6 Wineries You Should Visit During the Holiday Season
When there's a chill in the air, there's a warm welcome at Sonoma County wine tasting rooms. The hospitality of Wine Country is a great pairing with the holiday season: a place to linger awhile and join in on free-flowing conversation, all while sipping wine. Gifts abound, even for the non-wine lovers on your list. And even if there's no lazy curl of smoke rising above the tasting room chimney, wineries are a good place to warm your hands in the winter.
Enjoy magical tasting experiences under the winter tent at Muscardini Cellars, where visitors are surrounded by a dazzling display of 2,000 sparkling lights, stunning silver snowflakes, and twinkling olive trees. Celebrate the holidays with the Muscardini family’s seasonal wine and sensory jar experience, a delicious wine and chocolate pairing from Master Chocolatier Chef Sebastian Beline of Paris, or try your hand at a blind tasting experience of Thanksgiving-perfect wines.
Furnished grandly in the modern rustic style, the winery's year-round star attraction is its wine and food pairings with chef-prepared micro-entrées like duck cassoulet with bacon and huckleberries.
History comes alive at Buena Vista. Founded in 1857 by "Count" Agoston Haraszthy, this was Sonoma County's first commercial winery. While the focus is on classic Sonoma County varietal wines, you can also book one of the daily tours of the lavishly restored, 1860s-era champagne cellars, which are sometimes led by a costumed version of the Count himself. If you crave a cozier experience, simply warm yourself by the fireplace in a tasting room filled with historic winemaking artifacts.
At this sprawling chateau and film museum, you'll find highlights from the director's career as well as a wide variety of wines for every taste, from Sofia sparkling wine for holiday toasting, to some serious Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.
Written by Sonoma Insider James Knight.