Top Cheese Tasting Experiences at Russian River Wineries
Although it would be easy to while away an enjoyable day in the Russian River Valley just bellying up to tasting room bars, sometimes a more relaxing cheese tasting experience helps ease away the stress and stomach growls. And in what better place than the well-known Pinot Noir and Chardonnay mecca of Russian River? We have uncovered 11 wineries offering cheese plates and platters to complement their wines, in various settings and prices to suit your mood and budget. With this guide to wine and cheese pairings in the Russian River Valley, you’ll be all set for a day or a weekend of Sonoma cheese tasting.
Listed prices are per person or plate, and tasting times vary per winery. Reservations are required or recommended unless noted otherwise, so please plan ahead. If your favorite Sonoma winery’s cheese program isn’t listed, please let us know in the comments.
Heading to other Sonoma regions? Be sure to check out our Top 30 Sonoma Cheese and Wine Tasting Experiences.
Top Cheese Tasting Experiences at Russian River Wineries Map
A Cheese Tasting Experience to Remember
Steps away from the Russian River, this family-owned winery crafts bubblies, rosés, chardonnays, pinot noirs and Rhone-style blends. Pair these wines with a cheese board filled with four selections from local, Sonoma creameries to create your own cheese tasting experience. Bread from Healdsburg’s Costeaux French Bakery accompanies the cheeses. $35 per plate, serves two.
At Jean-Charles Boisset’s Russian River Valley winery, both the Estate Tour & Tasting and the Taste of France experience pair cheeses with estate-grown chardonnays and pinot noirs—and in some cases, their French counterparts. $50 per person for each experience.
With an indoor-outdoor tasting room off Highway 116, grower Steve Dutton and winemaker Dan Goldfield offer several tasting options. Enjoy five limited-production wines—including chardonnay, gewürztraminer and pinot noir—paired with five local cheeses. Enjoy indoors at high tables with vineyard views or on the patio. $30 per person.
Boasting one of the most beautiful views in Sonoma County, Fog Crest pairs its chardonnay and pinot noir with local artisan cheeses, dried cherries and almonds. $30 per person.
This tucked-away winery offers their Elevation Tasting, a cheese tasting experience pairing five, cool-climate chardonnays and pinot noirs with specially selected cheeses and nuts. $35 per person. The Exploration Tour & Tasting includes a guided winery tour followed by a tasting of five wines with an artisan cheese plate. $55 per person.
Now owned by E&J Gallo Corporation, J offers an artisan cheese tasting experience for an additional fee when you book the Legacy Tasting, a seated tasting hosted in its lounge or on J’s shaded terrace in the summer. Guests choose from a flight of either still or sparkling wines. $35 for the tasting; $25 for the cheese pairing.
This renowned winery just off the 101 in Santa Rosa has three intimate food and wine pairings, and one features a six cheese tasting experience paired with six wines. $30 per person.
Learn the ABCs of wine and cheese pairing at LaCrema’s Wine and Cheese Exploration session. We’ve placed La Crema Winery under Russian River Valley, home to its winemaking facility but this experience is available in their Healdsburg tasting room. $35 per person.
Sample MacPhail Sonoma and Mendocino pinot noirs in their tasting room, which is located in the Barlow complex in Sebastopol. Wine tastings are $20; for an additional $20, add a selection of goat, sheep and cow cheeses, with local jams.
This top-flight producer of chardonnay, pinot noir, zinfandel and syrah offers two private cheese tasting experiences —the Collector’s Flight of high-scoring, limited-production wines ($75) and the Baler Bar Tasting of vineyard-designate bottlings ($40)—both accompanied by cheese plates.
Buy wine and an artisan cheeseboard to nosh on while you rattle the wickets on this winery’s manicured croquet courts. $10 per person to play (parties of up to eight can be accommodated); cheese boards $19-$39.
Enjoy expansive vineyard views from the back patio while indulging in a tasting of Twomey wines accompanied by local cheeses and charcuterie. $30 per person.