A Sonoma County Wine or Beer Tasting Itinerary that Your DD Won’t Be Mad About

Hamel Family Wines, Sonoma

With a massive flood of zero-proof beverages recently hitting the market, it’s become fairly easy to find nonalcoholic alternatives on the menus of Sonoma County bars and restaurants. Yet this trend has been slower to show up in wineries and breweries, which (understandably) tend to focus on their own beverages, along with their farming and production processes.  

In the past, winery and brewery owners may have assumed that guests have wanted to drink alcohol. As a result, a designated driver or other guest wanting to enjoy a winery or brewery visit, but without booze, might’ve been stuck sipping a cup of water or coffee while their friends enjoyed a good tipple.  

Lately, that assumption is changing, giving rise to a great many creative tasting options for non-drinkers. Forward-looking wineries and breweries are welcoming a wide range of guests with nonalcoholic flights and distinctive experiences, presented alongside traditional alcohol tastings.  

Which establishments are creating the most complete and inclusive tasting experiences? Read on to discover! 

Meadowcroft Wines

Meadowcroft non-alcoholic Tasting, Sonoma
Meadowcroft Wines, Sonoma

Established more than two decades ago, Meadowcroft Wines is located in the Carneros appellation just south of the Sonoma Plaza. “We’ve always offered nonalcoholic drinks to drivers or non-participants,” says David Messerli, director of marketing and strategy at Meadowcroft Wines, “but were really left feeling that we could be doing more. There are a bunch of reasons that people don’t choose to consume alcohol, and nobody needs to be made to feel uncomfortable or excluded because of that.”  

With this in mind, the team at Meadowcroft set out to better engage guests who choose not to drink alcohol. Experimenting with a variety of mixers, the winery created a menu of original zero-proof cocktails. Meadowcroft then used these drinks to build a unique sensory experience for non-drinking guests who sign up for the custom wine blending experience.  

In the new zero-proof experience, Maesserli reports, “Tasters get a flight of four mocktails that they can smell, taste and savor in the same way as the wine drinkers.  They get to try and identify aromas and flavors and consider the differences between each.”  

No one is left out: The flight and tasting experience parallels the wine blending that your friends may be enjoying. Choose to purchase the mocktails as a flight for $50 when joining a wine-blending event, or purchase individually for $10 each.  

23574 Arnold Drive, Sonoma

Hamel Family Wines

Hamel family wines, wine tasting
Hamel Family Wines, Sonoma

Any visitor who signs up for a tour of the notoriously well-appointed Hamel Family Wines can expect the white-glove treatment. Now, that treatment includes a “dry tasting” for non-drinkers ($45). Offered to any member of a tour group wishing to refrain from drinking, the dry tasting invites you to access all the perks of the usual tour, including the cave and winery, but without the wine. Instead, enjoy a flight of sparkling botanical sodas or teas carefully selected by Hamel’s in-house sommelier. In keeping with the winery’s principles, dry beverage selections adhere to organic and sustainable practices. Don’t miss the pairings, which have been known to feature gougères, duck rillette, or mushroom paté … all made by the onsite chef.  

15401 Sonoma Highway, Sonoma 

Viansa

Inside the Viansa Winery tasting room is a marketplace, deli, and café that offer coffee, tea, and a variety of nonalcoholic beverages
Viansa, Sonoma

At this fourth-generation family winery, enjoy the beverage that best suits your tastes while taking in sweeping views of Carneros. At Viansa, book a reserved tasting as a wine drinker at the standard price, or as a non-drinker at just $10 to experience the journey and learn all about the winery’s extensive history and winemaking techniques.  

Inside the tasting room is a marketplace, deli, and café that offer coffee, tea, and a variety of nonalcoholic beverages such as Italian sodas, sparkling juices, and treats. A deli menu includes food options available for purchase – sandwiches, salads, cheese + charcuterie boards, items to make your own picnic, and more. At Viansa, all are sure to feel included in the winery and vineyard experience. 

25200 Arnold Dr, Sonoma   

Barrel Brothers Brewing

Tucked in an unlikely location in Windsor, this hidden-gem brewery offers an outstanding list of craft nonalcoholic beers, including a pilsner, hazy IPA, porter, sour, and more – all in tandem with a lineup of full-octane beers. Barrel Brothers not only offers something for everyone, but the brewery makes it fun. You choose your beverage from a “wall of drinks,” a row of 39 taps that allows you to sample different sized pours of seltzers, ciders, cocktails, and beers. Use the smaller glasses to make a flight, or commit to a pint of a single beverage.   

Meanwhile, the kitchen had devised a menu of “street cuisine from around the world.” So, once you’ve made your beverage selection, pair it with casual eats like Bahn mi, bratwurst, Thai noodle salad, pupusas, and more. 

9238 Old Redwood Hwy Ste. 128, Windsor 

The Barlow Tasting Tour 

Long a popular wine and culinary haven, The Barlow now offers curious guests a behind-the-scenes peek of some of its most popular food and beverage producers, including Pax Wines, II Fusti Olive Oil, and Wm Cofield Cheesemakers. The tour lasts 90 minutes and consists of seven stops. Also onsite at the Barlow is Guyaki Yerba Mate, Taylor Lane Organic Coffee, Fern Bar nonalcoholic bar, and Golden State Cider, which sometimes includes a nonalcoholic option. If you’re looking for a one-stop destination that suits both drinkers and non-drinkers, The Barlow has you covered! 

6770 McKinley Street, Sebastopol 


Written by Amy Bess Cook 

You Might Also Like

Comstock Wines, Healdsburg
Wineries

As you plan your upcoming Sonoma County excursion, you imagine that your Wine Country ramble will unfold in a certain…

Hamel Family Wines, wine tasting and non-alcoholic tasting
Wineries

With a massive flood of zero-proof beverages recently hitting the market, it’s become fairly easy to find nonalcoholic alternatives on…

handmade pizza at Glen Ellen Star
Trip Itineraries

As a Sonoma local, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing Sonoma County’s finest offerings and generally end up with the…

Wine tasting at sunset.
Trip Itineraries

Fall is a busy time in Sonoma County — from colorful hikes to the perfect pumpkin patch, discover what locals…

Farmhouse Inn exterior
Food & Wine

From Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow to Justin and Hailey Bieber, you may bump into a few celebrities at Sonoma…

Yellow wildflowers covering field
Outdoor Activities

Springtime offers a brilliant array of things to see and do in Sonoma County, from wildflower walks to cheese crawls!…

Buena Vista Winery barrels
Wineries

The term “ghost wineries” may conjure images of restless spirits wandering winery corridors, but it doesn’t refer to haunted vineyard…

Wineries

One of the satisfying perks of the 21st century is being able to order just about anything and have it…

Trip Itineraries

It’s not hard to find something going on somewhere on the weekends, but what about when your trip stretches into…

Food & Wine

Harvest season is a time like no other in Wine Country, where an undercurrent of excitement and urgency flows from…

See What’s Happening

Share your experience using #SonomaCounty or #LifeOpensUp