Sonoma Valley Wineries on Highway 12
Beautiful vineyards line this road that runs the length of
the Sonoma Valley. You will find several different and interesting
wineries along this wine trail. From the town of Sonoma, follow
the signs to Highway 12 traveling towards the northwest. Be
sure to pick up a deli lunch to enjoy at one of the many wineries
along the way. A good choice to buy your picnic lunch is the
Winery Descriptions, Driving directions, Tasting Rm Hrs, Contact Information
Located on a scenic hillside vineyard, the B.R. Cohn Winery produces
small lots of wine from its famed Olive Hill Estate Vineyards. The
winery is mostly known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, producing three
Cabernets one, the Special Selection Cabernet, representing the best
from the Olive Hill Estate. The area of Olive Hill is unusual in that
a hot springs runs beneath the vineyards. Should frost occur during
the budding process in the spring, the hot springs will produce enough
warmth to protect the vines. Not only does the B.R. Cohn Winery produce
fine wines, but they also make very fine olive oil. Bruce Cohn, the
founder and owner of the winery, preserved the rare olive trees planted
in 1870 on the property. Each year they harvest the olives to make
outstanding olive oils sold at the tasting room. The tasting room
is small and charming with a picnic deck area overlooking the vineyards
and olive trees.
Tasting room open daily, 10 am to 5, (707) 938-4064
Email: email@example.com, B.R.
Here is a suggestion for a book on hidden Sonoma wineries:
Back Lane Wineries of Sonoma
Arrowood has a beautiful new winery facility and tasting room that
sits up on the hillside of the Mayacamus Mountains. This winery produces
an array of high-end wines recognized for their quality. The tasting
room is a rather large room, with great views of hillside vineyards
and valley below. The winery was recently sold to Robert Mondavi and
leased back to the founder, Richard Arrowood. All the wines are excellent.
Be sure to sample the Cabernet and the Syrah. Arrowood is located
about a half mile north of Madrone Rd. The entrance road is on the
east side; watch for the signs for Arrowood and the Imagery Winery.
Tasting room open daily, 10 am to 4:30, (800) 938-4064
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Arrowood
Next door to Arrowood is the Imagery Winery. Although the winery facilities
are new, the wines are not. The winery is owned and operated by the
Benzinger Family that had been selling this collection of wines at
the Benzinger winery located in nearby Glen Ellen. Eager to make the
wines more distinctive, the Benzinger Family established this new
and remarkable wine facility. The focus at this winery is small case
production of several varieties including some unusual types. Don’t
miss tasting the Malbec and Petit Syrah, two varietals you won’t
find at many wineries. The Imagery Artist collection of wines features
beautiful labels created by various artists. The tasting room features
a gallery of wine label art as well as other works of art. You won’t
find any of these wines for sale in stores or restaurants. The wines
are sold only through the winery. The winery entrance is on the same
road leading to Arrowood.
Tasting room open daily, 10 am to 4:30, (877)-550-4278
Email: email@example.com, Imagery
This a small family-owned winery producing a very nice array of good-tasting
wines at reasonable prices. The wine production is small, about 7000
cases per year. The relatively small case production enables the winery
to spend more time and care in the production of its wines. About
half the wine is made from estate grapes and the other half comes
from selected vineyards in the area. We liked the cordial but homey
atmosphere of the small tasting room. Our host was delighted to tell
us many details about each of the wines we tasted. The winery location
is slightly off the beaten path on Dunbar Rd. You will need to turn
left at Arnold Rd. from Highway 12. Make an immediate right turn onto
Dunbar Road. Travel about one and a quarter miles to the winery.
Tasting room open daily, 11 am to 4, (800)-816-WINE
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Wellington
Winery and Vineyards
Kunde is the largest family owned winery, and one of the oldest in
Sonoma. It all started in 1904 with the purchase of the land. Today,
the fifth generation of the Kunde Family runs the winery. With the
present generation of Kunde management has come a change in winemaking.
A new winery facility and a very unique cave system for barrel aging
was constructed in 1990. This is indicative of many changes at Kunde
that have resulted in quality wine production and recognition from
wine experts. There are three distinct series of wines, all reasonably
priced. The tasting room and surrounding vineyards are very beautiful.
This is a delightful place for wine tasting. On Fridays, Saturdays,
and Sundays you can tour the cave system and hear some winery information.
The tours are on the hour, beginning at 11:00 a.m. You should not
have any problems finding the Kunde Winery, there are several signs
indicating the turnoff on Highway 12.
Tasting room open daily, 10:30 am to 4:30, (707)-833-5501
Email: email@example.com, Kunde
Winery and Vineyards
You will find the Kenwood tasting room cozy and the staff accommodating.
This is a fairly large winery, producing 300,000 cases of wine per
year. Although recognized for its red wines, Sauvignon Blanc accounts
for about a fifth of the case production. The Kenwood Sauvignon Blanc
is less citrus tasting that most Sauvignon Blancs. You will find this
wine reasonably priced and an excellent value. In addition to the
Estate collection of wines, Kenwood produces several series of wines,
including a Reserve, Jack London, and Artist series. Another wine
we like is the Sonoma Pinot Noir. It’s delicious and the price
is very a good value. The winery is owned by the Heck Corporation,
which owns other wineries including the Valley of the Moon Winery.
As you approach the city of Kenwood, watch for the entrance to the
Kenwood Winery; it comes up quickly on the right and is easy to miss.
Tasting room open daily, 10 am to 4:30, (707) 833-5891, Kenwood
St. Jean Winery
This is a beautiful chateau setting and you might even feel like you
are in France when you visit this winery. The building and gardens
are luxurious and tastefully done.
The excellent array of wines offered at the Chateau St. Jean, the
gardens and visitor center, all add up to a must visit to this winery.
The winery looks magnificent against the backdrop of the Mayacamus
Mountain range. This winery consistently produces award-winning wines
across its entire collection. The winery also offers gourmet fare
that you can purchase for a picnic lunch. This is certainly one of
the most beautiful settings in the Sonoma Valley. The winery entrance
is just a short distance from the Kenwood Winery, to the northeast
on Highway 12.
Tasting room open daily, 10 am to 5, (707) 833-4134, Chateau
St. Jean Winery
This winery is owned by the John Deere Family, who are better known
for making farm tractors than wine. This winery specializes in producing
high-end Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and because of this the case production
of wine is limited. Landmark makes two top-quality Chardonnays, the
Overlook Chardonnay and the Damaris Chardonnay. The wines are sold
only at the winery and upscale restaurants. The setting is ideal for
a picnic lunch. The décor of the mission style winery and the
gardens are inviting. There are several nice picnic tables, plus a
Bocce Ball court. If you like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, don’t
pass up this winery. Located very close to Chateau St. Jean; it’s
on Adobe Creek Rd. You can’t miss it.
Tasting room open daily, 10 am to 4:30, 800- 452-6365
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Landmark
The St. Francis Winery has been around since 1979 but recently added
a new winemaking facility and a nearby hospitality center. The tasting
room at the hospitality center is most pleasant and comfortable. The
room looks out into a beautiful setting of gardens and the Mayacamus
Mountains. The Sugarloaf Ridge Mountain, the largest peak in the area,
makes a dramatic and spectacular backdrop to this winery. The wines
are all very good here, and the pricing of the St. Francis Sonoma
County collection is a good value. We particularly like the Chardonnay
and the Zinfandel Old Vines, Sonoma County. A tasting fee of $5 gives
you a taste of four wines of Sonoma County. In a separate room for
a $20 fee you can taste reserve wines paired with delicious appetizers.
The winery is just a short hop from Landmark. Turn right on Pythian
Tasting room open daily, 10 am to 5, (707) 833-4666
Email: email@example.com, St.
Winery & Vineyards
As you take the turn into the driveway for Ledson, you will more than
likely blink twice to check your vision. Emerging through the rows
of vineyards you will see the Ledson Winery, an impressive, dark,
gothic style building, “a castle in the vineyards.” Everything
here is dramatic, starting with a greeting at the entrance way by
a hostess who will give some information about the winery. The rooms,
stairway, and gardens are all befitting a castle. The wines
and sold only through the winery. The picnic grounds are serene and
a perfect spot for a picnic. The winery has an outstanding gourmet
deli of cheeses and meats for many a varied taste. Sunday afternoons,
during the summer months, the winery offers live concerts on the grassy
grounds of the gardens. Ledson is located about a mile after you pass
Pythian Rd (St Francis Winery) going northeast.
Tasting room open daily, 10 am to 5, (707) 537-3810, Ledson
Winery & Vineyards
Valley Tour Details