The depth of what Sonoma County, widely recognized as a mecca for wine lovers, has to offer its residents and visitors goes much further than vine-covered landscapes, tasting rooms, and five-star restaurants. Staying on par with the rest of the nation, the area has ventured outside of what it’s best known for to capitalize on the increased interest in the distilling industry. In just a few short years, Sonoma County has seen its count of local distilleries grow from just a couple to close to two handfuls, spread throughout the county’s various towns. This should come as no surprise considering Northern California’s long-standing history with drink craftsmanship.
While the product may be different, craft spirit enthusiasts can count on distillery owners practicing the same solid commitment to quality taste that vineyard owners have put into the region’s finest wine production. Listed below are the best Sonoma County distilleries that are well worth a visit.
Hanson of Sonoma Organic Vodka
22985 Burndale Rd.
Sonoma, CA 95476
This award-winning distillery is family-owned and focuses on producing premium, fresh-tasting vodka. Since opening in 2012, they have lead the way in using sustainable practices and certified organic grapes to achieve the great taste of 80-proof vodka, which is offered in six flavors. A tasting room is slated to be opening soon at their Sonoma location.
HelloCello & Prohibition Spirits Distillery
23570 Arnold Dr.
Sonoma, CA 94576
Husband-and-wife team Fred and Amy Groth began their distillery adventure in 2009, featuring Limoncello di Sonoma made from fresh Northern California ingredients. Paying tribute to the wine culture they’ve been heavily influenced by, they have found ways to utilize winery by-products, fruit, and French oak barrels in their production. After perfecting their limoncello, the micro distillery expanded to include the Prohibition Spirits label and now crafts a full line of whiskey, rum, brandy, vodka, gin, and more.
Spirit Works Distillery
6790 McKinley St. #100
Sebastopol, CA 94572
Spirit Works Distillery, located in The Barlow, provides the unique opportunity to see what the grain-to-glass concept is all about in person. With the grains milled, mashed, fermented, and distilled on site, you can watch some of your favorite spirits come to fruition right before your eyes. The tasting room is open for sample flights, which may include handcrafted vodka, gin, barrel gin, sloe gin, barrel reserve sloe gin, wheat whiskey, and rye whiskey.
Sonoma Brothers Distilling
7759 Bell Rd.
Windsor, CA 95492
Sonoma County born and raised twin brothers, Brandon and Chris Matthies, opened Sonoma Brothers Distilling in 2012. They began with a batch of vodka, which is infused with vanilla and pepper flavors and made from all-natural grains, and have since graduated to include gin and bourbon in their enticing lineup.
Sonoma County Distilling Co.
5625 State Farm Dr.
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Since being founded in 2010, Sonoma County Distilling Co. has made cultivating the perfect whiskey its only endeavor. Whiskey aficionados are sure to be impressed with the results of the distillery’s high quality grain-to-glass process. Tours are offered on the weekend, and the tasting room is open Wednesday-Friday for samples of the in-house produced Sonoma Rye Whiskey, 2nd Chance Wheat Whiskey, and West of Kentucky Bourbon.
Though wineries may still dominate the region, there is no doubt that the best Sonoma County distilleries are making a name for themselves and creating a shift in the way people view this Northern California area.
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