Top Reasons for a Winter Trip to Wine Country

Rebecca Germolus on Jan 12, 2022

A winter trip to Wine Country is the perfect cure for those post-holiday blues, and here are the top reasons you should plan your visit today!

Far From the Maddening Crowd

Tired of mobbed venues and too many people to deal with?

You can find many uncrowded tasting rooms during the winter months along the Wine Road, especially if you visit Sunday through Thursday. But even weekends can have fewer guests, especially if it’s raining. And a little rain just adds to the romance of the experience.

With fewer people to serve, the folks who work in the tasting rooms can spend more time with you. It’s the perfect time to find out more about wine and the winery, plus just enjoy the interaction with someone who is steeped in the business.

Meeting the Key Players

When you book a tasting appointment at one of the many smaller wineries along the Wine Road, chances are you’ll be tasting with the owner, winemaker, or one of the winery managers.

For example, at ACORN Winery or Mounts Family Winery, owners Betsy Nachbaur (ACORN) or Lana Mounts (Mounts) host most of the tastings. At Colagrossi Winery and Frick, the owner/winemaker is the only full-time employee, so you’re guaranteed a front row seat with the guy who knows the answers to your questions.

Bill and Betsy Nachbaur at a picnic table with their Acorn wines
ACORN Winery owners, Bill & Betsy Nachbaur, with some of their older vintage wines.

The Nalle Family lined up at Nalle Winery.
The Nalle Family: Doug, Lee, Andrew, April & the next generation.

If you Nalle Winery or A. Rafanelli Winery, you may find yourself across the table from one of the several family members who work at the winery.

These are just a few of examples of the many, many Wine Road member wineries where you can talk directly with the person in the know.

Getting Your First Choice

Planning ahead is always a good idea, but sometime you don’t know you’ll be going wine tasting until the day before or even the morning of. Once again a winter trip is to your advantage.

Most tasting rooms are still requesting reservations, but same day reservations are often available. During the busy summer and fall months, getting your requested day and time means planning weeks, even months in advance. However, during the winter months, you’re more likely to get a “Yes, we’re available,” when you call or go online to book your reservation.

Some tasting rooms have currently limited days or hours, so be sure to check each winery’s website as you’re planning your trip.

Did Some Say Fireplace?

On a chilly winter’s day, a cozy fire has so much appeal, and the allure increases with the thought of sipping wine in front of dancing flames. Several wineries along the Wine Road have a fireplace or outside fire pit. Below is a partial list, which as you can see gives you a lot of toasty options.

Winery dog Hattie enjoys being curled up in front of the Alexander Valley Vineyards tasting room fireplace on the cold winter days.

Hattie, the Alexander Valley Vineyards official tasting room greeter, enjoys a cozy spot in front of the tasting room fireplace.

Alexander Valley Vineyards – Alexander Valley
Benovia Winery – Russian River Valley
deLorimier Winery – Alexander Valley
Dry Creek Vineyard – Dry Creek Valley
Dutcher Crossing Winery – Dry Creek Valley
Dutton Estate Winery – Russian River Valley
Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Garden – Russian River Valley
Korbel Champagne Cellars – Russian River Valley
Lynmar Estate – Russian River Valley
Martinelli Winery – Russian River Valley
Mill Creek Vineyards & Winery – Dry Creek Valley
Pech Merle Winery – Alexander Valley

Guests gather around the fire pit on the deck adjacent to the tasting room at Trattore Farms Estate Wines tasting room.
Guests gather around the fire pit on the deck adjacent to the tasting room at Trattore Farms Estate Wines tasting room.


Seghesio Family Vineyards – Healdsburg
Sonoma Cutrer Vineyards – Russian River Valley
Trattore Farms Estate Wines – Dry Creek Valley
Trentadue Winery – Alexander Valley
Woodenhead Winery – Russian River Valley

Roaring fireplace in the Benovia tasting room
An inviting fire on a winter’s day at Benovia Winery.

Lush Green Scenery

With winter being the rainy season, those golden hills are now lush with green vegetation. Everywhere you look is beautiful green countryside. And in a few weeks, we’ll start to see the vineyard cover crops in bloom, including the glorious yellow mustard—an iconic winter vineyard scene.

Mustard vineyard filled DCV Vineyard

No Reservation, No Problem

During the peak tourist times, including holidays, getting a last minute reservation at your favorite lodging or restaurant feels like an act of futility and frustration. That most likely won’t be case if you visit during the weekdays during January through March.  You might find the best rooms available, and you may have the veranda at your favorite bed & breakfast to yourself.

Ready to Relax?

If you’re looking for a winter trip to Wine Country that is relaxing, slower paced, and restorative, it’s time to book a visit along the Wine Road. And, not to worry, COVID-safe protocols are in place throughout Sonoma County, including wineries, lodging, restaurants, and more.

Happy Sipping!

Posted by Rebecca Germolus

Rebecca Germolus, co-owner of Maximum Value Marketing, loves Sonoma County and playing along the Wine Road. Rebecca daily immerses herself in wine country by providing cost-effective marketing and writing solutions to wineries and restaurants.

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