Russian River Valley & Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County

Most of the 130 wineries of the Russian River Valley are within a 30 minute drive of each other. Plan to stay in Occidental, Sebastopol, Santa Rosa, or Healdsburg. Bicycles are a good way to explore the region and travel to the wineries. Picnics are a must. Russian River Valley Wine Road maps are available at, a very informative website for the region.

The 96,000 acres in the Russian River Valley contain a wide array of growing conditions. The valley is cooler in the south and west, where it is exposed to coastal winds and fog, and hotter in the north and east, where it abuts the warmer Dry Creek Valley and Chalk Hill appellations.

I have included Sonoma Coast wineries as there is overlap between the Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley AVAs.

Recommended Wineries

Bacigalupi Vineyards
Tasting RoomOpen daily.
ProductionPinot Noir, Chardonnay, Fondare, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah
WinemakerAshley Herzberg
OwnerBacigalupi Family
CommentsRussian River Valley's oldest growers of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
PoP coverageBacigalupi Vineyards
Benovia Winery
Tasting RoomTours and tasting by appointment.
Production2,500 cases Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel
WinemakerMike Sullivan
OwnerJoe Anderson, Mary Dewane, Michael Sullivan
CommentsRental house on property (see lodging). Hospitality center. Outstanding lineup of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel and sparkling wines produced primarily from estate vineyards.
PoP coverageBenovia Winery
Tasting RoomBy appointment on Fridays
Production1,000 cases
WinemakerWilliam Hunter
OwnerWilliam Hunter
CommentsSuperb West County Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Hunter is a 30+ year veteran winemaker who keeps a low profile and lets his wines do the talking.. The name, "Chasseur," is French for Hunter.
PoP coverageChasseur
Davis Family Vineyards
Tasting RoomOpen Thursday through Monday 11-5 or by appointment.
ProductionPinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc (from New Zealand) and olive oil.
WinemakerGuy Davis
OwnerGuy Davis
CommentsConsistently fine wines across the entire portfolio with an emphasis on Pinot Noir. Boxed lunches and picnic baskets available with tables in adjoining Organic Garden Lounge just steps from the Russian River.
PoP coverageDavis Family Vineyards
Dehlinger Winery
Tasting RoomBy appointment January-August
Production7,000 cases Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah & Cabernet Sauvignon
WinemakerTom Dehlinger and daughter Eva Dehlinger
OwnerTom & Carole Dehlinger
CommentsIconic RRV producer of estate wines for close to 30 years. Praised for uniqueness, quality, consistency and value.
PoP coverageDehlinger Winery
Dutton-Goldfield Winery
Tasting Room5700 Occidental Road, Santa Rosa. Open daily.
Production6,000 cases Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah
WinemakerDan Goldfield
OwnerSteve Dutton and Dan Goldfield
CommentsEstablished 1999. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc from primarily Dutton Ranch vineyards in the Russian River Valley, with a few other vineyard sources in Marin County and Sonoma Coast.
PoP coverageDutton-Goldfield
Eric Kent Wine Cellars
Tasting RoomBy appointment at production facility in Santa Rosa.
Production2,000 cases Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah
WinemakerKent Humphrey
OwnerKent and Colleen Humphrey
CommentsEstablished 2003. A boutique winery producing superb Pinot Noir, Syrah and Chardonnay from cooler vineyards in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. Very unique, original artwork graces the labels.
PoP coverageEric Kent Wine Cellars
Freeman Vineyard and Winery
Tasting RoomBy appointment.
Production4,000 cases Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
WinemakerEd Kurtzman
OwnerKen and Akiko Freeman
CommentsTasting by appt. 10 acres owned, 30 acres leased. Established 2001.
PoP coverageFreeman Vineyard & Winery
Fulcrum Wines
Tasting RoomOpen daily right off historic Sonoma Plaza
WinemakerDavid Rossi
OwnerDavid Rossi
CommentsPinot Noir from acclaimed sites in Anderson Valley, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, Carneros and Chalone appellations.
PoP coverageFulcrum Wines
Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery
Tasting RoomOpen Mon-Fri; Sat-Sun by appt
ProductionPinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel
WinemakerTheresa Heredia
CommentsSuperb Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from elite Russian River Valley vineyards as well as top vineyards in other California wine regions. Cozy tasting room with views. Several unique tasting experiences are offered.
PoP coverageGary Farrell Vineyards & Winery
george wine company
Tasting RoomBy appointment at Moshin Winery
Production<1000 cases
WinemakerGeorge Levkoff
OwnerGeorge Levkoff
CommentsA one-man show - highly lauded Pinots popular in Las Vegas & New York restaurants.
PoP coveragegeorge wine company
Hirsch Vineyards
Tasting RoomTours and tasting by appointment.
ProductionPinot Noir, Chardonnay
WinemakerMark Doherty
OwnerDavid Hirsch
CommentsA long drive, but worth it. Among the first plantings in the true Sonoma Coast. Make sure weather is suitable before departing. 72 acres of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Winery established in 2002.
PoP coverageHirsch Vineyards
Inman Family Wines
Tasting RoomBy appointment Thursday-Monday
ProductionPinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Rosé, Chardonnay, sparkling wines
WinemakerKathleen Inman
OwnerSimon and Kathleen Inman
CommentsRental home on the Olivet Grange Vineyard (see lodging). Established in 2000. Tasting room and barrel room on estate property.
PoP coverageInman Family Winery
Joseph Swan Vineyards
Tasting RoomOpen weekends.
Production5,000 cases Pinot Noir, Syrah, Zinfandel
WinemakerRod Berglund
OwnerLynn and Rod Berglund
Comments11 acres owned, 24 acres leased. An historic winery established in 1969.
PoP coverageJoseph Swan Vineyards
Keller Estate
Tasting RoomWinery and cave tour and tasting by appointment.
Production10,000 cases
WinemakerJacqueline Yoakum
OwnerAna Keller
CommentsOwn 86 acres. Established in 2000.
PoP coverageKeller Estate
La Rochelle Winery
Tasting RoomTasting room at 300 Aborn Rd., San Jose open daily 12-5. Tours by appointment. Picnic area.
Production4,000 cases Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
WinemakerTom Stultz
OwnerSteven Mirassou
PoP coverageLa Rochelle Winery
Tasting RoomBy appointment only.
WinemakerTed Lemon
OwnerTed & Heidi Lemon
CommentsOne of California's premier producers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley. Vineyard sources are farmed organically and in many cases biodynamically according to Ted Lemon's specifications.
PoP coverageLittorai
Lynmar Winery
Tasting RoomHospitality center open by appointment. Food and wine pairings. Reservations recommended. Beautiful setting and views.
Production12,000 cases Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Rose
OwnerLynn Fritz, Alisia Fritz
CommentsOne of the most beautiful hospitality centers in the Russian River Valley that perfectly compliments the outstanding wines. Once open to the public daily, there was such a crowd, that tasting in the hospitality center is now only be appointment. Established in 1990.
PoP coverageLynmar Estate
MacRostie Winery & Vineyards
Tasting RoomVariety of tasting options at MacRostie Estate House on Westside Rd daily. RSVP suggested.
ProductionPinot Noir and Chardonnay from Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast
WinemakerHeidi Bridenhagen/Steve MacRostie
OwnerSteve MacRostie
CommentsNew hospitality center on Westside Rd in 2015. Consistently excellent and sensibly priced Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from estate and sourced vineyards in the Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley.
PoP coverageMacRostie Winery & Vineyards
Papapietro Perry
Tasting RoomFriendly tasting room open daily 11-4:30.
ProductionSmall lots of Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Chardonnay
WinemakerBen Papapietro
OwnerBen Papapietro and Yolando Papapietro, Renae and Bruce Perry
CommentsWonderful hosts, upbeat tasting room, consistently stellar Pinot Noir. Ben learned from Burt Williams.
PoP coveragePapapietro Perry
Pellegrini Family Vineyards
Tasting RoomTasting room and tours open by appointment.
Production36,000 cases Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet, Zinfandel, and several other varietals.
WinemakerLynn Krusmann
OwnerBob, Alexia, and Aida Pellegrini
Comments 130 acres owned including Olivet Lane Vineyard, a Russian River Valley heritage vineyard. Established in 1933.
PoP coveragePellegrini Wine Company
Red Car Wine Co.
Tasting Room10-5 daily
WinemakerCarrol Kemp
OwnerCarrol Kemp
CommentsPinot Noir specialist featuring single vineyard wines from true Sonoma Coast. Adjacent Dutton-Goldfield tasting room.
PoP coverageRed Car Wine Co.
Rochioli Vineyards & Winery
Tasting RoomOpen Friday-Monday; Tuesday & Wednesday by appt
WinemakerTom Rochioli
OwnerJoe Rochioli, Jr.
CommentsLegendary Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from Tom (winemaker) and Joe (grower) Rochioli. An iconic Russian River Valley winery with plantings dating to 1968. Limited production wines under J. Rochioli label are sold exclusively through mailing list. Other wines available for tasting in tasting room.
PoP coverageRochioli Vineyards & Winery
Sanglier Cellars
Tasting Room132 Plaza St.; open daily except Wednesdays during winter
WinemakerGlenn Alexander
OwnerGlenn and Melissa Alexander
CommentsOwner and winemaker Glenn Alexander farms and manages over 400 acres of vineyards through his company Bacchus Vineyard Management. He also crafts Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Rhone varietals.
PoP coverageSanglier Cellars
Scherrer Winery
Tasting RoomBy appointment.
Production6,000 cases Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel
WinemakerFred Scherrer
OwnerFred and Judi Scherrer
PoP coverageScherrer Winery
Screen Door Cellars
Tasting RoomCall to arrange to taste.
WinemakerBobby Donnell
OwnerBobby and Shannon Donnell
CommentsA small producer of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Rosé of Pinot Noir.
PoP coverageScreen Door Cellars
Siduri Wines
Tasting RoomThursday-Monday by appointment at winery. Healdsburg Wine Lounge open Thursday-Monday.
Production7,500 cases multiple Pinots CA & OR
WinemakerAdam Lee
OwnerJackson Family Wines
CommentsUrban warehouse winery producing Pinot Noir exclusively from vineyards throughout California and the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Highly popular tastings at winery or in downtown Healdsburg.
PoP coverageSiduri Wines
Small Vines Wines
Tasting RoomAdvance appointment only for mailing list members
WinemakerPaul Sloan, consultant Byron Kosuge
OwnerPaul and Kathryn Sloan
CommentsRussian River Valley and Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir from estate vineyard and vineyards that Paul planted and manages.
PoP coverageSmall Vines Wines
Sojourn Cellars
Tasting RoomTasting Salon in downtown Sonoma by appointment.
WinemakerErich Bradley
OwnerCraig Haserot and Erich Bradley
CommentsOutstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from primarily Sonoma Coast vineyards. Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley too.
PoP coverageSojourn Cellars
Tasting RoomBy appointment at production facility in Santa Rosa.
OwnerClaude and Elisabeth Koeberle, Don and Beth Plumley
CommentsMichelin-starred French chef Claude Koeberle and partner Don Plumley produce very small lots of impeccably produced Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast vineyard sources. Wines are allocated to mailing list members a few notable restaurants nationally.
PoP coverageSoliste
Tasting RoomBy appointment.
Production1,500 cases
WinemakerDenise Selyem and Kirk Hubbard
OwnerDenise Selyem and Kirk Hubbard
CommentsBoutique winery in former apple processing plant. Denise Mary Selyem's father was Ed Selyem of Williams Selyem fame. Pinot Noir from long-standing vineyard sources in Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast.
PoP coverageWesMar Winery

Recommended Lodging

Applewood Inn
CommentsRomantic retreat. Excellent restaurant open Tues-Sat with great Sonoma County wine list. 30 minute drive from Healdsburg. Original owners, who added so much, sold the property in 2009. New owner plans Tuscan style retreat with cooking school and other changes.
Benovia Winery Hideaway Cottage
CommentsNicely furnished 3 bedroom house with garage in the middle of estate vineyard, walking distance to winery. All amenities provided. !5-20 minutes from both Healdsburg and Sebastopol.
Bodega Bay Lodge
CommentsPerched on a waterfront bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the Sonoma Coast, the Lodge provides sweeping views. 83 guest rooms with the Ocean Club Suites the most luxurious. 8 acres of landscaped grounds, heated outdoor swimming pool, spa, fitness center, beach access. Duck Club Restaurant is top notch. 30 minutes west of Russian River Valley. $195 and up.
Camellia Inn
CommentsThe longest family owned and operated Inn in the Healdsburg area. Italianate Victorian built in 1871. Very personable inn keepers. Three minute walk to downtown Healdsburg.
CommentsSix minimalist luxury modern cottages in downtown Healdsburg. Excellent continental breakfast included.
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott
CommentsI often stay here. This is a full service and well appointed hotel that is inexpensive. Walking distance to downtown Sebastopol and close to many wineries. Swimming pool and gym. Rooms and suites.
Healdsburg Inn on Plaza
CommentsCountryside decor on the central town plaza.
Honor Mansion
CommentsBuilt in 1883, the Victorian "resort inn" offers 13 rooms, including 4 suites, spread over four acres. Owners Cathi and Steve Fowler purchased Honor Mansion in 1994 and restored the building to its original splendor. Full gourmet breakfast buffet each morning, wine and appetizers in the afternoon. Lap pool, croquet lawn, PGA putting green, hiking and jogging trail, tennis court, basketball court and bocce courts. AAA Four Diamond Award for 13 consecutive years. $240 and up.
Hotel Healdsburg
CommentsSleek, modern hotel on the central town plaza. Antithesis of cutsy area B&Bs. Dry Creek Kitchen Restaurant with excellent Sonoma County wine list. No corkage if you bring in a Sonoma wine not on list.
Inn at Occidental
CommentsHighly rated B&B in small town of Occidental
Irish Rose Inn
CommentsAffiliated with Brogan Cellars
Little Yellow Cottage
Comments2 bedroom house overlooking De La Montanya Estate Vineyard and Winery. All amenities provided. 10 minutes from Healdsburg. Contact Tina De La Montanya.
Madrona Manor
Comments17 rooms in this 3-story Victorian that dates to 1881.     Swimming pool. The outstanding Restaurant at Madrona Manor offers new American cuisine.
Nick's Cove and Cottages
OwnerPat Kuleto
CommentsExcellent restaurant. Situated on shores of Tomales Bay.
Olivet Grange Vacation Rental
Comments3 bedroom, 1 bathroom farmhouse at Olivet Grange Vineyard dating to 1918. Like your grandmother's house with large kitchen and living room. Charming with nice beds. 15 minute drive to Healdsburg.
Sheraton Sonoma County Petaluma
CommentsAll of the wineries in Petaluma are within a short drive of the hotel.
The Raford Inn of Healdsburg
CommentsVictorian B&B overlooking vineyards.
Timber Cove Inn
Comments25 miles north of Bodega Bay and closest to winery and vineyard outposts along the true Sonoma Coast. Located on a solitary rocky point above the ocean, this rugged lodge is perfect for whale watching.
Vintners Inn
CommentsEuropean style lodging among a 92-acre vineyard. Home to John Ash & Co. Restaurant.
Windrose Romantic Cottages
Comments5 cottages, for 1 or 2 people. Inexpensive.

Vacation Home Rentals

Recommended Restaurants

CommentsB, L & D at this unassuming spot. Chef is Daniel Kedan, formerly Peter Lowell and Ad Hoc.
Barn Diva
CommentsLocally-sourced ingredients with seasonal menus. L & D Weds-Sun. Excellent Sunday brunch. Owners built the barn from the ground up and opened the restaurant in 2004. Chef Ryan Fancher has had a culinary journey that included San Ysidero Ranch in Santa Barbara, and the French Laundry and Per Se. Reservations for parties of 8+.
Bistro Des Copains
CommentsDinner only. Highly recommended Cal-French cuisine. Owners are very wine-savvy.
Bistro Ralph
CommentsA Healdsburg institution enjoyed by many visitors and locals alike. On the Plaza.
Campo Fina
CommentsFrom Scopa owner Ari Rosen. Wood-fired oven. Italian small plates and pizza. Local boutique labels, Italian wines and Italian-inspired cocktails. L & D daily.
Central Market
CommentsChef and owner Tony Najiola serves seasonal, locally sourced fare with a Mediterranean influence. Good vibe and wine list.
Chloe's French Café
CommentsHard to find (located behind a medical building complex) but worth the search. Only open for breakfast and lunch on weekdays. Terrific sandwiches and salads. Don't miss the chicken curry salad sandwich on baguette or croissant. Cheerful staff. I just love this place. Sadly, damaged in the 2016 fires and closed in early 2017. Still available for catering.
Cucina Paradiso
CommentsMy favorite Italian restaurant in Sonoma County. Excellent wine and food service. Reservations required.
Diavola Pizzeria and Salumeria
Phone707- 814-0111
CommentsWood-fired pizzas, paninis, pastas, house-cured salumi. Well-chosen local wine list. Great wine country vibe with friendly service and outstanding food. One of my favorite wine country haunts.
Downtown Bakery & Creamery
CommentsMaybe Sonoma's best bakery run by Chez Panisse alumni. Great breakfast, and donut muffins which appeared on Food Network's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate." highly recommended. Good pizza too. On the Plaza.
Dry Creek Kitchen
CommentsElegant restaurant from an acclaimed chef who lives in Sonoma. Local ingredients with a French touch. Can be uneven but when its good its very good. No corkage for wines from Sonoma County. Outstanding Sonoma County wine list with many verticals.
Hop Monk Tavern
Phone707- 829-7300
CommentsLarge selection of draft beers and a menu using locally sourced ingredients. Live music. Outdoor dining. A second, smaller location is at 691 Broadway in Sonoma.
Ike's Place
CommentsLegendary Bay Area sandwich shop with over 200 sandwich combinations
Jimtown Store
CommentsQuirky café and store that has excellent luncheon foods. You must go here at least once in your life. The ideal place to get your picnic supplies.
K&L Bistro
CommentsFormer Michelin 1 Star. One of my favorite restaurants in Sebastopol. Very small, French bistro food, excellent wine service, reservations required. L & D, Mon-Sat. The hamburger is terrific as is the house-made Boudin Blanc sausage with pink pearl apple, endive salad and french fries.
Lolitas Market and Taqueria
CommentsAuthentic taqueria, great tacos.
Mateo's Cocina Latina
CommentsWell-known Yucatan-born chef, Mateo Grandos, formerly of Masa's, Manka's Inverness Lodge, and Dry Creek Kitchen, honed his menu selling tamales from a mobile kitchen at Sonoma County Farmers' Markets, and later serving cutting edge menus from a mobile pop-up restaurant, Tendejon de La Calle. One of SF Chronicle's Top 100 restaurants. Yucatan street food lunch and dinner and weekend brunch. Outdoor dining, private events and catering.
Nick's Cove Restaurant and Cottages (see lodging)
Partake by K-J
Comments55-seat Tasting Lounge and Flight Club where you can explore a wide range of wine flights and a selection of seasonal bites (Bites & Flights menu) driven by K-J's organic gardens.
PoP coverageKendall-Jackson Wine Estates
Rivers Inn Restaurant & Inn
CommentsGorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean along with good food and good wine list.
Rocker Oysterfeller's Kitchen & Saloon
CommentsDinner Wednesday through Sunday, Sunday brunch, Saturday lunch. Locally sourced food including oysters from Drake's Bay, beef from local ranchers. Authentic flavors, laid back atmosphere. Decent Sonoma wine list.
Rosso Pizzeria & Wine Bar
CommentsFormer Tra Vigne chef John Franchetti. Wood- fired pizzas, salads, antipasto all fresh. Also in Petaluma.
Santi Taverna Restaurant
CommentsOutstanding and authentic Italian cuisine. A favorite of local winemakers. 10 mins north of Healdsburg.
CommentsA foodie destination with fresh produce from local farmers, edibles by bulk, cooking and gardening tools, fermentation bar, B & L, provisions for dinner.
Terrapin Creek Cafe Restaurant
CommentsCasual, affordable restaurant established in 2008 now serving dinner Thursday through Monday. Reservations needed.
The Inn at the Tides
CommentsBay view lodging and Sonoma-California cuisine at the Bay View Restaurant. Monthly winemaker dinners. The Tides Wharf Restaurant at 835 Highway 1 is open for B, L, & D and has a fish market, wine shop and food to go.
The Tides Wharf Restaurant
CommentsSee The Inn at the Tides.
Two Niner Diner
CommentsWatch small planes take off and land with views of vineyards in the distance.
Underwood Bar and Bistro
CommentsFun spot with bar seating. Excellent wines. Fantastic hamburger. Loved by locals.
Village Bakery
CommentsDon't be put off by modest appearance. Pastries to die for especially the bear claws.The seeded sourdough bread is my favorite bread in the entire world! (Peter adds: if you're there on Saturday, try to get a loaf of the Fig-Anise—heavenly!) Also in Santa Rosa at 1445 Town & Country Dr, 707-527-7654
Willis Seafood and Raw Bar
CommentsSmall plates, seafood rolls, good wine list.
Willis Wine Bar
CommentsSmall plates, great wine list, rustic and comfortable. Filet Mignon sliders and dungess crab tacos are fab. Burned down October 2016 fires - hopefully may reopen at some time.
Willow Wood Market Cafe
CommentsCasual eatery, general store ambiance, many locals. B, L & D daily. Market with unusual stuff.
Zazu Kitchen + Farm
CommentsA former roadhouse restaurant now located in The Barlow in downtown Sebastopol. The restuarant is owned by chefs Duskie Estes who was once a contestant on Food Network Challenge and her husband, John Stewart, a rock star salumist, known for producing their Black pig salami and bacon. Reservations usually required for lunch (Wednesday-Friday), brunch ( Saturday-Sunday) and dinner (Wednesday-Monday). Deservedly very popular especially if you like bacon.

Recommended Wine Stores

Bottle Barn
CommentsExtensive Pinot selection at low prices. Tricky to find, but well worth the effort. Just a warehouse, no service, no frills.
CommentsPraxis, Eric Ross, Hawley, Portalupi.
Vine & Barrel
CommentsGood Petaluma Gap Pinot selection at sensible prices. Tasting bar.
Wine Spectrum Bar & Shop
CommentsArmida, MacPhail, Russian Hill, others.

Picnic Supplies

Farmer's Markets
Oakville Grocery
CommentsGourmet, upscale, nice wine selection.
Oliver's Market
CommentsLocal, independent and employee-owned grocery stores. "Real Food. Real People." Great selection of local breads, cheeses and wines, fresh organic produce, great deli. Best markets in Russian River Valley.
Pacific Market
CommentsGreat deli sandwiches, salad bar. Locations in Rohnert Park and Sebastopol.
Wild Flour Bakery
CommentsWorth the 15 minute drive from Sebastopol. The greatest wood-fired brick oven breads on this planet. Coffee, no food.

Wine Country Tours

Getaway Adventures
CommentsBicycle touring company.
Wine Country Bikes
OwnerJonathan Garner
CommentsFull service from friendly owner. $100 an hour for transportation that can seat 10 people. Water, snacks. Good way to avoid costly DUI.

Appellation Websites