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“Highlight of the Day” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Nicholson Ranch

Nicholson Ranch
4200 Napa Road, Sonoma, CA 95476
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Ranked #19 of 80 things to do in Sonoma
Attraction details
Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
197 reviews 197 reviews
68 attraction reviews
Reviews in 93 cities Reviews in 93 cities
136 helpful votes 136 helpful votes
“Highlight of the Day”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

We toured Nicholson Ranch as part of four wineries booked through Platypus Tours. Our time there was easily the highlight of the day. The ranch is on a beautiful piece of property, and it was just such a relaxing, enjoyable experience being there.

The owner was probably the highlight- he obviously takes great pride in his work and was extremely knowledgeable. He allowed us to ask numerous questions, and always had a good answer about the way they do things. He gave us some great insight into their approach (which is different in many ways to other wineries we've toured). He just provided a lot of information in a short amount of time, and kept it interesting. I wasn't bored for a second.

The tour was interesting- we walked through their vineyard, and were encouraged to grab a grape off the vine and taste it (we've been to 9 wineries, and this was the first place that allowed us to do that). We went into their winery, saw the equipment, went into the man-made-caves, and explored that area. Unlike other reviewers, we didn't get stuck in the elevator (and had no problems with 11-12 people in it). The wines we tasted were quite good, and we purchased one.

I've been to enough wineries at this point to know the good from the bad. Nicholson wasn't my favorite winery, but it was clearly the best one we visited on this day, and I'd certainly recommend it to others.

Visited July 2013
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75 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
“Not to be missed!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

We went to this winery as part of a tour of California - what a great highlight! Firstly, it's in a wonderful picturesque location and we were greeted in a lovely, friendly manner. We had an 'al-fresco' lunch on the property and were then taken on a guided tour of the vinyard and tasting experience by an enthusiastic, informative young man. Had a wonderful time and would recommend it.

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clarence Center, New York, United States
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Poor Management made Left Bad Taste in My Mouth”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

Nice start to a tour, but then the Manger of the Winery put 11 people in an elevator made for a maximum of 8 and stuck those tourists in there for 45 minutes. This was proven to be a shattering for a man who became scared of small spaces. When our Guide pressed the Owner to Compensate the 22 people who signed up for the tour from the Disney Wonder, he flatly refused 3 times, then invited everyone in the store to buy wine. Yeah. We left. Rather insulting, really.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Central, CT
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Stuck in an 8 person elevator with 11 people for 40 min. on the tour”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

Absolutely horrible experience at this winery. The premise is good. Walk the path a grape takes by pouring a taste then going into the vineyard, pouring another taste, going into the processing area, pouring another taste and getting into an elevator that is CLEARLY MARKED "MAXIMUM capacity 8" with a winery employee who ignored the sign. "It's fine! We do this all the time!" 40 min. later (thanks to an elevator service man) the doors opened. So, tour ruined for 11 people IN the elevator AND for 11 people from our group NOT in the elevator. No, we were NOT offered a complimentary bottle of wine. No, we were not offered a complimentary GLASS of wine. No, we were not offered a discount on a purchase. Steer clear of Nicholson Ranch. Do NOT get in their elevator!

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Top Contributor
163 reviews 163 reviews
41 attraction reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
194 helpful votes 194 helpful votes
“Great wine, great hospitality, lovely grounds”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

This is a fine mid-sized winery with a lovely ambiance, fantastic view, and really nice owner, Deepak, who got us all set up for a picnic we'd brought with a cheese board and knife despite that we only bought one bottle of wine, but what a good bottle it was! Nice staff as well. Very sincere and not pushy about selling wine compared with area tasting rooms, so a great energy. We liked the wines but noticed the estate wines were best, not surprisingly: I highly, highly recommend the estate chardonnay, and trust me, I've tasted many in the area, and it struck me as one of the best. The estate pinot noir is also solid. The grounds are eclectic and enchanting, with picnic areas, ponds, and a really California feel. An all-around great experience, so we've been twice now. It's definitely worth a stop along any good wine tour that isn't more than just a surface dip. If you live in area, it's well worth a picnic... and you are welcome to bring your dog, incidentally, since it's apparently a dog-friendly winery. There's something about it that's hard to put my finger on, but I really like this winery. It's not as showy as some. The gift shop isn't bursting at the seems. But it's a great winery with a beautiful grounds, a pond, and a waterfall in the winter, and of course great wine with obvious care given to the blends.

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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