8 Small Production Wineries in Sonoma County

  • Wineries
  • by WINECOUNTRY COLLECTIVE
  • on MARCH 21, 2024
  • 77750
  • 1
Wineries

8 Small Production Wineries in Sonoma County

By WineCountry Collective March 21, 2024

Craving something a little more off-the-beaten path? Sonoma County is well known for its independently owned wineries, but we’ve curated a list of smaller producers to put on your radar. When you visit these boutique wineries, you’ll get the chance to sample small-lot, limited-release bottlings in a more intimate setting (something that many larger wine producers simply don’t offer), while still enjoying the laid-back vibes you’d expect from this notoriously relaxed wine region.

So, want to try something new the next time you’re in Sonoma? Pop in to any of these wineries for an experience you won’t find elsewhere in Wine Country.

Freeman Winery
Photo courtesy of Freeman Winery

The brainchild of dynamic duo, Ken and Akiko Freeman, Freeman Winery focuses on blending the Old World traditions of Burgundy with New World ingenuity, producing Sonoma favorites like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with distinctive complexity. Perfecting the art of cool-climate grape growing is at the core of Freeman Winery’s philosophy—that, and the idea that the more difficult the growing conditions, the better the wine. Their vineyards span Sonoma from the foggy, coastal Yu-Ki Vineyard to their Gloria Estate Vineyard that you’ll see on a visit to the estate. The property alone is a magical place for wine tasting in Sonoma, surrounded by towering redwood trees and with interesting nooks and crannies to explore, like their wine cave. Tasters get a tour of their small-lot vineyards and have the chance to enjoy their sips subterranean.

1300 Montgomery Road, Sebastopol, CA 95472, (707) 823-6937

Coursey Graves
Photo courtesy of Coursey Graves

A winery with lush gardens that are modeled after Claude Monet’s Giverny? Sign us up! Perched on Bennett Mountain with jaw-dropping views, Coursey Graves produces carefully crafted French-inspired wines. This small production winery only offers one kind of experience, their Signature Tasting, where guests can sample Bordeaux-style wines (like their Estate Syrah made from grapes that are hand-picked on steep slopes) and munch on perfectly paired local cheeses. You’ll also get the chance to stroll around the property, enjoying the sprawling views and flowering gardens, complete with the quintessential Japanese bridge.

6860 Serenity Way, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, (707) 867-1888

Iron Horse Vineyards | Taylor Eason
Photo courtesy of Iron Horse Vineyards | Taylor Eason

Nestled in Sonoma’s Green Valley AVA, Iron Horse Vineyards is one of California’s premier sparkling wine makers. Their Blancs de Blancs were served at the White House for decades, a further testament to their delicious bubbles! If you’re not into bubbly, they also produce still wines including Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Tastings are just $35 per person but must be scheduled in advance, and do call ahead as this winery is popular with locals and out-of-towners alike. Once there, be sure to try the Oceans Reserve, and consider taking a bottle or two home, as each bottle sold contributes $5 to marine protected areas and the fight to end global overfishing.

9786 Ross Station Road, Sebastopol, CA 95472, (707) 887-1507

VJB Cellars
Photo courtesy of VJB Cellars

VJB Cellars is a true family affair. Founded by Belmonte brothers Henry and Victor, this winery pays homage to their Italian roots through both wine and food. With an emphasis on Italian varietals, you can expect tastings of Prosecco, Nebbiolo, and Barbera, alongside California classics like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Pop into their tasting room without a reservation (as long as your party is less than five) for a true taste of la bella vita. If it’s a slice of ‘za you’re craving, head over the Red Rooster Pizza Truck, or for a more elaborate affair, make dinner reservations at La Cucina where the family matriarch, Maria Gabriela, dishes up family recipes. If you start to feel a little like your wine tasting has turned into a Tuscan vacation, we won’t blame you.

60 Shaw Ave, Kenwood, CA 95452, (707) 833-2300

Moshin Vineyards
Calling all Pinot Lovers! Photo Courtesy of Moshin Vineyards.

Moshin Vineyards is one of the best-kept secrets in the Russian River, where premium wines express the unique characteristics of the region. Founded by Rick Moshin and his family, this small Healdsburg area winery puts sustainability front and center, from their sustainable farming practices to their gravity-flow, solar powered winery. Though they focus on estate Pinot Noir, they also make a wide variety of Sonoma County wines, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Zinfandel, to name a few, which can be enjoyed amid the relaxed environment of their inviting tasting room.

10295 Westside Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 433-5499

Hawkes Vineyards and Winery
Hawkes Vineyards and Winery : visit the Healdsburg vineyard location. Photo Courtesy of the winery.

A father and son operation, Hawkes Vineyards and Winery has inviting locations in both Healdsburg and in downtown Sonoma making it easy to stop in and try their wines. And for over 40 years, they’ve been growing grapes in the Alexander Valley and have specialized in small-production wines, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon. Many of their wines are limited production and reserved for club members, but they do have wines available online should you be interested in trying them at home.

6734 Highway 128, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 433-4295

BUMP Cellars
Check out the chic tasting room on the Sonoma Square. Photo Courtesy of BUMP Wine Cellars .

Charmingly named after the family matriarch, BUMP Wine Cellars is family-owned and operated boutique wine producer in Sonoma offering small-lot, single-vineyard wines out of their chic, Sonoma Square tasting room. Since 2008, they’ve been crafting award-winning bottles with winemaker and owner Geordie Carr at the helm, and welcome their guests to explore “a true representation of varietal character and a sense of place” with every glass.

521 Broadway, Suite A, Sonoma, CA 95476, (707) 228-9215

Wellington Cellars
Wellington Cellars, known for its estate wines produced from over 100-year-old vines. Photo Courtesy of Facebook: Wellington Cellars.

In 2014, the Belmontes purchased Wellington Vineyards, a winery known for its estate wines produced from over 100-year-old vines. The Belmontes stay true to the values of the family-owned winery with its small lot and hand-crafted wines made exclusively from the 24-acre estate. You can experience Wellington Vineyards at their Outdoor Bar Tasting or with their Vineyard Reserve and Tasting Tour, which includes a seated tasting in the vineyard with a cheese and salami board.

11600 Dunbar Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, (707) 934-8604

Conclusion:

Sonoma might be more relaxed than other Wine Country destinations, but this renowned region certainly doesn’t skimp on an overall commitment to quality, and these small wineries are the proof. Seek out any of these small production wineries for an experience your taste buds won’t soon forget!