Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

Sonoma County, or Sonoma as it is regularly referred to on the wine boards, is a very large area spread over nearly 1,800 sq/mi and incorporating 16 different AVAs. Elevations from sea level to almost 2,700’ make it an area of multiple hills, valleys, pastures and micro-climates. So many threads pop up here asking where to go and/or where to stay when visiting Sonoma. Being a local I want to scream “Be more specific!” Sonoma is a town but is also the name of the County. To me Sonoma is the town of. To the traveler it is the wine region. Giving you the proper advice hinges on multiple factors. Here are a few things to consider when asking for advice from Berserkers.

Where are you going?

Some AVAs are spread apart to where visiting more than one or two in a day is not a good choice so be aware of the location of your winery choices before mapping out your tastings.

Alexander Valley - Begins Southeast of Healdsburg and reaches to Cloverdale in the North

Bennett Valley - Extends Southeast from East Santa Rosa.

Carneros-Sonoma - Nestled between the Southern edge of Napa and the Southern edge of Sonoma along San Pablo Bay.

Chalk Hill - Stretches from the southeast of Windsor (Pleasant Ave) north to Hwy 128 in the Alexander Valley.

Dry Creek Valley - Stretches West of Healdsburg to Lake Sonoma

Fort Ross - Seaview - Within the Northern part of the Sonoma Coast AVA

Green Valley of Russian River Valley - A small area within the RRV to the West of Hwy 116 and the East of the Occidental Ridge, North of occidental Rd up to Forestville and the Russian River.

Knights Valley - South of the Alexander Valley under the looming Mount St Helena

Moon Mountain - on the West facing slope of the Mayacamas overlooking Sonoma.

Northern Sonoma - This AVA encompasses everything that isn’t within the Sonoma Coast and Sonoma Valley area but has a small piece that holds the name Northern Sonoma and that is in between the Dry Creek Valley and Sonoma Coast AVAs along Skaggs Springs Rd through Annapolis.

Pine Mountain - Cloverdale Peak above the North end of the Alexander Valley

Petaluma Gap - The newest AVA, the Gap stretches from Rohnert Park in the North, the West facing slopes of Sonoma Mountain in the East, to the town of Bodega Bay in the West, South to Point Reyes and Southeast through Chileno Valley, Petaluma and follows the Petaluma River to San Pablo Bay. Map Link

Rockpile - Stuffed up into the hills at the Northwest end of the Dry Creek Valley overlooking Lake Sonoma

Russian River Valley - Central-most to the County this AVA stretches from Rohnert Park in the South to Healdsburg in the North. This AVA alone and its’ 100+ wineries could be the focus of an entire week.
Map Link

Sonoma Coast - Runs the length of the County from San Pablo Bay to past Fort Bragg in the North containing the Petaluma Gap, Occidental, Freestone, Bodega, Jenner, Sea Ranch, Cazadero and more.

Sonoma Mountain - Approximately 10 miles of ridgeline beginning at the southern tip of Bennet Valley and stretching South.

Sonoma Valley - Along Hwy 12 from Pythian Rd (Oakmont Retirement Community) to Carneros in Sonoma. Encompassing Kenwood, Glen Ellen, Agua Caliente, Boyes Hot Springs, El Verano and Sonoma proper.

Where should you stay?

It would make sense to set up camp close to where you are planning to visit, taste, eat for convenience sake as well as for punctuality because traffic can be unpredictable.

Tasting in Carneros, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma Mountain, Moon Mountain AVAs? You probably should be staying in either Sonoma, Glen Ellen or Kenwood.

Bennet Valley, Russian River Valley, Green Valley, Sonoma Coast locations are begging you to stay in or around the Santa Rosa area. This includes Sebastopol, Forestville, Occidental, Guerneville to the West in order to make your plans flow easily.

Chalk Hill, Dry Creek, Rockpile, Alexander Valley, Knights Valley, Pine Mountain wineries say Healdsburg/Geyserville/Windsor are your best lodging choice. Knights Valley is a tough one as it is closer to Calistoga than anywhere else but then again there aren’t a lot of wineries there, just vineyards.

It may make sense to spilt your stay between different locations to accommodate your plans. Or, if you like driving, choose one central location and travel out from there. Just keep in mind that if you are staying in Sonoma and you want to have dinner in Healdsburg you have a drive of over an hour, much of it on winding 2 lane roads, to get back to your room.

Are you traveling with Children? Or is it an Adult Only affair?

Some accommodations/wineries/restaurants are not as kid friendly as others. This may factor in you plans in a big way. Knowing this information up front ensures you get better advice. Also, knowing you have children along for the ride means you may need some non-wine related activities as well. Lots of this around here from Canoe Trips on the Russian River, to the Charles Shulz Museum/Snoopy’s Redwood Ice Arena, to Safari West Wild Game Preserve, to Sonoma Canopy Tours Zip-Lining, Coppola has lounge chairs around a pool where you can swim and enjoy the sun etc… Be specific!

What’s your budget?

Not everyone can afford Madrona Manor, The Farmhouse Inn, Dry Creek Kitchen, $1,000/btl wine lists, $75+/btl wineries. Some might want to cut back on the hotel to be able to afford more/better wines. Others may just be looking for the overall experience. Knowing your price range plays a big role.

What’s the weather like?

The weather is generally mild most of the year, compared to other parts of the country, but temperatures can vary drastically from one AVA to the next. More so in the Summer/Fall months. Winters are rainy but otherwise sunny. Spring brings warmer days but cool evenings. As soon as the sun dips the temps drop 20 degrees. Don’t get caught with your pants down. Summers are normally warm and sunny with morning fog that burns off between 9-11am depending on location. If you wake up early and see blue skies and no sign of fog or any overcast be prepared for a hot day. Afternoon temps range from high 70’s to high 90’s with occasional 100+ spurts. The afternoons bring breezes caused by the coastal fog influence. They blow between 4pm and 6pm. Once the temps stabilize the wind goes away and the evenings are mild and pleasant. Fall is one of the best times of year as the days are warm and the evenings stay beautiful. Best times for night time outdoor activities is Aug-Oct.

The rainy season is Halloween through May. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day rain is rare. The hillsides dry up and everything other than trees and irrigated farms and landscaping turns brown. Fire danger is very real. Keep cigarette butts in ash trays not out windows. Roadside fires in Summer months are very common.

Be prepared for hot to cool weather. If you are leaving your hotel in shorts bring a pair of long pants and a sweater just in case. Vice-versa if you are leaving in sweaters and long pants bring shorts, t-shirt and flip flops. You can leave 90 degree weather in Healdsburg and find high 60’s and blowing fog in the Petaluma Gap. 80 in Sonoma, 90 in Kenwood, 75 in Santa Rosa 85 in Forestville and 65 in Jenner/Bodega Bay all in the same 1-1/2hour drive. Best to be prepared, especially if you are driving a convertable.

Winery Listings by AVA (under construction)
This started out as “Recommended Wineries” but what do I know, everyone has different tastes, not everyone is as geeky about this as the next. It’s not up to me to decide who should or should not be listed here so I am listing every winery I am aware of. You can choose yours based on your preferences.

Please note that many producers use Custom Crush Facilities such as Punch Down Cellars, Vinify etc… So where they are based may differ from where their fruit comes from or where their tasting will take place. Shore those details up with the winery beforehand.

Disclaimer: I crossed the County Line with my Carneros listings but Carneros is Carneros. Part of it is in Sonoma and another part in Napa.

Note: If you have a Visa Signature card you can get free tastings at these wineries:
http://www.sonomawine.com/visa-signature-perks/vs-winery-guide
VISA Signature also sponsors the “Taste of Sonoma” aka “Wine Country Weekend” held in September every year. The biggest annual food and wine event in Sonoma County. The grand tasting at MacMurray Ranch in Healdsburg is a massive event.

Winery Map That Actually Works! (Under Construction)
Here is a great place to map out your tasting day
Sonoma Winery/Tasting Room Map

Click on the “Spoiler” under each heading to expand.

Variety AbbreviationsAs used in the winery listings:
AG - Aglianico
AB - Albarińo
AL - Alicante Bouschet
AR - Arnies
BA - Barbera
BF - Blaufränkisch
BR - Brunello
BX - Bordeaux Bland
CB - Charbono
CE - Couniose
CH - Chenin Blanc
CF - Cabernet Francs
CG - Carignane
CL - Claret
CN - Cinsault
CS - Cabernet Sauvignon
CY - Chardonnay
DO - Dolcetto
DW - Dessert Wine
FB - Fumé Blanc
GB - Grenache Blanc
GN - Grenache
GV - Grüner Vetliner
GW - Gewürtztraminer
IW - Ice Wine
LG - Lagrein
LH - Late Harvest
LR - Lenoir
MA - Malvasia Bianca
MB - Malbec
MG - Meritage
MO - Moscato
MQ - Musqué
MU - Muscat
MS - Marsanne
MT - Merlot
MV - Mourvédre
NB - Nebbiolo
ND - Nero d’Avola
OV - Old Vine Field Blend Red/White
PB - Pinot Blanc
PG - Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris
PN - Pinot Noir
PN - Pinot Meunier
PO - Primitivo
PT - Port
PV - Petit Verdot
RB - Ribolla Gialla
RG - Riesling
RH - Rhone Blend
RO- Rousanne
RS - Rosé
SB - Sauvignon Blanc
SC - Scheurebe
SE - Semillon
SG - Sangiovese
SM - Sauvignon Musqué
SN - Siena
SO - Schioppettino
SR - Southern Rhone
SV - Sylvaner
SW - Sparkling Wine
SY - Syrah
SZ - Shiraz
TA - Tannant
TF - Tocai Friulano
TG - Trousseau Gris
TJ - Tokaji Aszú
TM - Tempranillo
TN - Touriga Nacional
TR - Trousseau
VD - Verdelho
VG - Viognier
VN - Vernaccia
VR - Vermentino
WR - White Rhone Blend
ZN - Zinfandel

  • Berserker Recommended

Berserker Businesses are Highlighted Red

Alexander Valley- Alexander Valley Vineyards - Daily 10-5 CY, GW, RS, BX, MT, PN, RH, SY, ZN

For the most part, these recently established brands produce small lots of ultra premium wine in artisan production facilities located outside of the Valley. They are likewise open to visitors by appointment only.

Barbed Oak Vineyards - By Appointment Only CY, PN

Enkidu Wines - Daily 12-6 CY, RS, SB, CS, PN, PS, RH, SY, ZN

Calluna Vineyards - 11-5 Fri-Sun Mon-Thu by appt @ - Vinoteca Tasting Collective in Santa Rosa CS, MT, BX

Vérité Wines - Appt only - High end Bordeaux Blends CF, CS, MTDry Creek ValleyCanyon Rd

  • Frick - 12-4:30 Sat-Sun (Canyon Rd to Walling Rd) MT, SY, RS, CG, RS, GN, GB, CN, CE, MV, VG, SR
  • Pedroncelli Winery - Daily 10-4:30 CY, CS, MT, PS, PN, SY, ZN, RS, BX, SB, SG, PT

Dry Creek Rd

Mauritson Family Winery - Daily 10-5 Dry Creek @ Lytton Springs CY, CF, CS, PS, SY, ZN, BX, SB, MB, PT

Nalle Winery - Sat 12-4:30 otherwise by apt CY, PN, ZN, BX

Talty Winery - Fri-Sun 12-4 otherwise by appt ZN

Healdsburg

Lytton Springs Rd

Ridge Lytton Springs - Mon-Fri-11-4 Sat-Sun 11-5 CY, CS, PS, SY, ZN, BX, CG, RH, GN, PO

Middle of Nowhere
Stewarts Point-Skaggs Springs Rd

West Dry Creek Rd

Westside Rd

  • Armida - Daily 11-5 CY, CS, MT, PN, ZN, SB, PG
  • DaVero Farms and Winery - Daily 11-5 Winter Thu-Mon House made Olive Oils! CY, RG, CS, PN, ZN, RS, SB, MB, SN, BA, SG
  • De La Montanya - Weekends 11-4:30 (Westside Rd to Foreman Ln) M-F by appt CY, CS, MT, PN, ZN, SB, VG
  • MacPhail Family Wines - Appt Only (Westside to Kinley to Magnolia) CY, PN, RS
  • Mill Creek Winery - Daily 10-5 CY, CS, MY, SY, ZN, SB, GW, MG, PT
  • Uptick Vineyards - Daily 11-5 CY, CS, PN, SY, ZN, RS, SB, SWFort Ross - Seaview- Enfield Wine Company - Terroir driven Amador, Napa and Sonoma County wines. Appt only in Santa Rosa CY, CS, SY, TM

Flowers Vineyard & Winery- Appt only CY, PN

Hirsch Winery - Appt only CY, PN

Peay Vineyards - By appt to mailing list customers only CY, RO/MR, VG, PN, SY

  • Wild Hog Winery - Appt only CG, DO, PN, SG, SY, ZNGreen Valley of Russian River ValleyGraton
  • Dutton Goldfield - daily 10-4:30 Graton Rd @ Hwy 116 CY, PN, SY

Red Car Wines - daily 10-5 next door to Dutton Goldfield CY, PN, SY

Sebastopol

Amapola Creek Winery - Appt only Mon-Fri CY, RS, CS, RH, PS, SY, ZN

Ravenswood Winery - Daily 10-4:30 CY, CS, MT, OV, Ps, ZN

  • Repris Wines - By appt only (707) 931-7701 CY, CF, CS, GN, SY, MT, MV, BX, ZN
  • Schulz Cellars - By appt AB, MG, ZN
  • Sky Vineyards - By appt SY, ZN, LH/ZNNorthern Sonoma- E J Gallo Winery - CYPine Mountain - Cloverdale Peak- Pine Mountain Vineyards - By appt CS
  • Bob Dog Wine - By appt CF, CS, MT, PV, ZN, PT
  • Captûre Wines - By appt only CY, SB, RS, BX, CS
  • Ispiri Wines - By appt BX, CS, PV
  • Miro Cellars - by appt CS, PS, RH, ZN
  • Respite Wines - By appt CSRockpileThere are no wineries within the Rockpile AVA but the following labels use its’ fruit.
  • Beekeeper Cellars
    530 Molino St. Loft 218, Los Angeles, CA 90013
    707-939-5611
  • Bella Vineyards
    9711 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, CA
    707-473-9171
  • Branham Wines
    1929 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, CA
    707-738-0577
  • Bruliam Wines
    P.O. Box 92, Healdsburg, CA
    707-738-0577
  • Carol Shelton
    3354-B Coffey Lane Santa Rosa, CA
    707-575-3441
  • Davenport Wines
    P.O. BOX 863, Geyserville, CA 95441
    707-849-3743
  • JC Cellars
    55 4th Street, Oakland, CA 94607
    510-465-5900

Mauritson Family Winery - Daily 10-5 Dry Creek @ Lytton Springs CY, CF, CS, PS, SY, ZN, BX, SB, MB, PT

  • Paradise Ridge Winery DESTROYED BY FIRE
    4545 Thomas Lake Harris Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
    707-528-9463
  • Robert Biale Vineyards
    4038 Big Ranch Road, Napa, CA 94558
    707-257-7555
  • Rock Wall Wines
    2301 Monarch Street, Alameda, CA 94501
    510-522-5700
  • Seghesio Family Vineyards
    700 Grove Street, Healdsburg, CA
    707-433-3579
  • St. Francis
    100 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95409
    1-888-675-WINE
  • Stryker Sonoma Winery
    5110 California 128, Geyserville, CA 95441
    800-433-1944
  • Valdez Family Winery
    595 Santana Drive Suite A, Cloverdale, CA
    707-894-3710Russian River ValleyForestville

Agharta Wines - Appt only CS, WR, BX, SY

Joseph Swan Vineyards - Open Sat-Sun 11-4:30 and on selected Holidays. CY, GW, PG, RS, PN, ZN, CG, SY, TA

RYME/VERSE Cellars - Appt only AG, RB, VR, CF / CY, PN

Wilde Farm Wines - Appt only CY, RS, PN, SY, ZN

  • Wine Guerrilla - Tasting Room in downtown F’ville open 11-5 daily - SVD and Appellatiion Old Vine Zinfandel

Fulton

Fogline Vineyards - M-Th by appt. F-Su 11am-4pm CY, PN, SY, ZN River Rd across from Old World Winery JWO PG&E Substation.

Graton

  • Paul Matthew Vineyards - Tasting Room open Thu-Sun 10:30-4:30 9060 Graton Rd CH, CF, PN, RS
  • Dutton Estate Winery - Tasting Room open daily Hwy 116 @ Green Valley Rd CY, SB, PN, SY
  • Graton Ridge Cellars - Tasting room open daily Spring and Summer, weekends in Fall and Winter Hwy 116 @ Vine Hill Rd
    CY, PN, ZN, PT, DW

Guerneville

Healdsburg
Eastside Rd

Copain Wines - Tasting by Appt only. Eastside Rd CY, RS, PN, SY

Healdsburg
Westside Rd

  • Arista Wine - Tasting room open 11-5 daily CY, GW, PN, ZN

Gary Farrell Winery - Open daily 10:30-4:30 CY, SB, PN, SY, ZN

Porter Creek Winery - Tasting room open daily 10:30-4:30 Westsid Rd CY, VG, CG, PN, SY, ZN

Rochioli Estate - Open daily 11-4 Thu-Mon Tue-Wed by appt Westside Rd next to Hop Kiln CY, SB, PN

Williams-Selyem - Appt only CY, CB, PN, ZN, RS, SW

Healdsburg
Old Redwood Hwy

Healdsburg
Limerick lane

Limerick Lane Winery - Daily 10-5 PN, RH, ZN

Healdsburg
Downtown

Arnot-Roberts - appt only CY, CS, OV, PN, RB, RS, TR, SY, ZN

Holdredge Wines - Fri-Sat-Sun 11-5 PN, SO

Santa Rosa

Barbed Oak - appt only CY, PN

Dirty & Rowdy Family Winery - Appt only SE, MV, PS

Novy Family Wines - Daily 10-3 CY, GW, PB, SB, VG, PM, PN, SY, ZN

Siduri Winery- open daily tastings on the hour 10-3 by appt PN

  • Sunce Winery - Open daily 10:30-5 CY, MA, SB, VG, AB, BA, CF, CG, DO, MB, MG, MT, MV, NB, SG, SY, RS, PN, PS, SY, ZN, DW, LH
  • Tara Bella Winery - Appt only CS
  • Walter Hansel - Wine Bar/Bistro on Guerneville Rd in old Zazu location CH, SB, PN

Sebastopol

Dehlinger Winery - Private Tours and tastings between Apr-Aug 2 week min adv notice CY, CS, PN

Pax Wine Cellars - Appt only CY, GN, SY

Scherrer - Appt only CY, CS, PN, ZN, SY, RS

Wind Gap Wines - At “The Barlow” a Tasting room not open yet, Appt only CY, BF, GN, PN, SY, MV, NB, PG, RH, RS, TG, WR

Windsor

Carlisle Winery & Vineyards - GV, OV, MV, RH, PS, SY, ZN

Fogline Vineyards - Tasting room (875 River Road in Fulton, CA.) open Fri-Sun 11-5 Mon-Thu by appt. CY, PN, SY, ZN

Petaluma Wind Gap

Keller Estate - Fri-Sun 11-4 or by appt Mon-Thu CY, PG, PN, SY

Petaluma Gap Brands with no Tasting Rooms
(available in local wine shops)

West Sonoma Coast

Baker Lane - Tasting at Vinoteca Collective @ Vinify on Coffey Ln 11-5 Fri-Sun by appt Mon-Thur RS, PN, SY

Ceritas - appt only CY, PN

Donelan Family Wines - By apt CY, RO/MR, VG, PN, RH, SY

Flowers Vineyard & Winery- Appt only CY, PN

Hirsch Winery - Appt only CY, PN

Lioco - by appt CY, CG. RS, PN

Littorai - Appt only CY, PN

Soliste - By apt CY, SB, PN, SY, RS

Zepaltas Wines- By apt CY, SB, CF, PN, SY CLOSED

Occidental/Freestone

Boheme Wines - Tasting at the Cellar Door Friday 3-7 Sat/Sun 12-5 otherwise by appt CY, PN, SY

Bucklin Winery - By appt (707) 933-1726 RS, CS, GN, OV, PS, SY, ZN

Kenwood

Sonoma

  • Adobe Road Winery (Sonoma Plaza) - Open Daily, 11:00 to 6:30 CY, SB, CS, PN, PS, SY, ZN,
  • Auteur Wines (Sonoma Plaza) - By Appointment Only CY, PN

Bedrock Wine Co. - By appt only 414 1st St E, Sonoma OV, SB, SE/SB, RS, CS, GN, OV, SY, ZN, SE/DW

Enkidu Wines - “New Tasting Room opening in September 2018” (call 707.833.6100 for details) CY, RS, SB, CF, CS, OV, PN, PS, RH, SY, ZN

Jean Edwards Cellars - Mon-Thu and Sun: 12pm to 6pm Fri-Sat: 12pm to 7pm. SE corner of Sonoma Plaza 29 E Napa St #C @ Vine Alley CY, CS, MB, MT, SB

Sojourn Cellars - By appt only 707-938-7212 CY, CS, PN

  • Spann Vineyards (Sonoma Square) - Open Daily, 12:00 to 6:00 CY, CY/VG, RS, BX, CF, CS, MG, PO, PV, TM, ZN

Three Sticks Winery (Sonoma Square) - By Appointment Only CY, PG, CF, CS, MB, PN

Santa Rosa

  • Annadel Estate Winery - By Appointment CY, RS, BX, ZN
  • St Francis Winery - Open daily 10-5 for wine tasting. Wine and Food pairing by appt Thu-Mon CY, RS, VG, CL, CS, MB, MG, MT, ZN
  • Ledson Winery & Vineyards - Open Daily, 10:00 to 5:00 CY, RG, SB, DW, BA, CF, CG, CS, MT, PO, PS, DG, SY, ZNAnnual Wine, Wine/Food EventsKnowing when these events are taking place can help you plan out your trip to coincide with them or, in some cases, to avoid the crowds. Not a complete listing but some of the more popular events.

January

  • Winter WineLand - 140+ Wineries offering limited production wines, new releases, library wines & meet the winemakers. (Self-guided as you travel from from winery to winery, think DD)

Jan/Feb

  • Sonoma Valley Olive Festival - Put some sparkle in your spirit with a visit to Sonoma Valley this winter season. In January and February, our annual Olive Season lights up the Valley with a two-month-long celebration as we toast all things olive.

March

  • Artisan Cheese Festival - Petaluma
  • Pigs and Pinot - Hotel Healdsburg. The celebratory weekend offers a series of intimate dining and educational events hosted by Chef Palmer. A cast of Master Sommeliers and international celebrity chefs will showcase some of the world’s greatest Pinots Noirs with perfect pork pairings.
  • Sonoma County Wine Road Annual Barrel Tasting Weekends - typically the first two weekends of March. Your chance to sample wines still in the barrel, buy “futures” and meet the winemakers. (Self-guided as you travel from from winery to winery, think DD)

April

  • Pinot Family Reunion - Featuring over 40 wineries participating in a wine and food tasting at Vintners Inn Event Center, followed by a family-style dinner paired with some of the area’s top pinot producers at John Ash & Co. restaurant. Proceeds benefit the Sutter North Bay Women’s Health Center.
  • April in Carneros - Multi-Winery Open House
  • Passport to Dry Creek Valley - More than 50 Wineries located throughout the pristine and unspoiled beauty of Dry Creek Valley.

May

  • Historic Vineyard Society Tour and Dinner - An all day event where you tour 4 or more historic old vine plantings, in small groups, hosted by the vineyard managers/growers/winemakers. This is followed by a dinner featuring wines from the vineyards visited among others. Learn history, farming practices and get up close and personal with your hosts.
  • The Seven % Solution - Roughly 93% of Northern California Vineyard acreage is planted to eight major grape varietals.The remaining 7% acreage is home to numerous lesser known varietals. These ‘seven percent’ varietals are finding anchor with a small but growing number of winemakers. This tasting is a showcase of twenty or more wineries and their seven percent solutions.
  • Taste Alexander Valley - Over 25 Wineries offer food and wine pairings. (Self-guided as you travel from from winery to winery, think DD)
  • Russian River Valley Pinot Classic - Seminars, Passport to Pinot Barrel Tastings, Paulée Dinner

July

  • Monte Rio Variety Show - A benefit for the Monte Rio Fire Dept and St Catherine of Sienna Church. After their 2 week Summer Encampment the members of The Bohemian Club put on this show of Music, Comedy, Poetry, Magic and more accompanied by a Chicken and Rib BBQ, Beer and Wine. Grammy winning singers, song writers, musicians… You never know who might perform. Steve Miller, Kix Brooks, Phil Vassar, Zac Brown, Shelley Berg, Gary Muledeer perform under the stars at the Monte Rio Ampetheater. 2019 will mark the 108th year. Advance ticket purchase and seat placement a must. If you’re in the Russuan River area in July and are looking for something different to do for an evening this is the perfect fit.

August

  • West of West - A full weekend featuring West Sonoma County cool-climate producers and artisan foods. Seminars, winemaker dinnners, grand tastings.
    -Wind to Wine Festival - Petaluma Gap Wine Producers

September

  • Sonoma Wine Country Weekend - The Big Daddy event in Sonoma County featuring: Friday - Winemaker lunches, Dinner Parties, BBQ’s. Saturday - The Taste of Sonoma grand tasting by AVA of over 170 Wineries and over 1,000 wines at MacMurray Ranch in Healdsburg. Sunday- All followed by the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction at Chateau St Jean. Labor Day Weekend

October

  • Gay WineWeekend - A weekend of wine & celebration in California Wine Country - Featuring TWILIGHT T Dance & Gay Wine Auction benefiting Face to Face, Sonoma County AIDS Network.
  • Pinot on the River - 100+ Wineries, seminars, grand tasting in downtown Healdsburg.
  • Sonoma County Harvest Fair - Sonoma County Harvest Fair is a celebration of the local harvest featuring three full days of all-inclusive wine tasting with 150+ wineries, wine sales, food pairing, craft beer & cider tasting, marketplace, chef demonstrations and workshops, the World Championship Grape Stomp and much more.Farmers Markets/Street Fairs- Forestville Farmers Market - Tuesdays 4-7pm June thru October in Downtown Forestville across from Canneti Roadhouse Italiana
  • Healdsburg Farmers Market - Saturday - 9:00 am to Noon from the first Saturday in May through November in parking lot behind Hotel Healdsburg. or Wednesday 3:30 PM to 6:00 pm from the first Wednesday in June through October behind Hotel Les Mars
  • Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market - @ Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, Mark West Springs Rd @ US-101 Year round Wednesday: 8:30 A.M. to 12:00 Noon, Saturday: 8:30 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.
  • Santa Rosa Wednesday Night Market - Open May through August downtown 4th St from Santa Rosa Plaza Shopping Center to E street. Farm fresh produce, flowers, fresh seafood. Vendors, Food, Wine, Live Music 5pm-8:30
  • Sonoma Tuesday Night Farmers Market – throw-out a picnic blanket and hang with the locals. It is legal to drink in the park, so bring a bottle or two to share. Fair-type food vendors are present or bring your own bites. Very kid friendly. Runs from first Tuesday in May through the last Tuesday in October.
  • Windsor Certified Farmers Market - ~ Town Green ~ Old Downtown Windsor ~ Music ~ Bring Your Dancing Shoes Every Sunday 10-1 and Thursday 5-8 April-December**You Gotta Eat Somewhere** Under Construction!
    Bodega Bay
  • Bay View Restaurant - @ Inn at the Tides. Italian and fresh seafood.
  • The Duck Club Restaurant @ Bodega Bay Lodge. American focused seafood, fowl, meat dishes. Upscale.
  • Terrapin Creek Café - Upscale comfort food
  • The Tides Wharf Restaurant - Right on the water. More tourist focused. Traditional seafood dishes.Forestville
    How does such a postage stamp of a town have so many good places to eat? It’s our little slice if Heaven in West County.

The Backyard - Locally sourced ingredients including vegan entrees

The Farmhouse Inn Restaurant - We are spoiled in Forestville

The Fig Café - Flat Bread Pizza, Roast Chicken $0 corkage OMG

Applewood Inn Restaurant - Romantic Dining, wonderful wine list - Closed Undergoing Renovation/Change of Direction

Dry Creek Kitchen - Charlie Palmers home base, Inspired cuisine, exceptional wine list

Healdsburg SHED - Eat, Shop, Gather, Learn. Wonderfully relaxed atmosphere, farm fresh ingredients.

Scopa - CLOSED

Santa Rosa

Dierk’s Parkside Café - Best Breakfast in Santa Rosa, seriously

Franchettis’ Wood Fire Kitchen - Artisan Pizza, sandwiches, appetizers, salads. Order at counter, eat at table. Ping pong Table! Great spot for an offline. Hours vary, call in advance. 707-526-1229

Pizzeria Rosso - wood fired oven, flat bread pizza, homemade pastas, Burrata, $10 corkage

  • Russian River Brewing co - Come for the beer, stay for the beer. Food is passable but it’s all about the Ales, Stouts and Sours

The Spinster Sisters - Hot, Hip, Fresh, Innovative

Willi’s Wine Bar - Delicious small plates

Walter Hansel Bistro & Wine Bar - New hot spot in the old Zazu roadhouse location. Wine Country French Cuisine, wine list loaded with great wines at or near release prices.Sebastopol

  • Hole in the Wall Restaurant - Where the locals eat breakfast (when they aren’t at the Grateful Bagel)
  • Hopmonk Tavern - Pliny on tap! Good food, live music on weekends.
  • K&L Bistro - Contemporary Bistro Fare, Oyster Bar, Sat-Sun Brunch, Sunday night Prime Rib Supper
  • Mom’s Apple Pie - Because everyone has a sweet tooth. A West County Institution - Homemade Fruit Pies, Deli
  • Peter Lowell’s Restaurant - Get your hippie on. All organic, all good!
  • Screaming Mimi’s - Homemade All Natural Ice Cream, a long time Sebastopol favorite.
  • Slice of Life - What’s an Old Hippy Town without vegetarian food?
  • Sushi Hanna - Because everyone needs some raw fish and seaweed in their diet, and because it’s good!
  • Viva Mexicana - Traditional and FooFoo Mexican. Something for everyone.
  • Zazu Kitchen and Farm - @ “The Barlow” Chef’s Duske Estes and John Stewart serve up innovative fresh food from locally sourced ingredients. Masters of anything Porcine. Winners of Cochon 555Sonoma On the Square- Burgers and Vine – Just opened so still working out the kinks, however all signs point toward a more tourist and party crowd focus. Not a bad spot for a beer before or after dinner.

Café La Haye - just delicious food

The Girl and the Fig - Country food with a French passion– usually tough to get a reservation within 48 hours of seating, but one of the few restaurants on the Square open late with a limited bistro menu. Cocktails are very good, Pliny the Elder on tap, Only Rhone-styled wines on the list. The best burger in town.

  • Harvest Moon Café – seems to be rarely talked about, but always good – surprisingly good, actually. A somewhat stiff corkage policy though.
  • LaSalette – Portuguese/Mediterranean inspired fair – a fairly ‘exotic’ dining choice for Sonoma Square, with menu items like whole sardines baked in the wood fired oven, escargot, etc. The fish cakes are a huge favorite when available, and the anchovies are some of the best I have ever had. The wine list offers some fun Portuguese whites that are a great budget alternative to the typical Cali Sav Blanc or Chardonnay.
  • OSO Sonoma - Small plates and raw bar. Small but exciting local wine list.
  • Sonoma Cheese Factory - Cheese, sandwiches, salami/salumi, wine tasting, grilled meats
  • Sunflower Cafe - Breakfast and Lunch. Sandwiches, Smoothies, Beer and WineSonoma Off the Square- El Brinquito – they do BBQ chicken out front of the market on Wed/Friday/Sat/Sunday, corner of Hwy 12 and Mountain Ave. Follow your nose – it smells as good as it tastes and is cheap. This is strictly to-go.
  • El Molino Central - Mexican street food, primarily from the Oaxaca region of Mexico. Very good but not cheap. Simple, patio seating - can be very busy with a long wait during dinner hours. Blue Bottle Coffee also served.
  • Fremont Diner - CLOSED
  • Hopmonk Tavern – Sister of the Sebastopol locatio. Upscale pub food, Pliny the Elder on tap. A favorite with locals, great patio seating in the summer.
  • Hot Box Grill – Upscale comfort food, known for the duck fat fries and fried chicken plate.
  • La Bamba Taco Truck – usually in the auto body shop parking lot directly across the street from the Sonoma Mission Inn - usually after 7pm. This is the most popular truck in town for good reason. The wait can be long. The perfect late night snack after a long day of tasting.
  • Rancho Viejo - authentic Mexican from the Yucatan peninsula. Don’t let the proximity to McDonalds scare you (next door), the cochinita pibil is awesome.Valley Ford
  • Rocker Oysterfellers - Casual comfort food, Oysters, Crab Cakes, Buffalo Wings, Fried Chicken, Fish Tacos, Clam Chowder, Burgers, Oyster PoBoy. Dinner Thu-Sun, Sat Lunch, Sun BrunchWindsor
  • [berserker.gif]BurtoNZ Bakery - New Zealand styled Artisan Bakery tucked into the Lakewood Shopping Center on the East side of 101
  • Chinois Asian Bistro - Elegant Asian Fusion, nice wine list.
  • Himalayan Restaurant “Kaboda and Curry House” Get your Tandoori on!
  • The Jaded Toad - BBQ, Comfort Food, 24 craft beers
  • Johnny Garlic’s - Where it all started
  • Omelette Express - The name says it all. Breakfast specialties.
  • Patterson’s Irish Pub - Pub Fare with lots of suds on tap. Indoor outdoor seating.
  • Umé Japanese Bistro - Sushi, tempura and more. A real local gem! Closed Sundays**Wine Bars/Winery Tasting Collectives** under construction
    Duncans Mills
    Sophie’s Cellars - Wine tasting and retail sales daily 11-5 Fri 11-7. Free corkage at local restaurant of wne purchjased at Sophie’s. On the way to the Coast 15 min W of Guerneville on Hwy 116Healdsburg
  • Bergamot Alley - CLOSEDKenwood
  • Palooza Gastropub & Wine BarSanta Rosa
    -Cellars of Santa Rosa - Featuring: Amorosa Bella, Gann Family Cellars, La Sirena, Bonneau Wines, James Family Cellars & TR Elliott Winery in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square

Pizzeria Rosso & Wine Bar - Nice selection at the Wine Bar by the glass or bottle. Great food aside $10 corkage

Willi’s Wine Bar - Closed due to Tubbs FireSonoma

Russian River Brewing Company - 700 Mitchell Ln Windsor, CA 95492 (707) 545-BEER
195 Seat BrewPub/Tasting Bar/Retail Store
Hours: SUN-THU 11AM-10PM / FRI & SAT 11AM-11PM
Guided Tours by Reservation - Self-Guided Daily 11AM-5PM

Farmhouse Inn - Cozy Cottages or The Barn, Spa services and Michelin Starred Restaurant - Voted Best Hotel in California and #8 Best Hotel in the World by Travel and Leisure MagazineGlen Ellen

  • Gaige House - A long time Michelin Guide favorite. Spa servicesGuerneville
  • Applewood Inn & Spa - They call themselves a B&B which is a a stretch. Mediterranean villa styled resort. Great restaurant.

Sonoma Orchid Inn B&B - next door to Korbel on River Rd "Great breakfasts, friendly and helpful hosts, each room different and varying in price. Some cabins for more privacy, and other rooms in an older house."Healdsburg

1br Cottage Amongst the Vines - Vineyard and lakeside 1br retreat for less than a hotel room!

  • Honor Mansion - Pricey and a bit overly precious, but good breakfasts, helpful staff (for getting reservations, etc), and beautiful grounds (bocce court, outdoor massage, etc).
  • Madrona Manor - Vintage elegance

Raford Inn - Great setting, wonderful proprietors, centrally located in RRV. Headlsburg address but it’s a home run swing away from Forestville.Kenwood

The Acorn House - Romantic Cottage on 4 Private Acres of Vineyards and Oaks

CultureCharles Shulz Museum and Research Center
Everything you ever wanted to know about the Peanuts and much more!
2301 Hardies Ln, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Phone: (707) 579-4452
https://schulzmuseum.org/

Green Music Center at Sonoma State University - Weill Hall is a World Class music venue. Year round performances of Symphony, Jazz, all forms of popular music, Shakespeare etc… Indoor and outdoor events.

Transcendence Theater Company, Broadway Under the Stars - Transcendence Theatre’s Broadway Under the Stars in Jack London State Park is an award-winning series of Broadway-inspired concerts that feature incredible talent from the NY and Hollywood stages and screen. More than just a standard musical review, each concert weaves your favorite Broadway and popular songs into a spectacular evening unlike anything you’ve seen before.

To top it off, each evening begins with picnicking on the great lawn, alongside the park’s sprawling vineyards. Here you’ll enjoy local pours from numerous Sonoma wineries, food from local vendors and pre-show music. With all this magic in one place, how could you possibly leave without what Before It’s News calls “…goosebumps all around” ? - June-August
Location (map)
Jack London State Historic Park
2400 London Ranch Road
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
Order Tix HereGambling Sometimes buying wine is a gamble, non?
Graton Resort Casino - They are getting closer and closer to the population centers. LV Gambling in Rohnert Park
River Rock Casino - East side of the Alexander Valley in GeyservilleHot Air Balloon Rides through Sonoma SonomaCounty.com has a great article covering the local companies offering Hot Air Ballon rides
http://www.sonomacounty.com/articles/hot-air-ballooning-sonoma-countyIce Skating in Wine CountryRedwood Empire Ice Arena “Snoopy’s Home Ice”
Opened by Minnesota native Charles Shulz in 1968
1667 West Steele Lane
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
707-546-7147
http://www.snoopyshomeice.comLGBT Focused Events- Lazy Bear Weekend - Guerneville

  • Russian River Womens Weekend - GuernevilleNature/HorticultureAnnadel State Park - Miles and miles of paved and unpaved hiking, biking, mountain biking trails through the oak studded hills of East Santa Rosa.
    6201 Channel Dr, Santa Rosa, CA 95409
    (707) 539-3911

Armstrong Woods State Park - Hike amongst the giant redwoods. Armstrong Woods Rd, Guerneville
17000 Armstrong Woods Rd, Guerneville
(707) 869-2015

Bouverie Nature Preserve - Hwy 12 In Glen Ellen
13935 Sonoma Hwy, Glen Ellen, CA
(707) 938-4554

California Carnivores - Vegetarians Beware! These plants bite back. This Sebastopol garden features the largest collection of Carnivorous Plants in the US.
2833 Old Gravenstein Hwy, Sebastopol, CA
(707) 824-0433

Jack London State Historic Park - Hiking, Museum, Historic Landmarks
2400 London Ranch Rd, Glen Ellen, CA 95442


Luther Burbank Home and Gardens - “I firmly believe, from what I have seen, that this is the chosen spot for all this Earthas far as Nature is concerned.” ~ Luther Burbank - This famed horticulturist is responsible for over 800 plants including 200 fruit/vegetale/nut varieties. The spot is a National Horticultural Landmark. Tours Daily.
204 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
(707) 524-5445

Point Reyes National Seashore - Unspoiled, wildlife, coastline, hiking trails…
1 Bear Valley Road, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

Quarryhill Botanical Garden - One of the pre-eminent Asian botanical gardens globally, featuring one of the largest collections of documented, wild-collected Asian plants in the world.
12841 Hwy 12, Glen Ellen, CA
(707) 996-3166Pop CultureRio Theater - Step back in time in this WWII Quinset Hut Movie Theater opened in 1950. Ceilings in theater adorned with the largest pieces of Christo’s Running Fence in existence. Second run features, Independent Films and Classics. Monte Rio Hwy 116 @ Bohemian Hwy
Peggy Sue’s All-American Cruise - A 4-day event the 2nd weekend of June. 800 classic American Cars and Hot Rods pre-1975. Friday Chilli Cook-Off Wine/Beer Tasting, Sat and Sun cars displayed all day. Sat night Downtown Cruise in Santa Rosa. Huge event and a can’t miss for the car buff.Rock Wall Climbing - IndoorsVertex Climbing Center
3358a Coffey Lane
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 573-1608
Mon-Fri: 8am to 10pm
Sat & Sun: 10am to 6pm

Vertex is conveniently located in the same industrial complex as Donelan Wines, Salinia, The NPA, Carol Shelton, Vinoteca Collective if you get my drift.Russian River Canoe and Kayak TripsBob Burke’s Canoe Trips - Since the 1960’s from Mirabel Park in Forestville to Guerneville May-Sep
8600 River Rd @ Mirabel Rd, Forestville, CA
(707) 887-1222
River’s Edge Kayak and Canoe Multiple trips available
13840 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg
(707) 433-72471/4 Scale Railroad TrainTrain Town Sonoma - Got kids! Or are you just a kid at heart.
20264 Broadway, Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 938-3912Wild Animal PreserveSafari West is a 400-acre private wildlife preserve located in Sonoma County, California, United States. The selection of wildlife emphasizes species native to Africa, including giraffes, rhinoceros, cheetahs, and numerous species of birds.
3115 Porter Creek Rd,
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
(707) 579-2551
http://www.safariwest.com/Zip-LiningSonoma Canopy Tours
6250 Bohemian Hwy,
Occidental CA, 95465
http://www.sonomacanopytours.com
info@sonomacanopytours.com
888-494-7868

3 Likes

Nice PSA Brian [thumbs-up.gif]

Well done Brian, very useful.

this is awesome… thanks!
is it possible to get a list of good/popular wineries that are open for visit - categorized by the regions above?

maybe separate by public / appt only (true appt only not appt only if you know the pope).

Bravo, Brian!

I DO have a day job. Perhaps I can update the OP as we go along based on input from the group.

Thanks Brian. I do love Sonoma! For those who are visual learners, here are some maps:
map-sonoma-county.jpg
sonappellation.jpg
The new Moon Mountain AVA is not pictured, but if you can picture that Hwy 12 runs up the middle of Sonoma Valley, Moon Mountain is opposite the valley from Sonoma Mountain AVA.

The often talked about “Petaluma Gap” area is the bottom part of the wedge that is currently Sonoma Coast. On the topographical map above you can see “the gap” in the hills starting at Bodega Bay which funnels high wind, cold air, and fog from the coast into the Petaluma area.

brilliant!
from the thread title I had hoped it was a lunch invitation. [cheers.gif]

Nice Brian! A few more key points from my short stint on the hospitality side of things:

Don’t plan to ‘drop by for lunch’ at Russian River Brewing – unless you plan on doing so when the doors open at 11am. The place is typically standing room only with an hour wait for a table any time after noon.

Unless you own a helicopter, lunch at Girl and the Fig followed by a 1pm appointment to taste your favorite Pinot in the RRV is simply not possible.

If you would like to visit Guerneville with the kids, don’t do so during Bear Weekend… Google is your friend.

West Santa Rosa between 101 and Fulton road is also known as Fresno-North – drive through that area as quickly as you can. I’m only sort of kidding on that one… [wink.gif]

Good advice! Now i can keep that 1pm schedule, just gotta make sure my chopper is fueled and ready.

Yes, the open field in front of General Vallejo’s Home is the closest place to land!

That’s funny - the guy across the hall from my office right now has a great story about him and his wife spending a weekend in Guerneville not knowing it was Bear Weekend. They had a good time though [wow.gif]

Landing is overrated… [wink.gif]
image1.jpg

edit for space.

1 Like

Yes - I met a nice family last summer who had rented a house in the area that weekend. It was quite funny hearing the story of them trying to explain to the kids (probably about 5 to 8-ish) what they had just seen while driving down the main drag…

Slowly adding to the OP. Send me reccos and i’ll add them as time permits [cheers.gif]

Driving times, example: Sbragia in the north end of Dry Creek Vly to Gloria Ferrer outside of (the town of) Sonoma = about 1 hr 15 m on a busy day.

Don’t forget Siduri

btw, has anybody actually gone to Pine Mtn? lol

Brian, you’re taking on a hell of a project including wineries in your post (and you forgot my must stop Joseph Swan!). A suggestion would be to include some regional web sites. My favorite when anyone asks me for recommendations is to visit http://www.wineroad.com/. This site will give you tons of info on wineries of the RRV, DCV, Alexander Valley and Chalk Hill.

Some other AVA and/or area specific web sites:
http://www.sonomavalley.com/ Sonoma Valley.
http://www.carneroswineries.org/ Includes wineries in both Sonoma and Napa.
http://www.westsonomacoast.com/ True Sonoma coast wineries.
http://www.wdcv.com/ Wine Growers of Dry Creek Valley. Passport last weekend of April!
http://alexandervalley.org/ Alexander Valley.

I’m sure there are some I’m forgetting but other [berserker.gif] will chime in.

Thanks Sean, it’s a work in progress and not even anywhere close to being completed. Swan is on my short list. I was working my way down Olivet Lane towards River Rd and got sidetracked. [cheers.gif]

My wife and I might do a Sonoma tour next year sometime. This thread will certainly help.