10 Best Wine & Food Pairing Experiences in Sonoma County

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  • by DAISY BARRINGER
  • on APRIL 19, 2024
  • 32148
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Julia Child once highlighted that wine is best enjoyed with food, a sentiment increasingly embraced by Sonoma County wineries. Previously limited to simple cheese plates or BYO sandwiches, these wineries are now enhancing their offerings with full gastronomic experiences. This gives wineries a chance to showcase talented chefs who can work wonders with the local bounty, and offer immersive tasting experiences that transform wine tasting from an impersonal “belly up at the bar” moment into a truly memorable (and delicious) event. Read on to learn more about ten Sonoma County wineries offering amazing food and wine pairing adventures.

1
Wineries / Healdsburg

J Vineyards & Winery

The J Bubble Room is a delightful Sonoma lunch experience inside the Bubble Room Lounge, an elegant restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows and floating glass bubble light fixtures. Executive Chef Aaron Meneghelli showcases creative culinary techniques that bring out the best of Winemaker Nicole Hitchcock’s wines. The five-course menu changes every six to eight weeks and always features the best local ingredients thoughtfully paired with a mix of red and white wine, as well as sparkling wine, for which the winery is most known.

Photo courtesy of J Vineyards

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2
Wineries / Kenwood

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards

St. Francis is a 100% Certified Sustainable winery with a mission-style tasting room topped by a bell tower that houses a 1,000-pound bronze bell (cast by the Marinelli Foundry in Italy). The winery is well known for its food and wine pairings created by Executive Chef Peter Janiak, who focuses on seasonal pairings that feature fresh vegetables and herbs from the estate's two-acre garden. The classic Wine & Food Pairing is a communal five-course fine dining experience that takes place in the Estate dining room. For those who prefer something a little lighter, the Estate Pairings Tasting includes a lineup of four wines paired with appetizer-sized delicacies on the serene Vineyard Portico.

Photo courtesy of St. Francis Winery

Details Visit Website
3
Wineries / Sonoma

Gloria Ferrer

The first sparkling winery in Carneros, Gloria Ferrer offers several food and wine pairing experiences worth checking out. Take a journey with the Culinary Journey, guided by your own personal wine educator. It includes a local, seasonally curated tasting menu featuring small bites paired with their limited-production sparkling and still wines. For those of us who love to brunch (who doesn’t?), try the Terrace Brunch, a Spanish-inspired, family-style meal paired with Gloria Ferrer’s Sonoma-grown sparkling wines served every weekend. Or, book the Taste of Carneros to travel (via your taste buds) to their Carneros estate vineyard. You'll sample four signature sparkling wines, learning more about how terroir impacts flavor. Take the experience up a notch by pairing your bubbles with cheese, charcuterie, and other Spanish tapas.

Photo courtesy of Gloria Ferrer

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4
Wineries / Healdsburg

Jordan Vineyard & Winery

Nestled in the hills of Sonoma’s Alexander Valley outside of Healdsburg, Jordan Winery is known for its French-inspired wines, gorgeous chateau, and views of rolling hills and vineyards. Experience all three during the Winery Tour & Tasting, which includes a tour of the property followed by a seated tasting of current releases, including a Russian River Valley Chardonnay and several vintages of Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignons, paired with a selection of seasonal hors d’oeuvres. For a more robust wine pairing and tasting experience, choose the Estate Tour & Tasting that begins in the charming courtyard with a continental breakfast and sparkling wine, followed by a Mercedes Sprinter van ride around the 1,200-acre estate, al fresco wine tastings with food pairings, and a pairing lunch at the estate’s highest hilltop, Vista Point.

Photo courtesy of Jordan Vineyard & Winery

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5
Wineries / Sonoma

WALT Wines

WALT has two tasting rooms, one near the Oxbow Public Market in Napa and another right off of the Sonoma Plaza in downtown Sonoma. Explore the terroir of 1,000 miles of Pinot during the Root 101 Experience at their Sonoma Plaza location, a seated vertical flight tasting featuring six single-vineyard Pinot Noirs with food pairings from Sonoma Chef Seth Johnson. For those who’d prefer to indulge their sweet tooth instead, there’s a Wine & Chocolate Tasting that pairs red wine—in this case Pinot Noir—with chocolate.

Photo courtesy of WALT Wines

Details Visit Website
6
Wineries / Sonoma

Ram's Gate Winery

Sitting atop a hill with endless views of the Carneros AVA is the Ram’s Gate tasting room, a modern interpretation of a weathered farmhouse where one can enjoy a range of tasting experiences, including two that are culinary-focused. The Seasonal Wine and Food Experience is a two-hour estate tour and wine pairing experience, featuring wines hand selected by Winemaker Joe Nielson with seasonal courses prepared by Executive Chef Ruby Oliveros. For those looking to indulge in a little luxury, the Caviar Experience pairs Reserve and Golden Reserve caviar from Tsar Nicoulai with three still wines while educating you about the health benefits of caviar.

Photo courtesy of Ram’s Gate

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7
Wineries /

Mayo Family Winery

This small, family-owned Sonoma County winery focuses on small-batch single-vineyard wines, which one can taste with a BYO picnic and the company of their dog, if they’d like, at the Glen Ellen tasting room. However, for those who want to indulge in a food and wine pairing experience, they’ll visit the Reserve Room in the heart of Kenwood. Here, Executive Chef John Locher and his team craft a casual and intimate meal that consists of seven courses (three to four bites each) highlighting seasonal ingredients, paired with a variety of reds and whites, including their flagship Chardonnay and Zinfandel.

Photo courtesy of Mayo Family Winery

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8
Wineries /

Bricoleur Vineyards

This Russian River Valley is home to vineyards, olive groves, a honey farm, rose gardens, fruit orchards, a fishing pond, and plenty more places to explore and enjoy amazing wine and food. The winery’s “Season” dinners, seasonal four-course dinners that take place at large communal tables, are always a fun community celebration of wine and food, but for those who can’t make it, the Rooted Wine & Food Pairing is also an amazing way to learn more about the wines while enjoying six courses of seasonal pairings. Bricoleur has really invested in its culinary program, bringing on Chef Charlie Palmer as an advisor, and Chef Todd Knoll as Executive Chef, so you can count on a memorable (and delicious) experience.

Photo courtesy of Bricoleur Vineyards

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9
Wineries / Sebastopol

Lynmar Estate Winery

Located in the heart of the Russian River Valley, Lynmar’s tasting room is located on a 100-acre estate surrounded by gorgeous, lush gardens and vineyards. During the Collectors Lunch Pairing, set in Quail Hill Vineyard, the chef will walk you through the elevated multi-course lunch, with pairings of their sustainably-farmed Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Each individually plated course is made using ingredients grown on the estate for the ultimate farm-to-table experience, and can even be tailored to accommodate gluten-free and vegetarian diets (with advance notice).

Photo courtesy of Lynmar Estate Winery

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10
Wineries / Jenner

Flowers Vineyard & Winery

Just a few minutes from downtown Healdsburg in Sonoma County is Flowers Vineyard & Winery, a picturesque winery with idyllic gardens and a focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. At their House of Flowers, tastings take place in private garden cabanas and include two options: the Sonoma Coast Journey, a guided flight accompanied by a board of seasonal bites, or the Estate Vineyard Immersion, a more in-depth tasting of estate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir served with seasonal pairings crafted by the House Flowers culinary team.

Photo courtesy of Flowers Vineyard & Winery

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