Sonoma County is a popular destination for many, but for some, the thought of spending a bunch of money to get the full wine country experience might bring some hesitance. After all, you must allocate funds for wine tastings, meals, transportation, and lodging if you plan to go for more than a day trip. However, the truth is that planning an economical visit to Sonoma County is quite doable. Known for its more laidback vibe than Napa, there are plenty of inexpensive options to indulge in throughout this beautiful wine region. In fact, the number of wineries offering free or very low-cost tastings is impressive. Below are some of the best Sonoma County wineries, where you can take advantage of complimentary tastings while on a budget. Here are a few sample itineraries for your convenience.
Southern Sonoma County (Sonoma, Glen Ellen, Kenwood, Petaluma, Cotati)
Start your day at Cline Cellars on a 350-acre family-owned and operated estate where you can receive five complimentary tastings of non-reserve Rhone-style wines. They are open daily from 10AM-6PM, and reservations are not needed for groups of six or less.
Phone: (707) 940-4000
Address: 24737 Arnold Dr., Sonoma, CA 95476
Jacuzzi Family Vineyards:
Next, walk across the street to Jacuzzi Family Vineyards for a complimentary tasting of five non-reserve wines, offered to groups of five or less. They are open daily for visitors from 10AM-5:30PM.
Phone: (707) 931-7575
Address: 24724 Arnold Dr., Sonoma, CA 95476
Head over to Coturri Winery in the Valley of the Moon region of Glen Ellen for a complimentary tasting, but be sure to make an appointment for the tasting room first.
Phone: (707) 525-9126
Address: 6725 Enterprise Rd., Glen Ellen, CA 95442
Karah Estate Vineyard & Winery:
Make Karah Estate Vineyard & Winery your next stop for a breathtaking view of Sonoma County followed by a complimentary tasting in the production barn. They are open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays 11AM-5PM or by appointment.
Phone: (707) 795-3030
Address: 1010 W Railroad Ave., Cotati, CA 94931
Finish your day in the tasting room at Sonoma Portworks in Petaluma before venturing back towards Sonoma. Open from 12PM-5PM Thursday-Monday, the tasting room is located along the Petaluma River and offers samples right out of the barrel.
Phone: (707) 769-5203
Address: 613 2nd St., Petaluma, CA 94952
Total Drive Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Central Sonoma County (Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Guerneville, Forestville)
Carol Shelton Wines:
Zinfandel lovers don’t want to miss Carol Shelton Wines in Santa Rosa. Open daily from 11AM-4PM, the charming, no-frills tasting room offers visitors a fun, friendly atmosphere with their free tasting.
Phone: (707) 575-3441
Address: 3354 Coffey Ln., Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Sunce is a small family winery in Santa Rosa with many celebrated single vineyard wines. They are open daily from 10:30AM-5PM for guests to stroll through the vineyards, play bocce ball, and taste a variety of five wines for free.
Phone: (707) 526-9463
Address: 1839 Olivet Rd., Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Merry Edwards Winery:
Make your way to Sebastopol next, where you’ll find the Merry Edwards Winery open daily from 9:30AM-4:30PM. Learn about their specialty Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc wines while participating in a complimentary casual tasting.
Phone: (707) 823-7466
Address: 2959 Gravenstein Hwy N, Sebastopol, CA 95472
Korbel Champagne Cellars:
Korbel Champagne Cellars is a refreshing treat for those who enjoy some good bubbly. Located in Guerneville, you can receive your complimentary tasting daily from 10AM-4:30PM and then head out to the picnic area for a bite to eat.
Phone: (707) 824-7000
Address: 13250 River Rd., Guerneville, CA 95446
Total Drive Time: 31 minutes
Northern Sonoma County (Healdsburg, Geyserville, Cloverdale, Windsor)
Begin your Northern Sonoma County wine tour in Windsor at the Colagrossi Wines micro-winery, where less than 1,000 cases of wine are produced each year. The tasting room is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10AM-6PM for complimentary tastings.
Phone: (707) 529-5459
Address: 7755 Bell Rd., Windsor, CA 95492
Next, head into the town of Healdsburg and visit the 16-acre Ketcham Estate positioned in the heart of the Russian River Valley. Known for their delicious Pinot Noir wines, you won’t want to miss making an appointment in their tasting room, available daily.
Phone: (707) 395-0700
Address: 1083 Vine St., Healdsburg, CA 95448
Francis Ford Coppola Winery:
The Francis Ford Coppola Winery is a name you’re likely to recognize, whether you’re a wine connoisseur or not. From 11AM-6PM daily, you can enjoy two complimentary pours of the winery’s Diamond Collection wines. The property itself is also a sight to see, with many other activities available.
Phone: (707) 857-1471
Address: 300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville, CA 95441
Pendleton Estate Vineyards & Winery:
The panoramic view of the property’s vineyards makes it well worth the visit to the Pendleton Estate Vineyards & Winery in Cloverdale. Sip on a complimentary tasting of one of their remarkable wines while sitting high above the Alexander Valley floor.
Phone: (707) 894-3732
Address: 35100 CA-128, Cloverdale, CA 95425
Total Drive Time: 41 minutes
No matter which route you decide to take, you will discover some of the very best Sonoma County wineries and get exactly what you desired out of your wine country experience.
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