Best Time of Year to Visit Sonoma Valley

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  • on JUNE 15, 2017
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No matter the time of year, Sonoma Valley is ripe for a visit. Just 45 miles north of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and spreading between the dynamic city of Sonoma northward to the edges of Annadel State Park, the Sonoma Valley is said to be the birthplace of California’s wine industry. Find amazing pours year round, and the temperate climate and rolling vineyards tucked between two mountain ranges lead to a bevvy of indoor and outdoor events to celebrate the many facets of the Valley.

We’ve partnered with to round up our seasonal event favorites so you’re in the know no matter the time of year of your wine country getaway to Sonoma Valley.


Across the country the leaves are changing and this is no different in the Sonoma Valley. A blanket of color graces the vineyards as grapes reach their peak ripeness and the air begins to cool.

Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival
Mark your calendars, as this year is the 120th anniversary of the Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival. Beginning on September 22nd and celebrated on the historic Sonoma Plaza, this festival showcases the wine and food of the Valley(because what Sonoma festival would be without it?) but has additionally rich history as the oldest festival in California and commemorates the heritage and culture of the region. The weekend starts with a costume gala and continues with food and wine, dance, more than 80 artists, and activities for the whole family.

Insider Tip: Fall marks harvest season in Sonoma Valley and the grapes are ready to be plucked. Visiting during harvest is an intimate look at one of the most important parts of the wine season and some wineries host special events dedicated to the yearly occurrence.


You won’t find woes brought on by snowstorms and harsh weather during winter months in the Sonoma Valley. But it’s not completely resilient to cooler temperatures either. While most of the country puts a pause on outdoor adventures and seasonal travel (unless it’s off to enjoy turkey with the fam), wine country keeps hopping with food and wine focused events and fun with maybe just a few more layers.

Holidays in Sonoma
Everyone loves a little holiday sparkle and that definitely includes sparkling wine in the mix too. And with over 100,000 lights blanketing the historic Sonoma Square beginning yearly in November 16th, there’s no way you’ll find a Scrooge in sight. Enjoy the lights and stroll downtown for the Annual Sonoma Valley Holiday Window Contest. Sonoma Valley businesses will have windows decorated for the season – beautiful, whimsical, sparkling, and yes, even quirky! Then to kick off the month of December, now in it’s 13th year, the Lighting of the Snowmen at Cornerstone Cellars has become a Sonoma Valley holiday tradition. Mark your calendars now for December 2nd, you don’t want to miss the 2017 festivities!

Sonoma Valley Delicious
We can always get on board with a whole month dedicated to the diverse food and delectable wines of the Sonoma Valley. While 2018’s Sonoma Valley Delicious dates and details are still TBD, our mouths are watering in anticipation for 30+ days of prix fixe menus, special pairings and dishes, and seasonal epicurean delights in restaurants and tasting rooms throughout the Valley.

Insider Tip: The winter is considered low season and is a great time to visit as lodging, restaurants, and wineries often offer seasonal specials and reduced rates. If that’s not enough of a draw, know that tasting rooms are less crowded and that slow, afternoon tasting may lead to more time getting to know the winery’s wares and the talented team that crafts them.


Spring brings new life to the Sonoma Valley with seasonal rains coaxing the vineyards into a vivid, green bloom. The wild mustard flowers still blanket the rolling hills and It’s optimal patio weather with warmer days and cooler nights.

Sonoma International Film Festival
Movie buffs unite and mingle for five days dedicated to film, food, and wine for the Sonoma International Film Festival. A selection of independent and international films of all genres and lengths are showcased in intimate venues throughout Sonoma. 2018 will be the film festival’s 21st year of “promoting independent film, supporting filmmakers around the world and inspiring film lovers.”

Signature Sonoma Valley
2017 marked the first year for this multi-faceted event and the name truly says it all. Signature Sonoma Valley is an exclusive look at the wines, terroir, and the impactful people who make this historic wine region diverse and delicious.The two day event includes intimate dinners with iconic winemaker and behind-the-scenes looks at their winemaking, and guided tours through well known vineyards.

Insider Tip: Explore the Sonoma Valley on two wheels and book a cycling tour with Sonoma Valley Bike Tours. Full and half day trips are available, and include 2-3 winery stops and lunch if you embark on the day-long bike adventure.


As the temperature rises and days become longer, Sonoma Valley bustles with added warm weather energy. Get outdoors to explore with activities including farm tours, epic bike rides between the vines, and seasonal community festivals.

Gay Wine Weekend
Celebrate Pride and then head to the Valley every July for three days dedicated to the amazing LGBT community of Northern California. Exclusive winemaker dinners, VIP events, and late night parties mark this summer celebration benefitting Face 2 Face. Get a VIP pass for special access to all the weekend’s festivities and be sure to stay through Sunday, as the weekend comes to an end with an epic pool party.

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend
End your summer with a bang over Labor Day at the Sonoma Wine Country Weekend. An up close and personal opportunity to encounter the culinary pros and winemaking pioneers of Sonoma Valley, these three days are packed with decadent and delicious fun. With over 200 Sonoma celebrities in attendance and proceeds benefiting local charities, it’s an epicurean event that’s not to be missed.

Insider Tip: Pull up a seat to one of our many farm-to-table restaurants with local produce in its peak. Or explore the bounty of a farmer’s market, like the Valley of the Moon Certified Farmer’s Market every Tuesday night beginning in May through September. Find fresh goods and local artisanal products to perfectly pair with your Sonoma Valley wine finds.


WineCountry Staff


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