Harvest in Sonoma County is when vineyards are abuzz with energy as the grapes get picked, and when the magic of winemaking comes alive with crush. Add in those gorgeous golden hues in the vineyard, delicious farm-to-table eats around every corner, and uber-cozy stays offering vineyard views, and it’s no wonder why harvest in Sonoma has captured many hearts, including ours.
When you’re ready to fill your soul with the tastes, sounds, sights, and yes, even the smells of harvest, here’s your guide to visiting Sonoma County during harvest season.
Where to Go Wine Tasting
From the stunning sights of grapes being ready to be harvested to the joyful clinking of glasses after said grapes have been picked, harvest is an affair to remember… and you best be experiencing some of it with a winery visit or two! Little tip, though: just be sure to ask wineries in advance if they offer any special tours or hands-on harvest experiences—trust us, those won’t disappoint.
Now, let’s dive into it, shall we? You can start your wine tasting journey at the picturesque Benziger Family Winery, a Sonoma Valley staple for its scenic landscapes, sustainably-grown wine, and educational tasting and tours. Afterwards, head to Ledson Winery, which is like stepping into a fairy tale in Sonoma Valley. With its stunning castle façade and large selection of wines, Ledson promises a unique experience you won’t find anywhere else in this region.
But don’t stop there. Jordan, an expansive vineyard and winery in Healdsburg, is another must-stop in Sonoma County. Here, you’ll find a blend of Old World charm and modern finesse, where delightful Cabernet and Chardonnay wines can be sampled alongside exquisite culinary bites amidst the breathtaking setting.
Where to Dine During Harvest
Plant-based food at Little Saint, Courtesy of Emma K. Morris
Follow your epic day of wine tasting with the perfect meal, because in Sonoma, great food isn’t just sustenance—it’s a way of life. The girl & the fig has long been a beloved downtown Sonoma restaurant for its rustic French cuisine prepared with a California touch. Nearby, Folktable is making waves for its delicious California-inspired fare highlighting fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. And hey, when Michelin throws a Bib Gourmand nod your way, you know you’re onto something special.
And don’t forget about Glen Ellen Star, one of our favorite stops in Sonoma Valley. We adore the cozy, yet bustling ambiance and, sure, the local drink list is on point, but let’s be honest: it’s really all about the wood-fired pizzas and vegetables, which have a fan following of their own.
You thought we were done dishing out the culinary hits? Think again, because every foodie must savor a meal or two in Healdsburg. Here, you can nosh on everything from plant-based delights at Little Saint to wood-fired pizzas at Roof 106 at The Matheson, and even 10 courses of Japanese-inspired delicacies at the Three-Michelin-starred SingleThread.
Arguably the best part of dining at any of these restaurants? The locally-grown ingredients showcased in each dish, so you know you’ll be getting to taste the best of the season.
Events During Harvest in Sonoma
When those grapes start making their way from vine to winery, Sonoma resonates with the joyous spirit of the season, so let’s make sure your harvest calendar is as full as your wine glass. We’ve highlighted a few of the season’s happenings below, but see all harvest events in our Sonoma Events Calendar.
When those grapes start making their way from vine to winery, Sonoma resonates with the joyous spirit of the season, so let’s make sure your harvest calendar is as full as your wine glass.
On September 9th, don’t miss Bricoleur Vineyards’ four-course food and wine dinner, The Seasons. There’s also the Art of The Harvest event at St. Francis Winery, which takes place on September 22nd. This seated culinary event celebrates the bounty of the season with a tasting menu of seasonal fare expertly paired with wine. You can’t go wrong!
And mark your calendars for October 14th, when the popular Healdsburg Crush returns to the Healdsburg Plaza. This fun tasting event provides the opportunity to sample Pinot Noir and sparkling wines from over 60 California producers. It’s like trick-or-treating for adults, only classier!
Where to Stay During Harvest
Oh, trust us, we know that a day of culinary adventures and wine escapades in Napa needs to end in absolute comfort. So, get ready to hit the sack in style, because the hospitality in Napa Valley is as top-notch as the Cabernets. Here are a few spots to consider:
For a bit of pampered luxury, book a stay at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn This iconic hotel epitomizes the Sonoma lifestyle, complete with a rejuvenating spa and geothermal pools, farm-to-table dining, plenty of activities to keep you entertained, and, of course, beautifully-appointed rooms and suites designed with comfort in mind.
In Sonoma Valley, Olea Hotel is a charming boutique hotel nestled in Glen Ellen. But don’t think charming means old fashioned, because at this hidden gem the contemporary rooms are spacious and well-appointed, the gourmet breakfasts are legendary, and that outdoor pool? Well, it’s the perfect place to unwind after a day of wine tastings.
The intimate Kenwood Inn and Spa is another lovely home base for your Sonoma harvest vacation, especially if you’re looking for some quiet serenity. Yes, you’ll enjoy taking advantage of the spa and the evening wine hour, but perhaps most noteworthy of all is the vibe. think Tuscany-meets-Sonoma, making a stay here feel like a true getaway.
If you want to see Wine Country come alive with the sights and sounds of harvest, now’s the time to book your trip to Sonoma County. From hands-on experiences to gastronomic delights, we hope you indulge in every facet of this enchanting time of year. Cheers to Vintage 2023!