2021 Sonoma Winery Dinner Events
Wine dinners hosted at a vineyard have been having a moment during the pandemic—even Michelin-star restaurants started hosting pop-up dinners in wine country last year. This summer, Sonoma County wineries are taking outdoor entertaining to new heights with several unforgettable dinners, from meals in the middle of vineyards to alfresco dinners under garden pergolas. Lucky for wine country visitors, these Sonoma winery events are offered throughout the region, from Alexander Valley to Sonoma Valley, allowing guests a diversity of terrains for enjoying the quintessential wine country culinary experience. The key is to book your winery dinner tickets early each year because the events sold out quickly before the word COVID was in our vocabulary. Advance reservations are required, and all wineries follow COVID-19 safety guidelines. (Seating for dinners continues to be modified for social distancing; photographs are from pre-pandemic events.)
Alexander Valley: Sonoma Winery Dinner Events
Jordan Vineyard & Winery
Known for its culinary program, Jordan Winery reopens May 1 and is hosting a series of dinners as part of its 2021 event calendar. Themed dinner parties—Taste of Spring, Dinner with a View, Thrill of the Grill and Big Bottle Dinner—will be limited to 30 guests maximum with each party seated at its own table. Dinners begin with the Jordan Cuvée by Champagne AR Lenoble and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a four-course dinner paired with multiple vintages of Jordan Chardonnay and Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon. Hosted by the winemaker and vintner John Jordan, these elegant outdoor winery dinners feature deliciously fresh ingredients sourced from the estate garden, local farms and a few surprises from outside the area. The chef uses a combination of traditional French and modernist cooking techniques to create memorable food and wine pairings. Tickets are $200 per person. Book your table on their website.
This summer, the Trione family’s food and wine pairing dinners return with several new themes, each hosted by Trione family member and/or the winemaker. Guests enjoy a plated dinner by Peloton Culinary & Catering paired with current and library vintages, all served outside the winery’s charming stone building with a vineyard and bocce court nearby. Their Sonoma winery event calendar will debut in mid-April for events in May, June, August and October. Tickets are $165 non-members; $140 for club members, although August’s tickets are slightly higher. For more information, visit their website.
Dry Creek Valley: Sonoma Winery Dinner Events
Dry Creek Vineyard
Many consider Dry Creek Vineyard the anchor in its namesake valley. The family-owned vintner has been making crowd-pleasing whites and silky reds since the 1970s. This year, Dry Creek Vineyard is stepping up its winery dinner game with a summer vineyard dinner in July, which is open to the public, for $150 per person. This event joins its two wine club exclusive dinners—the annual wild boar “pig out” during harvest at Endeavour Vineyard ($165 per person) and a holiday winemaker dinner in December ($175 per person). For more information, visit their website.
Tucked away on West Dry Creek Road, this small producer is known for its annual Harvest Dinner celebration hosted in October at the winery’s charming gardens. Winemaker Jennifer Higgins and General Manager Bill Smart host the affair, pairing Bordeaux-style wine with a wine country feast by Stellar Catering. Tickets are $175 per person for club members and their guests, and the event always sells out months in advance.
Lambert Bridge Winery, 4085 W Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, CA, 707-431-9600, lambertbridge.com
Russian River Valley: Sonoma Winery Dinner Events
One of Sonoma County’s newest wineries, Bricoleur Vineyards opened in May 2020—what a year to be the new kid on the block. Luckily, winery chefs Shane McAnelly and Evan Castro took the pandemic setback in stride and launched a series of outdoor dinner parties that return in 2021. Every other Saturday, from spring through fall, a multi-course dinner is hosted on the winery’s terrace with views of their gardens and duck pond. With so many Sonoma winery events to create, the chefs got really creative with this year’s themes: Roasted and Toasted, Summer Catch, Garden Party, Apple of My Eye, Tomatoes and Dungeness Crab are all on my radar. Bricoleur makes two rosés, a sauvignon blanc, two chardonnays and two pinot noirs and a zinfandel—so there are many food and wine pairings to tempt your palate. Tickets range from $150 to $300 per person and available to purchase online.
Bricoleur Vineyards, 7394 Starr Road, Windsor, CA, 707-857-5700, bricoleurvineyards.com
Kendall Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens
Each summer and fall, this well-known winery holds events under a pergola next to their chef’s garden and vineyard, located just behind their tasting room in Russian River Valley. The dinners feature produce, cheese and meat from local, Bay-area farmers with different themes for each of their Sonoma winery events, such as Costarella Seafood and Chevoo Cheese and Liberty Farms Duck with Dry Creek Peach & Produce Peaches. Tickets are $195 per person or $146 for wine club members. For more information, visit their events page.
Kendall Jackson Winery, 5007 Fulton Road, Santa Rosa, CA, 800-769-3649, kj.com
Sonoma Valley: Sonoma Winery Dinner Events
This summer, Landmark Vineyards Lobster Feed will return to the Kenwood winery, and they are also considering one more dinner series. It’s a traditional, open-air lobster feed replete with bibs, steaming pots of red crustaceans, prawns, potatoes, corn and more poured onto the tables. Don’t forget: lots of drawn butter, baguettes and bottles of chardonnay. Known for its single-vineyard chardonnays and pinot noirs, Landmark owns a redwood barn-style winery off Highway 12, where its dinners are hosted, as well as the historic hop kiln winery in Russian River, which is open for tastings.
Landmark Vineyard, 101 Adobe Canyon Road, Kenwood, CA, 707-833-0053, landmarkwine.com
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards
Known for its Mission-style tasting room with vineyard views, St. Francis celebrates its 50th anniversary in Sonoma Valley this year. The winery’s resident chef, Peter Janiak, will be cooking up several festive food and wine pairings for the occasion. In addition to one grand soiree later this summer, there are also rumors of a few special dinners overlooking their Wild Oak Vineyard. Details will be announced on their website this spring.
100 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa, CA, 888-675-9463, stfranciswinery.com