Wineries with Fun Sports Activities
Tasting wine in Sonoma County is a lovely experience, but sometimes it's nice to take a break. Here are a few wineries, divvied up by outdoor activity, that are ready to give you a Sonoma Wine Country-style taste of that good ol' sporting life. As some activities are seasonal, it's a good idea to check with each winery for more information.
Sonoma Valley Bike Tours lets you enjoy the scenery and discover boutique and family-owned wineries at a casual pace with frequent stops on the Full Day Sonoma Valley Bike Tour. Pedal an average of three to six miles between each winery visit, on this tour led by a knowledgeable and local guide.
Venture through the Sonoma Wine Country on two wheels, with the gentle breezes cooling you under the warm sun. On Getaway Adventures' Healdsburg Bike & Wine tour, take a relaxed 10- to 12-mile ride along the quiet country lanes of the Dry Creek Valley. Taste wines along the way, stop on rural back roads and enjoy the scenery, and keep your energy going with a Wine Country picnic lunch.
Thanks to the many Italian immigrants who settled in Sonoma County in the 19th century, bocce ball has long been popular here. Descended from an ancient game of the Roman Empire, bocce involves rolling metal or plastic balls on long smooth courts. It's a social game with plenty of opportunity for laughter and joking around.
Many wineries throughout Sonoma County offer bocce ball courts to visitors. It's fun to kick back with a glass of wine and watch a competition, or even join in and play yourself. Here are a few "bocce" wineries to check out as you travel around the county:
- Geyserville: Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Pedroncelli Winery
- Healdsburg: Armida Winery, De La Montanya Winery & Vineyards, Dry Creek Vineyard, Martorana Family Winery, Thomas George Estates
- Santa Rosa: D'Argenzio Winery, Hook & Ladder Winery
- Sebastopol: Furthermore Wines
- Sonoma Valley: Chateau St. Jean, Imagery Estate Winery, Landmark Vineyards, Larson Family Winery
Free Walking Tours
Thanks to an innovative and free program known as Sonoma County Vineyard Adventures, you can visit some of the region's outstanding wineries and take a free walking tour of their vineyards. The walks are relatively easy, and from half a mile to slightly more than a mile long. The terrain varies — from valleys to mountains — but the locations are always beautiful.
If you feel like it — there's no obligation — you can stop in the tasting room after your walk and sample wines made from the vineyards you've just seen (the walking tour is free, but wine tasting fees may be charged).
The participating wineries are:
- Amista Vineyards (Dry Creek Valley)
- Balletto Vineyards (Russian River Valley)
- Francis Ford Coppola Winery (Alexander Valley) (trail under construction)
- La Crema Estate at Saralee's Vineyard (Russian River Valley)
- Matanzas Creek Winery (Bennett Valley)
- Mauritson Wines (Dry Creek Valley)
- Schug Carneros Estate Winery (Carneros/Sonoma Valley)
- St. Francis Winery and Vineyards (Sonoma Valley)
Kunde Family Winery in Kenwood offers a monthly hiking-and-tasting program designed for outdoor and wine enthusiasts. The guided hikes explore the 1,850-acre volcanic and vertical property, are moderately strenuous, and take guests from the Sonoma Valley floor to 1,400 feet into the Mayacamas mountain range. This fun and casual hike lasts about four hours.
The winery also offers dog-friendly hikes led by Jeff and Roberta Kunde and their two dogs; four hours, ending with a wine tasting and wine country lunch.
Triple Creek Horse Outfit, located in the town of Kenwood in the Sonoma Valley, offers guided Wine Country rides at Jack London State Historic Park along 20-plus miles of trails. The park is home to ancient winery walls and vineyards planted where London himself once grew grapes.
Explore a beautiful winery by riding through the vines on seasoned, gentle horses with the help of an experienced, friendly guide from Sonoma Valley Trail Rides. As an option, after your ride you can enjoy a world-class wine tasting and/or picnic designed especially for you.
Take the family swimming at Geyserville's Francis Ford Coppola Winery, the only winery in the county where you can jump in the water. With a combined 3,600 square feet of space, two swimming pools are connected by a swim-through where jets of water form a small "bridge" for you to swim beneath. When you're not swimming you can relax in comfy chaise lounge chairs surrounding the pool area.
A daily pool pass allows entry to the pool. Or rent one of the 28 cabines (European-style changing rooms) for the entire day. Cabine rental includes pool entry for up to four people, with four lounge chairs and the use of four towels. Cabines are safe places to store personal items, and contain private showers and towels.