstays. Want to know where local tastemakers spend their time? Email edit@7x7.com, and we'll get the scoop.

Some reality show-loving baydestrians may recognize Ben Flajnik from ABC's The Bachelor, but this winemaker has roots (both literally and figuratively) in our very own, beloved Wine Country. We briefly stole Flajnik away from his work at Envolve Winery to find out where he spends his downtime north of the city. Want to wine and dine like a local on your next trip to Sonoma County? Take notes.

BF: Since I live in San Francisco full time, I think it's safe to say that the quaint, less traveled areas of Sonoma County are my favorite because they feel like a constant vacation. The Carneros appellation is most magical because of its sweeping Pacific winds and more famously, inter-planted pinot noir and chardonnay grapes that thrive so well in the climate. It's about as close to heaven as one can get. Here are my favorite local spots and what to order when you get there:

1. I always enjoy a mid-afternoon stop at Ernie's Tin Bar for a cold beer. (Petaluma)
2. There's nothing like Southern comfort food from Fremont Diner(Sonoma)
3. I'm all about a good old fashioned sandwich from Dry Creek General Store(Healdsburg)
4. Chicken pesto pizza and southwest chicken salad from The Red Grape are personal all-time faves. (Sonoma)
5. The aged, dry jack and the mezzo seco at Vella Cheese Co. are stupid good. (Sonoma)
6. Everything is spot-on at Oenotri, my go-to Italian. (Napa)
7. Try the gin at Spirit Works Distillery - amaze. (Sebastopol)