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Five Unique Tasting Experiences in Sonoma County

For many people, wine tasting may be no more than pulling their car into a winery, paying the nominal cost of a wine flight, and moving on to the next tasting room. However, there’s much more to the wine tasting experience in Sonoma. Below, we feature a few unique wine tasting experiences in Sonoma County.

The Bubble Room at J Winery. J Winery has been producing renowned wines since the mid-1980s, most known for their sparkling wines. While a walk around their grounds and a tasting inside is an experience alone, visitors get a much more personalized and tastier opportunity inside the Bubble Room. Thursday through Sunday features a three-course wine and food pairing with a menu that changes frequently. Give yourself a couple hours for the tasting and consider a lunchtime visit, as the pairing serves as a light meal. Reservations are strongly recommended.

The art of the blend at Dry Creek Vineyard. While many visitors to Dry Creek Vineyard may be accustomed to the public tastings that are open daily, wine enthusiasts can now go behind closed doors for a more unique experience. “Meritage: The Art of the Blend” is for the person who wants to learn more about what goes into the winemaking process. Guests are given all the tools to give blending a shot of their own. This tasting experience is on weekend days by appointment only.

Wine and food pairing at Medlock Ames. There’s something timeless about Medlock Ames. Pull into the parking lot and step foot into the tasting room and speakeasy-style bar and you may feel like you’re buying goods from a prohibition-era general store, rather then tasting wine. The food and wine pairing features a flight of their current releases paired with cheese, cured meats, or fresh fruits and vegetables from their garden. While the flight is $20 per person, it’s complimentary for club members and up to three guests.

Helicopter tasting at Williamson Wines. Yes, as in that type of helicopter. While many can say they’ve sipped a cup of cheap wine or champagne aboard a flight, how many people do you know who’ve combined wine with a helicopter ride? There are a couple different helicopter experiences available at Williamson Wines, including the day trip excursion flying above Sonoma’s vineyards and San Francisco, and the overnight trip, which includes the helicopter ride, a tour through Dry Creek Valley via limo, and accommodations in Healdsburg.

Sustainable hike at Kunde Family Estate. Visitors to the Kunde Family Estate get a behind-the-scenes experience, walking the grounds of the vineyard with the estate’s winegrowers. Guests can see first-hand the sustainable practices that are implemented at Kunde Family Estate and take in the beautiful scenery surrounding the property. Hikes take place on a select few Saturdays through the end of the year, with the hike ending in the tasting room where guests can sample Kunde Family Estate's wines.