The Best Outdoor Wine Tasting Experiences in Sonoma Valley

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The Best Outdoor Wine Tasting Experiences in Sonoma Valley

By Abby E. Wilson April 19, 2024

Take your Sonoma County wine tasting up a notch with unique outdoor experiences to surprise and delight the senses. With open-air tasting rooms, incredible picnic areas, bocce ball courts, and more, these picturesque vineyards and renowned estates are among Sonoma Wine Country’s best for tasting all your favorite Cabernet Sauvignons and Pinot Noirs the way nature intended.

Imagery Estate Winery
Photo courtesy of Imagery Estate Winery

Imagery Estate Winery

14335 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, (877) 550-4278

With its impeccably maintained grounds, entertaining lawn games, and award-winning wines, it’s easy to spend an entire afternoon sipping and socializing under the umbrella-shaded picnic tables at Imagery Estate Winery. Bring your entire crew for a tasting followed by an outdoor game of corn hole or al fresco fun at Imagery’s full-sized bocce ball court and horse shoe pits. Imagery also offers a seasonal Wine Country Picnic Package for Two, which includes a great outdoor experience with premium seating and charcuterie.

Insider Tip: Book a private Bocce & Bottle Service experience for your group’s next Sonoma Wine Country outing—hosted by an Imagery wine specialist, you’ll get personalized insights and generous pours for memories that will last a lifetime.

Iron Horse Vineyards
Photo courtesy of Iron Horse Vineyards

Iron Horse Vineyards

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

Make yourself at home at Iron Horse Vineyards—a laid-back, family-owned, working winery in Sonoma, comprising clustered redwood barn–style buildings and a gorgeous al fresco tasting room. From the hilltop, you can see across the entire Sonoma County to Mount St. Helena and sample some of Wine Country’s most celebrated sparkling wines, estate Chardonnays, as well as up-and-coming Pinot Noirs.

Insider Tip: Three generations of Iron Horse family members live and work at this Sonoma vineyard. Join their extended family as a part of the Iron Horse Wine Club—named Best Sparkling Wine Subscription by Forbes Vetted.

Jordan Winery
Photo courtesy of Jordan Winery

Jordan Winery

1474 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 431-5250

Any tasting trip to Sonoma County warrants a visit to Jordan Winery, a 1,200-acre estate with sustainable vineyards and iconic ivy-covered chateau. While you’re there, don’t skip their award-winning, and appropriately named outdoor experience: The Ultimate Healdsburg Wine Tour. This alfresco wine tasting begins with a continental breakfast in their charming Bacchus Courtyard, followed by a stylish ride in a Mercedes Sprinter through the Sonoma vineyards, and culminating with a wine-paired seasonal lunch hosted on their highest hilltop, Vista Point.

Insider Tip: Jordan Winery offers seasonal, guided wine hiking and tasting adventures on their private Sonoma trails. Bring your boots—after an estate breakfast, you’ll depart by foot through woods, open space, and vineyards before descending into Jordan’s olive orchards and ending at the chef’s garden and apiary.

Photos courtesy of Dry Creek Vineyard

Dry Creek Vineyard

3770 Lambert Bridge Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 433-1000

Get ready for an unforgettable Sonoma Valley experience with Dry Creek Vineyard’s thrilling Off-Road Tour and tasting, a guided journey through the gorgeous Healdsburg vineyards on board an all-terrain vehicle (ATV). Prefer something a little more low-key? This Sonoma winery also offers a Wine Flight & Picnic Lunch on the vineyard grounds or the Bocce Experience, complete with outdoor seating and informal sport for up to 12 guests.

Insider Tip: Pack a picnic and bring a bottle of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir to Dry Creek’s secret garden—a picturesque, private “tasting room” in the great outdoors that you’ll want to add to your Sonoma Valley bucket list.

Landmark Vineyards
Photo courtesy of Landmark Vineyards

Landmark Vineyards

101 Adobe Canyon Road, Kenwood, CA 95452, (707) 833-0053

Take your next Sonoma County wine tasting in a colorful, fragrant English rose garden with year-round bocce ball court at the base of the mountains. Landmark Vineyards’ well-manicured lawn, picturesque pond, and stone water fountain epitomize Wine Country elegance. Sip on stellar Russian River Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays on outdoor picnic tables overlooking the Sonoma vineyards, or opt for the Sensory Tasting—a unique experience that explores how the five basic taste qualities impact the taste of wine.

Insider Tip: Live your own Sonoma Valley fairytale as you climb aboard a horse-drawn carriage for a historical and vinicultural tour of the stately vineyard grounds from a third-generation winemaker.

St. Francis Winery

100 Pythian Road at Highway 12, Santa Rosa, CA 95409, (888) 675-9463

St. Francis Winery, situated in a beautiful stretch of the Sonoma Valley, offers a variety of outdoor experiences that cater to both the adventurous and leisurely wine enthusiast. For a fun way to immerse yourself in the natural surroundings, book the seasonal Pedal Trolley Vineyard Tour & Tasting. You’ll pedal around the scenic grounds on a guided trolley tour, making stops along the way to taste exceptional wines amidst the vines. For those seeking a more relaxed experience, the seated outdoor Estate Pairing is a must. As you take in the unobstructed vineyard and mountain views, you’ll savor a guided tasting of wines, each thoughtfully paired with a selection of gourmet bites prepared by St. Francis’ renowned culinary team.

Insider Tip: The Estate Pairing may be offered daily, but the menu changes frequently to align with what’s in season. Be on the lookout for special menus coinciding with different times of year, too, such as a plant-forward menu in honor of Earth Day.

Photo courtesy of Seghesio

Seghesio Family Vineyards

700 Grove Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 433-3579

Make your way to Seghesio Family Vineyards’ outdoor Grove in downtown Healdsburg for a laid back wine tasting experience in the heart of Sonoma County—no reservations required. There you can grab a bottle or a glass of their signature Zinfandel and post up at one of the picnic tables for sensational tasting and prime Sonoma Valley people watching. Sip and savor, or reserve a Bocce & Bottles recreational wine experience at Seghesio’s outdoor courts.

Insider Tip: Explore one of Sonoma’s best cellar explorations with Seghesio’s Behind-the-Scenes Tour and Tasting. Here you can tour the winery crush pad, fermentation hall, and barrel cellar before finishing with a seated wine tasting.

Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate
Photo courtesy of Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate

Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens

5007 Fulton Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95403, (800) 769-3649

With four sprawling acres of gorgeous culinary gardens in stunning Sonoma County, it’s easy to spend the entire day outdoors at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate. Explore on your own or book the delightful Garden Tour & Tasting, a 90-minute experience that begins with a guided educational stroll and ends with a seated selection of the day’s garden harvest and the estate’s family-grown, sustainable wines.

Insider Tip: Pack your basket and snag an outdoor Picnic + Bocce reservation with scenic Sonoma views. Enjoy your afternoon with some Camelot Highlands Chardonnay and Anderson Valley Pinot Noir—your reservation fee is fully refundable with purchase of three or more bottles from the Jackson Estate Collection.