A view of the vineyards from Viansa Sonoma in Carneros AVA, Sonoma County
A view of the vineyards from Viansa Sonoma in Carneros AVA

Sonoma County Wineries With Amazing Views

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There are more than 425 wineries in Sonoma County and each and every one is scenic in its own way. Still, some have views that are real standouts. Here, moving south to north, is a sampling of wineries to visit if you crave a vineyard vista as you taste an exceptional vintage.

A view of the protected wetlands and Carneros AVA from Viansa Sonoma in Sonoma County
Viansa Sonoma

At the southern end of Sonoma County, the Italian-style Viansa Sonoma winery commands a hill overlooking acres of protected wetlands. It's a particularly fine perch for bird watchers during spring and summer migrations, and in the winter when the wetlands are at their wettest and full of happy waterfowl. Special 'outlook' structures are available to sip and view in style. (25200 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, 707-946-4735)

The magnificent view of Sonoma Valley from Kunde Family Winery's Mountain Top Tasting in Sonoma County
Sonoma Valley from Kunde Family Winery's Mountain Top Tasting

Further north up Highway 12, the vineyards at Kunde Family Winery roll for miles along Highway 12. And although the tasting room is nestled picturesquely in the foothills of the Mayacamas range, visitors can arrange an excursion that's all about the view - a Mountaintop Tasting van whisks you up to a small olive grove with a magnificent panorama of Sonoma Valley and beyond. (9825 Sonoma Highway 12, Kenwood, 707-833-5501)

People walk in a field of lavender at Matanzas Creek Winery, Sonoma County
Matanzas Creek Winery

In late spring, nothing can match the view from Matanzas Creek Winery when their extensive lavender fields are in full bloom, a bit of a change from the typical corduroy rows of vineyards. (6097 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa, 707-528-6464)

A view of Russian River Valley from the tasting deck at Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery, Sonoma County
Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery

The Russian River wine-growing region has gorgeous views around every bend, but Gary Farrell Vineyards and Winery, open by appointment only, is renowned for its vineyard vistas and 'glamping' woodlands experience. (10701 Westside Road, Healdsburg, 707-473-2909)

The view of Lake Sonoma from the picnic area at Gustafson Family Vineyards, Sonoma County
Gustafson Family Vineyards

Gustafson Family Vineyards offers breathtaking 30-mile panoramic views in three directions. This unique mountain vineyard perches at 1,800 feet above sea level in the Dry Creek Valley. Gustafson pours bright, refreshing Riesling at their stunning, ridge top estate as well as Zinfandel, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. It's a bit off the beaten path, but it's worth the drive.

There's a lovely picnic area, so be sure to bring a picnic lunch. The estate tasting room is open Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., no appointment necessary. Open Fridays and Mondays from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. by appointment only. (9100 Skaggs Springs Road, Geyserville, 707-433-2371)

An aerial view of Fort Ross Vineyard, Winery & Tasting Room and the Pacific Coast in Sonoma County
Fort Ross Vineyard, Winery & Tasting Room

Furthest north and west, Fort Ross Vineyard, Winery & Tasting Room (15725 Meyers Grade Road, Jenner, 707-847-3460; open daily 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; entry gate closes at 5 p.m.) has a tasting room with a view of vineyards, of course, but also the Pacific Ocean. It's the only tasting room along the coast in the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA. So you can sip a Pinot Noir, smell the sea air, and watch the distant waves.

Whichever winery you visit, close your eyes to better taste the wine, and then open them wide for the full Sonoma County experience.

Written by Julie Vader.