The Best Russian River Valley Pinot Noir in 2 Days

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Russian River Valley is a Sonoma County wine region known for rolling hills, cool climates, and wineries that produce some of the world’s best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. If you’re a fan of the former, the itinerary below will take you through some of the best Russian River wineries and tasting rooms that feature Pinot Noir.

The itinerary below will take you through some of the best tasting rooms that feature Pinot Noir that the west Sonoma County region has to offer.

Day 1

Sunshine and Solar Power on Olivet Road

Image Source: Inman Family Wines

Inman Family Wines
3900 Piner Rd
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(707) 293-9576
Yelp: 4.5,47 reviews
Reservations: Not required
Directions: 2.5 miles west of Santa Rosa down Piner Rd, on the corner of Olivet Rd and Piner Rd.

Inman Family Wines process to make their wines, including a winemaking facility constructed out of post-consumer recycled materials. The tasting room is located in a barn surrounded by old farm buildings, fruit trees, and table grape vines—many of which are more than 75 years old.

For visitors making an appointment in advance, Kathleen offers private tastings and tours of the vineyards. The Inman family also rents out a three bedroom cottage on the premise for guests who would like to experience a true wine country stay.

Insider tip: For visitors with electric automobiles, Inman has charging stations.

Organic, Biodynamic Farming

Image Source: DeLoach Vineyards

DeLoach Vineyards
1791 Olivet Rd
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(707) 526-9111
Yelp: 4.5,102 reviews
Reservations: Not required
Directions: Head south on Olivet Rd for 0.4 miles and DeLoach will be on the right.

The DeLoach tasting room sits on a twenty-acre farm in the Olivet Road section of Russian River Valley, where visitors enjoy certified organic and biodynamic wines that show off the terrier of the region. In addition to their French-inspired winemaking process, visitors can expect to taste wines from as little as fifty cases produced.

While you’re trying these exclusive wines, don’t forget to stroll their gardens or sign up for their unique wine and mustard tasting.

Insider tip: Reserve a tasting of small lot Pinot Noirs in a seated, guided flight, offered in the Appellation Room.

Sparkling Wine with No Pretense

Image Source: Yelp and TripAdvisor

Iron Horse Vineyards
9786 Ross Station Rd
Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 887-1507
Yelp: 4 stars, 210 reviews
Reservations: Not required
Directions: Head east on Olivet Rd for a mile and turn right onto Guerneville Rd, drive 2.8 miles west until you hit CA-116 W/Gravenstein Hwy N. Turn right and drive a mile, then turn left onto Ross Station Rd. Drive down the small road and up the hill to the tasting room.

Many of Iron Horse Vineyards Sparkling Wines are made from a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, with a few made primarily from Pinot Noir. Try the 2010 Wedding Cuvee or the 2007 Brut Rose for your Pinot Noir fix. Located in the rolling hills of the Green Valley, it’s not unusual to see a rainbow as the sun hits the morning fog.

Insider tip: Visit the winery on Sunday afternoons (12 p.m. – 4 p.m.) from May until October to pair sparkling wine with freshly shucked oysters from Tomales Bay brought by traveling oyster catering company, The Oyster Girls.

Luxury Pinot Noir in Sonoma County

Image Source: Lynmar Estate

Lynmar Estate
3909 Frei Rd
Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 829-3374
Yelp: 4 stars out of 135 reviews
Reservations: Recommended
Directions: Head back to CA-116 E/Gravenstein Hwy N and go south for 1.1 miles, turn left onto Guerneville Rd and go 1 mile. Turn right onto Frei Rd and the tasting room will be on the right.

Lynmar is a family-owned estate winery specializing in Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. The 100-acre property includes rolling vineyards of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah grapes, with tastings both indoors and in their outdoor courtyard. During the summer months, guests can enjoy a farm-to-table lunch with table side service paired with Lynmar‘s Estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnays.

In addition to their carefully cultivated wines, the surrounding gardens are equally impressive. With colorful blooms and edible flowers, the garden also acts as a natural barrier from pests, attracting beneficial butterflies and hummingbirds.

Insider tip: Try the organic, truffle popcorn off the Bar Menu if you have the Signature Tasting.

Local Tavern in the Heart of Russian River Valley

Image Source: Yelp

Underwood Bar & Bistro
9113 Graton Rd
Graton, CA 95444
(707) 823-7023
Yelp: 3.5 stars out of 104 ratings
Reservations: Recommended for groups of six or more
Directions: Travel west on Frei Rd (which turns into Graton Rd) for 1.5 miles and the restaurant will be on the left.

While not a winery, end your day of tasting with a dinner at Underwood Bar & Bistro. Located in the small town of Graton, it’s a favorite restaurant among farmers, locals, winemakers, and travelers. The wine list features many Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs from small, family owned wineries that are not open to the public.

Insider tip: Grab a bottle of Romililly 2012 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and enjoy bocce ball on the outside patio.

Day 2

Small Lot Pinot Noirs with Panoramic Vineyard Views

Image Source: TripAdvisor and Yelp

Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery
10701 Westside Rd
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 473-2909
Yelp: 4 stars out of 113 reviews
Reservations: Required on weekends or for groups of seven
Directions: 12.4 miles west of Santa Rosa down River Rd, turn right onto Wohler Rd for 1.7 miles and left onto Westside Rd for another mile.

The Gary Farrell name can be connected to about two dozen other vineyards in the area, so you know you’re tasting from a master when you arrive at their flagship winery. Sitting on the hillside of Westside Road, the winery overlooks vineyards and redwood trees in Russian River Valley.

Insider tip: Make a reservation for the Terrace Tasting where travelers can relax on the outdoor terrace and enjoy sweeping views of the Russian River Valley.

Underground Pinot Noir Cave Tastings

Image Source: Thomas George Wine Estates

Thomas George Wine Estates
8075 Westside Rd
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 431-8031
Yelp: 4 stars, 53 reviews
Reservations: Not required
Directions: Drive 3 miles east on Westside Rd and the winery is on the left.

Run by the father-son team of Thomas and Jeremy Baker, Thomas George Estates produces classic Sonoma Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. These artisanal wines are handmade in small lots in a style that emphasizes the unique terroir of each of their three vineyards.

Thomas George wines can be enjoyed in their main tasting room, in their 8,000 square foot wine cave, or on the patio next to the wine cave. If you want to stay the night, Thomas George has four remodeled guest cottages on the property available for overnight stays.

Insider tip: Buy a bottle of estate Pinot or Chardonnay and ask the Thomas George Team if you can take a picnic up their stunning Baker Ridge Vineyard to enjoy panoramic views of the Valley.

Japanese Gardens and a Relaxed Vibe

Image Source: Arista Winery and Yelp

Arista Winery
7015 Westside Rd
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 473-0606
Yelp: 4.5 stars, 118 reviews
Reservations: Not required
Directions: Drive 1.4 miles east on Westside Rd and the winery is on the left.

The tasting room at Arista Winery is surrounded by Japanese gardens, where you can stroll through Japanese maple trees, waterfalls, koi fish, and seasonal flowers. The tasting room itself is small, so if you have a group larger than eight people, save this winery for another time.

Insider tip: The winery is dog friendly, as long as your pooch is okay saying hello to the tasting room dogs, Lucy or Coco.

Wine Country Dining Paired with Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Image Source: Yelp and Barndiva

231 Center St
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 431-0100
Yelp: 4 stars, 518 reviews
Reservations: Not required, though recommended during the summer season
Directions: Drive 6 miles into the town of Healdsburg, north on Westside Rd and turn left on Mill street. The restaurant will be on the left.

After a day of winetasting, stop by Barndiva in the town of Healdsburg for a creative late night bite. The restaurant and bar is known for seasonal, wine country haute dining.

Insider tip: Grab a half bottle of Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2012, or a full bottle of Williams Selyem Russian River Valley 2013. Both wineries are only open to wine club members, with a waiting list that could take years.

Ready to book your visit to Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley? Plan your Pinot Noir wine tasting today.

WineCountry Staff


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