For this particular day, we decided to head a little west of Santa Rosa and try out the Sonoma wines over there. We started out at Red Car Wine Co., then Fog Crest Vineyard, and ended the day at Balletto Vineyards. All three wineries are super close to each other so it was nice to not feel rushed to make it to the next winery. But to be honest, we were still late to two of the wineries. We also had the pleasure of being accompanied by a cute little doggo. All the wineries listed below allow dogs to some extent. Also, if you would like to read more in-depth about the Visa benefit, make sure to check out this post as well.
Disclaimer: This is not a partnership blog post with Visa. This is solely my experience using the Sonoma Wine Tasting Visa Benefit and all opinions are of my own.
Where to Get Lunch
There’s definitely not a lot of choices for you around this area and most of the wineries did not offer any sort of food. Luckily, there was this cute little restaurant called Willow Wood Market Cafe that was only a couple of minutes away from our Red Car Wine Co. I highly suggest you grab lunch here if you’re hungry. The sandwiches are amazing. We got the muffuletta sandwich and it was butter and carb heaven! My boyfriend and I did share this so we wouldn’t get too full. Unfortunately, they do not allow dogs out in their patio since it’s still technically a “cover” patio. But not to worry, right outside are a couple of tables and a long bench where we sat and ate our lunch.
What I Wore
This day was supposed to be the hottest day so I opted for the lightest thing I had. I bought this cute romper from H&M just for this trip and it was perfect. It was super comfy and even had pockets! It’s also made out of linen so the fabric is super breathable.
I will indicate below if the wine tasting was served one glass at a time or all at once. It doesn’t really matter but thought I would add that bit of information on there.
VISA DEAL: BOGO FREE SONOMA WINE TASTING ($25 FOR 4 WINES)
Address: Red Car Wine, 8400 Graton Rd, Sebastopol, CA 95472
Reservations: https://redcarwine.com/tasting-room (Make sure you call and let them know you are doing the Visa Benefit ahead of time. Otherwise, they will charge your credit card in full.)
Notes: This winery is located in a small commercial area and is not on a vineyard. It shares the area with Dutton-Goldfield Winery (also a part of the Visa Benefit). So, you can start at Red Car Wine Co. first and literally walk across the lawn to Dutton-Goldfield. Even though you don’t get the views of the vineyards, the beautifully decorated tasting room definitely makes up for that. I’ve never seen a winery put so much thought into the furniture and decor before. It felt like walking into someone’s house. Also, how can you not want to take an Instagram-worthy picture in front of that rosé wall?!
Tasting Procedure: All at once
Dog-Friendly: Service dogs only
VISA DEAL: 10% OFF BOTTLES AND A COMP TASTING WITH ANY BOTTLE PURCHASE
Address: 7606 Occidental Rd, Sebastopol, CA 95472
Notes: This winery does not offer the Buy One Get One Free Wine Tasting, but does offer a pretty good deal on their bottles. For your Visa Benefit, you get one comped tasting per bottle purchase along with 10% off the bottle. If you are looking for an intimate outdoor space with a gorgeous view overlooking the vineyard, this is your place. Also, they do give you a little basket of bread which is always nice to snack on while tasting.
Tasting Procedure: One pour at a time
VISA DEAL: BOGO FREE SONOMA WINE TASTING ($15 FOR 4 WINES)
Address: 5700 Occidental Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Notes: Since Balletto Vineyards was our last winery of the day, the four of us opted to share one tasting per couple. This was the most affordable Sonoma wine tasting that we did during this trip. Even their bottle prices were reasonable so we were more than happy to purchase something. They were having a special Memorial Day Weekend sale on their magnum rosé for $29.40 (regularly $49) and we totally bought one! It was our first magnum ever so we were really excited.
Tasting Procedure: All at once