Sonoma County’s earthy Pinot Noir and elegant Chardonnay are uber-sippable during sweater weather; sample these cool-climate varieties during a curated tasting in the new cellar room at Jordan Vineyard & Winery. During winter, a walking tour and tasting will not only give you a glimpse of the estate and its wines, but with fewer crowds this time of year, you’ll be able to really take it all in—from the grand library filled with vintage books, to the nuances of the library Cabernet you’ll be sampling. And while you can never go wrong with a visit to the castle-like Ledson Winery, there’s something extra special about sipping red wine beside the fire inside a castle in winter.
Suites at the Inn at Occidental come with overstuffed down beds and fireplaces, perfect for getting cozy on those chilly winter evenings, but to make a stay even better, take advantage of the Inn’s special winter rates: $50 off per night, including weekend stays. Over at the Stavrand Russian River Valley, a boutique hotel tucked among the redwoods, rooms feature a combination of gas fireplaces, freestanding soaking tubs, and outdoor cedar hot tubs: just what you need for a little winter R&R. Locals living within 35 minutes of the property shouldn’t miss out on the Thursday night staycation rate this season.
Winter is Dungeness Crab season, so order them in several preparations at Tides Wharf Restaurant, but if a multi-course, farm-to-table dinner is more for you, head to the Farmhouse Inn Restaurant. Reservations at this sought-after Wine Country dining destination can be harder to come by in the summer months—all the more reason to visit during the off-season.
Winter is also Sonoma’s whale-watching season; catch a glimpse at Bodega Bay or Salt Point State Park, or hunt for shells and driftwood at Shell Beach. Follow your outdoor adventures with a relaxing spa treatment, such as the Rest & Renewal Massage at the Kenwood Inn & Spa.