Beautiful Sonoma County is a wine lover’s paradise, home to 18 distinct appellations featuring stunning vineyards planted to over 60 grape varieties. With so many different types of grapes and wine styles produced, there truly is a Sonoma wine for every type of wine drinker, whether you like lean, mineral-driven whites, bold red wines, or everything in between.
Despite all the options that Sonoma wineries offer, when the spring season rolls around, it’s hard to deny the appeal of a crisp white wine or a refreshing rosé in your glass. To help inspire you this season, we’ve compiled a list of fun Sonoma County wines to reach for this spring, from the usual suspects, like sauvignon blanc, to the slightly unexpected, such as pet-net.
Fun fact: Sauvignon blanc is a white wine grape that’s so old, it’s a parent to cabernet sauvignon! While by no means a red wine, this popular varietal is known for its crisp, refreshing character and strong herbaceous flavors — naturally, it’s an ideal wine for tasting in spring and for pairing with springtime fare. Sonoma styles can vary from light and crisp to more structured and ripe (especially those which are aged in oak and/or blended with other grapes like semillon), but across the board, sauv blanc from Sonoma delivers enticing notes of lemongrass, tropical fruit, and dried herbs, with bright acidity and delightful mineral impressions on the palate.
While rosé deserves to be a year-round beverage, spring is inarguably the official start of “rosé season,” when Sonoma County wineries release the newest vintages of their much-loved pink wines and warmer weather beckons for #roséallday. Given the dramatically different microclimates throughout Sonoma County, it’s not surprising that rosé grapes and styles here run the gamut. You can find rosé being made from such grapes as pinot noir, sangiovese, grenache, zinfandel, and syrah, in styles that range from light and tart to delicate and sweet to more robust and spicy.
Chardonnay is a white grape widely planted throughout Sonoma County, where it thrives in cool-climate regions like Carneros, the Russian River Valley, and the Sonoma Coast. While it naturally displays a medium-to-full bodied character and rich fruit flavors, due to Sonoma County’s proximity to the cooling influences of the Pacific Ocean, chardonnay from Sonoma tends to showcase bright acid and refreshing minerality, making it easy to reach for as the weather warms up. Mouthwatering flavors of green apple, pear, and citrus are the norm, but you can also expect notes of roasted nuts, caramel, and spice (from barrel aging) and/or creamy characters like buttered brioche and shortbread (from malolactic fermentation).
Just because varietals like sauvignon blanc and chardonnay are more recognizable doesn’t mean you need to always play it safe. Spring is a great time to whet the palate with new flavors and textures, especially since Sonoma County is home to some stellar lesser known grapes and styles. Whether it’s a mouthwatering vermentino or a lively Pétillant Naturel (aka Pét-Nat), Sonoma County wineries are producing plenty of fun, refreshing wines that one can’t help but fall in love with this spring.
Looking to go wine tasting in Sonoma County? Check out our guide to the 8 Best Spots for Wine Tasting in Sonoma, or view our post on 10 Sonoma County Wineries With Beautiful Views. If you’re ready to get a better sense of the lay of the land, learn about the 18 different AVAs of Sonoma County, or visit our winery homepage to search wineries by region, subregion, and features such as Bocce ball and a picnic area.