Sonoma Events in May 2023: Festivals, Wine Tasting & More

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: February 2, 2023

Sonoma events in May 2023 include the Alexander Valley Film Festival, the Rose Parade & Festival, French Flea Market, 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: 4/28 - 5/7

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. 

Sonoma Events in May: Castles & Kites

Date: TBD

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 4 pm. The is one of the Sonoma events in May which includes more than 50 kites and 50 sand castles on Doran Beach 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 2023

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.

BR Cohn: Lobster Feed (5/13) from 5 pm to 7:30 pm

Buena Vista Winery: Mother's Day Flight (5/13 & 5/14)

Buena Vista Winery: Caviar Education Experience (5/17)

DeLoach Vineyards: Mother's Day Brunch (5/14)

Dry Creek Vineyard: La Vie en Rose: A Rose & Blancs Release Party (5/13) from 12 pm to 4 pm

Dutton Goldfield: Sip & Paint at the Van Der Kamp Vineyard (5/13) from 12 pm to 3 pm

J Wine: Spring Renewal Dinner (5/21), only 25 seats available

Kendall-Jackson: Kentucky Derby Watch Party (5/6)

Trione Vineyards & Winery: Food & Wine Dinner (5/13) from 6 pm to 9 pm

Gundlach Bundschu Outdoor Concert Series (TBD for 2023)

This May in Sonoma, you will find one concert at Gundlach Bundschu Winery. Kurt Vile and The Violators perform on May 15. Doors open at 5 pm, show starts at 6 pm, and ends at 10 pm.

The shows take place rain or shine since the Redwood Barn offers covering from the elements. During the show, you can enjoy some tasty Gundlach Bundschu wines by the glass or bottle.

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: 5/19 - 5/21

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.

Sonoma Events in May: Rose Parade & Festival

Date: TBD

The Luther Burbank Rose Parade & Festival is one of the largest and longest parades in Northern California. It has been running strong for more than 120 years and just gets better every single year.

The parade starts at Sonoma Avenue and E Street. It then winds through the city and ends at the intersection of Mendocino and 1st Street. The parade includes marching bands, floats, horses and their riders, and so much more.

After the parade, head over to the festival. This is one of the Sonoma events in May that features games for kids, food and drink for everyone, and fun shows, arts and craft booths, and other activities such as the crowning of the King and Queen of the Rose Parade & Festival. The parade and festival are free but donations are encouraged to help support the parade and festival. The Parade and Festival starts at 9 am and ends at 2:30 pm

More Things to Do in Santa Rosa

Petaluma's Salute to American Graffiti

Dates: 5/18 - 5/20

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 20 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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