8 Small Production Wineries in Sonoma County

  • Wineries
  • on MARCH 8, 2023
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Courtesy of Schermeister Winery
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While Sonoma County is home to many big names in wine, sometimes you just want to find something a little more unique or less mainstream. These Sonoma wineries offer limited release bottles that typically can only be found with a visit to their local tasting rooms, where you can sip, savor, and enjoy something truly out of the ordinary in Wine Country.

Even if you can’t make it in person, most of these small-production wineries offer their wines online — especially handy if you’ve gotten used to sipping at home during the pandemic or just want to try something new before your next trip to Sonoma County.

DaVero Farms & Winery

couple taking a stroll through a vineyard
Courtesy of DaVero | Barbara Fitzgerald

A sip of 1994 Paolo Bea Sagrantino di Montefalco at dinner at an Italian restaurant in New York City back in 1999 would set the wheels in motion for the creation of DaVero Farms & Winery, located in the heart of Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley. “I’m going to plant this grape, and make this wine,” said Founder Ridge Evers at the time. And so he did. In addition to Sagrantino, visitors can find a selection of Sonoma County wines produced from Italian grape varieties that also thrive in California’s Mediterranean climate. The “Discover the Farm” tasting is the winery’s signature experience, which includes a walking tour of the estate vineyards and gardens, as well as an introduction to DaVero’s regenerative and biodynamic farming practices, and a meet-and-greet with the winery’s resident farm animals. The tour concludes with a seated tasting of small-lot wines coupled with seasonal food pairings, estate olive oils, and 15-year aged balsamic vinegar.

766 Westside Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 431-8000

Papapietro Perry Winery

outdoor lounge
Courtesy of Facebook: Papapietro Perry Winery

Papapietro Perry Winery has definitely experienced growth from the experimental beginnings in Ben Papapietro’s San Francisco garage more than 35 years ago. Yet, despite now having a tasting room and a loyal following, Ben and founding partner and co-winemaker, Bruce Perry, continue to produce quality wines that pay homage to their humble beginnings by taking a minimalist approach to winemaking. Known for being “authentic, not pretentious,” a visit to Papapietro Perry Winery is an extension of the founders’ down-to-earth vibes and appreciation for wine and food, where you can sip acclaimed Pinot Noir and nibble on charcuterie while admiring the views of the Dry Creek Valley.

4791 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 433-0422

Moshin Vineyards

bottle of Moshin wine, glasses, a 'Reserved sign' and table decoration
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

Garden Creek Vineyards

a group enjoying a meal outdoor under a large shaded tree
Courtesy of Garden Creek Vineyards

This beautiful Alexander Valley winery is owned by husband-and-wife team, Justin and Karin, who both grew up in Sonoma County. In 1969, Justin’s father planted Cabernet Sauvignon on the property, recognizing the potential for grapes to thrive in the valley, and today, Justin and Karin continue the tradition of growing grapes on the same land, making wine under their Garden Creek label they founded in 2001. Visiting this family winery is a special experience, where private tastings begin with a walk through the historic vines, where you’ll learn about the soils and farming practices, followed by a tasting of perfectly aged wines amidst the candlelight of the barrel room.

2335 Geysers Road, Geyserville, CA 95441, (707) 433-8345

Schermeister Winery

a couple enjoying a glass of wine with a dog in a field of flowers
Courtesy of Schermeister Winery

Rob and Laura Schermeister are the husband-and-wife duo behind Schermeister Winery, a small-production winery focused on unfiltered Pinot Noir and Rhône wines. Located in the historic Jack London Village in Glen Ellen, a visit to their inviting tasting studio is a treat. Led by Rob, who is also the winemaker, tastings are held inside or out on the serene patio and include five wines paired with small bites.

14301 Arnold Drive, Studio 28, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, (707) 934-8953

Wellington Cellars

outdoor dining area with olive trees
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

Hawkes Vineyards and Winery

bottles of wines and glasses on a barrell overlooking vineyard
Courtesy of Hawkes Vineyards and 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 Wine Cellars

bottles of wine organized on selves with a sitting area
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

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Jen Schmitz

Jen Schmitz has been writing and producing creative content since 2014. She has written for VSCO, Lonny, and contributed to countless other outlets in and out of wine country. She is a lover of all things art, culture, and wine, and prefers to “summer” in Napa Valley to taste all it has to offer and to escape foggy San Francisco any time she can. Follow her on Instagram at @jeneschmitz.