Sonoma County: Articles on California's Sonoma County Wine Region

Rochioli Vineyards and Winery

The Vibe: 

Rochioli wines are some of the finest and most sought after wines in all of California. If you love wine, this is a must visit.

As for the rest of the experience, Rochioli isn't a winery you visit to take in lush gardens and amazing architecture. The grounds are nice and well kept but not a must see. They do have a gorgeous view, particularly in Autumn, of the vineyards off their tasting room patio which may be ideal for small group picnics.

Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Great Pinot Noir.
  • A gorgeous and relaxing view while you taste some great wine.
  • Art lovers will appreciate the local art that adorns the walls of the tasting room.
  • A good place for small group picnics.
Not good for: 
  • Hosting an event such as a wedding or corporate gathering.
  • Large groups of ten or more or busses should call ahead.
  • Facility tours are not offered.
  • Large group picnics may not work well given their limited space. Best to call ahead.
Known For: 
Pinot Noir
Pictures: 

Locations

6192 Westside Rd.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
United States
38° 32' 1.6584" N, 122° 52' 4.854" W
6192 Westside Rd.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
United States
38° 32' 1.6584" N, 122° 52' 4.854" W
Phone Number: 
7074332305

Wellington Vineyards

The Vibe: 
Off the beaten path (but still conveniently located), Wellington Vineyards is a small winery down a side road off Arnold Drive (or Sonoma Highway depending on which way you are driving). Wellington produces around 8000 cases of unqiue, hand crafted wines.
Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Good Zinfandel and Port.
  • Alicante Bouschet (noir de noirs). They are one of the rare Sonoma wineries to produce this.
  • A good place to try if you are looking for something less commercial and unique from a wine perspective.
Not good for: 
  • Wellington is not a place to go to experience grand views or impressive architecture and landscaping.
  • Not a place to host big corporate events or weddings.
  • Small tasting room so not a particularly great place to take a large group without prior scheduling.
  • Though they have some patio picnic tables, this is a place for a small, quick, and casual group picnic at best.
Known For: 
Zinfandel, Port, Alicante Bouschet
Pictures: 

Locations

11600 Dunbar Road
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
United States
38° 22' 50.4876" N, 122° 31' 13.8072" W
11600 Dunbar Road
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
United States
38° 22' 50.4876" N, 122° 31' 13.8072" W
Phone Number: 
7079390708

VJB Vineyards & Cellars

The Vibe: 
A small tasting room that -from the outside- the VJB Vineyards and Cellar tasting room has the appearance of a road side antique store. It is hard to notice if not for the fact that it resides right next to Cafe Citti, which happens to be one of the best lunch stops along Sonoma Highway. VJB's focus is on Italian varietals so make a point to stop in before or after you lunch at Citti.
Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Italian varietals.
  • Port.
  • A quick and easy tasting before or after lunch (Cafe Citti is right next door).
Not good for: 
  • VJB is a small boutique tasting room. No frills about it. You won't find anything other than good wines and a nice small tasting room here. No tours, gardens, or fancy buildings.
Known For: 
Italian Varietals
Pictures: 

Locations

9077 Sonoma Highway
Kenwood, CA 95452
United States
38° 25' 2.4924" N, 122° 32' 57.1992" W
9077 Sonoma Highway
Kenwood, CA 95452
United States
38° 25' 2.4924" N, 122° 32' 57.1992" W
Phone Number: 
7078332300

Viansa Winery & Italian Marketplace

The Vibe: 

Viansa Winery & Italian Marketplace is in many ways what visitors to California wine country expect to see in a winery. The property is sprawling and beautiful with flowers lining seemingly everything from the entrance of Highway 128 right up to the front door.

Viansa offers a gourmet Italian style deli to go with the tasting room and the common theme is for visitors to pair great wine with great food. Plenty of picnic tables exist and an expansive green lawn await those looking to spend an afternoon sipping wine under the Sonoma sun. Public tastings are offered as are tours. A huge white "tent style building" exists for those looking to host events at Viansa.

Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Food and wine pairing.
  • Beautiful landscape and architecture.
  • Tours.
  • A place to host a special event such as a wedding or corporate function.
  • Place to picnic with a mid-large size group.
Not good for: 
  • Intimacy. Viansa is quite busy.
Known For: 
Wine & Food Pairing
Pictures: 

Locations

25200 Arnold Drive
Sonoma, CA 95476
United States
38° 12' 33.1308" N, 122° 27' 14.8896" W
25200 Arnold Drive
Sonoma, CA 95476
United States
38° 12' 33.1308" N, 122° 27' 14.8896" W
Phone Number: 
7079354700

Valley of the Moon Winery

The Vibe: 
Cool name, great wine, beautiful grounds, friendly staff, and they sell port! Valley of the Moon is one of this writer's favorite wineries in Sonoma County. This is the type of place at which you expect to find the beautiful people hanging out on a weekend evening.
Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Cuvée de la Luna, good Pinot Blanc, or Port.
  • People seeking a winery tour.
  • Picnics. Valley of the Moon offers multiple options for picnicers with tables convenient to the tasting room in the front and quiet, more scenic picnic tables around back "down near the creek".
  • A big tasting room with plenty of cool wine shop stuff. Valley of the Moon sells higher end merchandise.
Not good for: 
  • Big event hosting. Not a place to host a wedding reception.
  • People seeking magnificent landscaping or impressive buildings. Valley of the Moon is certainly beautiful in the asthetic sense. It isn't a winery worth going out of your way for purely for the visual experience though. So if you are dragging along a non-wine enthusiast, there are better places to go to entertain him/her.
Known For: 
Port, Pinot Blanc, Cuvée de la Luna
Pictures: 

Locations

777 Madrone Road
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
United States
38° 20' 25.0044" N, 122° 30' 20.214" W
777 Madrone Road
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
United States
38° 20' 25.0044" N, 122° 30' 20.214" W
Phone Number: 
7079966941

Taft Street Winery

The Vibe: 

Taft Street Winery has an industrial feel to it. The tasting room sits across the driveway from the actual production facility. This is not a winery with vast gardens and scenic views. It's a production facility. This is cool in its own way as you feel a part of the operations (forklifts are operating but a few yards away).

Tours are available by appointment and time permitting.

Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Good Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, or Zinfandel.
  • A dog friendly winery.
Not good for: 
  • Not a place for large groups or busses. It's a small tasting room.
  • Not a place for picnics.
  • If you are looking for the asthetic aspects of wine tasting -beautiful tasting rooms, vast gardens, scenic views- this is not the place.
  • Not a place to host an event.
Known For: 
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel
Pictures: 

Locations

2030 Barlow Lane
Sebastopol, CA 95472
United States
38° 25' 29.0604" N, 122° 51' 31.5216" W
2030 Barlow Lane
Sebastopol, CA 95472
United States
38° 25' 29.0604" N, 122° 51' 31.5216" W
Phone Number: 
7078232049

Wine Room

The Vibe: 

The Wine Room is a co-op tasting room. This means a collection of wineries share the overhead and combine to make one tasting room. This is great for people who want to try lots of different wines and particualrly those of smaller wineries. Bad for people who want to experience the million dollar tasting room with the impressive architecture and manicured gardens. The Wine Room consists of five wineries: Moondance Cellars, Orchard Station Winery, The Friendly Dog Winery, Smothers/Remick Ridge Vineyards, and Sonoma Valley Portworks.

The tasting room itself originally started as the Smothers Tasting Room (yes, as in Tom Smothers of the Smothers Brothers). In recent years it moved the co-op way with the Smothers wines still available.

The Wine Room actually isn't a bad place for a picnic as a small grassy picnic area resides next to the tasting room.

Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Variety. Co-ops are a great place to try lots of different wines from a variety of producers.
  • Port. Always worth mentioning places that offer Port options.
  • A place for a casual picnic. The wine room is easy to access and the picnic area is close to the parking lot. It's not picture-esque but it is an easy place to have a casual, small group picnic.
Not good for: 
  • This is a no frills tasting room so people seeking impressive architecture, manicured gardens, or grand views should pass. Also, there are no production tours or anything like that offered.
  • Not a place to host an event.
Known For: 
Smothers Brothers Wines, Co-Op with 5 wineries, Port
Pictures: 

Locations

9575 Sonoma Highway
Kenwood, CA 95452
United States
38° 24' 51.2064" N, 122° 32' 45.8988" W
9575 Sonoma Highway
Kenwood, CA 95452
United States
38° 24' 51.2064" N, 122° 32' 45.8988" W
Phone Number: 
7078336131

F. Teldeschi Winery

The Vibe: 

The Teldeschi family has been growing grapes in Dry Creek Valley since 1946. This is one of those wineries that is perfect for people who just really want to taste and learn about wine. Case in point: At F. Teldeschi, the winemaker and the assistant winemaker both work in the tasting room. They produce maximum extracted, estate grown and produced red wines that are handcrafted in small lots. Tasting room is open 12-5 daily.

Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Great, hand crafted Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, Blends.
  • A personal tasting experience. The winemakers work in the tasting room.
  • A picturesque view of Dry Creek to enjoy while you taste.
Not good for: 
  • Event Hosting.
  • Large groups (10-12 people max works well at any given time).
  • People wanting guided tours of the facility.
  • Picnicers.
  • People seeking wine and food pairings.
Known For: 
Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, Blends

Locations

3555 Dry Creek Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448
United States
38° 39' 18.5796" N, 122° 55' 20.8848" W
3555 Dry Creek Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448
United States
38° 39' 18.5796" N, 122° 55' 20.8848" W
Phone Number: 
7074336626

Sonoma - Enoteca

The Vibe: 
Sonoma-Enoteca is a retail style tasting room on Sonoma Plaza. Nice and elegant in the manner of a fine hotel bar, Sonoma-Enoteca is unique in that it represents 12 wineries in one tasting room.  In other words, a group of small wineries banded together to have one killer tasting room where you can try a smorgasbord of Sonoma wines. Ideally located near the shopping, restaurantsd, and hotels on Sonoma Plaza, Sonoma-Enoteca is worth checking out for anyone intent on trying lots of Sonoma wine. 
Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • To try lots of Sonoma wines. 12 wineries in 1 tasting room!
  • A tasting room convenient to Sonoma Plaza.
Not good for: 
  • People looking for winery tours, beautiful gardens, or impressive architecture.
  • Picnics or anything outdoors.
  • Event hosting.
Known For: 
12 Wineries: 1 tasting room

Locations

35 East Napa Street
Sonoma, CA 95476
United States
38° 17' 30.9012" N, 122° 27' 26.8992" W
35 East Napa Street
Sonoma, CA 95476
United States
38° 17' 30.9012" N, 122° 27' 26.8992" W
Phone Number: 
7079351200

St. Francis Winery

The Vibe: 
Elegant and one of the best Sonoma wineries at which to host an event (wedding, corporate gathering, etc), St. Francis Winery is a mission style building equipped for both indoor or outdoor events.
Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Great, big, red wines. Merlot and Zinfandel in particular.
  • Food and wine pairing. They offer a charcuterie daily where visitors can pair wine with a variety of cheeses, meats and small bites. On weekends they offer wine dining, a small plate, wine pairing experience. (Advised to call ahead for reservations).
  • A place to hold an elegant event. St. Francis offers a beautiful facility for either indoor or outdoor event hosting.
Not good for: 
  • People seeking facility tours.
  • On the elegant side so kids may bore quickly.
Known For: 
Merlot, Zinfandel
Pictures: 

Locations

100 Pythian Road
Kenwood, CA 95452
United States
38° 26' 8.9412" N, 122° 34' 40.1952" W
100 Pythian Road
Kenwood, CA 95452
United States
38° 26' 8.9412" N, 122° 34' 40.1952" W
Phone Number: 
7078330242
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