Credit: Miss Chicago on Twitter Photo: Bachelor Season 16 Contestant Erica Uhlig

It’s a wonder they don’t do this every season. Why didn’t ABC take Brad Womack’s ladies to Austin, Texas, on The Bachelor Season 15? Why didn’t Jason Mesnick’s bachelorettes have to get a feel for Seattle at the start on Season 13? If the women are expected to move to where the man lives — and even Bachelorette Ashley Hebert decided to move to fiance JP Rosenbaum instead of the other way around — then why not have the women visit the place ahead of time?

So kudos to The Bachelor Season 16 for bringing winemaker Ben Flajnik’s bachelorettes to Sonoma, CA so early in the season. Taping just started less than a week ago and Bachelor Powers That Be, including show creator Mike Fleiss, have been tweeting details.

@fleissmeister: “Live from the Bachelor set- Ben and the woman are enjoying the wine country and each other. Got a couple crazy jealous chicks already.”

That was on Sept. 24. The Sonoma News has a photo of 11 bachelorettes hanging out in Sonoma. Here’s the photo caption:

"A phalanx of romantic hopefuls, contestants on the next episode of ABC’s hit reality melodrama, The Bachelor, wait in the Plaza amphitheater before going on camera in a series of interviews being taped for the show that stars Sonoma’s own Ben Flajnik as the love interest. Flajnik was also present as camera crews thronged the east side of the Plaza on Sept. 23, as well as during the wee hours of the night before when First Street East was closed to traffic. The show airs in January 2012."

The Morton Report has a few more details:

“According to our sources, during the day, Ben and a mystery lady were seen entering a local store in downtown Sonoma, also known as ‘The Square,’ where they purchased a baton that they saw in the window. The bachelorette twirled her new baton down the street, and apparently, she was pretty good at it, too (really?). The twosome were later seen at a movie theater, but it's not yet clear whether they actually saw a movie, or just stopped in for a visit.”

So Ben is already having fun on a hometown date. Hey, it beats Vegas — where the show has been going a little too often lately. Check out the photo of the bachelorettes here. What do you think?

Sources: The Sonoma News, The Morton Report

 

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Credit: Elyse Myers on Twitter Photo: Bachelor Season 16 Contestant Elyse Myers