When you visit Sonoma wineries in Sonoma County, you'll find well-priced, user-friendly wines made by some of California's finest and most experienced winemakers. This makes Sonoma wineries the perfect place to visit when you go wine tasting. Next time you're in Sonoma, consider visiting some of these top wineries for a great wine tasting experience.
Visit Top Sonoma Wineries
Sonoma County currently has more than 400 wineries in its 1,768 square miles. Unless you're planning to visit for a long time, it's impossible to visit them all, but there are definitely some standouts to consider.
Sonoma House at Patz & Hall
The Sonoma House at Patz & Hall is located in the city of Sonoma. Nestled among the vineyards, the Sonoma House at Patz & Hall is a beautifully modern building with a picture-perfect tasting room, knowledgeable employees, and great Burgundy varietals, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The winery is located at 21200 8th Street E in Sonoma, and the tasting room is open daily from 10 AM to 4 PM.
- Walk-ins are welcome, though groups of five or more will need to make a reservation by calling 707.265.7700.
- Cost of a walk-in wine tasting is $35, and you will taste four of the winery's single-vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay offerings.
- Guests who wish for a deeper tasting experience can make a reservation 48 hours in advance for the $75 private Salon Experience, which includes pairing single-vineyard wines with local gourmet food.
- Winery tours are not available.
Ledson Winery & Vineyards
Ledson Winery & Vineyards is the quintessential, picture-perfect Sonoma winery. Located at 7335 Highway 12 in Kenwood, the winery is a gorgeous castle estate on pristine grounds featuring vineyards, grassy areas, terraces, and fountains. Inside, you'll find a beautifully appointed estate that includes a large tasting room, several seating areas, and a large marketplace of wines and local gourmet foods.
- Walk-in visitors can enjoy the classic tasting experience at one of three tasting bars. For $30 (tax included), you'll taste some of the estate's best current releases, choosing from two different tasting menus that include wines such as Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Viognier, among many others.
- Private tastings are also available by reservation. The tasting costs $75 and includes private suite wine tastings led by an expert offering several of the winery's many offerings.
Seghesio Family Vineyards
Located at 700 Grove Street in Healdsburg, the Seghesio Family Vineyards winery is well-known for producing top notch Zinfandel wines along with other Italian wine varietals. The winery is open daily from 10:30 AM to 5 PM, and the tasting room offers a peekaboo view of wine fermenting in barrels as you taste.
- Walk-in visitors can enjoy a classic 45-minute tasting flight of some of Seghesio's most popular wines for just $20. Wines include current release Zinfandels and other Italian varietals such as Barbera, Aglianico, and Rosato. Groups of more than 5 are encouraged to make a reservation by contacting the winery at 707.433.3579.
- You can also book a reservation Friday through Sunday at 10:30 AM to enjoy the Old Vines Flight in the Old Vine Cellar Lounge, which is a 90-minute guided tasting experience through the winery's old vines wines accompanied by charcuterie.
- Visitors are also invited to enjoy the grounds, including the outdoor grove and bocce courts.
Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs
Ridge Vineyards has been a pioneer in the California Zinfandel since the winemaker, Paul Draper, started making wines back in 1969. The Lytton Springs winery is in Dry Creek Valley, and the building is 100% straw bale construction. A solar array powers the entire facility with the intent of being environmentally friendly. The tasting room, located at 650 Lytton Springs Road in Healdsburg, is open daily from 11 AM to 4 PM (or until 5 PM Friday through Sunday).
- Walk-in visitors are encouraged although groups of 8 or more should contact the winery for a reservation. Cost of a walk-in tasting is $10 to $25 depending on which of the three flights you choose to taste.
- You can also reserve an estate tour and tasting, a semi-private experience costing $35 and requiring a reservation. Tours are offered at 10 AM and 2 PM and limited to 10 adults.
- For $45 and with a reservation, you can book one of two semi-private library tasting experiences, featuring library selections from the winery. A minimum of 4 adults are required for the tasting with a maximum of ten.
Jacuzzi Family Vineyards
If the name sounds familiar, you're not wrong. Jacuzzi Family Vineyards is owned by the same family as the maker of the bath and spa. The winery started as a family winery making wine for home consumption in the 1930s, and Jacuzzi Family Vineyards was opened in 2007 as a tribute to Valeriano Jacuzzi. The winery, located at 24724 Arnold Drive in Sonoma is open daily from 10 AM to 5:30 PM and features well-made Italian style wines served on beautiful, Tuscan-style grounds.
- Walk-in tastings are available. The cost is $15, and you'll be guided through five different Italian style wines including Nebbiolo, Primitivo (Italian-style Zinfandel), and Pinot Grigio, among others.
- For $20, you can enjoy a tour and tasting lasting about 1 hour. You'll taste the Italian style wines and see how they're made while touring the beautiful estate.
- Add $15, and you can enjoy a cheese plate with your tour and tasting.
Korbel Champagne Cellars
Almost everyone has heard of Korbel Champagne Cellars, which resides in the heart of the Russian River Valley at 13250 River Road in Guerneville. It's a beautiful, historic facility, and the tours are very informative for the novice wine drinker. They also have a deli on-site in case you get the munchies.
- The tasting room is open daily from 10 AM to 4:30 PM and the complimentary tasting allows you to try some of the winery's current releases.
- Winery tours are also available, leaving on the hour and lasting about 50 minutes. View a full schedule of tours.
- Private winery tours and tastings are also available for $20 per person. You'll need to make a reservation 10 days in advance by calling 707.824-7709 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Korbel Champagne Cellars also has beautiful gardens, which are available for tours as well.
Located in the heart of the Russian River Valley, you can visit Martinelli Winery, known for its fabulous Pinot Noir and Chardonnay cultivated by the Martinelli family.
More Great Sonoma Wineries
If you have additional time to spend in Sonoma, consider visiting some of the following wineries to round out your trip.
- Hartford Winery-Located at 8075 Martinelli Road in Forestville, this is a beautiful winery nestled into the hills of the Russian River making fantastic Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, and a few Zinfandels. During the fall it's an absolutely stunning drive to get there with all the leaves turning colors.
- J Vineyards and Winery-Located at 11447 Old Redwood Highway in Healdsburg, this winery/sparkling wine house was started by Judy Jordan (daughter of Tom Jordan of Jordan Winery) with the intent of serving her wines with food. To this day, the winery showcases its wines with food pairings made on premises by the chef.
- Robert Young- Located at 5102 Red Winery Road in Geyserville, Robert Young planted grapes many years ago and the name became famous when other wineries made wine from his grapes. Now, years later, he's making his own wines from his grapes. They pour everything, including their Scion (high-end Bordeaux blend).
- Lynmar Winery- This winery is located at 3909 Frei Road in Sebastopol. The winery has been around for a while, but recently they have built caves and a new hospitality center that is gorgeous, set in the Russian River overlooking the Santa Rosa Laguna. The wine tasting is a sit down experience. You get served the wines by a specialist who brings them to your table and chats with you about their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
A Detailed Look at Sonoma Wineries
Sonoma wineries are among some of the best rated wines in the world, and for good reason. Driving through Sonoma County, you'll notice significant variations in the weather and temperature, creating an array of micro-climates that allow vineyard owners to grow multiple grape varietals successfully. Currently, the county has more than 62,000 acres of grapes planted with 66 varieties of grapes grown by around 1,800 growers.
The county also has 18 AVAs (American Viticulture Areas), which are geographic areas within the county that display unique characteristics that differentiate themselves from all other areas (such as climate, soils, terroir, etc.) spreading across mountains and hills, river valleys, and the Pacific Ocean coast.
- Dry Creek
- Russian River Valley
- Sonoma Coast
- Los Carneros (shared with Napa Valley)
- Chalk Hill
- Green Valley of Russian River Valley
- Knights Valley
- Sonoma Valley
- Sonoma Mountain
- Alexander Valley
- Bennett Valley
- Northern Sonoma
- Fort Ross-Seaview
- Fountaingrove District
- Moon Mountain District Sonoma County
- Northern Sonoma
- Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak
As with any wine tasting trip, the more you plan ahead, the better off you are. Frequently, wineries have special requirements for tasting (by appointment, no large groups, etc.), and some Sonoma wineries are not even open to the public, so definitely call ahead. It's also handy to get a map, which you can do beforehand by going to a few websites, such as Wine Road, where you can get a map of the areas and plan ahead where you want to go. It's the most effective way to plan your route so you're not backtracking and wasting time driving.
Enjoy Sonoma Wineries
Ask the personnel at the wineries you visit for their recommendations, or stay at a top-notch wine focused hotel in the area such as the Vintner's Inn in Santa Rosa. They have the most current, inside knowledge to the other wineries in the area, so tap that resource. You might discover some new ones that you can take your friends too. Enjoy the experience!