Ram's Gate

What to Expect When Visiting Sonoma County Wine Country

Share this story

With summer in full swing, many travelers to Sonoma County may have questions about travel safety, current Sonoma County travel conditions and more. This is especially the case with changing guidelines and new recommendations that vary from state-to-state and region-to-region. So we’re here to help answer those questions.

Picture of couple of women overlooking vineyards having their picture taken

What To Expect 

New Face Covering Guidance  

August 2021 Update: Sonoma County recently joined six Bay Area counties that reinstated an indoor mask order, effective August 3. The new order requires all individuals to wear face coverings when indoors in workplaces and public settings, with limited exemptions, and recommends that businesses make face coverings available to individuals entering the business. We ask visitors to respect these guidelines, and join with us in helping keep each other and our communities safe and healthy. Visit our resource page for more info.

Additionally, some businesses may have their own protocols in place for the safety and well-being of their staff and visitors. You may find these posted at the entrance of these businesses, or on their website or on social media pages. We kindly ask visitors to respect the wishes and policies that businesses have in place.

Give Yourself A Little Extra Time

We want visitors to have the best experience possible in Sonoma County, and so we recommend giving yourself a little bit of extra time and to be patient with our incredible community of hospitality businesses. Restaurants, wineries, breweries, and hotels are all committed to guest safety and well-being, now more than ever, which means added measures like higher standards of cleanliness and guest safety. As such, things like checking into your hotel, getting seated at a restaurant, or entering a state park may take a little bit longer.  

Picture of group of friends around table toasting glasses
Brewsters Beer Garden

Make Reservations

While not all restaurants and wineries require, or even offer reservations, many now do. We recommend making reservations well in advance, especially on weekends. Same-day reservations are sometimes available and welcome by phone call, and some places welcome walk-in visitors. Many businesses are providing the latest updates and new happenings via their social media pages. Check their Instagram or Facebook accounts for the latest information and new offers.

Wine tasting, and dining, al fresco 

What says summer in Sonoma County like outdoor dining and wine tasting? It truly couldn’t be a better time to wine taste and eat outdoors because of the comfortable weather that Sonoma County enjoys throughout much of the year. Below is just a sampling of some of the great places to dine and taste outdoors around Sonoma County. 

Picture of food and wine pairing at St Francis Winery & Vineyards
St Francis Winery & Vineyards

Enjoy More Personalized, Intimate Experiences and Events

One of the advantages of this new reality of travel is that it often affords a more intimate experience for guests. Here in Sonoma County we like to think of our destination as a naturally intimate place that allows travelers to slow down, stretch out and connect with each other and our destination. That couldn’t be truer now.

Many events, too, will be smaller and more intimate. Gay Wine Week, for example, has transformed this year from one week of larger events, to an entire summer of smaller, more intimate events. We recommend checking event websites for the latest information on upcoming events.

Enjoy Wine Country, Save Water

As you may already know, Sonoma County, like most of California, is experiencing a drought. In an effort to protect our beautiful destination for generations to come, we’re asking visitors to join with us in helping conserve water. The following blog post has water conservation tips as you plan your trip.

Sign The Travel Kindly Pledge

Finally, we invite you to sign the Sonoma County Travel Kindly Pledge. In doing so, you commit to making a positive impact to the health and well-being of our local communities, abundance of experiences, and beautiful natural landscapes. Think local, plan ahead, leave no trace, tread lightly, make an impact, spread kindness, go beyond, and be mindful. These words seem as important now as ever.

Picture of pledge about traveling kindly