Santa Rosa is the main city in California's Wine Country. So, it's not surprising that some great wineries can be found here.
Perched atop Fountaingrove, Paradise Ridge boasts incredible views. On Wednesdays, April October, you can bring a picnic and eat out on the balcony while enjoying the breathtaking sunset views. Come early, it gets full. For a while, the winery was best known for its wonderful sculpture garden and as a great place to have a wedding or hold a special event. But, as of late, the wines have been garnering well-deserved awards and praise. Pinot Noir, Syrah, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon are the stars on the tasting list. Paradise Ridge hosts the annual Beaujolais Nouveau celebration
Not exactly a pretty setting: Siduri is located in a warehouse in the industrial area of Santa Rosa. But who cares when Siduri makes some of the finest Pinot Noirs in the United States. Two birds, one stone: They co-house with sibling winery Novy Family Wines,
producer of stellar Syrahs and Zinfandels.
A little gem just off the Olivet Road strip, Pellegrini makes beautiful, food-friendly wines. Stunning drive up to the winery through more than 70 acres of vineyards, and inside find cheese and other gourmet samples to try along with the wines. Also on Olivet Rd., youll find the fun and friendly Sunce Winery.
Purchased by Jess Jackson of Kendall-Jackson in 2000, Matanzas Creek continues to produce excellent Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Merlot. This is a beautiful setting in Bennett Valley, with six theme gardens and an acre of lavender that supplies the flowers for the winerys lavender products.
KJs Wine Center is an extravagant Chateau with several different tastings available, including a food and wine pairing. They also have daily tours of their expansive culinary gardens, and the best viticulture demonstration garden in California Wine Country, featuring over 30 grape varietals and 60 different types of tomatoes. KJ puts on the annual Heirloom Tomato Festival
St. Francis is a beautifully-situated, mission-style winery in Sonoma Valley. They offer three levels of tasting including classic, reserve, and, best of all, their popular food and wine pairings. Excellent Bordeaux blends and Zinfandels.
Another architectural wonder, Ledsons 16,000 square-foot French Normandy Castle nestled in this Sonoma Valley setting makes this an impressive photo op. Outstanding Sauvignon Blancs and gourmet market make this an excellent picnic stop.
The Ballettos have been making wine since 2001 but just opened their tasting room in 2006. Find them and their solid, value-priced Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and award-winning Zinfandel on Occidental Road. They share the space with
Sourcing their fruit from the best vineyards, Dutton-Goldfields wines are not cheap, but they are fantastic and sell-out fast. They make all the best the Russian River Valley has to offer: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel. Found in the same space as Balletto Winery (above).
DeLoach has seen a lot of changes over the past few years, including its sale to Boisset America. But, with new star winemaker Greg La Follette at the helm, their wine has never been better. Dont miss their Sauvignon Blancs, Chardonnays, or Pinot Noirs.