While some people visit California wineries for much-needed “grown-up” time in one of the world’s most beautiful wine regions, many parents prefer to travel and taste with their little ones in tow. This has increasingly become the trend, according to Wine Institute, inspiring many of the state’s wineries to offer special accommodations for kids, including grape juice tastings, play areas, visits with farm animals and outdoor games. These activities keep children happy and engaged while their parents sample the latest vintages.
The key to a successful and fun family outing in California’s wine country is to call ahead or check the producer’s website to see if kids are welcome. For reasons of liability or preference, some wineries do not allow guests under age 21. If the winery does allow minors, kids are permitted to join their parents in the winery and can often take part in winery tours.
Following is a list of family-friendly wineries throughout California:
ACORN Winery/Alegria Vineyards, Sonoma County
Legos, crayons and cornhole keep kids entertained. They can explore vineyards, join parents on guided vineyard walks and taste grapes during harvest.
Alexander Valley Vineyards, Sonoma County
Kids can join in winery and cave tours with their parents, visit the vineyards and enjoy the picnic area.
Alpha Omega, Napa Valley
The winery offers crayons and a coloring book, “Exploring the Napa Valley with Traveler Teddies,” a kid-friendly guide to Napa Valley.
Austin Hope & Treana Tasting Cellar, Paso Robles
While parents enjoy wine outside overlooking the vineyards, children can play cornhole or giant Jenga.
Benziger Family Winery, Sonoma Valley
An educational tram tour showcases the winery’s biodynamic vineyards, caves and insect-friendly gardens.
Buena Vista Winery, Sonoma Valley
Tours led by period actors include wine caves and Historic Wine Museum featuring a multi-media show. Picnic area and hedge maze.
Buttonwood Winery, Santa Barbara County
Explore the fruit tree orchard and picnic areas or visit the estate farm animals.
Captain Vineyards, Contra Costa County
Tour a sustainable vineyard and winery, offering 4-H programs for middle and high schools through UC Davis.
Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley
Tour a replica of an Italian castle and dungeon, then meet estate peacocks and farm animals. Grape juice samplings and a play area.
Castoro Cellars, San Luis Obispo County
Games for kids include cornhole, giant Jenga and disc golf.
Cline Cellars, Sonoma County
The winery has expansive lawns, ponds with fish and turtles, caged exotic birds, vintage train cars and California Missions Museum.
DeLoach Vineyards, Sonoma County
Educational, family-friendly tours detail DeLoach’s history, winemaking and farming practices. Picnic in the winery grove.
Domaine Artefact, San Diego County
Pack a picnic and play cornhole and giant Jenga, or visit the ranch’s horses, chickens, dogs and pigs.
Eberle Winery, Paso Robles
Cave tours and bocce courts keep kids entertained.
Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Sonoma County
Kids enjoy a large swimming pool, bocce ball court, children’s library, board games and more.
Heritage Oak Winery, Lodi/San Joaquin County
Outdoor family fun includes picnicking, hiking to the river, kayaking and camping.
Honig Vineyard & Winery, Napa Valley
The winery offers vineyard eco-tours, plus kids’ toys and books.
Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate, Sonoma County
Kids can taste grape juice and tour the vegetable garden, which includes a chicken coop, bat boxes and demonstration bee hive.
Landmark Vineyards, Sonoma Valley
The free Horse Drawn Carriage Tour delves into farming practices and Sonoma wine history. Picnic area and lawn.
Mauritson Wines, Sonoma County
Grape juice tastings are offered during the harvest season.
Meyer Family Cellars, Mendocino County
The winery includes an outdoor children’s play area.
Navarro Vineyards, Mendocino County
Kids enjoy a grape juice tasting of Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer.
Pennyroyal Farm, Mendocino County
The winery’s Farm Tour lets kids meet farm animals and sample grape juice.
Raymond Vineyards, Napa Valley
The outdoor tour shows how nature’s “actors”—including chickens and goats—help produce wine from the soil to the vineyards.
Retzlaff Vineyards, Livermore Valley
The winery has a picnic area and a lawn with big toy tractors.
Six Sigma Ranch and Winery, Lake County
Meet the winery’s pot belly pig. Select Saturdays, jump on the flat bed and help feed livestock.
Truett-Hurst Winery, Sonoma County
Families can roam the working farm, featuring goats, chickens and sheep.
Zaca Mesa Winery, Santa Barbara County
Families can picnic or play a game on the giant chess board.
SOURCE: Wine Institute
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