All of those who know me, know I love California for its sun-soaked vineyards and award-winning wines. So, it should come as no surprise that I was eager to explore the top wineries Glen Ellen has to offer.
Escape the hustle and bustle of life in the San Francisco Bay Area, and venture to a place that’s still off the beaten path: Glen Ellen.
Just 20 minutes north of Sonoma Square and 40 minutes northwest of downtown Napa, this charming village offers its own distinct atmosphere with landscapes steeped in rural ambiance. I fell in love with the Bohemian vibes that filled the air and the majestic redwoods surrounding the wine country.
I’ve explored so many different wine regions in the past few years, and I have to say that Glen Ellen has something truly special. These wineries are home to some of the most exceptional varietals, with a stunning range of reds, whites, and rosés.
So without further ado, here are my picks for the 8 best Glen Ellen wineries:
Best Glen Ellen Wineries
Abbots Passage is a small winery that has a big personality. The grounds are packed full of rustic charm with an old-world feel and spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.
The winery is nestled write in the middle of its 100-year-old vines and is led by a spectacular group of women winemakers who are passionate about perfecting their craft. I absolutely love watching women thrive in the wine industry and Abbots Passage is leading the way.
Their small lot wines come from unique varietals that you won’t find anywhere else such as their Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. They also produce a fantastic Rosé that has become a fan favorite!
Along with being an incredible winery, they’re also a mercantile that sells artisanal products from local vendors.
Imagery Estate Winery is a family-run winery that has been producing some of the most prestigious wines in the region for over 40 years.
The estate vineyard is situated on a beautiful hilltop and offers stunning views of Sonoma Valley. The estate’s rustic tasting room is also worth visiting even if you don’t plan on tasting any wines. The atmosphere is incredibly relaxed and inviting, making it a great place to spend a few hours.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the head winemaker, Jamie Benzinger, and her exquisite wine-making skills. As one of Wine Enthusiasts 40 under 40 Tastemakers, Jamie is one of the few female winemakers in Glen Ellen.
Her wines are truly unique and not only does she craft some of the finest wines in the country, but each bottle is a unique work of art too!
With their limited-production estate wine collection comes breathtaking artwork on each label. Take a peek inside their on-site gallery to view some of their past wine labels.
Talisman Wines is a perfect combination of old-world charm and modern winemaking technology. While its foundation was built on the principles of traditional winemaking, the owners have incorporated more modern practices to produce some excellent wines that are gaining recognition locally and nationally.
Talisman Wine is the ultimate destination for Pinot Noir lovers.
Talisman compiles vintages from Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino’s finest vineyards to create unique expressions of this magnificent wine. Don’t miss out on trying their exclusive selections—it’s truly an unforgettable experience.
Visiting this delightful Glen Ellen winery is like being welcomed into the home of a passionate husband and wife team devoted to Pinot. Here, you’ll enjoy a warm, inviting ambiance that exudes comfort and charm!
The Benziger Family Winery has been crafting award-winning wines for the last 30 years. This family-owned and operated winery has a rich history of excellent craftsmanship that is apparent in its wines.
Boasting certified sustainable, organic, and biodynamic practices at their estate vineyard, they commit to eco-friendly farming. Consequently, visitors can experience the beauty of Sonoma Mountain up close with a Tractor Tram tour.
Despite its popularity among travelers, the tasting room retains its welcoming atmosphere in true Sonoma County fashion!
The Benzigers focus on making small-lot wines with a unique flavor profile that sets them apart from other wineries in the area. Their portfolio includes everything from Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot to Zinfandel.
As one of the newer players in the game, Kivelstadt Wine Garden & Eatery is setting a high bar for quality winemaking and delicious eats.
This urban-style “wine garden” offers some quirky wine-tasting experiences, that, to be honest, I can get down with.
Experience the Traditional Flight with wines that will give you an authentic taste of California winemaking. Forget about Chardonnay and Cabernet, they offer something different-Charbono varietals. I had never heard of these, but wow, they were good!
I was also able to listen in on a Family First Flight to discover why each bottle is lovingly named after someone in Jordan Kivelstadt’s family. It felt like a little history lesson along with a wine tasting.
They also have a fun Off the Beaten Path Flight, a selection of daring wines that everyone seemed excited about. It includes their exclusive Cider/Wine, Orange Wine, and KC Labs series.
Hamel Family Wines is perched atop a grand hill with rolling vineyards just beneath. The atmosphere and visuals are nothing short of serene, chic, and stunning—the decor is so captivating that you feel as if you’ve stepped into your own slice of paradise.
But the culinary experience here truly takes it to another level. Each food pairing has been carefully crafted to add an incomparable flavor profile alongside every wine tasting!
Proudly cultivating the finest quality wines from Sonoma Valley, this winery offers limited quantities of its premium varietals. With very few wines produced, they’ve been able to focus on making the most exceptional wines possible.
Wine and Olive Oil go together like peanut butter and jelly, right? BR Cohn Winery, however, takes it to a whole other level with its Olive Oil that’s made on-site from its century-old olive trees.
This winery has been producing some of the highest-quality wines since 1984. They’ve also gained acclaim for their live music events featuring nationally renowned artists like Huey Lewis & the News! (This might have something to do with the founder managing the Doobie Brothers for nearly 45 years.) How cool is that!
Their wine portfolio is also something special, with their Gold Medal-winning Cabernet Sauvignon being a particular favorite. Chardonnay, Zinfandel, and Pinot Noir are also popular among visitors—all served at an unbeatable price.
This winery is the perfect place to head for a summer afternoon of wine tasting and live music—where you can soak up the atmosphere both in the vineyards and inside the warm, welcoming tasting room with a drink in hand.
“Committed to Cabernet” is the slogan at Laurel Glen Vineyard, and this winery certainly lives up to its mantra.
Sometimes when I’m wine tasting in Sonoma County I get a little sick of Pinots, since they’re not typically my favorite and I tend to like bolder reds. So a commitment to Cab is something I can get behind.
Laurel Glen is nestled in the stunning Sonoma Mountain Region, and because of its location, it gives the cabernet grapes a unique flavor—something that has been admired by wine connoisseurs around the world.
The winemakers have been able to strike the perfect balance. The wines here are bold, but also light and refreshing.
The setting here is breathtaking with views of both Sonoma Valley as well as San Francisco in the distance. This hidden gem of a tasting room is often overlooked but can’t be missed. Every sip of these delectable under-the-radar wines will have you raving about their excellence!
Leave me a comment below or on my Insta (@wtfab) with your favorite Glen Ellen wineries!
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Glen Ellen is located in the heart of California’s Sonoma Valley.
Glen Ellen is known for its natural beauty and wineries.
Elise Armitage is an entrepreneur and founder of What The Fab, a travel + lifestyle blog based in California. At the beginning of 2019, Elise left her corporate job at Google to chase her dreams: being an entrepreneur and helping women find fabulous in the everyday. Since then, she’s launched her SEO course Six-Figure SEO, where she teaches bloggers how to create a passive revenue stream from their website using SEO. Featured in publications like Forbes, Elle, HerMoney, and Real Simple, Elise is a firm believer that you can be of both substance and style.