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Alexander Valley Vineyards, Healdsburg: This family-owned winery makes a Rosé of Sangiovese ($16) that has aromas of guava, strawberry, watermelon, raspberry, and mint. Tastings are complimentary for groups of less than 10; if you make reservations, you can enjoy a cave tour and barrel tasting for free. Pair their rosé with any spring food; the winery recommends a spicy gumbo (bring a bottle to The Parish Cafe in Healdsburg or downtown Santa Rosa).
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Kokomo Winery, Healdsburg: For a chance to sample Kokomo's wildly popular Grenache Rosé ($26), request enrollment in the winery's Drink Pink Society. This wine club provides rosé fans the opportunity to purchase two cases of the pink Dry Creek Valley wine each year (orders must be made before June 15th). Non-members can buy the wine at the winery's tasting bar (there's a two-bottle limit) but it sells out fast. Tasting flights are $10 per person, the wine & cheese pairing is $25.
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Robert Young Estate Winery, Geyserville: The Young family has been growing grapes in the Alexander Valley since 1858; in the late 1990s, they made their first wine. Their Estate Rosé, a malbec and merlot blend, always sells out before summer. It is a medley of fresh berries and strawberry flavors, meant to be enjoyed with simple ingredients like cheese and charcuterie. Tastings ($25-$50 for non-members) are held in one of the winery's private rooms, which overlook the vineyards and Alexander Valley.
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Robert Young Estate Winery in Geyserville. (Courtesy photo)
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Preston Farm and Winery, Healdsburg: This family-operated organic and biodynamic property in Dry Creek Valley makes a Vin Gris rosé ($28) from cinsault, mourvedre and grenache grapes with flavors of strawberry cream and ripe pink grapefruit. Winery guests can stroll in the garden, say hello to the animals and picnic in the shade; during the week there's bocce. Pair the rosé with a spring salad with lemon vinaigrette; you can find the ingredients in the winery's tasting room and provisions shop.
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One of the picnic areas at Preston Farm and Winery in Healdsburg. (Photo by Alvin Jornada)
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Quivira Vineyard & Winery, Healdsburg: This estate vineyard and tasting room in the middle of Dry Creek Valley makes a single-estate Wine Creek Ranch Rosé ($22) from grenache (60 percent), syrah, counoise, mourvedre, and petite sirah. With soft flavors of cherry pie, pomegranate and rhubarb, this organically-grown rosé is a perfect dessert wine - pair it with with soft and hard cheeses and dried fruits. The Estate Tasting at Quivira ($30 per person, reservations required) features a wine flight paired with estate-raised charcuterie and other treats, plus vineyard views from the patio.
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The organic gardens at Quivira Vineyards in Healdsburg. (Courtesy photo)
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Hawkes Wine, Healdsburg: This Alexander Valley tasting room is conveniently located next to the Jimtown Store - their dry rosé pairs perfectly with picnic foods like wild salmon crudo with cucumber mint tzatziki, Bellwether Farms Crescenza and Ak-Mak crackers. With flavors of tangy watermelon and strawberry-rhubarb, the wine also pairs well with summer nights with friends, along with a kiddie pool with just enough water to cover your toes and Lester Young on the stereo. Tastings at Hawkes are $60 (by appointment) and include a vineyard tour, estate wines, cheeses and small bites from the winery farm.
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Wine tasting at Hawkes Wine in Healdsburg. (Courtesy photo)
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Pedroncelli Winery, Geyserville: This Dry Creek Valley winery makes a Rosé of Zinfandel ($17) that has garnered many accolades. With flavors of strawberry and a hint of white pepper spice on the finish, it's an easy wine to drink with everything barbecued: from burgers to ribs to salmon with balsamic glaze (a favorite of the Pedroncelli team). The winery's tasting room was among the first in Dry Creek Valley; tastings here are $10; an "enhanced tasting" in the Heritage- or Barrel room is $30 or $20 per person (reservations required).
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Medlock Ames Winery, Healdsburg: The Medlock Ames rosé ($27) is made from 100 percent merlot grapes, grown on the winery's Bell Mountain Estate in Alexander Valley. It pairs wonderfully with goat, brie or camembert cheese, salmon, or prosciutto-wrapped roasted asparagus. The main tasting room is located just west of Jimtown Store on Highway 128. Guests have two options when booking a tasting with the winery: the Ranch Tour + Tasting is $50 per person; the Artisan Cheese & Wine Pairing, a seated tasting, is $25.
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Dry Creek Vineyard, Healdsburg: With beautiful picnic grounds and bocce ball courts, Dry Creek Vineyard makes for a great outing with friends. Reserve an afternoon of bocce, which includes a chilled bottle of dry chenin blanc or fumé blanc ($150 for up to 16 people). Their Petite Zin Rosé ($22) presents initial aromas of strawberry, watermelon, and red raspberry. After a few minutes in the glass, notes of lemon, jasmine, peach, and bing cherry are revealed. Create a charcuterie board with a few hard cheeses, or serve it with grilled chicken and spring vegetables.
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Dry Creek Vineyard in Healdsburg. (Courtesy photo)
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deLorimier Winery, Geyserville: deLorimier just released this year's Rosé of Primitivo ($26) from their Alexander Valley estate vineyard. This wine is on the lighter side, perfect for an afternoon picnic. Pack your cooler with sandwiches, cold pasta salad, and strawberries, and find a place in the Sonoma County hills for a hike and enjoying the view. Or make a reservation for a “Farm to Fork” meal at the winery ($65).
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deLorimier Winery in Geyserville. (Courtesy photo)
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deLorimier Winery in Geyserville. (Courtesy photo)
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Unti Vineyards, Healdsburg: Unti's rosé is a blend of grenache noir and mourvèdre grapes grown on the winery's Dry Creek Valley estate. Their tasting room is open by appointment; tastings are $15 per person. The winery specializes in Mediterranean varietal wines, and their rosé is one of the earthiest on this list. Perfect for truffle fries or a mushroom and salumi pizza.
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Kelley & Young, Cloverdale: This adorable inn and winery makes wine from grapes sourced from Robert Young Vineyard in Alexander Valley. Stay the night at the inn and sample rosé and other wines at the newly-opened tasting room in downtown Cloverdale. Kelly & Young's rosé is intense; it is made from all five of the red Bordeaux varietals: merlot, malbec, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and petite verdot. After your tasting, head to dinner at the Trading Post Restaurant, named as one of the most Instagrammable restaurants in Sonoma County.
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Kelley & Young Inn and Winery in Cloverdale. (Photo by Chelsea Kurnick)
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Zialena Winery, Geyserville: This fourth-generation family winery in Alexander Valley makes a Rosé of Sangiovese ($32) that tends to sell out fast. With notes of cherry and spice on the nose, the rich stone fruit of peach and nectarine come through on the first sip - it finishes with a bright acidity that is crisp and refreshing with a hint of pink lemonade. Bring a bottle to nearby Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria in downtown Geyserville; pair it with the Spicy Fried Chicken Panini. Tastings at the winery are $15 per person.
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Zialena Winery in Geyserville. (Courtesy photo)
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The Larsen Projekt, Santa Rosa: This Grenache Rosé ($18-20) is sourced exclusively from Dry Creek Valley, where Rhone varietals thrive. While the Larsen Projekt doesn't have a tasting room quite yet, fans can pick up a bottle at any Oliver's Market or Jackson's Bar and Oven by Railroad Square. Enjoy it on a relaxed weekday evening, or on a Friday night with friends.
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