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California Wine Country Travel Guide

California Wine Country is the fourth largest producer of wine in the world, following France, Italy and Spain. More than 90 percent of all wine produced in the United States comes from California Wine Country and Central Valley.
 Wherever you go in California from Mexico to Oregon and from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, you will find  great vineyards and  spectacular wineries.
The Wine Country is actually  a region of Northern California in the United States known worldwide as a premium wine-growing region.  Viticulture and winemaking have been practiced in California Wine Country since the mid-19th century.  The region is defined in terms of not only viticulture and terroir, but also based on its particular  ecology, geology, architecture, cuisine, and culture.
Wine lovers and California visitors may get confused by the term "California Wine Country"  due to numerous wine growing regions in California from San Diego in Southern California to Mendocino in northern  California  . California Wine Country
Is  the  area  or wine growing regions of California  distinguished as "the Wine Country" referring to wine the growing regions in North California. Less than 55 miles upstate from San Francisco, Sonoma and Napa countries are the Wine Country heartland.
Including all four counties, the Wine Country occupies an area of over 7,000 square miles. It is home to  several  hundreds of wineries , lodging accommodations, fine dining restaurants, and a numerous of   shops and marketplaces. California Wine Country  growing wine regions are:

Sonoma North is the wine  growing region centered around Healdsburg and includes  Alexander Dry Creek and Russian River valleys.
Sonoma South includes the town of Sonoma where lies Sonoma Historic Town Plaza   and Sonoma Valley ,also known as  the Valley of the Moon,  and Sonoma  southern side of the Carneros district. Carneros district is  famous for  growing best chardonnays and Pinots  thanks to its proximity to San Pablo  Bay and  the particularity of its terroir. 
Western Sonoma includes the town of Bodega, Freestone, Valley Ford, Occidental, Jenner and Fort Ross.
Napa North covers the  Upper section of Napa Valley including  Calistoga, St Helena, Silverado trail wineries and Rutherford wine growing region.
Napa South covers the bottom half of the valley including the Oakville and Yountville areas, the town of Napa and Napa's  Carneros growing region.
Mendocino County and Lake County are each composed  of four wine districts.  In Mendocino County, the districts are Hopland and Redwood Valley along Highway 128, and Mendocino Coast  along Highway 1 (California  Coastal Highway).
In Lake County, the four growing regions are Guenoc Valley , Red Hills along Highway 29, High Valley along Highway 20, and  Clear Lake  wine growing  region.

The Wine Country is served by two major highways. US Highway 101 runs north-south, connecting San -Francisco with Sonoma and Mendocino counties. US Highway 101 connects to highway  37 and Highway 121 running through southern and northern Sonoma Valley . Interstate 80 runs northeast-southwest between San Francisco and Sacramento, connecting to California highway 12 running into southern Napa and Sonoma counties.  Important branches off I-80 are I-880, run along the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay and I-580 connecting Oakland with San Rafael on the western side of the Bay.
Visitors  come to the  wine region not only for wine-tasting, but also for hiking, bicycling, hot air ballooning, and to visit historic sites parks , as well as the extensive culinary choices. Numerous notable chefs and restaurateurs are present in the Wine Country.  Besides the obvious winery attractions. the Wine Country is also  known for its hot springs baths, petrified forests and other natural areas
Learn more about Napa Valley growing regions. Learn more about Sonoma Valley wine growing regions
Other wine country growing regions are:


Join our Wine Country Private Tours to visit North Sonoma Wine Country.  You will tour great wineries and boutique wines along the Russian River that twists and turns its way throughout the Valley to the Pacific Ocean. Capture the Russian Valley   gentle hillsides that fan out on both sides of the Russian river surrounded by giant redwoods. The Russian Valley banks  are strewn with sandy beaches where local enjoy their sunny days. The Russian Valley river goes through three  major wine valleys ; Alexander Valley , Dry Creek Wine growing Valley and  Russian River Valley.  

Healdsburg is located in the northern part of Sonoma Country. Healdsburg is  surrounded by Alexander Valley in the northeast,  Dry Creek Valley to the northwest and Chalk Hill and Knights' Valley in the southeast.
The beauty of Healdsburg is incomparable – centered in the Northern California wine country, visitors often compare the area to Tuscany.     Healdsburg  Town Plaza  offers great  boutique wineries, restaurants,   charming  shopping stores and  boutiques, art galleries, antiques stores  and live music in some tasting rooms.  Take a walking tour to Healdsburg historic homes, get a soothing massage at one of their spas, or linger in Healdsburg's museums and wine libraries.  
The Russian River runs by Healdsburg where visitors can enjoy sandy beaches, swimming, canoeing and kayaking, all the way to the Pacific Coast. Ride or drive the Coast to enjoy sightseeing, walking on beaches, whale watching, bird watching, or rock climbing!

Dry Creek Valley
Mendocino County is located  border about 15 miles northwest of Healdsburg where  the Warm Springs Dam holds back the waters of Dry Creek forming the long and serpentine Lake Sonoma.  From the dam, you get a bird's eye view of the valley that  profiles in the horizon.  The dam was built by the Army Corps of Engineers back in the 1980s primarily to form a state recreation area. It also protects the fertile  wine  valley   from flooding. The combination of well-drained soils, morning fog, and temperature variations from the valley floor up to the steep hillsides has proved beneficial to certain varieties of red and white wine grapes.  Today, Dry Creek Valley is one of the premium wine producing areas of California Wine county.
Two parallel roadways Dry Creek and West Dry Creek roads- run north and south along the edges of Dry Creek  valley. Two smaller roads- Lambert Bridge and Yoakim Bridge-run east and west across the valley   connecting the larger north-south thoroughfares. Together, these four roads provide access to several dozen of great wineries  in  Dry Creek Valley wine country.
Since the resurgence of wine grape production in the 1970s, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel have become the most planted varieties, and Dry Creek  wine Valley ,AVA has become one of the state's top Zinfandel producers. Sauvignon Blanc has become the most important white grape varietals produced in Dry Creek  wine Valley.

Russian River Valley

The Russian River Valley Wine Country   is a river located in the Northern California counties of Mendocino and Sonoma.
The Russian River springs from the Laughlin Range about 5 miles  in Mendocino County and  flows southward to Redwood Valley  and  northern Sonoma Country  to  empty into the Pacific Ocean between Jenner and Goat Rock Beach. (60 mi north of the San Francisco Bay's Golden Gate)
 The Russian River Valley  wine country is characterized by its  cool climate, heavily affected by fog generated by the valley's proximity to the Pacific Ocean. The area is known for its success with cool climate varietals, notably Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Great  wineries are found along  the Westside Road before it meets Wohler Road intersection. There you need to decide whether you want to continue into the southern part of Russian River Valley or head back north toward Windsor and Healdsburg.  If you choose to go north, you can cross over the Russian River on Wohler, bear left on Eastside Road and follow it as it skirts Windsor and eventually merges into Old Redwood Highway running between Windsor to the south and Healdsburg farther north.
If you decide to continue into the southern Russian River Valley at Wohler Road, you can either stay on Westside Road toward Guerneville or make the turn onto Wohler and continue past Eastside Road to River Road.
The Russian River Valley is not only about wine and grapes ,it is  a chalk full of things to do like stemming from the river to the charming towns to exquisite gardens nearby.  Canoeing through the redwoods, picnicking, swimming, camping, observe the abundant wildlife, cycling through picturesque vineyards and  explore  the majestic redwoods forests  while visiting  the world renowned wineries in Russian River Wine Country.

Alexander Valley
From Healdsburg you have two options for touring the Alexander Valley. You can go north on Highway 101 about eight miles to Geyserville and turn right on state Highway 128. Or you can head north on Healdsburg Avenue, taking right on Alexander Valley Road just outside of town. Alexander Valley road merges into Highway 128 at a three-way stop near Jimtown. From this intersection, if you continue east (straight) on Highway 12, you'll pass several wineries before traveling through Knight's Valley and then winding through a series of hills to end up in Calistoga, the northernmost reach of the Napa Valley.  If you turn left (north) onto Highway 128, to traverse the valley towards Geyserville, you will be driving on one of the most picturesque roads in Sonoma County.
Alexander Valley is the warmest area in the Valley and it is known for its cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The intense midday summer heat is counterbalanced by nighttime fog which is held in by the tapered ends of the Valley. Loamy-gravelly soil types encourage high yields and vigorous vine growth.
The Alexander Valley AVA sits at the top of Sonoma County with about 15,000 acres of much prized vineyards. Within the 76,000 total acres of this AVA, there are a variety of microclimates supporting a substantial range of grape varieties. While Cabernet Sauvignon reigns supreme on the gravelly terrain of the valley floor, the Alexander Valley AVA also produces notable Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc. Even some cooler-climate varieties, like Gewürztraminer and Riesling, have found a niche here.

Southern Russian River Valley
Just west of Santa Rosa is the southern reach of the Russian River Valley.  Visitors typically approach it along one of two main routes: by following River Road west from Santa Rosa;  or by following Westside  or Eastside roads south from the northern part of the valley to Wohler Road, then turning off Wohler onto River Road.
Along the route from the northern Russian River Valley it is also possible to follow Westside Road beyond Wohler to visit a couple of major wineries farther south on Westside. From Eastside Road you can reach this southern stretch of Westside Road by turning right on Wohler, going let across the old bridge spanning the river, and then going left again on Westside.  Be especially careful on this southern stretch of Westside; it is narrow and winding and, while scenic and serviceable, it is not a particularly good road.  If you follow Westside all the way to its end, you will find yourself at River Road about three miles west of Wohler.
The Russian River Valley is a popular weekend destinations or many San Franciscans who love its cooler climate and outdoor pursuits along the river. It also produces nearly a third of all grapes grown in Sonoma country with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay the dominant varietals.
The character of the Russian River Valley is a bit different north to south. The northern reach has much more of a Dry Creek Valley feel.  Up north the wineries are generally larger, newer, and perhaps a little flashier than in the south, which has a more rustic feel.
The southern Russian River Valley is a large area with irregular shape that is somewhat wider than it is tall. It is bounded on the north by River Road, which becomes Old River Road near Guerneville; and on the south by state Highway 12, which becomes Sebastopol Road and then the Bodega Highway as it runs east to west. On the west, the Bohemian Highway shapes the area, running from near Guerneville southeast to Freestone. Highway 101 forms the eastern boundary.
State Highway 116 runs diagonally through the southern valley, from Guerneville in the northwest to Sebastopol in the southeast. Other   important roads are Mirabel road, which connects River road and Highway 116; Guerneville Road connecting Highway 101 and Highway 116; and Olivet Road connecting River Road and Guerneville Road.  All along this skeleton of roadways and many smaller roads branching from it are a myriad of wineries where you can taste Pinor Noir, Zinfandel, and other wines produced in the Russian River Valley appellation.
The major towns you will want to consider visiting in the southern Russian River Valley  are Sebastopol, Graton, Guerneville and Occidental.  Forestville is also important because it is home to some good wineries  and is located at the junction of Mirabel Road and  Highway 116.
In Sebastopol, you can enjoy an easy stroll along Main Street to take in antique, art, and book shops among other  homegrown stores and restaurants that somehow  are only found in small towns. You will find the Sebastopol natives to be friendly and welcoming if a bit quirky. Nonconformity is the norm among  many locals in the unabashedly authentic and American small town.
The hamlet of Graton is essentially a wide spot in Graton Road just west of Highway 116 near its intersection with Guerneville Road and about four miles northwest of Sebastopol. Take a  few minutes to  walk to downtown area, occupying just a couple of blocks along Graton Road. You'll find surprising touches of sophistication including good restaurants and interesting shops.
If you've stopped in Graton, you might as well continue on along Graton Road about six miles to the southwest to Occidental. Yet another micro-town.  Occidental seems impossibly cute, but is remarkable authentic.  Here again you will find good restaurants and many interesting shops to browse. From Occidental, you can head north along the Bohemian Highway to Guerneville or go south to Freestone where you can pick up the Sebastopol Highway (highway 12) back toward Sebastopol. Or you can just go back to highway 116 the way you came.
Guerneville is about 12 miles to the northwest of Graton along Highway 116 and about 15 miles to the north of Occidental along the Bohemian Highway route.  During the warmer months which can be seven or eight months in the Wine Country, it is the focal point of much activity for visitors to the many rustic resorts along the Russian River.


Adrian Fog Winery
2064 Gravenstein North, Sebastopol
Phone: (707) 431-1174 Website:

Alderbrook Winery
2306 Magnolia Drive, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-9154

Alexander Valley Cellars
217 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-1014

Alexander Valley Vineyards
8644 Hwy 128, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-7209

Amphora Winery
4791 Dry Creek Road, Bldg. 6, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 431-7767

Arista Winery
7015 Westside Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 473-0606

Artiste Winery & Tasting Studio
439 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-1920

Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves
9711 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 473-9171

Benovia Winery
3339 Hartman Road, Santa Rosa
Phone: (707) 526-4441

Benovia Winery
3339 Hartman Road, Santa Rosa
Phone: (707) 526-4441

C. Donatiello Winery
4035 Westside Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 431-4442

Camellia Cellars Tasting Room
57 Front Street, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-1290

Chateau Diana
P.O. Box 1013, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-6992

Chateau Felice
10603 Chalk Hill Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 836-9011

Christie Estate Winery & Vineyards
851 Limerick Lane, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 431-0662

Christopher Creek Winery
641 Limerick Lane, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-2001

Clos du Bois
19410 Geyserville Avenue, Geyserville
Phone: (707) 857-3100

Copain Wines
7800 Eastside Road
Phone: (707) 836-8822

De La Montanya Vineyards & Winery
Westside at Felta Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-3711

Domaine St. George Winery
1141 Grant Avenue, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-5508

Domenichelli Wines
91 South Jefferson Street, Cloverdale
Phone: (707) 894-8577

Downtown Wine
132 Plaza Street, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 473-0337

Dutcher Crossing Winery
8533 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 431-2700

Dry Creek Vineyard
3770 Lambert Bridge Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-1000

Everett Ridge Winery
435 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-1637

Family Wineries Tasting Room
4791 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-0100

Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery
8761 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-6700

Field Stone Winery
10075 Hwy 128, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-7266

Foppiano Winery
12707 Old Redwood Hwy, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-7272

Francis Ford Coppola Presents Rosso & Bianco
300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville
Phone: (707) 857-1400

Gallo of Sonoma Tasting Room
320 Center Street, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-2458

Gary Farrell Wines
10701 Westside Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 473-2900

Grove Street Wine Brokers
1433 Grove Street, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 431-4252

Hanna Winery
9280 Hwy 128, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 431-4310

Hartford Family Winery
8075 Martinelli Road, Forestville
Phone: (707) 887-8013

Hop Kiln Winery
6050 Westside Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-6491

Huntington Wine Cellars & Art Gallery
53 Front Street, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-5215

Jordan Winery
1474 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 431-5250

Kendall-Jackson Tasting Room
337 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-7102

La Bella Vita
7135 Eastside Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 838-4230

La Crema Tasting Room
235 Healdsburg Avenue
Phone: (707) 431-9400

Lake Sonoma Winery
340 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 473-2999

Lambert Bridge Winery
4085 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 431-9600

Lancaster Estate
15001 Chalk Hill Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-8178

Limerick Lane Cellars
1023 Limerick Lane, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-9211

Longboard Vineyards
5 Fitch Street, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-3473

MacPhail Family Wines
851 Magnolia Drive, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-4780

Mauritson Winery
2859 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 431-0804

Mazzocco Vineyards
1400 Lytton Springs Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 431-8159

Medlock Ames Winery
13414 Chalk Hill Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 431-8845

Michel-Schlumberger Wine Estate
4155 Wine Creek Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-7427

Mill Creek Vineyards
1401 Westside Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 431-2121

Murphy-Goode Estate Winery
20 Matheson Street, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 431-7644

Papapietro Perry Winery
4791 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-0422

Passalacqua Winery
3805 Lambert Bridge Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (877) 825-5547

Pedroncelli Winery
1220 Canyon Road, Geyserville
Phone: (707) 857-3531

Pezzi King Vineyards
241 Center Street, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 431-9388

Preston of Dry Creek
9282 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-3372

Puma Springs Vineyards
1421 Chiquita Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 431-9173

Quivira Vineyards
4900 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 431-8333

Raymond Burr Vineyards
8339 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-4365

Ridge Vineyards-Lytton Springs
650 Lytton Springs Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-7721

Robert Young Estate Winery
4960 Red Winery Road, Geyserville
Phone: (707) 431-4811

J. Rochioli Vineyards & Winery
6192 Westside Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-2305
Website :

Rodney Strong Vineyards
11455 Old Redwood Hwy, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 431-1533

Roshambo Winery
PO Box 608, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 431-2051

Sapphire Hill Vineyards & Winery
51 Front Street, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 431-1888

Sausal Winery
7370 Hwy 128, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-2285

Sbragia Family Vineyards
9990 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 473-2992

Seghesio Family Vineyards
14730 Grove Street, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-3579

Selby Winery
215 Center Street, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 431-1288

Simi Winery
16275 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-6981

7111 Highway 128, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-9463

Stuhlmuller Vineyards & Winery
4951 W. Soda Rock Lane, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 431-7745

Trentadue Winery
19170 Geyserville Avenue, Geyserville
Phone: (707) 433-1082

Truett Hurst Winery
5610 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-9545

White Oak Vineyards & Winery
7505 Hwy 128, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-8429

Wilson Winery
1960 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
Phone: (707) 433-4355


A Divine Affair 
330 Healdsburg Avenue
Tel.  (707) 433-1035

198 Dry Creek Rd
Tel. (707) 433-6422  

428 Center Street
Tel.  (707) 431 -0530  

231 Center Street
Tel. (707) 431-0100 

Brewing Company 
345 Healdsburg Ave Tel.  (707) 433-2337  

Bistro Ralph 
109 Plaza St
Tel.  (707) 433-1380  

106 Matheson St
Tel. (707) 431-2962  

Cena Luna 
241 Healdsburg Ave Tel. (707) 433-6000  

CK House Chinese Restaurant 
1525 Healdsburg Ave
Tel. (707) 433-4122    

Costeaux French Bakery & Cafe 
417 Healdsburg Ave Tel. (707) 433-1913  

Cyrus Restaurant
29 North St
Tel. (707) 433-3311 

Divine Pizza
20 Dry Creek Road
Tel. (707) 433-3660    

 Dry Creek Kitchen 
317 Healdsburg Ave
Tel. (707) 431-0330  

El Farolito
128 Plaza St
Tel.  (707) 433-2807    

El Taco Grande
425 Center St
Tel. (707) 431-1464  

Fitch Mountain Eddie's 
1301 Healdsburg Ave
Tel. (707) 433-7414  

Giorgio's Restaurant 
25 Grant Ave
Tel. (707) 433-1106  

Happy Time Chinese Restaurant
1047 Vine St
Tel. (707) 433-2837  

Healds Burger
48 Healdsburg Ave Tel. (707) 431-1381

Healdsburg Charcuterie 
335 Healdsburg Ave
Tel. (707) 431-7213 

Jackie's Sports Bar 
9 Mitchell Ln
Tel. (707) 433-6362 

Jimtown Store 
6706 Highway 128 Tel. (707) 433-1212 

Madrona Manor 
1001 Westside Rd
Tel.  (707) 433-4231   

336 Healdsburg Ave (707)
Tel. 433-8111 

Palette Art Cafe
235 Healdsburg Ave, Courtyard
Tel. (707) 433-2788 

Quail Run 
3250 Highway 128 Tel. (707) 857-2777 

420 Center St
Tel.  707-431-1302 

Reds, Whites and Brews 
177 Dry Creek Rd
Tel. (707) 433-5529 

Round Table Pizza
Healdsburg  1351 Healdsburg Ave
Tel. (707) 433-8877  

Sake 'O
505 Healdsburg Ave.
Tel.  (707) 433-2669

Santi Restaurant
21047 Geyserville Avenue
Tel. 707-857-1790 

109 Plaza St # A
Tel. (707) 433-5282  

Singletree Inn 
165 Healdsburg Ave
Tel. (707) 433-8263 

Taqueria El Sombrero 
245 Center St
Tel. (707) 433-3818 

Taqueria Guatalajara
125 Healdsburg Ave Tel. (707) 433-1052 

Taqueria Santa Rosa 
1063 Vine St
Tel. (707) 433-9205 

Thai Orchid 
1005 Vine Street
Tel. (707) 433-0515

Willi's Seafood & Raw Bar
403 Healdsburg Ave
Tel. (707) 433-9191 

Zin Restaurant & Wine Bar 
344 Center St
Tel.  (707) 473-0946