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

Petaluma

Barber Cellars: Petaluma Cheese Shop

Wine and cheese. How can you go wrong? Enjoy a glass (or bottle!) of Barber Cellars wine with a dish of gooey burrata, the cheesy sandwich of the week, or the signature Alpine Experience with raclette, Gruyère, and Rahmtaler, poured over focaccia, sausage, potatoes, and pickled vegetables.  petalumacheeseshop.com

Dining at Keller Estate

Keller Estate

Located in the heart of the Petaluma Gap American Viticultural Area or AVA, Keller Estate’s Plaza Wine Pairing is a unique, seated experience. Just as you’ve finished some chardonnay and start to get serious about the pinot noir and syrah, a pair of hot empanadas arrive at the table. Fillings vary, but expect combinations the likes of carne asada with onion and garlic, and cremini mushroom, with garlic and olive oil. kellerestate.com

 

Photo: Courtesy Sonoma County Tourism

McEvoy Ranch

About 15 minutes from downtown Petaluma, McEvoy Ranch offers a seasonal wine flight (typically four pours) with the option of an add-on lunch. Guests must pre-order their meal; options vary with the season, but past offerings include Winter Vegetable Chowder, Grilled Shrimp Pasta Salad, and a Balsamic Chicken and Cranberry Wrap. mcevoyranch.com

Healdsburg

Bricoleur vineyards Sonoma

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 Culinary Director, 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

J Vineyards: Bubble Room Tasting

This 1,200-acre estate offers an array of tasting experiences that change with the season and cater to your interests. The Winery Tour and Tasting meanders through the Jordan chateau, highlighting the libraries and antiques, before finishing with a seated wine tasting with hors d’oeuvre in their French-inspired cellar. Additional tasting options can include olive oil and even hiking opportunities followed by an al fresco lunch on the winery terrace. jordanwinery.com

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

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

Wine Country & the Sonoma Coast

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’s home patio overlooking the vineyard. marimarestate.com

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

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, who manages the 400 acres of Certified Sustainable Estate Vineyards) and the food program headed up by executive chef Peter Janiak who creates rustic chic” pairings from the on-site two-acre organic garden also score high on the list. The Wine & Food Pairing is a nationally acclaimed five-course fine dining experience highlights Sonoma County’s diverse agricultural and culinary traditions. The Estate Pairing takes place outdoors with panoramic mountain and vineyard views and features a Chef-selected line-up of four wines paired with lite-bite, epicurean delicacies. 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

Looking for more things to do in the area?

Visit our What to Do in Northern California page!

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