Top Sonoma Wineries

Lasseter Family Winery

Pixar executive producer John Lasseter and his wife opened this secluded Glen Ellen winery specializing in Bordeaux- and Rhône-style wines made from organically grown grapes. As might be expected of a master storyteller, the winery's tale is well told on tours that precede tastings in a room with mountain and vineyard views.

Merry Edwards Winery

Serious Pinot Noir lovers make pilgrimages to this spot in Sebastopol to experience wines that celebrate the singular characteristics of the Russian River Valley appellation. Tastings are offered several times daily.

Iron Horse Vineyards

Proof that tasting sparkling wine doesn't have to be stuffy, this winery on the outskirts of Sebastopol pours its selections outdoors, with tremendous views of vine-covered hills that make the top-notch bubblies (and a few still wines) taste even better.

Copain Wines

The emphasis at this hillside winery outside Healdsburg is on European-style Pinot Noirs whose grapes come from vineyards north of Napa and Sonoma in Mendocino County. Winemaker Wells Guthrie, a master at crafting complex wines from cool-climate grapes, also makes Chardonnays and Syrahs.

Three Sticks Wines

The chance to make Pinots and Chardonnays from Three Sticks's prized Durell and Gap's Crown vineyards lured Bob Cabral from his longtime post at an exclusive Sonoma County winery. Guests taste Cabral's gems at the lavishly restored Adobe, west of Sonoma Plaza.

Ridge Vineyards

Oenophiles will be familiar with Ridge, which produces some of California’s best Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. You can taste wines made from grapes grown here at Ridge’s Healdsburg vineyards, and some from its neighbors, along with wines made at its older Santa Cruz Mountains winery.

Ram's Gate Winery

Ultramodern yet rustic Ram's Gate perches grandly on a windswept hill in southern Sonoma, a mere 30 miles northeast of the Golden Gate Bridge. If traffic’s light, you can leave San Francisco and be sipping Chardonnay or Pinot Noir in less than an hour.

Matanzas Creek Winery

A sprawling field of lavender makes the grounds of Matanzas Creek especially beautiful in May and June, when the plants are in bloom. But the Santa Rosa winery's Asian-inspired aesthetic makes it delightful year-round, especially if you're a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, or Merlot.

Patz & Hall

This winery is known for single-vineyard Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs made by James Hall, who consistently surpasses peers who have access to the same high-quality fruit. At Salon Tastings in a stylish ranch house a few miles south of Sonoma Plaza, the wines are paired with gourmet bites.

Scribe

Two sons of California walnut growers established this winery on land in Sonoma first planted to grapes in the late 1850s by a German immigrant. Their food-friendly wines include Riesling, Sylvaner, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

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