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free wine tasting in Russian River?

wearybashful Jan 22, 2007 11:25 PM

Maps and websites don't seem to say what tasting fees are at Russian River area wineries, or if anybody is still free.

Does anybody know, or know of a directory that includes that information?

  1. HungryMojo Jan 23, 2007 01:58 AM

    SFGate.com's Wine section (web version of SF Chronicle Wine section) has a "Wine Country Guide" search section near the top of the front page (right side): www.sfgate.com/wine

    This "Wine Country Guide" allows you to narrow your search by selecting "Special Features" from a drop-down list, one of which is "Complimentary Tastings." The other drop-down list is for "Locations," but unfortunately Russian River is not among the specific areas on that list. I guess it would be under "Other Sonoma County."

    Note that the search results give very brief descriptions for each winery, but click on the wineries' names for more details.

    1 Reply
    1. re: HungryMojo
      quoiagirl May 12, 2009 10:32 PM

      I can not find the "Wine County Guide"- "special features" or
      "Complimentary tasting" maybe the site has been changed...do you know?

    2. b
      Bryan Gros Jan 23, 2007 07:24 AM

      Actually, a lot of Sonoma County is free. Maybe not Sonoma Valley, but I haven't been through there in a while.

      Alderbrook, at the north end of RRV, charges, as does J Wine (but at least you get food there). Westside Road is mostly free I believe. Rochioli may be charging. South of River Road, I think Lynmar charges, but not sure who else.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bryan Gros
        answerman Jan 23, 2007 10:08 AM

        Rochioli doesn't charge.

      2. sfeater Jan 23, 2007 08:16 AM

        the first two weekends in March are the barrel tasting event where it is just $10 to taste at all RRV wineries all weekend

        1. wearybashful Jan 23, 2007 10:56 AM

          SFeater, I usually go during events like that, so I haven't learned what it's like during regular times, but I need to play tour guide for some people coming during the week. I agree that the wine road events are really fun.

          1. s
            SonomaCountry Jan 23, 2007 01:46 PM

            HI all:

            Full disclosure: I work for the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau, so your post caught my eye (I was looking for SF restaurants...)

            Here's some good info:

            The Map Store in Windsor has a cool interactive wine map. I don't know if it shows if tastings are free or not: http://www.themapstore.com/thewinemap/

            Barrel Tasting is all of March, and a lot of the fun is in the Russian River area:

            A few freebies in the RR area (on or near Westside Road) are:

            Korbel Champagne Cellars
            Porter Creek Vineyards
            Davis Bynum Winery
            Arista Winery
            Hop Kiln Winery

            As a general note, Sonoma County has many free tasting rooms, or rooms that will apply a small tasting fee to the purchase of their wine.

            And, shameless plug, if you want more info about things to see and do up here, please check out our website: www.sonomacounty.com.

            Now, I need to find some places to go eat in the City....

            1. j
              Joel May 13, 2009 04:12 PM

              A number of wineries have tasting rooms within the city of Healdsburg -- all walkable from the main square "downtown."
              Many of them offer complimentary tastes -- or at least they did so as of last summer.
              Here's a PDF map:

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