Best Sonoma Wineries with a Food and Wine Pairing
One walk through a Wine Country farmers market, and you’ll know why chefs and foodies from across the world have put down roots in Sonoma County. Every ingredient a cook needs to make fresh, delicious meals is grown here, from the lemon cucumbers, little gem lettuce and blackberry honey to the elephant garlic, Miyagi oysters and rack of lamb. Because wine is meant to be enjoyed with food, many vintners take wine and food pairing seriously, so much so that most Sonoma wineries with food pairings now have full-time chefs cooking up inventive, wine-flattering dishes daily (or every weekend). Our list of the top Sonoma wineries with food pairings has only grown since the pandemic, so we’ve focused on featuring chef-driven food and wine pairings that go beyond casual snacks that have become mainstays at tasting rooms, such as pizzas, cheese plates and charcuterie boards. (You can find posts featuring wineries that serve snacks at the bottom of this page.) Before you go, note that almost all of these wineries with food require advance reservations—and an empty stomach.
Best Sonoma Wineries with Food Pairings (Updated July 2023)
Jordan Vineyard & Winery
There are culinary components weaved into most Jordan Vineyard & Winery experiences and events, but the Estate Tour & Tasting is by far the most comprehensive. Following a light Champagne breakfast, this three-hour exploration takes you aboard a luxury sprinter van on a tour of the 1,200-acre estate. You’ll make several stops along the way: the culinary garden and apiary, a lake for the first food and wine pairing—a tasting of two Jordan Chardonnays with two bites and estate olive oil—a block of vineyards for an educational stroll and finally, Vista Point. Situated on a hilltop at 650 feet of elevation with 360-degree views, Vista Point is the site of the final food and wine pairing, involving a tasting of two Jordan Cabernet Sauvignons to enjoy with a bento box filled with bites, such as Knights Valley Black Angus beef roasted in horseradish leaves, mizuna greens with estate honey miso vinaigrette and local cheeses. This year, the finale food pairing is served in locally-made pottery that uses the soil from the Jordan garden. Available Thursday-Monday at 9:45 a.m., June-October. $160
Silver Oak Alexander Valley
Cabernet lovers may visit Silver Oak for its tannin-laced reds, but the winery’s culinary team has made it his mission to open guests’ eyes and taste buds to many more flavors with the Silver Oak Food & Wine Pairing . One of the best wineries to visit in Alexander Valley, Silver Oak Cellars built its Sonoma County sister winery to the iconic Napa Valley property in 2018 in the heart of Sonoma cabernet country. The state-of-the-art, LEED-certified winery also boasts a modern tasting room with lovely vineyard views, chef’s kitchen and culinary garden. The Food & Wine Pairing experience begins with a walk through the vineyard to an impressive barrel room, before visiting the culinary garden and hunger-inducing chef’s kitchen. Guests move into a glass-walled dining room overlooking cabernet sauvignon grapevines for four Sonoma-fresh courses filled with flavor, such as Stonefruit Gazpacho and Bellwether Farms Ricotta Gnudi, paired with Twomey and Silver Oak wines. Available Thursday-Saturday at 11 a.m. $170
Chalk Hill’s 2-hour Estate & Garden Hummer Tour & Tasting starts with an amuse-bouche and chardonnay on their terrace while learning about the rich history of their estate. Ride in style in the Chalk Hill Hummer and tour the estate’s organically farmed culinary garden. There, you’ll see the inspiration for the ensuing garden-to-table bites to be enjoyed during a seated tasting set amongst panoramic views of the estate’s 1,300 stunning acres of vineyards and natural wilderness. Estate Chef Alec Graham carefully crafts each dish to complement the glass of red wine with which it’s matched. “There are so many textures, flavors and colors in our garden,” Graham says. “I really enjoy capturing that diversity in each dish for our guests.” Available Thursday-Sunday at 10:30 a.m. $85-$105
10300 Chalk Hill Rd., Healdsburg, CA, 707-838-4306, chalkhill.com
Other Sonoma Wineries with Food Pairings in Alexander Valley
Although they don’t have resident chefs, both Medlock Ames and Robert Young Estate collaborate with local chefs to offer intriguing food pairing experiences. See our Outdoor Wine Tasting with Food post.
DRY CREEK VALLEY
Located a block off Healdsburg Square, Williamson Wines has something for everyone with an array of food and wine experiences to choose from. They’re best known for their Wine & Cheese Fridge Foods tasting, which is free to members, but the Williamsons do employ winery chefs for more elevated experiences too. For $50, the Icon Wines Tasting matches plates with Williamson’s finest, small production wines, and lunch is included for an additional $25 per guest. The winery also offers a four-course Bistro Lunch on weekdays ($75), as well as other themed lunches and dinners throughout the year.
Winery Chef Jude Affront has one of the best office views in Healdsburg, in my opinion. When you book a food pairing at Comstock, you get to enjoy that same vineyard-meets-mountain vista. One of the closest wineries to downtown Healdsburg, Comstock is a modern, barn-style building with lovely entertaining areas that overlook a bocce ball court and grapevines with a forested mountain in the distance. Guests who reserve the Wine & Grilled Cheese are seated at tables tucked under their shaded patio, just outside Chef Affront’s kitchen. Those who book the Wine & Wood Fired Pairing sit next to the outdoor kitchen and interact with the chef. Offered Friday, Saturday and Sunday. $75-$125
A grand Italian villa with the sprawling gardens and vineyard views, Ferrari-Carano recently expanded its food pairings beyond charcuterie, cheese and chocolate to include an Italian-style Sunday brunch. La Colazione Italiana is hosted indoors during winter and at the winery’s sycamore grove from early spring through fall. Rumor has it that the chefs have resurrected an old wood-fired oven in the garden, and they’re scheming other menu ideas for brunch and beyond. $95
Other Sonoma Wineries with Food Pairings in Dry Creek Valley
Several wineries in Dry Creek feature more casual food pairings. Across from the historic general store, Amista Vineyards now offers caviar service with its sparkling wine flight, served on the patio or in its recently remodeled, barn-style tasting room. Reeve, located in a hip hacienda in the woods, has a chef dedicated to cooking during its food and wine pairing flights, which exclusively feature gourmet pizza. At the far end of Dry Creek Valley, Trattore Farms serves seasonal paninis daily and pizza on Sundays.
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
In 2019, one of the Sonoma Coast’s most famous vintners opened a second home just outside of Healdsburg, and what the abalone divers and legacy loggers in the remote town of Cazadero lost is your gain. The culinary team at Flowers prepares seasonal bites for its Estate Vineyard Immersion tasting, served inside the chic House of Flowers or in one of the lush garden’s cabanas. Offered Thursday-Monday. $125
The famous hillside caves that were home to Davis Bynum Winery for many decades became Thomas George Estates in 2008. Owner Tom Baker has invested in much more than the vineyards and wines. The staff custom-designed an Airstream for their commercial kitchen and hired a chef to create food pairings using estate-grown produce and other locally sourced ingredients. For adventurous foodies, the Wine Safari ($250) starts with a ride in their Pinzgauer up to Baker Ridge Vineyard, where you enjoy a four-course meal underneath a 100-year-old California oak tree with a stunning view over the valley paired with single-vineyard and single-block wines ($250). For a more casual experience, book either of the winery’s two Single Vineyard Tastings ($60), which feature six wines paired with wood-fired pizza.
J Vineyards & Winery
One of the only Sonoma wineries with food pairings served in a restaurant setting—and one of the first to implement a comprehensive wine and food program—the J Bubble Room plays host to an elegant, five-course meal complete with generously poured wine pairings (both sparkling and still). The menu by Estate Chef Forest Kellogg and Executive Chef Aaron Meneghelli changes regularly, and wine pairings range from only one sparkling wine in the flight to several, so if you’re expecting only bubbles with your lunch, call ahead to confirm. Dishes, such as gulf shrimp with caviar and Makrut lime and lamb loin with roasted pepper and Aleppo, highlight flavors of the world. The Bubble Room is open Thursday-Sunday by reservation between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. $150
One of the newest destinations in Northern Sonoma County, Bricoleur is an agriturismo-style winery with kitchens, gardens, farm animals, picnicking, culinary events and more. Though the name is French, Bricoleur blends its love of France with its Italian heritage—cofounder Beth Wall Hanson is the great granddaughter of famous enologist, Pietro Carlo Rossi. Beth and her husband, Mark, along with their daughter, Sarah, have assembled a talented team at their modern barn-style space to bring the Bricoleur dream to life: Winemaking legends Bob Cabral and Cary Gott, assisted by Tom Pierson, make a stable of food-friendly wines from different microclimates in Sonoma County to pair with garden-driven dishes by estate chefs, Thomas Bellec and Todd Knoll (formerly of Jordan), along with culinary advisor Charlie Palmer. For elevated experiences, opt for the Soaring and Rooted food and wine pairings. Morsels change regularly with these options but might include crudites, local goat cheese and spring pea tartlet, West Coast halibut, grilled vegetables from the on-site gardens, and more. Two other alfresco experiences are offered: The Essentials Picnic allows guests to enjoy with a bottle of wine with chef-prepared provisions anywhere on the property (red wagons are offered to tow your bountiful basket), and Rosé in the Roses features a buffet-style lunch under the bocce ball pergolas paired with a magnum of rosé. $75-$130
Located right off the highway at the gateway to Russian River Valley, the Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens is known for its elaborate culinary gardens and culinary experiences. Two tastings are offered daily to entice foodies: the Seasonal Wine Flight & Bites ($75) and a more in-depth Wine & Food Experience ($125), featuring a five-course tasting menu paired with small-production, limited-release wines. Many ingredients are sourced straight from their four-acre sensory gardens (which, you must explore before you leave). During summer months, the alfresco Farm to Table Dinners ($225) are a not-to-be-missed culinary experience, featuring the estate’s bounty of fresh produce. Long-time chef Tracey Shepos Cenami, well-regarded by local food journalists for her culinary skills, was recently promoted to helm the Kendall-Jackson kitchen, so if you haven’t visited recently, her cooking alone is reason to reserve.
Estate Chef David Frakes, who spent a decade in Napa Valley as executive chef at Beringer Vineyards, sources from the estate culinary gardens and local purveyors to create inventive menus to pair with Lynmar’s elegant wines. The Estate Pairing offers guests four savory gourmet bites paired with chardonnays and pinots, served on the winery’s patio overlooking its pollinator gardens and vineyard. Devoted fans and foodies can also reserve the Collectors Lunch Pairing, a multi-course, restaurant-style food and wine pairing experience hosted at Lynmar’s Quail Hill Vineyard. Many of their wines are made from some of the oldest chardonnay and pinot noir vines planted in the Russian River Valley. With reservations limited to 4-6 guests per group, these intimate wine tasting experiences are offered Thursday-Sunday. $165-$250
Paul Hobbs Winery
Renowned winemaker Paul Hobbs, who cut his teeth under none other than Robert Mondavi in the late 1970s, offers a Vineyard Designate Experience which begins with a tour of the 12,000-square-foot winery and surrounding vineyards at his Howard Backen-designed Katherine Lindsay Estate in Sebastopol, which Hobbs named after his great grandmother. Guests then sit down for a tasting of six, highly limited production and vineyard designate wines, paired with seasonal bites prepared by the winery chef. $250
It doesn’t get much more authentic than Marimar’s 45 to 90-minute Tapas and Wine Pairing, which pairs two reds and whites with a selection of tapas that come straight out of proprietor Marimar Torres’ own published cookbooks. Torres came to California from Barcelona in 1975 to plant her Green Valley vineyard and is equally deft in the cellar and kitchen. She has carefully selected flavorful recipes that enhance, not distract from, the flavors in the wine, like Farcellets de Col (cabbage dumplings stuffed with pork, chorizo, pine nuts and raisins) and the sweet Higos Pasos Rellenos con Salsa de Chocolate (figs stuffed with chocolate and nuts in a chocolate sauce). The food pairing experience also comes with sprawling vineyard views from the Catalan-style terrace. Available Thursday-Monday. $65
St. Francis Winery
St. Francis Winery’s substantial, multi-course Wine & Food Pairing ($125) by Executive Chef Peter Janiak is served in a private dining room off the back terrace, overlooking a lawn that opens to an experimental vineyard filled with almost a dozen different grapes. The experience, which has been named Best Restaurant in America by OpenTable more than once, includes five different varietal wines (from a chardonnay, zinfandel and a port for dessert) paired with five seasonal dishes, like parsnip bisque and pan-seared steak with truffle jus. This food pairing is available Thursday-Monday. The chef also prepares an intimate Estate Pairing ($70), which includes wines paired with light bites, such as carrot and Gruyère arancini and smoked brisket with potato mousseline. Offered daily.
The Mayo Family Reserve Room might just be the most robust of all the Sonoma wineries with food pairing experiences on this list, so come hungry. Take in views of Kenwood’s hillside vineyards while you work your way through seven courses—from house-made ravioli with tarragon pesto and ahi poke to quesa birria and flourless chocolate cake—prepared by executive chef John Locher, who cut his cooking teeth at The General’s Daughter, Beringer and Viansa. You’ll also sip through seven single-vineyard wines, ranging from sauvignon blanc and chardonnay to pinot noir and two styles of zinfandels. The experience also comes at an incredible value, just $80. Available Thursday-Monday.
Hamel Family Wines
A true hidden gem crafting premium, small lot wines in Sonoma Valley, Hamel Family Wines’ Reserve Experience ($150) kicks off with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and a guided tour of the estate vineyard, winery and caves, where you’ll get to taste a barrel sample of a future release of cabernet sauvignon. This experience, offered Thursday-Monday, concludes in Hamel’s stunningly designed private reserve room complete with velvet-backed chairs, a fireplace and vineyard views. Sit down to a four-course menu from their new chef Thomas Mendel, formerly of the Montage and Ritz-Carlton, paired with Hamel’s Reserve Series cabernet blends. If you’re a wine expert or aficionado, don’t miss the Estate Experience ($95) and the Collector’s Experience ($100), exploring current releases or library vintages paired with seasonal snacks.
Settle into Three Sticks’ gorgeous, cozy and historic Vallejo-Castanada Adobe for a unique and cultural Food & Wine Pairing ($110) available Sunday-Friday. Located on the Sonoma Plaza, this building is the longest-occupied residence in Sonoma and is one of the few remaining from California’s Mexican period. For the tasting, chardonnays and pinot noirs are paired with dishes Chef Oscar Bendeck, the Le Cordon Blue-trained culinary expert at Wine Country Collective. They also offer a three-course Mariposa Member Private Lunch on weekdays ($150), exclusively for members, and seasonal experiences, such as the Caviar Experience ($200) and Oysters & Chardonnay experience ($95), which are available Monday-Friday by reservation only.
Pangloss works with local purveyors to create food pairings for their seated tasting experiences, The Classic ($30) and The Optimist ($50). These light bites, like County Line baby beets with pistachio, honey vinaigrette and spearmint in winter or spiced peach tartlet in summer, are available as an optional add-on and match a flight of five to six wines. This tasting is available in the Lounge of their gorgeous, 4,000 sq. ft. Sonoma Plaza tasting room, housed in a 115-year-old building that has its original redwood and stone walls. Available daily.
Pinot noir enthusiasts can’t skip the Root 101 Experience at WALT Wines. No car required, this 1,000-mile educational exploration of west coast pinot noir from Santa Barbara to Oregon’s Willamette Valley can be experienced right from their intimate Sonoma Plaza tasting room. Taste the distinct differences in terroir during a comparative tasting of six single vineyard pinots from varying regions, each paired with bites from Sonoma chef Bryan Jones Catering, such as sunchoke cauliflower soup and pistachio financier. Offered daily with multiple seatings on weekends. $80
Scribe is where the cool kids go, and while hanging out on their hilltop is a favorite pastime, their renovated 1850s Hacienda is even more magical. The Hacienda hosts members of the Scribe Viticultural Society for guided, personalized wine tastings with thoughtful, light menus sourced from the surrounding garden. This is a casual experience, and the plates aren’t paired with specific wines. Members enjoy eating and sipping Scribe’s unique and forgotten varietals, such as sylvaner and riesling, at leisure. If you visited Scribe before the pandemic and want to return, take note: Since 2020, the Hacienda experience is reserved for wine club members only. Available Thursday-Sunday. $85
Gloria Ferrer has built a strong reputation for its sparkling wines over the last three decades and doesn’t disappoint with stunning views of the Carneros wine region’s cascading hills from their expansive Vista Terrace, nestled above well-tended estate vineyards. Since the pandemic, the bubbly-focused producer with Spanish roots has refreshed the indoor and outdoor tasting spaces and expanded its diverse tasting experience offerings from its executive chef, Jason Naaman. “The beauty of our food and wine program is its versatility and diversity for our guests,” Naaman says. “If you’re in the mood for a taste of Spain and California, the Tapas Experience lets you explore traditional Spanish flavors, such as Iberico ham, grilled octopus and gazpacho. If you enjoy tasting menus, the Culinary Expedition highlights the seasonal bounty from our estate gardens with a range of different wines.” A Terrace Brunch is also available for breakfast lovers, and all experiences feature an array of wines and courses. Full menus are published on their website. Offered on different days and times from Thursday to Monday. $65-$125
Ram’s Gate Winery
Known as the gateway winery to Sonoma from San Francisco and the Bay, Ram’s Gate Winery uses its in-house open kitchen as much as possible. Guests can opt for the Wine and Bites Flight, or go bigger with the Seasonal Wine & Food Pairing. The latter includes an in-depth tour of the estate and is designed around the wine—Ram’s Gate works with premium sites to craft a diverse line-up of wines—as Executive Chef Ruby Oliveros and the culinary team thoughtfully create a menu of five hyper-seasonal courses to enhance each glass, like tuna tartare in sesame cone and puff truffle wild mushroom mousse. Offered Thursday-Monday. There’s also a Caviar Experience and Luxury Picnic available. “What I love the most about having so many different food and wine pairing menus to offer to guests is the freedom in creating simple but refined and well thought through seasonal dishes,” Chef Oliveros says. “The constantly evolving flavors speak for themselves, as do the flavors I incorporate from my culture. The goal is to get our guests excited and to have an elevated and unique experience every time they visit our stunning property to taste our beautiful wines.” $80-$160