Halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento is the Suisun Valley California wine region. It's a place where you'll find beautiful golden hills that turn green in winter, casual and affordable wineries, rustic charm, many family-owned businesses, and small farms.
Largely undiscovered, Suisun Valley is quaint, but it packs a punch with over a dozen wineries and tasting rooms offering reasonably priced high-quality wines reminiscent of the early days of Napa Valley. Some wineries are new (like the Bally Keale Estate), and others have been passed down through generations (such as the Wooden Valley Winery). I grew up near Suisun Valley. Over the years, I've watched it grow into an exciting Northern California wine region, and I can't wait to see what comes next.
Suisun Valley California Wine Region
Wine tasting is one of the best things to do in California, and Suisun Valley has so many wonderful wineries to choose from. Plan your next visit to the Suisun Valley California wine region with these helpful tips.
1. BackRoad Vines at Village 360
Village 360's on-site winery, BackRoad Vines, crafts wine from hand-picked berries. Reservations are required for wine flights, which include charcuterie platters, house-made desserts, or specially curated food and wine pairings.
In addition to wine tasting, Village 360 offers fitness and crafting classes, hot drinks from Buzz Coffee, fancy and casual dining at The Landing, craft beer, specialty cocktails, and lots of special events, like Art on the Vine. At Art on the Vine, over 50 artists display pieces to help celebrate artistry in Suisun Valley—claiming to bring back the “old school” art form of winemaking.
Other on-site experiences include private Pupusa classes, wine blending, and archery classes.
2. Wooden Valley Winery
This family-owned winery in Suisun Valley has created high-quality wines for over 90 years. Known for its Lanza family hospitality, Wooden Valley Winery offers a complete cellar of wines, all grown and bottled on-site. This is an excellent place for wine lovers looking for a rich history, high-quality but affordable wines, and a casual atmosphere. The outdoor picnic tables are picturesque, with beautiful vineyard views, and are perfect for tasting on a sunny afternoon.
Fun events to look out for include Food Truck Fridays, which include wine, music, and food trucks.
Walk through the vineyards, pick fruit from the orchards, and enjoy the Suisun Valley wine country scenery while tasting at Caymus-Suisun. The atmosphere is unique, with plenty of palm trees and vines. Indoor and outdoor seating, with gorgeous views (inside has floor-to-ceiling windows), is available.
There's even an espresso bar! Grab a complimentary espresso on your way out — such a fun and appreciated perk after sipping wine.
The business is open daily, but reservations are required.
4. Tolenas Vineyards and Winery
Second-generation farmers and winemakers, Tolenas Winery is a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of neighboring cities. Pulling up to the pretty white Victorian home feels like you're going for a glass of wine at a friend's house. The tasting lawn around the back is shaded, lovely, and the ideal place to sip and chat.
When making a weekend reservation, add on a few charcuterie “cones” full of nuts, fruit, and chocolate sticks. You will love it.
5. Suisun Creek Winery
Another true family-run business, Suisun Creek Winery, is open on weekends. Here guests can gather on the rustic patio to taste delicious wine and enjoy views of the vineyard. The winemaker, Brian, was raised on the property, which grows seven varieties of grapes.
The atmosphere is relaxed, the service is friendly, and the wines are tasty. No reservations are required.
6. Mangels Vineyards
Winemaking in Suisun Valley has been in the Mangels family for multiple generations. The current winemaker, Gina, is expanding on her great-grandfather's legacy. He immigrated to Suisun Valley from Italy in the 1890s.
Seating inside is nice, but the spacious outdoor seating is where Mangels Vineyards shines. With plenty of tables and shade on a hot day, this casual winery is worth a visit. No reservations are needed.
7. Tenbrink Vineyard
Open by appointment only in their 100-year-old red barn winery, Tenbrink Vineyard specializes in farm-style hospitality and offers Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, and Tempranillo. Owners Linda and Steve Tenbrink moved to Suisun Valley as newlyweds in 1982. They now have 60 acres of vineyards and a beautiful farmhouse next door to the winery, where they host winemaker dinners and food sourced from their 52-acre farm.
8. Bally Keale Estate
Set on 80 acres near rolling hills, Suisun's newest addition, Bally Keale Estate, is a luxury event center, winery, brewery (opening in the fall of 2023), and distillery. All libations are handcrafted on-site. Spirit tastings are also available. Guests can create a customized flight of five, choosing between rum, whiskey, and brandy.
The on-site car museum is also a cool attraction. Bally Keale Estate displays over a dozen historic cars and a few tractors dating back to the early 1900s. Reservations are not required, but if you wish to take a guided estate tour, please make an appointment.
9. Suisun Valley Wine Co-op
This unique locale lets guests taste wine from three family-owned micro-wineries: Blacksmith Cellars, Sunset Cellars, and King Andrew Vineyard. Staff at the tasting room are wine producers and grape growers, providing expert knowledge on the local wines and the Suisun Valley wine region. The tasting list changes weekly. And guess what — you can bring picnics or snacks (but no outside drinks). Stop by La Barista Espresso for deli sandwiches on your way to the Suisun Valley Wine Co-op.
- Blacksmith Cellars: Founded in 2003, winemaker Matt Smith crafts complex wines, distinctive varietal-driven and blended wines.
- Sunset Cellars: Starting in 1997 in the garage of the Inner Sunset neighborhood in San Francisco, Sunset Cellars has a minimalist winemaking style and respects the grower's efforts in the vineyards.
- King Andrew Vineyard: After growing grapes in their own vineyard, Roger King and his wife Carol brought their bottled wine from small lot production to the winery. The fresh and vibrant wines are bottled with limited intervention.
Reservations are not required, but they are recommended.
10. Suisun Valley Filling Station & Visitor's Center
The Suisun Valley Filling Station is home to a vintage gas station that offers a feeling of nostalgic Suisun Valley for locals and visitors alike. Hometown wine tasting is available by the glass or bottle, and beer is available in flights or pints. They also sell local farm items like olive oils, jams, and jellies.
If you're looking for a full sit-down meal, Mankas Grill is across the street and serves everything from Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta to soups, salads, lamb chops, pasta, and so much more.
11. Rock Creek Vineyard
Located in Green Valley, Suisun Valley's quaint neighborhood, Rock Creek Vineyard is small and family-friendly (including furry four-legged family members). One of my favorites, the grounds are beautiful and reminiscent of a rustic Italian landscape, making it a perfect alternative to Europe this summer.
The casual space is relaxing for adults and exciting for kids. With ample seating outside, including a few intimate tables throughout the property, adults can sip tasty wine while kids explore the vineyards — they can even meet the resident chickens! Just a few miles from the freeway, Rock Creek Vineyard is welcoming, beautiful, and fun for all ages. The olive oil is also delicious!
12. Vezar Family Vineyard
With three tasting rooms, guests to Vezar Family Vineyards can taste premium wine in the beautiful blue Victorian Mankas Gardens or the estate ranch winery grounds. All unique guests will experience VIP treatment in all three settings. And check out fun events happening all summer at the winery. The Wine & Live Music Series is especially fun.
Nicole is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. As a former professional athlete, she gravitates toward active vacations, but also loves a great luxury hotel (The Palace Hotel in San Francisco is her favorite). In addition to travel writing, Nicole has published pieces about sports, parenting, entertainment, art, technology, and law. When she's not writing, she can be found reading a good book, hiking around the Bay Area with her son, trying to train their 70 lb. puppy, or watching reruns of I Love Lucy.