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Napa Valley’s Best Wineries for Picnics

Seven spots to spread a picnic blanket and uncork a bottle of wine.

 

Sure, Napa Valley has great restaurants, but it’s hard to beat a vineyard picnic or lunch made directly from a winery garden. Here are some of Napa Valley’s best places to sip and snack outside.

John Anthony Vineyards will drive you up its western hillside in a luxury 4-wheel vehicle to a private picnic area in the middle of a vineyard. Look out over the valley while you sip small-production, single-vineyard wines that are paired with carefully selected bites. Pay special attention to the The Oak Knoll Cabernet, as you’ll be sitting in the vineyard that produces this mighty red wine.

In to farm-to-table eating? Schweiger Vineyards lets you loose on its massive organic garden to pick the fruits and veggies that are in season. The winery also sells Cowgirl Creamery cheese and Rustic Bakery crackers, or is happy to pick something up for you. But if you packed your lunch, you’re welcome to picnic before, as part of, or after the tasting and tour.

Make a tasting appointment at Frank Family Vineyards and you can pick a shady spot under one of the property’s elm trees to set out your spread. The winery offers a wide range of varietals, including sparkling wines and dessert treats, so you can be confident they’ll have the perfect pairing options, and suggestions for whatever is in your picnic basket.

If games are your thing, check at Tudal WineryThe relaxed spot has bocce ball, a king-sized chess set, wandering pets, folk art, and an impressive vegetable garden. Conveniently located and down-to-earth, this is your best bet if you’re looking for a little fun while you eat.

Chateau Montelena Winery requires that you reserve its picnic tables in advance, but it’s worth the commitment. Private and peaceful, the tables sit at the base of Montelena’s stone castle and around their estate lake. Wander the Chinese garden and walk over to the base of Mt. St. Helena after lunch to burn off all those snacks.

With two acres of shaded picnic grounds and a plethora of tables, V. Sattui Wineryis Napa’s most famous picnic spot. With more than 60 wines, an Italian-style marketplace that sells house made sandwiches, salads, charcuterie from the winery's own salumeria, and more than 200 cheeses, it’s the perfect place to have lunch in the great outdoors.

Napa Cellars is conveniently located on Hwy 29, but it doesn’t feel like it’s on the side of the road. The picnic area is surrounded by vineyards and coastal mountains so you’ll feel removed from the hustle and bustle of traffic. You need to bring your own picnic lunch, but there’s a welcoming outdoor patio and plenty of tasty wines.

The Napa Valley Vintners also just launched this handy map that allows to search all the wineries in Napa for specific criteria—including picnic spots. 

 

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