The Russian River Valley, located to the South of the Mansion, is the largest of the valleys. This area is closer to the ocean and gets coastal breezes which create cooler temperatures perfect to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. With Russian River Valley wineries starting in Healdsburg and spreading almost to the Pacific Ocean, this area offers an endless amount of activities to fill your day.

Sonoma Wine Country is well known for some amazing Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from the Russian River Valley wineries. This area of Sonoma Wine Country is very close to the Honor Mansion, be sure your stay includes a visit to some of these fantastic wineries. With wineries starting in Healdsburg and spreading almost to the Pacific Ocean, the Russian River, and Armstrong Redwood State Park, this area offers an endless amount of activities to fill your day. Enjoy any or all of our River Valley wineries to make your trip to the Honor Mansion a little sweeter. Download a copy of our free Vacation Guide to get a list of our favorite Healdsburg wineries, activities, and things to do in Healdsburg, California, straight to your email!

Steve’s Favorite Russian River Valley Wineries

Great tours in the Russian River Valley:

  • Arista has tastings in their Japanese Water gardens, hosted by a family member! A beautiful family run winery. They produce a variety of wines, but make really great Pinot Noir that the Russian River area is known for. When visiting here, be sure to leave some extra time to visit the Japanese water gardens, and even picnic here in their beautiful ground!
  • Lynmar has tours available, as well as gourmet picnics and food and wine pairings. Award-winning Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the heart of the Russian River Valley. Enjoy  your wines with a food and wine pairing, picnic lunch, or any one of their other amazing food options, created by the onsite chef.
  • Bacigalupi Winery offers vertical tastings with a tour by appointment. Growing in Russian River Valley since 1956, the Bacigalupi family has sold fruit to some of Sonoma’s and Napa’s finest wineries. Bacigalupi wines specialize in producing small lot Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Chardonnay and Petite Syrah. A fantastic family winery.

Picnic areas in the Russian River Valley:

  • Arista has beautiful gardens to bring a picnic to.
  • As mentioned above, Lynmar Estate has gourmet picnic lunches available by appointment.

More highly recommended wineries in this valley:

  • Founded by Judy Jordan in 1986, J Vineyards & Winery began as a producer of critically-acclaimed sparkling. Still a top producer of local sparkling wines, they have branched out to include other wines including Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Their Bubble Room is an amazing culinary treat, a 5 course intimate food and wine pairing.
  • Porter Creek is a small, all organic winery on Westside Road. Porter Creek produces around 4000 cases of year, and has a variety of excellent red wines, particularly Pinot Noir. The tasting room is in a converted shed, and is a nice contrast to some of the larger wineries in the area. Definitely a great stop.
  • Tara Bella is a tiny winery located in the Russian River Valley that specializes in Cabernet Sauvignon ONLY.  Their 6 acre vineyard produces approximately 500 cases.  When you visit Tara Bella, you won’t be meeting employees, you will be greeted by Tara and Rich Minnick, Owners/Winemakers.  Come and barrel taste their 2008 vintages and taste the difference between the Clone 4 and Clone 7 Cabernets!
  • Woodenhead features Burgundian/California style Pinot Noirs and Zinfandels, as well as a few others including a French Colombard not typical to the area. Wine maker Nicholas Stez spent 17 harvests working with William Selyem, and draws much of his inspiration for wine making from those years.

Other great stops in the Russian River Valley:

Christopher Creek (small production winery, but makes a large variety of wines, so you can find something for everyone!), Gary Farrell (tours available by appointment), Korbel Champagne Cellars (Complimentary tours, no appointment needed, amazing deli), Limerick Lane, Martinelli, Rodney Strong, Russian Hill, Sapphire Hill.

For even more recommendations of things to do in Healdsburg and throughout Sonoma County, be sure to download our free Vacation Guide!

Photo: Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery