Take the Kids to Wine Country – Family Friendly Wineries in California

So – you’re ready for vacation. You’ve decided to fulfill your dream of visiting the wineries of California. But wait – Grandma can’t watch the kids! No problem – there are kid friendly wineries!

Many of the tasting rooms in the wineries of California offer juice tastings, farm animal visits and more.

Photo via discovercaliforniawines.com

While most of us visit California wineries for much-needed “grown-up” time in one of the world’s most beautiful wine regions, many parents either prefer to travel and taste with their little ones in tow or have no other option. For some it’s either take the kids along or don’t go!

Photo via discovercaliforniawines.com

This has increasingly become the trend, according to the 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.

Photo via discovercaliforniawines.com

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, Healdsburg, Sonoma County 

Legos, crayons and cornhole keep kids entertained while parents taste. Children may also explore the vineyards adjacent to the tasting room, join parents on a guided vineyard walk and taste grapes during harvest.

Photo via https://thepress.sfchronicle.com

 Alexander Valley Vineyards, Healdsburg, Sonoma County

Kids can join in winery and cave tours with their parents, visit the vineyards and enjoy the winery’s picnic area.

Alpha Omega, St. Helena, Napa Valley

The winery offers the coloring book, “Exploring the Napa Valley with Traveler Teddies,” a kid-friendly guide to the Napa Valley, presented with a box of crayons. 

Austin Hope & Treana Tasting Cellar, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County

While parents enjoy a glass or a bottle outside overlooking the vineyards, children are invited to play cornhole or giant Jenga.     

Benziger Family Winery, Glen Ellen, Sonoma County

A 45-minute educational tram tour showcases the winery’s Biodynamic vineyards, caves and insect-friendly gardens.

Photo via Buena Vista Winery

 Buena Vista Winery, Sonoma, Sonoma County

Tours led by period actors include wine caves and the Historic Wine Museum, which features an entertaining multi-media show. There’s also a picnic area and hedge maze.

Buttonwood Winery, Solvang, Santa Barbara County

Explore the large fruit tree orchard and picnic areas or visit the estate farm animals.

Captain Vineyards, Moraga, Contra Costa County

Tour the first green, sustainable, dry farmed vineyard and winery in the Lamorinda AVA, which offers a 4-H program for middle and high schools through the University of California at Davis.

Photo via Wine Institute

Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga, Napa Valley

Tour a massive replica of an Italian castle, complete with a dungeon, then meet the estate peacocks and farm animals. Kids can sample grape juice and enjoy their own play area.

Castoro Cellars, Templeton, San Luis Obispo County

Games for kids include cornhole, giant Jenga and disc golf.

Cline Cellars, Sonoma, Sonoma County

The park-like grounds feature expansive lawns, ponds stocked with fish and turtles, caged exotic birds, vintage train cars and the California Missions Museum.

DeLoach Vineyards, Santa Rosa, Sonoma County

The winery offers educational, family-friendly tours detailing DeLoach’s history, winemaking techniques and farming practices. Families can end their tour with a picnic in the winery grove. 

Photo via Sonoma.com

Domaine Artefact, Escondido, San Diego County

Pack a picnic and play cornhole and giant Jenga, or visit the ranch’s resident horses, chickens, dogs and pigs.

Eberle Winery, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County

Cave tours and bocce courts keep the kids entertained.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Geyserville, Sonoma County

Coppola welcomes families with a large swimming pool, bocce ball court, children’s library, board games and more.

Photo via Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Heritage Oak Winery, Acampo, Lodi/San Joaquin County

Outdoor family fun includes picnicking, hiking down to the river, kayaking and camping.

Honig Vineyard & Winery, Rutherford, Napa Valley

The winery offers eco-tours of the vineyard, plus kids’ toys and books. 

Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate, Fulton, Sonoma County

Kids can taste grape juice and tour the extensive vegetable garden, which includes a chicken coop, bat boxes and a demonstration bee hive. 

Landmark Vineyards, Kenwood, Sonoma County

The free Horse Drawn Carriage Tour delves into farming practices and Sonoma wine history. There’s also a picnic area and expansive lawn.

Photo via Landmark Vineyard

Mauritson Wines, Healdsburg, Sonoma County

Grape juice tastings are offered during the harvest season.

Meyer Family Cellars, Yorkville, Mendocino County

The winery includes an outdoor children’s play area. 

Navarro Vineyards, Philo, Anderson Valley, Mendocino County

Kids can enjoy a grape juice tasting of Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer.

Pennyroyal Farm, Boonville, Anderson Valley, Mendocino County

The winery’s Farm Tour lets kids meet resident farm animals and sample grape juice.

Photo via https://thepress.sfchronicle.com

Raymond Vineyards, St. Helena, Napa Valley

The outdoor Theater of Nature showcases how all of nature’s “actors”—including chickens and goats—play a crucial part in crafting quality wine, from the soil to the vineyards.  

Retzlaff Vineyards, Livermore, Livermore Valley

The winery has a picnic area and a lawn with big toy tractors for kids to play on.

Six Sigma Ranch and Winery, Lower Lake, Lake County

Meet “Topper”, the winery’s pot belly pig who loves to have his ears rubbed. Select Saturdays, jump on the flat bed and help feed the livestock. Picnic or play a game of cornhole. 

Truett-Hurst Winery, Healdsburg, Sonoma County

Families are free to roam the working farm, which features goats, chickens and sheep. 

Zaca Mesa Winery, Los Olivos, Santa Barbara County

Families are invited to picnic or play a game on the giant chess board.

Now that you know you can take a wine tour with the kids – what are you waiting for? Start planning!

For more information visit www.wineinstitute.org or the consumer website at www.discovercaliforniawines.com.