A Wine Tasting Itinerary around Sebastopol, California
Located west of Santa Rosa in the Russian River Valley, Sebastopol is a must-visit community filled with wineries, distilleries, restaurants and much more. Pax Mahle Wines is located in downtown Sonoma in the Industrial-chic 'The Barlow’ district. Horse & Plow, Red Car Wine and Taft Street Winery are all located just north of downtown Sebastopol. Visit all four to enjoy a wide range of premium Sonoma wines, all backed by memorable hospitality and ideal ambience.
2021 Club Featured Winery
Taft Street Winery
Like the renegade Bordeaux winemakers known as Garagistes, Taft Street began in a garage rather than a grand chateau, stressing quality without pretense. Since 1979, the Taft Street team has carried on the garagistes tradition of innovation and excellence in a chateau-alternative locale.
From a backyard Berkeley garage to an old apple processing plant in Sebastopol, California, the family at Taft Street continues in the garagistes traditions to this day, crafting limited production, crowd pleasing wines from select Sonoma County vineyards. Visit the tasting room for exclusive wines, a relaxing atmosphere, and the ability to bring in a picnic lunch to enjoy on the patio or play on the bocce court!
Wines Produced: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rose, Pinot Noir, Grenache, Merlot
We loved this winery. Absolutely excellent wine—we especially loved the rose and Chardonnay. Honestly everything we tasted was phenomenal. Great experience and very nice people, all in the heart of the Russian river valley! -AT, Google Review
2021 Featured Winery: WineryHunt Club Members enjoy member benefits (waived tasting and discounts) at Taft Street Winery anytime in 2021
Reservations: Online here
Featured in Previous Years
While these wineries aren't offering benefits to WineryHunt Club Members in 2021, they are well worth visiting when you are in Sebastopol.
Horse & Plow
Started in 2008, Horse & Plow merges the best of old and new world techniques in producing authentic, hand-crafted wines from organic & biodynamic vineyards throughout California's North Coast. The wines are all made naturally with no synthetic nutrients or additives, no GMO’s, are vegan and contain low sulfites.
The beautiful tasting barn is located on two acres of gardens and orchards just outside Sebastopol. They offer tastings, glasses, and bottles of wines and cider, are pet and kid friendly, and offer an array of food options and non-alcoholic choices.
Wines Produced: Rosé, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Red Blend, Grenache, Ciders
A laid back setting to have a wine flight tasting and a cider tasting. The four different ciders had unique flavors from dry to sweet. The staff was extremely accommodating and our doggie loved sitting in a large shaded/sunny yard, with varied seating at picnic tables or Adirondack chairs, while we indulged on an enormous cheese plate. -JF, Google Review
Pax Mahle Wines
Pax and Pamela Mahle made a bold choice by favoring the “untapped potential" of the Syrah grape. The entire lineup of wines came from cool climate vineyards in Sonoma County and Mendocino. These wines went on to be highly sought after and Pax quickly became established as one of California’s premier producers of Syrah.
The winemaking at Pax Wines is approached holistically, taking care to use only grapes that are grown without the use of chemicals and by hand-making the wines with as little intervention as possible. As a result, all of the wines are crushed by foot and hand and fermented using only natural yeasts.
The cozy, urban tasting room is based in Sebastopol in the outdoor marketplace known as The Barlow. This industrial chic tasting room is just the place to enjoy a relaxed afternoon or start your wine tasting adventure. They offer a laidback experience where you can relax on a couch and enjoy delicious wines with no pretense.
Wines Produced: Syrah, Chenin Blanc, Gamay
Gorgeous tasting room with reclaimed wood, concrete and marble bar and big cozy couches to nestle into. But the best is the wine! Delicious. Restrained yet lush. Many varietals to choose from. Their tasting guide is the best! -JH, Google Review
Red Car Wine Co.
For nearly 20 years, Red Car has been on a journey—one that started in sunny Los Angeles and marched steadily northward toward a vision of cooler vineyard sites and the complex, aromatic wines they can express.
Red Car was founded by Mark Estrin, Carroll Kemp and Richard Crowell in 2000 with 50 cases of wine made from a single ton of Syrah grapes vinified in a Culver City garage. In a nod to their California roots, the new venture was named Red Car after the trolley line that ferried riders across Los Angeles for the first half of the twentieth century. In 2004, the partners purchased 125 acres of land and began developing vineyards in the wild coastal ridges north of Sonoma County’s Bodega Bay, a region now known as the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA. Here, the interplay of warm sunshine, cool Pacific breezes and sandstone soils would yield the age-worthy wines of structure and complexity that had captured their imagination.
Today, after years of refinement and changes in ownership, original founder Richard and his wife Alison are focused on promoting Red Car’s beloved wines. Red Car is one of the few growing Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah in Fort Ross - Seaview and offer tastings from their tasting room and lounge in Sebastopol.
Wines Produced: Rose of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Roussanne
One of our favorite stops along our wine adventure. Great music! Overall very approachable. Best Pinot Noirs we tried all over Sonoma and Napa. This is a must-stop! -BW, Google Review