Santa Rosa is the largest city in the heart of California’s Wine Country. This city is buzzing with life, with its vibrant culture and relaxed vibe.
It’s known for its wonderful array of places to eat, things to see and do, places to hike, and most famously, its myriad of wineries.
If California is known for one thing, it’s wine. California has had a rich history of wine, as its climate makes for the perfect home for a variety of grapes around the world to grow.
Nowadays, people will visit parts of California just to explore the Wine Country region – particularly Santa Rosa.
So, if you’re planning to visit Santa Rosa, or perhaps you’ve just moved to the area, you need to check out the countless wineries the city has to offer. Here is your complete guide to Santa Rosa wineries (see also “St Helena Wineries: The Complete Guide“)!
Located in the northwest of Santa Rosa, Inspiration Vineyards is the perfect winery to visit if you’re new to the world of tasting wine.
There’s nothing snobbish about this vineyard – it’s all about celebrating great wine and getting a look at how the wine is made.
Inspiration Vineyards and Winery began producing wine in 1999 by owner Jon, who comes from a line of vineyard owners.
This place is all about the passion of winemaking and drinking, focusing on food-friendly wines at a somewhat affordable price.
There are several experiences available at Inspiration Vineyards, all of which are by appointment only.
You can pick from a regular winemaker lunch menu, winemaker dinner menu, cheese and wine pairing menu, wine tasting days, and a range of other events.
If you’re a self-proclaimed wine connoisseur, you’ve probably heard of the Boisset Collection.
If not, the Boisset Collection is a collection of wineries owned by Jean-Charles Boisset. DeLoach Vineyards belongs to the Boisset Collection, making it one of the most highly regarded wineries in Santa Rosa.
This vineyard is deeply rooted in family values, and exhibits over 45 years of experience. Located in the Russian River Valley, DeLoach vineyards are all about making high-quality, eco-friendly wines.
This is an award-winning vineyard, specializing in Chardonnay, Zinfandel, and Pinot Noir wines.
DeLoach Vineyards offers a range of events, including winery tours and tasting sessions, which need to be booked beforehand. They also have a wine club, which offers exclusive access to limited-production wines.
The shipments are fully customizable and based on personal preferences.
Based in the Olivet Road district of the Russian River Valley, Hook and Ladder winery was created by the De Loach family – the same family that runs the DeLoach Vineyards.
This winery began in 1973, and was the first winery to plant Pinot Noir in the area. It is located just down the road from the original DeLoach Vineyards.
Hook and Ladder is considered an “estate” producer, and specializes in “Old Vine” Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and blends inspired by the Bordeaux region in France.
This winery is all about producing sustainably-farmed wines, as well as their own olive oil from trees on their own Los Amigos Ranch.
There is an array of events available at Hook and Ladder, including wine tasting events, comedy nights, yoga classes, music nights, and more.
They also offer a prestigious wine club, which allows for fully customizable wine packages and entrance to special winery events.
Located in the remote yet stunning Bennett Valley region of Sonoma County, Matanzas Creek County launched in 1977 with a reputation for Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc.
These wines thrive in the temperate climate of the Valley, though the winery has also mastered Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Bordeaux-style red wines.
As with most wineries in Sonoma County, Matanzas Creek winery prides itself on using fruits that are sustainably farmed.
The vineyards are scattered throughout the Valley, including the cool coastal areas. Not only this, but Matanzas is famous for its expansive lavender gardens. Perfect for wandering through with a glass of red.
Matanzas Creek Winery offers wine tasting tours, as well as events including brunches, limited wine releases, golden hour tours, live music, dog days, and more.
You can also take a tour of the lavender fields and buy a range of their lavender products – though reservations are required.
If you’re a wine lover, you’ve almost definitely heard of Kendall-Jackson wine. This is a family-run vineyard that is more of a family legacy than a business, with vineyards dotted across California.
The Sonoma County vineyard is a particularly beautiful vineyard, with its tasting room that is similar to a French countryside château.
Everything about the Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Garden screams decadence.
The wines are brewed from sustainably-farmed fruits, and undergo an extensive blending process to result in the highest quality wines around.
Each wine is carefully curated to suit every palate – from fruity reds to cool whites.
This winery offers wine tasting events as well as food and wine experiences, which are by reservation only.
There is also a wine club, allowing members to experience the best Kendall-Jackson wines available, as well as exclusive offerings and member-only events.
As the name suggests, Paradise Ridge Winery is designed to make you feel as if you’ve just walked into wine paradise.
This award-winning winery offers beautiful sunset views of the Russian River Valley, along with exceptional wines, there’s a reason why this winery is among one of the best in Santa Rosa.
Paradise Ridge Winery offers a stunning estate, complete with wines sustainably produced in the heart of Sonoma County.
The Russian River American Viticultural Area (AVA) is truly the finest place in the world to grow grapes, resulting in high-quality Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Grenache, and Syrah.
The wine tasting experiences are a must-visit for wine lovers, as you learn about the history of each wine while taking in the sweeping sunset (see also “Best Wineries In Temecula“).
Paradise Ridge Winery also offers private and semi-private tasting events, and serves as a gorgeous venue for private events, such as weddings or company events.
Coursey Graves is a fairly new winery in Santa Rosa, located in the Bennett Valley and established in 2015. However, owner John Graves had years of prior experience as an avid collector of wines.
After purchasing 40 acres of land, he created his own vineyards and winery.
Coursey Graves Estate Vineyards & Winery has a distinct focus on soil quality, and how vine health can be determined by what’s in the soil.
These vineyards are famous for the rocky, volcanic soils and a maritime climate, making for some truly special wines. While it’s hard to farm in volcanic soils, it results in intensely colored and flavored small-yielding vines.
This winery offers a tasting room in downtown Healdsburg. However, the private tour and tasting session on Bennett Mountain is really special if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind experience.
Indulge in the Syrah, Chardonnay, and Bennett Mountain Estate Bordeaux blend as you look over the breathtaking views.
As the name suggests, Donelan Family Wines is a family-run boutique winery. This winery is based in the heart of Santa Rosa, and while it’s in a more industrial setting, it still transports you to the countryside of France.
The boutique produces Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache, Viognier, and Roussanne.
The Syrah is a particular favorite among wine collectors – keep this in mind if you’re looking for something really special.
There’s something so beautiful about a family-run winery. You know that each bottle of wine has been produced in the hands of someone with years of passion and experience.
Not only this, but Donelan Family Wines helps to make their customers feel a part of the family, too.
Donelan Family Wines also offers private, semi-private, and group wine tasting events.
These tasting events are mostly limited to Loyalty Members and current customers, so it’s worth building a relationship with the winemakers prior to booking a tasting event.
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards has offered high-quality, elegant wines for over 50 years in Sonoma County.
This winery is a 100% certified sustainable producer, meaning that not only is the wine of exceptional quality, but the land belonging to the winery is preserved for countless future generations.
There’s a reason why St. Francis has been around for so long.
Founder Joe Martin fell in love with the Sonoma Valley back in the 70s, and joined with several winemakers which had already established themselves for creating high-quality wines.
Nowadays, they have over 380 acres of vineyards, ranging in soil types (from clay to volcanic to loam), to create a variety of wines.
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards offers estate pairings and wine tasting events, suitable for newbie wine lovers and experienced connoisseurs alike.
They also offer a membership program, offering Wine Club members a stunning private parlor and terrace, exclusive wine tasting events, and more.
Inman family wines is a small family-owned winery based in the Russian River Valley.
This is probably one of the best wineries in Santa Rosa to visit if you’re new to the world of wine, as it specializes in low-alcohol and food-friendly wines.
Winemaker and owner Kathleen Inman is noted as a pioneer in the revival of California Rosé, thanks to her best-selling Endless Crush Rosé.
Not only do they offer stunning Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Extra Brut Lux Cuvée, Brut Rosé, and Blanc de Noir, but this winery also offers an array of sparkling wines.
This is considered rogue for many wineries in Santa Rosa, so it’s definitely worth a visit if you like bubbly wines.
Inman Family Winery offers wine tasting sessions from Thursdays to Mondays, as well as a walking tour of the vineyard and gardens. It’s arguably one of the most affordable wine tasting events in Sonoma County.
They also have a member’s club which offers discounts on wine purchases and events, complimentary tastings, and two annual shipments of wine.
Located in Sonoma County, D’Argenzio Winery is a fairly small boutique run by identical twin brothers. While it started as a humble hobby, the brothers created the winery to continue the family’s artisan heritage.
This winery is operated by three generations of Italian Americans, producing some of Sonoma County’s best wines alongside Italian Varietals.
With such a small boutique, the vineyards are small, making each bottle of wine particularly special. Each wine is produced in cases of less than 300, which is why this is such a prestigious winery to visit and buy from.
The D’Argenzio Winery offers a stunning tasting room in Burbank, California, wherein visitors will learn everything from the history of the winery to how the wine was made, straight from the family.
They also have a wine club featuring three tiers, wherein members can receive discounts, exclusive events, complimentary tastings, wine deliveries, and more.
Notre Vue Estate Winery is located just south of Healdsburg, covering 710 acres of beautiful land – hence the name, which translates to “Our View” in French.
Each wine is carefully grown and curated in the European style, with clean winemaking styles to create pure and fine wines. It’ll transport you to the French countryside, that’s for sure.
The estate vineyards are located between the Russian River Valley and Chalk Hill, two of California’s best viticultural appellations.
The diverse soils allows Notre Vue to grow 16 grape varieties, including European varieties that aren’t often found in Sonoma County. With diverse microclimates, slope combinations, and rare soil, the wine is truly unique.
Notrue Vue Estate Winery offers crafted tasting experiences, including both wine tasting and wine and food pairing experiences.
These experiences are all about enjoying the cool breezes and views of the Russian River Valley while sitting on the terrace or by the lakeside. They also have a wine club that offers exclusive benefits.
Balletto Vineyards is a family-run business that was founded in 1977.
Since its foundation, the vineyards have experienced everything that California has thrown at them – from droughts to storms to vegetable business issues.
Today, the Balletto Vineyards is one of the most beloved vineyards in the Russian River Valley.
There’s a real passion for the land at Balletto Vineyards. Each vine is treated like family, and each bottle of wine is made with no shortcuts.
With extensive knowledge of winemaking, the Balletto family considers their business an extension of the family. They offer a vast range of wines, including some sparkling wines, which aren’t too common in Santa Rosa wineries.
Balletto Vineyards offers estate tasting experiences, as well as a tasting experience on a sustainability tram tour.
Each experience will teach visitors about the land, the people who make the wine, and the importance of the Russian River Valley.
They also have a wine club, wherein members receive discounts and exclusive benefits, including limited releases.
Located on Olivet Road in the heart of Sonoma County, Harvest Moon Estate & Winery is a must-visit destination.
This is a classic Russian River Valley Winery, with home-grown produce that creates wines that accurately represent the cool climate. These wines are designed to accompany evening meals.
Harvest Moon Estate farms almost 85% of the grapes that make the wines, and they take the greatest care making sure the grapes are growing in the best conditions.
The real star of Harvest Moon Estate is the Russian River Valley Zinfandel, which is just as complex as any other Bordeaux variety. So, if you love rosé, you have to check out this winery.
This winery offers an array of tasting experiences on the exclusive wine patio. Each experience is led by knowledgeable wine educators, and it’s one of the more affordable wine tasting experiences in Santa Rosa.
The small winery also has a wine club, which offers members discounts, early release wines, exclusive experiences, and more.
So, there you have it! Santa Rosa is home to some of California’s best wineries.
The soil and climate of Santa Rosa makes for the best vineyards the West Coast has to offer, resulting in elegant and indulgent wines of all varieties (see also “Malbec Vs Merlot: Comparing Great Wine Varieties“).
Hopefully, this guide has introduced you to your new favorite winery in Santa Rosa.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are over 425 wineries in Santa Rosa alone. Santa Rosa is the largest city in the area, but the main reason why there are so many wineries is because of the climate and soil conditions.
Most of the wineries are located in the Russian River Valley, which is known to produce some of the highest quality wines in the world.
With so many wineries available in Santa Rosa, this is the best city to visit if you’re a wine lover.
Santa Rosa is home to a plethora of wineries that specialize in a vast array of wines. The most popular wines grown in Santa Rosa include Cabernet, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc.
However, there are a few wineries that produce fantastic sparkling wines, such as Rosé.
Santa Rosa is famous for two reasons – not only is it one of the best places to visit a winery, but it’s also known as the craft brew capital of the United States.
So, whether you’re a wine lover or an avid beer drinker, Santa Rosa is the best place to visit in California.
There are countless wine tasting experiences available, as well as brewery tours at the Russian River Brewing Company.