The 5 Best Sonoma Wineries for Foodies

Many Sonoma County wineries are pulling double duty these days, serving up food alongside their fine wines. It’s a delicious trend that allows visitors to more fully savor the versatility of the wines with everything from French fries to salmon en croûte drizzled with fresh basil butter.

While wineries can’t serve full meals or allow guests to choose which dishes to eat (due to regulations), some go to great lengths to offer an experience that feels a lot like a real restaurant offering: when it’s happening Feast on food this good, it’s hard to tell the difference. Here are five wineries that go all out with great dishes to pair with their wines.

Jordan Vineyard and Winery

For much of Jordan’s history, dining has been a members-only affair at the winery’s elegant Healdsburg Castle. But with the arrival of new Executive Chef Daniel Beal, everyone can now enjoy a sumptuous meal. It remains an exclusive experience, limited to 18 guests and priced at $395 per person.

But then, Beal is a big problem; former sous chef at Chicago’s renowned Alinea and San Francisco’s three-Michelin-starred Atelier Crenn. And its five-course French modernist menu is theatrical, paired with wines that include library picks like a 1976 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon (the inaugural vintage).

The new dining experience officially opens to the public later this month (check the website for dates), but a preliminary tasting found elaborate dishes like grilled Wagyu with black lentils and smoked eggplant, and golden mushroom risotto with beurre noisette, pine nuts and freshly shaved white. truffle. The French onion soup was a performance, actually, served tableside in a ceramic bowl with fluttering leaves of onion skin.

In a novel approach, each dish comes with a contemporary recipe (calamares flecha ceviche, for example) along with a classic recipe, in this case, Manhattan clam chowder.

1474 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg, 707-431-5250, jordanwinery.com

Duck and prosciutto pairing prepared by chef Daniel Beal at Jordan Vineyard & Winery in Healdsburg. (Matt Armendariz)
The dining room at Jordan Vineyard & Winery in Healdsburg. (Jose Manuel Alorda)
Pairing prepared by Chef Daniel Beal at Jordan Vineyard & Winery in Healdsburg. (Matt Armendariz)

Gary Farrell Winery

If you’re lucky enough to get a seat at one of the special dinners at this luxury property, you’re in for a memorable experience. (The next one is January 27th and be sure to sign up for the email list for more notifications.)

A recently redesigned dining room captures spectacular views of the vineyards, and winemaking director Theresa Heredia’s wines are top-notch (Russian River Valley Pinot Noir in all its glory, from legendary vineyards like Rochioli, Rochioli-Allen, Bacigalupi, Hallberg and Olive Street).

A recent menu featured elegant dishes, including Maine lobster with fennel; San Francisco halibut in brown butter with red kuri squash; and comfortable and cozy boeuf bourguignon.

10701 Westside Road, Healdsburg, 707-473-2918, garyfarrellwinery.com

Kivelstadt Cellars Wine Garden & Eatery

This beautiful, garden-focused destination on Highway 12/121 is the stuff of Sonoma County dreams: a trendy street setting, fine wines on tap, craft cocktails, and an expertly crafted creative menu. Plus, it’s so dog-friendly that canines have their own meal options, too, like basmati rice with seasonal vegetables and optional toppings like Skuna Bay salmon or Petaluma chicken.

Humans can feast on delicious dishes bursting with flavor, such as smoked and mushroom-glazed pork belly Grilled Hen of the Woods, pistachio pesto, burrata, radicchio sauce and pretty nasturtium flowers; or a delicious fried patty filled with sweet potato, cremini mushrooms, carrots, potato and butternut squash on a homemade pâte brisée (butter cake).

22900 Broadway, Sonoma, 707-938-7001, kivelstadtcellars.com

Sushi Grade Ahi Tuna with avocado, kewpie and served with chips served with Twice Removed Rosé from taps at Kivelstadt Cellars and WineGarten in Sonoma. (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)
Cuban mushroom with a pinot noir from Kivelstadt Cellars and WineGarten in Sonoma, (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

three suits

A stunningly beautiful hacienda-turned-tasting room, the 1842 Adobe Vallejo-Castenada has been painstakingly renovated. It sparkles with tiled floors, hand-painted murals, a display of 19th-century stirrups, and antique pieces of china found on-site.

A new food and wine tasting experience, launched last fall, is just as impressive. Chefs James Nobel and Abri Chavira create a luxurious dish to pair with fine wines; a recent feast included tomato-plum gazpacho of green tomato, green plum, cucumber, and pickled peppers, followed by a salad of Liberty Duck prosciutto, La Tur cream cheese, figs, pomegranate, and Marcona almonds. It then moved on to a pâte brisée tart topped with leek cream and foraged wild mushrooms, and a scoop of kibbeh nayeh (Lebanese naya) of grass-fed chateaubriand, endive, black garlic aioli, and pine nuts.

Please note that this is a strictly by appointment experience ($110), and it helps to call at least a week in advance.

143 West Spain St., Sonoma, 707-996-3328, threestickswines.com.

A seating area at Three Sticks Wines in Sonoma. (Wines of Tres Palos)
Monda at the Lynmar Estate in Sebastopol. (Lynmar State)
Monda at the Lynmar Estate in Sebastopol. (Lynmar State

Lynmar Estate

The 100 acre Sebastopol property is beautiful, luxurious with picturesque gardens and barns and views of the Russian River Valley/Santa Rosa Lagoon. Reserve the Lynmar Estate Collector’s Lunch Pairing ($200) and enjoy estate-grown ingredients like fruits, vegetables, herbs, and eggs, to complement the cool-weather Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Chef David Frakes’ bites feature seasonal signatures like warm popcorn drizzled with olive oil and a burst of raspberry-viola salt; followed by watermelon with tajin or watermelon sprinkled with Persian chili and lime with stone fruit slaw, crispy wontons, shiso vinaigrette and cilantro oil. The next course could be grilled garden toast with mockingbird seed sourdough, herbed goat cheese, freshly plucked vegetables, and black garlic date vinaigrette.

To finish: an exquisite chocolate cake garnished with a bright magenta amaranth plant flavored with sweet nutty; or a slab of warm mountain honey tea cake garnished with olive oil ice cream, pistachio dukkah and candied nagano lumquat.

3909 Frei Road, Sevastopol, 707-829-3374, lynmarestate.com.

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