My husband and I have tasted our away around Napa and Sonoma Wine Country many times over the years! He’s in the wine industry, so we’ve had some incredible experiences on our vacations. That’s why we decided to create this guide to Wine Tasting in Sonoma. Here’s a round-up of our favorite things to do and wineries to visit that you can plan, too!
Tips for planning your Sonoma Wineries Tasting Itinerary
My husband creates the itinerary for our wine country vacations. Usually, we vacation without much of a plan. However, on our Sonoma and Napa trips, I can say without a doubt that having a clear plan makes all the difference. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on unique experiences and be overwhelmed by all of the wineries. Here are some tips for wine tasting in Sonoma:
- Have a plan
Going to Napa and Sonoma can be overwhelming without a plan on which wineries to visit because they are EVERYWHERE. We usually schedule two (the right amount!) – sometimes three (too much!) appointments per day, giving time for a lunch and early dinner. All of the wineries have a bar and you can walk up and pay for a tasting without a reservation, but you can also plan incredibly interesting and fun wine experiences at the different wineries.
- Schedule wine experiences.
Nearly all of the wineries post-Covid require a reservation now. You can’t walk up to a tasting room – you’ll need to book the wine tasting in advance. Plus, many of the wineries have cool experiences and tours that you do in a small group so you can really learn about the winery, the wines, and ask a lot of questions. We’ve had property tours, food pairings, and mountainside tastings. By far, the coolest experience we have ever scheduled is the wine blending seminar at Conn Creek – it stands out as a must-do wine experience.
- Don’t overschedule.
Only plan for 2-3 wine tastings a day. This gives you time to relax, avoid feeling rushed, and you won’t drink too much! We’ve grouped our recommendations by Northern and Southern Sonoma, so pick the ones in each area to build your itinerary!
- Keep a light jacket in the car.
The weather can be unpredictable – and you may be in chilly wine caves on a tour, so keeping a light jacket will keep you comfortable in all of the temperatures!
- Bring a refillable water bottle.
You’ll want to stay hydrated! Bring a refillable water bottle and keep drinking water all day. The wineries all have filtered water and will fill it for you.
Southern Sonoma Wineries + Things to Do
Our must-do things to do, see, & taste in Southern Sonoma!
- Start your day with Bubbles and Bites on the terrace, tasting sparkling wine paired with food at Gloria Ferrer
- Sip and stroll through the over-the-top gorgeous gardens at Chateau St. Jean
- Landmark Vineyards has one of the prettiest outdoor tasting areas in Sonoma
- Enjoy a relaxing wine tasting at Kenwood Vineyards outside under a canopy on comfy furniture
- Try the life-changing ravioli at Cafe Citti
Northern Sonoma Valley Wineries + Things to Do
Our must-do things to do, see, and taste in Geyserville, Healdsburg and Dry Creek
- Pinot Noir lovers need to visit the elegant Flowers Winery for a wine + food pairing
- Learn about sustainable farming at Quivera Winery, which has a garden to attract insects away from the vines
- If you don’t do anything else, pick up the best sandwiches on the planet at Dry Creek General Store and have a picnic at Dry Creek Vineyard (split a bottle of the Fume Blanc)
- Sit outside on the porch and sip Rochioli Sauvignon Blanc
- Reserve a tasting at Rodney Strong Vineyards, and make sure to try Symmetry and Rockaway
- Ferrari-Carano Winery is the most over-the-top winery in Sonoma and is worth the visit! It’s gorgeous.
- Jordan Winery’s French chateau property and elegant farmland is absolutely stunning
- Get a glass of Zinfandel and sit on the porch of Ridge Vineyards
- Book a tasting in the bubble room at J Vineyards
- Rent bikes in Healdsburg and ride the scenic roads through Dry Creek Valley
- Share tapas at Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar in downtown Healdsburg
- Go to Bacci for dinner
- Taste wine on the gorgeous Chalk Hill Estate Winery porch
- Book a tasting in the cave at Lancaster
- Shop downtown Healdsburg
- Lounge by the pool at Coppola