One of our favorite times to visit Wine Country is in the winter. It’s less crowded, but no less gorgeous, with its serene, misty wintertime beauty. And, despite the colder weather and grapeless vines, the area has no shortage of events and no shortage of fine wines. No matter if you’re traveling for the holidays or staying local, these winter events in Sonoma County have got just the right mix of wine, food, and festivities.
November 20 – December 31, 2021
The Sonoma Plaza in the town of Sonoma is a national historic monument, an eight-acre park with stately trees and quiet, pedestrian pathways. From November 20th until the end of the year, these trees will be filled with more than a quarter-million lights (not to mention winter wonderland cheer) to usher in the holiday season. Come out November 20th in particular, as there will be a tree lighting ceremony and a Broadway performance by Transcendence Theatre Company, plus plenty of local food, wine, hot cider, hot chocolate, and cookies.
453 1st Street East, Sonoma, CA 95476, (707) 996-2109
November 25, 2021, 8:00 AM
Cost: $30 – $40, free for children under 5
Before some typical Thanksgiving gluttony, work up an appetite with friends and family at the Santa Rosa Turkey Trot. You can walk or run the 5k, depending on how speedy you want to be – the most important thing is that you gather your loved ones and get moving. Prizes will be awarded to the first finishers, and also given for great costumes, so trot festive! In addition to getting your blood flowing (and working off some of those pumpkin pie calories), know that your entry is going to a good cause. Event benefits will go to the Redwood Empire Food Bank, which distributes food throughout Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte counties. Spread that holiday cheer while getting in a bit of exercise.
350 Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Select dates November 26 through December 26, 2021, 1:00, 3:00
and 5:00 PM
Cost: $38 for adults, $28 for kids 15 and younger
No need to go to Paris, or even Las Vegas, to see the spectacle that is a Cirque show. At Cirque de Bohème in Sonoma, you’ll find gravity-defying acrobatics, impressive balancing acts, and entertaining mimes in this performance inspired by the French circus tradition of the 1900s – think Moulin Rouge, but with a holiday twist. This fantastical event is sure to transport you to a magical world filled with enchantment, adventure, and wonder.
23570 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476, (707) 933-3010
November 26 – December 30, 2021, 11:00 AM and 4:45 PM
Cost: $119 for the day tour, $79 for the evening tour
Offered for just five weeks each year, Holidays in Healdsburg: Sip, Savor, and Shop are guided walking tours of charming downtown Healdsburg. With festive decorations, joyful carolers, horse-drawn carriages, and a gorgeous Christmas tree, there’s already plenty of spirit in the air to add to your favorite holiday aromatics and flavors. The four-hour day tour takes you through three boutique wineries and two food stops, while the two-hour evening tour will have you sampling wine cocktails, holiday spirits, and savory bites at several of Healdsburg’s top restaurants.
217 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 433-6935
December 4 – 5, 2021, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Cost: $3, free for children 12 and under
More than 90 local artists will be on hand at this festive shopping event, where quality, handcrafted holiday gifts and unique home goods will be for sale. It’s a great opportunity to get a head start on your holiday shopping while embracing all the Christmas feels. There will be live entertainment, a kids’ craft area on Saturday, kettle corn, and plenty of snowmen and decorated trees for the perfect photo opp. Once you’ve checked everyone off your list, you can jump on Rosie the Trolley for a free ride to the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens Holiday Open House, happening the same weekend.
2060 West College Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401, (707) 543-3737
December 3 – 5, 2021, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
The charming town of Healdsburg is bringing the merry vibes this season when its downtown plaza transforms into a winter wonderland fit for the whole family. The fun kicks off on Friday with a tree lighting ceremony at 6 PM, as well as family activities, carolers, live music, and a visit from Santa, naturally, and continues all weekend with live music, shopping, and plenty of ways to get into the holiday spirit.
Healdsburg Avenue and Matheson Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448
December 6 – 16, 2021, 2:00 PM
Celebrate the season, Wine Country-style, at Jordan Winery with their holiday wine tasting experience. You’ll definitely know you’re on the nice list when you kick off the day with a sampling of Jordan Cuvée by Champagne AR Lenoble, paired with Jordan’s own artisanal caviar. After exploring the historic winery and barrel room, the experience continues with a seated fireside tasting of select wines, which are served alongside a chef’s selection of hors d’oeuvres, Jordan Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and artisan cheeses, as well as homemade holiday cookies and hot cocoa for the ultimate festive treat.
1474 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 431-5250
January 15 – 16, 2022, 11:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Cost: $60 – $120, $5 – $10 for designated drivers
Sometimes, with all the feastly holiday events in months past, life feels a little flat on the other side of the new year. Kick the celebration back into gear with the Annual Winter WINEland in Northern Sonoma County. All participating wineries will highlight a vintage, varietal, or vertical tasting for the weekend, so it’ll be a great time to meet winemakers and taste limited production wines, new releases, or library wines. Unlike previous years, though, reservations for tastings will be required.