Besides the stellar wines, whimsical statues and historical landmarks can be found all along the winding North Sonoma wine country roads. Whether it’s a towering coyote howling at the moon at Wilson Winery in Dry Creek, or a step back in time at the old Dry Creek General store, built circa 1881, the valleys are steeped in history.
Continue further south on Westside Road, south of Healdsburg where the old Hop Kiln California Historical Landmark No. 893 jets toward the sky. Once an old hops operation, the site is now home to Landmark’s Hop Kiln Estate where Pinot Noir rules.
Traveling further south, the one-lane Wohler Bridge stands guard across the mighty Russian River and connects to Wohler Road and nearby Windsor. Old Redwood groves border the sprawling vineyards along the river banks and bicyclists ride en masse. This 1921 beauty is on the Sonoma County historic bridge register citing a unique style of metal panel architecture.
Oftentimes, heavy rains cause the Russian River to rise high above the banks forcing the closure of the Wohler bridge. Pictured above are vineyards submerged after heavy 2017 winter rains near River Road, a common winter occurrence.
Around the bend, is the majestic Raford Inn, which sits high above the flood zone off Raford Road with vineyard views spanning for miles. Rumors have it that ghost sightings have occurred here although the inn keepers are mum.
Old relics like this redwood barn are still standing, with untold tales. Half the fun of touring the backroads near Russian River Valley are the gems, and the small wineries, you find along the way!