Best Dining at Wineries in Sonoma County

So you’re visiting northern California Wine Country. First thing’s first: there are two major players — Sonoma County and Napa Valley. Where do you go? Here’s your cheat sheet. Are you looking for expansive countryside, family wineries, and a more relaxed feel? Do you mostly drink Zinfandels, Pinot Noirs, sparkling wines, red blends, or zesty Chardonnays? If yes, Sonoma County is for you. (If not, check out our Napa Valley roundup.) Thankfully, we’ve done the “hard work” for you (you’re welcome and thank you) to find the best winery dining experiences around.

Featured Photo: Courtesy of  Stephanie Brereton

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Barber Cellars: Snack Attack

Get ready for a Snack Attack — a new way to try Barber Cellars’ wines that incorporates everyday snack foods — because wine can be enjoyed paired with the simplest of foods. Held at the historic Hotel Petaluma tasting room, Barber Cellars’ family-owned winery is taking the stuffiness out of wine tastings. The best part: bring your favorite bottles back with you, and recreate the experience with snacks from the pantry in your own home. barbercellars.com

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Bricoleur Vineyards: Rooted Food and Wine Pairing

Experience Sonoma County through community, family, elegant wines, and fine food at Bricoleur Vineyards’ Rooted pairing. The vineyard’s Culinary Advisor, Chef Charlie Palmer, collaborated with in-house Executive Chef Thomas Bellec and his team to create a sampling of six wines along with perfect pairings for guests to enjoy. The menu is subject to change based on the Chef’s Seasonal Selection. bricoleurvineyards.com

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J Vineyards: Bubble Room Tasting

Along with their signature and legacy lounge tastings, let us introduce you to the Bubble Room tasting — held in a spacious, glass-enclosed, elegant yet relaxed garden view room. Their menu highlights locally-sourced ingredients brought together by the J culinary team and paired with winemaker Nicole Hitchcock’s varietal and sparkling wines for a five-course tasting. Enjoy offerings like saffron fettuccine with green garlic, fava bean, chocolate mint and aged bohemian shred-head cheese accompanied by their vintage brut, along with four other pairings from their Russian River Valley vineyards. jwine.com

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Jordan Vineyard & Winery

This 1,200-acre estate offers an array of tasting experiences that cater to your interests. Prefer to discover on foot? Meander through the Jordan chateau, marvel at the libraries and antiques, and finish with a seated wine tasting — complete with hors d’oeuvre and artisanal cheese pairings — in their French-inspired cellar. Looking to experience the vineyards firsthand? Hop in their Mercedes Sprinter and ride through beautiful open spaces and forests, stopping to enjoy alfresco wine and olive oil tastings along the way. Just want to sit and take in the view? Right on. Sip and savor Chardonnays and Cabernets atop their sloping hilltop vineyard in Healdsburg. (Ok, so there’s a 10-minute walk to get up to the hilltop tasting area, but you won’t hear any complaints from us.)  jordanwinery.com

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Marimar Estate Vineyards & Winery

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines encompass 60 of the overall 81-acre estate. Soak in Spanish-inspired design, foods and wines with an estate patio tasting that includes two red wines, two white wines and a selection of tapas from founder and cookbook author Marimar Torres’ cookbooks. Don’t miss notable club events such as the paella lunch, Catalan holiday feast and Pinot Noir blending & lunch, all held at Marimar and her daughter Cristina’s home patio overlooking the vineyard. marimarestate.com

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Medlock Ames: SingleThread Pairing

Founded by Chris Medlock James and Ames Morison in 1998, this Alexander Valley winery is committed to the environment through practices like regenerative farming, reducing their carbon footprint, and preserving the biodiversity of the land. Feel the effects of mindful cultivation and unwind in their olive grove with a tasting experience highlighting their organically-farmed Bell Mountain Vineyard wines and Sonoma County’s only 3 Michelin Star restaurant, SingleThread’s chef-curated bento box. Available on select dates for groups of 2-6. Reservations are required. medlockames.com

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Three Sticks Wines at the Adobe

Stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Mayacamas Mountains, Sonoma County encompasses coastal as well as interior valleys, and Three Sticks has captured this in their latest tasting offerings. In the spring of 2022, their Merroir & Terroir offering featured their Chardonnays paired with fresh oysters from the Sonoma Coast. This winter, delight in a flight of Chardonnays with caviar from The Caviar Company. Each experience is held in the historic landmark Vallejo-Casteñada Adobe that Three Sticks calls home. New tastings are offered seasonally, in addition to their small-bites tasting in partnership with El Dorado Kitchen (coming winter 2022). Weekdays only, reservations are required. threestickswines.com

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St. Francis Winery

Its very apropos that the iconic winery in the heart of Sonoma Valley named for the patron saint of animals is very dog friendly. In fact, on their annual blessing of the animals all kinds of creatures are encouraged to come — one year, even a camel showed up. And to show their commitment to our four-legged friends, for every wine purchase, a dollar goes towards Canine Companions. This isnt the only reason we favor this 50-year old winery. The team behind the wine (Katie Madigan and Chris Louton both veteran wine makers work with Jake Terrell, manages the 400 acres of Certified Sustainable Estate Vineyards) and the food program headed up by executive chef Peter Janiak who creates rustic chic” tasting meals from the on-site two-acre organic garden also score high on the list. Every hour, youll hear the 1,000 pound bronze bell cast by the Marinelli Foundry in Italy — famous for making bells for the Vatican — is now a landmark in the valley. stfranciswinery.com

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