8 Eco-Friendly Wineries in Sonoma to Visit


With wine country at the top of most travelers’ Sonoma County to-do list, we’re featuring some of Sonoma’s eco-friendly wineries.

Recently, Kind Traveler announced a special two-year partnership with Sonoma County Tourism (SCT), empowering travelers to Northern California wine country to make a positive impact to the local community and environment. One of the best ways that this is already on display in Sonoma is with natural, biodynamic and organic wineries. As Sonoma County has previously written on their website, “Sonoma County wineries are among the leaders in the organic and Biodynamic wine movements, which can be very generally summed up as systematic, forward-looking returns to the 'roots' of agriculture.”

So with wine country at the top of most travelers’ Sonoma County to-do list, we’re featuring some of Sonoma’s eco-friendly wineries. Below, discover 8 of Sonoma’s natural, organic and biodynamic wineries.

Benziger Family Winery

When talking biodynamic wineries in Sonoma, it’s hard to discuss them without mentioning Benziger, which has been one of Sonoma’s leaders for nearly two decades. In fact, biodynamic winemaking is so important at Benziger that they even offer a biodynamic vineyard tram tour, where guests explore the vineyards and visit the winemaking facilities to discover their biodymanic farming practices firsthand.

On Benziger’s website, they lay out what green farming exactly means, and how it’s carried out in the making and quality of their wines, all of which carry a third-party certification of green farming practices. Benziger's tasting room, located in Glen Ellen, is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Martorana Family Winery & Vineyards

Martorana Family Winery’s environmental practices came full circle on one of my last trips to Sonoma, when I actually biked there from the town of Healdsburg. Like Benziger, Martorana proudly touts their environmentally friendly winemaking practices. As Martorana shares on their home page, “The winery is committed to the preservation of land and natural resources, and practices organic farming techniques that earned a certification from the California Certified Organic Farmers.”

What’s more, in 2014, Martorana Famly Winery became the first winery to receive the Associate of Fish & Wildlife Agencies’ Private Lands Fish and Wildlife Stewardship Award for its fish habitat restoration practices. Located northwest from Healdsburg 7 miles, Martorana is open to the public daily from 11 to 5, when guests can also try their olive oil, which was what the family first started producing in the 1990s.

Quivira Vineyards & Winery

According to Quivira, “Quivira Vineyards believes in intentional winegrowing and honors a thoughtful commitment to organic farming.” Quivira's sustainable practices include things like restoring Wine Creek for salmon populations, composting, and powering more than half of their energy with a 55kW solar system. Their ultimate goal, however, is to be a completely self-sustaining winery. Quivira is located in Healdsburg, and open daily from 10 to 4:30 for classic tastings, estate tasting and estate tours, which are offered daily by appointment.

Hamel Family Wines

One of Sonoma’s newest biodynamic wineries is Hamel Family Wines, located just north of the town of Sonoma, and which just opened their winery in 2014. Hamel Family Wines' mission, as they state on their home page, is to "farm our vineyards with organic and biodynamic practices, always mindful of our role as responsible stewards of the land.” Among some of Hamel's other unique features is the living roof on the top of their production facility, and their dry farming practices. A majority of their vines are dry-farmed, while they intend for all of them to eventually be dry farmed. This results in significant water conservation when compared to conventional farming. Tastings and tours at Hamel Family Wines are led by an Estate Ambassador, and therefore are a little more upscale than your typical Sonoma wine tasting, and by appointment only.

Medlock Ames

Medlock Ames was the first biodynamic winery I visited in Sonoma nearly a decade ago, and it left an impression. What’s unique about Medlock Ames is that most of their 338-acre property isn’t for growing grapes, but rather a habitat of oaks, wildflower and wildlands, which as they put it, “is managed for maximum ecological health.” Additionally, their vineyard is 100% organically farmed and completely solar powered. Guests can experience this themselves on a Bell Mountain ranch tour and tasting, strolling their organic vineyards, olive groves and gardens, or simply enjoy a tasting nearby at their Alexander Valley Tasting Room, which is open daily from 10 to 4:30.


For many wine lovers, Kendall-Jackson may be a familiar name, since it’s one of the larger wine producers in California, producing more than a million cases of wine per year. However, as important and far-reaching as their wine production is, so is there commitment to sustainability. This is evident with things like their distribution center's LEED Gold certification, and the many awards they've received, including the California Green Medal Leader Award.

A quick peek at their website shows the breadth of their sustainability practices. Among the sustainability highlights: Their vineyards and wineries are 100% third-party certified sustainable, they've reduced water intensity by 61% over the last decade, they use 7.1 MW of solar arrays, and theyleave more than half of their total acreage to grow wild and support biodiversity. Additionally, Kendall-Jackson touts that their wines are produced with one-third less water than the industry standard.

Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens is located in Santa Rosa, near the airport, where they’re open daily from 10 to 5.

Numerous wine tastings and pairings are available, plus a garden tour and tasting, which includes a stroll through their on-site garden.

Ridge Wine

Ridge Vineyards, located both in Sonoma County and the Santa Cruz Mountains, is the largest grower of organically certified grapes in Sonoma County and the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation. More than 300 acres of their vines are certified organic, while all of their vineyards are also certified sustainable by Fish Friendly Farming, which is a certification program for agricultural properties managed to restore fish and wildlife habitat and improve water quality. In practice, Ridge Vineyards’ commitment to organic and sustainable winemaking includes things like composting all grape stems, skins and seeds, and conserving water in a variety of ways. What’s more, their Healdsburg winemaking facility is built from straw bales and vineyard clay, and primarily solar-powered.

Ridge Vineyards tasting room in Healdsburg is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors can take the Estate Tour and Tasting to discover more about their eco-sustainable winemaking facility and sustainable practices.

Horse & Plow

Finally, there is Horse & Plow, a Sonoma winery located on two acres of gardens and orchards in Sebastopol. Horse & Plow’s vineyards themselves, meanwhile, are actually located throughout Northern California, in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties, where they work with growers committed to certified organic and/ or biodynamic winemaking techniques. Additionally, all of their wines are natural, vegan, contain low sulfites, and because they're organic, are non-GMO. Horse & Plow's tasting barn in Sebastopol is open daily from 11 to 5. Not a wine drinker? They also make their own cider.