The stained glass door of the winery has a yellow race car
Keller Estate Winery

Guide to Wine Tasting in Petaluma

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With the recent approval of the Petaluma Gap as a new American Viticultural Area (AVA) in Sonoma County, the spotlight is on the city of Petaluma as a wine tasting destination.

Centered on the Petaluma River in southern Sonoma County, Petaluma is the county's second-largest city with 57,000-plus residents, and has a history rich in food and beverages.

The annual Butter & Egg Days Parade in April celebrates Petaluma's poultry and dairying heritage.

Petaluma is also a big beer, and more recently, spirits town, with the world-famous Lagunitas Brewery and an enclave of craft breweries and distilleries that are generally situated in a light industrial district on the east side of the 101 freeway. Wine tasting opportunities are generally found in Petaluma's historic downtown area, on the west side of the Petaluma River (which is really an upgraded, dredged slough, but the old docks and railroad trestle make for a picturesque stroll on the way to restaurants and shops).

Petaluma Wine Tasting in Town

Adobe Road Winery Tasting Room 

A wall of bottles of wine behind the tasting counter
Adobe Road Winery Tasting Room

Founded by a performance racing team leader and named for the main road to the adobe where General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo first planted wine grapes in the 1830s, Adobe Road pours their  Cabernet Sauvignon and other award-winning wines in the Great Petaluma Mill.

Black Knight Vineyards

Taste small-lot estate Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sparkling wines at the new Black Knight Vineyards tasting room in downtown. This family-run winery is based on property with a rich tradition of grape growing. Realizing the area’s potential for cool-climate varietals, the Black family turned half of the 15 producing acres into Pinot Noir. They have since added 32 total producing acres with multiple types of cool-climate Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and unique varietals of Gamay Noir and Ploussard. Vigneron Mitch Black and a small, dedicated crew manage the vineyards. 

Barber Cellars

A bottle and a glass of wine next to cheese ready for a pairing
Barber Cellars

Tucked into the restored 1923 Art Deco-styled Petaluma Hotel, this husband-and-wife-owned bodega hosts guest cheese makers, silent movie nights, and pours locally sourced Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Gris.

Sonoma Portworks

A table with an umbrella that has a glass of port waiting to be tasted
Sonoma Portworks

A welcoming rustic cellar setting is the place to indulge the sweeter side of your taste buds in this port and sherry tasting room, located near the riverfront. Home of Deco chocolate-infused port. 

La Dolce Vita

Two modern chairs in the wine lounge which has many bottles of wine on display
La Dolce Vita Wine Lounge

Compare the Petaluma Gap's rare bottlings with wines from around the world, paired with cheese and small plates at this stylish wine bar in Petaluma's 'theater district,' an inviting place to wrap up a day of touring and tasting.

Vine & Barrel Wines

This large, retail bottle shop specializing in wines from all over the world, and you might find proprietor Jason Jenkins ruminating with regulars about up-and-coming Petaluma Gap wines. Plus, the 26-seat wine and tapas bar also serves local and European hand-crafted beers and small plate tapas. 

Wineries in the Petaluma Area

Keller Estate Winery 

Barrels lined up in the wine cave
Keller Estate Winery

On the east side of the Petaluma Gap region, Keller may offer the only wine cave tour of the region. The architecturally interesting exterior is faced with stones reclaimed from a village flooded in China's Three Gorges Dam project. Estate sparkling wine, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Rhône-style blend.

Azari Vineyards

Looking out over rolling pastureland on Spring Hill Road, Iranian-American-founded Azari Vineyards typifies the Petaluma Gap region. The small, promising vineyard is planted to Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Riesling, and the wines are paired with pizza baked onsite in a garden setting.

Restaurants in Petaluma

The land of butter and eggs hosts a basketful of fine restaurants.

Petaluma's Central Market is a spacious farm-to-table favorite. Skipping the drive to the coast on Highway 1? Get local oysters at The Shuckery.

For more options, read Where to Eat: Restaurants in Petaluma and check our listings of all Sonoma County Restaurants

Lodging in Petaluma 

The ornate interior of the hotel's lobby
Hotel Petaluma

Baby grand piano and all, Hotel Petaluma evokes the grand days of travel and is a stylish way to stay in Petaluma. On the banks of the river, Sheraton Sonoma Wine Country offers views to the adjacent marina and easy access to walking and birding trails in nearby Shollenberger Park. And French-inspired Metro Hotel and Café has an eclectic assortment of rooms, cottages and Airstream trailers. For more possibilities, check our listings of Petaluma Hotels and Lodging.

Learn more by reading 5 Fun Things to Do in Petaluma, Getting Around Petaluma, and An Evening in Historic Downtown Petaluma.

Written by Sonoma Insider James Knight.