Tasting rooms aren’t new to the city of Sonoma—a handful of in-town options have long been open around the historic town plaza. What is new to this pretty Sonoma Valley city is the explosion of options, with two dozen tasting rooms now tempting you to sample award-winning vintages without leaving town. Add Sonoma’s excellent restaurants and shops, and you can easily enjoy a car-free day or two just strolling from one inviting destination to another.
Start at WALT Wines, the sister winery of HALL Wines in Napa Valley. The homey, art-filled tasting room offers a diverse array of high-end Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from vineyards spanning 1,000 miles of Pacific Coast. Just across the street is Hawkes, with its laser-like focus on delicious, well-balanced Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Having only a few wines to taste will leave you plenty of time to relax, sip, and people-watch from the patio. Now duck into Pangloss Cellars, a new tasting room that oozes rustic elegance, with exposed stone walls and comfy decor that look straight out of a perfectly styled furniture ad. Sample rich reds, including the built-to-last Moon Mountain Cabernet, which is even better when paired with upscale nibbles.