Sonoma Valley is a year-round travel destination that offers outdoor fun, the best wines in the region, world-class dining, shopping, and more. Home to over 100+ award-winning wineries spanning over 13,000 acres of regional parks, it’s is the ideal place to start if you want to see more of wine country. Sonoma Valley is 45 miles away from San Francisco and is the perfect getaway if you need a change of pace or if you want to see where the most desirable California wines are made. This travel guide will show you a detailed list of the things to see, do, and enjoy on your next visit Sonoma Valley.
By Kinya Claiborne & Abigail Castro Sinsona, STYLE & SOCIETY
Photo Credit: Kinga Sarabia, STYLE & SOCIETY
If you’re looking for a place to stay amidst the lush vineyards of Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley, then Geyserville Inn is the perfect getaway for you. Located 80 miles from San Francisco and within an hour from the Pacific Coast, this intimate Sonoma Wine Country Hotel is a romantic destination that will give you the ultimate Northern California wine country experience.
This AAA-rated Inn combines contemporary boutique aesthetic with a hint of comfort and elegance. Therefore, you’ll be able to soak in the relaxed and laid back atmosphere of the wine country in your own room. Every room is beautifully curated to give you unmatched comfort and elegance while also being equipped with modern amenities.
The Vintners Resort is another excellent place to stay while in Sonoma County. Indulge in intimate luxury in this 78-room certified green hotel in the heart of the Sonoma wine country. You’re in for a luxurious treat as every room is designed to become your private oasis as they are elegantly decorated and offers spectacular views of the courtyards, gardens, pool and vineyards. There is no better place to stay to remind you that you’re tucked in the midst of wine country.
Named after its tasting room location, Corner 103 is a black-owned winery named by USA Today as the #1 tasting room in the US! Its founder, Lloyd Davis, pursued his passion for making wines along with a location that reflected the Sonoma Valley lifestyle. It promises to bring a unique tasting experience as it is done in a fun yet relaxed environment.
During your wine tasting, you’ll get to sample a total of 7 wines that were carefully handpicked. The wine tasting experience is also coupled with excellent, gourmet food. But the award-winning wines are the star here. Reservations are required as they aim to preserve an intimate and distinctive experience for guests.
Young Estate Winery
Robert Young Estate Winery is a stately venue that is a dream destination for the ultimate cabernet lover in the Alexander Valley. Founded in 1997, this winery aims to continue the Young family’s tradition of excellent in wine making and the hospitality industry. Every wine that is produced in this winery has very little winemaker impact; their aim is to preserve the quality of the fruit with every bottle.
To sample the best that they offer, visitors can check out the Ultimate Cab Lovers experience. Available daily at 11AM, this exclusive wine tasting event gives you a chance to taste the wines that put them on the map.
J Vineyards & Winery
For more than 3 decades, J Vineyards & Winery has elevated the quality of wine making in the region. This winery is located south of Healdsburg in California and right in the midst of the Russian River Valley. This plot of land was specifically chosen for its ideal climate and impressive soil quality that is considered best for producing quality wines.
The wines from this vineyard are known to deliver a balance of flavors while being complex at the same time. Don’t miss the Legacy Tasting, which is a seated outdoor tasting experience for three. Enjoy the quality wines with a pairing of artisan cheese.
Region at the Barlow
With the promise of changing how you experience wine, Region at the Barlow is one of the can’t-miss destinations in the Sonoma County. Located in Sebastopol, California, sample a unique selection of 50 wines from the best wine producers in Sonoma County at Region at the Barlow.
You also have access to self-service wine station machines that give you endless opportunities to enjoy your favorite wines – old or new. This trendy wine bar’s wine selection is as unique as the location itself. It is quickly becoming the premier food and wine destination in the region.
VJB Vineyards, Cellars & Marketplace
Feel like you are transported to Italy when you visit Sonoma Valley’s VJB Vineyards, Cellars & Marketplace. It was founded in 1999 by two brothers of Italian-born parents who wanted to keep their family’s Italian tradition alive by combining Old World and New World sensibilities into their wine making.
But there’s more than great Italian wine here. VJB Vineyards, Cellars & Marketplace is also notable for its delicious Italian fare that would make a perfect pairing with your choice of wine. If you came here exclusively for the wine, they have a small tasting room wherein you can sample a selection of their finest wines
Nestled in the Russian River Valley about an hour north of San Francisco, Bricoleur Vineyards is one of the region’s best kept secrets. The winery is focused on sustainable farming and is committed to support the community. It is made up of a team of fourth-generation wine makers and hospitality experts, as well as those with an Italian lineage. The passion for wine making is in their blood, so to speak.
On your visit, try the Sip & Savor Experience. The Executive Chef and winemaker collaborate to create the ‘perfect pairings’ menu to deliver an elevated dining and wine tasting menu.
Roche Winery & Vineyards
Roche Winery & Vineyards is a family-owned winery, where they offer over 35 years of award-winning winemaking experience, several vineyard designate wines, varietals and blends, as well as our famous down-to-earth Irish hospitality. They offer daily barrel tastings, indoor and outdoor wine tasting bars, light bites, and a shaded outdoor tasting patio with fireplaces. Visit for a winery tasting and tour experience at their Sonoma winery or opt for a pre-lunch or dinner tasting at their popular downtown Sonoma Square location.
Perched on a hillside overlooking the bucolic Russian River Valley, Copain specializes in vineyard designate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. Sourced from cool climate vineyards in Mendocino County, the Anderson Valley and the Sonoma Coast, the Copain portfolio consists of three distinct collections—Tous Ensemble, Les Voisins, and the vineyard designate wines. These wines have been long inspired by France’s Rhone Valley wine region resulting in Copain’s signature style of restrained, and elegant wines. Make reservations in advance as tastings are by appointment only to visit this gorgeous property offering an alfresco hilltop tasting experience on their gorgeous winery estate.
Rustic, Francis Ford Coppola
In 2006, Eleanor and Francis Coppola built a piece of land that they turned into what would soon become the Francis Ford Coppola Winery. The door was officially opened to the public in 2010 but there was more to it than just a regular winery you’d find in the Alexander Valley, California. It was a winery resort that included a restaurant named Rustic.
With Rustic, Coppola hopes to give everyone a taste of the flavors he enjoyed in his well-traveled life. With a seating capacity of 86, the restaurant offers an overlooking view of the Alexander Valley. Guests can also savor the assortment of International cuisine items using fresh and seasonal ingredients, most of which were sourced from the restaurant’s own garden.
John Ash & Co.
Right next to Vintners Resort is John Ash & Co., the first restaurant in Sonoma County to introduce the use of seasonal ingredients in building their menu, alongside their exceptional wines. It is an iconic dining destination in the region, thanks to its romantic setting. The chef’s extensive knowledge of wine also delights guests as this enabled the restaurant to offer dishes that would perfectly complement their wine offerings.
the girl & the fig
For more than 23 years, the girl & the fig has established as one of the favorites among locals and tourists. For this reason, it is a staple in the Wine Country. With a menu consisting of healthy and fresh options, their seasonal menu takes advantage of the fresh vegetables in their garden or any fresh produce they could get their hands on.
The Provencal-inspired cuisine truly allows the flavor of the ingredients to shine. Among the items in their menu are tartines, salads, sandwiches, and a charcuterie platter.
Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary
After a day of wine tasting and touring, there is no better way to cap off your day than with a relaxing massage at the Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary. The serene backdrop of the Sonoma Wine Country makes relaxation easy; but with the skilled hands of a massage practitioner at this spa, you will step out feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
They offer an extensive offering of massages that you can choose from based on the desired experience. There’s the Cedar Enzyme Bath, which is a therapeutic bath treatment or any of the state-of-the-art Specialty Massage. Each session lasts for 70 minutes for a complete detox.
Looking for some retail therapy while in the Sonoma Wine Country? Head to The Barlow! This 12-acre outdoor market district is located in Sebastopol, California. It’s the ultimate shopping destination as you can find all things imaginable – food, wine, spirits, and crafts. Featuring an industrial chic theme, this shopping district offers a nod to the history and culture of the region. Aside from the artisan shops and pop-up stores, there are also live music and trivia nights on throughout the year.