The Best Wine Tasting Experiences in Northern California Wine Country
Collected by Matt Villano , AFAR Local Expert
738 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574, USA
Just about every aspect of the farm experience comes to life at Long Meadow Ranch’s public-facing facility in St. Helena. The relaxed destination includes an outdoor café, a restaurant named Farmstead, and a general store with wine-...
11455 Old Redwood Hwy, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
Rodney Strong, a former professional dancer, opened this pioneering winery in 1959. Today, in addition to a traditional tasting room, the winery has added more sophisticated options on the Terrace, an outdoor lounge that looks out on vineyards....
28700 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476, USA
Pairings are everything at Ram’s Gate, one of the first wineries on the drive to wine country from San Francisco. First is the combination of sights: the wonders of architect Howard Backen’s open-concept tasting room in a refurbished...
1460 1st St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
This winery’s downtown Napa location is more of a nightclub than a tasting salon, complete with leather couches, a huge vinyl collection, a recording studio in the back, and a small stage for live music near the front window. In short,...
4605 Westside Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
Visitors to this modern Russian River Valley winery receive a personal greeting and a glass of sparkling wine as they walk up—an appropriate welcome for a relaxed-yet-sophisticated few hours. Most tastings take place in the comfortable and...
6752 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599, USA
The country-style NOMAD Heritage Library at Stewart Cellars’ downtown Yountville tasting room has the look and feel of a worldly traveler’s living room: It’s full of books. Rumor has it the titles are tomes that owner Michael...
4130 Howard Ln, Napa, CA 94558, USA
With midcentury modern architecture and vinyl on the turntable, Ashes & Diamonds is not your typical Napa winery. Yet for Kashy Khaledi, the son of Darioush Khaledi (the man behind Darioush Winery), the new digs make perfect sense. The younger...
10701 Westside Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
The perspective from Gary Farrell Winery, on the outskirts of Healdsburg, is distinctive. Perched high on a ridge above Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley, you get a sense of the fog that makes this growing region so perfect—the...
2100 Denmark St, Sonoma, CA 95476, USA
This small-production and boutique winery near downtown Sonoma has achieved cult status in recent years for the exclusivity of the experiences that owners (and brothers) Andrew and Adam Mariani have put together. Standard tastings run about 90...
7227 Westside Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
Entering the reservations-only Williams Selyem winery may feel like a walking into a wine barrel—and that’s by design. The architects incorporated wood from old redwood wine tanks for a more authentic feel. Wine lovers call the...
915 Oakville Cross Rd, Oakville, CA 94562, USA
It’s hard to ponder the growth of Napa Valley without thinking of Silver Oak. The cult-favorite Oakville winery has been producing some of the region’s best cabernet sauvignon since the 1970s, and after more than 40 years, the majority...
1601 Silverado Trail S, St Helena, CA 94574, USA
In 1989, Chilean winemakers Augustin and Valeria Huneeus happened upon a 280-acre parcel of land in the heart of Rutherford that had never been planted with vines. The couple jumped and bought it. The result is Quintessa, one of the most...
875 Rutherford Rd, Napa, CA 94558, USA
Wine, as they say, belongs at the table. Yet most tasting rooms offer only the wine. For a richer experience, seek out wineries that offer food pairings or, better yet, an entire meal. At Robert Sinskey winery, cookbook author and Chef Maria Helm...
6770 McKinley St, Sebastopol, CA 95472, USA
Sebastopol’s answer to the Napa’s Oxbow Market is The Barlow, a hip and upscale outdoor mall featuring a variety of epicurean hot spots, shops, tasting rooms, and galleries. Once an apple-processing facility, the 18 industrial...
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