Northern California is home to many diverse wine countries as well as about a dozen important grape varieties. Two of the most well-known regions are literally right next door to each other. And while Cabernet Sauvignon is the cornerstone to the success of the Napa Valley, Sonoma County is more suited to cool weather grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Around three times larger than Napa County, Sonoma has long stretches of beautiful coastline and inland river valleys that give Burgundian style wine lovers a large range of unique wine to explore. We can’t ignore the very well made Cabernet based wines in Knights Valley and Alexander Valley. Or the ever-present Zinfandel, shining star of the Dry Creek Valley, which seems to poke it’s twisted gnarled head up everywhere. But there is a certain reverence for the red champion of Burgundy in Sonoma County. From Carneros to Russian River Valley, Pinot Noir is particularly well suited to define the diverse terroir and microclimates in Sonoma County wine country.
Starting in the south, the Los Carneros AVA is where the wine tasting starts when traveling to Sonoma from San Francisco. The most well-known and visually stunning feature of Los Carneros are the rolling green hills. Dotted with the occasional dairy farm and pasture, this area is positioned close enough to the ocean be perfectly cool for Pinot Noir and is cooled by the maritime breezes and fog from its southern border with the San Pablo Bay.
Artesa Winery produces a handful of distinct Pinot Noir bottling’s from Carneros, we know they’re not in Sonoma but they make plenty of fine examples of Sonoma Pinot Noir. Their single vineyard series set the bar high bar for wines from this region. Hotels and restaurants abound throughout the Sonoma Valley, and on the Sonoma Square downtown. The Girl and the Fig is a treat for locals and first timers alike. Besides local and seasonal menus changing year round, the bar staff here puts together a cool and irresistible cocktail program, perfect after a day of Pinot Noir tasting!
Further north in Sonoma wine country The Russian River Valley is considered by many to be the home of Californian Pinot Noir, and provides many opportunities for discovery. Jean-Charles Boisset presents a jewel for wine tasting in this AVA, at his DeLoach Vineyards winery. DeLoach has a broad portfolio of wonderful wines from many of Sonoma’s wine growing regions. Their ‘Vineyard Designate’ wines showcase immaculate winemaking and broad range of wines that highlight the individual nuances of particular vineyards.
No piece on Sonoma Pinot Noir would be complete without a mention of Kosta Browne or Williams Seylem. They each produce some of the most sought after Pinot Noirs not just in Sonoma but across the country. For Pinot Noir lovers a visit to either of these is something of a pilgrimage to the source of some impeccably made Pinot’s!
The neighboring town of Healdsburg has as much charm as it does shopping. World class restaurant Dry Creek Kitchen s set in the luxurious Hotel Healdsburg is an experience that is a must-do after all the tasting and touring activities
Exploring this sprawling and very diverse wine growing area could easily take many days! With such an array of Sonoma wine tasting tour opportunities offered in Sonoma County wine country we would be happy to guide you on your adventure. You can find out more about all of the Sonoma wine growing regions here – https://www.beauwinetours.com/sonoma-wine-tours/county-ava-listings/ – and choose your vehicle of choice from our range of luxury vehicles here – https://www.beauwinetours.com/vehicles/
And enjoy a welcome from Jean Charles to DeLoach Vineyardshere