The Best Time to Visit Russian River Valley

The Russian River Valley is known for its stunning Pinot Noirs and sweeping countryside, making it a destination for wine lovers and travelers alike. With over 200 beautiful wineries and vineyards to visit, the only real question is, “When should we go?!”


Early spring is the best time to go barrel tasting in Russian River Valley. Winemakers often personally guide barrel tastings, giving you a preview of new wines before they are bottled. In the vineyard, warmer spring weather brings “bud break”– the industry term for the first growth of the season.


Summer is a great time to plan a wine tasting trip along one of Russian River Valley’s picturesque country roads, such as Westside Road, River Road or Highway 116. Several wineries in this area also have culinary chefs and lush onsite gardens. Take advantage of seasonal food pairings or property tours to elevate your wine tasting experiences.


With the arrival of the grape harvest, fall is a wonderful time to visit wine country. Learn about the winemaking process as grapes begin their journey from the vine to the barrel, and talk with Russian River Valley growers and winemakers about their best practices. Consider joining the wine club to stay connected to your favorite wineries year-round.


Wintertime in wine country offers the most intimate wine tasting experiences, and is the best time for travel deals. For the shopper, this can be a great time to go wine tasting and purchase your favorite bottles as gifts. Many Russian River Valley wineries offer special holiday pricing and gift packaging, as well as a cozy place to spend time on a cold day.

Ready to go? Russian River Valley has a brand new website to help you plan your trip. Visit for more tips and ideas on where to eat, stay, taste and play!