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Out in the Vineyard: Sonoma County’s Top Gay Winemakers

Windsor Oaks Vineyards is one of many Sonoma County wineries that have participated in the Big Gay Train and other LGBT events and activities.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I hope the principals behind the Wine Country event company that inspired the title of this post won't mind me appropriating their name.

The brainchild of Sonoma transplant Gary Saperstein and Sonoma native Mark Vogler, Out in the Vineyard (16926 Evanton Lane, Sonoma, 707-495-9732) is an experiential travel resource devoted to promoting positive LGBT lifestyles and offering exclusive, luxury itineraries and events in Wine Country for discerning gay travelers and their friends.

The very existence of the company not only speaks volumes about Sonoma County and the special welcome its wineries have on tap for LGBT visitors but also about the genuinely wide-open arms with which the destination welcomes diversity.

All year Out in the Vineyard hosts three- and six-day itineraries where guests visit some of the top wineries of the world, meet artisan winemakers at their bucolic boutique tasting rooms, and dine on exquisite culinary cuisine at the private estates of gay couples, all while literally being Out In The Vineyard.

Additionally, each year the Sonoma County-based company hosts an event called the Big Gay Train, which highlights LGBT winemakers from throughout Northern California – and beyond. Participants in this event have included winemakers from J Vineyards & Winery, Windsor Oaks Vineyards & Winery, Mercury Wines of Geyserville, Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery, and other wineries.

In addition to the above, Sonoma County is also home to a number of gay-friendly wineries like DeLoach Vineyards  and Francis Ford Coppola Winery, among many others.

In fact, most wineries in Sonoma County are gay-friendly, which goes a long way toward explaining why this wine region has been named one of the country's top 20 tourist destinations for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people.

Get the free Sonoma County Wineries Map and Visitors Guide.