Wineries with Outdoor Activities and Specials for May 2018
There’s no better place to be in May than outdoors in Sonoma County, with its spectacular scenery, gentle climate, fine wine, and delicious farm-to-table food, which all come together to create the perfect Wine Country experience.
With May 2018 officially named as Sonoma County’s first-ever Outdoor Recreation Month, many of the county’s wineries are getting in the spirit with a variety of options for walking, tasting, nibbling, touring, and playing outside. Here’s a quick round up of just a few of the possibilities.
Stroll through a working farm and visit with chickens and an 800-pound pig at this small, family-owned-and–operated winery in the Russian River Valley. Then relax and taste their natural wines and cider on the outdoor patio.
Details: 850 River Road, Fulton, 707-490-6696; tasting 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday; $15 tasting fee waived with purchase.
Enjoy panoramic views of Lake Sonoma and the Dry Creek Valley on the Tour, Tasting & Lunch Experience at this Dry Creek Mountain vineyard, which is perched 1,800 feet above sea level.
The experience includes a guided tour and tasting a flight of estate wines, followed by a boxed lunch from Healdsburg SHED and a glass of your favorite Gustafson wine.
Details: 9100 Skaggs Springs Road, Geyserville, 707-433-2371; Tour, Tasting & Lunch Experience $45 by appointment only (minimum 48 hours notice), Fridays to Mondays. Check the Deals page to get 15 percent off of wine purchases.
Take a Wine Safari in a vintage Pinzgauer, an open-air, all-terrain vehicle. Start in the tasting room, sampling and selecting a bottle of Baker Ridge Single Vineyard or Single Block Pinot Noir for your picnic. Next take a short but memorable drive up to the Baker Ridge Vineyard. Enjoy your wine with a picnic basket among the vines from which your selected wine was produced. Limited to groups of four or more, this exclusive experience takes about 90 to 120 minutes, and includes one bottle of wine for each guest.
Details: 8075 Westside Road, Healdsburg, 707-431-8031; Wine Safari $175 per person.
Join Seghesio family members Jim and Ned Neumiller (fourth- and fifth-generation vineyard managers) on Saturday, May 12, for a trek through the 120-year-old vines at the Home Range estate, where it all began in 1895. You'll make your way to the top of Rattlesnake Hill for a delicious lunch.
Or, the tasting room is open daily and you can relax in the picnic grove (you’re welcome to bring a picnic) or play a game of bocce ball on a professional-sized court (two courts available) under shady oak trees.
Details: 700 Grove St., Healdsburg, 707-433-3579; Home Ranch Vineyard Hike $75. Check the Deals page to save $15 on the Home Ranch Vineyard Hike.
Stroll through this Dry Creek Valley vineyard, glass in hand, learning about the winery’s history and winemaking style. Your guide will bring bottles to taste as you talk.
This small husband-and-wife winery is dog friendly, so you can bring your four-legged friend on the walk, if you’re so inclined.
Details: 1000 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, 707-433-2066; Vineyard Walk and Tasting (advance reservations required) at 10:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays in May; $15 tasting fee refunded with bottle purchase.
Enjoy a private outdoor wine and cheese tasting followed by a box lunch and a leisurely game of cornhole (bean bag toss) in the courtyard of this Alexander Valley winery, with its Outdoor Lover’s Tasting Package — a special offer just for Sonoma County’s Outdoor Recreation Month.
Or, the tasting room offers a full range of wines daily, and guests are encouraged to picnic on the beautiful grounds of the estate.
Details: 7505 Highway 128, Healdsburg, 707-433-8429; Outdoor Lover’s Tasting Package $47, available May 1-31 only; standard wine tasting flight $15. Check the Deals page for more details on this special offer.
Enjoy a seated tasting and beautiful views on the terrace, or take the Vineyard Tour and Tasting at this small working winery. Start the tour with a Blanc de Noirs toast, then walk through the vineyards with glass in hand.
After seeing and discussing all aspects of the winegrape growing and winemaking process, enjoy a seated tasting with a cheese and charcuterie plate — and with advance notice, enjoy a box lunch. Dog friendly.
Details: 8500 Dry Creek Road, Geyserville, 707-431-1225; seated terrace tastings $15-$25; Vineyard Tour and Tasting $40 ($65 with lunch), advance reservations required. Check the Deals page to get 2-for-1 terrace tastings.
Get up close and personal with a vineyard block of 1908 Old Vine Zinfandel, and then explore the innovative hillside wine cave at this family-run and sustainably farmed vineyard and winery.
The outdoor tasting and picnicking area offers one of the best views in the Alexander Valley. Box lunches available with 48 hours advance notice.
Details: 24505 Chianti Road, Cloverdale, 707-758-3441; tastings and tours are complimentary for groups of 7 or less, but are reservations required for 8 or more; Box lunches $22.
Lace up your boots for the ultimate Wine Country hiking adventure on the Spring Vineyard Hike (May 10 or 11) on this breathtakingly beautiful, 1,200-acre estate tucked into the foothills of the Alexander Valley, with wine and olive oil tastings and a charcuterie picnic on the winery terrace.
Or, ride in style to remote corners of the property for al fresco tastings of wine, olive oil, and gourmet bites on the Estate Tour & Tasting.
Details: 1474 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg, 707-431-5250; Spring Vineyard Hike $95; Estate Tour & Tasting $125.
At this historic winery, the month of May means many, many, many flowers. Take a guided tour of the gardens of the Korbel House, the original summer home of the Korbel family.
Planted in the 1880s, the historic gardens include an impressive collection of more than 150 varieties of roses and a wide range of perennials, shrubs, trees, and plants native to the surrounding redwood forest. Before or after your tour, grab a bite to eat and something to drink from the onsite deli and dine on the outdoor patio, shaded by a grove of redwood trees.
Details: 13250 River Road, Guerneville, 707-824-7316; complimentary garden tours are offered at 1 and 3 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday.
Relax on the outdoor terrace with sweeping views of Russian River Valley vineyards, enjoying either a wine tasting flight or the Vine To Table Experience — five delectable bites flawlessly paired with current vintage or library wines (vegetarian pairings available).
Details: 11455 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg, 707-431-1533; wine flights $25-$35; Vine to Table Experience $70. Check the Deals page to get 15 percent off flights or Vine To Table Experiences on the terrace.
Take a self-guided tour through the vineyard on a one-mile trail, with signs explaining cool-climate grape varieties, wildlife preservation efforts, and the many soil types in the Russian River Valley.
Or, make an appointment to have a tour guide show you around. Enjoy wine tasting on the outdoor patio, and if you’re in the mood for a picnic, feel free to bring your own food with you.
Details: 5700 Occidental Road, Santa Rosa, 707-568-2455.
Take a Wine Country sensory tour with the Herb & Wine Experience seated tasting held in the tasting room’s outdoor herb garden.
Hosted by a culinary specialist, the tasting includes a flight of four wines, designed to showcase the chemistry of the wines and their relationship with herbs through cuisine.
Details: 8860 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, 707-282-9020; Herb & Wine Experience $25. Check the Deals page to get $5 off the Herb & Wine Experience.
Sip wine by the glass and nibble on a fresh cheese plate on the East Terrace, which overlooks the vineyards and gives a one-of-a-kind view of Alexander Valley. You can also take a free self-guided vineyard tour of the property, with signs highlighting points of interest and explaining the vineyards’ seasonal transformations.
Plus, four bocce courts flank the west side of the property, surrounded by park-like landscaped lawns.
Details: 300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville, 707-857-1471.
Want even more ways to immerse yourself in the great outdoors in Sonoma County? Here are a few suggestions:
- Free Vineyard Walking Tours
- Wineries With Fun Sports Activities
- Wine Enthusiasts’ Outdoor Activities
- Guide to Hiking in Sonoma County
- Guide to Cycling in Sonoma County
- Guide to Camping in Sonoma County