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Make a happy holiday trip up to Sonoma County

The tasting room at Ram's Gate winery is decked out for the holidays.
Ram’s Gate Winery in Sonoma County’s Carneros region is one of the vineyards known for its festive holiday decorations. | Source: Courtesy Ram’s Gate Winery

Post-harvest Wine Country is a happy time. With many vines and trees still sporting their fall colors and a host of holiday happenings on the calendar, both locals and day trippers will find a variety of festivities worth checking out.

If you’re up for a Christmas market, a Sippin’ Santa cocktail or some world-class wine tasting bedecked with all the trimmings of the season, peruse the highlights below or check this calendar online for more than 100 additional events taking place around Sonoma County this holiday season.

Taste Christmas Reds and Whites

Vintners throughout Sonoma County make a special effort to dress up for the holidays. And Ram’s Gate pulls out all the stops, decking out its tasting rooms. 

Known for its dramatic design and setting, the Carneros winery offers a variety of wine tasting experiences paired with foods of the season. Ram’s Gate is also known for its glamorous annual holiday gala, taking place on Dec. 9 and celebrating Old Hollywood.

An old-fashioned red car sits under a Christmas wreath.
A classic car is seen at Ram's Gate Winery old Hollywood Christmas. | Source: Courtesy Ram's Gate Winery

Ledson Winery in Kenwood and Bacchus Landing in Healdsburg are also known to host very merry tasting sessions. Or head to Glen Ellen for its Holiday Stroll past village wineries and shops on Dec. 14.

‘Daycation’ at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa in Sonoma

Though its display is not as extraordinary as its sister property on Nob Hill, the Fairmont in Sonoma provides its guests with a happy holiday: Give yourself the gift of a spa treatment or daycation at a poolside cabana. You deserve it.

People stand near a stone fountain filled with water and lily pads.
Book a spa treatment or "daycation" at a poolside cabana at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn. | Source: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

The Barlow Tasting Tour in Sebastopol 

It’s the perfect time of year to check out Sebastopol’s lively outdoor artisanal market area with 30 restaurants and shops. For the holidays, the Barlow is offering a “behind-the-scenes” tasting tour to highlight seven of its specialty food and wine purveyors, including West County makers of cheese, olive oil, spirits and wine.

Historical Shopping Opportunities

In addition to the Barlow, Sonoma County is peppered with historic shopping areas that’ll help you get gifts for everyone on your list. They include the Healdsburg and Sonoma plazas, downtown Petaluma and Duncan Mills in the Russian River Valley.

People ride a tram through the vineyard in Glen Ellen.
Visitors at Benziger Family Winery enjoy a tram tour through the vineyard in Glen Ellen. Head to Glen Ellen for the Holiday Stroll past wineries and shops on Dec. 14. | Source: George Rose/Getty Images

Tropical Winter Wonderland at the Flamingo Resort & Spa in Santa Rosa  

You’ll find palms decked out as Christmas trees, holiday tiki cocktails and decor that features a rattan sleigh pulled by flamingos at the Flamingo Resort, Santa Rosa’s famous tropical motor court.

Ice Skate on Snoopy’s Home Ice in Santa Rosa

No one needs a holiday to visit Snoopy’s Home Ice, the most famous—and one of the last—ice skating rinks in the Bay Area. But Snoopy’s goes all out during December with free ice skating exhibitions and holiday shows, not to mention times for the public to skate every day.