Nine Sonoma Valley Wineries with Fantastic Cheese Pairings
A short drive north from San Francisco introduces the tranquil wine region of Sonoma Valley — not to be confused with Sonoma County or Sonoma, the town. Being the oldest winegrowing area in the region, those founding fathers may not have foreseen the confusion many visitors experience today. But no matter how you locate the area, Sonoma Valley wineries present a diverse option of wine tasting experiences, many with cheese pairings. We’ve identified nine wineries offering this classic and delicious duo that are worth exploring. Listed prices are per person or cheese plate, and tasting times vary by winery. Reservations are required or recommended unless noted otherwise, so please plan ahead. If your favorite Sonoma cheese and wine tasting isn’t here, please leave a comment.
Be sure to read about our Top 30 Sonoma County Wineries for Wine & Cheese Pairing
Cheese and Wine Pairings at Sonoma Valley Wineries
Corner 103 founder and owner Lloyd Davis has a passion for reducing the intimidation level of wines. His Sonoma Valley winery features limited production wines that explain and highlight the terroir of wine regions throughout Sonoma County. Their Sonoma Cheese Experience is an educational tasting tour through seven Sonoma County appellations, featuring wines paired with six local cheeses. $45
Founded in 1982, this Spanish-owned winery’s sparkling wines were the first bubblies produced in Sonoma County, and remain a favorite among the many Sonoma Valley wineries. They also pour chardonnays and pinot noirs in the contemporary tasting room or on the expansive outdoor patio — a not miss when the weather is warm. Cheese and charcuterie plates are available for purchase with their Tasting Experience, paired especially for their wines. Don’t miss the aged Royal Cuvée.
California’s oldest family owned and operated winery, Gundlach Bundschu [gun-lock bun-shoe] offers two tastings with select cheeses. They host a tasting flight of five wines in the Vista Courtyard under old olive trees next to the circa-1870 stone winery. Add a cheese board with local cheeses, fruit, nuts and fresh edible flowers from their stunning garden. Or guests can take a ride on the wild side with their Pinzgauer Excursion vineyard tour, and enjoy a cheese and charcuterie plate with a gorgeous view of the family’s vineyards. $30-$65
The Kunde Family has been making wine in the Sonoma Valley for five generations, and they farm 1,850 acres of stunning vineyards along Highway 12. Among their many tasting options is a seated wine and cheese pairing either in their Kinneybrook Room or on the waterfront patio, presenting artisan cheeses and locally hand-crafted meats paired with their winery-exclusive and reserve wines. $30
Lake Sonoma Winery celebrates the diverse growing regions of Sonoma County with their 26 different wines available by the glass. The patio lounge includes fire pits, comfy couches and landscaped views, plus an artisan cheese board to accompany their tasting flights. $20
John Lasseter (of Pixar fame) and his wife, Nancy, began their love affair with Sonoma Valley wineries long before they started their winery in the early 1990s. The warm, friendly atmosphere welcomes visitors to their estate to tour the vineyards and taste their white, red and rosé wines. On the patio, add a local cheese and charcuterie board to complete the experience. $25
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 paired cheese and charcuterie plate with the wines. $35
A superstar Sonoma Valley winery specializing in zinfandel, Ravenswood has many different tasting experiences to explore. A plate of local cheeses, serving two, can be added to any tasting. Enjoy the wines and cheeses, paired with a gorgeous view, in the outdoor lounge. $25 per plate.
Known for lengthy pairing experiences that can amount to a full meal, this Sonoma Valley producer also offers a more casual, chef-prepared wine and cheese pairing fit for a king (or queen). Taste three artisan cheeses paired with Artisan Collection wines, served on their terrace overlooking the estate vineyard when weather permits. Walk-ins welcome. $25.