Tours & TastingsExperiences

The Best Outdoor Wine Tasting Experiences in Sonoma County

  • Jun 21, 2020
  • By Rebekah Stoltz Weeman

Just an hour north of San Francisco is Sonoma wine country, where you can leave the office worries behind when you book an outdoor wine tasting at DeLoach Vineyards.

Summer is here! If you have been stuck in the home office or at just at home for the last few months (like most of us), you are probably wondering which wineries in Sonoma are open and ready to welcome you with a smile, a refreshing glass of wine and a fabulous table outside. Not to worry! We have the perfect solution! Just an hour North of San Francisco, the lovely Sonoma County has a lot to offer for everyone. 

Whether you are staying for the weekend or just for the day, you will want to check out some of the great wineries we have listed below.TIP: Be sure to plan well ahead (space is very limited), make a reservation (online or by phone), bring a mask, plenty of sunscreen and possibly a Panama hat! Most wineries will pre-charge for the tasting, so have your credit card handy when you pick up the phone or get online to book. These days, there are a few extra steps to ensure that you and the winery staff are safe and can stay open.

If you are familiar with Sonoma County, then you know that it is a ginormous area. One could easily spend most of their time traveling from winery to winery, so be sure to game out your itinerary and you will have more time to enjoy the wine and atmosphere! Another great tip is to bring along a cooler filled with cheese and charcuterie for nibbling along the way. While some wineries will have light food options, many will not. It's always good to come to wine country prepared!

We can't say enough good about the legendary Buena Vista Winery (Sonoma). Established in 1857, the grounds are magical and full of old world charm, fused with modern upgrades and luxurious finishes. The present owners are Jean-Charles Boisset and his wife, Gina Gallo. Together they have preserved and expanded a space that exudes the perfect marriage between Northern California and French culture. The gardens and patios are vast and filled with mature plants, offering shade and beauty from every direction. Because there is so much outdoor space, one can easily feel as though they are wine tasting in their own private garden. It's a wonderful place to get away from the rest of the world. The wines are beautiful. The service is friendly and attentive. The vibe is upscale. Boxed lunches available. I know the last time we were there, we didn't want to leave! Open daily from 10AM - 5PM (last seating at 4PM).

DeLoach Vineyards (Healdsburg) is glorious year round, but especially in the summer. The gardens are full of beautiful flowers and plants. There isn't a bad seat in the house, every outdoor table has a stunning view of the flora. The tiled and perfectly manicured pathways lend well to slow walks through the grounds and the wine is exquisitely done. The patio offers one of the most serene settings we have ever seen. While we love soaking in the rays of sun, this property is unlike anything else you will ever experience as it offers a unique poolside venue. Unfortunately you can't go swimming, but the setting is divine. You definitely don't want to leave Sonoma without making a point to visit DeLoach Vineyards. Open daily, 10AM - 4PM by appointment only.

Jordan Vineyard & Winery (Healdsburg) is one of the best places to visit while in Sonoma. The gardens have long since been an attraction for visitors and locals alike. With expansive grounds and a dedicated team, the experience at Jordan is regal and relaxing. They are currently offering outdoor picnic lunches, seated food and wine pairings and summer winery dinners in the gardens. What more could you ask for? Jordan Winery knows how to think outside of the box. We’ve been enjoying the Paris On the Terrace experience. Since international travel is currently not possible, you can be transported to Paris, without ever leaving town. With crudités, freshly baked bread, cheese & charcuterie, French music, a view of the château and much, much more. Only offered 11AM - 2PM, Thursday through Monday, its best to reserve well in advance. No pets or persons under 21 allowed. All other experiences are offered by appointment at select times daily. Give them a call or hop online and find what works best for you!

Kunde Winery (Kenwood) is a very special place. With stunning views and lush patio seating, you will want to treat your senses and make a reservation at Kunde. Currently, offering both the Reserve Tasting or the Estate Tasting for under $20, there is no excuse to pass on Kunde. While on the patio, you will be reminded of what makes Sonoma so special. If you fancy an elevated experience, you can go for the Seated Tasting, which includes a cheese platter. Boasting five generations of winemaking in the family and producing award-winning wines, you will surely be pleased when you visit Kunde. Be sure to buy a bottle of Signature Rose, it sells out every summer and it's lucious and bright. Close to top-notch restaurants and other wineries in Kenwood, you will love this gem! Open daily from 10:30AM - 5PM.

Hamel Family Wines stands in a class of its own. From start to finish the experience at Hamel has been authentic, educational (without being boring) and well worth the time. There is something to say about a winery that holds reverence to the land above all else. Hamel maintains a fully organic and bio dynamic operation. The wines that Hamel produce are unique, full of character and representative of the vineyards from which the grapes are grown. It’s obvious when you visit that everyone cares and a culture of respect has been cultivated within the team. Currently and by reservation only, you can visit Hamel and enjoy a variety of experiences. Since I am a foodie at heart, I almost always go for the experience that involves food. At Hamel, you can enjoy anything from modest Estate Experience to a Reserve Tasting, which includes four courses of delicious bites paired with outstanding wine. The last time I was there, I bought a mixed case of wine and was not disappointed. All experiences are limited and by appointment only. Open daily from 10AM - 5PM. 

Life is short and summer flies by quicker than you think! Be sure to make reservations and join us in Sonoma soon. We can't wait to see you there! Tell them I sent you!


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