Itching for some warmer weather this time of year? A trip to a west coast winery might be the perfect cure for your cabin fever. Because wineries often have lower attendance during the winter months, you’ll beat the crowds and enjoy a more personal experience while you shake those winter blues. From castle-style wineries to wine picnics in valley gardens, each of these wineries offers something unique to warm you up and take your mind off the wintertime until Spring.
Tucked away atop Mount Veeder is one of Napa Valley’s hidden gems: The Hess Collection winery. Found in the 70s, this stone barn winery is one of the oldest vineyards in the region with five generations of family members who have continued The Hess Collection’s legacy of wine and art. The experience surrounding The Hess Collection is completely exclusive: you’ll sip wines that can only be tasted at the winery, and you’ll enjoy 1,300 square feet of art installations. While visiting the mountain vineyard, guests can hop on ATV excursions, take museum walks, explore chocolate and wine pairings, and more.
Castello di Amorosa translates to “castle of love” – and that couldn’t be a more appropriate name for our next recommendation. This Tuscan-style castle is the passion project of fourth-generation winemaker Daio Sattui, and a testimony to his Italian heritage. To him, authenticity is everything, and this mantra shines through in the architecture of his 13th-century castle in Napa Valley. The attention-to-detail in Sattui’s design is so exquisite, the winery is often used as a venue for sets and concerts (including season 10 of The Bachelor). Here, guests can roam the 121,000 square foot castle while tasting premium wines exclusive to winery guests, including a barrel tasting.
The first time Sonoma Valley saw Merlot was in 1971 when winemaker Joe Martin first planned 60 acres in the St. Francis vineyard. Over four decades later, St. Francis Winery is famous for its award-winning wine and food pairings—and for good reason. Inside their elegant dining room, a team of talented culinary artists hand-selects premium wines to seasonal menus to create a five-course fine dining experience, highlighting Sonoma’s agricultural traditions and culinary culture. Complete with a beautiful view of the vineyard, guests can enjoy luxury and artisan wines that embody the true spirit of Sonoma Valley.
This Santa Maria garden and vineyard duo is the perfect place to enjoy a wine picnic. Specializing in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and sparkling wines, Riverbench Winery produces high-quality grapes while maintaining high sustainability standards. Located on the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail, guests can enjoy the beautiful weather and the breathtaking scenery surrounding the 1920’s craftsman styled winery. The unique geographic location of the valley, which runs east to west instead of the common north to south, results in a cool ocean breeze and the perfect climate for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to thrive.
Au Bon Climat sources their grapes from some of the most highly regarded vineyards on the Central Coast, including Bien Nacido. Spread out across 900 acres, this vineyard is nestled between the ocean and the mountains, making it the perfect destination for a winter vacation. Cool sea breezes help these grapes thrive, as they can fully develop in flavor, color, and more. Guests who visit Bien Nacido can indulge in famous Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays while enjoying warm, sunny days and cool, breezy nights.
Planning a wine get-away this winter? Share your travels with us on social by tagging us @Coravin!