FAQs

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What is the best time of year to visit Sonoma?

The 'best' time to visit is usually a personal preference. Our most popular time of year to visit is June through October, and especially during the grape harvest in September/October.

What is the weather like in Sonoma Valley?

The Sonoma Valley has a "Mediterranean" climate. Temperatures in the Valley rarely drop below freezing during the rainy winter months; in the summertime, coastal fog and breezes bring cool evenings even after very warm days.

Below are the average high and low temperatures and rainfall for the city of Sonoma. In other parts of the Valley the numbers can very: in Schellville, for example, breezes off the San Pablo Bay keep temperatures as much as 10 to 15 degrees cooler than in the City of Sonoma, while more rain falls in Glen Ellen than in downtown Sonoma.

  • January - High 57.4 °F, Low 36.8 °F, Rainfall 6.74"
  • February - High 63.3 °F, Low 39.2 °F, Rainfall 5.06"
  • March - High 66.5 °F, Low 40.2°F, Rainfall 4.10"
  • April - High 71.6 °F, Low 41.6 °F, Rainfall 1.81"
  • May - High 77.6 °F, Low 45.2 °F, Rainfall 0.61"
  • June - High 84.5 °F, Low 49.2 °F, Rainfall 0.28"
  • July - High 89.5 °F, Low 50.5°F, Rainfall 0.04"
  • August - High 89.0 °F, Low 50.3 °F, Rainfall 0.12"
  • September - High 87.0 °F, Low 48.8 °F, Rainfall 0.34"
  • October - High 79.2 °F, Low 45.0 °F, Rainfall 1.60"
  • November - High 66.1 °F, Low 40.2 °F, Rainfall 4.04"
  • December - High 57.6 °F, Low 36.8 °F, Rainfall 5.05"

How can I get to and around Sonoma without a car?

To get to Sonoma on public transit from San Francisco you would take Golden Gate Transit from San Francisco to San Rafael, and then transfer to Sonoma County Transit to get to Sonoma Valley. There are no public transit routes that go directly to wineries, though some Sonoma County Transit routes do pass near wineries. For schedules and information, visit the San Francisco Bay Area Transportation website at transit.511.org
For more information on Sonoma County Transportation visit www.sctransit.com.

Are there any restaurants at wineries?

Wineries in the Sonoma Valley do not have full service restaurants. There are a number of wineries that have pre-made picnic and/or deli items available. Many wineries are happy to have visitors use their picnic facilities.

How late are wineries open for tasting?

Wineries and tasting rooms generally open between 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM and close between 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM. Many wineries stop pouring wine one half hour before the tasting room closes.

Are Wineries open on holidays?

It depends on the winery or tasting room, but most wineries are open year round with the exception of major holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Years Day, and Easter Sunday. Wineries may have limited hours the day before a major holiday or on nationally recognized holidays such as Independence Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc. Some may also have shorter hours in the winter season.

What are the nearest Airports? Drive time is approximate.

  • San Francisco International - 56.3 mi - 1 hour 18 mins
  • Oakland International - 56.6 mi - 1 hour 11 mins
  • Sacramento International - 76.4 mi - 1 hour 26 mins
  • Sonoma County Airport - 36.0 mi - 47 mins
  • San Jose International Airport - 84.7 mi - 1 hour 37 mins

Are there any lodging properties that don't require a two-night minimum?

Most properties require a two-night minimum on weekends and during our busy season (April - October). Properties may require a 3-night minimum stay on holiday weekends. The Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau keeps a list of lodging that will consider a one-night stay. Please call 866-996-1090 for more information.

When is the grape harvest?

The grape harvest generally begins in August with the light-skinned grapes such as Chardonnay and ends in late September or October with the dark-skinned grapes such as Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Harvest is dependant on summer weather patterns and the sugar content (called a Brix count) of the grapes themselves.

What is 'Crush'?

Crush is the term used to describe the process of wine grapes being crushed to release their juice. The term is also used to describe the harvest season.

Distances to other destinations(drive time is approximate)

  • Eureka - 247 mi - 4 hours 41 mins
  • Healdsburg - 44.2 mi - 55 mins
  • Lake Tahoe (south) - 167 mi - 3 hours 5 mins
  • Las Vegas - 597 mi - 9 hours 15 mins
  • Los Angeles - 408 mi - 6 hours 20 mins
  • Napa - 14.3 mi - 24 mins
  • Monterey - 162 mi - 2 hours 54 mins
  • Oakland - 48.2 mi - 1 hour 4 mins
  • Sacramento - 67.7 mi - 1 hour 20 mins
  • San Francisco - 44.2 mi - 1 hour 3 mins
  • Yosemite National Park - 202 mi - 4 hours 29 mins 


Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau  |  453 First Street East  |  Sonoma CA 95476  |  Toll Free 866-996-1090  |  Phone 707-996-1090 |  © 2012 Sonoma Valley Visitors