So many wineries, so little time. Stunning Sonoma County sprawls 1,786 square miles, and is home to over 450 wineries with over 60,000 acres of planted vineyards. The area around the Kenwood Inn and Spa boasts some of the best! We’ve narrowed down our picks for the top not-to-be-missed wineries offering unique experiences and vintners who constantly push the envelope.
For more than four decades, the wines of St. Francis Winery & Vineyards have reflected the finest mountain and valley vineyards in Sonoma County. St. Francis Winery consistently produces luscious, elegant, fruit driven wines that best interpret the richness and distinct varietal characteristics of Sonoma’s unique, diverse terroir.
Chateau St. Jean, with its gracious style, elegant architecture, inviting gardens and tasting rooms, is the quintessential Sonoma winery. The winemaking estate is located at the foot of Sugarloaf Ridge in the Sonoma Valley near Kenwood. Visitors to Chateau St. Jean enter a main courtyard surrounded by a lush garden. Inspiration for the garden was based on the classic estate gardens of the Mediterranean, as seen through the use of citrus-planted terracotta pots and the generous use of herbs and flowers. The winery has integrated existing site features and vistas into a landscape that is both relaxed and elegant to exemplify Sonoma wine country.
For over a century, five generations of the Kunde family have farmed an 1,850-acre estate in the heart of Sonoma Valley. Kunde’s winemaking mission is to carry on that tradition by crafting elegant, estate-grown, sustainably farmed wines with a real sense of place – beautifully balanced and expressive of their dramatic vineyard landscape. Kunde’s breathtaking Mountain Top Tasting allows guests to sample the finest vintages at 1,400 feet, surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of the Kunde Estate. Overlook the Sonoma Valley, and onwards to the San Francisco Bay, as you taste wine in this truly one of a kind setting.
Deerfield Ranch Winery’s tasting room is set in the center of their 23,000 square feet wine cave, in the heart of the production facility. Guests walk through the crush pad, around the fermenting tanks, through beautiful Redwood portal doors, into the cave past hundreds of barrels full of wine to the center of the wine glass shaped cave and into the Grand Room. Guests sit comfortably in overstuffed couches and chairs, instead of standing at a crowded tasting bar, as they enjoy a flight of five wines.
Eight, same-generation family members manage every aspect of the grape-growing and winemaking endeavors at Benziger Family Winery. At Benziger Family Winery, the wines have character and conscience – they’re not only great in the glass, they’re grown in a way that’s good for the environment, too. Every wine in the portfolio carries a third-party certification of green farming practices. Whether the vineyard is certified sustainable, organic or biodynamic, it’s carefully tended with the most eco-responsible methods available – the best way to make distinctive, authentic wines. At Benziger Family Winery, guests explore the differences between sustainable, organic and biodynamic growing practices.
Hamel Family Wines strives to make a limited quantity of consistently great wines, primarily from Bordeaux varietals, and, more importantly, to have fun while doing so. Hamel Family Wines values quality over quantity, enjoyment over tedium, and building for long-term lasting success over short-term quick hits, and endeavors to produce the highest quality wines from grapes grown on their Sonoma Valley estates. Hamel Family Wines vineyards are farmed sustainably with organic and biodynamic practices, always seeking to be mindful of their role as responsible stewards of the land. The winery is nestled up against the Mayacamas Mountains, providing guests with dramatic views over the gently rolling vineyards.