The majority of Sonoma County enjoys the benefits of warm days and cool nights creating the ideal growing conditions for Sonoma winemakers to produce some of the best Cabernet Sauvignons in the world.
Sonoma County has been a legendary region for producing world-renowned, full-bodied Zinfandels and iconic Cabernet Sauvignons. This is partly due to the region's diversified terrain, featuring the terroir and microclimates that give red wines their thick skins, delivering those ruby-red Cabernets and Zinfandels.
With over 12,000 acres dedicated to growing Cabernets in the near-perfect Mediterranean climate, the Sonoma County wine region provides one of the most diverse areas to produce Cabernet Sauvignon, or what we in the industry affectionately refer to as 'Cab'.
There's four distinctive regions within Sonoma County that you'll want to considering visiting to restock your cellar; Sonoma Valley, Dry Creek Valley AVA, Chalk Hill AVA and the Alexander Valley AVA.
Rodney Strong Vineyards
You probably never knew that the founder of Rodney Strong Vineyards, Rodney Strong himself was a professional dancer in the 1950's and has one of the first to recognize the Alexander Valley potential for producing killer Cabernet Sauvignons. But the history does not stop there. He's actually the vintner that should be given the credit for the Pinot Noirs planted throughout Russian River valley as he was the first to do so in 1968.
Using climate data from UC Davis, he planted Chardonnay in what is now the Chalk Hill AVA and planted Cabernet in 1974 in the Alexander's Crown vineyard which ultimately became the Alexander Valley AVA 10 years later.
That's enough history as the wines of course have authentic merit to win their awards year after year, but their recent renovations to the property has made it a crown jewel of the Russian River Valley. With easy access from Highway 101, you'll be able to sit out on the patio sipping on the very wines that come from the surrounding estate vineyards. No doubt Rodney Strong is the perfect addition to your Sonoma wine country Cabernet tour.
Lambert Bridge offers the rustic charm of Sonoma County that allows you to relax the moment you step foot onto the property. With their lavish gardens and cascading flowers and expansive lawn, you'll want to make this your lunch spot to picnic.
By all means, this place is not pretentious; their focus is on the wines and it shows in every bottle. Their vineyard teams hand-pick every cluster of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, then sort it down to the individual berry for absolute perfection. This process takes a lot of time, but once you've had a chance to taste their wines, you'll know why you added Lambert Bridge to your Sonoma wine country itinerary! Reservations are required as space is limited.
Jordan Winery & Vineyards
Not too far from Mazzocco Sonoma is their sister property Matrix Winery that offers outdoor seating (weather permitting) to sip your glass of Sonoma County Zinfandel. Winemaker Diane Wilson has been a force to be reckoned with, winning hundreds of medals and awards. What most people don't know is that there's a Mother-Daughter winemaking team at work which is a pretty awesome combination and unique story to be shared. You'll find the staff friendly and knowledgeable.
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards
Across the other side of Sonoma County delivers another rustic tasting room that offers one of my favorite types of tours, vineyard tours! Yep, Alexander Valley Vineyards produces a mouth-watering Zinfandel, but also delivers it with rustic charm, allowing you to relax, kickback and wonder all the history the property has.
Insider's Travel Tip
When touring through Sonoma County, be sure to dress in layers during the peak summer months (June - October). The mornings can range from the lower 50's with highs in the 90's, sometimes sneaking over into triple digits. You'll find yourself shedding layers as the day progresses.
Popular Sonoma County wineries that produce Cabernets:
Featured Cabernet Wineries