Bodega Bay’s Wineries: A Weekend Guide

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Many forget that wine country is but a few miles away from the surfing, seafood, and laid-back vibe of Bodega Bay. The area is populated by Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, so if you’re a lover of either or both, the wineries in and around Bodega Bay are worth seeking out. We’ve gathered a list of the top eight to visit on a two-day journey.

Day 1

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Wineries / Bodega Bodega Bay

Sonoma Coast Vineyards

Sonoma Coast Vineyards was opened in 2001 by husband and wife team John and Barbera Drady. The couple’s love for coastal views and affinity for Pinot Noir has driven the project, and has resulted in wines with mature flavors and tannins balanced by high acidity. The tasting room is beachy yet upscale–imagine a cabana at your favorite shore club.

Insider Tip

The winery is open until 6 p.m., so it’s a sweet spot for sunset watching from the patio overlooking the bay.

Directions

From Bodega Bay, head south on CA-1 S toward Kent Ave for less than one mile. The winery will be on your right.

Details
2
Wineries / Occidental

Joseph Phelps, Freestone Vineyards

Located on two-and-a-half acres at the intersection of Bodega Highway and Bohemian Highway, the Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards offer wine tastings and tours centered around an adorable red barn. Founder Joseph Phelps settled on the site when he realized the soil, climate, and location were perfect for growing Burgundian style Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. For the tasting, opt for a seat outside at the picnic tables for a rustic yet refined experience. Of course, there’s plenty of seating indoors, too, with the same bocholic carried over.

Insider Tip

If you’re feeling the need to wander the area, head to Wild Flour Bread next door and snag a few of their delicious house-made pastries.

Directions

From Sonoma Coast Vineyards, head southeast on CA-1 South; turn left onto Bodega Hwy. after four miles. Drive about five miles, then turn left onto Bohemian Hwy., then make a quick left onto El Camino Bodega. The winery will be on your left.

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3
Wineries / Sebastopol

Littorai Wines

Winemaker Ted Lemon was been named ``Winemaker of the Year`` by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2010, and this small and intimate winery operated by Ted and his wife, Heidi, focuses heavily on biodynamic farming practices. Like many in this area, Littorai hones in on the its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which are available to be tasted in the sleek and modern tasting room. Come armed with questions about the natural practices and green farming, as a short 45-minute tour and comprehensive 90-minute tour are both offered to visitors.

Insider Tip

Make a note to try one of the Pinot Noirs—they’ve been highly recommended by Pinot Noir “queen,” Merry Edwards.

Directions

From Joseph Phelps Freestone Winery, turn right onto El Camino Bodega then right onto Bohemian Hwy., then left onto Bodega Hwy. Drive three miles, then turn right onto Gold Ridge Road. In a little less than one mile, turn right onto the private road leading to the winery.

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4
Wineries / Sebastopol

Wind Gap Wines

Named for the geological breaks in the coastal hills that funnel wind inland (and influence grape growing), Wind Gap’s winemaker Pax Mahle concentrates his efforts on creating wines that can be sipped any day and any time, regardless of season. This may be Pinot Noir country, but try the Syrahs that originally put Pax on the map. Step into the elegant, rustic tasting room and feel the casual vibe seeping into every crevice—all that’s missing are the Mason jars.

Insider Tip

Some of the wines are fermented in egg-shaped fermenters, giving them a unique minerality.

Directions

From Littorai Wines, turn left onto Gold Ridge Road, then right onto Bodega Highway. After a little over two miles, turn left onto Petaluma Ave. before a quick right onto McKinley St. The tasting room will be on your left.

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Day 2

5
Wineries / Sebastopol

Merry Edwards Winery

Inspired by a cookbook which used wine in each and every recipe, winemaker and vineyard owner Merry Edwards was one of the first female winemakers in the area. Although devoted to Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, the winery also creates regional blends and the occasional sparkling varietal. The tasting room’s focus is the wines, with large windows framing the rows upon rows of vines outdoors.

Insider Tip

Wine tastings—whether private or not—are free.

Directions

From Wind Gap Wines, head west on McKinley St. toward Brown St., then turn right onto CA-116 W/N Main St. (signs for Jenner). Continue for three miles; the winery will be on the right.

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6
Wineries / Sebastopol

Dutton-Goldfield Winery

Owned and operated by colleagues and friends Dan Goldfield and Steve Dutton, the wines here represent the cold climate in which they’re grown. Along with the region’s tried-and-true Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Dutton-Goldfield Winery produces old vine Zinfandel and hillside Syrah. All of the wines are made using traditional techniques, including open top and barrel fermentation. The tasting room itself is housed inside a warehouse, giving a very minimalist feel where tasters can focus completely on the wine at hand.

Insider Tip

Try the Cherry Ridge Syrah, a guest favorite thanks to the red fruit and hints of violet!

Directions

From Merry Edwards, head north on CA-116 W/Gravenstein Hwy. N toward Sonoma Ave. The winery will be on your left.

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7
Wineries / Sebastopol

Paul Hobbs Wines

A slew of awards from Wine Spectator, The Robb Report Magazine, and Decanter Magazine all started with Paul Hobbs’ first sip of wine at Château d’Yquem in 1962. Growing up on a farm in upstate New York, Hobbs learned about terroir while sampling apples from orchards several miles apart—an exercise that has influenced his winemaking. The comfortable tasting room sits like an upscale living room with comfortable furnishings and homey touches

Insider Tip

Keep an eye out for the address, as the winery can be easy to miss!

Directions

From Dutton-Goldfield Winery, head northwest on CA-116 W/Gravenstein Hwy. N, then turn right onto Holt Road. The winery will be on your left.

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Wineries / Jenner

Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean sits Fort Ross Winery & Vineyard, specializing in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinotage. Because of the ocean fog that rolls in every night and the full sun in the afternoons, the Chardonnay tends to have a more crisp quality than the norm. Charcuterie and cheese plates are available to snack on with a bottle of wine–grab one and sit anywhere on the beautiful grounds.

Insider Tip

The road leading to the winery is up the mountain and along the coast, so enjoy scenic views while exercising caution.

Directions

From Paul Hobbs Winery, turn right onto CA-116 W. In 10 miles, turn left onto CA-116 W/River Rd. In about 11-12 miles, turn right on CA-1 N. Drive six miles, then turn right onto Meyers Grade Road. The winery will be on your right.

Details

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