When’s the last time you saw someone in a tasting room poring over a folder of printouts, or better yet a travel guide, while planning their next winery stop?
Probably the last time you saw an actual foldable map.
It doesn’t happen. You take your last sip, consult your smartphone and you’re off to the next tasting room.
But Sonoma wine apps land all over the “map”: One is great for wine-tasting deals, another takes you on virtual video tours and another has the “jammy, oaky, fruit-forward” lexicon you want to try out on every pourer.
Until someone puts it all together in one simple interface, here is a quick scroll through some of the best free Sonoma wine apps:
The gist: Imagine Groupon for wine tasting that covers both Sonoma and Napa. Recent deals offered a 2-for-1 mountaintop tasting at Kunde Family Estate in Kenwood and a tasting of seven wines for $10 at Fritz Underground Winery in Cloverdale.
Random detail: “Bad Driving in Napa Valley” video
Use it for: Saving on tasting fees.
iVisit Sonoma County
The gist: Wineries are only a small part of this app and it’s more of a laundry list from A-Z, but it does tell you if a winery is pet-friendly, or grows its grapes organically, or if it offers tours.
Random detail: Dry Creek General Store listed under “Breweries”
Use it for: The bigger picture, like when you want to unwine and drink a locally brewed beer, unwind at a spa, go to a museum or hit the links.
The gist: Great maps, quick access to information on Wine Road events such as Barrel Tasting and Winter WINEland, and beginners can pick up tips in the Wine 101 section.
Random detail: List of wine tasting terms, which includes “musty,” “sweaty” and “blood”
Use it for: The lay of the land and quick-hit Food & Wine magazine picks.
Wineries of Dry Creek Valley
The gist: One of the best single-valley apps, with a clever wine-wheel layout and decent dining blurbs.
Random detail: Big shoutout for the Sonoma County Wine Library under “Activities”
Use it for: The specials, such as this recent Dry Creek Vineyard winery deal: “Mention this app and receive wine club benefits for the day”; and the carefully selected Dog Friendly Trail and Green Trail of organic and Biodynamic wineries.