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Pair fun in the sun with wine country views. Click through the gallery for Sonoma wineries that add an extra bit of magic to the mix. (Photo courtesy of Sbragia Family Vineyards)
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Alexander Valley Vineyards, Healdsburg
Alexander Valley Vineyards offers a wide array of wines grown both on the estate and sourced from select vineyards. Visitors can enjoy complimentary tastings as well as winery and cave tours for groups of less than 10. ($40-$55; reservations required). 8644 Highway 128, Healdsburg, 707-433-7209. (Photo by Kent Porter)
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Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves, Healdsburg
Bella’s winemaking team is focused on crafting small-lot wines, with an emphasis on Zinfandel. Groups of eight or less are welcome without a reservation for a relaxed tasting in the hillside cave ($15) or for a cave tour and tasting by appointment ($35) or a vineyard tour and barrel-blending experience ($55). Be sure to bring a picnic and enjoy the lovely grounds during your visit. 9711 W. Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, 707-473-9171. (Photo by Christopher Chung)
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Buena Vista Winery, Sonoma
Buena Vista Winery has so much history that even the employees dress the part. There are multiple reserved tasting experiences on offer, or groups of up to seven can drop in for a selection of new and library releases ($20-$30). It truly feels like you’ve taken a step back in time once your feet hit these grounds. To fully immerse yourself, go for the historic wine tool museum tour and tasting ($25) or reserve a winery-provided picnic, which includes a tasting flight in the historic press house. 18000 Old Winery Road, Sonoma, 800-926-1266.
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Cline Cellars, Sonoma
Groups of up to six can enjoy complimentary tastings of Cline’s many wine varieties at the tasting room in its 1853 farmhouse. The lush setting features vineyards, the California Mission Museum, 5,000 rose bushes, six natural ponds (the one behind the farmhouse has carp you can feed for 25 cents) and animals including pheasants and two miniature donkeys. Larger groups require a reserved private tasting and/or tour, and anyone can reserve one of the property’s many picnic tables. 24737 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, 707-940-4000.
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Comstock Wines, Healdsburg
Winemaker Chris Russi crafts a range of varietal wines with an emphasis on regional character. Visit for a classic tasting (no appointment necessary) at the expansive bar, or on the terrace by appointment ($15-$30). There are also cheese pairings, Sunday brunches and “wine, pizza and bocce” on the second Saturday of each month through October (reservations required). Prices vary by experience. 1290 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, 707-723-3011. (Photo by John Burgess)
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Winemaker and owner Phillip Staehle sources grapes from select vineyards to craft his outstanding lineup of limited- production wines. Don’t miss his Petite Sirah and cool-climate Odyssey Syrah — both are an absolute treat. Groups of eight or less are welcome in the tasting room without a reservation ($15-$25). 520 Broadway, Sonoma, 707-833-6100. (Winemaker Phillip Staehle and his dog, photo courtesy of Enkidu)
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J. Rickards Winery, Cloverdale
Enjoy complimentary tastings of “Darn Fine Barn Wine” for groups of eight or less (don’t miss the Rosé of Aleatico, a dry-style blend of Aleatico and Syrah). Box lunches are available for picnics with 48 hours’ notice. 24505 Chianti Road, Cloverdale, 707-758-3441.
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Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Healdsburg
Jordan Vineyard & Winery offers three distinct wine tours, all of which include tastings of their Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Champagne: a library tasting ($30) which includes a seated wine pairing in their cellar room; a tour of the French-style chateau (designed by founders Tom and Sally Jordan) followed by library tasting ($40); and a three-hour estate tour and tasting ($120) that takes guests on a guided tour through the scenic vineyards, winery, chef's garden and apiary. Online reservations must be made 12 hours in advance due to culinary preparations. 1474 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg, 707-431-5250. (Photo by Charlie Gesell)
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Kamen Estate Wines, Sonoma
Winemaking team Mark Herold and Neil Mason craft estate-grown Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Guests can sample them at the winery’s downtown Sonoma tasting room ($20-$35) or take a vineyard tour and sample them from the source along with paired cheeses ($80, by appointment with 48-hour advance notice required). 111B E. Napa St., Sonoma, 707-938-7292.
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Kokomo Winery, Healdsburg
Kokomo, a producer of small-production, terroir-driven wines offers three tasting experiences: a casual tasting by the bar ($10); a wine and cheese pairing in the Barrel Room ($25) and a reserve wine and cheese tasting in the Cypress Room, exclusive for wine club members ($25). If alfresco dining is your thing, check out Birds and Bubbles Aug. 18, with lunch in the vineyard featuring fried chicken from Backyard restaurant and sparkling wine ($75). 4791 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, 707-433-0200. (Photo by Alvin Jornada)
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Medlock Ames, Healdsburg
Medlock Ames has a wonderful lineup of wines, from Sauvignon Blanc to Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from 100 percent organic estate vineyards and made in its 100 percent solar-powered winery. Visit its tasting room in Alexander Valley for a signature flight ($15), artisan cheese and wine pairing ($20, reservations recommended) or book a tour at its Bell Mountain estate for a more in-depth experience ($40). Its Alexander Valley Bar opens at 5 p.m. for cocktails and more, with summer Sunday concerts happening through August. 3487 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg, 707-431-8845. (Photo by Crista Jeremiason)
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Muscardini Cellars, Kenwood
Muscardini Cellars offers live music on the patio from 5:30 to 8 p.m. every Saturday through Oct. 7. Settle in and enjoy charcuterie items for purchase or bring your own snacks and listen to the tunes paired with wines made from Italian and other varieties ($10 glass of wine purchase required). 9380 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, 707-933-9305. (Photo by Jeremy Portje)
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Paradise Ridge Winery, Santa Rosa & Kenwood
The Byck family’s Paradise Ridge Winery has two locations (Santa Rosa and Kenwood). Its Santa Rosa winery overlooks Santa Rosa and beyond and is the perfect venue for “Wines and Sunsets” every Wednesday beginning at 5:30 p.m. through October, featuring live music, food and delicious wine ($5-$10; reservations required). 4545 Thomas Lake Harris Drive, Santa Rosa, 707528-9463; 8860 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, 707-282-9020.
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Rodney Strong Vineyards, Healdsburg
Catch the finale of Rodney Strong's popular Summer Concert Series on August 27 (Chris Botti) and September 9 (Kool & the Gang). Gates open an hour before each show and guests can bring low-back chairs and blankets. Wine and food are available for purchase or you can bring your own picnic ($89-$129 per show). Or just while away summer hours on the terrace, tasting estate wines and locally sourced luxe bites. 11455 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg, 707-431-1533. (Photo by Heather Irwin)
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Sbragia Family Vineyards, Geyserville
Father-and-son Ed and Adam Sbragia craft an outstanding lineup of wines from Sauvignon Blanc to Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and more, and the view from the winery’s expansive terrace is amazing. On August 19, the winery celebrates its 11th anniversary with a “Carnival” theme including music, games and wine specials ($20). Tickets necessary. 9990 Dry Creek Road, Geyserville, 707-473-2992.
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Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery, Sonoma
Historic Sebastiani Winery offers daily tastings without reservations for groups of six or less ($20) as well as several elevated experiences and tours by reservation ($5-$50). Its Friday night music series features live music from 6 to 9 p.m. through Oct. 1. Wine is available by the glass or bottle. Guests are welcome to bring a picnic. On the last Friday of each month through September, Food Truck Fridays feature a lineup of local gourmet trucks offering food for purchase to pair with the music. 389 Fourth St. E., Sonoma, 707-933-3230.
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Seghesio Family Vineyards, Healdsburg
Visitors to Seghesio are welcome at the historic winery for a heritage tasting ($15, reservations required for groups of more than six) featuring wines only available at the tasting room, a seated “founders flight” ($35 by reservation) or a tour and chef’s table wine and food pairing ($80). 700 Grove St., Healdsburg, 707-433-3579. (Photo by Kent Porter)
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Soda Rock Winery, Healdsburg
You can’t miss artist Brian Tendrick’s 20,000-pound metal boar sculpture “Lord Snort” when you arrive at Soda Rock Winery. The winery crafts an extensive lineup of varietals, including Petit Verdot, which isn’t often bottled on its own — don’t miss it. 8015 Highway 128, Healdsburg, 707-433-3303. (Photo by Jeremy Portje)
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Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards, Windsor
Sonoma-Cutrer offers an array of options for enjoying its beautiful tasting room and grounds while sampling Chardonnay and Pinot Noir ($15-$50, by appointment). One of the most popular includes three wines and an invitation to play croquet ($15) — a perfect combination for summer. 4401 Slusser Road, Windsor, 707-528-1181. (Photo by Erik Castro)
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St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, Santa Rosa
Pair small-production wines with some of the most breathtaking vistas in Sonoma Valley. The winery offers two culinary experiences: a simpler cheese and charcuterie accompaniment ($25), and a seated multi-course food-and- wine pairing presided over by executive chef Bryan Jones ($68, reservations required). 100 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa, 707-538-9463.
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