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The Best Wineries You’ve Never Heard of in Sonoma Valley

 From mountaintop vineyards to a winery inside a public park, this swath of Sonoma still has plenty of undersung pockets to explore.

 

Sonoma County is almost 2,000 square miles and boasts 17 distinct wine appellations (or AVAs). With this many different wine regions, the Sonoma Country Vintners did all of us a favor by breaking the wine country into four accessible tourist areas: Dry Creek Valley/Healdsburg, Sonoma Valley, Alexander Valley, and Russian River Valley. We’re following their lead, and now bring you some of the best wineries in the Sonoma Valley area that have yet to be discovered by the masses.

Winery: Frostwatch
Wine to try: Kismet
Why you should visit: Frostwatch Vineyard and Winery is located in the cool and mountainous Bennett Valley. Family owned and operated, Frostwach makes a little over 1,000 cases annually and features chardonnay, pinot noir, merlot, and a proprietary blend of sauvignon blanc and Semilllon called Kismet. They are open by appointment only, and visitors can choose between visiting the winery or the nearby vineyards. Flanagan is another top pick in the Bennett Valley area—there you’ll find killer reds like the syrah and Serenity Way Proprietary blend, and a classy and sharp sense of design and attitude.

Winery: B Wise Vineyards
Wine to try: Wisdom
Why you should visit: High in the mountains above Sonoma Valley, you’ll find the vineyards of and caves of B Wise Vineyards and some of the best views in Sonoma County. The Caves at B Wise are massive, classy, and share certain elements (like airplanes and dark leather couches) of the ultimate man cave. Their bold and spicy red wines will impress, as will the kindness of the family and staff. While you’re up there, plan a visit to Stone Edge Farms (aka Silvercloud), as this stunning vineyard makes complex wines, and will likely not remain a secret for long. Korbin Kameron is another top spot on the mountain where you should make sure to try Kristin, their Bordeaux-style blend, and take in the views from 2,300 feet. If you’d rather avoid the mountain drive, B Wise and Korbin Kameron have tasting rooms in the valleys below.

Winery: Bartholomew Park
Wine to try: Estate Syrah
Why you should visit: Some locals and nature enthusiasts have heard of Bartholomew Park Winery because they frequent Bartholomew Park, the 400-acre public park surrounding the winery. The park features picnic grounds and hiking trails, and the winery offers everything from a historic museum to private tastings and tours of their organically farmed estate. They are best known for their powerful but approachable syrah and zinfandel, but are also known for their activities, which range from outdoor artisan picnic pairings to private vineyard and museum tours. 

Winery: Deerfield Ranch
Wine to try: Rex Red
Why you should visit: Deerfield Ranch Winery isn’t a well-known winery, but is celebrated by the environmentally conscious consumers for its organic, biodynamic, and sustainable practices. The winery is family owned and operated and has won its share of awards. But perhaps they should receive an award for their “clean wine” processes, which produce wines with fewer histamines and sulfites, and—so say enthusiasts—ultimately less allergens and milder hangovers!

Winery: Attune Wines
Wine to try: Pinot Noir
Why you should visit: If you are a lover of pinot noir, proceed directly to Attune Wines. The winery is located in Carneros, which falls by default in the Sonoma Valley area, and is known for chardonnay and pinot. Attune’s 10-acre estate has views of rolling hills and feels far away from everything despite being only a few miles outside central Sonoma. You can rent the villa at Attune if you’re looking for a special place to spend the night, and since they only make a little over 500 cases of wine, it’s a good idea to become friends with this small producer before more people catch on.

 

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