Get Out and Drink: Eight of Sonoma’s Best Outdoor Winery Experiences

A vineyard at Preston Farm and Winery / Photo courtesy of Preston Farm and Winery
All featured products are independently selected by our editorial team or contributors. Wine Enthusiast does not accept payment to conduct any product review, though we may earn a commission on purchases made through links on this site.

From picnicking and hiking to strolling around a farm, a range of experiences that encourage you to get out in the fresh air has long been offered alongside the tastings at Sonoma’s wineries and vineyards.

Ahead, explore some of the best ways to spend your day in the California sun.

Get Your Greens

Preston Farm and Winery, Healdsburg

This family-run winery grows more than grapes on its organic estate property. Perched at the edge of Healdsburg’s Dry Creek Valley, the Prestons also maintain a produce farm and run a successful community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. Many products, like peaches, brick-oven bread and eggs, are sold at the onsite farm store.

The pool at Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Check out the café by the pool / Photo courtesy of Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Go for a Swim

Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Geyserville

During summer, Coppola becomes a place for families to enjoy the sun around two expansive swimming pools. Chaise lounges and private sheltered “cabines” allow for plenty of social spacing, while an outdoor café offers drinks and snacks.

Take a hike after a tasting at Sutro Wine Co.
Take a hike after a tasting at Sutro Wine Co. / Photo courtesy of Sutro Wine Co.

Hike Your Heart Out

Sutro Wine Co., Healdsburg

While Sutro doesn’t have its own tasting room, you can head to Medlock Ames winery, where the wines are made, for a taste of its estate bottlings. Afterward, Proprietor and Winemaker Alice Warnecke Sutro will take you across the street to Warnecke Ranch & Vineyards for a hike through the vines. The property is chockablock with white ash volcanic soils.

Make sure you make a reservation to enjoy the day Blue Rock
Make sure you make a reservation to enjoy the day Blue Rock / Photo courtesy of Blue Rock

Treat Yourself to an Open-Air Retreat

Blue Rock, Cloverdale

You’ll need reservations to enjoy the day here. Deemed a “retreat,” a visit to Blue Rock includes two immersive hours tasting a lineup of reserve wines, touring the winery and enjoying bites from local purveyors while surrounded by 100 acres of vineyards and olive trees.

The experience is completely private to you and your group. The Vintner’s Cottage, a stone-walled 1880s-era guest house, can also be booked in advance for overnight stays. A heated pool, bocce court and fire pit promise a good time.

Bricoleur Vineyards is home to a number of creatures including bees
Bricoleur Vineyards is home to a number of creatures including bees / Photo courtesy of Bricoleur Vineyards

Picnic Peacefully

Bricoleur Vineyards, Windsor

Tucked along the backroads of the Russian River Valley, Bricoleur is centered around ponds and water gardens that make an ideal picnic setting. A pavilion that overlooks the Chardonnay vines is a great spot for your blanket, but the grounds also feature ample flowers and olive trees to spread out alongside.

The Best Outdoor Adventure Spots in El Dorado, According to California Wine Pros

Bees, chickens and dogs can be found, too, as well as rows of vegetable gardens that produce the winery’s onsite offerings and donations to local food banks.

This family-run vineyard has a large oak on the property where visitors can hang wishes
This family-run vineyard has a large oak on the property where visitors can hang wishes / Photo courtesy of Belden Barns

Make a Wish

Belden Barns, Santa Rosa

High up Sonoma Mountain Road is the quiet expanse of Belden Barns, a family-run vineyard where you can taste Grüner Veltliner, Syrah and more in a barn built in the 1870s. One unique draw is its Wishing Tree, a live oak where visitors are invited to hang a wish of positivity and hope.

Donum Estate has a sculpture garden filled with work from world-renown artists
Donum Estate has a sculpture garden filled with work from world-renown artists / Photo courtesy of Donum Estate

Discover Another Palette

Donum Estate, Sonoma

Among the finest estates in Carneros, Donum is already a can’t-miss producer for many. But there’s an additional draw beyond its stunning Pinot Noir and Chardonnay: a world-class outdoor sculpture garden with works from Ai Weiwei, Anselm Kiefer, Louise Bourgeois, Richard Hudson, Keith Haring and many others. A leisurely stroll to explore the property with a glass of rosé in hand will stay in your mind for a long time.

Winemaker Jessica Boone
Winemaker Jessica Boone / Photo courtesy of Passalqua Winery

Ramble Around a Ranch

Passalacqua Winery, Healdsburg

Passalacqua runs a standard tasting room on the floor of Dry Creek Valley, but it also offers a more in depth and off-the-beaten track tour of its 120-acre Cabernet Ranch vineyard nearby.

Owner Jason Passalacqua or Winemaker Jessica Boone will lead the way, with the chance to taste several block selections of its Cabernets in the great outdoors.

Published on June 16, 2021
Topics: Outdoors