The 21 Best Wineries in Sonoma County
Sonoma County, California is home to some of the best wine in the world, and it’s also home to more than 425 wineries. It doesn’t matter if you’re lucky enough to be living here, or if you’re visiting on vacation. You probably want to know which of these are the best wineries in Sonoma County!
Lucky for you, we have some insight as a Sonoma County vineyard ourselves. Now, we can’t recognize all the Sonoma County wineries and hardworking winemakers we love in one list or guide. But we can narrow it down to some extremely special places for you to try on your next visit.
We’ve made sure that these vineyards are all within driving distance of each other. So it would be easy to plan a wine tasting tour that lets you try out a few of them.
We have chosen to focus on small, family-owned wineries in particular for our list of the best wineries in Sonoma County. Because big-name brands are easy enough to find, and we want to help you sniff out the hidden gems of the region.
With so many incredible Sonoma California wineries to choose from, it was hard to narrow down the list! For the sake of brevity, here is our list of the 21 best wineries in Sonoma County.
The 21 best wineries in Sonoma County
Here are our favorite family-owned boutique wineries and the top Sonoma wineries to visit on your wine-tasting tour through Sonoma. No matter which of these wineries you choose, you’re sure to get something truly special to sip on.
- Why we chose it: Bricoleur Vineyards has a little bit of everything. Despite being new to the scene, they’ve already earned their spot on our list of the best wineries in the Sonoma County area.
- Who it’s for: Anyone ready for a wine DESTINATION – and those looking for dietary-friendly wine tastings.
Bricoleur Vineyards is set to be one of the best wineries in Sonoma County. Despite first opening their doors last year during the pandemic, Mark and Elizabeth Hanson have seen resounding success. And with all they have on offer, we’re sure this vineyard won’t be a secret for long.
If you’re looking for an idyllic weekend getaway, this is your ticket. Located in the Russian River Valley, Bricoleur Vineyards is home to grape vines, olive groves, a honey farm, a rose garden, and fruit orchards. They even have bocce courts and a private pond you can fish in!
And need we mention their culinary team? The tastings on offer are as versatile as they are artisanal – with vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan options for their pairings and picnics.
You can also sip some unoaked Chardonnay or Alexander Valley Zinfandel while supporting a good cause. This fabulous family winery gives back to numerous charities from the Make-A-Wish Foundation to the Sonoma County Fire Relief Fund.
2. Pax Wine
- Why we chose it: This is one of the best wineries in Sonoma County to try something you haven’t experienced before.
- Who it’s for: Lovers of Syrah – and anyone looking to explore new wine varietals.
When you visit Pax Wine, expect a unique wine tasting experience – that’s because they offer “esoteric varieties” of wine. These varieties include Trousseau Gris, Charbono, Mission, and Gamay Noir. If you haven’t heard of one or more of those grapes, you’re in for a treat!
But Pax and Pamela Mahle focus on more than the great diversity of California wine. They care profoundly about the winemaking methods. Pax Wine uses organic, sustainable, and biodynamic methods from the vineyard to the cellar.
They also have a penchant for Syrah, and have become established as one of California’s premier producers of Syrah wine.
- Why we chose it: With ratings like these, we’d be remiss to leave them off our list!
- Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a great wine-tasting experience – or a fur-baby friendly day trip.
The Dutton-Goldfield Winery tasting room is not an experience to be missed. There’s a good reason it’s on our list of the best wineries in Sonoma County. In fact, it’s been voted the #1 tasting room in the Sebastopol area!
Dutton-Goldfield is a partnership between grape grower Stever Dutton and winemaker Dan Goldfield. They specialize in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. But they also have a large variety of red and white wines on offer, so you’re bound to find something you enjoy.
The tasting room has both indoor and outdoor options, with a beautiful patio for summer tastings and a cozy fireplace for winter tastings. They have a bunch of fun pairing options – including sushi pairings – and are a dog-friendly winery, so your pooch can enjoy the fun too.
4. Red Car Wine Co.
- Why we chose it: We love their sustainable approach to winemaking. We also think you’d be hard-pressed to find a better Rosé from a Pinot Noir.
- Who it’s for: Anyone with a penchant for new and interesting Rosé wines.
Red Car Wine Co. is a sustainable, organic vineyard started by Richard and Alison Crowell in the West Sonoma Coast. If you like Rosé wine, then it is one of the best wineries in Sonoma County you can visit.
The Rosé of Pinot Noir at Red Car is an absolute delight – think notes of orange blossom, orange sorbet, and red grapefruit. In general, all the wines at Red Car have bright acidity and lively aromatics which make them a joy to pair with food.
It’s a good thing that Red Car has delicious cheese and charcuterie boards – featuring their own olive oil – for their tastings. Each of the beautiful spreads also includes salami, cornichons, local cheeses, sun dried fruits, house-made pickled veggies, sliced baguettes, and more.
- Why we chose it: Bowman Cellars has delicious wine and a delightful ambiance to match.
- Who it’s for: People looking to party at a beautiful, character-filled venue. (And anyone looking for a 420-friendly experience.)
Ready for a fun and funky outdoor experience in the countryside? Head on over to Bowman Cellars, one of the best wineries in Sonoma County for a good time.
Bowman Cellars specializes in hosting private events and intimate dining experiences. Their cozy patio has comfy chairs and excellent food – and is a cannabis-friendly space.
The husband and wife team at Bowman Cellars produces mouthwateringly good wines from Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon to Pinot Noir to Chardonnay. And, if you are there on the weekend, you can experience their famous biscuit sandwiches made out of their Airstream.
- Why we chose it: Bump Wine Cellars is all about the people. Mieko and Geordie are fantastic hosts who truly make the experience (but we have to say, their wines are a real treat too).
- Who it’s for: This is one of the best wineries in Sonoma County for art-lovers and those looking for an intimate wine-tasting experience.
Geordie and Meiko Carr are making waves with their small-lot, single vineyard wines at Bump Wine Cellars. They not only focus on showcasing the local terrior, but also local artists. Come see the rotating gallery of local art on their walls!
Apart from the stylish decor, the tasting room at Bump Wine Cellars is home to some magnificent wines – and the Zinfandel is the star.
But the best thing in the room are the husband-and-wife team themselves. Geordie and Meiko personally pour your glasses while sharing stories about their history and their wines.
- Why we chose it: We love the devotional approach to farming at Russian River Vineyards. The live music is a nice addition to their premium-quality wines.
- Who it’s for: Those looking for fabulous ambience for their wine. From mood-setting music to sanctuary wellness experiences, they have it all here.
Gio Balistreri, the winemaker at Russian River Vineyards, comes from four generations of farmers, and it shows! The wine Gio makes is a tribute to the Russian River Valley and the incredible fruit this terroir – and his expertise – creates.
The wines at Russian River Vineyards are full to bursting with flavor, and you can pair them with gourmet food boards, sandwiches, and salads.
But something that sets this vineyard apart is the ambience. You can book Sunday “Yoga & Wine” experiences, and the wine tastings are accompanied by live music from the best local musicians. It’s one of the best wineries in Sonoma County if you’re looking for a relaxing getaway.
- Why we chose it: Karin and Justin provide an intimate and enjoyable experience, and the hilltop scenery is spectacular.
- Who it’s for: People looking for a drop of something special in their wine-tasting tour.
Garden Creek Vineyards is a bit off the beaten path – but it’s worth the journey. Nestled on the eastern hillsides of Alexander Valley, Garden Creek Vineyards is wine-making paradise overlooking a stunning mountain view.
Karin Warnelius-Miller and her husband Justin grew up in the world of winemaking and have a true passion for the craft. When you visit their vineyard, they make the experience both personal and informative. This is one of the best wineries in Sonoma County to learn about winemaking!
After a walk through the vineyards, you can enjoy a candle-lit tasting of their diverse range of wines. On the tasting menu? Everything from Petit Verdot and Scheurebe to Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot.
- Why we chose it: This Sonoma luxury at its finest and one of the best wineries in Sonoma County for an overnight stay.
- Who it’s for: People looking for an elevated wine-tasting experience or those looking for on-site accommodations – The Bliss House sleeps up to six adults.
Ready for some ritz and glam? Lynmar Estate Winery provides a luxury wine tasting experience for its visitors – and you can spend the night on the estate!
Lynmar Estate Winery creates ultra-premium wine in its state-of-the-art gravity-flow winery and caves. And on the property, they have bountiful gardens of fruits, vegetables, and herbs which their chef uses to create gourmet meals for wine tastings.
You can enjoy a private lunch in the gardens surrounded by beautiful plants and buzzing hummingbirds. All while paired with the perfect glass (or bottle!) of wine.
- Why we chose it: Schermeister Winery is a lovely creekside destination with a unique concept – and we really love this winemaking duo!
- Who it’s for: People with children and fur-babies in tow – and those looking for an immersive experience for the senses.
Looking for something outside the norm? Schermeister Winery is one of the best wineries in Sonoma County for a unique wine tasting! Case in point: they have an aroma bar. A unique place where you can experience the 18 most common aromas found in wine.
Schermeister winery is fun for all ages. The stunning creekside tasting room is child and pet-friendly (as long as your dog is on a leash). And as long they will play nice with the sweet vineyard pup, Eli!
Winemaker Robert Schermeister and his wife Laura are passionate about wild fermentation wines that are unfiltered, sustainably farmed and vegan friendly.
Schermeister Winery happens to be a fabulous spot for art collectors too. You can buy work from local artists or from the family themselves! Both Laura and her father are artists, and you can buy their beautiful pieces which include a range of artisan cutting boards and bowls.
11. Mira Winery
- Why we chose it: Mira Winery is perfecting the art of winemaking in Napa Valley.
- Who it’s for: Anyone looking to dip their toes into Napa wines during their stay in the Sonoma wine country.
We have to be upfront about this: Mira Winery is not one of the best wineries in Sonoma County. It’s likely one of the best boutique wineries in Napa Valley! And, since Napa Valley is just a short drive from Sonoma, we wanted to give you the chance to check this place out.
Mira Winery is on a mission to create the best handcrafted, all-natural wines in the world – and they’re doing a great job of it. Their single-vineyard, single-varietal wines are incredibly high quality.
Visit their Winery & Hospitality House, south of Yountville, to learn firsthand how their pure winemaking approach transforms the flavor of their wines. Each bottle is a work of art. And you’ll have a chance to enjoy Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and more.
- Why we chose it: The unique winemaking procedures at Hartford produce some extraordinary depth in their wines.
- Who it’s for: Lovers of Old Vine Zinfandel, as this is where Hartford truly shines.
Hartford Family Winery is producing wines with serious personality in Forestville. Specializing in single-vineyard varieties, Hartford’s small and low-yielding vineyards deliver extremely expressive and well-balanced wines.
Winemaking is an art form here. Wines at Hartford are not fined or filtered, preserving every ounce of flavor and texture in your sip. The grapes are not crushed during their winemaking process. Instead, they are cold soaked and stirred in open-top fermentors to extract optimum color and mouth-feel.
The resulting wine is spectacular. Come try the exceptional Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Old Vine Zinfandel while enjoying the outdoor BBQ.
- Why we chose it: Dry farming practices at Emeritus Vineyards create distinctly dry and refreshing glasses of wine.
- Who it’s for: People looking for a relaxing getaway – and a place to top up their electric vehicle!
Come experience the breathtaking views at Emeritus Vineyards, a dry-farmed and sustainable vineyard in North Sebastopol. The atmosphere here is equal parts elegant and rustic. You’ll see wall-to-wall glass doors on the former-apple-barn tasting room that open up onto an expansive terrace.
Dry farming means no supplemental irrigation is used. The vines are only watered through natural rainfall. Since rains are scarce in California summers, the roots have to dig deep for water. The helps to prevent excess sugars in the grapes while preserving delightful acidity.
Emeritus takes sustainability seriously. They even offer visitors both universal and Tesla charging stations for electric cars. So you can refresh your palette and your battery at the same time!
- Why we chose it: If it’s good enough for the president, then you need to try it. Plus, the view is pretty spectacular.
- Who it’s for: Anyone with a penchant for bubbly, and those looking for a good cause to contribute to during their wine tour.
Green Valley is home to a vineyard producing California’s most celebrated sparkling wines. Iron Horse has been handcrafting estate-exclusive and exquisite bottles of bubbly for decades. And they’ve named the place after the railroad stop that crossed the property in the 1890s.
Iron Horse has truly perfected their craft, and it shows. Their sparkling wines have been served at the White House for six consecutive presidential administrations.
They also produce a limited-production Blanc de Blancs with National Geographic which contributes a portion of the proceeds to protecting the world’s oceans. Now that’s something we can “cheers” to.
- Why we chose it: Lambert Bridge provides an absolutely idyllic location to taste wine. They also have a particularly exceptional Sauvignon Blanc.
- Who it’s for: Anyone who wants to enjoy some small-lot wines in a beautiful and intimate setting.
Lambert Bridge Winery lies nestled among redwood forested hills just west of its namesake trestle bridge. The grounds are a joy to visit, boasting lavish gardens and rolling hills.
The wines are cultivated carefully here. They use berry-by-berry sorters, small-lot fermentors, and pedigree French oak barrels to extract the perfect balance, complexity, and concentration of flavor.
Sit on the shaded patio and watch butterflies dance across the garden. Or enjoy your wine from the intimate picnic vistas or stunning redwood tasting room.
- Why we chose it: Marimar provides a different wine experience than any other Californian winery. You’ll swear you’ve been transported to Catalonia!
- Who it’s for: Lovers of Spanish-style wine – this is the real deal.
Marimar Estate Vineyards is unique in California because it is totally European in style. The planting density is 2000 vines per acre, four times that of Californian tradition. This high density promotes root competition and reduces yield, but the fruit that does come forth is more flavorful, refined, and balanced.
The entire property at Marimar is 100% solar-powered. And they incorporate thoughtful sustainable practices when possible. For example, they have beehives to aid plant growth and cover crops to keep harmful pests at bay.
When you walk through the doors you step straight into Catalonia, as winemaking equipment, furniture, and crockery was all brought over from Spain. Relax by the fireplace while sipping some of the best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on offer.
17. VJB Cellars
- Why we chose it: VJB is as close as you can get to a trip to Italy – and that Italian hospitality is hard to beat.
- Who it’s for: People who want to try some unique Italian wine varietals while partaking in pizza on the piazza.
Now it’s time for a quick trip to Tuscany (that is, as close as you can get to it without leaving Sonoma). VJB Cellars is quintessentially Italian, from the warm hospitality to the wood-oven fired pizza to the stunning Tuscan-style villa.
At VJB Cellars, you’ll be able to taste some hard-to-find Italian varietals. If you’ve ever wanted to try Sagrantino, Nebbiolo, Nero d’Avolo, or Tocai Friulano, this is your place. In fact, the family produces over 20 types of wine for you to try!
You can even enjoy some delicacies from their Italian marketplace while you sip your wine on the piazza.
- Why we chose it: Three Sticks has some of the best Chardonnay around. You simply can’t miss the Adobe if you’re passing through Sonoma.
- Who it’s for: History buffs, Chardonnay-lovers, or those looking to add a little Mexican flare to their wine tasting trip.
Visiting Three Sticks is like being transported back in time. The tasting room rests in the historic Vallejo-Casteñada Adobe, one of the few remaining structures from California’s Mexican Period.
Built in 1842, the Adobe has been lovingly restored by the team at Three Sticks. It is now an iconic landmark, right in the heart of Sonoma.
But Three Sticks isn’t only about the ambiance – it regularly produces award-winning Chardonnay wines. Drop by for a taste of these Sonoma delicacies, and enjoy a meal from their renowned partner restaurant, El Dorado Kitchen.
19. Peterson Winery
- Why we chose it: The “Zero Manipulation” winemaking methods result in some unique and flavorful wines.
- Who it’s for: Fans of Zinfandel wine – this here is some of the best.
Dry Creek is home to some of Sonoma’s best Zinfandel wine – and Peterson Winery is a cut above. That might have something to do with their unique wine-making approach, which they call “Zero Manipulation.” This low-tech yet high-touch approach produces soulful wines with amazing characteristics.
Peterson Winery is completely family owned and operated. The Peterson family has been making wine here for over 30 years, and has learned how to truly maximize the flavors each bottle of wine. Even more amazing? They do it all sustainably.
- Why we chose it: Hanzell Vineyards has one of the best vineyard tours in the region, and the passion of the staff is contagious.
- Who it’s for: Those looking to learn a little extra about winemaking while being greeted by some truly adorable animals.
Hanzell Vineyard was founded by James D. Zellerbach 1953 with the hopes of creating wines that could compete on the world stage. We would say he’s done it; the vineyard produces truly exceptional wines. But it’s not just the wine that makes Hanzell stand out. It’s the people.
Every staff member is passionate about winemaking, and super informative about the process. Your personalized and intimate tour will teach you all about the biodynamic farming, geography of the landscape, and history of the caves.
At Hanzell, they practice “Holistic Integrated Farming” which makes use of natural nutrient cycles and helps reduce their carbon footprint. They hope to one day be 100% self-sustained, but in the meantime, any material brought in must be ethical and Certified Organic.
And, while you tour the fascinating property, you may just meet sheep, chickens, deer, baby piglets, Edsel the cat, or Scout and Radley – the Maremma Livestock Guardian Dogs. The animals are all SO sweet and friendly, and can only add joy to your visit.
21. Halleck Vineyard
- Why we chose it: We may be a little biased about our experience, but the award of #1 Pinot Noir in the United States doesn’t lie!
- Who it’s for: People looking for the best Pinot Noir nation-wide, delivered in an intimate, personalized wine-tasting.
If you want to hit one of the best wineries in Sonoma County on your trip, you absolutely cannot miss Halleck Vineyard. Our small, family-owned estate in Sebastopol has been crafting award-winning wine after award-winning wine – and you MUST taste them.
We are all about building a warm, open community through our wines. Our hope is that you’ll join us for an intimate Sonoma County wine tasting like no other. Halleck Vineyard feels like coming home to family. You’ll be wrapped in the warm embrace of everything here – from the winemakers and staff to the mesmerizing selection of Russian River Valley wines.
Halleck Vineyard has won Best in Class for our Sauvignon Blanc and our star Pinot Noir. But our awards are as diverse as our wines. Our Dry Gewürztraminer has been judged the number one white wine in California!
Get the most out of your Sonoma County wine tour
That’s our short list of the best wineries in Napa Valley and Sonoma County. Pick the ones that caught your eye and plan your dream trip.
Lucky for you, these wineries are all close to each other. So you can pick and choose your favorites to create an unforgettable road trip throughout wine country.
What are you waiting for? From creekside getaways with a view and luxury locales to pet-friendly estates and award-winning, family-run operations, the best wineries in Sonoma County await!
California Sauvignon Blanc is like New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in many ways. But the two varietals from different regions deviate in some respects as well….
In this wine review, Ross Halleck and Harris Miner are in Sonoma wine tasting and talking about New World Gewürztraminers from the Russian River and…
In this wine review Ross Halleck and Harris Miner are in Sonoma wine tasting and enjoying two California Pinots; La Cream Pinot Noir from Monterey…