If you’re out wine tasting, nothing is better than enjoying a picnic in the vineyards. However, due to strict regulation, many wineries do not have a permit (yes they need a permit in order for guests to enjoy food on premise) to allow picnicking on their property.
The following is a list of our favorite picnic friendly wineries as well as great places to pick up food in the Valley!
Madrigal Winery: St. Helena
One of our favorite spots for fine wining and picnic dining is magical Madrigal Winery in St. Helena. Madrigal offers a wonderful private picnic lunch in the vineyard with either a choice of steak, salmon, or an assortment of vegetarian options. In addition, they have wonderful sides, pair with a wine of your choice. Their cabernet sauvignon and pinot grigio are fan favorites; crisp and refreshing for summer picnic days. Wine Pass members get priority as well as special pricing for this experience. The tasting and lunch costs $85pp, a beautiful picnic lunch in the center of a vineyard, Wine not?
Email: Alejandro firstname.lastname@example.org and tell him you’re a Wine Pass member. If you’re not a Wine Pass member you can use promo code ‘jamie2’ to receive a special rate and VIP treatment here!
V. Sattui: St. Helena
This property is full of life and zest! St. Helena is a rustic gem with an old style Italian deli, a variety of cheese, and delicious wine. This winery fills up fast on the weekends, so remember to bring a picnic blanket and enjoy the atmosphere while sipping on your favorite wine!
Use your Priority Wine Pass to receive a 2 for 1 or 50% off tasting for two, then buy a bottle of your favorite wine and grab a sandwich or a salad from their deli! Forewarning, they DO NOT ALLOW OUTSIDE FOOD! Please keep that in mind. Reservations are not necessary.
Napa Cellars: Napa
This winery is a great destination winery for family fun. They have a lovely picnic area with all types of games: human size Jenga, “corn hole”, and more. With the Priority Wine Pass you receive 2 for 1 Reserve tasting for two. No reservations are necessary, just show up and enjoy (they do charge $10pp so FYI). I would recommend grabbing a deli lunch from the Yountville Deli on your way up!
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White Rock: Napa
This very exclusive winery is a favorite to the infamous Bill Murray. They are known for the french wines and are by appointment only. They do however allow picnics after the tasting at no charge.
Ceja Vineyards: Napa/Carneros Region
Ceja is a wonderful casual spot (only open Thursday-Monday) they have some fantastic Chardonnays and Pinots. In addition, their family owns the brewery (Carneros Brewery) across the parking lot. They also have a fantastic picnic area near a lake with corn hole and other games. It sometimes gets busy and they don’t take reservations so to be safe I always say bring a picnic blanket! With the wine pass, you get 20% off purchases and it’s nice to taste through their wine, buy a bottle, and then enjoy a great picnic by their small lake!
Andretti Winery: Napa
Andretti has some of the friendliest tasting room staff and always take such great care of their customers. Their Sangiovese is hands down one of my favorites in the valley. They too have a nice picnic area with several tables near their vineyards (please note reservations are required to picnic and they do charge $10pp (but this includes a glass of wine with lunch and linens). With the wine pass I would again suggest doing a tasting (2 for 1 tasting here or 50% off tasting for two with the wine pass) as well as 10% off any 3+ bottles. Grabbing a bottle of wine to enjoy with your lunch!
Rutherford Hill: Rutherford
With one of the best views in the valley Rutherford Hill is an ideal place to picnic. In addition to the scenery you will also never find it over crowded here. The reason is that you MUST make reservations for the tables. They charge $75 per table or you can purchase 3 bottles of wine and they will waive the fee. With the wine pass you can receive an upgraded tasting to taste many of their delicious wines then you can determine what you’d like to enjoy with your lunch after!
Benessere Vineyards: St. Helena
Known for their Italian Style wines this winery has some of the best prices you’ll find in Napa for the quality! I’ve bought several cases of their Pinot Grigio and Sangiovese. A casual environment with a friendly demeanor Benessere is one not to miss. With the wine pass, you receive a Complimentary Tour and Extra Pour of their Reserve Wine with reservation: email email@example.com (tell him Jamie sent you and you’re a wine pass member!) After you can enjoy a picnic lunch at one of their picnic tables or patio tables. I would suggest grabbing lunch at Sunshine Deli in downtown St.Helena or at Dean and Deluca
Pope Valley: St.Helena/Calistoga/Pope Valley
Off the beaten path and down the cobbled road, this winery is worth the adventure. The friendliest of people, great wines, and a wonderful laid back atmosphere. They offer our members a 2 for 1 or 50% off tasting for two with your Priority Wine Pass membership. No reservation is required but it’s nice to give them a heads up as you’ll receive extra special treatment ☺ (707) 965-1246 I would again grab some lunch from Sunshine market or Dean and Deluca
Dutch Henry: Calistoga
Known for their organic red wines, this winery is 100% sustainable. They have a rustic barn tasting room with dogs and chickens and sometimes cats running around. Making it also very pet-friendly. You can grab some lunch from Sunshine market or Dean and Deluca and enjoy lunch at one of their picnic tables either in the shade or near the vineyards and bocce ball court. You can start off with your first tasting (a 2 for 1 or 50% off tasting for two with your Priority Wine Pass membership) to pair along with your lunch. No reservations are required.C
Bennett Lane: Calistoga
If you’re a fan of cabs this is a must visit spot! They’re fun boutique and of course, have delicious wine. They require reservations and we recommend giving them a call in advance and letting them know you’re a Priority Wine Pass member for a Complimentary Upgrade to a Private Seated Tasting (707) 942-6684 after the tasting you can enjoy the rest of your wine with your lunch.
Auburn James: St.Helena
This boutique winery is a hidden gem right of Silverado Trail in St.Helena. They have a small tasting room and a beautiful back patio looking into the vineyards. They have a few tables outside around their bocce court so you can enjoy wine, lunch, and a game of bocce. They do require reservations and allow for outside food (please confirm with them when booking) and extend a 2 for 1 tasting with your Priority Wine Pass
Maxville Lake Winery: Pope Valley
This experience is one that is a bit off the beaten path (about a 12-15 minute drive off Silverado Trail in St.Helena) however very worth it. It is fantastic for groups and 99% of the time you will have the winery to yourselves . They offer 2 for 1 standard tastings as well as 2 for 1 Cave tour and barrel tastings for Priority Wine Pass members. Reservations are required. You can grab lunch and bring it up there or you can order 48 hours prior and they can have lunch catered in for you for as little as $25pp.
Pestoni Vineyareds: Rutherford
This is one of our all time favorite hidden yet well known favorite gems. Dating back to the late 1800s this winery right off the 29 is still family run. Their wine is fantastic (if you like reds) and they have one of the best picnic spots available. We would recommend grabbing a blanket, bringing lunch from oakville grocery, and grabbing a bottle of wine to enjoy next to their vineyard. You can also enjoy a complimentary upgraded tasting with the purchase of the standard tasting with your priority wine pass (a $25 value per person!).
This property is pretty unique as it has beautiful vineyards on two sides and a redwood forest on the other two sides. The tasting and tour is delicious, educational, and one for the books. Dating back to the early 1800s it has a unique history with amazing wines to match. They are by appointment only and when making reservations let them know you’d like to picnic after under their redwoods. They have a handful of picnic tables where you can enjoy lunch (they’ll typically pour you a glass to enjoy with lunch as well..that is if you buy wine). With the pass you receive two complimentary tours and tastings with $100 purchase, which shouldn’t be a problem!
For even more info local wally has also put together a comprehensive list of picnic friendly wineries that’s worth checking out.
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