Sonoma Valley Wineries
When you head north from San Francisco, you don’t have to travel very far before you start to see acre after acre of vineyards on the rolling hills that pass outside your car window. The climate and conditions in this part of the state are perfect for growing grapes, with Mendocino, Napa, and Sonoma Counties all very active in the production of fine wines. It is a fantastic area to visit, especially if you love to sample all kinds of different wines. While most seem to head to Napa Valley, many more are discovering the amazing array of wineries that are available in Sonoma County.
The county is essentially split into two main parts, which are Northern Sonoma and the Sonoma Valley. It is the latter area that is the most commonly visited by wine lovers, as it contains three great win regions: Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley, and Dry Creek Valley. The town of Healdsburg sits right in the center of those three regions, and is the place where people tend to set up base camp when exploring the wineries in Sonoma.
If you are looking for Sonoma wineries that specialize in Cabernet Sauvignon, then your travel down the Wine Trail should begin in Alexander Valley. The warmer climates there make grapes that are perfect for that particular varietal. Things get a little cooler in the Dry Creek Valley, and while you will still find a nice Cabernet there, it’s a region that is better known for Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc. Heading further south will take you to the Russian River Valley, the coolest of the three regions discussed here. It is Pinot Noir that is the standout varietal in this region, but there are plenty of other wines to sample besides. This whole area is filled with award-winning wines that are among the very best in all of the California wineries.
There are all kinds of annual events that take place in this part of the state, with many of the wineries in Sonoma saving some of their rarer wines for those special occasions. It really is recommended that you do a little bit of research before you decide to travel, as you may have difficulty finding accommodations when these special events are being held. Spots tend to fill up very quickly, so if your goal is to visit the Sonoma wineries when these events are taking place, you really are advised to book well in advance.
sonoma valley winery map
The wineries and tasting rooms in Sonoma are open year round, though, so you will always have an opportunity to pop in and taste what’s on offer no matter when you decide to travel. It’s actually fun to travel there during the different seasons, as you get to see the landscape change, whilst also getting to sample all kinds of different wines. If you have been to Napa a bunch of times, or want a wine trip that is a little slower paced, you really need to check out what is going on in Sonoma County.