Where To Go On A Vegan Friendly Sonoma Valley Trip
This article comes from Michelle Rulmont of La Belle Vie Tours. La Belle Vie Tours is a locally owned and operated wine tour company, which naturally, started over a glass of (vegan) wine.
Sonoma County is world renowned for its wine, towering redwoods, miles of ocean and incredible agriculture. But you may not be quite so familiar with it as a great destination for travelers who are vegan. For example, did you know that Sonoma County is home to the highly acclaimed Miyoko’s Creamery, which is known for its vegan cheeses that are served throughout the region and beyond? And did you know that Sonoma County is home to Renegade Foods, a plant-based charcuterie that tastes and looks just like the real thing? What's more, Sonoma County has numerous vegan-friendly wineries and vegan restaurants. So grab your keys, we have the perfect vegan-friendly Sonoma County road trip for exploring the Sonoma Valley.
After living in Sonoma County for over 20 years, becoming vegan and owning a wine tour business, I have found more and more places that are vegan friendly. And that couldn't be truer of the Sonoma Valley. Learning that not all wine was vegan was my first realization but it has only had a positive aspect to learning about vegan winemaking practices and sustainability. (Barnivore is a great starting place to find a list of vegan-friendly wine, beer and spirits.)
Fittingly, any Sonoma County Wine Country road trip should begin with wine, and the historic Sonoma Plaza in the heart of the Sonoma Valley is a great starting point. Located just off the Sonoma Plaza is Three Sticks Winery at the Historic Vallejo-Castaneda Adobe. Taste through a guided, educational flight of estate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, while learning about the historic adobe home and their portfolio of Sonoma County vineyards. They also offer a delicious small bites plate with Miyoko’s Creamery cheeses, Renegade charcuterie, fruit and crackers.
A few other plant-based stops on the Sonoma Plaza include the new El Dorado Cantina featuring takeout tacos and burritos, Sunflower Cafe for brunch, the girl & the fig for lunch or dinner, and Sweet Scoops Homemade Ice Cream (don’t miss the seasonal lavender fig flavor). You can certainly spend an entire day just at the Sonoma Plaza.
How does cuddling a goat or feeding a cow sound? For a uniquely Sonoma County farm experience, head 5 minutes east from downtown Sonoma to visit Charlie’s Acres Farm Sanctuary, which houses 140 rescued animals. Join them for a day at the sanctuary and meet a variety of rescued farm animals. On your guided tour they will share the animals' stories of resilience and healing and talk more about the industries they came from. Community tours are currently being offered at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays with a reservation and suggested donation.
From Sonoma, take a quick drive up to Jack London Village to stop in and say hello to owners Rob and Laura Schermeister of Schermeister Winery and their friendly greeter, Eli the dog. Rob and Laura have been making vegan-friendly wines since 2012 with native yeast, unfiltered and unfined, leaving the complexity of the grape in every drop. They call themselves Sonoma County’s smallest native fermentation winery and they highlight the best of Wine Country’s gold and platinum vineyards. Their limited production wines are enjoyed at the creekside tasting room in the Jack London Village.
Other can't-miss stops in Jack London Village include The Mill at Glen Ellen (don’t miss the vegan chocolate mousse), Yeti for amazing Nepalese & Indian food and Wine Country Chocolates, where you have to stop to try the peanut butter truffle.
Continue north after Glen Ellen to the quaint town of Kenwood and stop at Kunde Winery. Book a wine tasting (mountaintop if you can) for an incredible view of Glen Ellen. Five generations have been creating incredible, sustainably-farmed wines that showcase the varietals of the valley. You will find vegan-friendly options and Renegade Charcuterie in their deli case.
Nearby, the stunning Jack London State Historic Park is a Northern California treasure. With more than 1,400 acres and 29 miles of trails, Jack London State Historic Park is an amazing destination to take in a little nature in between your sipping and swirling. Take a hike, bring a picnic or visit the recently reopened museum, House of Happy Walls, which highlights the history of the Londons.
Looking to leave the driving to the locals? Join La Belle Vie Tours on an amazing day in the Sonoma Valley. You will visit Charlie’s Acres Farm Sanctuary and two vegan wineries on the popular farm sanctuary and vegan wine tour. Your lunch is taken care of too. Reservations are required and we are currently taking private groups of up to six in the Mercedes Sprinter Van.
Finally, choose from a great collection of accommodations in Sonoma County, from award-winning resorts to boutique inns to wineries you can actually spend the night in.