5 Reasons to Plan a Winter Trip to Sonoma Wine Country

Vacationers don’t typically think of wine country as the destination at the top of their list for wintertime travel, but this season in Sonoma County can be so more magical than one thinks.

Winter in the vineyard at Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville, Calif.

There's so much beauty to be found in wine country this time of year - Here's my top five reasons you should hop on the computer and book a winter trip to Sonoma wine country ASAP:

1. Off-Season Benefits

November through May is off-season in wine country, so it's an excellent window to take advantage of less crowded tasting rooms, along with shorter wait times for a prime table at that new eatery everyone's been raving about. All that boujee eating and drinking adds up, but luckily, many hotels here offer wintertime vacation specials to encourage travelers to visit Sonoma County this time of year, which is a great way to save money on your trip!

2. Rainy Day Wine Tasting

If your soul is in need of a little TLC, there’s nothing like cozying up with a glass of red wine next to the toasty fireplace at wineries, like Lambert Bridge Winery or Robert Young Estate Winery, as rain falls softly outside. Tasting room associates will often spend a little extra time with you in the winter when they don't see as many guests, so it's not unusual to be surprised with an extra pour of something special or a taste of a library wine to conclude your tasting experience.

3. Vineyard Views

Although grapevines are dormant for the winter, there’s no shortage of stunning vineyard views to go around. There's something so enchanting about how the fog hangs around longer and colorful rainbows can be found after rainfall in wintertime. In January, vineyard crews are hard at work pruning to prepare the vines for the upcoming growing season, and sometimes, you can even catch the pruning process in action.

4. Mustard Bloom

Need a new prof pic? In winter, fields of yellow mustard bloom naturally throughout wine country as far as the eye can see. The first glimpse of these brightly hued flowers occurs around the end of January and the full display continues all the way into late February. To catch a truly epic view of these dazzling mustard fields here in Sonoma County, head up north to the Alexander Valley AVA.

5. Rosé Releases

Rosé all day takes on a whole new meaning in Sonoma County wine country. February is the month when several Sonoma County wine producers release their rosés crafted from grapes grown during the previous year's harvest. Rosé is often made in smaller quantities and has the tendency to sell out quickly, so snagging a case or two of your go-to summer water right when it's released is always a good idea.

The vineyard crew at Francis Ford Coppola Winery wraps up pruning for the day in the block on the right, while the block on the left hand side is left for another day.

Freshly pruned vines at Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville, Calif.

Have a winter vacation planned to Sonoma County? Check out the map I created to access my favorite wineries, bars, restaurants, and hotels directly on your Google Maps app.


Stephanie Hopkins Photography

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