The weather is getting warmer and what better way to celebrate than with a trip up to wine country in California? You’ve Googled “best itinerary for wine country”, looked up reviews of different vineyards, asked friends for tips and recommendations and now have a list of dozens upon dozens of fantastic wineries in Napa and Sonoma to visit. Well that doesn’t help very much because you still have to figure out timing, distance between vineyards, where along the route you can have lunch, and which vineyards can take a larger group. Plus price might play a factor. Well fear not! Here is an itinerary created for a perfect day in Sonoma (especially if you’re planning a day for a larger group).
First of all, I’d recommend Sonoma over Napa. Napa has become overrun by visitors and the wineries are becoming a bit pretentious and over-priced with some basic tasting prices starting at upwards of $40-50! That said, here is a Sonoma itinerary that we took a group of 25 on and everyone fell in love at each spot.
First Stop: Cline (Arrive at 10am)
Located on beautiful grounds with a gorgeous farm house, a pond filled with fish to feed, furry animals on site, and some of the most friendly staff, it’s a pleasant surprise that Cline also offers complimentary drop-in tastings (for groups of up to 6 people). For larger groups reservations for a private tasting are required, but at a starting price of $10 per person for the tasting, it’s a steal! You’ll get a private table and a host to guide the group through the varietals. Plus after the tasting you get 15% discount on all purchases. When you’re done with your tasting take a stroll and visit the California Missions Museum. Be sure to get here early as it does get busy quick!
- Address: 24737 Arnold Drive, Highway 121, Sonoma, CA 95476
- Hours: Open Daily from 10am – 6pm
- Free tasting for groups of up to 6.
- $10 per person starting price for larger groups.
Second Stop: Viansa (Arrive at 11:45am)
After you finish up at Cline head across the street to Viansa where you’ll be welcomed to the Tuscan countryside. With a stunning view over Sonoma Valley, the Viansa terrace is a perfect midday stop. Pick up a gourmet panini, salad, or charcuterie and cheese plate at the onsite marketplace and pair your lunch with a glass of Viansa’s best wine before settling down on the terrace. As you enjoy the delicious food be sure to take in the sweeping views of the 33 acres of estate vineyards and 97 acres of natural wetland just below. It’s mesmerizing! Then play a few rounds of corn hole as you digest and energize for more wine tasting!
- Address: 25200 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476
- Hours: Open Daily from 10am – 5pm
- $15-20 per person for tasting room.
- For groups larger than 6 private tastings are required and start at $25 per person.
- $30 per person for wine tasting + picnic table reservations.
Third Stop: Buena Vista (Arrive at 2:30pm)
Just 15 minutes north of Viansa is Buena Vista, a winery that boasts a bit of old world charm. Not surprising since it was founded in 1857 and is the oldest winery in Sonoma. In fact, the location is considered a Historic Landmark! Once you’ve arrived in the parking lot you’ll have to take a short walk towards the winery. Along the way you’ll pass bush mazes, cardboard cutouts of Ancient wine gods and historic American figures among a number of other unique pieces of art. The tasting room itself is a historic stone building with wood interior. Take a tour through the caves, sip wine directly from the barrels and with luck, your guide will even play your group a private tune on the piano inside the cave. Our guide sang a song using all of our names! After your tour walk around, rest up on the shaded picnic grounds or try to find your way through the bush mazes. The experience here is truly unique.
- Address: 18000 Old Winery Rd, Sonoma, California 95476
- Hours: Open Daily from 10am – 5pm\
- Tasting Room: $20.00 per person for up to 7 guests. $30 per person for groups of 8 or more.
- Historic Wine Tool Museum Tour and Tasting: $25 per person (can accommodate large groups).
- Barrel Tour & Tasting: $40 per person (can accommodate large groups).
- Private Reserve Tasting: $35 per person.
Last Stop: Home!
After a beautiful day spending quality time with amazing friends it’s time to head home! Hope you have as fabulous of a time as we did!