Stretching between the Russian River to the west and the Mayacamas Mountains to the east, Alexander Valley is a key wine-growing region in Sonoma Valley, featuring over 40 wineries and about 15,000 acres (6,070 hectares) planted to grapevines. Stretching for 22 miles, it includes the towns of Healdsburg, Geyserville, and Cloverdale.
It's no surprise that wine tasting is one of the most popular activities in Alexander Valley, the largest wine region in Sonoma, but the area is also known for its farm-to-table restaurants and many art galleries. During the summer, the Russian River and Lake Sonoma offer a range of outdoor activities.
Guided wine tours are a popular and convenient way to experience Alexander Valley wineries. Tours typically include a few wineries in Alexander Valley or other areas in Sonoma, as well as transportation so you don’t have to worry about drinking and driving. More-active visitors can combine a winery tour with activities such as cycling or kayaking. Alternatively, pair a winery tour with a local food tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Alexander Valley is ideal for wine lovers, foodies, and art fans.
- Although some wineries offer limited free tastings, most charge for their tastings.
- Some wineries only offer tastings by appointment.
- Tasting rooms and shops can also be found in the towns of Healdsburg and Geyserville.
- Many Alexander Valley wineries are wheelchair-accessible, but it's best to check ahead to avoid disappointment.
How to Get There
Alexander Valley is located about 65 miles (105 kilometers) northwest of San Francisco, an easy drive along Highway 101. The most convenient way to visit is on a guided tour. The closest airport is the Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa.
When to Get There
Alexander Valley can be visited year-round. Different wineries will have different operating hours, and Mondays and Tuesdays are typically slower days in the valley. While the crowds may be smaller, always call ahead to make sure a particular winery is open the day you plan to visit.
Alexander Valley Wines
The warm climate, rolling hillside topography, and terroir of Alexander Valley are particularly suited for Bordeaux grapes, especially cabernet sauvignon, though merlot, petit verdot, and malbec grapes also thrive here. Other varietals include zinfandel, cabernet franc, sauvignon blanc, and viognier. Notable wineries include Verité Winery, Silver Oak, Jordan Vineyard & Winery, and Clos du Bois.