While Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon are the most prevalent grape varieties, Sonoma County is home to more than 60 diverse varieties for wine drinkers to discover. Below is a a selection of those important grape varieties grown in Sonoma County.

Pinot Noir

Nuanced and ethereal, Pinot Noir is an elegant wine that can be surprisingly structured, offering flavors of red and black cherries, strawberries, and a hint of earthiness.

Chardonnay

Can run the gamut of styles from crisp and minerally to creamy and buttery. Baked apple, pear, and lemon are common descriptions. Chardonnay responds well to oak, so many have toasty, spicy flavors as well.

Cabernet Sauvignon

The most widely planted red grape in Sonoma County, Cabernet is concentrated and structured, with flavors of black currant, anise, and cedar. Often best after a few years of aging.

Zinfandel

Known for its spicy pepperiness, jammy blackberry and black raspberry fruit, and brambly characteristics. Usually big, full-bodied wines that aren’t overly tannic.

Sauvignon Blanc

Crisp and lively, with citrus flavors, a slight grassiness, good acidity, and little or no oak influence.

Merlot

Plump, ripe fruit, smooth tannins, and flavors of red and black cherries and red currant characterize this popular grape. Can range in structure from soft and approachable to intense and almost as structured as Cabernet Sauvignon.

Syrah

Fast growing in popularity, Syrah grows well in almost all of Sonoma County’s wide-ranging climates. In the warmer areas, it exhibits rich black fruit, mocha, and spice flavors, while cooler climates bring out the wine’s raciness and pepperiness.

Pinot Gris

Firmly established as one of the most pleasing aromatic whites, Pinot Gris offers the wine adventurer lightly honeyed fruit flavors of ginger and tropical fruit.

Viognier

Striking a perfect balance between oak-seasoned Chardonnay and aromatic whites like Riesling and Pinot Gris, Viognier has earned respect for its lush flavors, ample fruit and great balance.

Pinot Blanc

Firmly established as one of the most pleasing aromatic whites, Pinot Gris offers the wine adventurer lightly honeyed fruit flavors of ginger and tropical fruit.

Cabernet Franc

A reliable component in Bordeaux-style blends and as a stand-alone varietal with its own personality and flavor of ripe blueberry and licorice.

Sangiovese

Sonoma County Sangiovese delivers a blend of savory herbs and ripe raspberries supported by bracing acidity.

Petite Sirah

Dense and concentrated, Petite Sirah offers ripe berry fruit on a muscular framework of tannins and acidity.

Learn More About Where These Varieties Are Grown >