Guide to Wine Tasting in Petaluma
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Lodging in 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.
Written by Sonoma Insider James Knight.