This is the off-season in the wine country and it's a great time to visit. What to expect:
- There won't be any crowds (except on major event weekends). If you go on a weekday you could be the only people some wineries see all day!
- Small crowds also means not much traffic, it's easy to find hotel rooms and get dinner reservations.
- The weather can be 75 and sunny or 45 and raining so check the forecast before you go.
|January in Alexander Valley|
Many wineries have their own holiday open house events on the weekends leading up to Christmas. Check with your favorites and see if they have anything going on.
Almost all wineries are closed on Christmas Day. Most will close early, or all day, on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. If you plan on visiting at the holidays call in advance to be sure they will be open.
Most wineries are closed on New Years Day.
18-19 Winter Wineland. It's an annual open house of wine, food, and art at over a hundred wineries in northern Sonoma County. This is the big wine event for the winter. Info
For Valentine's Day several wineries put on chocolate and wine pairings or even host a lunch or dinner. Check with your favorites to see if they have anything going on.
15-17 VinOlivo. Celebrating the local olive harvest with the main event being a weekend of wine tasting at participating Sonoma Valley wineries. During Jan-Feb there are a number of other events actually related to olives! Info
22 Eighth Street Wineries Open House. Several small producers in a warehouse area of Sonoma open up for visitors. Info
22 Mr Healdsburg Pageant. All-male take on the beauty pageant. Only difference is that being good-looking and skinny is definitely not a prerequisite. There is a bathing suit competition so beware. Info
Feb28-Mar2 and Mar 7-9 Barrel Tasting. The first two weekends of March are the Barrel Tasting weekends in northern Sonoma County--an open house at over 100 wineries. The greatest concentration of wineries and imbibers is in Healdsburg and on Dry Creek Road. If you want to party then that's the place to be; if you don't then stay in Russian River Valley or Alexander Valley. Info