13 Award-Winning Wineries in Sonoma County
The microclimates of the Pacific coastline, redwood forests, fertile valleys, and mountains play a role in the excellence of Sonoma County wineries.
Thanks to a unique blend of microclimates, Sonoma County is known as one of the most diverse wine-growing regions in the world. In fact, it’s home to 425+ wineries and 18 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), which produce a delightful range of varietals—from Chardonnay and Rosé to Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Here’s just a sampling of the many amazing wineries you can explore.
Known for welcoming service, stunning views, and—of course—stellar wines, Rodney Strong Vineyards is the perfect place to spend a day in Sonoma County.
Set in the sweeping hills of the Carneros region in southeastern Sonoma County, this certified sustainable winery makes some of the area’s most popular sparkling wines.
The grounds were designed to evoke both the historic California missions and the Catalonian heritage of the Ferrer family, owners of the Freixenet Cava brand. Book one of many curated tasting experiences to sip Spanish-inspired Rosé, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, and more on a patio overlooking the corduroy of vineyards and mountains.
3. Buena Vista Winery, Sonoma
Buena Vista is one of the oldest wineries in California, as well as the birthplace of the state's modern wine industry. In 1857 Count Agoston Haraszthy, Buena Vista’s founder and one of California’s first sheriffs, introduced cuttings from Europe's best vineyards.
Floating above the mist in the hills above the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean, this winery was designed to resemble the many historical barns that dot the landscape of the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA.
Reserve your spot on the 90-minute wine and food-tasting experience to sip estate-grown Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinotage, and savor a seasonal menu of locally sourced small plates. Rolling vineyard hills, paths lined with swaying ornamental grasses and surrounding forest amplify the experience to peak bliss.
5. Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery, Healdsburg
Trickling fountains, elegant topiaries, bright blooms, and stately rows of vines welcome you to Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Wineries.
But don’t let the estate’s beauty distract you from its real stars: Varietals including Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese Rosé, Merlot, Viognier, and more. Enjoy their unique flavors and bouquets at reserved tastings under skyward-reaching olive trees, in the on-site wine library or during an Italian-inspired Sunday brunch.
6. Truett Hurst Winery, Healdsburg
Set in Dry Creek Valley AVA — named for the Russian River tributary basin that helps irrigate the region — you’ll find the marvels of Truett Hurst, a holistic vineyard and farm.
This down-to-earth Sonoma County winery boasts a biodynamic vineyard that produces fantastic wines, including Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, and Petite Sirah. Book the eco-estate tour and tasting where you’ll meet goats, sheep, and chickens before pairing wines with local cheeses. VML Winery, which shares the estate with Truett Hurst, specializes in single vineyard and barrel select Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Matanzas Creek is an out-of-the-way winery tucked into the middle of Bennett Valley AVA. The estate boasts gorgeous grounds where terraced lavender gardens compete with vineyards for your attention.
Its park-like setting makes it a great spot for picnics. Stretch out underneath the outstretched arms of oaks and olive trees with a bottle of Merlot or Sauvignon Blanc and listen as gentle breezes blow through native grasses. Stop by the gift shop for essential oils, body butter and more—all made from lavender grown on-site.
8. St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, Santa Rosa
If you think wine is best enjoyed with a meal, St. Francis is the spot for you. The wine and food pairing here is not to be missed.
Dine al fresco and watch lavender bow beneath gentle breezes, offset by stunning mountain views, and blue, blue skies. Past pairings have included the likes of Cabernet Sauvignon with five-spice pork belly and Cuvee Blank with ginger-shiso parsnip bisque. By appointment only—call to book or book online.
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9. Ram's Gate Winery, Sonoma
Designed to blend in with its surroundings and to pay homage to Sonoma County’s agricultural roots, Ram’s Gate is set in a rustic-chic barn.
The adults-only winery offers rave-review-worthy tasing experiences, in which you can pair their vintages with caviar, small plates, or seasonal, chef-driven courses. Don’t pass up their Chardonnay (with notes of citrus and honey) or the spicy, yet well-rounded, Pinot Noir. By appointment only—book online.
Founded by Bohemia-born brothers Francis, Joseph, and Anton Korbel in 1882, Korbel is the oldest continually operating Champagne house in North America. Nestled in California's Russian River Valley, Korbel has always followed the time-honored methode champenoise tradition.
Enjoy a history tour and a wine tasting, or grab lunch at the deli whose menu features hand-crafted sandwiches, fresh salads, and, of course, pairing suggestions. Enjoy your bubbles and meal on a deck shaded by towering redwoods as you overlook orderly rows of vineyards.
11. Lynmar Estate, Sebastopol
At Lynmar, terroir (aka that special "taste of place") is found not only in the estate-produced wines, but also the on-site kitchen gardens that make the culinary program so spectacular.
Chefs build the flavor profiles of menu dishes based on how well they'll highlight Chardonnays (with whispers of candied lemon and baking spices) and Pinot Noirs (with the jammy smack of berries and stone fruits). Though the wines are the stars, seasonal ingredients are the supporting actors at pairings that include light bites or a multi-course lunch.
This is the spot for a winery experience unlike any other thanks to a museum chock-full of the famous director’s Hollywood memorabilia.
See his Oscars, costumes, and props from his films — like wardrobe selections from "Apocalypse Now" and the desk from "The Godfather" — along with a trove of other cinematic treasures. After exploring, sip spice-tinted Claret or plummy Merlot next to one of two pools (with reservable cabines). Tastings can be booked on the bocce courts or terrace with garden views, while the main floor bar is first-come, first served.
Live out your dreams of being royalty as you sit in the courtyard of Ledson's castle with a glass of small-lot wine—all set in a particularly scenic stretch of the Sonoma Valley.
Stroll through vineyards lined up like soldiers on parade while soaking up the sights of exquisitely manicured gardens, blooming topiaries, 100-year-old oaks, and hulking California mountainsides. Tastings can be paired with charcuterie and cheese plates, that bring out all the right notes of Chardonnay, Grenache, Rosé, and numerous other varietals.