Sonoma Events in May 2024: Festivals, Wine Tasting & More

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: May 2, 2024

Sonoma events in May 2024 include the Alexander Valley Film Festival, Petaluma's Salute to American Graffiti, and others. There are also several wine tasting events at local wineries where you can enjoy local wines, live music, food, and more.

Read on for details on this month's top things to do in Northern California wine country.

Sonoma Events in May

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Alexander Valley Film Festival

Date: 4/26 - 5/5

This 10-day film festival offers more than 100 opportunities to discover a variety of films in five different Sonoma County cities: Cloverdale, Geyserville, Healdsburg, Windsor, and Santa Rosa.

AVFest features especially cutting-edge indie films, as well as work that celebrates underrepresented communities and diverse cultures. Guests have the chance to meet emerging artists from all over the world.

To attend, you can choose from single-screening tickets starting at $12 (or $5 for students), a five-pack for $50, or a variety of tickets that include special access to multiple days of the festival events. 

Tickets are currently on sale.

Bodega Bay Fisherman's Festival

Dates: 5/4 -5/5

The annual Bodega Bay Fisherman's Festival, now in its 51st year lasts all weekend long, hosting live music, dozens of arts and crafts vendors, and kids activities, as well as wine and beer booths featuring some of Sonoma County's best.

As it is a fish fest, you bet there will be good, fresh seafood to try, too, including barbecued oysters, fish and chips, clam chowder, and more.

The festival celebrates the opening of salmon season with the Blessing of the Fleet and a wooden boat race. Proceeds benefit 22 local non-profit organizations.

Gate tickets cost $20 for adults. Two-day passes are $30. Seniors 65 and older pay $18, while kids under 12 are free.

Sonoma Events in May: Castles & Kites

Date: 5/18

Spring has sprung and summer is right around the corner, which means that it is a wonderful time for the Castles & Kites festival one of the best family-friendly Sonoma events in May!

This event is on Saturday from 11 am until 3 pm. The is one of the Sonoma events in May which includes more than 50 kites and 50 sand castles on Doran Regional Park in Bodega Bay.

The best way to experience this fun event is to start at the boardwalk and then walk down the beach. You are encouraged to bring your own kite and build your own sand castles.

The Castles and Kites event is free for all. Make sure to bring some cash as parking is $7 a car.

More Fun Things to Do in Sonoma in May

In addition to these fun Sonoma events in May, you will also find a variety of other fun things to do. Here are just a few of my favorite options this time of year.

Sonoma Wine Country Bike Tour: Ride through Sonoma Wine Country on this 4.5 hour tour, starts in Santa Rosa and takes you to visit two to three wineries, entire trip is about 16-miles (25.7 km), route is mostly flat, check for availability

Food & Wine Walking Tour: Walking and food tour of Sonoma which stops at several gourmet spots for tastings, check for availability

Sonoma County Wine Events in May 2024

Some of the most popular Sonoma events in May are the local winery wine tasting events. These events are held at the wineries and usually on the weekend days. They include special dinners with famous chefs, walks through the properties with a chance to taste wine at the end, and release parties to sample their newest creations.

You will also find several fun things to do for Mother's Day.

Alexander Valley Vineyards: Battle of the blends from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm (5/18). Create the next vintage of AVV's Wine Club Reserve in this spirited competition.

Amista Vineyards: 20th Anniversary Celebration with our inaugural PINK Party (5/19) starting at 1 pm.

Amphora Wines: Paella Party (5/18) from 5 pm to 8 pm.

BR Cohn: Summer music series every Saturday & Sunday from 12-2:30 pm between May and October, for food, wine and live music.

Bartholomew Estate: Oak Knoll Opening Day where guests can relax, sip wine, enjoy music, and have fun from 11 am to 4:30 pm

Buena Vista Winery: Pinot Gris and Sushi Experience (5/19), from 11 am to 2 pm, sushi paired with Pinot Noir wines

Cline Cellars: Friday Jams Happy Hour Series live music and good food on every third Friday of the month between May 17 and September 20 from 5 to 7 pm

DeLoach Vineyards: Mother's Day sip and shop from 11 am to 4 pm (5/4)

Dry Creek Vineyard: La Vie en Rose: A Rose & Blancs Release Party (5/18) from 12 pm to 4:30 pm

Dutton Goldfield: May Magnificent Magnum Tasting (5/4 & 5/5) 

Emeritus Vineyards: Mother's Day Sparkling Celebration (5/11) from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, wine and food pairing

Emeritus Vineyards: Pinot and Popcorn Pairing (5/24 - 5/27) wine tasting with a game at Sebastopol Golf Course across the street from 10 am to 5 pm

Gary Farrell Winery: Weekend in wine country (5/17- 5/19)

Gloria Ferrer: Mother's Day brunch from 10 am to 12 pm (5/12)

Hawkes Wine (5/25): Red winery BBQ in the vineyards from 4 pm to 7 pm

Jordan Winery: Picnic at Chateau Block Vineyard from 11 am to 12:30 pm (5/10, 11, 12, 24, 25, 26)

Kendall-Jackson: 150th Kentucky Derby Watch Party (5/4) from 11 am to 7 pm

La Crema: Mother's Day Brunch (5/12) from 11 am to 1 pm. Limited to 30 guests.

Landmark Vineyards (5/11): Mother's Day weekend yoga in the vineyards

Pech Merle Winery (5/18): Lobsters Lovers Unite from 4 pm to 7 pm

Rodney Strong (5/4): An Epicurean Adventure from 3 pm to 5 pm, enjoy wine along with sweet and savory bites, live music

Trione Winery (5/19): Chardonnay Hooray in celebration of National Chardonnay Day from 12 pm to 2:30 pm

Viansa (5/12): Mother's Day Brunch, from 10 am to 12 pm, enjoy a welcome mimosa and then eat a brunch paired with wine, children are welcome

Hotel Deals in Sonoma

One of the best ways to enjoy these Sonoma events in May is to spend a night or two in this beautiful wine country. You will find several great deals all around the area. Click the links below for details. Save on your Hotel in Sonoma with, Planet Earth's #1 Accommodation Site. No booking fees ever!

TripAdvisor: What's the #1 hotel in Sonoma County? Read reviews & find hotel deals on TripAdvisor!

VRBO: You can also find some great places to stay on VRBO. They offer apartments, houses, cottages, and rooms for rent all around Sonoma County. Find some great places to stay here

Healdsburg Wine and Food Experience

Dates: 5/16 - 5/19

Healdsburg Wine and Food Experience is an annual event showcasing art from Sonoma County as well as both national and international artists. Events take place in galleries around town. You will also find several other events around Healdsburg such as wine tasting and culinary activities.

All proceeds for the event benefit the Healdsburg Center for the Arts.

Giro Vigneti Healdsburg Bicycle Tour

Date: 5/18

Healdsburg is known for fantastic hotels, amazing meals, and world class wines, but it is also known for one of the best bicycle rides in the world. There are many options for you to choose from; the rides start at 20 miles, progress to 38 and 63 and max out at 100 miles. 

One of the reasons that this is one of the most popular Sonoma events in May is that you get to cruise through the beautiful wine area, but moreover you get a glass of wine when you finish the ride. Your registration also includes fruit and baked good for breakfast, snacks and water at rest stops, a catered lunch, and best of all, a special Healdsburg Bicycle Tour bandana with a map of all three courses!

All four distances have the same price so you can choose which distance you want to ride on the day of the event! Healdsburg is usually quite busy during the spring so make sure to plan and book this cycling tour and your lodging in advance.

More Things to Do in Santa Rosa

Petaluma's Salute to American Graffiti

Dates: 5/16 - 5/18

If you loved the movie American Graffiti, then head to Petaluma this May to celebrate and see the streets where the movie was made. This annual event features a classic car show and festival.

The event is open to the public and you can pay a small fee to enter your car for the show.

The festival is on Saturday, May 18 with other events on the Thursday and Friday leading up to the big festival.

Sonoma Wine Tasting Deals

These are just a few of the top wine tasting deals running currently at wineries around Sonoma County. Click the links below for additional details.

Battaglini Winery & Vineyard: $5 Buys You a Coupon for $5 Off a Wine Tasting for Two Plus 20% Off a Bottle of Wine, near Santa Rosa, check for availability

Harvest Moon Estate And Winery: Save on their wine and cheese tasting plates for one, two or four people, near Santa Rosa, check for availability

*Note: Most deals last for 120 days after purchase, so make sure to check the exact terms before purchasing.

Live Music on the Lawn Series at Viansa

Enjoy live music on the Lawn at Viansa every Saturday and Sunday in May.  Bands will play from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm on each weekend and on the Monday, Memorial Day holiday.

You can grab some wine, some fire roasted pizza and enjoy the beautiful outdoors.

25200 Arnold Drive in Sonoma.

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