Are you eyeing the Sonoma Valley for a wine-themed trip?

This wine region in California borders the Pacific Ocean and is known for its authentic wineries.

Furthermore, it takes less than an hour by car to drive to the valley from San Francisco.

You can find more than 400 wineries here, but some of them stand out for the views they offer.

We’ll reveal the best Sonoma wineries that have lodging, picnic areas, or even host weddings.

Read on to discover the region’s wineries with the best views.

1. Viansa Sonoma Winery

Viansa Sonoma Winery was established in 1990 to honor the Italian roots of the family.

They grow numerous grape varieties, including Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Chardonnay.

The tasting room and upper lawn of this estate sit on a hilltop and provide excellent views across the valley.

You can gaze upon the endlessly stretching wineries of the valley, plus the distant silhouette of mountains.

Enjoy the vistas with a charcuterie board, sandwiches, soups, or wine tasting by your side.

The best-tasting experience is from the edges of the property.

Here, you can overlook the vineyards directly from your private shelter.

Dogs are welcome to join on a trip to this estate.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 10am-5pm
  • Address: 25200 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476, United States

Check Tours Official site


2. Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

Jacuzzi Family Vineyards is based in a Tuscany-inspired villa, including courtyards, statues, and fountains.

The cellar and indoor tasting areas are located in a stunning stone mansion built as a tribute to the Italian ancestors of the owner.

Grapes are grown in a sustainable way, with sheep and goats grazing the weeds, protecting the biodiversity.

They exclusively use solar energy, organic compost, and natural pest control.

The cellar doors are open for wine tastings, and visitors can also sample balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

You’ll see breathtaking rolling hills around the estate.

To enjoy the views, grab a seat in the courtyard paired with some wine.

Jacuzzi Family Vineyards hosts weddings as well, from the ceremony to the reception or party.

  • Opening Hours: Thursday to Monday 11am-5pm
  • Address: 24724 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476, United States

Check Tours Official site


3. Benziger Family Winery

Benziger Family Winery sits close to the town of Eldridge, in the heart of the Sonoma Valley.

Although the main winery is located here, the estate has vineyards in four locations spread across the Sonoma Valley.

The history of the current estate goes back to 1980 when the owners transformed this hilly property into a prosperous vineyard.

Benziger Family Winery specializes in Pinot Noir, a grape variety that particularly thrives in this region.

The fact that reds are popular here is proven by the amount of Cabernet Sauvignon the estate grows as well.

This winery grows its grapes through green farming principles by attracting animals that keep the vines pest and weed-free.

Benziger Family Winery is open for outdoor tasting, so you can soak up the views of rolling vineyards around.

  • Opening Hours: Thursday to Monday 10am-5pm
  • Address: 1883 London Ranch Rd, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, United States

Check Tours Official site


4. Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards

Being the only estate in the region that focuses on sparkling wines, Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards has a unique position.

The Ferrers moved from Spain to the valley in the 1980s in search of a perfect piece of land.

They found the conditions sublime for cultivating pinot noir and Chardonnay and continued the noble tradition of making sparkling wines.

Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards received a certification in 2016 for complying with the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices.

In total, the estate now boasts 207 acres of vineyards, with an elevation between 50 and 325 feet.

This makes for brilliant views from the shaded Vista Terrace, where wine tastings await.

Some culinary options include cheese and charcuterie boards, a 3-course lunch on the terrace, caviar, and several wine/food pairings.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 10am-5pm
  • Address: 23555 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476, United States

Check Tours Official site


5. Larson Family Winery

The Larson Family Winery is a farm-style wine estate near Sonoma town.

Now, a tasting room and 150 acres of vineyards sit on the same ground that was once used as a dairy and rodeo farm. 

Apart from the pinot noir and Chardonnay this area is known for, Larson Family Winery has planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Gris, and Gewürztraminer.

The property is open for outdoor tastings from Thursday to Monday. 

Even though the surroundings here aren’t as hilly as they are at other estates, the prospect of far-stretching vineyards is still astonishing.

You can bring both children and pets.

They might even become friends with the ranch’s residence labradors.

  • Opening Hours: Thursday to Monday 11am-5pm
  • Address: 23355 Millerick Rd, Sonoma, CA 95476, United States

Check Tours Official site


6. Buena Vista Winery

A stone’s throw north, you’ll bump into the Buena Vista Winery.

With a history going back to the 1850s, this certainly is one of the older estates of the valley.

Since its beginning, Buena Vista Winery has worked with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel.

The winery is open for picking up wine, shopping, and tastings (reservation-based).

Buena Vista Winery can provide the guests with some remarkable tasting experiences and tours.

You’ll learn more about the estate past during the historic museum tour and tasting.

In the afternoon, enjoy culinary delights like a cheese plate or gourmet lunch boxes, paired with their best wines.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 10am-5pm
  • Address: 18000 Old Winery Rd, Sonoma, CA 95476, United States

Official site


7. Matanzas Creek Winery

Matanzas Creek Winery is, in several respects, quite a one-of-a-kind estate compared to others on this list.

Its location is further north of Sonoma, and it specializes in grape varieties like Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot.

Lavender fields and encircling hills dominate the views from the estate.

On arrival, visitors can delve into wine tastings.

These tastings are held in the shade, under the magnificent century-old oak trees.

While you’re taking in the views, order cheeses and charcuterie plates to go with your wine.

Before departing, it’s worth strolling around the shop where you can purchase lavender-based personal care products.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 10am-4:30pm
  • Address: 6097 Bennett Valley Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, United States

Official site


8. St Francis Winery & Vineyards

Sandwiched between Kenwood and the city of Santa Rosa sits St Francis Winery & Vineyards.

The story of St Francis Winery & Vineyards started in 1971 when 22 acres of Chardonnay and 60 acres of Merlot were planted here.

Nowadays, the winery owns 380 acres of sustainable vineyards with several soil types.

This richness in soil varieties produces a wide array of grapes, like Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay.

The barren hills and boundless grapevines around the estate make for a sublime setting for tastings and food pairings.

Creative owners have set up a pairing menu, with beautiful dishes complementing their wines.

A fun way to discover the vineyards is riding the pedal trolley, where you get to taste wines while cruising along the vineyards.

  • Opening Hours: Thursday to Monday 11am-5pm
  • Address: 100 Pythian Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95409, United States

Official site


9. Ram’s Gate Winery, Sonoma

Ram’s Gate Winery, Sonoma was established in 2011 and encompasses 28 acres of vines.

Since 2015, Ram’s Gate Winery, Sonoma is a Certified Sustainable Vineyard.

There are a few ways to enjoy the views.

Firstly, Ram’s Gate Winery serves exquisite, multi-course wine and food pairings, plus wine tastings with some of their best bottles.

Delve into these endeavors under the shaded verandah, or seek shelter next to the bar on more drizzly days.

Spread across the property, you’ll also find comforting armchairs facing open fireplaces; the perfect spot for a glass or two.

The winery opens its doors from Thursday to Monday and can be visited by appointment only.

  • Opening Hours: Thursday to Monday 11am-4pm
  • Address: 28700 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476, United States

Official site


10. Ledson Winery & Vineyards, Kenwood

Ledson Winery & Vineyards, Kenwood is home to a tasting room and deli shop, all based in a castle.

Despite its historic appearance, the castle was only built in 1989.

This was the same year the Ledson family planted their first 17 acres of Merlot.

Inside, stunning vintage rooms with paintings, dark wood, and fireplaces make for snug tasting rooms.

Enjoy a private wine tasting in one of the suites, and add cheese and snacks to go with the wines.

Alternatively, the spacious bar counter is an excellent location for some sips while listening to the tales of the winery’s history.

In the estate’s shop, you can browse for bottles, gift packages, and delightful products like cheeses and meats.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 10am-5pm
  • Address: 7335 CA-12, Kenwood, CA 95409, United States

Official site


Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley – Best Tour for Views

The best way to explore this gorgeous wine region is by riding the Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley.

These vehicles are inspired by San Francisco’s late 19th-century street cable cars.

They pass through the vineyards of the Sonoma Valley, and you’ll have a chance to stop by 3 wineries.

With seats positioned on the side of the cart, you’ll get to see the spectacular scenery of the valley.

You’ll be picked up from your accommodation.

A boxed lunch and bottled water are included in the tour.

The guide shares fun and interesting details on Sonoma Valley while you’re on board the trolley.

Check Tours Official site


Where to Stay in Sonoma

For couples looking for a romantic place to stay, check our guide:

These hotels and inns are designed for visitors celebrating honeymoons or romantic occasions.


Is Sonoma Valley better than Napa Valley?

There’s certainly a difference between these two wine regions.

In terms of views, we’d say Sonoma Valley is arguably better since it’s a much bigger area, and less touristy.

If you like peace and quiet while admiring the vineyard views, there’s a better chance of this in Sonoma. 

There’s also a much bigger variety of wines in this region, and it’s easy to navigate, unlike Napa. 

You’ll find the overall cost in Sonoma somewhat cheaper compared to Napa Valley wineries.  

This is because there are more tourist activities in Napa, which is why they have a lot more visitors annually. 

At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. 

It’s probably worth visiting both wine regions if you have the time since they’re only 30 minutes away from each other.


Sonoma Wineries Map

Find More Wine Tours in Sonoma Valley

FAQs

Which Sonoma winery has the best food at their restaurant?


Most of the properties present visitors with cheese or charcuterie plates, but some take their food to the next level.

Ram’s Gate Winery takes food very seriously, as they offer much more than sharing platters alone.

The Arbor Experience is a private 6-course seasonal wine and food pairing at an incredibly scenic location.

They also host a mouth-watering 5-course wine and food pairing.

Which Sonoma winery has picnic areas with a view?


At the Buena Vista Winery, you can enjoy a boxed lunch and wine tasting on the scenic grounds of the property.

Unwind with your friends and family, as you can sip on 2 different wines and fill your tummy with the gourmet food prepared in the estate’s kitchen.

What’s the best Sonoma winery for weddings?


Jacuzzi Family Vineyards can be booked as a wedding venue.

This lovely property can host up to 150 guests on your big day.

Receptions, outdoor dining, and the official ceremony can all be planned at Jacuzzi Family Estates.

St Francis Winery & Vineyards is another option that offers similar facilities for enchanting weddings.

Which Sonoma winery has lodging on site?


None of the estate’s actually has an on-site hotel where you can stay overnight.

Ledson Winery & Vineyards, Kenwood does operate a hotel, which is located 13 miles south.

This 4-star hotel has elegant rooms and a bar where you can order wines from the Ledson vineyards.

Summary

Sonoma WineriesOpening Hours
Viansa Sonoma WineryDaily 10am-5pm
Jacuzzi Family VineyardsThursday to Monday 11am-5pm
Benziger Family WineryThursday to Monday 10am-5pm
Gloria Ferrer Caves and VineyardsDaily 10am-5pm
Larson Family WineryThursday to Monday 11am-5pm
Buena Vista WineryDaily 10am-5pm
Matanzas Creek WineryDaily 10am-4:30pm
St Francis Winery & VineyardsThursday to Monday 11am-5pm
Ram’s Gate Winery, SonomaThursday to Monday 11am-4pm
Ledson Winery & Vineyards, KenwoodDaily 10am-5pm

I love travelling because of the connections I can make with people, the amazing nature around the world, and the different cuisines I was able to discover. I've travelled to 35 countries in Europe, Asia, and South America, plus Australia and New Zealand.