As a travel agent and Sonoma Valley resident I am often asked what are some of my favorite wineries to visit. Because there are way too many awesome wineries to list in a single post I will post a few of my favorites each month including biodynamic wines, art collections, Russian River wineries and Kenwood/Glen Ellen. I have also lived in the Napa Valley and will post separately my favorites in that area too.

My thoughts about wine tasting:

In my opinion there is no right/wrong way to taste wine in a tasting room, you are on vacation enjoy it. If you are new to wine tasting ignore the snobs and enjoy tasting wines the way you want to. Yes swirl the wine and enjoy the “nose” (swirl the way you are comfortable with), take a moment on the first taste and think about the flavor profile that stands out to you. You don’t like it-check (keep this one to yourself:)), you taste berries-yep that works, you taste earthiness-check, chocolate-check, pepper or spice-check, or you really don’t know what anyone is talking about in tasting notes-check. Enjoy your day and have fun with it.

Just a few of my favorite wineries (sign up to receive our newsletter as I will post additional wineries throughout the year).

High End:

Donum Estates: the wine crazy good, the art collection over the top (no I mean over the top stunning).

Stoneedge Farm: “Bordeaux-style wines from organically grown grapes in keeping with the highest environmental standards”. A lovely setting, the wild ride to their hillside location is free of charge.

Tasting Rooms on the Sonoma Square:

Pangloss Cellars: Stunning tasting room, fabulous wines and food pairings.

Three Sticks: Just off the square, adobe style tasting room dating back to 1842-field-blended Rhône varietals.

Within 5 miles of the square:

Buena Vista Winery: Love love this property and their wines. Lovely outdoor area for picnicking.

Nicholson Ranch: Sustainable winery, fabulous wines and an easy to get to location between downtown Sonoma and Napa.

Many of my clients plan 3-4 tastings a day. I think two is ideal three at the most. Hiring a driver is really the way to go, there are many options in Sonoma/Napa (I work with a sommelier boutique driving experience and a vegan driving service but there are also we drive your car services). Keep in mind, most wineries now require reservations and prices can vary. Be sure to review all websites before planning your trip-or call me to set up your reservations.