This is the quiet time of year 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, plus 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.
|Pruning the dormant vines in January|
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. The ones I'm aware of are: Chateau Diana, Christopher Creek, D'Argenzio, Dutton-Goldfield, Gloria Ferrer, Inspiration, Michel-Schlumberger, Mutt Lynch, Paradise Ridge, Seghesio, Stark, Trione, and VML.
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.
17-18 Winter Wineland. It's an annual open house at over a hundred wineries in northern Sonoma County. There will be wine sales, plus some will offer food, art, or tours. 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.
13 VinOlivo. Celebrating the local olive harvest. The main event is a wine and olive tasting. Info
14 Sweet 116. An open house event at about a dozen wineries along and near Highway 116 in the Russian River Valley. Info
21 Eighth Street Wineries Open House. Several small producers in a warehouse area of Sonoma open up for visitors. Info
6-8 and 13-15 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 head for Russian River Valley or Alexander Valley. Info
21-22 Savor Sonoma Valley. Okay, it's officially spring now (woohoo!), but Sonoma Valley does it's own barrel tasting right after the two crazy weekends to the north because, you know, excess is good. :) Info
|February in Dry Creek Valley|