We’re exploring family adventures at California Wineries with Jeanne Sullivan from the California Wine Institute in this episode. From the top to the bottom of the state, there are great winery experiences to enjoy with your family.
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Tell Us About California Wineries.
There are 4,200 bonded wineries across California. We are growing over 100 types of grapes in 49 out of 58 counties.
The wineries are mainly family-owned businesses, and many are multi-generational.
No matter where you’re going in California, there are great winery experiences to enjoy across the state with your family.
What Makes California Wineries Great for Families?
As the majority are multi-generational family-owned businesses, they are very family-friendly and have lots of activities.
Many wineries are also farms. They have winery dogs and tons of farm animals the kids will love to see.
Winery Tours are fun for everyone. And some wineries even do grape juice tastings for the kids presented like a wine tasting so they can taste along with their parents.
One of my favorite things to recommend is grape stomping during harvest season. Many host contests to see who can stomp grapes the fastest.
You’ll also find play areas, petting zoos, horseback riding, and hiking. In the summer, many wineries also have concerts.
Tell Us About Some of the Wineries and Activities.
If you’re visiting the ski areas or going to National Parks, there’s the Sierra Foothills region.
You’ll find Napa and Sonoma wine regions outside of San Francisco.
Francis Ford Coppola Winery is a very family-friendly destination, especially in the summer. They have two swimming pools, a petting zoo, a children’s library, and events throughout the year. Film buff parents will love it too.
Castello Di Amorosa in Calistoga has a massive replica of an Italian Castle with a dungeon kids love, animals, and grape juice tastings.
The Central Coast extends south of San Francisco to Santa Barbara.
Paso Robles has lots of family-friendly wineries and is close to Hearst Castle. Their night tour is great with the kids.
Solvang, the Danish Capital of America, is a fun town to visit for families. And it’s super close to the Santa Barbara winery area. Buttonwood is a nice winery near there with a farm and wine tastings and tours.
There are even wine regions in Southern California.
The Malibu Coast has beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and great events, plus you can enjoy the whole Southern California experience. If you’re going to the theme parks, the Temecula wine region is 90 minutes from Los Angeles. And there are several wineries outside of San Diego.
You Can Even Stay at California Wineries?
If you have your own RV, you can work with Harvest Hosts and stay in the vineyards.
North of San Francisco, Six Sigma Ranch & Winery in Lake County has spaces for RVs and trailers. They also have unique vineyard tours in their all-terrain Pinzgauer Jeeps and Hiking and Biking Tours.
In the middle of Alta Colina’s Estate Vineyard in Paso Robles, there’s the Trailer Pond where you can stay in a vintage camper among the vines.