One of America’s finest winemaking regions, the Sonoma Valley in northern California attracts huge numbers of wine lovers hailing from far and wide every year.
Beyond the wider area’s rich wine heritage, the historic city of Sanoma also has its own appeal, with several art galleries, imposing 19th-century buildings, and a weekly farmer’s market among the most popular attractions. But there’s no doubting the primary draw. There are several popular wine tours and tastings on offer in Sonoma Wine Country, ranging from large group excursions to intimate, private tours. To help you pick the best one for your tastes and budget, here are five to consider.
Half-Day Wine Tour
Soak up the fresh air and stunning views on two wheels as you embark on this full-day tour that will see you visit world class wineries as well as other local attractions with the wind in your hair. Traversing flat roads to ensure only moderate exertion is required, you’ll navigate Sonoma and Napa Valleys, working up an appetite for some food and wine tastings at your stop-offs. Guests can choose from a hybrid bike, tandem bike, or electric bike for the experience, and there are kids’ bikes available too. Bike rentals, helmets and maps are all included in the price, although food, drinks and tastings are not. From $138 per person.
Guided Winery Tour with Picnic Lunch
Visit boutique wineries as you learn about the rich history of the region and enjoy a picnic lunch on this small-group tour. Over a full day, you’ll take in panoramic views of the charming Sonoma Valley as you travel between three smaller wineries, many of which are still family-owned, picked by your guide. There’ll be a chance to taste some delicious wines (additional charge) and learn about local winemaking practices, history, and culture, before tucking into a picnic lunch at one of the wineries. The tour price includes hotel pick-up and drop-off, plus your boxed picnic lunch. From $119 per person.
Sonoma Walking Food, Wine & History Tour
Combine some of Sonoma’s finest cuisine with delectable locally-produced wines during this small-group walking tour. After meeting your guide at a designated point during mid-morning, you’ll set off on foot to visit a variety of foodie hang-outs all located in Sonoma’s historic downtown district. During the 1.5-mile route you’ll get to sample such delights as fine wines, chocolates and olive oils as your guide regales you with intriguing stories and fascinating facts about the region’s rich culinary heritage. All food and wine tastings are included in the price. From $180 per person.
Private SUV Muir Woods and Napa/Sonoma Wine Tour
For a more exclusive and intimate experience, this private full-day tour could be for you. Taking in both the historic Muir Woods and some of the most scenic wineries in Napa and Sonoma, you’ll be treated to the region’s most mesmerising attractions – both natural and man-made – including the Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito, and Muir Woods itself. At your winery stop-offs, you’ll get to sample some of the in-house produce and learn about the art of wine-making. Chauffeur-driven transportation, as well as entrance to the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, are included in the tour price. From $764 per group (max 6 people).
Sonoma Wine Country Bike Tour
Discover the world-famous wineries of Sonoma Country with the wind in your hair on this half-day tour. Offering scenic views of redwood trees, local farm animals, eye-catching murals, and more, you’ll traverse a designated route across flat, paved trails aboard a hybrid bike. Starting in downtown Santa Rosa, you’ll visit 2-3 award-winning family-owned wineries, each with their own distinctive home-made wines. At each one, you can enjoy the views as staff pour you some samples, regale you with the history behind the winery, and later give you a tour of the premises. Guests can pack a light lunch to bring with and enjoy using one of the winery’s outdoor seating. The tour price includes your bike and wine tastings. From $190 per person.