Top 20 Sonoma County Wineries for Wine & Cheese Pairing
Wine and cheese have traditionally been great mates, though not all fromage pairs deliciously with all fruits of the vine. Several Sonoma County wineries now offer curated wine and cheese tasting, giving guests a taste of what their winemakers deem perfect pairings. Here’s our travel guide of the Top 20 Sonoma Wineries for Wine & Cheese Pairing tours and tastings (in alphabetical order). All are adept at matching their wines with specific cheeses, bringing out the best in both. Listed prices are per person, and tasting times vary per winery. Reservations are required or recommended unless noted otherwise, so please plan ahead. If any of your favorite Sonoma wineries with cheese tasting were omitted from this list, please leave a comment.
Founded in the 1960s by the Wetzel family, Alexander Valley Vineyards matches its flagship Bordeaux-style red blend, Cyrus, and three other top-tier wines—don’t miss the cabernet franc—with local cheeses in a tasting on the deck, overlooking the vineyards. $25
8644 Highway 128, Healdsburg, 800-888-7209, avvwine.com
Enjoy the winery’s Chardonnays, Zinfandels, Syrahs and blends with local artisan cheeses in its outdoor Winegarden. Located in the heart of Dry Creek Valley, just across from the historic Dry Creek General Store. $40
320 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, 707-431-9200, amistavineyards.com
Artisanal cheese pairings are a focal point of the newly redesigned Chairman’s Reserve Tasting, which includes a conversational drive through the estate vineyard and tour of the winery, concluding with a seated tasting of four reserve wines and four cheeses. The pairing is served indoors or outside on a hilltop terrace, weather permitting. $65
10300 Chalk Hill Road, Healdsburg, 707-657-4837, chalkhill.com
The former owner of Viansa Winery opened this bright tasting salon on the historic Sonoma square in 2015, which offers the Sonoma Cheese Experience—an educational tasting tour through many Sonoma County appellation wines matched with six local cheeses. $40
103 W. Napa Street, Sonoma, CA 95476, 707-931-6141 corner103.com
Grapegrower Steve Dutton and winemaker Dan Goldfield offer a half-dozen tasting experiences at their indoor-outdoor tasting room off Highway 116. The seated Wine and Cheese Flight is offered at high tables by the window inside or on its succulent-accented patio. The tasting includes five limited-production wines, among them chardonnay, gewürztraminer and pinot noir, and five local cheeses. $30.
3100 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, 707-823-3887, duttongoldfield.com
Eric Flanagan and his family have revamped this tiny winery in the hills above Dry Creek Valley, creating a tasting salon with by-appointment educational tastings where four bottlings of chardonnay, pinot noir, syrah and cabernet from Sonoma County sub-regions are paired with offerings from a different regional creamery each month. All tastings are private and hosted either indoors or on a lovely stone patio with sweeping views. $40
435 W. Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448, 707-723-8800, flanaganwines.com
Enjoy this Spanish-owned winery’s sparkling wines, chardonnays and pinot noirs in the contemporary tasting room or expansive outdoor patio. Cheese plates are available for purchase. The aged Royal Cuvee bubbly is not to be missed.
23555 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, 707-933-1917, gloriaferrer.com
The oldest family winery in California, Gundlach Bundschu offers two tastings with select cheeses. A tasting flight of five wines is hosted in its Vista Courtyard under old olive trees next to the circa-1870 stone winery, with à la carte cheese boards available exclusively to flight tasters. Or guests can opt for the private Rhinefarm Estate Tasting, featuring five wines with cheese pairing, hosted in the Bundschu family bungalow, an artsy home built almost a century ago. $30-50
2000 Denmark Street, Sonoma, CA 95476, 707-938-5277, gunbun.com
Conveniently located next door to the funky, stop-worthy Jimtown Store, Jake Hawkes’ winery is all about cabernet sauvignon, and his private, seated Reserve Tastings feature different backdrops for sipping the king of reds—a Barrel Room Tasting of six wines at the tasting room includes library, current release and barrel samples, served with local cheeses, Hawkes olive oil and charcuterie fixings, or the Vineyard Tasting, which takes place on a picturesque knoll overlooking his vineyard, is where three cabernets, a chardonnay and a merlot are all served with a cheese board, olive oil and accoutrements. $45
6734 Highway 128, Healdsburg, 707-433-4295, hawkeswine.com
Wine and food pairings have been central to the Jordan experience since its founding in the 1970s. Executive Chef Todd Knoll selects cheeses every year for the winery’s fromage plate, pairing them specific vintages of young and older cabernet sauvignons. As the finale to all three Tours & Tastings at Jordan, after a food pairing with Jordan Chardonnay, four cheeses are served with Jordan olive oil, homemade membrillo and multiple cabernets—presented either in a hidden Cellar Room at the French-inspired chateau for Winery Tours & Library Tastings or in a glass-walled pavilion with hilltop views of three wine valleys on the Estate Tour & Tasting. $30-$120
1474 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg, 800-654-1213, jordanwinery.com
This behemoth wine producer has made intimate food and wine pairing a big part of its visitor center, located just north of Santa Rosa. The Wine & Cheese Pairing couples six wines with six cheeses from Sonoma and Marin counties. $30
5007 Fulton Road, Fulton, CA, 707-567-3810, kj.com
This century-old Sonoma Valley vintner takes advantage of a peaceful pond next its tasting room with the Kinneybrook Tasting—a private, seated experience hosted either inside the Kinneybrook Room or on its waterfront patio—which features six Reserve series wines and three local cheeses. $30
9825 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, 707-282-1537, kunde.com
The winery’s tasting room opens to two locations for private cheese and wine tasting—the Redwood Barrel Room featuring the Bordeaux Flight (five wines) and a secluded cave where the Cellar Flight (six wines) is hosted. Each wine is partnered with a specific local cheese, accompanied by dried fruit and nuts. $40-$60
4085 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, 707-431-9600, lambertbridge.com
John Lasseter (of Pixar fame) and his wife, Nancy, welcome visitors to their estate to tour the vineyards and taste their white, red and rosé blends, paired with local cheeses. Julia Iantosca, formerly of Lambert Bridge, is the winemaker. $45
One Vintage Lane, Glen Ellen, 707-933-2800, lasseterfamilywinery.com
The tasting room at the former Alexander Valley Store & Bar offers an Artisan Cheese & Wine pairing of five wines and four cheeses from local creameries, topped with estate marmalade and jam, which can be enjoyed inside or outside on the porch overlooking the bar’s garden and bocce court. Walk-ins are welcome, space permitting. $20
3487 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg, 707-431-8845, medlockames.com
The 2015 renovation of the historic Hotz building on Sonoma’s square created the Pangloss Cellars Tasting Lounge. The Cellar Experience is a private, focused tasting hosted in one of the stone-walled enclaves, in which each guest is served a cheese and charcuterie plate with the wines. $35
35 E. Napa Street, Sonoma, 707-933-8565, panglosscellars.com
The Pinot on the Patio tasting showcases single-vineyard and appellation-designated pinot noirs with cheese. $45.
4791 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, 707-433-0422, papapietroperry.com
Situated above the hills of Santa Rosa, Paradise Ridge is known for its sunset wine tastings, but foodies opts for the Artisan Wine & Cheese Pairing, featuring four wines paired with four local cheeses. $30
4545 Thomas Lake Harris Drive, Santa Rosa, 707-528-9463, prwinery.com
Known for pairings that can amount to a full meal, this Sonoma Valley producer also offers a less ambitious tasting of Artisan Collection wines and local cheeses, served on its terrace overlooking the estate vineyard when weather permits. Walk-ins welcome. $25.
100 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa, 888-675-9463, stfranciswinery.com
This Dry Creek Valley producer’s Comparison Tasting allows guests to compare and contrast wines made from Sonoma and Napa appellations. Cheese plates can be purchased separately. $40.