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The Best Wineries To Visit In Sonoma County In 2023

In 2023, travelers to Sonoma County in California can enjoy a unique opportunity to experience some of the best wineries in the area. With over 400 wineries in Sonoma County, visitors are spoiled for choice

Image of a interior of a Kistler Vineyard wine tasting room

In 2023, travelers to Sonoma County in California can enjoy a unique opportunity to experience some of the best wineries in the area. With over 400 wineries in Sonoma County, visitors are spoiled for choice when exploring the region’s rich winemaking heritage.


We’ve compiled a guide to the top wineries to visit in 2023 based on feedback from locals, experts, and industry insiders.

Introduction to Sonoma County wine history

Before diving into the wineries themselves, it’s worth taking a moment to look at the state of the winemaking industry in Sonoma County.


The region has a long history of wine production, dating back to the 1800s. Still, it was not until the mid-20th century that Sonoma County became a serious player in the American wine industry.


Today, the region is home to some of the most prestigious winemakers in the country, producing everything from classic varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay to more experimental blends and lesser-known grape varieties.


If you’re planning a trip to the region, it’s important to note that some wineries require reservations, so it’s worth checking ahead before you go. With that in mind, let’s dive into our pick of the best wineries to visit in Sonoma County in 2023.

1. Kistler Vineyards

Image of a panoramic view of Kistler Vineyards winery

Photo credit: Kistler Vineyards


Kistler Vineyards is a family-owned winery, a favorite of wine critics and enthusiasts, known for producing some of the region’s finest Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs.


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Established in 1978, the vineyards owned and farmed by Kistler stretch across fifteen vineyards from Carneros to Sonoma.


Located in the cool climate Russian River Valley, Kistler’s vineyards benefit from the area’s morning fog and long growing season, resulting in wines with exceptional depth, complexity, and balance.


Kistler Vineyards offers an exclusive and intimate tasting experience at their 60-acre Trenton Roadhouse vineyard in the Russian River Valley.


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All visits are conducted by appointment from Tuesday to Saturday. During your visit, you can indulge in the exquisite taste of their world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines, which have gained significant acclaim in the wine industry.


The vineyard’s picturesque setting and the opportunity to taste its award-winning wines make it a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts.

2. Jordan Vineyard & Winery

Image of a exterior of Jordan Vineyard & Winery

Photo credit: Jordan Vineyard & Winery


Jordan Vineyard & Winery, located in Healdsburg, is another must-visit destination for wine lovers traveling to Sonoma County in 2023.


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Established in 1972 by Tom and Sally Jordan, this family-owned estate has gained international recognition for its high-quality wines, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon.


The estate spans over 1,200 acres of rolling hills and vineyards and is known for its elegant Cabernet Sauvignons, Chardonnays, and sparkling wines.


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Set in the scenic Alexander Valley, the winery offers visitors a unique experience, combining exquisite wine tasting with a breathtaking natural setting. Visitors can tour the winery, cellars, and vineyards before enjoying a wine and food pairing experience in the winery’s elegant dining room.

3. Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Image of exterior of Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Photo credit: Francis Ford Coppola Winery


For those looking for an experience that goes beyond just wine tasting, the Francis Ford Coppola Winery is a must-visit.


The winery, founded by legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, who purchased the historic Inglenook estate in 1975, is a hub for wine enthusiasts, food lovers, and adventure seekers.


Join 6-Hour Private Limousine Wine Country Tour of Napa or Sonoma


Situated in Geyserville, the winery offers a range of experiences, including wine tasting, culinary adventures, and educational winery tours. The property features a luxurious swimming pool and cabanas, extensive gardens, and grounds, providing a relaxing atmosphere for visitors.


At the winery, visitors can also indulge in exquisite dining experiences at Rustic, Francis’s Favorites restaurant. The menu is curated with Francis Ford Coppola’s favorite international cuisine and traditional Italian dishes. Emphasizing family-style cooking, Rustic provides a diverse culinary experience within a Sonoma County-casual atmosphere.


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Francis Ford Coppola Winery offers an array of captivating tours and tasting experiences. Visitors can enjoy a tasting in the fully restored Gustave Niebaum mansion, choosing Experiential Tasting Experiences, and delving deep into the world of Francis Ford Coppola wines.


For a more immersive experience, the winery conducts tours where visitors can explore the vineyards, learn about the vintner’s grape philosophy, and get a glimpse of the winemaking techniques.


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One of the popular tours is a 45-minute guided tour, offered multiple times a day, providing a comprehensive understanding of the winemaking journey. Whether you prefer a casual tasting at the Main Bar or a more intimate Seated Tasting, the winery caters to diverse preferences.

4. Williams Selyem Winery

Image of exterior of Williams Selyem Winery

Photo credit: Williams Selyem Winery


The Williams Selyem Winery, nestled in Healdsburg, is a true icon of Sonoma County winemaking, known for its exceptional Pinot Noirs, celebrated for their complexity, balance, and elegance.


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Since its founding by Burt Williams and Ed Selyem in 1979, the winery has been dedicated to crafting wines that capture the essence of the Russian River Valley, using non-interventionist winemaking techniques and sustainable practices.


Over the years, it has become synonymous with producing some of the finest wines in Sonoma County. Their focus on crafting high-quality, terroir-driven wines has earned them a loyal following among wine enthusiasts.


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The estate offers tastings, allowing wine lovers to indulge in the rich flavors of their meticulously crafted wines while enjoying the picturesque surroundings of the Russian River Valley.


To plan your visit, it’s important to note that they are open daily but operate by appointment only.

5. Hamel Family Wines

Image of interior of a wine tasting room at Hamel Family Wines Winery

Photo credit: Hamel Family Wines


Hamel Family Wines is a family-owned winery renowned for producing high-quality organic wines. This family-owned and operated winery emphasizes biodynamic farming practices and minimal-intervention winemaking techniques to create wines that are expressive of the unique characteristics of each vineyard.


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They specialize in limited-production wines that include Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, and Petit Verdot.


The winery is situated on a west-facing hillside in Sonoma Valley, providing breathtaking views and a peaceful atmosphere.


Guests can indulge in a range of personally curated experiences that promote education and exploration. Choose between Estate, Reserve, Collectors, or Vertical Wine Tasting Experience.


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Hamel Family wine tastings are led by an Estate Ambassador and include a tour and wine tasting, as well as food pairings for some experiences. They also offer a “dry” tasting for non-wine drinkers to enjoy the experience with others.

6. Iron Horse Vineyards

Image of a panoramic view of Iron Horse Vineyards

Photo credit: Iron Horse Vineyards


If you prefer sparkling wines, a trip to Iron Horse Vineyards is a must.


The family-owned winery is located in the Green Valley of the Russian River Valley and has been producing world-class sparkling wines for over 40 years  in the cool-climate Green Valley vineyards.


Experience 6-Hour Napa or Sonoma Valley Wine Tour by Private SUV


They are renowned for producing exclusively estate-bottled still and sparkling wines that capture the distinct “sense of place” of their vineyard.


The winery is set amidst rustic redwood barns on a hill surrounded by vine-covered undulating landscapes, providing an enchanting and genuine experience of wine country.


Join 6-Hour Private Limousine Wine Country Tour of Napa or Sonoma


Visitors to Iron Horse can enjoy outdoor wine tastings with breathtaking views. Additionally, Iron Horse is involved in philanthropy, with proceeds from certain wines going to support initiatives like the Sonoma County Resilience.

7. Arista Winery

Image of an entrance in Arista Winery

Photo credit: Arista Winery


Located in the Russian River Valley, Arista Winery is renowned for its handcrafted, site-driven Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, sourced from the Russian River Valley.


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Founded in 2002 by Al and Janis McWilliams, this family-owned winery focuses on sustainable farming and winemaking practices, using natural yeasts and traditional techniques to produce wines with outstanding depth and complexity.


The winery, set against the backdrop of picturesque vineyards, offers visitors an immersive experience of the world of winemaking.


Arista Winery is favored among wine enthusiasts with its inviting tasting rooms and picturesque settings, including Japanese water gardens, mountain vistas, and vineyard landscapes.


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The McWilliams’ sons, Mark and Ben, took over the family business in 2012, managing the day-to-day operations and continuing the tradition of producing exceptional signature Pinot Noirs.

8. Buena Vista Winery

Image of interior of Buena Vista Winery wine cellar

Photo credit: Buena Vista Winery


Buena Vista Winery is California’s second oldest winery, founded in 1857 by Agoston Haraszthy, often referred to as the “Count of Buena Vista.”


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The winery’s history is rich and colorful, reflecting the vibrant heritage of California winemaking. Buena Vista is celebrated for its premium wines and is a significant landmark in the region. Their diverse portfolio includes varietals like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon, among others.


Today, the winery is owned by the Boisset Collection, led by Jean-Charles Boisset, who acquired the property in May 2011.


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Buena Vista Winery offers a delightful array of wine experiences and has multiple tasting rooms, showcasing its diverse selection of wines set against the backdrop of its historic property.


Visitors can explore the original winery, including the iconic Press House built in 1862, and indulge in wine tastings in the stunning courtyard.

9. Benziger Family Winery

Image of exterior vineyard view of Benziger Family Winery

Photo credit: Benziger Family Winery


Benziger Family Winery, founded in 1980, is located in Glen Ellen and is known for its commitment to sustainable and biodynamic farming practices. They offer a variety of wines, including Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay.


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In addition to producing top-notch sustainable wines, the winery offers sweeping views of Sonoma Mountain and the surrounding area.


Benziger Family Winery offers a delightful array of tours and tastings, providing visitors with an immersive experience at their biodynamic estate.


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For an interactive experience, visitors can book the Biodynamic Tractor Tram Tour, which takes them through the vineyards and around the estate, providing a family-friendly and informative experience.


Additionally, there are options for seated tastings in the historic ranch house’s newly renovated spaces, enhancing the overall wine-tasting experience.

10. Lynmar Estate Winery

Image of a interior of a tasting room at Lynmar Estate Winery

Photo credit: Lynmar Estate Winery


Last but not least, Lynmar Estate, a 100-acre home estate situated in the heart of Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley, stands as a preeminent producer of elegant Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.


Experience 6-Hour Private Limousine Wine Country Tour of Napa or Sonoma


This family estate, owned by Lynn Fritz, has been certified sustainable for over a decade and focuses on minimal intervention winemaking techniques that allow the wines to express their unique terroir truly.


The estate’s vineyards, bordered by the Laguna de Santa Rosa, the largest tributary of the Russian River, benefit from the region’s unique terroir, resulting in wines that capture the essence of the Russian River Valley.


Join Private Guided Napa and Sonoma Wine Tour and Tasting


Visitors to Lynmar Estate can indulge in various experiences, including wine flights, on-site kitchen estate pairings, and collector’s lunch pairings, immersing themselves in the artistry of winemaking.


So there you have it – our picks of the best wineries to visit in Sonoma County in 2023. Whether you’re a seasoned wine lover or a first-time visitor to the region, these wineries are sure to provide an unforgettable experience.


So book your trip, grab a glass, and get ready to explore the extraordinary world of Sonoma County winemaking.


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Greetings, wine & travel enthusiasts! Allow me to introduce myself. I am a lover of life's finer things - an avid appreciator of the intricacies and subtleties of wine, a curious explorer of exotic cuisines, and an adventurer at heart. As a natural storyteller, I take pleasure in sharing the knowledge and experiences gained from my travels around the world. So, sit back, relax, and let my words take you on a journey to exciting new destinations!

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