Slide 1 of 20
Amista Vineyards: When a winery borrows the Spanish term for making friends as its name, you know you’ll receive a warm welcome. Amista has a range of wine flights ($15-$30) as well as food and/or cheese pairings ($50, reservations required). In 2008, owners Vicky and Mike Farrow released their first sparkling wine, and today the winery offers Dry Creek Valley’s first and only sparkling wine club (it also hosts estate-grown sparkling wine flights Friday through Sunday). There’s also a complimentary self-guided vineyard tour, or you can opt for a hosted tour and tasting ($45, reservations required). 3320 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, 707-431-9200, amistavineyards.com.
Slide 2 of 20
Auteur Wines: Winemaker Kenneth Juhasz founded his winery with his wife, Laura, in 2003. Their tasting room just off the Sonoma square is a celebration of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from vineyards in Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa and Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Visitors enjoy an exploration of the different regions during a seated experience at a communal table on the patio or indoors by the fireplace, where they can discover exceptional wines and create new friendships along the way ($35; by appointment only; walk-ins welcome on Saturdays). 373 First St. W., Sonoma, 707-938-9211, auteurwines.com. (Courtesy photo)
Slide 3 of 20
Balletto Vineyards & Winery: Balletto’s tasting room is a former produce packaging and shipping center (the Balletto family was originally in the produce business) — but you’d never guess it by the way it looks and feels. It’s nestled amid acres of its estate vineyards and features an expansive, welcoming patio that’s perfect for a picnic. Winemaker Anthony Beckman specializes in 100 percent estate, cool-climate Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Zinfandel and singlevineyard Pinot Noir along with other offerings, including a sparkling brut rosé. Reservations required for groups of more than six. Harvest tours are available by appointment through mid-October. 5700 Occidental Road, Santa Rosa, 707568-2455 ext. 101, ballettovineyards.com.
Slide 4 of 20
Christopher Creek: Christopher Creek’s rustic and charming tasting room offers visitors personalized tasting experiences by appointment ($20-$40) as well as barrel tasting of its Pinot Noirs year-round. Wines include an array of Rhône varieties as well as Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and many others. Its rosé of Pinot Noir (released in July) will be available through the harvest season, and the winery plans on releasing some Zinfandel and Petite Sirah around that same time. 641 Limerick Lane, Healdsburg, 707-433-2001, christophercreek.com. (Courtesy photo)
Slide 5 of 20
Dutton-Goldfield Winery: Dutton-Goldfield owners Steve Dutton and Dan Goldfield focus largely on cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and offer small lots of Syrah, Zinfandel and others on occasion. The winery’s tasting room features bar tastings ($20; reservations required for groups of six or more) or seated experiences ($25-$40; reservations required), some of which have food pairings, including a wine and sushi flight (yes, you read right, and there’s even a vegan option). 3100 N. Gravenstein Highway, Sebastopol, 707-827-3600, duttongoldfield.com. Photo: pureluxury.com
Slide 6 of 20
Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery: Overlooking the Pacific Ocean and miles of redwood forests, Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery offers estate-grown, singlevineyard Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinotage (a South African grape planted by owners Linda and Lester Schwartz, who moved here from South Africa in the 1970s). It’s the closest winery to the coast in California — and worth the drive. 15725 Meyers Grade Road, Jenner, 707-8473460, fortrossvineyard.com. (Photo by Kent Porter)
Slide 7 of 20
Gary Farrell Winery: Visitors to the newly opened Gary Farrell Winery Salon can enjoy a host of personalized experiences featuring winemaker Theresa Heredia’s masterfully crafted, vineyard-designated Chardonnay and Pinot Noir while taking in sweeping views of the Russian River Valley. The salon features an array of rooms with comfortable, inviting seating as well as an outdoor terrace. Tastings include either small bites or cheese and nut pairings ($35-$75 for parties of up to five; prices vary with larger groups), and tours are also available. Reservations required. , 10701 Westside Road, Healdsburg, 707-473-2909, garyfarrellwinery.com. (Courtesy photo)
Slide 8 of 20
Gracianna: Gracianna Winery is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with a special bottling of its 2015 Westside Reserve Pinot Noir. The limited-production wine is a blend of the winery’s best four Pinot Noir barrels, and its proceeds will fund a $10,000 donation to a local nonprofit serving women and children in need (to be announced in September). The winery will also be releasing its 2014 Estate Pinot Noir and 2014 Bacigalupi Vineyard Zinfandel this fall. Tastings are by appointment ($20) and are known to be some of the most intimate experiences around. 6914 Westside Road, Healdsburg, 707-486-3771, gracianna.com.
Slide 9 of 20
Iron Horse Vineyards: Iron Horse Vineyards is toasting this year’s harvest with its newest release, 2013 Harvest Moon Blanc de Noir Sparkling, on Sept. 7, available exclusively at the winery. And if you visit on Sundays through October, you can pair a sparkling wine flight ($25) with some oysters from the Oyster Girls. Oct. 13 will see the release of six 2015 single-vineyard Pinot Noirs — enjoy the view of the vineyards where they came from while sipping away on each delectable taste. By appointment; groups of six or fewer only. 9786 Ross Station Road, Sebastopol, 707-887-1507, ironhorsevineyards.com.
Slide 10 of 20
Korbin Kameron: Korbin Kameron’s 19-acre, organically farmed vineyard sits atop Mount Veeder at 2,300 feet and is bisected by the Sonoma and Napa county line within the Moon Mountain and Mount Veeder AVAs. Its intimate tasting room in the heart of Glen Ellen welcomes visitors Thursday through Monday ($20-$35), or by appointment. The winery’s Cabernet Sauvignons are standouts — true representations of the area’s mountain fruit — and are not to be missed. 13647 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen, 707-935-3888, korbinkameron.com. (Courtesy photo)
Slide 11 of 20
Kunde Family Winery: You can enjoy a multitude of tasting experiences (and varietals) at Kunde, whether inside at the tasting bar or on the patio ($15), cheese pairings in the Kinneybrook Room ($30) or at 1,400 feet above the valley floor ($50). On Sept. 20, there’s a dog hike with Jeff Kunde, where visitors can bring their dogs and enjoy wine tasting and lunch afterward ($75). On Oct. 15 and 16 the winery hosts the Giant Pumpkin Festival, and a vineyard hike showcasing the winery’s sustainable practices takes place on Oct. 22 ($30). During harvest, you can tour the crush pad and demonstration vineyards. Cave tours are available as well, but not always during harvest. 9825 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, 707-833-5501, kunde.com. (Photo by Kent Porter)
Slide 12 of 20
MacLaren Wine: Winemaking team Steve Law and Kyle Altomare will be pouring wines this harvest season, so stop by and get an up-close-and-personal update on what’s happening. New releases include two 2014 Syrahs from Russian River Valley and Bennett Valley, a 2014 Pinot Noir from Russian River Valley, a 2016 Sauvignon Blanc and a rosé of Pinot Noir. The tasting room will also be accepting appointments for winery visits so guests can see and smell the harvest action ($20 per tasting). 27 E. Napa St., Suite E, Sonoma, 707-938-7490, maclarenwine.com. (Courtesy photo)
Slide 13 of 20
Mill Creek Vineyards and Winery: The Kreck family has been farming grapes since 1965, and today owners Bill and Yvonne run the business while their middle son, Jeremy, serves as winemaker and vineyard manager. Guests are welcome to come enjoy the estate-grown wines (and a few from select vineyards nearby) without an appointment (reservations required for groups of more than six; $10-$20) and to enjoy its picnic areas. 1401 Westside Road, Healdsburg, 707-431-2121, millcreekwinery.com. (Courtesy photo)
Slide 14 of 20
Notre Vue Estate Winery & Vineyards: Notre Vue’s 710-acre estate is uniquely situated within both the Russian River Valley and Chalk Hill appellations and rises more than 1,200 feet. While it has 250 planted acres, most of the land remains a “forever wild” open space. The winery team and winemaker Michael Westrick welcome visitors without reservations Thursday through Monday for a tasting of Notre Vue’s Balverne label reserve wines ($15). By appointment, guests can experience the winery’s limited-production Notre Vue wines ($35) or opt for a tour, lunch and tasting ($55-$85). 11010 Estate Lane, Windsor, 707-4334050, notrevueestate.com. (Courtesy photo)
Slide 15 of 20
Occidental Road Cellars: Owners and winegrowers Richard and Joelle Prather’s small and friendly tasting room offers visitors a chance to taste the winery’s smalllot wines from its estate vineyards, which the family has been farming for four generations ($5 tasting fee). Wines include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Syrah. On Sept. 9, the winery will be hosting a barbecue in its Horseshoe Bend vineyard on Occidental Road — a great chance to meet the family and check out what’s happening in the vineyard firsthand. 870 N. Gravenstein Highway, Sebastopol, 707-827-3327, occidentalroadcellars.com. (Courtesy photo)
Slide 16 of 20
Pangloss Cellars: Located in a lovingly restored 114-year-old building, Pangloss Cellars was created to celebrate the positive things in life. Winemaker Erich Bradley focuses on Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon grown in Sonoma Valley. Visitors can enjoy all of the above at the bar ($25); in the expansive wood and stone lounge ($30$50 with food pairings); or at a private seating by appointment in the cellar ($35 with charcuterie plate, maximum of eight guests). Reservations required for groups of six or more. 35 E. Napa St., Sonoma, 707-933-8565, panglosscellars.com. (Courtesy photo)
Slide 17 of 20
Stuhlmuller Vineyards: Nestled at the southwestern tip of Alexander Valley, Stuhlmuller Vineyards is planted with its renowned Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Bordeaux grape varieties. Proprietor Fritz Stuhlmuller works with winemaker Leo Hansen to craft wines that best reflect the estate’s unique terroir. Guests can enjoy a rotating selection of estate-grown wines ($20) and/or an artisan cheese pairing ($29 by appointment) and are also welcome to picnic on the outdoor tables. Reservations required for groups of six or more. 4951 W. Soda Rock Lane, Healdsburg, 707431-7745, stuhlmullervineyards.com. (Courtesy photo)
Slide 18 of 20
Trattore Farms: Trattore (which means “tractor” in Italian and is meant to honor owner Tim Bucher’s tractor — and a fondness for tractors in general) offers outstanding Dry Creek Valley views as well as both wine (many varieties) and estate olive oil tastings ($25-$35), seated tastings ($35-$50) or even “get your boots dirty” tours ($75). Charcuterie plates are available ($30) and on Sundays through October, there’s pizza from a wood-fire outdoor oven ($40). Don’t miss the Grenache. 7878 Dry Creek Road, Geyserville, 707-431-7200, trattorefarms.com. (Courtesy photo)
Slide 19 of 20
Trentadue: Trentadue’s historic property in Alexander Valley is known specifically for its Carignane and Sangiovese, yet also offers a wide variety of other wines, including its popular Grand Cuvee sparkling. Visitors can enjoy a traditional or reserve tasting at the bar ($10-$15), or with a reservation can experience a reserve tasting paired with small bites in the La Storia room ($25), or enjoy an arbor or courtyard tasting ($20) or a gondola tour and tasting ($25). 19170 Geyserville Ave., Geyserville, 707-433-3104, trentadue.com.
Slide 20 of 20
WALT: Walt focuses on vineyard-specific Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Its tasting room just off the Sonoma square is in a redesigned residence and offers wine tasting with or without an appointment ($30) for groups of fewer than six, or you can reserve a special tasting such as Root 101, which explores Pinot Noirs from five different appellations, each paired with small bites from the girl & the fig ($60 by appointment). 380 First St. W., Sonoma, 707-933-4440, waltwines.com. (Courtesy photo)