Calling all my wine girlies—this guide to the best wineries in Carneros is for you!
Home to some of California’s most exceptional vineyards, this region is the perfect escape from busy city life, and I’m so excited to help you explore the area.
If you’re heading north from San Francisco, you’ll come across Carneros, which lies in the southern end of Napa and Sonoma counties.
Book the top activities in the Carneros Valley area below through GetYourGuide:
The unique terrain is known for its cool climate that produces some of the world’s best chardonnays, pinot noirs, and sparkling wines.
I’ve spent a lot of time exploring the top wineries in Carneros since I live pretty close to the area, and I put together this list of my favorites to share with you.
Best Wineries in Carneros
1. Anaba Wines
Anaba Wines, named after the anabatic wind phenomenon that commonly occurs in Carneros, is a wonderful winery to visit whether you’re a newbie or a connoisseur.
The founder, John Michael, was inspired to start Anaba Wines after realizing the Carneros winds reminded him of his time in France’s Rhône Valley—as a result, this winery specializes in Rhône-style wines.
Anaba Wines crafts unique blends of both red and white wines, so there’s something for every wine drinker to enjoy.
The winery is a gorgeous place to relax, with a light and airy atmosphere that perfectly fits the California vibe.
2. Ceja Vineyards
If you love diving into local history, a sweet family success story awaits you at world-class Ceja Vineyards.
This winery was founded in 1983 by the Ceja children after their parents moved from Mexico to California in the 60s and began working in the winery business.
Ceja produces some of the best pinot noirs and sauvignon blancs that you’ll find in Carneros.
The tasting room has a stylish yet welcoming atmosphere, making it the perfect weekend getaway.
I highly recommend visiting Cuvaison for its incredible views of the Carneros wine country.
Cuvaison has been serving tasty varieties of chardonnay and sauvignon blanc made from grapes grown in Carneros Valley for decades.
The patio at Cuvaison is the perfect spot to enjoy a sampling of the vineyard’s delicious wines while taking in the stunning Carneros views.
Founded in 1969, Cuvaison has earned quite a reputation for its estate wines—the chardonnay is considered one of the best in California and is often served in local restaurants.
4. Ram’s Gate Winery
Ram’s Gate Winery might be one of the newer additions to the Carneros region, having opened in 2011, but it’s already earned a reputation as a can’t-miss vineyard.
The team behind Ram’s Gate is passionate about creating great wines in harmony with nature, which shows in the high quality of all their varietals.
Ram’s Gate Winery features a cozy tasting room that’s open to visitors, and I love visiting in the winter when the fire pits are turned on.
5. Domaine Carneros
I’ve been a big fan of Domaine Carneros for a while after learning of its rich heritage and tastings its delicious sparkling wines.
Founded in 1987, Domaine Carneros focuses on small-batch wines crafted with traditional winemaking techniques.
This winery is set in a luxurious chateau that looks like something straight out of France—perfect for romantic date nights or catching up with friends.
The bubbles and bites flight is my favorite experience at Domaine Carneros. You’ll get to enjoy a selection of sparkling wines that are paired with small bites, yum!
6. The Donum Estate
If you’re looking for a unique experience that combines tasty Carneros wine, a magnificent estate, and an incredible art collection, The Donum Estate is the place to be.
The estate boasts 50 privately owned sculptures from world-renowned artists, making it the ultimate destination for art and wine lovers.
With a focus on sustainably made single-vineyard wines, The Donum Estate offers a unique winery experience that appeals to eco-conscious connoisseurs.
Donum Estate is known for its exclusive pinot noirs and chardonnay, which are made from locally grown Carneros grapes.
7. Viansa Sonoma
When you visit Viansa Sonoma, you’ll immediately feel as though you’ve been transported to the enchanting countryside of Tuscany.
This south Sonoma Valley winery features a beautiful Italian villa and serves some of the best Italian-inspired wines in the area.
Vians Sonoma is a fourth-generation family-owned vineyard, so they really know their stuff!
Viansa serves both red and white wines, and my favorite is the pinot grigio which I recommend enjoying alongside a yummy cheese board.
8. Dunstan Wines – Durell Vineyard
All my local chardonnay and pinot noir lovers are probably familiar with Durell Vineyard since it produces some of the most exceptional grapes in the region.
You’ll be instantly enamored with the estate’s picturesque rolling hills as soon as you arrive at the property.
If you only have time to visit one winery in Carneros, I highly recommend Dunstan Wines.
Note that walk-ins are not accepted at this winery, so you’ll have to book a reservation in advance.
9. Gloria Ferrer
Gloria Ferrer boasts the title of the first sparkling winery in Carneros, and they’ve truly mastered the craft.
Since the 1980s, Gloria Ferrer has been producing traditional Spanish wines across the estate’s gorgeous 300 acres.
Enjoy sweeping views from the outdoor patio while tasting award-winning sparkling wines—it’s the perfect place to relax and experience the unique flavors of Carneros.
Gloria Ferrer also serves an assortment of bar snacks, small plates, and desserts that you can pair with your favorite glass of bubbly.
The terrace brunch experience is my favorite way to spend an afternoon, and you must also check out the Gloria Ferrer caves.
10. Etude Winery
You’ve probably picked up on the running theme of pinot noir because it’s one of the most popular styles of wine produced in Carneros.
Etude Winery serves a delicious and award-winning pinot noir that they’ve perfected over 35 years of being in business.
The winery also sources a great selection of local wines in case pinot noir isn’t your jam, so everyone can find something to sip on.
With a relaxed tasting room that attracts both tourists and locals, Etude Winery is one of the top Carneros wineries.
11. Truchard Vineyards
For a cozy winery experience, visit Truchard Vineyards, a rustic estate that’s been managed by owners Tony and Jo Ann Truchard for almost 40 years.
The couple founded a winery in 1989 and started making unique blends with grapes harvested exclusively from their own estate.
Today, Truchard Vineyards continues to feature wines that are 100% produced and bottled by the winery itself, which is pretty impressive.
I also recommend visiting the property’s unique caves and touring the vineyard grounds—the owners are all about preserving the area’s natural beauty, and you can taste the care taken to produce these wines in every sip.
12. Hyde Vineyards
Hyde Vineyards is a popular pick for wineries in Carneros since they’ve been producing yummy estate wines since the late 1970s.
The father and son duo that run Hyde Vineyards have made quite a name for themselves with their unique approach to winemaking.
The winery specializes in Burgundian varieties and often experiments with different blends of pinot noir, chardonnay, and syrah.
Hyde Vineyards is known for its incredible wine-tasting experience that lets visitors get up close and personal with the property and wine production process.
13. Sangiacomo Family Vineyards
I love Sangiacomo Family Vineyards because the third-generation family-run winery really knows its winemaking stuff.
The Sangiacomo family operates the vineyards and prioritizes creating world-class wines with sustainable practices.
The Carneros estate is charming and laidback, so everyone will feel welcome regardless of their knowledge about wine.
Sangiacomo Family Vineyards specializes in pinot noir, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc varieties, but they also have a few other offerings, so you have plenty of options.
14. Schug Carneros Estate Winery
Next up on this guide to the best wineries in Carneros is Schug Carneros Estate Winery.
This winery’s story began in Germany over a hundred years ago, from a pinot noir estate originally planted in the twelfth century.
The estate has been serving delicious pinot noir crafted with family winemaking techniques for generations, creating a unique Carneros winery experience.
The winery is pretty exclusive, and you’ll need to reserve your visit in advance.
15. Jacuzzi Family Vineyards
Lastly, we have Jacuzzi Family Vineyards, a beloved local winery that brings a taste of Tuscany to California.
The Jacuzzi family moved to California from Italy in the 1920s and soon purchased an over 150-acre farm that would inspire the family vineyards.
With a gorgeous Italian estate that would be the perfect backdrop for a bachelorette party, the vineyard offers incredible wine and food pairings, like an apertivo wine tasting in the summer.
Whether you enjoy red, white, sparkling, or rose, Jacuzzi Family Vineyards guarantees an unforgettable time.
If you’re planning a trip to California’s wine region, make sure to save this list of the best Carneros Valley wineries!
Be sure to tag me on Insta (@wtfab) if you end up visiting any of these spots.
Carneros is a region that spans both Napa County and Sonoma County, in California’s famed wine country.
Carneros is known for its cool and mild climate that produces world-class winemaking grapes.
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.