Country Visitor Info
There are over 180 wineries/vineyards.
Do you have to be a wine expert
to go tasting?
No. Let anyone know it is your first time and they will be happy to provide you with a wealth of information and get you started in the right direction. The staff can give you wines in an order that will help distinguish the differences between them.
Which wineries should I visit?
It is not necessary to visit the wineries if you are unsure where to go. You may wish to start by visiting a tasting room in town, sampling the wine bar at your lodge, or attending an event. Then with some favorites in mind you could visit the winery to learn more. If you know what type of wine you want to sample you can visit wineroad.com and sort according to that specification to narrow your options.
What is the best town on the Russian River for wine tasting?
If you are planning on driving to the vineyards or taking a tour, then Guerneville and all towns east are close to many wineries (town location map). Healdsburg has the most in-town tasting rooms. Monte Rio, Duncan's Mills or Jenner although farther are no more than 20 minutes from the heart of the wine region.
How does wine tasting work?
If you visit where the wine is made the staff will often start you off with a tour of the facilities. The tour will end at the tasting room where you get to notice for yourself the distinguishing features the guide explained. Whether you visit the winery or a tasting room in town, there is generally a tasting order recommended to best sample the wines' characteristics. For a beginners' how to guide to the swirling and smelling ritual, click over to the online resources page for a great collection of wine related articles.
What are the Russian River area appellations?
The two largest are the Russian River Valley and Alexander Valley (the Russian River flows through both). There is also the Dry Creek Valley, Chalk Hill, Sonoma Coast, and Green Valley.
Tell me about the appellations
The details of this task had been well done by the Sonoma County Grape Growers Association. In general an appellation contains a certain set of growing conditions such as temperature, soil and humidity that result in distinctly unique tasting grapes.
What are my wine tasting options?
1. At the winery
2. In town
3. Through a tour
4. At events
5. With lunch or dinner
6. At your lodge
How much does wine tasting cost?
In general, if you go to the winery and visit their tasting room it is free. For the $100 you would spend tasting somewhere else you can leave the Russian River with 1-10 bottles of wine.
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