California is home to some of the most beautiful wineries in the world, and what better way to experience their spectacular views than by savoring a picnic with a glass of your new favorite wine in hand?
There’s no better place to pair wine with a picnic than in the Golden State’s stunning wineries, offering breathtaking views that make the perfect setting for a day out, from vineyards and mountains to the ocean.
To help wine lovers with their perfect pairing, California Wines has put together a list of standout wineries with great picnic views, and more can be found in their winery search tool at DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com.
Many wineries offer great picnic fare, but if you prefer to bring your own, check out California Wines’ new picnic recipe and wine pairings e-Book, Life’s a Picnic in California Wine Country. It’s recommended to call your chosen winery in advance to make sure they permit outside food.
Here are just some of the best wineries in the state where you can indulge in delicious wines and enjoy a memorable picnic with some of the most stunning views this summer and beyond.
Home to Napa Valley, which put California wines on the global wine map when two of their wineries won the 1976 Judgment of Paris, the North Coast is also home to a wide variety of renowned wine regions, as well as rugged coasts and redwood parks. Many wines are produced here, but the region is especially known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.
V. Sattui Winery, Napa Valley
With lush gardens, a shaded picnic area, and a sprawling vineyard, this winery is known for its spectacular views which offer a lovely atmosphere for a relaxing picnic. You can bring your own food and pair it with some of the winery’s diverse wines, or raid their deli featuring delicious charcuterie, panini, pastas, cheeses, and other picnic essentials such as house-made desserts and gelato.
Rutherford Hill Winery, Napa Valley
Known for its sweeping, iconic views of Napa Valley from its hilltop location alongside the Silverado Trail, there’s a reason guests pay $75 per picnic table, which is waived if you purchase an equal amount of wine or more. Known for their Merlot, this winery is a great location if you want to bring your own snacks while sipping under oak trees with a view of the valley.
Benziger Family Winery, Sonoma Valley
Located in Glen Ellen, Sonoma Valley, Benziger Family Winery offers a beautiful picnic area with a view of their biodynamic vineyards. Visitors can enjoy a glass of wine and take a stroll through the vineyards before settling into one of the picnic tables or the patio. On your way to the winery you can pick up gourmet paninis at the Glen Ellen Village Market.
Rombauer Vineyards, Napa Valley
Rombauer’s outdoor “wine by the glass” experience allows guests to relax with a glass of wine at one of their outdoor garden tables while gazing at the stunning views of the Maycamas Mountains and spectacular gardens with more than 100 varieties of plants and flowers. Enjoy whimsical works of art collected by our founder, Koerner Rombauer. Wine is purchased a la carte either by the glass or by the bottle, and BYO picnic provisions are encouraged. Outdoor guided tastings are also available. Reservations for either experience are required.
Rodney Strong Vineyards, Sonoma County
Rodney Strong offers outdoor tasting experiences on the Terrace and Concert Green. Picnics pair well with the winery’s renowned summer concert series, which kicks off in June with Marc Cohn and Shawn Colvin, followed by The Wood Brothers & ZZ Ward in July, and Larkin Poe in August. Cheese and charcuterie boards can be added to your tasting in advance of your arrival. Reservations required.
Six Sigma Ranch, Lake County
With a cozy cabin tasting room located on a site that once was a stagecoach stop, Six Sigma Ranch offers a beautiful picnic area among century-old Valley Oak trees. The winery offers a Wine Country Picnic Pack with a selection of local artisan cheeses and accompaniments sold in the tasting room, as well as a Wildflower Picnics label Rosé wine.
Scharffenberger Cellars, Mendocino County
Home to a 900-year-old redwood tree, this Anderson Valley winery in Philo offers a charming and relaxed Tasting Room, which regularly features local artists, so visitors can taste the Scharffenberger sparkling wine while perusing the latest display of local artwork. After perusing art they can enjoy a picnic in the winery’s lovely garden area with views of the vineyard and the surrounding hills.
Nelson Family Vineyards, Mendocino County
Just south of Ukiah, this winery, vineyard and pear, olive and Christmas-tree farm boasts a picnic area next to a pond in a small redwood grove with beautiful views of the vineyard and the surrounding mountains. You can also enjoy their delicious wines and locally sourced foods.
This enormous region spans the San Francisco Bay Area down to Santa Barbara, featuring a wide variety of AVAs, as well as attractions such as historic ranchlands and missions, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Hearst Castle and romantic beaches. Among the many wines made here, the most notable are Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Sauvignon Blanc and of course Pinot Noir, which was featured in the famous Sideways film.
Halter Ranch, Paso Robles
Adventurous wine lovers can book the Defender Picnic and Pairing Tour, where guests explore the open spaces of Halter Ranch in a classic Land Rover Defender, learning about the ranch’s rich history, organic farming and viticulture practices, and extraordinary biodiversity across the 2,700-acre wild estate. Each stop will feature a wine and cheese pairing amidst breathtaking scenery, including valley views. Get a glimpse of their nature-to-fork practices at work in Le Jardin du Chef and relax dockside at the 5-acre pond. Guests can experience Lion’s Ridge, the highest elevation point and savor the iconic Ancestor wine, their Bordeaux blend, under the spiritual heart of the ranch – the 700-year- old Ancestor Tree, the largest Coast Live Oak on record.
Concannon Vineyard, Livermore Velley
Surrounded by coastal range mountains and foothills, magnificent topiaries, and sprawling 181 acres of estate vineyards, Concannon Vineyard is a great location for picnicking. Guests may bring their own food out on the Main Lawn with views of the grapevines, and a minimum of one bottle purchase is required for every two guests. No flying objects, blankets, or outside alcoholic beverages are permitted.
CRU Winery, Monterey County
CRU Winery’s Santa Lucia Highlands Tasting Room, located in the town of Soledad along the Monterey Wine Trail, offers fantastic vineyard and valley views that are perfect for picnicking. Visitors can enjoy outdoor tasting and picnic areas on their picturesque patio, at their firepit, in their outdoor event area or they can relax at picnic tables set up throughout the property. The winery offers select food products and cheese boards as well.
Tolosa Winery, San Luis Obispo County
This winery offers one of the best picnics with a view, featuring a lovely outdoor area with panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards and Santa Lucia Mountains. Charcuterie and snack platters are available for purchase.
Cooper Garrod Vineyards at Garrod Farms, Santa Cruz Mountains
Enjoy the relaxed ambiance of the Garden Tasting Patio with a small bites menu at this historic working ranch has been farmed by the family since 1893, featuring estate wines from 28 acres of Certified Sustainable vineyards. Reserve a spot on a Garrod Stables Trail Ride prior to wine tasting, where the horses go alongside the Gravel Ridge and Francville vineyards before the scenic trails in Fremont Older Open Space, which offers views of Silicon Valley.
While the Sierra Foothills area is more widely known for their Gold Rush towns and proximity to Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe, wine lovers know it’s a wonderland of high-elevation wineries known particularly for Old vine Zinfandel, Barbera, Sangiovese, Syrah and Viognier wines.
Andis Wines, Amador County
This winery offers stunning views of the surrounding vineyards and Sierra Foothills. They have a beautiful picnic area with plenty of seating and shade.
Indian Rock Vineyards, Calaveras County
Surrounded by their estate vineyards, the historic tasting room and spacious lawn dotted with picnic tables overlook a scenic pond—home to rainbow trout, ducks, egrets and Canadian geese. The picnic area also offers corn hole boards and Adirondack chairs and shaded seating under the covered veranda.
Ironstone Vineyards, Calaveras County
This winery offers a gorgeous picnic area with plenty of tables overlooking their vineyards and gardens. They also offer picnic baskets for purchase.
Boeger Winery, El Dorado County
With a lovely picnic area situated in the middle of their vineyards, Boeger Winery is a perfect place to picnic, with a small pond and waterfall that also make for a perfect backdrop.
While famous for Hollywood and theme parks, Southern California is also home to an amazing array of wineries and wines, especially Old-Vine Zinfandels, Port-style wines, Merlot and Chardonnay.
Oak Mountain Winery, Temecula
Located on the De Portola Wine Trail and home to Southern California’s only mined wine caves, Oak Mountain is famous for its raspberry and strawberry champagnes and outdoor pavilion overlooking one of the most spectacular views in the valley.
Rosenthal Estate Wines, Malibu
As the only wine bar and tasting room on the Pacific Coast Highway, this winery offers ocean views from their picnic area. You can bring your own food and soft drinks, but wine must be purchased on site. They offer charcuterie cups on the weekends, as well as a featured food truck of the day to add to the culinary experience.
Bernardo Winery, San Diego
This winery boasts one of the most scenic outdoor patio areas, offering picnic views of the valley, surrounded by lush greenery and scenic mountains. While bringing your own food and drink is not permitted, the winery features Sicilian/ Old Californian focused food celebrating Bernardo Winery’s long culinary family history.