The 7 Best Sonoma County Winery Tours

  • Wineries
  • on JULY 13, 2016
  • 6766
  • 0
Sonoma County has a lot to offer, including picturesque scenery, award-winning wines, and rustic elegance. For a unique insight into Sonoma County winemaking, round out your visit with a tour through some of the best wineries in the region.

Learn about Biodynamic Farming

Image Source: Yelp

Benziger Family Winery
1883 London Ranch Road
Glen Ellen, CA 95443
(888) 490-2739
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 483 reviews

For beautifully landscaped gardens, charming ponds, and biodynamic farming practices, look no further than Benziger Family Winery. Learn the ins and outs of biodynamic farming on their partners wine tour, an in-depth and intimate tour of the estate. This is a fine option for small groups seeking a private experience, as a maximum of only eight people will be permitted on the tour, which includes a ride through the vineyards. Taste through the latest releases of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc while learning how Benziger crafts premium wine while leaving a minimal footprint on the land.

Insider tip: Head over to Jack London State Park for a walk in the woods after your tasting to reconnect with nature.

Go to Pinot Noir Paradise

Image Source: Donum Estate, Yelp

Donum Estate
24500 Ramal Road
Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 939-2290
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 12 reviews

At Donum Estate, single vineyard estate wines are the name of the game. With a focus on small-production Burgundian-style wines, it’s no wonder that Donum produces some of the highest rated Pinot Noir in the Sonoma Valley. The estate has vineyards in three prime regions for Burgundy grape varieties: Carneros, Russian River Valley, and Anderson Valley. For an insider’s perspective, schedule an appointment for the winery tour to learn about their approach to making European-style wine.

Insider tip: For some truly stunning views, head south on Ramal Road after tasting at Donum. The route will lead you east until you connect to Duhig Road and hit Highway 12. Be prepared for sweeping vineyard views, and have the camera at the ready.

A Family Affair

Image Source: Yelp

Alexander Valley Vineyards
8644 CA-128
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 433-7209
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 77 reviews

Family-owned Alexander Valley Vineyards has been making wine since their first vintage was produced in 1975, after years of selling the grapes from their property and making a limited amount of wine for family and friends. The Wetzel family has honed their winemaking techniques over the past 40 years, and has come to be known for crisp Chardonnay and lush Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Complimentary tours are offered daily at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and for a more intimate experience, make a reservation for a guided vineyard hike and picnic lunch to explore the estate to its fullest.

Insider tip: Check out nearby Soda Rock Winery after your tour for an easygoing tasting in their lounge area.

Explore the Terrain

Image Source: Yelp

Gundlach Bundschu Winery
2000 Denmark Street
Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 938-5277
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 224 reviews

Nestled in the Mayacamas foothills, Gundlach Bundschu Winery has been family-owned for over 150 years and through six generations of Gundlachs. The winery specializes in Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir, but they also make quite a few other varieties, including Cabernet Franc. For an exciting, off-the-beaten-path exploration, we recommend the vineyard excursion, where you’ll ride in a 12-person Pinzgauer (Austrian Army vehicle) to explore remote areas of the estate vineyard while tasting wines at stops along the way. After the adventure in the vines, you’ll tour through the caves where the barrels are aged. Learn to pronounce this tricky winery name by visualizing the pictogram they’ve created: gun-lock bun-shoe!

Insider tip: For a change of pace, ask for a sip of their Gewurztraminer—it’s a dry one.

Sip and Savor in the Carneros Foothills

Image Source: Nicholson Ranch, Yelp

Nicholson Ranch
4200 Napa Road
Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 938-8822
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 112 reviews

Nicholson Ranch is situated in the Carneros foothills, at the southern end of Sonoma Valley. Enjoy sips of six Nicholson Ranch Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Merlot wines while touring through the estate’s underground caves and winemaking facility during the cave tour and tasting.

Insider tip: A Sonoma Valley institution, the Fremont Diner is less than two miles away. Plan to stop for breakfast before your tour.

Bubbles as Great as the Views

Image Source: Yelp

Iron Horse Vineyards
9786 Ross Station Road
Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 887-1507
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 161 reviews

Iron Horse Vineyards is nestled in Russian River’s lovely Green Valley. Their rustic outdoor tasting bar offers a laid-back setting to taste through sparkling wine, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir while enjoying the sweeping views of Green Valley. For a truly one-of-a-kind experience, contact the winery to arrange a private tour with winemaker David Munksgard: he’ll take a group of up to four people out in his pickup for a tour of the vineyard where he’ll discuss farming techniques, and tell the story of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes journeys from vineyard to bottle.

Insider tip: Ask to try the wedding cuvée, Iron Horse’s take on a Blanc de Noir, with a slight golden hue and notes of stonefruit and citrus.

With great wine, food, and nature, Sonoma County is one of the most beautiful and engaging California wine regions to explore. Now that you’ve read through our list of the top winery tours in the valley, all that’s left to do is start planning.


WineCountry Collective

WineCountry is made up of a dedicated and passionate team of wine, food, and travel aficionados. We diligently explore regions, both near and far, to curate the best ideas and resources. Whether you're musing over your next wine escapade, planning a romantic weekend away, embracing the Wine Country lifestyle at home, or are simply looking to be entertained for a moment, trust us to be your comprehensive guide.