Sonoma County Wine Cave Wedding Venues
Carved out of the hillsides, Sonoma County's wine caves offer a romantic, out-of-the-ordinary setting for your wedding, whether it's for your welcome party, rehearsal dinner, ceremony, or reception.
Many wine caves feature glittering chandeliers or other distinctive lighting, elegant tables and chairs, and other luxurious décor. These pristine underground caverns maintain a steady temperature, which is perfect for the wine barrels stored there, but also great for you and your guests, keeping you cool during the summer months and dry when it rains.
The caves do vary in size; some are available only for small events while others can hold 100 or more people. Here's an overview of a few of the options.
As the oldest commercial winery in California, the Buena Vista boasts caves that speak of ancient history. Built in 1857, the wine caves are an official historic landmark. Renovated for modern safety measures, they remain elegantly dark and mysterious. The caves can hold groups of up to 40 people, so they're best for a small wedding or a welcome or rehearsal dinner. From spring to fall, Buena Vista's beautiful fountain courtyard can accommodate up to 225 people, and for indoor weddings, the unique and intriguing Wine Tool Museum holds up to 175. Whichever venue is used, the winery is available for your exclusive use from 5 to 10 p.m.
Buena Vista Winery, 18000 Old Winery Road, 800-926-1266.
The expanse is impressive – more than 23,000 square feet of wine caves spanning the heart of the winery, and cut in the shape of a wine glass. Tucked behind beautiful redwood portal doors lies a hallway lined with hundreds of barrels filled with fine wine. The hallway leads to the elegant Grand Room, furnished with overstuffed couches and chairs. It's a perfect setting for a seated rehearsal or reception dinner for up to 100 guests (available after 5 p.m.). You get exclusive use of the winery, and a private tour and wine tasting is included. The ceremony itself can be held in the wine caves, or outdoors on the crush pad with its panoramic vistas of Kenwood Marsh, the estate vineyards, and distant vineyard-covered hills. Deerfield offers a two-hour Intimate Wedding package for up to 25 people.
Deerfield Ranch Winery, 10200 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, 707-833-5215
Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, Sonoma
Barrels line the walls of the beautiful main cave at Gloria Ferrer, creating a unique setting for a welcome party, rehearsal dinner, brunch, wedding ceremony, a reception, or other event for up to 120 people. The large elegant room (about 25 feet by 100 feet) can be set up to hold a long, dramatic-looking table for a sit-down dinner or rows of chairs for an intimate ceremony. Established in the 1980s, Gloria Ferrer was the first sparkling wine house built in the Carneros wine region. However, the Ferrer family has been making sparkling wines in Spain for more than 150 years. In addition to the cave room, weddings can be held on the Vista Terrace or the Arbor, both with sweeping views overlooking the vineyard, or evenings in the main tasting room.
Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, 23555 Carneros Highway 121, Sonoma, 866-845-6742
Gundlach Bundschu Winery, Sonoma
You pop in one side of the cave, through the heavy wood doors tucked in a tunnel off the courtyard from the tasting room, and when you're done, you pop out the other, to find yourself overlooking the vineyards and an enormous lake. Carved into a gentle hillside, the 430-foot-long, 10,000-square-foot cave holds 1,800 barrels of wine. The cave dining room can seat up to 25 people for an intimate dining experience; outdoor wedding venues at the winery can accommodate up to 150 people.
Gundlach Bundschu Winery, 2000 Denmark St., Sonoma, 707-938-5277
Hans Fahden Vineyards and Winery, Santa Rosa/Calistoga
Rich, dark Cabernet Sauvignon and deep, dark caves - what a lovely combination. This 100-acre estate has been in the Fahden family since 1912. It is hidden away in the Mayacamas mountain range, and produces less than 2,000 cases per year. The rustic volcanic-ash cave is the centerpiece, offering an unforgettable dining experience or an intimate, romantic wedding ceremony. And the rest of the grounds are lovely, and include a Monet-style garden, featuring a teahouse overlooking water lily-laced ponds. The winery can accommodate up to 110 guests.
Hans Fahden Vineyards & Winery, 4855 Petrified Forest Road, Calistoga, 707-942-6760
Kunde Family Winery, Kenwood
More than 32,000 square feet of wine caves burrow 175 feet into the earth, welcoming with a deep perfume of aging wine and oak barrels. Tunneled through ancient volcanic lava flows, the caves are tucked into a steep hillside just behind the winery, which is set on 1,850 contiguous acres. These are authentic, working wine aging caves. At the far end, the VIP dining room offers arched ceilings and a stage of red volcanic rock. It's an unparalleled dining experience for up to 50 people, and a marvelous ceremony space for up to 75 people. Outdoor venues at the winery include a breathtaking secluded site on Boot Hill for up to 250 people; the craftsman-styled Hill House for up to 60 people; Olive Hill (a rocky outcrop surrounded by a beautiful grove of 150-year-old olive trees) for up to 75 people; and the Winemaker's Plaza just outside the tasting room for up to 200 people.
Kunde Family Winery, 9825 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, 707-833-5501
Thomas George Estates, Healdsburg
Excavated in 2010, these wine caves offer an elaborate, lavish space - think rough rock hung with glamorous chandeliers. Beginning at the spacious foyer set with antique wood tasting bars, the 8,000 square-foot underground caves stretch out like a labyrinth. The snaking hallways start with a private tasting lounge and wine library, and then lead to a long communal table for sit-down dinners of up to 70 people. Events can be held in the cave or cave library, or outdoors in the picnic grounds, bocci ball court, or one of the event spaces on Baker Ridge Vineyard.
Thomas George Estates, 8075 Westside Road, Healdsburg, 707-431-8031