Best Times To Visit

Sonoma is a year-round destination with the greatest number of visitors in summer and fall. Springtime is glorious with beautiful wildflowers and mustard blossoms in the vineyards. Summer boasts unending days of clear blue skies, warm days and cool evenings. Autumn months are the busiest due to the excitement of the grape harvest. Winter is peaceful and beautiful with many sunny, 60 degree days.

Seasonal Highlights & Notable Events

There are way too many fun things to do in Sonoma to list in one place. We’ve summarized some of the highlights below. You are welcome to explore our Events Calendar section for more. Have fun!

The wine grape autumn harvest, also known as the “Crush” (think pressed grapes),  usually gets underway in mid-August, and continues  until as late as the end of October. It is most certainly a popular time to visit Sonoma Valley. The weather is wonderful, the vineyards and wineries are buzzing with activity, and fresh local produce is pouring into the farmers markets and restaurants. This period is also highlighted by two of the premier wine country events, the Sonoma Valley Vintage Festival and the Sonoma  Wine Country Weekend.

The winter season, loosely defined as November to February,  is one of the better kept secrets in California Wine Country. Resorts, Inns, and B&B’s put on their best show and offer great packages. Wineries also get in the holiday mood with numerous Wine Release Parties and Holiday Celebrations. Sonoma Plaza puts on its own magic with it’s Holidays in Sonoma celebration.  Olive Season and related festivities occur in February. March is the increasingly popular Girlfriends Getaway Month.

Springtime in Sonoma is simply gorgeous and brings out the best everywhere. April opens with the Sonoma International Film Festival and goes out with flourish at the April in Carneros wineries open house weekend

Summer activities get a nice start with Gay Wine Weekend in early June.  And our new favorite thing to do in Sonoma is Transcendence Theatre’s “Broadway Under the Star”, which gets underway in Glen Ellen’s Jack London State Park in late June and continues through August.  Sonoma’s July 4 Celebration is our Editor’s Pick for the most fun thing to do with kids (tied with the Plaza Duck Pond and Traintown).

Monthly Average Temp Highs and Lows

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The Weather Channel

Monthly Average Precipitation

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The Weather Channel

Packing Tips for Visiting Sonoma Valley

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Sonoma Trashion Fashion Show

The key to dressing for weather changes in Sonoma Valley is to bring different layers. Dress styles are casual to “dressy” casual.

In early spring plan on bringing warm sweaters as well as a warm jacket to choose from. Since rain is still a possibility it would be helpful to bring an umbrella and a rain jacket or parka. Later in spring, a sweater or light jacket or both will be handy to have.

Summer time calls for a light sweater or jacket or both for foggy mornings or cool evenings. Early fall is similar to summer. Late fall returns to the sweaters and jacket and umbrella time.

Winter can be cool and stormy so a warm coat or jacket suitable for rain will be needed on cold days and nights to wear over other layers of clothes.

For men, a neck tie is rarely if ever needed.

Best Reasons to Visit During Winter Months

winter_vinesIt’s Lush & Green
The winter months are an amazing time to visit the valley as the hills and fields are alive with sheer beauty from welcome rains. The vineyards are dormant yet have beautiful subtle color.
vineyard_with_treeMild Temperatures!
Escape to mild weather and rainbow time! Winter daytime temperatures range from the high 40′s (a very cold day for us) to the mid 60′s making this time of year perfect for long walks and hikes in the Sonoma Valley hills as well as stopping by the wineries or visiting historic sites. There is always the promise of an early spring known to happen sometimes as early as mid February.

sonoma-olive-feastOlive Festival!

An annual series of events delightfully showcasing olives, one of the up and coming agricultural products of the Sonoma Valley. Enjoy a unique dinner and movie combination or a special Winemakers Dinner, or an inspiring cooking class. For a whole list of events, visit our Olive Festival page.
girlfriends-getaway-2Special Savings!
Winter is the best time for low seasonal rates at most of Sonoma Valley’s lodging choices. Special packages are available in conjunction with the Olive Festival. See all the promotional rates at the Olive Festival web site listed above. It is also a great time to stock up with your favorites wines as many wineries offer case sales that are hard to resist. 
vineyard_yellowQuieter Times!
If your idea of a Sonoma Wine Country visit includes quieter times, winter is the time to come. Time to rejuvenate, relax, and enjoy the valley without lots of traffic or lines for wine tasting at the wineries. Get to know the friendly staff and the wonderful wines in the tasting rooms. Many lodging choices will keep you cozy and warm with luxury bedding, fireplaces, and spas. 

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