Sonoma is a historically significant city in Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA, surrounding its historic town plaza, a remnant of the town’s Mexican colonial past. It was the capital of the short-lived California Republic. Today, the city is a center of the state’s wine industry for the Sonoma Valley AVA Appellation, as well as the home of the nationally recognized Sonoma International Film Festival. Sonoma’s population was 10,648 as of the 2010 census, while the Sonoma urban area had a population of 32,678.
The city is situated in the Sonoma Valley, with the Mayacamas Mountains to the east and the Sonoma Mountains to the west, with the prominent landform Sears Point to the southwest.
The city is also considered the birthplace of wine-making in California, dating back to the original vineyards of Mission San Francisco Solano, with improvements made by Agoston Haraszthy, the father of California viticulture and credited with introduction of the Zinfandel/Primitivo grape varietal. The Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival takes place late each September, and is California’s oldest celebration of its winemaking heritage.
The principal watercourse in the town is Sonoma Creek, which flows in a southerly direction to discharge ultimately to the Napa Sonoma Marsh; Arroyo Seco Creek is a tributary to Schell Creek with a confluence in the eastern portion of the town. In terms of fauna, there are a variety of birds, small mammals and amphibians which reside in Sonoma. California quail frequent the riparian areas, while black tailed deer kite, duck, swan, goose, towhee, waxwing, great blue heron, many egret, ibis and hawk, gull, tern, robin, thrush and sparrow species are found locally. Deer, mountain lions, and many small mammals are found locally as well.