Visit historic Sonoma Valley wineries just off the Sonoma Plaza
There are three excellent wineries in and around the town of Sonoma. Buena Vista (1857) is the oldest winery in Sonoma and Gundlach Bundschu just a few months later as a start date. Around the town Square are many tasting rooms. See the List. We prefer visiting a working winery with all the winemaking equipment and aging barrels. It is always fun to grab a picnic lunch on the Square and picnic at one of the wineries.
Wineries to Visit in the Town of Sonoma
- Gundlach Bundschu – Sixth generation of family ownership, informed tasting room staff
- Buena Vista Winery – Recently purchased & remodel by Boisset Family. Restored cellar is open.
- Bartholomew Estate Vineyards & Winery – exceptional estate-grown wines while enjoying glorious views
We recommend you visit no more than three wineries in one day. Relax and enjoy the wine country.
Dining and Lodging Recommendations
To get to this historic family-owned winery from the plaza, travel east on East Napa Rd., turn right on 8th St. and follow the white winery signs. The wines are all excellent at this historic winery. The winery began operation in 1857 with a founding date just a short three months later than the nearby Buena Vista Winery. The winery today is owned by the same family and is now in its sixth generation with Jim Bundschu at the helm. The winery produces about 40,000 cases of wine per year. They provide an incredible 16 wine varieties and all but two wines from the Gundlach Bundschu Estate of 350 acres of vineyards. They produce several white varietals, all dry and well balanced. The reds are the most recognized, with the Merlot, the best seller. The grounds are quite beautiful, with two marvelous picnic area. Don’t pass by this winery — two favorite wines: The dry Gewurztraminer and the delicious Tempranillo.
If you are a wine history buff, you will need to stop in at the Buena Vista winery, the first premium winery in California, and a registered historic landmark. It opened its doors in 1857, founded by wine pioneer Count August Hazasthy. Today the winery is own by Boisset Family Estates. You will enjoy browsing the memorabilia in this historic tasting room. Jean Charles Boisset has recently modernized the facilities, including the historic caves. To get to the winery from the Sonoma Plaza, travel east on East Napa Rd., almost to the end, and turn left on Old Winery Rd. and follow the signs to the winery. Be sure to visit the Buena Vista Winery Website to get the latest information tasting and tours.
Bartholomew Estate Winery is housed in a historic hospital building nestled in the middle of 375-acre Bartholomew Park. The first private vineyard in Sonoma Valley was planted on the property in 1832 by Yndigena Viviano who was granted the land by Mission Solano. Count Agoston Hazasthy planted his vineyards here in 1856, including the first Zinfandel planted in Sonoma Valley and built his private villa on the property as well. Bartholomew Estate is owned by the Winemaker, Kevin Holt and the Trustee of the Bartholomew Foundation, Anna Pope. Together they are focused on producing the highest quality wines from the estate’s certified organic vineyards.