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Dry Creek Kitchen

317 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA


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Acclaimed Chef Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen focuses on great and simple foods highlighting Sonoma County's fresh ingredients with an ever-changing menu and an in-depth wine list of exclusively Sonoma county wines. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner and features a live fire grill, and inside-outside garden seating.
Pizzando (at Hotel Healdsburg)

301 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA


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Overlooking historic Healdsburg Plaza, Pizzando serves a rustic menu of wood oven pizzas, house made pastas, grilled meats, fish, and seasonal appetizers. A selection of innovative spirit based apertifs, beer and wine complement the menu. Chef Louis Maldonado of Spoonbar has designed the menu for casual family style meals.
Korbel Delicatessen and Market

13250 River Road, Guerneville, CA


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A visit to Korbel is not complete without a stop for lunch or a snack at the Korbel Delicatessen and Market. Sit on one of our outdoor decks among the majestic redwoods while you enjoy a delicious bite paired with your favorite sparkling varietal. The Korbel Delicatessen and Market is open daily. For parties of 20+ contact our Reservations Coordinator at (707) 824-7709, or by emailing
John Ash & Co

4330 Barnes Road, Santa Rosa, CA


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A visit to John Ash & Co. Restaurant is a feast for the senses. With picturesque vineyards as a backdrop, our chef utilizes the finest of locally grown products to create inspired wine country cuisine for your pleasure. Complement your meal with a selection from our award-winning wine list.
Great American Grill

@ Hilton Garden Inn- 417 Aviation Blvd, Santa Rosa, CA


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Casual dining. A freshly prepared breakfast is offered daily in the Great American Grill restaurant; lunch and dinner are also available. The Grill's varied menu offers Chef's specialties complementing our wine list featuring many Sonoma County wines.
Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria

21021 Geyserville Avenue, Geyserville, CA


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Diavola practices the time honored tradition of cucina povera which consists of using locally available ingredients combined with recipes that have been proven through centuries. We take pride in our house cured salumi and sausages as well as our authentic Italian pizzas fresh from our wood burning pizza oven.

27 North Street, Healdsburg, CA


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Chalkboard restaurant, offers a modern small plates menu emphasizing seasonal and technique-driven fare. Executive Chef Shane McAnelly sources much of his menu from local purveyors and farms, with many ingredients coming from the restaurant’s own dedicated 3-acre vegetable and herb garden located at nearby Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards.
Brasserie Restaurant & Bar @ Hyatt Vineyard Creek

170 Railroad Street, Santa Rosa, CA


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Inspired by classic country French influences, the “farm-to-table” cuisine at our acclaimed restaurant incorporates the freshest and finest Sonoma products. With a focus on seasonal local ingredients, we offer a unique dining experience in the heart of Sonoma Wine Country. Smoke infused meats and seafood create a fantastic gastronomic experience.
RUSTIC, Francis’s Favorites

300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville, CA


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Located at Francis Ford Coppola Winery, RUSTIC, Francis's Favorites, is set in a Sonoma County-casual atmosphere. RUSTIC’s menu embraces international as well as traditional Italian dishes, with an emphasis on family-style cooking that features fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from the property’s organic herb and produce garden.
Spoonbar @ h2hotel

219 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA


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Chef Louis Maldonado’s market-driven menu might best be described as contemporary American fare that’s creatively crafted yet approachable. Earthy favorites like beef short ribs and pork shoulder take exciting twists when paired with unexpected flavors from around the globe. And the seafood, grains and seasonal produce shine just as brightly.
The Lodge at Dawn Ranch

16467 River Road, Guerneville, CA


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A family owned restaurant since 1905, our historic lodge, full bar and restaurant have been completely restored. All American Organic Locavore Pub Food! The wine list specializes in Sonoma County with an emphasis on Russian River pinot noir and chardonnay. We are opening for the season on April 26, 2013. Hours will be Friday 3:30pm-9:00pm, Saturday 11:00am-9:00pm.
boon eat + drink

16248 main street, guerneville, ca


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locally sourced ingredients, california bistro. sister to boon hotel & spa and Big Bottom Market. as seen in sunset magazine.
Pure Luxury Wine Tours

4246 Petaluma Blvd. North, Petaluma, CA


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Wine Road's premier transportation partner. We provide pre-set tours of the Alexander, Dry Creek & Russian River Valleys, or can customized to your request. Click the link provided to see our suggested Russian River, Dry Creek or Alexander Valley tours or to chat live with a transportation specialist.  
Sonoma Sterling Limousines

29 Maxwell Court, Santa Rosa, CA


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Locally owned luxury limousine and transportation service specializing in customer focused Healdsburg Wine Tours. Knowledgeable chauffeurs and an in- house winery specialist creating customized itineraries. Experts in the Dry Creek, Alexander Valley and Russian River area. Offer a 27 vehicle fleet selection from touring sedans, SUV's, Limos, Shuttle Vans, Limo Buses, and Executive Charter Buses. Airport Transfers, Corporate.  Call our office 7 days a week for your no obligation quote.
Designated Drivers Napa Sonoma

2587 Wine Country Avenue, Napa, CA


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Your car - our fully insured driver - an amazing experience! We are the first and most returned-to designated driver service in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Want to meet a winemaker? Picnic at a winery? In addition to our driving service, we also offer customized tour packages.
Terrific Tours

1450 Fulton Road, Santa Rosa, CA


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Take a fun and informative wine tour guided by the experts! Luxury SUV tours passenger vans, and mini coach! Mixed group wine tours including complete wine education! Join daily wine tours within Sonoma County.  
Beau Wine Tours

21707 8th Street East Suite A, Sonoma, CA


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Beau Wine Tours and Limousine Service is the wine tour company to help you plan an unforgettable day in Wine Country! Locally based and with years in the business, our knowledgeable office staff and experienced drivers will create a memorable day of wine tasting and sightseeing just for you.
California Wine Tours & Evans Transportation

4075 Solano Ave, Napa, CA


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California Wine Tours is a full service transportation company that has been providing excellent service in the wine country for over 31 years. CWT proudly offers the finest in luxury transportation available in Northern California. We own and operate Sedans, Limousines, Suburban’s, Luxury Vans, Limobuses, Minibuses, and Motorcoaches.
Sonoma County Airport Express

707.837.8700 or 800.327.2024

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We offer scheduled transportation 365 days a year between Sonoma County and San Francisco and Oakland Airports. Our buses drop you off only steps away from stations at the airport and pick you up directly outside baggage claims. We have pick up and drop off locations in Petaluma, Rohnert Park, and Santa Rosa.
California Rivers Tours

575 Country Club Drive, Santa Rosa, CA


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Visit great wineries in the scenic Russian River and Dry Creek appellations. Garden tours and back road tours also available. Relax in a comfortable van with large windows and enjoy a great picnic lunch. A picnic lunch is served on all tours.

Sonoma County Airport, 2266 Airport Blvd, Santa Rosa, CA


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Avis is a favorite rental car provider for WINE ROAD and special discounts are available. Start your search here and the discount will be automatically applied, or reference code (AWD number) H655500 when booking with Avis or your travel agent.
Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport

2290 Airport Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA

707-565-7243 and 707-656-7240

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Sonoma County's very own, oh-so-convenient airport! Good old "STS". Fly direct: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Portland, Seattle, San Diego, Phoenix and seasonal flights to Minneapolis and Las Vegas.
Alaska Airlines

2200 Airport Blvd, Santa Rosa, CA


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Fly directly to the Wine Road from Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and San Diego. Visit wineries and take home a case of wine on Alaska/Horizon for FREE.
Epicenter Sports and Entertainment

3215 Coffey Lane, Santa Rosa, California


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Epicenter Sports and Entertainment is redefining fun with the north bay’s largest all-in-one destination for sports, recreation and entertainment. Come play in our arcade, laser tag arena, and XD Dark theater.  Enjoy our upscale bowling and lounge, and our sports bar and restaurant, where you can watch all the games.  Bring the kids to jump in our trampoline park or kids play structure. 130,000 feet of fun, under one roof!
Russian River Cycle

9806 Old River Road, Forestville, CA


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Relationship is my focus. At Russian River Cycle Service there are no salesmen, service writers, or managers, just me. My slogan is the "the smallest shop is Sonoma county". I say that with pride. This allows the best quality control, giving my customers top level service.
Savor Healdsburg Food Tours

Healdsburg Town Square, Healdsburg, CA


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Our 3-hour walking tours are the ultimate way to taste the tantalizing flavors of Wine Country - from local artisans, winemakers, and nationally acclaimed restaurants and chefs, in a fun and flavorful three-hour stroll through downtown. We will share the culture, personality and history of this World-Class culinary region!
SOAR Inflatables, Inc., Russian River Adventures

20 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA

800-280-7627 or 707-433-5599

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This is the best place to take a date during the summer! Come spend a day with us on the Russian River. We love the river, and we give you an easy day of paddling fun and relaxation, which we call "River Time.”
Northwood Golf Club

19400 Highway 116, Monte Rio, CA


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Built in 1928 by famed golf architect Alister MacKenzie, noted for his work at Augusta National and in collaboration with Robert Hunter, this enticing par 36 nine-hole course was originally created for the Bohemian Club. Today Northwood remains one of the most scenic and challenging courses open to the public.
Mayacama Golf Club

1240 Mayacama Club Drive, Santa Rosa, CA


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The Signature walking course at Mayacama Golf Club is unequivocally one of Jack Nicklaus’ finest. Consistently ranked among Golf Digest's "Top 100 Courses in America", there’s no end to the camaraderie — from the annual member-guest tournaments to the "sip’n swings" to the inter-club challenges.
Bennett Valley Golf Course

3330 Yulupa Ave, Santa Rosa, CA


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Come see our beautiful "Green" and LEED facilities! In addition to the new facilities, we hope you have heard about our online tee-time reservation system. The system is very easy to use and all the information you need to complete your first on-line booking can be found online! Please visit our website to book a tee time online!
Sonoma Canopy Tours

6250 Bohemian Highway, Occidental, CA


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Sonoma Canopy Tours is high adventure and completely unlike anything you've ever experienced. Come enjoy a two-and-a-half hour guided tour that includes 7 zip lines, 2 sky bridges, a majestic spiral staircase, an 80-foot rappel, and the unparalleled beauty of the world famous California Coastal Redwoods.
Sonoma Vineyard Walks


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Gone are the days when your trip to wine country is limited to driving from one tasting room to another. You stay active and healthy on vacation, visit private vineyard properties you'd never see on your own, and learn about wine making and grape growing from your own personal guide.
Above The Wine Country Ballooning

397 Aviation Boulevard, Santa Rosa, CA

707-'LETS FLY' or 707-538-7359

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Celebrating 35 years as Sonoma County's oldest established, highest 5-star rated, FAA-PUC safety certified ballooning service. A spectacular way to view lush vineyards, Redwood forests, mountain ranges, the Russian River and the Pacific Coast. Enjoy a freshly made-to-order Champagne brunch with your pilot after your morning's excursion.
Getaway Adventures and Wine Country Bike Tours

2228 Northpoint Parkway, Santa Rosa, CA

800-499-BIKE or 707-568-3040

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We offer guided one to six-day bike trips in the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River valleys and surrounding areas. We also offer guided kayak tours on the Russian River, Lake Sonoma and at Jenner-by-the-Sea. Ask about our Farm Fresh Bike Tours of the Dry Creek Valley!
Spoke Folk Cyclery

201 Center Street, Healdsburg, CA


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Spoke Folk Cyclery, located in downtown Healdsburg, is the area's only full-service bicycle shop. We offer high quality rentals and demo bicycles for road, touring and tandem. Visit our huge apparel selection with hundreds of items. Free area maps available; let the locals show you where to go.
The Spa Hotel Healdsburg

25 Matheson Street, Healdsburg, CA


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The Spa Hotel Healdsburg offers simple, complete and conscious care in tranquil surroundings. Choose from many personalized treatments - massage, facials, manicures, pedicures or total body packages. You will be pampered and restored, using the highest quality natural products enriched with herbal extracts and essential oils. Day guests welcome!
Relish Culinary Adventures

14 Matheson Street, Healdsburg, CA


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Relish hosts events that bring people together in the kitchen such as private cooking parties and corporate team-building events. Our events feature locally-grown and/or organic ingredients whenever possible, illustrating the bounty of this wonderful region and leaving guests with a "sense of place" that is all about Sonoma County.

555 S Main Street, Ste1, Sebastopol, CA


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Coastwalks are organized, guided multi-day hiking and camping trips for individuals and families along California's spectacular coast. On the Classic and Family adventures, participants enjoy daily hikes, while their gear is transported by Coastwalk California from one location to the next. It's backpacking without the pack!
Alexander Valley Bike Co.

20980 Geyserville Ave, Geyserville, CA


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Located in the heart of downtown Geyserville in the historic Lampson Tractor Bldg. Featuring a fleet of comfort bikes for your cycling enjoyment in Alexander Valley and Dry Creek Valley. Take a pleasure ride to Healdsburg, Asti or Cloverdale. Drop in or call to reserve. Certified bicycle mechanic on site.
LifeCycle Adventures

, Santa Rosa, CA


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Come celebrate and explore the Wine Road with LifeCycle Adventures! We create custom bike tours in California Wine Country for all levels of rider. We specialize in self-guided trips where you choose the start date, daily mileage and style of accommodation. Trips are 3 to 8 days in duration.
Walk-a-Bout Healdsburg, Healdsburg, CA


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Walk-a-Bout Healdsburg, walking tours of Healdsburg by foot, is launching their 2013 season with a selection of seasonal and historic tours that capture what makes Healdsburg a great town to visit and live in. These tours are lively and entertaining glimpses into the known and secret Healdsburg.
Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary

209 Bohemian Hwy, Freestone, CA


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Osmosis is the perfect getaway for stress reduction and rejuvenation. Located in the coastal hills of Sonoma County, Osmosis features the only cedar Enzyme Bath in the U.S., world-class 75-minute massage and healing aromatherapy facials. After your treatments, relax in our tranquil 5-acre refuge of serene and meditative Japanese Gardens.
Wine Country Bikes

61 Front Street, Healdsburg, CA


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Visit our Wine Country Bicycle Touring Center in Healdsburg's historic riverfront winery district. Day tours, multi-day tours, guided & self tours through the bucolic Sonoma Wine Country. The area's finest fleet of road, hybrid & tandem rental bikes await.
Luther Burbank Center for the Arts

50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa, CA


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Where the stars meet the vines! World-class music, comedy, dance, theater, and the spoken word presented in our intimate Sonoma County theater with no seat further than 75-feet from the stage.

P.O Box 2002, Guerneville, CA


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EcoRing will facilitate the development of eco-friendly tours, events, lodging, dining, farm products and appropriate transportation by others for the Lower Russian River area while educating and aiding businesses, residents and visitors to act responsibly toward the environment.
Helico Sonoma

5990 Flightline Dr. (Santa Rosa Airport), Santa Rosa, CA


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See the wine country from a bird’s eye view! Sonoma Helicopter goes up and above to offer you a unique vista only a helicopter can achieve. Fly down the Russian River to the Pacific coastline and return to breathtaking valleys amid the surrounding mountains. Experience what others rarely get to.
Burke’s Canoe Trips

P.O. Box 602, Forestville, CA


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We offer a ten mile self-guided canoe or kayak trip through the redwoods with return shuttle. Pack a lunch and paddle downriver through towering redwoods, past warm sunny beaches, stopping at your leisure to swim, picnic, sunbathe...etc. View wildlife such as river otter, great blue heron, turtles...etc. $58 per canoe.
Up & Away Ballooning

PO Box 68, Windsor, CA

800-711-2998 or 707-836-0171

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Up & Away Ballooning offers the most personalized, professional ballooning experience in Sonoma County. We are proud of our 100% positive safety record in 16+ years of flying thousands of riders. After the flight, a hand-made gourmet brunch is served in a winery or park setting. No hidden fees.
New from Wine Road – see who can host large groups, meetings, rehearsal dinners

Large Groups for Tastings, Meeting, or Wedding Rehearsal Dinners, Wine Road, CA


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We have just updated our list of wineries that are able to host large groups for tasting, others that can offer meeting space and those that can provide for a small wedding or rehearsal dinner space. Scroll down to find each catagory.
Russian River Vineyards

5700 Hwy. 116 North, Forestville, CA


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This iconic Russian River Valley venue merges history with the comfort of laid-back West County vibes. With a ceremony inside the vines under a historic oak tree and dinner overlooking the Vineyards, this location offers unbeatable ambiance and ease. With access to Santa Rosa and the neighboring quiet towns of Sebastopol and Forestville within minutes, it makes for the ideal Wine Country getaway for you and your guests. Watch the video HERE This is a perfect location for not only weddings, but meeting, family gatherings and other types of events.
Notre Vue Estate

11010 Estate Lane, Windsor, CA


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Notre Vue Estate is a destination winery tucked away between Chalk Hill and Russian River AVA's. Choose from several sites within our Estate. Options range from meetings, corporate groups, private parties, rehearsal dinners, welcome event and weddings…all for up to 100 guests; our Lakeside Pavilions, which feature a private lounge space overlooking our upper lake, to our Notre Vue Room, which is ideal for small groups and intimate dinners, to our Block 23 Terrace, which offers stunning views and a space away from it all.
Francis Ford Coppola Winery

300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville, California

707 857-1484

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At Francis Ford Coppola Winery, we’re here to help you plan the perfect celebration of love, life, or any special occasion. We offer personalized, all-inclusive planning from start to finish, with distinctive venues that can accommodate up to 300 people.

J Vineyards & Winery

11447 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg, CA


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A choice of stylish venues and dining options on our winery property –beautiful, pastoral scenery in the vineyards, sophisticated indoor tasting salons and a rustic, wine-scented Barrel Room. Our hospitality staff will make your event exceptional and J’s Executive Chef and Culinary Team will wow you!
Krug Event Center @ the Best Western Dry Creek Inn

198 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, CA

800-222-5784, ext. 605

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Krug Event Center @ the Best Western Dry Creek Inn offers exceptional banquet and event facilities accommodating up to 185 people. The outdoor Florence Grounds are perfect for weddings and receptions and the Prado Covered Patio with Tuscan fountain and fireplace is perfect for receptions and gatherings. The Dry Creek Inn has 163 spacious, comfortable hotel rooms, with many extra and delightfully appointed amenities. Dry Creek Inn offers accommodations for your every need.
Vintners Inn

4350 Barnes Road., Santa Rosa, CA

707- 575-7350

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The perfect place to gather and celebrate - you and your guests will delight in the romantic setting, the luxurious rooms and the award-winning cuisine. You will enjoy the use of the perfectly groomed gardens, flower-lined terraces and grand Event Center, complete with a 35-ft bell tower entrance
Sbragia Family Vineyards

9990 Dry Creek Road, Geyserville, CA


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We offer a lovely, contemporary and original take on a winery wedding. Everything about the setting is crisp and immaculate, with luxuriant landscaping complimenting the glorious views. Feel pampered and relaxed in our bridal party lounge where you and your bridesmaids will spend memorable moments before the ceremony
So Eventful- Marisa Manna, Wedding Coordinator

By Appointment Only: 107 North Street, Suite E, Healdsburg, CA


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Your wedding reflects your style, personality and relationship. You want to work with someone who realizes your vision and your budget – helping you craft a day that will be remembered forever. With customized services to fit your needs, So Eventful allows you to be a guest at your own event.
Trione Vineyards & Winery

19550 Geyserville Avenue, Geyserville, CA


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Experience rustic elegance and breathtaking views for your special occasion at Trione Winery, located in the heart of Alexander Valley on 220 acres of planted vines. Two stories of century old stone masonry and spectacular wood beams set the stage for the wedding or party of your dreams.
Wilson Winery

1960 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, CA

707-433-3303 Isabelle

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Wilson Artisan Wineries is launching a new Department of Special Events for celebrations up to 100 guests. Whether an intimate family and friends gathering, rehearsal dinners or cocktail parties, come enjoy our award winning wines on the deck over looking the Dry Creek Valley.
Soda Rock Winery

8015 Highway 128, Healdsburg, CA

707-433-3303 Isabelle

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Wilson Artisan Wineries has launched its Department of Special Events for celebrations of all shapes and sizes. We have the site to suit your needs; anniversaries, corporate retreats, rehearsal dinners, elopements and weddings, cocktail party, bar mitzvah. Your imagination is your only limitation.
Hotel La Rose

308 Wilson Street, Santa Rosa, CA


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At Hotel La Rose, our four conference rooms are all designed to exceed your meeting needs. All rooms have independent environmental controls and multiple electrical connections to serve state of the art audio/visual equipment. Everything needed for your conference or meeting can be handled without ever leaving the hotel.
Hotel Healdsburg

25 Matheson Street, Healdsburg, CA


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Hotel Healdsburg offers a range of meeting and special event spaces for executive board meetings, rehearsal dinners and other celebrations all catered by Charlie Palmer's acclaimed Dry Creek Kitchen. All facilities have natural lighting and are conveniently located on the ground floor built around the Hotel’s interior courtyard and gardens.

219 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA


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h2hotel’s Green Room offers the perfect venue for your next social or company get together. Meeting and events from morning till night will be catered by the h2hotel’s casual restaurant Spoonbar. Spoonbar’s communal table in the dining room also welcomes groups of up to 24 for dining.
Geyserville Inn: Wedding and Meeting Venues

21714 Geyserville Ave., Geyserville, CA


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Geyserville Inn can host a dream wedding, your next family celebration or a corporate event, all in the heart of the wine country. We have a venue that provides different events to be customized to your specific needs. We offer lovely outdoor wedding venues that are shaded in the summer.
deLorimier Winery

2001 Hwy. 128, Geyserville, CA

707- 857-2000 Tasting Room; 707-433-3303 Isabelle

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deLorimier Winery, located in the heart of the Alexander Valley, is a stunning estate vineyard and winery that will entice your senses with amazing wines and breathtaking views. We offer wedding options by providing indoor and outdoor space. Our Certified Wedding Planner will guide you each step of the way.
Dawn Ranch Lodge

16467 River Road (Highway 116), Guerneville, CA


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Whether you choose an intimate ceremony under the boughs of the century old apple blossoms in the orchard, or a large celebration in our beautiful meadow, Dawn Ranch Lodge is the perfect romantic setting to celebrate your union.
We were very proud to be featured in The Knot magazine as one of the top ten outdoor wedding venues in Northern California.

Trentadue Winery

19170 Geyserville Ave , Geyserville, CA

888- 332-3032 or 707-433-3104

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The romance of Tuscany in the prestigious Alexander Valley. Design your dream celebration at our magnificent setting featuring 200 acres estate vineyards, gardens, fountains, lawns, redwoods and mountain views. French doors around the spacious event center create a garden-feeling indoors. Professional staff, award-winning wines – a family tradition of gracious hospitality.
boon hotel + spa

14711 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville, CA


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Gorgeous, tranquil, peaceful wedding site under the redwood canopy....
Hilton Garden Inn – Conference Facilities

417 Aviation Blvd, Santa Rosa, CA


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Conference facilities for up to 50 people. On site catering available.
Simplifying Wine Pairing


The perfect food and wine pairing can make or break a meal, but how do you pull it off? Do you serve a new wine with each course? What if your guest wants to keep sipping what is in their glass, and you’re moving on to the next course and next wine? These aren’t major life issues, but when you want your gathering to come together seamlessly, every detail, including the food and wine pairings, becomes important. This seems especially true during the holiday season. Pouring red wine into a glass with food in the background  

Wine Pairing Tips

For my work I often need to find recipes that pair well with specific wines. To do this, I first taste the wine, noting the aromas, flavors and structure. Then I either look for a recipe that has similar flavors, or one that has contrasting flavors that will complement those found in the wine. An example of similar flavors would be a Zinfandel with rich berry flavors pairing well with Raspberry Balsamic Pork Tenderloin, or a bright citrusy Sauvignon Blanc with Pan-Seared Halibut with Lemon Caper Sauce. For contrasting flavors, an aromatic Gewürztraminer is perfect with Saag Paneer Enchiladas, which marries Indian and Mexican cuisines with a Germanic wine. If you’re just learning about matching food and wine, try pairings that you know will work—hearty foods with robust wines, and lighter meals with lighter wines. As you get more comfortable with wine pairings, expand your choices and do some experimentation. If you find a bottle of wine doesn’t work with the food, have a backup option available just in case. You can always use the wine that didn’t work as the after-dinner sipper.  

More Wine Pairing Tips

If you’re pairing wines with each course, let your guests have multiple glasses in front of them. This allows them to move on to the new course and new wine without having to set aside (or gulp down) the wine from the previous course. They can also revisit the previous wine and try it with other foods being served. This is how our palate learns what pairs well with particular flavors — trial and error. Don’t dictate what they should sip with each course, rather suggest the wines that pair best. Avoid serving foods in the same meal that require different wines to truly enjoy both the wine and the food. An example would be serving a red meat entrée that pair perfectly with a robust red wine and having one of the side dishes be asparagus, which taste better with sparkling or white wines. If you want to serve asparagus or artichokes hearts as part of the main course, serve an entrée that pairs with a crisp white wine. Make sure you’re serving the wines in “tasting order.” Tasting order is lighter to heaviest, and driest to sweetest. Why? If you serve a heavy or robust red wine first and then a white or sparkling wine after it, your palate will no longer be able to detect the subtilties or nuances of the lighter wine. One example of a tasting order is sparkling wine with appetizers, white wine with a salad course, red wine with dinner, and a port or late harvest wine for dessert. Sometimes I return to serving a sparkling wine with a cheese course for dessert to give my guests a break from heavy wines, then serve port or a big red as the after-dinner sipper.  

Know When to Let Go

If you want to serve multiple types of wines at a gathering, let go of your desire to control who drinks what with each course. In a festive atmosphere, the focus is on having a good time and you shouldn’t stop someone from enjoying the wine they prefer. If you want to make sure the food and wine pair well together, then select wines that go with everything you’re serving. Wine is about enjoyment and sometimes my guests will drink Cabernet with prosciutto wrapped asparagus, but I know the fat and salt from the prosciutto will make even that pairing palatable.  

Classic Pairings

The following wine pairings will give you options for the upcoming holiday season. Included are some pairings from winery websites and from the Wine & Food Affair recipe database. These websites are gold mines of recipes. When you look at one of the recipes linked below, take a few minutes to back up to the main recipe page and look at more options. You won’t be disappointed.  

Wine Pairings with Appetizers

Caviar Pie paired with sparkling wine Hot Artichoke and Jalapeño Dip paired with Sauvignon Blanc Strawberry Brie Bites paired with Grenache Oysters with Rhubarb & Pink Peppercorn Mignonette paired with Pinot Noir Roast Beef Crostini with Horseradish Cream paired with Cabernet Franc Artisan Cheese and Charcuterie Board paired with Merlot Marble slab with various meats, cheeses and fruit.  

Wine Pairings with Salads

Caesar Salad with Rock Shrimp paired with Rosé Salad Pear, Pecans & Gorgonzola paired with Pinot Gris Salad of Frisée, Apples, Blue Cheese & Bacon paired with Chardonnay small white plate with greens covered with a slice of blue cheese, sliced pears, a piece of prosciutto drizzled with salad dressing  

Wine Pairings with Entrees

Seared Scallops with Leeks and Ginger paired with Chardonnay Salmon Wellington with Smoked Paprika Tomato Sauce paired with Pinot Noir Crab Cioppino paired with Sangiovese Chanterelle Ragout with Acorn Squash Ravioli paired with Mourvèdre Chicken Piccata paired with Sauvignon Blanc Saffron Paella with Chicken, Andouille Sausage & Shrimp paired with a Red Rhone Blend, like GSM (Grenache-Syrah-Mourvèdre) Pan Seared Duck with Blackberry Sage Sauce paired with Dolcetto Grilled Pork Loin with Maitake Mushrooms and Cannellini Beans paired with Syrah Grilled Lamb Chops with Pomegranate Molasses and White Beans paired with Malbec Filet of Beef Wrapped in Parchment with Bearnaise paired with Cabernet Sauvignon close up of paella with shrimp and sausage in a blue pan  

Wine Pairings with Dessert

Orange Panna Cotta paired with Gewürztraminer Crème Brûlée paired with Late Harvest Muscat Flourless Chocolate Torte with Raspberry Sauce paired with Late Harvest Zinfandel Easy Chocolate Mousse paired with Cabernet Sauvignon   Wine Road web page with Wine & Food Affair Recipes database options.

Explore the Wine & Food Affair Recipes

The food and wine pairing lists go on and on in the Wine Road’s Wine & Food Affair recipe database, with hundreds of recipes and pairing suggestions from past Wine & Food Affair events. What I love about this database is you can search by:
  • Winery or Lodging who contributed the recipe/pairing
  • Category, such as appetizers, breakfast, lunch, main dish, salad, and more
  • Main Ingredient
  • Wine Pairing, which lists dozens of varietal options
  • Vegetarian or Gluten Free
  • Year published in the database
Here are just a few of the recipes listed: Mushrooms and Gouda in Puff Pastry paired with Sauvignon Blanc Chorizo Mac and Cheese paired with Zinfandel Italian Style Breakfast Pizza paired with Pinot Noir Lamb Shank Cassoulet paired with Malbec Boeuf Bourguignon over Swiss-Style Creamy Polenta paired with Syrah The Wine & Food Affair Recipe database will provide you with so many recipes and wine pairings, you’ll be thrilled to have it at your fingertips.  

Keep it Simple

Sharing wine and food is about having fun, enjoying time with others and exploring the pleasures of smell and taste. As you explore the links in this blog and dig deeper into the various websites, enjoy the journey and I hope you discover your perfect pairing this holiday season. Six hands with red or white wine in their glasses toasting. Blurred images of food in the background.  


Although many winery websites include recipes, only a few were included in this blog. I want to thank them for sharing their wealth of recipes and pairings online. Thank you to Alexander Valley Vineyards Capo Creek Winery DeLoach Vineyards Jordan Winery La Crema Pedroncelli Winery Sonoma Cutrer Vineyards And of course, the Wine Road for their amazing Wine & Food Affair recipe database. Happy Holidays & Happy Sipping!  
7 Reasons to Attend Wine & Food Affair 2023


Sign reads Come Celebrate the Harvest with Us Wine & Food Affair A Weekend of Wine & Food Pairings Sign is surrounding by images of fresh produce, a glass of red wine being poured and a vineyard in the fall. There are many reasons to attend this year’s Wine & Food Affair, but here are my top seven. If you don’t already have your tickets, get them ASAP. If you have your tickets, keep reading so you don’t miss the best parts of the Wine & Food Affair weekend.

#1 – The Scenery

No matter the month, the beauty along the Wine Road is breathtaking, but the autumn scenery in Northern Sonoma County is exceptional. The vineyards will be displaying their fall color palette, as will many of the local trees. Plus, the quality of light in early November makes every photo appear as if you spent hours waiting for the right moment to shoot. It’s the perfect time to take your holiday photo with the ideal backdrop — a gorgeous vineyard! Undulating hills covered with vineyards that are turning color in the fall. Tree covered mountain in the background.

#2 – Unique Experience

Where else can you enjoy a two-day progressive food and wine tasting experience? Have you looked at the program and seen the delicious food options and all the wineries who are participating? If you’ve not had the pleasure of attending Wine & Food Affair before, let me fill you in how it works. You go online and buy a ticket that is good for the entire weekend. At the time you purchase your ticket(s), you select a starting winery where you’ll check in. At check in, you get a wristband to indicate you’re a ticketholder and pick up your Wine Road logo glass that you’ll use all weekend and then take home. Once you’ve checked in, you’re free to go to any of the participating wineries. To make the most of the event, be sure to review the program and have a general plan for the day so your progressive tasting follows a logical path. [caption id="attachment_81875" align="aligncenter" width="900"]A large piece of mouthwatering lasagna with two bottles of Colagrossi 2018 Sangiovese just behind the food. Mouthwatering lasagna at Colagrossi Wines during 2022 Wine & Food Affair.[/caption]

#3 – Add-on Events

There are three Friday Night events ticket holders can attend as well. Two require an additional ticket purchase and one is complimentary. Alexander Valley Vineyards is hosting an insider’s tour of their barrel-aging wine cave and tasting with light appetizers. This is a ticketed event. Hook & Ladder Winery will have a complimentary concert, with their wine and food truck fare available for purchase. West Wines is offering a Sunset Library Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting with their winemaker Katarina Bonde. This is also a ticketed event. There is also a VIP package with Friday Night Happy Hour at Limerick Lane and Saturday Morning Breakfast at Jordon Winery, plus a six-pack of spices, but all the VIP tickets quickly sold out. Maybe you can snag VIP tickets next year!

#4 – The Food

Each winery will be offering a tasty treat to pair with their wines. Here are just a few of the offerings: Smoked Duck Breast and Bresaola served with Rustic Bakery Olive Oil and Sel Gris Flatbread at Baldassari Wines Mushroom, Spinach and Gouda Puff Pastry at Bucher Wines at Grand Cru Conchiglioni Ricotta e Spinaci at Colagrossi Wines Rosemary Dark Chocolate Bonbon at EHRET Curried Orzo Marrakesh Al Baldi at Ektimo Winery Traditional French Cassoulet at GC Lurton Vineyards Kathleen’s Local Harvest Vegetable Paella at Kelley & Young Rigatoni Bolognese at Mengler Family Wines Lobster Bisque Drizzled with Truffle Oil alongside a Pullman Sourdough Grilled Cheese with a Savory Dollop of Tomato Jam at Pech Merle Winery Salmon Cake and Zucchini Fritter with Red Pepper Aioli at Russian River Vineyards Pumpkin Pear Bisque with Goat Cheese Brioche Croutons at Soda Rock Winery The list of foods being served is just mouthwatering. To view all the food offerings, check out the Wine & Food Affair program online. [caption id="attachment_81874" align="aligncenter" width="900"]A bottle of J. Bucher 2020 Pinot Noir, a Wine Road glass with a little wine in it, and a slider on a paper plate. The perfect pairing at Bucher Wines during last year's Wine & Food Affair.[/caption]

#5 – The Wine

The wineries along the Wine Road all produce stellar wines. By attending Wine & Food Affair, you’ll have the opportunity to explore new wineries, plus visit some of your favorites. The Wine Road website lists all the Wine & Food Affair participating wineries, and has a link to a map showing each winery’s location. When you click on a colored winery marker, a side window opens, giving details about the winery including what food they’ll be serving. This is the perfect tool to help you plan your itinerary each day. Sample of the Wine & Food Affair online map showing details on Pedroncelli Winery and where the participating wineries are located. As you’re planning your path, be sure to add in a few off-the-beaten-path wineries on Sonoma County’s renowned and beautiful less-traveled roads.

#6 - The Value

Have you purchased a winery wine and food pairing experience recently? If you have, you’ll know that rarely are any of them offered for less than $50 and often they are much more. A ticket to Wine & Food Affair is $125 for the entire weekend. Each day you can go to as many or as few wineries as you like during the five-hour tasting window. If you like to linger and thoroughly enjoy the experience at each stop, you might only able to do five wineries a day, or ten over two days. However, I know folks who carefully plan their itineraries and visit eight or more wineries each day. Whether you go to ten wineries for the weekend or more, this wine and food experience is a bargain! Can’t make it both days? There are Sunday-only tickets, and if you’re lucky enough to have a designated driver, there are reduced tickets for the DDs as well. Plus, if you’re a Wine Road Insider, you get 10% off your purchase one or two tickets.

#7 - Ideal Wine Country Weekend

What could be more enjoyable than spending a weekend in Northern Sonoma County’s Wine Country than cruising along scenic backroads, sipping on delicious wines and partaking of tasty treats at each stop? I can’t think of too many things I’d rather be doing the weekend of November 4th and 5th, can you? Hope to see you along the Wine Road at Wine & Food Affair 2023. Happy Sipping!