Best wineries to visit in Sonoma?

I’m going to be visiting Sonoma in a few weeks, and I was wondering if anyone could recommended some good wineries to visit. The only one I know I’m going to for sure is Sojourn, which I’m really looking forward to, but I know there are a lot of other good ones that are open to the public. Thanks ahead of time for your input [cheers.gif]

Pinot, Chard, Zin, etc.?

Sonoma is a big area with many types of wine and wine styles. Which wines do you like? That might help narrow down things a bit.

Not sure it’s the best, but Benovia is wonderful. Their chards and pinots are all excellent, and our tasting was the most fun I had when in Sonoma. We tasted through their current release (it was their first full release), then tasted through the barrell samples for everything they had. It was really neat to get to taste through lots from the same vineyard sitting in different barrels. Really got to see how each cooper’s style adds a different component to the wine. Very friendly too.

Are you just going to be in the town of Sonoma or other parts of the county? If you’re just staying in the town, around the corner from Sojourn just off the square is Roessler, which is defintely worth a visit.

I booked a sit-down tasting at Sojourn, so that should be a lot of fun, especially since they have great Pinot Noir and Cab Sav. I’ll def. check out Roessler and Benovia as well. I was also looking at Ridge and Papietro Perry since I’ve enjoyed their wines in the past.

I’m pretty much into almost all red varietals, but PN is probably my favorite, especially from this region. I guess I was looking for some insight into some of the more “under the radar” wineries. The George Winery makes really good Pinot Noir’s, but he doesn’t do public tastings unfortunately.

Thanks for all the input so far.


The thing with Sonoma is how spread out it is. Ridge and Papapietro are a good 45 minutes, maybe more, from the town of Sonoma. If you have several days, schedule tastings in the subregions; town of Sonoma, Dry Creek Valley, Russian River, etc. It will be much more enjoyable and relaxing.

Margot - Keep in mind that Sojorn and Rossler are in the town of Sonoma, while Russian River producers like Benovia are close to an hour away, west of Santa Rosa. Plan accordingly - I would spend a day in the town of Sonoma (Sojorn, Rossler, etc.), and travel up Sonoma Valley to Glen Ellen or Kenwood. Then go out to West Co. the second day (Hwy 101 corridor) and visit your favorites in the RRV and Dry Creek Valley. Trying to do a one-day run through Sojorn, Rossler, Benovia and Ridge would not be my idea of fun - you would do more driving than tasting.

If you are in Glen Ellen or Kenwood (or general area) I’d highly recommend the folks at Paradise Ridge, as well as Audelssa

I’m more of a northern sonoma guy myself. If you are interested in venturing as far north as Geyserville, there are many options. Here are the stops I often make (some more under the radar than others), in no particular order:

Dutton Goldfield
Williams Selyem (appt. needed)
Wind Gap (appt. needed)
B Kosuge Wines (appt. needed)
Shane (appt needed)
Merry Edwards
Gary Farrell

Most of these wineries do zinfandel, many do pinot and chardonnay. A few even syrah and cabernet. Good luck!

Sorry guys, I probably should have been more specific…the first stop will be Sojourn, and from there we are driving to Healdsburg, which is where we’re staying. I’m on the Williams Selyem mailing list, so I’m definitely going to reserve a tasting with them (I didn’t realize I could). I might have time for one more in Healdsburg, but we’ll see. [cheers.gif]

Holdredge [cheers.gif]

If going to Selyem, stop by Porter Creek which is on the same road. No appt, just a tasting shack. Good zins.

Also, consider David Coffaro, some interesting stuff he bottles on Dry Creek Road. Of course there is Ramey, great wines but you taste from a commercial building. Ridge is definitely worth it, wines are good and you get to taste the Monte Bello. A bit further south is Paul Hobbs where all the wines are insanely good. I would also say Gary Farrell and Merry Edwards are very good wines, but the Farrell facility is gorgeous as well. Good luck in choosing…

If you are going to Merry Edwards, stop by and try the pinots and chardonnays at Lynmar. Spectacular garden at the winery enhances the visit. [cheers.gif]

Fall 2010 I really enjoyed Unti Vineyards, and their great Zin and Grenache. Small place, need an appointment. The weird little farm stand/strip mall where Papapietro and Kokomo are co-located (with a bunch of others) is also kind of a fun stop.

considering you have sojourn and then william selyem, i’d second the suggestion to finish up at holdredge in healdsburg.

If you’re going to be in Healdsburg, another strong vote for Holdredge.

Definitely visit Scherrer for the excellent pinot and cabernet. Loxton is an entertaining visit with good wines. If you have the time visit Peay for an outstanding lineup of pinot syrah and chard. Dehlinger is also one of my must visit locations.

And this is why I love this site…thanks everyone. Are appointments needed at Holdredge?