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3 Sonoma County Wineries Your Groups Will Love

Photo of Balletto Vineyards with sun rising on the right.

When it comes to wine regions that are heralded on the world stage, Sonoma Valley, California, has certainly earned a spot near the top.

Located about an hour north of San Francisco, and even featuring its own airport in Santa Rosa, California’s Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport, this storied wine region boasts more than 425 wineries and 19 distinct appellations in an area roughly twice the size of neighboring Napa Valley.

And while Napa Valley gets the lion’s share of attention, most Californians sing the praises of Sonoma not only for its less-formal rural vibe but also its phenomenal farm-to-table cuisine scene and agricultural production.

Groups traveling to the region invariably consider adding wine-related activities to their agendas, and the hospitable wineries of Sonoma are only happy to oblige.

Following are three Sonoma County wineries that excel in catering to groups, with activity options that branch out from wine tastings to birdwatching and even baseball.

[Related: Dream Big: California Leads the Way for Memorable Meetings]

Balletto Vineyards

Like many Sonoma County wineries, Balletto Vineyards is a family operation, with the enterprise founded in 1977 as a ranch and vegetable farm. The Ballettos planted their first vines in 1995 and bottled their first vintage in 2001.

But the wine operation is only a part of the offering, with group facilities and activity options also comprising a major part of the business.

Balletto Vineyards encompasses a healthy 250 acres that includes a Laguna Wetlands Preserve area that can accommodate birdwatching and walking and eight-person tram tours that traverse the entire property.

“The best birdwatching around here is at our vineyard,” said Amy Lieberfarb, who handles marketing and communications for the winery. “We also offer a library experience with a large collection of pinot and chardonnay wines.”

The most unique on-property venue is its “Dream Field” baseball field, built by owner John Balletto for employees after they asked him to sponsor their softball league team.

[Related: 9 California Wineries Offering Outdoor Venues for Group Gatherings]

“He said, ‘Sure, but we don’t have a ballfield,’ so he built it,” said Allysson Taylor, director of events. “If you hit a home run it lands in the pinot gris field.”

Taylor added that the winery can custom-tailor any event to fit a client’s specific needs, including offering leisurely tastings with experts on-hand at each bar to discuss the wine or having some guests who want to sit at private tables to network and sip.

Photo of people tasting wine on a long table at Balletto Vineyards.
Balletto Vineyards. Credit: Balletto Vineyards.

Event-ready facilities include:

  • The Reserve Room space for up to 175 people overlooking the baseball field and surrounded by vineyards on the back of the property. The Reserve Room offers state-of-the-art AV and a commercial kitchen onsite so groups can bring in their own chef, which is something not offered at many wineries in the region.
  • The Library, an intimate venue used for personal tasting experiences for up to eight guests.
  • The Patio, a shaded garden area with seating overlooking chardonnay vines that can hold up to 60. 
  • Villa Vernazza, a 6,000-square-foot private estate house surrounded by 55 acres of Russian River Valley pinot noir vines that can accommodate up to 18.

Reserve Room amenities include:

  • Six hours of exclusive venue use
  • Choice of multiple locations
  • Parking capacity for up to 175 guests
  • Use of AV
  • A commercial kitchen
  • Onsite guest rooms
  • Year-round climate-controlled spaces
  • Mahogany folding chairs and round buffet and cocktail tables
  • A private event coordinator and bar staff

Balletto produces more than a million gallons of wine onsite annually, so depending on the time of year, attendees can experience the enterprise in action. The vineyard also donates a substantial amount of space throughout the year to nonprofits, schools and community organizations, along with holding a variety of live music and food-truck events.

Paradise Ridge Winery

Another family-owned Sonoma winery, Paradise Ridge also places a premium on group events.

According to co-owner Rene Byck, the winery was basically rebuilt with events in mind following the horrific Tubbs Fire in October 2017. Almost miraculously, most of the winery’s vines survived the conflagration that destroyed more than 5,500 homes and businesses in the area.

“When we rebuilt, we wanted to increase our events capabilities to host different-size events, as we have seven different spaces for private events, including an overnight small retreat option for 20 people,” Byck said. “We’re kind of geared to events. We can do corporate events for up to 250 people. We have a lot of art on the property, so there’s an art tour or wine tasting or teambuilding, and field-event games.”

Byck is particularly proud of the farm-stay offering on property, with a five-bedroom short-term vacation rental that sleeps 10. An addition due in summer 2024 will result in the added capacity for 10 more guests.

Photo of Paradise Ridge Winery.
Paradise Ridge Winery. Credit: Paradise Ridge Winery.

The 155-acre estate offers panoramic views of its vineyards and the Russian River Valley, with group options that include the following:

  • Site & Wine Packages for large group tastings, lunches and receptions that include semi-private use of one level of the winery’s two-level venue for two hours, including a staging or green room, and the sculpture grove and vineyards, with tables and chairs included.
  • Dinner Site & Wine Packages that offer exclusive use of the venue for four hours, including tables and chairs, for up to 150 guests, and a staging or green room and the sculpture grove and vineyards.
  • A la carte options that offer audiovisual, catering and daytime team activities.
  • A wide range of group experiences are available, including blind tastings, a production tour, wine and chocolate pairings, a large sculpture tour with the owner, a vineyard hike tour and others.

Entertainment and themed experiences include:

  • A wine and sunset dinner reception (including a food truck and live band)
  • A Paella, Flamenco & Wine Reception
  • A Game Day on the Meadow Reception (including lawn games)
  • A Wine Cocktail Challenge
  • A Classic Wine Reception that is purely a networking event with no wine education

[Related: How to Explore California Wine Country Through Food]


On the large-scale production side—and producing wines that may be familiar with many attendees, including Kendall-Jackson and La Crema—are the Sonoma wineries of Kendall-Jackson.

While the wineries don’t offer any harvest or custom-blending group activities, a wide range of estate experiences are on offer at its Sonoma County properties.

Photo of extremely long dinner table at Copain Winery.
Copain Winery. Credit: Copain Winery.

At Kendall-Jackson proper, groups can enjoy a Chef’s Five Course Menu & Pairing, featuring farm-to-table cuisine that includes seasonal items harvested in the winery’s culinary garden and paired with a selection of small-production, limited-release wines.

The winery also offers a Garden Tour that features a 30-minute stroll through the culinary garden before being seated on the patio for a tasting. Groups can also hold a picnic on one of the venue’s picnic tables and play a game of bocce.

Groups holding an event at La Crema winery can enjoy a short walk to Richard’s Grove where a pavilion and lawn are used for events. Groups can also rent picnic tables here.

Copain Winery, conveniently located less than 10 minutes from downtown Healdsburg, California, can accommodate groups of up to 100 guests amongst towering redwood trees with views looking over the Russian River Valley.

Matanzas Creek promotes group offerings such as musical events and vinyasa yoga classes in its lavender gardens followed by a seated wine-tasting experience.

[Related: How Santa Rosa Stands Out for Meetings in Sonoma County, California]


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Balletto Vineyards


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This article was produced in partnership with Visit California.


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About the author
Tyler Davidson | Editor, Vice President & Chief Content Director

Tyler Davidson has covered the travel trade for nearly 30 years. In his current role with Meetings Today, Tyler leads the editorial team on its mission to provide the best meetings content in the industry.